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Quarterly Letter from the Superintendent

Quarterly Letter from the Superintendent

Dear South Milwaukee Parents and Guardians,

It has been such a pleasure to join the School District of South Milwaukee community!  I have received such a warm welcome since I began on July 1, and have enjoyed getting to know the learning community and the broader South Milwaukee area. It is a beautiful place steeped in tradition and opportunity. I wanted to take the time to share some updates about what we have been working on in our school district!  

Board News:

For those who do not know, we have a seven-person School Board that represents the School District of South Milwaukee. This team puts in many hours each year to set policy, determine the budget, and guide our decision-making process. In the interview process, I could feel the dedication to truly serving this community and ensuring we are making the best decisions possible on behalf of our students. It is part of what drew me to accept this position and continues to be evident in the work I see them do each week. 

They also are weighing an incredibly difficult decision right now about possibly asking the community to support our schools financially with a referendum. You can see more about that process and how you can provide your input here.

Everyone is always welcome to join a board meeting either in person or via Zoom. They are held twice a month on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. Each meeting is also recorded so you can watch it later to know what is happening in our school district. 

Strategic Planning:

We are in the process of developing a five-year strategic plan that includes goals about the student experience, the employee experience, community engagement and communications, and long-term fiscal stability and facilities planning. We have about 65 students, parents, community business owners, and staff who come together in our high school library to set our goals. These meetings are open to the public. If you are interested in seeing what is happening with the group, you are welcome to join us in the library. Strategic Plan SDSM DATES This document includes all the upcoming meetings. Here is a link to the Strategic Planning 2023-2024 slides if you are interested in viewing them.

School Updates:

We are off to a good start in our first quarter of school! Here are some student highlights from this year:


South Milwaukee High School - News of college acceptances and career certifications are rolling in. Two unique stories to share: 

  • Senior Sabrina Fajardo has earned a QuestBridge National Match Scholarship. She’s receiving a four-year full-ride scholarship to the University of Chicago to study computer science. Sabrina is one of only a handful of students in recent memory to be awarded the National Match. 

  • Senior Brady Ahler is a semi-finalist for the National Merit Scholarship – also a rare honor. His score on the ACT made him one of 16,000 semifinalists in the nation (out of 2.1 million who take the test). 

  • We’re excited that our nursing students recently completed their clinicals at a long-term care facility. The next step for them to earn their Certified Nursing Assistant certification is to sit for a written exam. It’s one of 17 certifications the High School offers and, at least for these nursing students, means they can start working right after they get their certification. It also gives them a boost after graduation if they want to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or a Registered Nurse (RN). 


South Milwaukee Middle School - Both of our new First Lego League teams Rocket Power and Everyday We Rocket recently competed in Franklin. Each team scored their personal best in the Robot Game and got to show off their innovative solutions to real-world problems.


Blakewood Elementary- Our Blakewood 4K Kindness Crew recently delivered Kindness Stockings to the other classes in the building, and the entire school made snowflakes with inspirational notes that were sent to the Pick N Save to place in shoppers’ grocery bags. 


Lakeview Elementary- Lakeview’s Walking School Bus is a big hit on half-day Wednesdays. The teachers and staff have expanded to three routes and will be joined in the future by our elected state officials and South Milwaukee Police Department officers. 


E. W. Luther Elementary- Our Luther students have started their own school store during lunch and recently student leaders painted (washable) seasonal pictures on the office glass to brighten everyone’s day. 


Rawson Elementary- Ownership of our schools and a sense of belonging are important for us to foster. One student, Hailey, took it upon herself to fold and sort all of the lost and found items for display so parents and students could find their missing items.



Parent/Caregiver Survey:

Thank you to those of you who had the time to complete the parent survey last fall.  We will send out the survey annually going forward with a plan to increase the response rate on the survey because we want to hear from each and every one of you.  The general feedback was that our staff is approachable and parents know who to ask when they have a concern.  A few things that we are working on for the second semester is to increase communication and to continue to work on adding safety measures.  


Inclement Weather

It is the time of year when we all need to be on the lookout for weather-related delays and closures. As a reminder, we do our best to keep school in session whenever possible.  We follow the advice of the National Weather Service and work with area school districts to determine when it is unsafe to report to school based on the cold and/or snowy weather.  We will report school delays and closures as soon as possible through phone messages, email, on our web pages, social media, and on all the local news outlets.  


Here is a quick UPDATE as we wish you a safe and restful winter break. We will be excited to welcome all students back to school on January 3, 2024.  Please watch out for our newsletter every two weeks for additional updates and follow our podcast to keep up to date with the happenings in SDSM!  



Deidre Roemer



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