Blakewood Bobcast

About South Milwaukee and Blakewood

The School District of South Milwaukee is a suburban school district located in southeastern Wisconsin. Enrollment has declined slightly in the past eight years and currently stands at approximately 3400 students. Four elementary schools serve grades PreK-5. There is one middle school with grades 6-8 and one high school with grades 9-12. In 2002, the community approved a referendum to convert the high school into a middle school and to build a new high school adjoining the converted middle school facility.  The new facilities opened in 2004-05.

The community is considered “blue-collar” with a median household income of $50, 046  (2007) and 18% or adults holding a bachelor’s degree or higher. There is strong community support for education, as evidenced by the referendum and recent Visioning and Planning data.

Blakewood Elementary School, located at 3501 Blakewood Avenue, was completed in 1971 to meet a growing southeast population.  It is a 4K to grade 5 school located in a residential neighborhood on a 17 acre wooded tract.   It is a 90,000 square foot, two-story building that is home to 400 children, 32 teachers, and 14 paraprofessional aides. When the school was built in 1971, the area around the school was largely fields with some residential.  Currently, the largest green space in the area is the school property.   When it was built, the school held 625 students in grades K to 6 and could accommodate up to 1100 students. Literature reports that school was designed to be a “non-graded school in the future, permitting each student to progress in accordance with his own abilities.”

Why did we get started podcasting?

Our 3rd and 4th grade team was working on Rti plans this fall.  We were discussing how we would get reading intervention groups small enough to make them effective.  This plan left a large number of students who needed another activity or extension plan.  Both Christopher Sepersky, the music teacher, and I are involved in our districts technology integration team, so we decided to have our group of 75 students participate in an activity that involved technology.  Our research and available technology led us to the topic of podcasting.  We decided that this would be a good combination of reading, writing, and oral fluency skills.