District moves to e-School for student database
The ability to better track student data will be available during the first quarter for Hamilton School District teachers and administrators. Katie Little, in her new role as Assessment and Instructional Technology Coordinator, presented the School Board with an overview of the new e-School student database system.
The program is an upgrade of the district's current student database system -- Educational Administration Data Systems (EADS) -- and like EADS, is custom programmed to meet district needs. The system keeps track of information such as schools attended, health conditions, grades, school schedule, attendance, extracurricular activities and more.
The system allows designated individuals to see information that is pertinent to them. For example, while the principal will have access to all information in the student database, health room workers would see only information related to health and medical conditions.
One new feature for teachers will be the ability to take attendance and complete grading using the computer that will show classroom seating charts complete with pictures of each student.
Students and parents will see results of e-School in November when first quarter report cards are issued. Teachers will be able to enter final grades and comments using a computer. In the past high school teachers filled in Scantron dots for final grades, and elementary teachers provided handwritten comments.
Little said plans are in the works that would allow teachers to prepare report cards at home and enter it into the system at their school. For security reasons, the database will be not available to teachers on their home computers.
The benefits of the new system, according to Little, are that students' school history can be tracked as they progress within the district. Conveniences such as printing preprogrammed reports, letters and labels come with the click of a button. Reports can be programmed to automatically print at a designated time.
Along with the e-School roll-out, Little said she has been reviewing data management programs that will allow the district to "crunch and use data that is already available in the district." The technology will provide a way to track individual student and group progress by analyzing years of data. Eventually, the new data management program will be connected with the student Academic Progress Profile, a compilation of student achievement data over time.
A top priority, Little said, has been to implement security measures so that the information is protected.
Lannon parents want another second grade teacher
Several Lannon Elementary School parents addressed the School Board asking that an additional second grade teacher be hired at their school. Two second grade classes have enrollments of 27 students each. The item was not on the agenda and School Board members could not act on the request.
Staff members involved in summer workshops
Instructional Services Supervisor Dee Bauman, Ph.D., reported on the summer workshops. She said summer is a "critical time" for teachers to participate in curriculum and staff development opportunities. She estimated that more than half of the district's staff members worked on curriculum projects during the summer or were involved in staff development offerings.
Curriculum work included development of grammar resources for each elementary grade level, Communication Arts 11 curriculum, resource binders for second grade social studies and revised benchmark assessments in mathematics.
Professional development workshops focused on technology, the Sally Ride Academy, reading initiatives, curriculum overviews for new elementary teachers, revision of the mentor-new teacher workshop, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, mathematics instruction and transitions from K4 to K5 and elementary to middle school.
The cost of the summer workshops was approximately $26,500 for teacher salaries and $5,000 for registration fees.
Two early admissions granted
Special Services Supervisor Charlene DeGroot reported that of the eight children whose parents requested early admission to the K5 program, seven were screened and two were granted admission based on their readiness for school. No requests were made for early admission to first grade.
The district's policy states that no child may be admitted to 4K, 5K or first grade unless he or she is four, five or six years old, respectively, on or before Sept. 1 of the year they attend school. The early admission policy allows parents to request early admission to 5K and first grade. School staff base their approval or denial of an early admission request on results from academic, social, physical and emotional development screening.
Personnel appointments made
Seven individuals were appointed to positions in the district. They are Marcy associate kitchen employee Lori Laszkiewicz, Woodside associate kitchen employees Cheryl Kau and Andrea Hlava, Hamilton associate kitchen employee Paula Becker, Templeton and Woodside interim music teacher Matthew Stuebner, Special Services administrative assistant Kathleen Wusler and Woodside teacher aide Heather Blum.