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Lincoln Elementary School

Grade Level
Elementary School

WHEN LINCOLN ELEMENTARY in Port Washington- Saukville began to systematically screen and monitor student progress years ago, staff could not have imagined the impact that this decision would have on both their building and on their school district.

“Data is what we live and breathe by,” School Psychologist Danielle Granrath said. What began with a few teachers has grown into a comprehensive assessment calendar with checkpoints throughout the year. The calendar includes both grade-level and district assessments. Teachers are committed to keeping their progress monitoring data current. Every six weeks, Lincoln’s team meets and uses an intentional process to review the data, which allows staff to have robust conversations.

Principal Jane Gennerman believes the credit belongs to the teacher leaders. “We have built a large amount of shared leadership and ownership in our building,” she said. “I’m so proud of our teams and how they look at the whole child.” Gennerman values the staff’s proactive, growth mindset. They use the data and all of the information they have to figure out how to best support students, she said.

Lincoln Elementary has worked hard to meet many student needs during universal instruction and added interventions. The school focused on significantly supporting students in the lowest quartile for academic achievement, year to year growth, attendance, and absenteeism. This focus has resulted in improvements in attendance and academic growth.

Aiming for long-term, systemic implementation across the district, the staff at Lincoln was instrumental in helping create Port Washington-Saukville’s district data team and consistent processes. Eric Larsen, director of learning and assessment at CESA 6, supports the data team. “The data leadership teams that we’ve implemented in the district have been the driver to a lot of the change that has shown improvement across every building,” Larsen said.

Both Eric Larsen and Jane Gennerman acknowledge the role of teachers in the success of the district data team. “Teachers are active participants,” Larsen said. “They are leaders in the meetings.” According to Gennerman, the teachers then bring the information back to their buildings. “We are finding better ways to share the data and the ‘why’ behind what we need to do,” she said.

Gennerman believes that when teachers share their strengths, that collective impact can really benefit students. “The data drives our purpose and the heart of our staff gets the job done,” Gennerman said.