March 18, 2002

Special annual meeting slated April 15

A special annual meeting will be held April 15 at 7 p.m. for residents to cast their votes concerning the purchase of property. School administrators are recommending purchase of 40 acres in the Town of Lisbson. The land, known as the Weinhandl property, would be used for future school purposes.

At the special annual meeting, residents will get a detailed description of the proposed land purchase. All school district land purchases must be approved by electors at a special annual meeting.

Marcy reconstruction, demolition options outlined

The cost of providing similar classroom space is higher if the oldest section of Marcy Elementary School is renovated as compared to demolishing the old building and replacing it with a new addition. Business Director Bryan Ruud compared the two options that showed that renovating the old section into two classrooms and creating an additional classroom would cost $854,130 compared to $737,000 to raze the old section and replace it with a new addition.

The information will be an important factor as the School Board and the Community Facilities Advisory Committee decide on potential referendum projects. The School Board will decide the fate of Marcy’s oldest section at its April 9 meeting.

School Board Member Gabe Kolesari, who attended Marcy School as a child, is opposed to saving the old section because it is not in its original appearance and there will be extra costs associated with maintaining the building. He pointed to Sussex Village Hall, which is a renovated brick schoolhouse. Kolesari said that because insulation will deteriorate the brick, the poorly insulated Village Hall is always cold and drafty in the winter.

Jennifer Rude Klett, who worked on Marcy History Day with several older residents who attended the school, said she got a mixed response when she called three of the older citizens.

“The bottom line was that they had such pride in going to Marcy School that they wanted to see Marcy look nice and they were disappointed that the old section looked run down,” Rude Klett said.

After discussion from School Board members about the potential of incorporating some of the old material into a new addition, Ruud said that the architectual firm would look at ways to do that if a Marcy project were recommended for a referendum.

Pepsi gets soda contract

The district will switch its five-year soda contract from Coca Cola to Pepsi. A representative from Coke spoke at the beginning of the meeting asking School Board members if they personally reviewed the proposals from each company. School Board President Gerald Schmitz said the adminstration’s role was to study these types of matters and present recommendations to the School Board. A comparison of proposals between the two companies was presented that showed Pepsi offered a more attractive offer. School Board members voted unanimously to approve the Pepsi contract that will take effect in July.

High school honors courses reviewed

Responses from students in Hamilton’s newly implemented honors courses show the courses get high marks. Student in Citizenship, Integrated Science, Communicaiton Arts 9 and World Cultures had mostly positive comments concerning motivation, challenge, technology, high standards, interest and variety of ways to learn in the honors courses.

Hamilton High School Principal David Furrer said the initial data are baseline and the school also will use PLAN, ACT and WKCE test results to assess student growth.

Next year students will be offered Biology, Communication Arts 10 and 20th Century U.S. History honors courses.

Youth Options Program courses approved

Requests from Candice Andrychowicz to take three WCTC courses and Richard Kasper to take five UW-Waukesha courses under the Youth Options Program were approved. The program offers juniors and seniors in good academic standing who have no disciplinary problems the opporunity to attend a college or university. The high school pays tuition for the classes.

NCA accreditation process approved

The School Board authorized participation in the North Central Accreditation (NCA) process at Templeton Middle School for a cost of $700 and at Hamilton for a cost of $850. The accreditation process helps schools focus on school improvements related to student outcomes. It aligns with the district’s site planning process and responds to the public’s demand for greater accountability. Hamilton has been a part of the NCA accreditation process since 1966 and Templeton since 1997.

Personnel matters approved

In personnel matters, the School Board approved the resignation of Willow Springs Learning Center kindergarten teacher Lee Ann Robinson at the end of the school year.

March 5, 2002

High school band uniforms approved

It’s been 13 years since the Hamilton High School Band has had new uniforms, and School Board members were treated to a fashion demonstration to highlight the difference more than a decade can make. Hamilton Principal David Furrer and Band Director Jon Waite, along with parents who served on the Band Uniform Selection Committee, arranged to have two students model the old and the proposed new uniforms for the board. The contrast was effective as School Board members quickly voted to purchase the new uniforms.

Band Booster President Janet Patterson, who helped fit students for the uniforms this year, said the issue was not about whether the uniforms were well-maintained.

“It’s that the body of today does not resemble the uniform of 13 years ago,” Patterson said.

Another band parent who helped fit uniforms for students in the past, Chris Barnard, said she was glad to be able to give her sewing machine a rest.

Waite described the uniform selection process that involved parent and community input, catalog searches, student brainstorming, ideas from companies and gathering sentiment about various uniform styles at basketball games. After choices were narrowed to one, three companies submitted bids.

The School Board accepted the committee’s recommendation to accept the low bid from the Stanbury company at $42,185 for 125 band and 25 color guard uniforms. The bid was $2,300 to $3,200 below the other bids. The uniforms are expected to arrive in late April or early May, 2002.

Hockey, swim cooperatives approved

Hamilton High School students who want to participate in Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Assocation hockey or swimming will be able to, thanks to two-year cooperative agreements with other school districts. Because Hamilton does not have a pool, it has been a part of a cooperative team with Menomonee Falls School District for many years. Next year, two Hamilton boys are expected to participate in the cooperative swim team.

Another cooperative team was formed only in the last few years between Menomonee Falls, Germantown and Hamilton districts. Hamilton expects to have two boys participate on the 17-member cooperative team.

Costs are split among the schools.

Woodside site plan updated

Principal Linda Jorgensen highlighted Woodside Elementary School’s site plan. The tactics are to

  • identify and prioritize specific curricular needs that will focus direction and enhance instructional practices; and
  • develop communication among school employees that results in participation by all in the decision-making process.

Staff analyzed theWisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam results and used the data to have an impact on instruction and learning. They also implemented WOW Words to increase student vocabulary.

The internal communication plan began with establishment of the Sounding Board which now addresses procedural school matters. Development of the Professional Learning Community (PLC) Committee will help create shared leadership opportunities.

Future challenges for the first tactic include summarizing and presenting test results through methods that encourage all staff to take ownership, identifying patterns of strengths and weaknesses, determining if demonstrated learning is accurate, reinforcing effective instructional strategies through shared practice, improving instruction and maintaining the WOW Words initiative.

The second tactic will see the PLC Committee taking a more active role in guiding collaborative staff development efforts, extending membership to staff who want to support professional growth, and developing a school vision to support the district mission and site planning development.

Personnel matters approved

In personnel matters, the School Board approved the appointments of:

Woodside teacher John Vitale to be summer school assistant coordinator; and
Grace Norton as Marcy part-time teacher aide.