Growing brighter in the new year

William H. Hughes, PhD, Chief Academic Officer, and Adam Schmidt, Director of Talent and Strategy

Happy New Year! We’re grateful to be back to school and for the attention and big-hearted acknowledgements Seton Catholic Schools has received in recent weeks. We are our hopeful that Seton and all other “bright spots” in our community grow even more radiant—and reach many more Milwaukee students—this year.

Growing brighter for our students and families requires us keep our focus forward. But the Christmas season has inspired us to reflect on our most encouraging achievements from the past semester, our first as a network.

  • Education Model: We developed and launched a shared Educational Model to drive common and rigorous outcomes across our diverse schools.
  • New supports for teachers: We expanded teacher professional development days, launched a monthly academy for new teachers and began hosting Practice Camps for teachers to plan and practice new strategies together. Seton instructional coaches are also working one-to-one with educators across the network.
  • Faith Formation Teams: All of our schools now have active Faith Formation Teams creating opportunities for our faculty to grow in their faith.
  • Semester Corps: Over 30 new educators applied to be part of our innovative Semester Corps rotational program for winter teaching graduates.

These and other initiatives have created a new and intense spirit of collaboration. School leaders, teachers and support staff are learning and growing together every day.

Looking forward into 2017, we are eager to share some of the work we have underway to help realize our vision of transforming our communities through education.

  • Seton Teacher Residency: We are committed to growing and diversifying Milwaukee’s teacher pipeline. In the coming weeks we will announce a two-year residency program for aspiring educators and begin recruiting our first cohort of Residents from Milwaukee and around the country.
  • Master Teachers: We also plan to create new Master Teacher roles at several schools in 2017. Master Teachers will work closely with their principal and the network team to coach teachers and develop curriculum while still delivering high-leverage classroom instruction part of the day.
  • Network-wide Service Learning: This spring, all 220 Seton second graders will participate in series of service learning lessons, activities and collaborative experiences tied to water conversation and in benefit of the Ryan’s Well Foundation.
  • Transparency and Accountability: Once again, all Seton students, regardless of socioeconomic background, will participate in the Wisconsin Forward Exam and our schools will be assessed as part of the Department of Public Instruction’s annual report card system.

As you can see, we’ve only just begun our collaboration to transform Catholic education in Milwaukee. Thanks for being part of this journey. Onward!