Dear WIS Friends,
With the first year over, we’d like to take a few moments to reflect upon Wisconsin International School’s many accomplishments.
From the earliest stages, WIS promised to offer an education that was quite different from what was currently being offered. Interested parents were surveyed, provided input and identified important characteristics of a model school. They shaped not only the vision of WIS, but also its mission and values.
Your desires for an academically challenging, age-appropriate curriculum presented with a world view led to the selection of the International Baccalaureate Programme and to the Core Knowledge Foundation. Parents desired a community-based school welcoming all types of families. The vision included a school that instilled a love for learning and prepared students to become responsible global citizens.
Thankfully, we were not alone with our endeavor for long. Hopeful parents joined our team and contributed their expertise to develop, raise money for and begin promoting the school to anyone who would listen. While it is not possible to outline all of the events that led to our opening, it is important to note that every obstacle forced us to work harder and be more creative. We kept pushing forward with our dream and doors opened for us. Then, on September 2nd, 2008, our dream became a reality as 65 students attended their first day of school at WIS.
We would like to truly thank our founding faculty. They deserve so many accolades for the time they spent preparing lessons, writing curriculum and planning for the students. They can never truly be compensated for the work they did this year or ever thanked enough.
We would like to extend special recognition to our first year parents. You took a risk and enrolled your children before seeing a classroom or meeting a teacher. You had the ability to see the vision and asked, “What can I do to help?” Your accomplishments are not written anywhere and are very difficult to measure. Your personal sacrifice shows in the giving of countless time, talents, money and other invaluable resources. When you organized the Parent Association and lunch programs, created forms, counted milk caps and sold movie tickets you showed the children that exceptional education is worth sacrifice. When you supervised recess on your own lunch hour and made copies for the teachers, you demonstrated your dedication to your child’s education. When you called another parent and offered support, when you stopped in the hallway to make sure a child was safe and happy, you modeled to every student that school can be a wonderful place. You built bike racks, painted the gym, put together shelves and lead after school activities; again modeling responsible citizenship. By doing so, you reinforced WIS’ values and united an incredible community of people.
It’s likely that the most profound benefits of this WIS education won’t be measured for years. Yet, examples of immediate success are heard by talking to parents and are seen in the everyday lives of WIS families. Learning is measured when your child hears classical music and identifies the composer, or at the dinner table when he/she casually makes a literary reference. Your children love school and are excited about next fall.
It took two years to build this dream. It brought together and solidified bonds between people who truly want the best, not only for their children, but also for the future of their community. In keeping with the spirit of WIS, we hope to leave you open to the world, open to the future.
Nicole Schneider & Lisa Brandt