HFAC season begins with Christmas special

The Hamilton Fine Arts Center (HFAC) has lined up another performing arts season packed with entertainment for the whole family that begins with an Elvis Christmas performance.

Elvis Christmas special featuring Tony Rocker – Dec. 19
Award-winning Elvis tribute artist, Tony Rocker, and his band, The Comeback Special, invite you to a special holiday celebration. Enjoy the very best songs of Elvis and the holidays, including “Blue Christmas,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and “Santa Bring My Baby Back.” Bring a non-perishable food item for the local food pantry, and enjoy a special meet-and-greet with Tony following the show. Celebrate the holidays with Elvis on Friday, December 19 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors (55+) and $10 for students.

Additional popular performances are being booked. Among the upcoming performances are the following.

Onstage Soiree featuring The Comeback Special – Jan. 16
Put on your dancing shoes and enjoy an evening at the Hamilton Fine Arts Center like never before. Join us for our first annual Onstage Soiree, as we convert the Hamilton Fine Arts Center stage into a club lounge, complete with a full-size dance floor, lounge seating, mood lighting, and the popular 1950s-1970s dance band, The Comeback Special. Delectable desserts and beverages will be available for purchase. Seating is limited for this special event. The party starts at 7 p.m. on Friday, January 16. Tickets are $20 for adults and seniors and $10 for students.

Think Floyd USA-The American Pink Floyd Show – Feb. 27
Performing Pink Floyd’s classic hits from legendary albums “Dark Side of the Moon,” “Wish You Were Here,” “Animals,” and the Pink Floyd classic, “The Wall,” nationally known Think Floyd USA take you on a musical flight through the Pink Floyd galaxy. Featuring dynamic sound effects and a phenomenal light show, you’ll “think Floyd” was on the Hamilton Fine Arts Center stage on Friday, February 27 at 8 p.m.. Tickets are $20 for adults and seniors and $10 for students.

ComedySportz presented by Cub Scout Pack 62 – March 28
ComedySportz is back by popular demand. ComedySportz is competitive improv – two teams battle for laughs and points as they make up scenes, games and songs on the spot. The audience votes for winners, and a referee calls the fouls. Volunteers from the audience are encouraged to join the players in the fun, fast-paced comedy for an evening to remember – or live down – for years to come. It is entertainment perfect for the whole family. Join us for laughs on Saturday, March 28, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for general admission. All proceeds go to Cub Scout Pack 62.

Tickets may be purchased online at www.HamiltonFineArtsCenter.com or by visiting the HFAC box office on Wednesdays from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. The Hamilton Fine Arts Center is located at W220 N6151 Town Line Road, Sussex. No phone orders accepted, please.

Stay tuned for more entertainment that will be booked in the coming weeks.

Lannon celebrates Red Ribbon Week with concert

Lannon Elementary School students will celebrate Red Ribbon Week Oct. 27 with a performance by Bob Kahn entitled “There Are Better Things To Do Than Drugs.”

The storyteller-juggler-entertainer-teacher will perform from 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. in the school gym. Parents are invited to attend the all-school performance, which was funded by Lannon’s Home & School Organization.

Running from Oct. 23 to 31, Red Ribbon Week is national campaign to raise awareness of alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention.

Lannon Elementary School is located at 7145 N. Lannon Road in Lannon.

Maple Avenue students sponsor food drive

Maple Avenue Elementary School fifth-graders are sponsoring a schoolwide Food for Families food drive as part of the school’s United Kids and Community Program. Students are collecting non-perishable food items Oct. 8-17 to benefit the Sussex Food Pantry.

The food drive is one of three community service projects of the Uniting Kids and Community Program, which is co-led by school guidance counselor Colleen Casper and fifth-grade teachers. The goal of the program is to enable students to make connections with the community by working together in a variety of projects. United Kids and Community promotes the development of respect for oneself, for other people and for the community at large.

“We are extremely proud that through participation in this year’s service projects, the students will have opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others,” said Casper.

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

Hamilton announces September students of the month

Hamilton High School students representing 11 curriculum areas were selected students of the month for September. They are:

  • Callie Andlar, family and consumer education;
  • Madeline Jans, social studies;
  • Tyler Kaphingst, science;
  • Mitchell Keim, communication arts;
  • Nicole Klein, fitness education;
  • Anisha Kuhl, music;
  • Madeline Mueller, art;
  • Julie Posh, mathematics;
  • Timothy Rebensburg, communication arts;
  • Molly Sanders, business education;
  • Supriya Talwar, world languages; and
  • Ryan Tepp, applied engineering and technology.

Students received a certificate and a pin for their accomplishment.

Willow Springs sponsors Nov. 5 shopping extravaganza

The Willow Springs Parent Group is pleased to present its ninth annual “Shop ‘Til You Drop” night. Community members will have the opportunity to shop from more than 30 vendors on Nov. 5 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Willow Springs Learning Center gym. In addition, a raffle will be held with many items donated by vendors and community. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5. Free parking, no entrance fee, free door prizes and refreshments will be available. Free door prizes will be drawn throughout the evening.

The following home-based vendors will have products available for sale:
Arbonne International; Art of Carrie; Beijo Bags; Bellezza; BeautiControl; Body Shop at Home; Cookie Lee; Creative Memories; Custom Creations; Designer Like Purses; Dinner By Design; Discovery Toys; Gold Canyon; Lia Sophia; Longaberger; Losey’s Avon; Mane Images Photography; Mary Kay; Morgan Dane; Pampered Chef; Scentsy; Southern Living at Home; Stampin Up; Tastefully Simple; Tupperware; Two Sisters Gourmet; Usborne Books; Wildtree; Wine Shop at Home; and ZagBag

The Willow Springs Parent Group will receive a portion of the proceeds to help fund various 4-year-old kindergarten program activities. The school encourages community members to join in for an evening of shopping fun while benefiting children’s kindergarten experiences. The holidays are just around the corner, so come and get an early start on your holiday shopping.

Willow Springs Learning is located at W220 N6660 Town Line Road, Menomonee Falls. For more information about this event, please contact Meghan Pfister at (262) 372-4106.

Hamilton sophomores take WKCE Nov. 3-7

Hamilton High School sophomores will take the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination (WKCE) the week of Nov. 3. School attendance is especially encouraged and all out-of-school appointments should be avoided during the test week.

A parent letter and brochure, “Student/Parent Pre-Test Information,” will be sent home with students in the weeks preceding the test. This brochure will provide parents and students with additional information about the purpose and format of the test. The brochure also will identify a Web site where students may access sample questions. Parents are encouraged to go through the guide with their children and stress the importance of dong their best on the test.

Test results will allow students to better understand academic strengths and weaknesses and plan their remaining academic courses to strengthen these areas. In addition, the WKCE provides the district with valuable information regarding curricular adjustments and alignment with state standards.

For further information about the test, contact the Hamilton High School Guidance Department at (262) 246-6476.

4-year-old kindergartners participate in Harvest Fest

Students in the Hamilton School District’s four-year-old kindergarten program will celebrate fall as they participate in a hands-on experiences with nature Oct. 24 at Harvest Fest.

School staff members and families are working together to plan this event that will culminate the students’ study of the changing seasons. The event is sponsored by Willow Springs Learning Center and the Willow Springs 4K Parent Group. Many local businesses and families provided generous donations to make the event successful.

The students will experience fall at stations including:

  • hay riding;
  • gourd, pinecone and acorn collecting;
  • corn bowling;
  • engaging in a pumpkin relay;
  • creating a harvest vest to wear in the all-school parade;
  • pinning a patch on the scarecrow;
  • learning about animals in the fall; and
  • enjoying an apple snack.

The activities will begin at 9 a.m. for the morning kindergarten session and at 1 p.m. for the afternoon session.

The 4-year-old kindergarten program is housed at Willow Springs Learning Center, W220 N6660 Town Line Road, Menomonee Falls.

October 7, 2008

District uses new tool for curriculum development
Staff members will use a new electronic tool to development curriculum, Instructional Services Supervisor Dee Bauman, Ph.D., reported to the School Board.

Eclipse, a tool that had been used for several years to analyze school data, has a component that allows staff to collaborative electronically as they work through the revision process. Once the curriculum changes are approved, teachers will be able to access the curriculum electronically.

Art and music teachers will use Eclipse this year as they revise those areas, and Bauman reported that they are excited to use it.

“It really streamlines the process,” Bauman said. “It’s a new way to do the task of curriculum development in the district.”

Teachers also will be able to put lesson and unit plans in one location so that all teachers can have access to them and can share classroom level curriculum.

Bauman also reported that secondary-level communication arts and social studies teachers who began the vertical teaming process last year will meet three times this year to continue their work. Secondary science teachers will begin the vertical team process this year.

The goals of vertical teaming are to:

  • identify essential skills and concepts and teach them with increasing sophistication and depth as students move through grades and courses; and
  • prepare all students for success in higher-level classes, including enriched, honors and Advanced Placement courses.

School Board happy with AODA progress
School Board members had high praise for the work that has been done to address Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) in the district. Student Assistance and AODA Coordinator Kristin Hasbrook presented a summary of activities from 2007-08 and an overview of what is planned for 2008-09.

She reported that the district was awarded a $32,420 grant this year from United Way to continue services offered through the Get Connected Program. In its fourth year, Get Connected has received more than $100,000 from United Way to provide parenting education, community outreach and student support.

The number of families served by the program has increased from 30 in 2004-05, 165 in 2005-06, 200 in 2006-07 and 298 in 2007-08. Two other school districts – Oconomowoc and Mukwonago – have started Get Connected programs that are modeled after Hamilton’s original program.

In addition, Hasbrook described work with individual students and classes at Templeton Middle School and Hamilton High School.

Several School Board members said they were impressed with the work Hasbrook has done. Lynn Kristensen told Hasbrook she should be proud for having a dream of what the program could be and forging ahead.

“It is such a good service for our families,” Kristensen said.

Personnel matters
In personnel business, the School Board:

  • accepted the resignation of Templeton special services paraprofessional Amy Helgeson; and
  • appointed Aaron Dow as a Woodside cleaner, Tracey Jones as a Lannon special services paraprofessional, Aida Kozic as a Lannon media center paraprofessional, Colleen Engel as a Willow Springs special services paraprofessional and Gerald Herman as a Hamilton cleaner.

Willow Springs students donate 1,107 items to food pantry

They may be young, but they understand the importance of providing a community service. In their first service project of the school year, Willow Springs Learning Center 4-year-old kindergartners donated more than 1,000 food items to the Sussex Food Pantry.

The food collection service project, which ran Sept. 22 – 26, included a challenge from Willow Spring Principal Margee Tackes, Ed.D., who said she would surprise the students by working one day on the roof if they collected more than 1,000 items. Willow Springs students and families met and surpassed the challenge.

The food was delivered to the Sussex Food Pantry Sept. 30, and Tackes plans to work on the roof on Oct. 8.

Willow Springs is located at W220 N6660 Town Line Road, Menomonee Falls.