The Student News Site of Shorewood High School

Shorewood Ripples

The Student News Site of Shorewood High School

Shorewood Ripples

The Student News Site of Shorewood High School

Shorewood Ripples

Burgos details goals for new school year

Laurie Burgos, the recently-appointed district Superintendent, has released her entry plan detailing her goals for the first 100 days of her tenure and the upcoming school year.

The entry plan highlights Burgos’ intent to communicate with staff, parents, and the community in relation to Shorewood’s mission statement of Equity, Growth, and Excellence for All.

“I think that our focus on equity is critical and does set us apart and I also think it’s important to tell our story about how well students excel academically here,” Burgos said.

The entry plan is divided into three phases: Transition, from April to June; Listening & Learning, from July to August; Planning, from September to October. The first two phases of the plan constituted the very beginning of Burgos’ tenure, in which she planned to establish familiarity with the district and build relationships. 

“I’m a firm believer that you really have to have an understanding of the community before you try to take on any kind of new initiative,” Burgos said.

So far, Burgos has met with staff members, administrators, and board members. Now that the school year has begun, she hopes to have similar conversations with students themselves.

“My first priority for the year is really just continuing to build relationships with everybody because I’m wanting to stay in the community for a long time,” Burgos said. “I think relationships have the foundation for any kind of action, so communication is also a key piece of that.”

After reviewing some school district policies, Burgos plans to focus on improving school wide safety policies, including auditing current district and school safety plans within her first 100 days and reworking safety protocol language.

“There’s some new signage up around campus, for example, because we’re updating our policy to make sure we’re in alignment with state statutes,” Burgos said. “[Additionally] we’ll be moving away from the term soft lockdown because it can be confusing in that the term lockdown is pretty charged, and talking about being in a classroom hold or building secure instead.”

In light of the ongoing budget crisis in Shorewood schools, Burgos emphasizes that state funding remains inadequate to support the district.

“In the most recent budget that was passed by the state, while there were some additional revenues for schools, what the state is providing for the school district falls woefully short of what we actually need to keep up with expenditures,” Burgos said.

In terms of asking village residents’ financial input and assistance, Burgos confirms that there will be no referendums introduced in the near future, emphasizing the importance of remaining transparent with village residents about spending.

“[We need to be] exercising a lot of fiscal discipline and making good decisions about where we’re spending money and thinking about how we maximize the opportunities that we do have here,” Burgos said. “We need to make sure that we’re telling the community how we’re spending the additional funds that they are providing us through their tax dollars.”

At the same time, Burgos looks to plan ahead for future expenditures that the district may rely on.

“Something that the board approved recently to help with some of this financial planning was adding a fund 46, which is a capital maintenance account,” Burgos said. “This will allow us to put some money aside and plan for some of the more expensive projects that we might need to maintain our facilities.”

The deficit is also linked to decreasing enrollment district-wide, a product of declining birth rates in Wisconsin. As part of a mitigation strategy, Burgos aims to focus on outreach to families of prospective district students.

“I have put in a request to seed to talk about how we can start [a program]..where we can do outreach to families with young children and making that connection to let them know what our school experience is like for their kids.”