Spotlight on Kiel Schools: The latest from the district, including what to know about the new strategic plan

Dr. Brad Ebert
Dr. Brad Ebert

As we move along through these winter months, the students in the Kiel Area School District continue to thrive in many ways, staff continue to work as hard as possible, the School Board continues to do its best to take care of all of us, and the community continues to show support in a variety of ways. Coming together supportively and positively around our children undoubtedly leads to better chances of success.

I have the privilege to attend many co-curricular events and I am proud to say I frequently see our students helping up their opponents, shaking hands after a hard-fought match and cheering on their teammates. We continue to support our students in all of their efforts, and they continue to make us proud!

A special shout-out to the dance team and the ice fishing teams for their recent achievements of qualifying for their state competitions. Other winter sports and clubs such as wrestling, basketball and swimming continue to exemplify what Kiel is all about: determination, hard work, sportsmanship and success. These groups of students have high expectations for the rest of their seasons and hope to make deep postseason runs.

Our Board of Education recently had the chance to attend the School Board Convention in Milwaukee. This professional development opportunity allows school board members to collaborate with colleagues across the state as well as one another as they help shape the future vision of our school district and learn how to positively move forward opportunities that will improve the school experience of our students.

Our current School Board has done an exceptional job collaborating with each other throughout the last several months to achieve upgrades for our school district in many ways. By planning wise financially, the current board is able to renovate the playground at Zielanis Elementary School into a fully functioning ADA-compliant space that will feature a number of new pieces of equipment and a pour-in-place surface. Students with disabilities along with their peers and everyone alike will be able to play together on the same playground! What a win.

The board also was able to move forward the replacement of a number of roof sections at Zielanis Elementary. Along with these two projects, the board also was able to approve a new pool air handling unit. The current unit has been operational since 1970. Great job, maintenance staff!

More Spotlight on Kiel Schools: Click here for more updates from District Administrator Dr. Brad Ebert

The ACT test will be given to our high school juniors coming up in March. We are hopeful for another uptick in our overall cumulative scores as we work hard to improve the achievement of our students at Kiel High School. Each year over the last few years we have seen our ACT data trending upward; we are proud of that, and our staff should be complimented for their hard work and the culture they are trying to create.

Speaking of future vision, our school board has worked tirelessly over the last year to anchor down the direction of our school district over the next five years by listening to the community and gathering input through a variety of ways. At an earlier board meeting, our school board approved the new strategic plan. This plan lays the very specific groundwork for improvement over the upcoming years. ALL of our staff play a role in this plan, as they meet monthly to work on a piece of the plan that is of interest to each of them. Our website has the plan listed as well as all of the accomplishments that are being attained through the work of the plan; the accomplishments are updated as they are complete. Take a look at

The plan calls for four pillars to be upgraded. The community/all others shared with us that these four areas are essential. I will also list the key focus areas (the website shows an even clearer breakdown):

  1. Academic Success: Report card growth and accountability; balanced course offerings and pathways; teacher professional development; teaching, learning and grading

  2. Culture and Climate: Create a positive student experience for ALL; create a positive staff experience for ALL; create an equitable culture of learning for ALL

  3. Community Engagement: Establish a profile of a graduate (What do we want all of our students to be able to do/know before they graduate?); grow partnerships among schools, families, businesses and community; increase community mentoring programs; establish additional service learning opportunities for our students (give back to the community)

  4. Finance and Facilities: Ensure our facilities are safe and accessible for ALL; ensure our facilities are welcoming for ALL; continue to maintain a balanced budget; continue to make financial decisions in the best interest of students; understand and take care of maintenance needs across the district

The most important foundational part of our school district is what happens in our classrooms on a daily basis. Our core instruction and student learning must always be top-notch. We will continue to celebrate and learn about what happens in our classrooms at school board meetings by bringing teachers and students to speak to our community. At our upcoming meetings, we will hear from our leaders in the following areas:

  • Feb. 7: Between the Lakes Virtual Academy and Kiel eSchool;

  • March 6: Boys & Girls Club; and

  • April 3: Full Circle Care/Raider Zone.

Also at the Feb. 7 board meeting, the community focus group that features 28 community members will share their recommendations regarding how to move forward with our facilities needs that were developed through the facilities assessment that the board had completed a while back. The group will be sharing its recommendations with the school board on how to move forward with the many facility related needs of Kiel Middle School, as well as the needs of the other two buildings. This is very important work, and we thank the focus group for all of the time spent. More to come on this crucial conversation.

New Manitowoc gas station: New Manitowoc gas station and convenience store to open soon on city's northwest side

As you can see, the district has many positive events and activities going on each and every day. We welcome and encourage everyone to join us and continue celebrating the exceptional work of our staff and students. We have so much to be proud of already and our future looks bright. We will continue to work to improve every area of our district.

During this time of “New Year’s resolutions,” let’s all make a commitment to do a couple of things: say “thank you” to a teacher, police officer, military veteran, etc.; attend co-curricular events and support the talented students in our community; ask “What can I do for my community to make it better?”; and continue to focus on the positives. Imagine how far we could go as a community if this were our collective “New Year’s resolution!”

Let’s go Kiel! #RaiderPride

Dr. Brad Ebert is the district administrator for the Kiel Area School District. Follow the district on X (formerly Twitter): @Kielareaschools.

This article originally appeared on Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter: Kiel Area School District Administrator Brad Ebert shares latest news