(September 7, 2011) In recent years the West Allis–West Milwaukee School District had been identified as a declining enrollment district in Wisconsin by the State Department of Public Instruction. This has been due to the fact that the West Allis–West Milwaukee School District communities are land locked and there is basically no room for residential home building growth. However, this enrollment trend has begun to change over the last four years. The District decline in enrollment actually hit a plateau and began to increase in our residential population of students.
Since the early 1990s, the WAWM School District has seen a gradual and steady decline in the number of residential students. In fact, many projections that were made just a few years ago seemed to indicate this trend of declining enrollment numbers would continue well into the future. However, there has been a pleasant surprise with increased residential enrollment the past four years. From September of 2007 the WAWM Schools residential enrollment has increased by 109 students during the 2008 to 2009 school year and by an additional 113 students during the 2009 to 2010 school year. With this increase, the West Allis–West Milwaukee School District has surpassed the Wausau School District in enrollment to become the 12th largest public school district in the state of Wisconsin.
Much of this is due to two factors. First, the West Allis–West Milwaukee School District has been able to maintain quality programming opportunities for our students despite challenging economic times for public schools. Second, our district-wide 4-year-old Kindergarten age program has seen an increase in numbers. In fact, at Horace Mann and Irving Elementary Schools we are in the second year of offering a pilot program called Discover 4 which is a full-day 4K offering for parents who wish to have their child enrolled in an all day program. The additional enrollment increase focused on the early primary grades which is a good sign of things to come. This indicates that young families are relocating in our school communities.
The West Allis–West Milwaukee School District continues striving to offer cutting-edge educational programs while meeting the needs of all of our students. The goal of the WAWM Schools is to continue being the school district of choice for our residential students, as well as attracting a limited number of students and families who wish to attend a district that continues putting children first.
The West Allis–West Milwaukee Schools have had numerous awards and achievements over the past several years as well. They include 29 schools named as Wisconsin Schools of Recognition as recognized by the State Department of Public Instruction over the past 6 years (many of them multiple times), two National Blue Ribbon Schools named by the U.S. Department of Education (3 nominated for this award), attaining AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) every year since the inception of these state and national tests and standards even as the bar continues to rise. West Allis has also been recognized as one of the top places to raise children by Business Week Magazine, named by Forbes Magazine at “One of the Top 20 Places to Educate Your Child: and recognized by Milwaukee Magazine as “One of the Best Values in Education.” The WAWM Schools continue to offer full programs in Art, Music, Physical Education, and Technology. The District also offers numerous electives in areas such as Technical Education, On-Line Balanced Learning courses and is moving to Next Generation Personalized Learning.
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