Marcy dedicates new addition Sept. 3

Marcy Elementary School students, staff and families will start the 2004-05 school year with a new school addition and a substantially renovated building. To officially open the new facility, the school is holding a dedication ceremony Sept. 3 beginning at 2 p.m. Marcy is located at W180 N4851 Marcy Rd., Menomonee Falls.

Hamilton Superintendent Kathleen M. Cooke, Ph.D., Marcy Principal Donald Behrens, Ph.D., and former Marcy teacher Katie Metzelfeld will speak at the event. Marcy students will sing several songs. Sandi Blackwell, who co-chaired the Community Looking After Student Success (CLASS) Committee that provided information during the referendum, will lead the ceremonial ribbon-cutting with Marcy student assistance.

Voters approved the $6.85 million Marcy project in a November, 2002 referendum. More than 100,000 square feet of space was added or renovated as part of the construction project that began in the spring of 2003. The 23,000-square-foot addition includes a 2-station gymnasium, classrooms, art and music rooms, computer lab and serving kitchen. Some 78,000 square feet of the building was renovated with upgraded heating, plumbing, ventilation and electrical systems. Windows were replaced, and the school was brought up to code with a sprinkler system throughout the building.
Following the ceremony, Marcy students will provide school tours and refreshments will be served.

Community invited to celebrate playground expansion

Woodside Elementary School families and staff members will celebrate the expansion of their playground Sept. 3 with a dedication ceremony. The event begins at 10 a.m. in the gymnasium and on the playground of the school located at W236 N7465 Woodside Rd., Sussex.

The playground expansion includes an accessible rubber surface under an existing play structure with new stage area, sandbox-table and tunnels. Other additions include a new fitness group, swings and a baseball field with team benches.

The Woodside Home and School organized fundraising efforts for two years in which Woodside families and businesses contributed to activities such as Family Fun Night, a personalized brick campaign and a matching grant from Quad/Graphics Inc. Collaborative efforts from the Village of Sussex, the Hamilton School District and Halquist Stone also contributed to the success and completion of the project.

Woodside parents are excited about the opportunities that will be available for students.

“This playground will provide accessible new play options for the diverse needs of the children in our growing school and community,” said Mary Jo Menzel, a parent and coordinator of the playground expansion effort.

August 16, 2004

Assessment program approved

School staff and community members will have an opportunity to learn more about the district’s Assessment Program this fall when school administrators present recommendations from the Assessment Leadership Team (ALT). School Board members approved revisions to the Assessment Program that ALT members proposed.

Instructional Technology and Assessment Coordinator Katie Little and Instructional Services Supervisor Margaret Bauman, Ph.D., will present the revised program to all teachers at September faculty meeting. A special board study session is scheduled in October for School Board members and the public. The document:

  • defines effective assessment practices,
  • describes what is assessed — the content knowledge and skills defined in the curriculum
  • identifies components of the assessment program and describes the role that each plays in a balanced program; and
  • establishes common assessment vocabulary.

Staffing reduced despite higher enrollment projection

Staffing in the district will likely be down by four or five full-time equivalency (FTE) positions even though administrators projected last spring that enrollment could increase by about 40 students. The School Board reduced staff to meet state budget contrainsts.

A contingency position was used at the elementary level due to enrollment increases. After adding and shifting staff at the elementary level, Marcy and Woodside ended up with an increase in staff while Maple saw a reduction. Elementary specialists were reduced. A half-time contingency position was used at Willow Springs Learning Center because of high enrollment.

Mentor Program supports new employees

Having veteran staff members and administrators collaborate to support new staff has had a positive impact on the newer staff. The Mentor-New Teacher Program has been successful in acclimating new staff to the curriculum, instructional expectations and school community, according to Bauman.

She reported that new teachers gave high marks to the program when they evaluated its effectiveness last spring. On a 1-to-4 scale, teachers gave ratings of 3.5 to 4.0 for issues related to the program’s goals. The goals include helping staff understand district curriculum, instruction and asssessment expectations, acclimating staff to the Strategic Plan and school site plan, understanding school culture and climate, knowing school operations, providing personal support and encouragement and providing feedback on classroom instruction. Bauman noted that because of the way the district’s programwas established, the district was in a good position to meet the new state certification law, P134, to provide each initial educator with a trained mentor.

Reading intervention program continues to help students

A reading program that began in the district more than 10 years ago is continuing to have a positive impact on students well beyond the year the students receive services. Bauman reported that the Early Reading Empowerment (ERE) Program, which is designed to meet the needs of children experiencing difficulty as they learn to read, served 85 students in 2003-04. First grade teachers assessed students at the beginning of the year to identify those in need of reading support, Bauman explained.

Identified students meet with an ERE-trained teacher for individual or small group instruction, four days a week. The intervention continues until the child “graduates” from ERE — when he or she is reading at the same level as the average student in class.

Bauman noted that professional devleopment has been an importnat compoenent in ERE’s effectiveness. All first grade teachers, reading specialists, ERE support teachers and elementary special education teacher completed a district-sponsored, 6-credit course through the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Several media speicalist and second grade teachers also completed the training.

Bauman said that when she hears from teachers about the program they tell her two things. The first is that the training provided wonderful support. Second, the training they recieve has an impact on all students in the classroom, not just those identified for the program.

Bauman presented data from the 2003-04 Wisconsin Reading Comprehension Test that showed 91 percent of students from throughout the district attained proficient and advanced proficient ratings and an impressive 89 percent of ERE students did the same.

Agreement reached with administrative assistants

School Board members approved a three-year agreement (2004-07) for administrative assistants that includes:

  • health insurance concessions;
  • retirement benefits of $10,000 paid toward health insurance for those eleigible for the Wisconsin Retirement System with 15 years of experience in the district; and
  • salary increases that range from 51 to 77 cents per hour yearly.

Personnel matter approved

In personnel matters, the School Board :

  • accepted the resignation of Lannon third grade teacher Tracy Eccles, effective July 29;
  • accepted the retirement request of Marcy fourth grade teacher Paul Peterson, effective July 29; and
  • recalled Templeton world languages and business education teacher Margaret Bauer from layoff.

Hamilton welcomes new students at ice cream social

Hamilton High School will welcome new-to-the-district students Aug. 11 with an ice cream social and student-parent orientation. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria of the high school, W220 N6151 Town Line Rd., Sussex.

This program will acquaint students with the school, administration, staff and current Hamilton students. Parents will have an opportunity to have their questions answered and exchange ideas and information.

Invitations were sent to new-to-the-district Hamilton High School students and their parents with an RSVP request. For more information, please call the high school at (262) 246-6471 ext. 1101.