Tosa 2075

Creating Our Future Together

There are so many exciting things happening in the Wauwatosa School District!

Students continue to perform extremely well in the visual and performing arts, academically, socially, and athletically. More than 80% of our brick and mortar schools realized academic growth in at least one content area (English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies), according to the Department of Public Instruction’s release of 2022-23 school year Forward data. Students in the Wauwatosa West Theatre program have been invited to perform Frozen: The Broadway Musical at the International Thespian Festival in June, and Orchestra students from Wauwatosa East recently traveled to Italy to participate in once-in-a-lifetime performances and experience the culture of the country.

If you would like to retain and preserve the great work taking place in Wauwatosa, it will require our whole community to work together to make informed, forward-thinking decisions for the betterment of the children of Wauwatosa. 

Our Challenges

A video overview regarding the District's current financial and facility challenges can be found here.

Inadequate Funding

Because state funding has not kept pace with inflation, the Wauwatosa School District facing a budget shortfall of $9.3M for the 2024-25 school year, and $61M over the next five years.

The District intends to satisfy the shortfall in 2024-25 by using its healthy fund balance. In subsequent years, the District must either reduce its expenditures or seek additional revenue streams.

Aging Facilities

At least approximately $130M in deferred maintenance needs have been identified across all Wauwatosa School District buildings.

Inequity exists among elementary school buildings, and our secondary schools - which were not designed to accommodate the current 21st century learning needs of our students - contain foundational systems and structures that are well past their end-of-life expectancy.

Policies: Open Enrollment + Boundary Lines

The Wauwatosa School District's current participation in open enrollment is unconventional when compared to other Wisconsin districts. Over time, the District has increased expenses by adding sections and increasing staffing in the implementation of its open enrollment strategy. The District's use of open enrollment also allows the District to maintain its current brick and mortar footprint.

A contemporary review of school attendance boundary lines is a healthy process that a school district should engage in every ten years. The Wauwatosa School District has not engaged in reviewing its school attendance zones since the late 1990s. It is important that the District's boundary lines still fit our community and balance student populations across all of the schools in Wauwatosa.

Breadth of Academic Portfolio

The District’s academic portfolio presents management challenges, and the investment in specialty schools and programs (STEM and Montessori) is significant.

Using the current lottery system, these schools and programs have less than a 14% acceptance rate, and the student population is not as diverse as the District's overall population.

Transportation Inequities

The Wauwatosa School District currently uses the City Option in regards to transportation. This means that the District relies on the Milwaukee County Transit System to provide students with transportation to and from school.

The District’s current approach to transportation exacerbates inequity and opportunity in the community. The ability to transport students to their schools currently rests on the social capital that their families possess.

Video Credit: Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials (WASBO)

Our Approach

In Wauwatosa, all stakeholder input and engagement is valuable.

The Board of Education will be the final decision-maker regarding the five challenge areas, and it is important that members of the community provide their input, perspectives and feedback to help inform the Board's decision. To gather community voice, the Board will leverage input from the Tosa 2075 Task Force, data from a community-wide survey, and feedback gathered via three community engagement sessions.

Tosa 2075 Task Force

In the spring of 2023, Superintendent Dr. Demond Means presented to the Wauwatosa Board of Education a vision for the formation of a community task force to address specific challenges facing the Wauwatosa School District.

The Tosa 2075 Task Force will provide the Board of Education with input and perspectives related to how best to address large-scope issues such as: reviewing existing boundary lines in the District (policy 5120), five-year budget and facility planning, exploring the legal obligations and potential implications of expanded transportation options, enrollment strategy (policy 5113 and promoting greater resident enrollment), and advancing the academic objectives of the District’s Strategic Plan. 

Community Education Booklet + Survey

The District is collecting community input and perspectives via a survey that was mailed to all residential addresses in Wauwatosa. The survey is not a mail-in ballot. Instead, it is a feedback loop that is intended to support the sharing of perspectives with the Board of Education. 

The District has engaged School Perceptions, an independent education research firm, to conduct the survey. School Perceptions is the same company that managed the community survey conducted ahead of the 2018 facilities referendum.

To provide community members with foundational information that will be helpful as the survey is completed, a booklet was mailed to all residential addresses in Wauwatosa. A digital copy of the booklet can be found below.

Board of Education Engagement Sessions

To further gather input and perspectives from the Wauwatosa community, the Board of Education will hold three engagement sessions as follows:

  • Monday, May 20 at 6 p.m. at Longfellow Middle School (Cafeteria)

  • Tuesday, May 28 at 6 p.m. at Madison Elementary School (Cafeteria)

  • Wednesday, June 5 at 6 p.m. at Whitman Middle School (Cafeteria)

Please enter through the main facility doors and follow the signs to the cafeteria.

The sessions will provide an opportunity for community members to learn more about the challenges facing the District and voice their opinion(s) related to solutions for addressing those challenges.

Childcare will be provided during the sessions.

Get Involved

Presentations will be held throughout the community in an effort to continue to inform and engage the residents of Wauwatosa. If you are interested in scheduling a presentation for your neighborhood association, apartment/condo community, faith-based organization, or social club, please contact communications intern Daisy Lehmann at lehmanma-st@wauwatosa.k12.wi.us.

The Cost

Frequently Asked Questions

Finances + Budgeting

Facilities

Policies: Open Enrollment + Boundary Lines

Academic Portfolio

Transportation

Looking Forward

Tosa 2075 Task Force

Community Survey

Board of Education Engagement Sessions