Award Year: 2020

Woodrow Wilson Elementary School

801 South 8th Avenue West
Newton, IA, 50208-4452

(641) 792-7311

Mr Todd Schuster, Principal at time of Nomination

Title I School

Newton Community School District

School Website

School FaceBook


The Newton Community School District empowers every learner to achieve a lifetime of personal success.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 2%
  • White: 84%
  • Hispanic: 6%
  • Asian: 3%
  • Two or more races: 5%
Mrs. Vanderlaan enjoying her Cardinal Time students

Mrs. Vanderlaan enjoying her Cardinal Time students

Woodrow Wilson is a great place to learn, teach, and lead. Our teachers are given the freedom to reach students where they are and encourage growth. Despite a 59 percent free or reduced lunch population, our students work to their potential. I contribute this to two major components: focusing on what students need to improve and building positive relationships.

We have developed a common twenty minutes every day to concentrate on what students need. We named this response to intervention time WIN time (What I Need). Through a variety of assessments, we determine the best intervention strategy for each child and then we use an "all hands on deck" approach to implement these interventions. We meet students where they are academically and expect them to grow. Teachers at Woodrow Wilson have been trained in Capturing Kids Hearts, a program focused on building positive relationships and providing a safe environment for students. We expect teachers to greet students with a high-five or hug each morning. Teachers share "Good Things" with their students and students share "Good Things" with their teachers and classmates. We have incorporated a twenty-minute time block once a month for "Cardinal Time." This is a time when multiple grades interact with a common teacher. Teachers and students look forward to this positive relationship building activity that focuses on enabling students to relate to more than one teacher. We build positive relationships student-to-student, teacher-to-student, student-to-teacher and teacher-to-teacher to make Woodrow Wilson a great learning environment for all.