Pen pals needed for school program

Are you a senior citizen interested in getting “real” mail from someone who is interested in knowing more about you? Do you enjoy writing and receiving letters the old-fashioned way?

If so, you are invited to become a pen pal. The Pen Pal Project is one component of the Seniors & Students Volunteer Program — a partnership between the Hamilton School District and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Waukesha County. The Pen Pal Project provides a wonderful opportunity for elementary school-age students to make new friends, learn what life was like in the past and practice letter-writing skills.

Here’s how it works. Senior citizens are paired with a fourth- or fifth-grade student from an elementary school in the Hamilton School District. These pen pals write to each other during the school year. Most pen pals share about one letter per month.

A special pen pal party is planned at the end of the school year where students and seniors meet one another in person. Even “snow birds” who travel to warmer climates during the winter months can participate in this project.

If you are interested in becoming a pen pal, please leave a message for RSVP Seniors & Students Coordinator Jenni Luszak at (262) 246-1973 ext. 1524.

Templeton raises $5,227 through Math-A-Thon

Templeton Middle School students raised $5,226.93 for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Students learned the importance of helping children while practicing their math skills through their fundraiser, a Math-A-Thon. Students asked sponsors to donate money based on the number of problems they correctly answered.

“Templeton students are magnificent Math-a-Thon fundraisers,” said Templeton teacher Sherry Malmon.

The students in House 6W raised the most at $1236.13. House 7G was the top seventh grade house with $1025.15, and the top eighth grade house was 8G with $755.35. Top individual fundraisers were:

  • Leanna Vannarom, grade 8 — $278;
  • Keri Sterle, grade 8 — $204; and
  • Olivia Offenbacher, grade 6 — $168.50.

St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital was founded 25 years ago by comedian Danny Thomas as a place where children with many forms of cancer receive treatment, even when there is no insurance to cover the long-term cost of treatment.

“Families without insurance are never asked to pay and that is why Templeton Middle School feels so good about raising money for this organization,” Malmon said.

High school, middle school students send appreciation cards to school bus drivers

Dairyland Bus Company school bus drivers received some unique cards this holiday season. Hamilton High School and Templeton Middle School students sent them holiday cards with original messages of appreciation for their services.

Hamilton teacher Richard Ballin came up with the idea for the project in hopes that students would be spurred to show appreciation to others in their lives.

“If kids thank a bus driver, maybe they will think about the other people in their lives that they want to show appreciation to,” Ballin said.

Ballin contacted Templeton teacher Catherine Norene who took the lead in communicating the idea to Templeton staff. The idea was presented to Templeton students through their house teachers.

At Hamilton, paraprofessional Debbie Curtis got the word out to students through the Pep Club that she advises. Pep Club members Felicia Price and Marissa Gross distributed information about the project to Hamilton students during their advisements, and Nicole Guenther sorted cards so that they could be included in bus drivers’ paychecks on Dec. 23.

Hamilton schools contribute to community during holidays

Hamilton School District students, staff and families showed appreciation for the needs of others during the holidays by contributing to charitable organizations and extending acts of kindness within the community. Following is a summary of activities at each school.

  • Lannon Elementary School students, families and staff members contributed generously to a Milwaukee area family of seven that lost its home and possessions to a fire. Fourth grade students in Nancy Collopy’s class organized a schoolwide effort to assist the family by collecting clothing, linens, toys and food. The school also raised more than $800 to purchase items for the family. Collopy and interested students and parents shopped for the family at the Sussex Kohl’s Department Store where the store manager learned about their charitable efforts and offered them additional discounts. Kohl’s clerks and employees later made additional contributions. The father and one of his children visited Lannon, and students presented them with the contributions along with a small Christmas tree decorated with handmade ornaments.

    – In addition, the school conducted a successful winter outerwear drive of gently used coats, hats, mittens and scarves and food items for the Sussex Food Pantry.

  • Maple Avenue Elementary School Home & School collected more than 435 nonperishable food items for the Sussex Food Pantry. The food drive began at the annual Harvest Dance and extended until Thanksgiving.
    – Families also purchased pies during Market Day pie month and donated them to the Sussex Food Pantry.
    – First grade classrooms collected food items and toiletries to share with their adopted area family. Students earned money by doing household chores to purchase fresh fruit and turkeys to complete their family’s Thanksgiving dinner.
    – Another first grade class raised more than $100 by doing extra chores at home so that they could provide the Sussex Food Pantry with special items such as toothpaste, soap, other toiletries and fun character underwear for children.
    – First-graders also made new friends during their visits to the Sterling House where they enjoyed decorating cookies, sharing gifts and singing holiday carols.
    – The Home and School is conducting a Toys for Tots drive and coat drive. Collected items will be donated to the Sussex Food Pantry.
    – In lieu of gift exchanges, the staff and some community members purchased gifts for six Maple Avenue families. More than 90 items were purchased, including coats, hats, mittens, Pick ‘n Save gift certificates, books, candy and toys for families in need.
  • Marcy Elementary School students filled more than 50 stockings that will be distributed to single mothers and their children through the Hope Network for Single Mothers. The stockings were made by Retired and Senior Volunteer Program volunteers and filled with $1-to-$5 gifts that the children donated. The gifts included toys and games for children and soaps and candies for mothers. A kindergarten teacher from another school, Woodside’s Rachel Sciortino, helped to coordinate the project and deliver the stockings.
  • The Woodside Elementary School Student Council sponsored several projects. The school conducted a Coats for Kids drive and donated food items collected at school concerts to the Sussex Food Pantry.
    – A collection of food, toiletries, games, writing supplies and letters from students was gathered, boxed and shipped to soldiers. A coin collection from students earned enough money to ship the packages.
    – Woodside second-graders participated in a monthlong reading incentive project that will provide a brighter, happier Christmas for less fortunate community members. Students raised $884.74 in the “Books for Toys” project by earning pledges from relatives and friends for every 15 minutes they read. Parent volunteers purchased toys that were donated to the Sussex Food Pantry for delivery to area families before Christmas.
  • Willow Spring Learning Center students and their families contributed generously to the Sussex Food Pantry this holiday season. They participated in a service project, “Making Wishes Come True,” that resulted in more than 250 gifts that will be distributed through the Sussex Food Pantry to local families.
    – The Sussex Food Pantry also will receive a check from the Evergreen Acres Tree Farm on Town Line Rd. The money comes from $1 donations that Willow Springs kindergartners contributed for a field trip to the tree farm. Owners of the tree farm, the Doperalski family, have donated the field trip contributions to the Sussex Food Pantry for the past several years.
  • The Templeton Middle School Student Council sponsored a holiday gift drive among students and staff members. With more than $2,100 raised, the school exceeded last year’s mark by $500. The school adopted seven families through the Waukesha Christmas Clearing Council. Members of the Student Council Executive Board shopped for gifts after school – taking more than 45 minutes just to check out because they had so many items.
    – In addition, seventh and eighth grade German students made and decorated Christmas cards for senior citizens. All cards were written in German and delivered to St. John’s Nursing Home in Milwaukee.
  • Hamilton High School students contributed to various community groups during the holiday season. The Student Council conducted a successful food drive that generated more than 3,000 food items and $214 for the Sussex Food Pantry.
    – The Distributive Education Club of America (DECA) chapter adopted a first grade classroom at Milwaukee’s LaFollette Elementary School and provided educational gifts for each of the children. DECA members brought juice and cookies and spent an hour reading and coloring with their first grade friends.
    – Club Esprancais (Spanish and French) adopted two families through the Waukesha Christmas Clearing Council and provided winter outerwear and clothing for the four members of each family. In addition, Club Esprancais members and advisors provided a ham and large basket of food for each family along with books, toys, toiletries and various household items.
    – Students in Wendy Otto’s classes and advisement adopted three families and donated more than 50 books, toys and clothing to nine children and two adults. Two families were identified through Christmas Clearing Council and one was contacted through a student.
    – Four students in Jim Penn’s communication arts class undertook a project to help children who have serious disabilities, cancer or other life-altering diseases celebrate Christmas. The students collected $330 with which they purchased more than 60 children’s books that were distributed at St. Joseph’s Hospital.
    – The school library and National Honor Society organized a mitten tree to bring warmth and comfort to needy individuals. The mittens, socks, caps and scarves will go to the school social worker who will distribute them to needy families in the district. The remainder will go to the Sussex Food Pantry.
    – The German Club organized its annual sweater-sweatshirt drive that netted 198 items for Good Shepherd Church’s Hope Network for Single Mothers.
    – The Cultural Exchange Club sponsored a family providing them with $300 of clothing and household appliances. The group also donated $20 to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission, $25 to UNICEF and five bags of food to the Sussex Food Pantry.
    – The Pep Club sent care packages to wounded soldiers at the Balboa Naval Hospital at Camp Pendleton, Calif. Items that were sent include food, money, stationary, stamps, DVDs, games, personal care products, phone cards, batteries and Dominos pizza gift certificates.
  • At the district offices, staff members adopted a family that the school social worker identified as needing support during the holidays. In lieu of exchanging gifts with each other, staff members provided the family with gift certificates, clothing, toys and household goods.

December 20, 2004

Summer Opportunities Program on schedule

Student fees for the 2005 Summer Opportunities Program will drop from $10 to $8 per course. School Board members approved the new fees that were recommended by Summer Opportunities Coordinator Dick Ladd. Because student fees can cover only the cost of consumable materials used in class and not personnel expenses, Ladd said the district came close to having excess funds. Enrollment in summer school courses is an advantage to the district in state aid calculations because it increases the district’s full-time enrollment numbers.

The School Board accepted Ladd’s other recommendations for the 2005 program. Enrichment courses will begin June 20 and end July 15, operating on a Monday through Friday schedule. Classes will not be held July 4. Promotional and credit courses go until July 29.

Parents will contract directly with Dairyland Bus Company for transportation to school. School Board Member Deborah Briggs noted that if gas prices remain high, the reduced class fee could be offset by higher transportation costs.

Maple Avenue presents its site plan

Principal Kristin Koeper presented Maple Avenue’s School Profile and gave a written report on the school’s annual site plan review. School Board members complimented her for having student demographic data and achievement results broken down in a variety of ways.

Koeper’s written report included a summary of the tactics and the interventions the school will take in the next five years.

Tactic 1: Implement a schoolwide writing program with common expectations

  • Develop understanding and familiarity with district writing curriculum
  • Adopt 6+1 Traits of Writing
  • Establish support and collaboration for 6+1 Traits Writing

Tactic 2: Implement an elementary reading scope and sequence of instructional strategies and assessments and develop common expectations within and across grade levels

  • Clarify reading scope and sequence within and across grade levels
  • Complete annual standardized test analysis
  • Clarify reading scope and sequence assessment within and across grade levels

Tactic 3: Develop and implement intervention programming for students at risk of academic failure.

  • Develop formal, consistent intervention process
  • Create child study documentation
  • Define and develop classroom modifications for struggling students
  • Refine and redesign delivery of additional student academic and behavioral support

Computer system backup approved

An upgrade of the computer system’s security and back-up infrastructure was approved. The job went to CDW-G which submitted the low bid of $15,241. CDW-G will provide the district with additional hardware and software that will protect confidential data. The updates are necessary because of expanded applications including the STI student database and Lunchbox software.

Charger Band plans trip to Julliard School of Music

Superintendent Kathleen Cooke reported that the Hamilton High School Charger Band is planning a trip to New York City during Spring Break March 30-April 3 to work with faculty at the Julliard School of Music. Students will participate in clinics at America’s most prestigious music school and perform in and around New York City. Cooke commended Band Director Jon Waite for his initiative in arranging for “this fabulous trip.”

School Board approves personnel matters

In personnel matters, the School Board revised position descriptions for the Fine Arts Center coordinator and technician positions. The changes more clearly delineate the duties of the two positions.

Get Connected sessions offered to parents of adolescents

Parents of adolescents in the Hamilton School District are invited to participate in interactive sessions where they can network, share and learn about how to raise a healthy teenager. The sessions are part of Get Connected, a program that provides information on positive parenting.

Parenting an adolescent is both isolating and scary at times. The sessions are designed to help parents navigate their children through the often stormy times of adolescence.

Following are topics suggested by parents that will be addressed in the coming year:

  • January 12 – “Steering Children Away from Alcohol and Drugs” and “Effective Communication”;
  • February 9 – “Appropriate Limits for Spending Time with Peer Groups” and “Remaining Close to My Teen”;
  • March 2 – “Why Does My Teenager Despise Me?”;
  • April 6 – “How Much Should I Trust My Child?”; and
  • May 4 – “I Have Had It! Now What?”

The sessions will be 7-8:30 p.m. at Templeton Middle School, N59 W22490 Silver Spring Rd., Sussex. There is no charge to participate.

To reserve a spot in any of these sessions or to learn more about them, please contact the district’s Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse specialist, Kristin Hasbrook, at (262) 246-1973 ext. 1128 or e-mail her at hasbkr@hamilton.k12.wi.us.

Get Connected sessions offered to parents of young children

Parents of young children in the Hamilton School District are invited to attend several afternoons of networking, sharing and learning about effective parenting. The February and March sessions are part of Get Connected, a program that provides information on positive parenting.

The beginning years of life are extremely important in forming a child’s identity and relationship with family. Effective parenting is imperative for successful child development. These interactive sessions will provide parents of 4- and 5-year-old kindergartners and first-graders with information and feedback on effective parenting.

Child care is available through the Tot Drop Program at Willow Spring Learning Center. Please call (262) 255-6190 to reserve a space for your child.

The dates and topics that will be discussed are:

  • Feb. 9 — “Effective Parenting: What All Children Need to be Successful”;.
  • Feb. 23 — “Effective Discipline”;
  • March 2 — “Encouraging Communication Within the Family”;
  • March 16 — “Balance: How to Juggle it All and Still be a Great Parent.”

The sessions will be from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will be held in the Willow Spring Learning Center at W220 N6660 Town Line Rd., Menomonee Falls. There is no charge to participate.

To reserve a spot in any of these sessions or to learn more about them, please contact the district’s Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse specialist, Kristin Hasbrook, at (262) 246-1973 ext. 1128 or e-mail her at hasbkr@hamilton.k12.wi.us.

Willow Springs families contribute to food pantry

Willow Spring Learning Center students and their families contributed generously to the Sussex Food Pantry this holiday season. They participated in a service project, “Making Wishes Come True,” that resulted in more than 250 gifts that will be distributed through the Sussex Food Pantry to local families.

The Sussex Food Pantry also will receive a check from the Evergreen Acres Tree Farm on Town Line Rd. The money comes from $1 donations that Willow Springs kindergartners contributed for a field trip to the tree farm. Owners of the tree farm, the Doperalski family, have donated the field trip contributions to the Sussex Food Pantry for the past several years.

Willow Springs Learning Center, W220 N6660 Town Line Rd., Menomonee Falls, serves more than 285 students who participate in the district’s optional half-day kindergarten program.

Get Connected hosts district attorney presentation

Hamilton High School parents involved with the Get Connected Program invite parents and community members to an open forum Jan. 19 to hear from Waukesha County District Attorney Paul Bucher. The presentation will be from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Large Group Area at Templeton Middle School, N59 W22490 Silver Spring Rd., Sussex.

Bucher will answer parent questions regarding legal consequences of underage drinking for minors and their parents. He also will discuss how communities can reduce alcohol and drug use among youth.

Get Connected is a program that provides information on positive parenting for parents, students and the community. The sessions are designed to provide participants with information and feedback on effective parenting.

To learn more about the open forum or Get Connected, please contact the district’s Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse specialist, Kristin Hasbrook, at (262) 246-1973 ext. 1128 or e-mail her at hasbkr@hamilton.k12.wi.us

Woodside to kick off science celebration

Woodside Elementary School will kick off a celebration of science Jan. 7 with presentations by Discovery World Traveling Wonderlabs. The scientific method will come to life right before students’ eyes during the three scheduled shows. The presentations are at:

  • 9:15-9:45 a.m. for fourth and fifth graders;
  • 10:15-10:45 a.m. for second and third graders; and
  • 11-11:30 a.m. for kindergartners and first grades.

Students will watch and participate in “Fire and Ice: A Show of Extremes,” a thrilling exploration of chemical reactions, states of matter and temperature. Demonstrations will use flames, sparks, fireballs and liquid nitrogen.

The programs will kick off Woodside’s celebration of science that culminates Feb. 10 with the school Science Fair.

Woodside is located at W236 N7465 Woodside Rd., Sussex.