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Board meeting highlights
October 5, 2015

Maple Avenue notes accomplishments, maintains tactics

Maple Avenue Elementary School Principal Kristin Koeper-Hamblin reported on the school’s site planning process. The district's four elementary school principals convened with leadership teams Aug. 20 to develop building plans that align with the district's strategic tactical plans. Maple Avenue's team acknowledged accomplishments in the past year which include:

  • 80 percent of students in grades 1-5 met or exceeded MAP literacy growth targets -- an increase of 10 percent over the previous year;
  • 86 percent met or exceeded MAP mathematics targets;
  • 75 percent of students who received intensive intervention support met or exceeded their MAP literacy growth targets;
  • the school's disaggregated MAP growth statistics exceeded the district average in reading and mathematics for all subgroups; and
  • the school was recognized by the Department of Public Instruction as a High Progress Title I School.

The team chose to maintain the same tactics for the new year that indicates staff will:

  • implement RtI practices with fidelity to address the differentiated learning needs of all learners; and
  • research and implement strategies to close the achievement gap in literacy.

Continued progress goal of high school site plan

Principal Candis Mongan updated the School Board on Hamilton’s site plan which identifies that “students will increase engagement across the disciplines to reach higher levels of achievement, develop readiness to compete in a global society and be prepared for college and career.”

The two tactics that serve as measurement tools for its stated goal indicate that students will strengthen their:

  • autonomy, critical thinking and inquiry skills necessary for postsecondary pursuits; and
  • learning by using disciplinary literacy strategies to comprehend, analyze and evaluate text.

Mongan reported on accomplishments of the school which include:

  • Advanced Placement -- Hamilton High School’s Advanced Placement pass rate remains high with 81 percent of students attaining a passing score of 3 or higher. More significantly, participation increased from 469 exams taken in 2011-12 to 605 taken in 2014-15 and the number of AP class sections increased from 34 to 44 in that same time.
  • Challenge Index -- AP pass rates and percentage of students taking the exams affect the school’s Challenge Index, a ratio that represents the availability of advanced coursework in the school’s curriculum. Because many more students are taking AP exams, the school’s Challenge Index score increased from 1.2 in 2013 to 1.8 in 2015. The 1.8 score represents the highest Challenge Index score in the school’s history.
  • ACT -- With an average composite score of 24.5, Hamilton High School’s 2015 score was the highest in the school’s history. The percentage of the graduating class taking the exam is 80 percent – tied with the class of 2013 for the highest percentage of participation.
  • PISA – Hamilton was one of 14 Wisconsin high schools that participated in the PISA test which measures reading, mathematics and science of 15-year-olds. Hamilton’s performance in reading and science was not significantly different than those of other U.S. students taking the exam, but in the area of mathematics, Hamilton’s results are significantly above the mean performance of other students
  • In addition to assessment performance, Hamilton High School was named to the U.S. News and World Report’s Best High School list and, for the fifth consecutive year, to the Advanced Placement Honor Roll.

2016-17 school calendar parameters set

Human Resources Director John Roubik presented parameters that will be used for the development of a 2016-17 draft school calendar. They include:

  • maximizing student instructional time to exceed state requirements;
  • scheduling student break times that best fit the academic needs of students;
  • maintaining days set aside for professional development and time for teachers to prepare and close out their classrooms;
  • offering parent-teacher conferences in the fall and spring semesters; and
  • maintaining 192 teacher contract days.

In his report, Roubik noted that many area school districts are implementing dramatic changes because the state no longer requires 180 days of student contact, although it requires the same number of minutes expected in the past. The district will explore practices in other districts. In the area of professional development, the district will explore how to best use days throughout the year and minimize instructional disruptions by providing staff time to facilitate assessments before the start of school.

Input from parent officers and district instructional leaders will be sought with a recommendation to be presented to the School Board in December.

Board recognizes long-time volunteer

School Board members recognized volunteer Betty Randar for her service to the Seniors and Students Program as a pen pal, recruiter of other volunteers and middle school student interview participant. She is retiring as a volunteer after being part of the program for the past 15 years.


Personnel action

In personnel news, the School Board:

  • approved hiring a 70 percent special education paraprofessional to provide services to Maple Avenue students for the 2015-16 school year;
  • accepted the resignations of associate kitchen employee Sarah France at Marcy and Betsy Molinski at Templeton.
  • approved the appointment of Betsy Molinski as Lannon library media center paraprofessional.

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