Luxemburg-Casco Continues Science of Reading Approach

Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Sara Rodriguez traveled to Northeast Wisconsin on Sept. 6 for an in-person tour of the Luxemburg-Casco (L-C) School District’s facilities and to learn more about the district’s student programming. 

She visited all four of L-C’s main school buildings, along with the Casco Career Academy during a four-hour stay.

Lt. Gov. Rodriguez had the opportunity to speak directly with students, teachers and administrators throughout her visit, which came on the third day of the 2023-24 school year.

“I knew from a distance that Luxemburg-Casco has had fantastic results in its academics and student programs, and I wanted to see it myself,” Rodriquez said in a statement following the visit.

For district leadership, it was a tremendous opportunity to share how a small, rural school district is able to successfully perform at the level of larger districts through its academic and career-based curriculum.

“We were honored to host Lieutenant Governor Rodriguez,” said

Jo-Ellen Fairbanks, Ph.D., superintendent of the Luxemburg-Casco

School District. “Word is getting out across the state about the

expansive educational programming offered at L-C, and it was a

great pleasure to share our story with her.”

L-C Has a Decade of Teaching Science of Reading Approach

Legislation signed into law this past July, and drafted in coordination with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI), made several comprehensive updates to literacy instruction designed to

help improve reading and literacy outcomes for K-12 students by switching to the phonics-based science of reading from the whole-language approach.

L-C, which serves more than 2,000, 4K-12 students on a single campus in Luxemburg, moved to the phonics-based system just short of a decade ago.

Kyle Thayse, instructional coach for the district, said the district’s long-time use of the phonics-based science of reading has positioned it

for a leadership role, especially when measured against those who are just now starting to utilize it.

L-C was the only school district in the state represented at a joint informational hearing of the Wisconsin Senate and Assembly Education committees held in March 2023. Thayse told the story of the district’s 23-point improvement on state ELA (English Language Arts) assessments for grades 3-6 from 2010-14 versus 2015 to the present, following the shift to a phonics-based approach for reading instruction.

L-C also has ranked fourth or better in ELA test scores – as measured by the District Report Cards of the Wisconsin DPI – each of the last three years among the 38 school districts of the Cooperative Educational Service Agency for Northeast Wisconsin (CESA 7).

“I know that parents wonder, ‘Is L-C keeping up with what I’m seeing in the news?’” Thayse said. “Our parents and community can feel confident that we are continually adjusting our teaching methods as new research on reading instruction rolls out. We never will lose sight of the goal to meet the needs of our students by teaching them how to read in the most effective way possible.”

More information may be found at