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Wedgewood Park School

Grade Level
Middle School

THE LEADERS OF WEDGEWOOD PARK International School have a strong belief in creating access for all. “Every student who walks in this building has the opportunity to embrace an International Baccalaureate® education,” Principal Elhadji Ndaw said. Part of the Milwaukee Public School system, Wedgewood Park serves students in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades.

In order to ensure access, Wedgewood Park focused on two things, improving attendance and creating relationships with students. Recognizing the value of having students present for instruction, Wedgewood Park launched a campaign to boost attendance, which included incentives for students.

Implementing strong universal supports

Reflecting on their student and system data, the team recognized the need to improve relationships with students. In response, Wedgewood Park staff increased the use of Check-In Check-Out (CICO). Through the use of this evidence-based practice, student and teacher relationships improved and staff observed improvements in attendance. In the 2019-20 school year, Wedgewood saw their truancy rate decline from 27.3% to 16.8%.

Staff at Wedgewood Park disaggregated their Forward Exam data to identify which learners may be underserved. Through this examination, the staff noticed that the school was struggling with key ideas and details standards in English language arts. Wedgewood Park leadership provided staff with deep professional learning around the standards and identified activities they could do to improve in this area. This led to the creation of Wisdom Wednesdays, where the entire staff provides extended learning opportunities for students. Staff improved their own practice by creating questions for students that were intentionally designed to increase students’ skills as measured on the Forward Exam in math and reading.

The school’s leadership team also challenged staff to think about inequities in their system. Through the use of a book study and ongoing professional development, staff began to be more aware of students with the greatest needs. Principal Ndaw stresses the importance of supporting teachers in their own skill development. “If the leaders have a lot in their toolbox, they can impact change,” he said.