Special education administrator to retire

The Hamilton School Board accepted the retirement request of longtime Special Services Supervisor Charlene DeGroot, effective July 8, 2005.

Hamilton Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., said DeGroot has been an important factor in the district’s ability to meet the needs of all students.

“Children in the Hamilton School District are better off because of the dedication of Mrs. DeGroot,” Cooke said. “She has been an exceptional child advocate, a leader who is completely committed to high quality education for all students.”

DeGroot became part of the Hamilton staff in 1979 when she accepted the position as special education coordinator. She was a diagnostician and special education teacher in the Whitnall and Racine school districts before joining the district. She also taught children with learning and emotional disabilities in Illinois. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in special education from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.

The position for a new special education supervisor will be posted. The School Board is expected to fill the position this spring.

February 21, 2005

Templeton course catalog sees changes

The state’s budget deficit will have a direct impact on students at Templeton Middle School in 2005-06. The School Board approved the school’s course catalog that incorporated a seven-period day instead of the current eight-period format. Classes in core academics will be lengthened and the number of allied arts classes — such as family and consumer education, technology education, art, computer and health — will be reduced.

Templeton Principal Patricia Polczynski said the revised middle school program continues to include the house concept and a comprehensive exploratory curriculum of allied arts offerings. In addition, the course of studies at Templeton will include:

  • longer class periods at each grade level;
  • an increase from 230 to 265 minutes of instruction in academic content areas;
  • a more flexible, elementary-like format in sixth grade;
  • an integrated literacy block that includes writing and reading standards in sixth grade;
  • increased elective choice beyond music in seventh grade;
  • continued choice of two electives in eighth grade – with one an alternate day opposite fitness education;
  • the addition of drama as a daily elective in eighth grade; and
  • the addition of alternate day band ensemble and chorus in eighth grade.

Polczynski noted that reading will remain a required class for all in seventh grade, while it is required for eighth-graders who do not demonstrate reading proficiency based on the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) reading tests.

Content Enhancement in eighth grade has a new name and focus. Content Reading and Application is for students demonstrating reading proficiency on MAP testing in sixth and seventh grades.

Existing support interventions and enrichment opportunities will be continue, according to Polczynski.

“Though change is never easy, we are confident that the Templeton Middle School course of studies for 2005-06 will continue to provide our students with a strong, challenging, rigorous and comprehensive educational program,” Polczynski concluded.

School Board member Jennifer Rude Klett said the changes were a “solid step in the right direction.” She said she liked the emphasis on the core academic curriculum and the move to a longer class period which will allow teachers to dig deeper into the curriculum. She supported having fewer health and computer classes, which she said parents had questioned in the past.

Noting that additional changes may need to be made in the future to perfect the middle school program, Rude Klett suggested eliminating the requirement for exploratory world language in sixth and seventh grade so that students had more elective options including full-year study of a world language.

Energy usage drops, rate increases go up

Energy consumption in the district dropped 13 percent from 2003-04 to 2004-05. That’s in spite of nearly 50,000 additional square feet of facilities and including temporary heating and electric for construction projects. Conservation measures are clearly having a positive impact for the district. The bad news is that utility rates have driven up the cost of energy more than 10 percent over the same time.

Buildings and Grounds Manager Jeff Grove gave a detailed written report comparing square-foot utility costs for each school. Some noteworthy points in the report include:

  • high school gas usage is down 9.45 percent;
  • Willow Springs gas usage down 44 percent;
  • Templeton gas usage down 5.62 percent;
  • Maple gas usage down 34 percent; and
  • electrical usage up generally — especially at Marcy where usage increased 91 percent because of air conditioning.

Tile abatement and replacement approved at high school

Asbestos floor tiles in the high school cafeteria and wrestling area will be removed during Spring Break and will be replaced in the cafeteria before Summer School begins in June. The wrestling area will have concrete floors because they are typically covered with mats. The School Board approved the asbestos abatement project at a cost of $16,038 and tile replacement expense of $32,500. The projects needed special approval so that workers could complete the removal while students are not in session.

Students recognized

School Board members recognized four Templeton students for their perseverance and extraordinary effort for earning the right to coordinate the 2006 Wisconsin Association of Student Councils state competition. The students were Jessica Doyle, Andrew Kristensen, Jeannine Hall and Corie Spankowski. Templeton Student Council Advisor Arlyn Clarksen nominated the students for the award.

School Board accepts DeGroot’s retirement request

The School Board accepted the retirement request of longtime Special Services Supervisor Charlene DeGroot, effective July 8, 2005. Hamilton Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., said DeGroot has been an important factor in the district’s ability to meet the needs of all students.

“She has been an exceptional child advocate, a leader who is completely committed to high quality education for all students,” Cooke said.

DeGroot became part of the Hamilton staff in 1979 when she accepted the position as special education coordinator. She was a diagnostician and special education teacher in the Whitnall and Racine school districts and taught children with learning and emotional disabilities in Illinois before joining the district. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in special education from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.

The School Board is expected to fill the position this spring.

Personnel matters approved

In other personnel matters, the School Board:

  • approved the resignations of Willow Springs kindergarten teacher Jackie Beers and Templeton reading specialist Ann Meyers; and
  • appointed special services paraprofessional Kathryn Drabowicz at Woodside, Toni McLaughlan at Templeton and Monica Dorsey at Marcy.

Winners named in district spelling bee

One champion and four finalists emerged from the 2005 District Spelling Bee held Feb. 15 at Templeton Middle School. The District Spelling Bee draws qualifying students from Hamilton School District middle and elementary schools as well as area private schools.

Kristin Cox, a Templeton Middle School student, was named champion. Finalists included:

  • Andrew Taavola, Templeton;
  • Anthony Lee, Templeton;
  • Jennifer Clark, Peace Lutheran Academy; and
  • Sean Fox, Marcy.

Students from the following schools participated in the District Spelling Bee: Templeton, Lannon, Maple Avenue, Marcy, Woodside, St. Agnes, Zion Lutheran and Peace Lutheran Academy.

The five students will move on in March to the Regional Spelling Bee in Cedarburg. One winner will qualify for the State Spelling Bee in April. The state champion will then go on to the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. in June.

Lannon students playing chess in March

Lannon Elementary School once again will host a Chess Club for its students in third, fourth and fifth grades. Students will meet in the school library from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesdays during March.

There are three levels of play to accommodate all types of chess learners:

  • beginners – students who want to learn the moves and some basic strategies;
  • players – those who know how to play and want some practice playing others; and
  • challengers – potential chess masters who would like to challenge a Hamilton High School chess player

A chess tournament, open to all who sign up for Chess Club, will be held April 6 to determine Lannon School’s chess champions.

For more information, please contact Lannon third grade teacher and Chess Club Advisor Laureanna Raymond at (262) 255-6106. Lannon Elementary School is located at 7145 N. Lannon Rd., Lannon.

Intergenerational Folk Art Fair slated at Marcy

Generations will come together Feb. 22 at Marcy Elementary School to share and learn from one another as the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Waukesha County presents an Intergenerational Folk Art Fair. Senior citizens will share our country’s cultural and ethnic heritage by revealing and reliving lost arts, crafts, hobbies, music and history. More than 400 students will observe demonstrations, ask questions and participate in hands-on activities from 9:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Many of the more than two dozen presentations offer projects that children will make and take home.

RSVP has drawn on the talents of 40 senior citizens to present this outstanding educational event that includes diverse topics and activities such as:
vintage tools;

  • Native American games;
  • mechanical banks;
  • leathercraft;
  • basketweaving;
  • kaleidoscopes;
  • old-fashioned puzzles;
  • woodworking;
  • the language of the fan;
  • thumbprint art;
  • storytelling;
  • old–time radio;
  • ventriloquism; and
  • musical instruments.

Marcy is located at W180 N4851 Marcy Rd., Menomonee Falls.

RSVP, a nonprofit organization, presents Folk Art Fairs as a service to the elementary schools of Waukesha County. Sponsorships and in–kind donations are most welcome. People who would like to be an exhibitor or support the Folk Art Fairs should contact Baryb Kawatski at RSVP, (262) 965-9382, babfaf@aol.com.

Maple Avenue students adorn school library with hats in honor or Dr. Seuss’ birthday

Maple Avenue Elementary School students are busy preparing for the upcoming celebration of Dr. Seuss’ birthday on March 2. As in schools across the nation, students will spend that day celebrating reading. The theme of this year’s event, sponsored annually by the National Education Association to promote reading, is “Reading—Where it’s Hat!” The event honors the birthday of the famous children’s author who was born Theodor Seuss Geisel on March 2, 1904.

Throughout the Maple Avenue school library are hats that students found or made a hat to wear on the day of the celebration. More than 300 hats circle the walls of the library in a colorful and fanciful display of the students’ resourcefulness and creativity.

Guest readers from the community have been invited to drop in March 2 to share their favorite books and read to classes. At the end of that day, students will don their hats and march to the gym to form a human chain of readers for 20 minutes of silent reading.

Maple Avenue Elementary School is located at W240 N6059 Maple Ave., in Sussex.

Hamilton Charger Robotics hosts Open House Feb. 20

Hamilton High School’s Charger Robotics Team 537 will host an Open House Feb. 20 from noon to 4 p.m. at the school. Teams will be able to prepare in the pit beginning at 10:30 a.m. The event is free and open to those interested in seeing the machines built by the Charger Robotics Team and other Wisconsin teams.

Event organizers are expecting at least 12 other Wisconsin teams will be involved with the mock competitions and demonstrations slated every 15 minutes. Visitors will see teams working on their robots in the pit area in the small gym. Competition will be in the large gym with opportunities to watch the demonstrations and ask team members questions.

Concessions and a child center will be available in the cafeteria. Children will be able to color pictures of robots and learn about the robotics program. Lego League teams from several schools also will provide demonstrations and answer questions.

Drawings for the WI-FIRST raffle will be held at 3:45 p.m. in the main gym. Top prizes include an HP 2.8 GHz Intel laptop computer, 17-inch flat panel LCD TV and monitor, a home-theater-in-a-box system, DVD player and various other prizes. Total value of all prizes is more than $3,000.

Hamilton High School is located at W220 N6151 Town Line Rd., Sussex.

Spring Parent-Player Meeting slated Feb. 23

Hamilton High School will hold its Spring Parent-Player Meeting Feb. 23 in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center. The meeting begins at 6 p.m.

All students who intend to go out for spring activities and did not attend the fall or winter meeting must attend this meeting. While only one parent or guardian is required to attend with each student, families are welcome.

Contact Athletic & Activities Director Mike Gosz at (262) 246-1805 ext. 1125 for further information.

Hamilton High School is located at W220 N6151 Town Line Rd., Sussex.

Hamilton student chosen National Merit finalist

Hamilton High School student Flora Zeng learned recently that she has advanced in the 2005 National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) competition. After being named semifinalist last fall, the Hamilton senior learned last week that she qualified as a finalist.

The National Merit Scholarship Program honors students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

Zeng is among 15,000 finalists nationwide who will compete for 8,200 merit scholarships. Merit scholars will be announced this spring.

More than 1.3 million students entered the 2005 National Merit Program when they were juniors by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Fewer than one percent of the nation’s high school seniors were named semifinalists.

Privately financed and not-for-profit, NMSC receives grants from some 600 independent sponsors to underwrite scholarships in each annual competition.

Woodside site of WCKC award ceremony

The winner of the Waukesha County Kids’ Choice (WCKC) Award will be announced Feb. 14 at 1 p.m. at Woodside Elementary School. Waukesha County students in grades 4, 5 and 6 bestow the award to an author of an outstanding book published in the past five years.

The WCKC awards program is a cooperative effort between public and school libraries in Waukesha County to encourage children to read. Librarians chose 15 recently published titles from a list of more than 40 student-recommended books. The Waukesha County Federated Library System made copies of the 15 books available to participating public libraries. Students who read at least five books on the list were able to vote during January for their favorite.

The Milwaukee Wave soccer team co-sponsors the program with the Waukesha County Federated Library System. Eligible student voters received a ticket voucher form the Milwaukee Wave in recognition of their reading efforts.

Past WCKC Award-winners include “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” presented in 2004, “Holes” in 2003 and “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in 2002.

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