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 and beyond. Following is a summary of activities at each school.

Willow Springs Learning Center
Willow Springs Learning Center four-year-old kindergartners 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 265 gifts that will be distributed through the Sussex Food Pantry to local families.

In addition, the Willow Springs staff adopted a family for Christmas and donated items to provide a merry Christmas.

Lannon Elementary School
Lannon Elementary School students, families and staff members contributed 100 gently-used items of clothing and boots to the Sussex Food Pantry. They also donated 90 new hats, gloves and mittens to the Parents Place in Waukesha.

Lannon staff members adopted a family and provided all of its gifts this holiday season.

Maple Avenue Elementary School
Maple Avenue Elementary School fifth-graders, through their Uniting Kids and Community (UKC) program, sponsored the Foods for Families Drive that provided 1,602 non-perishable food items to the Sussex Food Pantry.

Buddy classes in first and third grades earned money by doing extra work at home and contributing the money at school. A total of $528.34 was raised and used to purchase items for children served by the Sussex Food Pantry. They contributed 103 items, including 55 board or card games, 31 miscellaneous toiletries and 17 hats, gloves and socks.

One fifth grade classroom participated in a “Buck a Book” activity in which students earn one dollar from their parents for each book they read. The money raised is contributed to a charitable organization each time the class reaches $50. Students chose to contribute the $50 donation to the school’s gift-giving program during the holiday season.

Maple Avenue staff members sponsored three families providing gifts, books, games, educational toys, clothing, gift cards, snacks, holiday décor and lotion for family members. In addition, school staff worked with Kohl’s department stores corporate offices to sponsor three additional families for a total of six families sponsored.

Marcy Elementary School
Marcy participated in several activities at various grade levels.

Students made picture frames and wrote letters to an injured Marine. ther classes made holiday cards for soldiers.

Some students made doggie biscuits, which were sent to the Humane Society.

A first grade class made blankets to donate to needy or hospitalized children.

Classes read books through a Scholastic program that provided books to a needy school for every 100 books read.

Marcy Scout troops also collected books and food for the food panty.

Woodside Elementary School
Woodside students showed kindness and concern for others through a variety of projects. Kindergarten classes, which collect items for the Sussex Food Pantry each week, donated two carloads of food before Thanksgiving to the Second Harvest “Stuff the Bus” food drive. First and third grade music classes collected food items in November and December and donated them to the Sussex Food Pantry. A fifth grade class brought canned goods to their holiday party and donated them to the Sussex Food Pantry.

First and fourth grade classes regularly make 75 to 100 bag lunches for the homeless that are delivered to the Tony Lee Sanctuary in Milwaukee. Students make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and bag cookies, crackers or other snack foods to create meals.

Fifth grade, second grade and student council teamed up to raise money for the Leukemia Foundation to fight childhood cancer and will launch the “Links for Hope” project in which a giant paper chain containing inspirational messages will be created.

Kindergarten students raised money for a charity by showing outstanding classroom behavior. All points for the week of Dec.15 were turned into dollars that were donated.

Two classes made holiday greeting cards for recovering veterans at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Templeton Middle School
The Templeton Middle School Student Council organized its annual Holiday Gift Drive in December, and it was a huge success. The school raised $3,000 to help those in need this holiday season. Donations were given to the Women’s Center of Waukesha to aid abused women and children and Sussex Outreach Services to help families in our community.

The Student Council also conducted a schoolwide Children’s Book Drive for soldiers in Afghanistan. Two hundred children’s books were collected and sent to Afghanistan. The books will be delivered to soldiers who will then choose a book and record themselves reading the book or a chapter of the book on a DVD. This personalized DVD and the book will then be sent home to the soldier’s family so the children can hear a story being read to them by their parent who is stationed in Afghanistan.

Templeton students raised $3,665.83 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to help young people with life-threatening illnesses. Students asked sponsors to donate money based on the number of correct answers in a math booklet or to make a one-time donation.

Templeton students read 823 books two weeks before Thanksgiving in the Read to Feed project through Time Warner Cable. For every book read, a can of food was donated to Milwaukee area food banks.

Hamilton High School
Hamilton High School Student Council conducted a toy drive Dec. 3-5. The toys were delivered to the Sussex Food Pantry in conjunction with Willow Springs’ collection.

The Freshman Seminar class sponsored a 3-year-old Sussex girl through the Waukesha County Christmas Clearing Council and raised money to buy items on a wish list that the girl’s mother provided. Students also brought in toys and clothes they purchased themselves. Students delivered a total of 16 gifts for the girl.

In honor of the German tradition of St. Martin’s Day, the German Club collected men’s and women’s clothing in November. They gathered approximately 428 articles of clothing, mainly sweaters, sweatshirts, jeans and winter clothing. The clothes were distributed through Red Door Clothes, a free clothing distribution in Milwaukee’s central city.

The National Honor Society sponsored a schoolwide Juice Drive that netted 523 bottles (2,700 pounds) of juice to the Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee for distribution in its Holiday Food Baskets to needy families. Some 54 National Honor Society members volunteered at the Hunger Task Force collection and distribution center in Milwaukee and served as ambassadors at the FM 102.9 Hogs Against Hunger Thanksgiving Food Drive at State Fair Park collecting more than $1,200 cash. National Honor Society members also held a Christmas Caroling Food Drive Dec. 14 in the Ridgefield Subdivision in Menomonee Falls and collected more than 200 pounds of food for the Sussex Food Pantry.

DECA members took holiday gifts to boys and girls in the second grade class and the autistic class at LaFollette Elementary School in Milwaukee. Each student put together a gift bag valued at approximately $15 for a total of around $400. DECA members spent time opening the gifts and playing with the students. The two teachers also were presented gift baskets valued at $50 each.

The Spanish Club sponsored an Hispanic family through the Christmas Clearing Council of Waukesha County. The officers of the Spanish Club put together flyers and posters describing their cause and visited each Spanish classroom promoting the service project. Spanish classes were asked to contribute gently-worn clothing or make a monetary donation. Spanish students collected a total of $122.50 that they used to purchase gifts for the family.

Hamilton Library’s “Snowflakes of Hope” program collected items for families in need. “A Novel Idea” Book Group accepted donations for the Women’s Center in Waukesha. They donated sweaters, scarves, hats, gloves, mittens and toiletries.

District staff members
Staff members throughout the district adopted families in lieu of exchanging gifts with one another. They provided gifts of toys, games, clothing, food, personal items, household goods and gift certificates for numerous families in need of support.

Hamilton students participate in Young Scholar Program

Hamilton High School senior Shantelle Kind and junior Matthew Otto recently participated in Clinical Laboratory Science Young Scholar Program at Marquette University in Milwaukee. The class included 28 students representing 19 different high schools within a 250-mile radius of the university’s downtown campus.

At the class, students learned the important role clinical laboratory scientists play in the diagnosis and management of disease. Approximately 70 percent of the information used to make medical decisions is generated in the diagnostic laboratory. Currently, the shortage of certified personnel to perform the testing is a critical level. Clinical laboratory science is one of the few college majors that can guarantee employment immediately upon graduation – or in many instances two to three months before graduation.

This program gives students the opportunity to work in a simulated clinical laboratory setting under the guidance of certified professionals. By participating in the Young Scholar Program, students earn college credits either at Marquette or wherever participants choose to attend college.

For more information on Marquette’s Young Scholar Program, visit www.marquette.edu.

Hamilton offers drivers’ education

Registration for Hamilton High School spring drivers’ education – including theory, simulation and behind-the-wheel – begins on Jan. 2, 2009. Completed forms without fees will be accepted at the high school office during school hours or by mail before Jan. 18. Students who will be 16 years old by Aug. 31, 2009 are eligible to enroll in all three phases of the program.

The theory phase begins on Jan. 26 and includes 16 two-hour classes from 3:40 p.m. to 5:40 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The simulation, which starts the week of March 9, is six two-hour classes. Behind-the-wheel includes six two-hour lessons that are held weekdays 3:15 p.m.-5:15 p.m. or 3:40 p.m.-5:40 p.m., or Saturdays mornings

Fees are $150 for theory-simulation, $150 for behind-the-wheel and $300 for the full program.

Seating is limited, and priority is given to the oldest students.

If you have questions, please contact Hamilton Drivers’ Education Coordinator Jackie Rottler at rottja@hamilton.k12.wi.us.

Hamilton High School is located at W220 N6151 Town Line Road.

Templeton raises money in St. Jude Math-a-Thon

Templeton Middle School students raised $3,665.83 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to help young people with life-threatening illnesses. Students asked sponsors to donate money based on the number of correct answers in a math booklet or to make a one-time donation.

The top Templeton student fundraisers were:

  • Samuel Welter, seventh grade, who brought in $270 in pledges;
  • Austin Lee, sixth grade, with $257.50; and
  • Benjamin Scott, eighth grade, with $250.

Brenda Peterson’s seventh grade class brought in the most money with $898.39 in donations. Other top classrooms included Amy Wilde’s eighth grade with $620.30 and Sherry Malmon’s class with $505. Because Templeton raised more than $3,000, the school will receive a new tabletop telescope.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital treats about 160 patients every day on an out-patient basis and maintains 58 inpatient beds. Templeton families have taken advantage of this wonderful hospital when their insurance has run out. St. Jude, which is non-sectarian, has approximately 4,500 patients in active status. It treats children without regard to race, religion, creed, or ability to pay. ALSAC/St. Jude, the fundraising arm, covers all costs not covered by insurance for medical treatment rendered at the hospital.

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

Free computer classes offered to senior citizens

Senior citizens interested in learning about basic computer operations and the Internet may sign up for free classes offered at Hamilton High School.

The four-session course is offered to senior citizens who would consider volunteering to be a part of the Seniors and Students Program – a partnership between the Hamilton School District and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Waukesha County. The classes will run from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. February 9, 11, 16 and 18 at Hamilton High School. Sussex community members Tom Hill and Ann Wegner will provide hands-on training for the course.

“Introduction to Computers and the Internet” is for people who want to learn about basic computer operations and getting started on the Web. The class will cover:

  • introduction to the computer,
  • basic word processing,
  • basic Internet,
  • basic e-mail, and
  • how to e-mail digital pictures.

The class also covers security over the Web. People who take the course should have a computer and on-line access. Those with typing skills will have an advantage, but it is not required.

Participants will be offered volunteer opportunities that include flexible time frames, various school locations or working from home. Enrollment in each course is limited. Thanks to the generosity of North Shore Bank, participants will receive a free Flash drive. Please call Heather Krisman at (262) 246-1973 x1100 to reserve a seat.

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

Hamilton High School students visit QuadCreative

Hamilton High School students in Toni Hillman’s Advanced Applications and Web Design class saw real-life application of graphics and Web design skills Dec. 4 when they visited QuadCreative in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward.

Hillman’s students used the experience to see how ideas are transferred into effective visual communications to help companies stay competitive and create a visual name for themselves.

QuadCreative, a subsidiary of Quad/Graphics, is a communications firm that specializes in brand strategy, creative development and streamlined production processes.

Hamilton announces November students of the month

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

  • Lukas Ballo, business education;
  • Ashley Dunn, applied engineering and technology;
  • Danielle Emmer, family and consumer education;
  • Alyssa Gohr, art;
  • Brandon Hagenow, fitness education;
  • Robert Jaeger, mathematics;
  • Courtney Meidenbauer, science;
  • Cody Neverman, world languages;
  • Ian Read, music;
  • Michael Ruminski, communication arts;
  • Jason Steller, mathematics; and
  • Elliot Toy, social studies.

Students received a certificate and a pin for their accomplishment.

December 15, 2008

District creates new Strategic Plan
The Strategic Plan Committee met Dec. 3 and 4 to create a new plan for the district. Members recommended ideas for new strategies that will be further defined and presented to the full committee Jan. 14 when it reconvenes to consider the new plan.

Educational Services and Human Resources Director John Roubik gave the School Board an update on the planning process. Following approval, action teams will develop specific plans to meet objective and strategies. The plan will be shared with staff at the March 27 in-service and with parents at Home and School meetings in the spring.

Two site plans approved
School Board members approved two school site plans and extended appreciation to the staff who contributed to the schools’ accomplishments.

Principal James Edmond and Assistant Principal Cynthia Stemper reported on progress noted in Woodside Elementary School’s site plan review. The school’s two tactics state that students will:

  • experience social and emotional growth leading to academic success through strong and nurturing relationships between students, staff and families; and
  • demonstrate confidence and academic success through instructional best practices, and struggling students will achieve success through differentiated instruction and interventions.

Edmond highlighted the school’s performance on standardized tests. Stemper reported on steps staff have taken to meet the needs of each student.

Among the next steps for the school will be to gather baseline data on specific measures of success, review the noise-reduction plan and move on to other environmental issues, further implement the Responsive Classroom initiative, research translation services for parent communication, investigate whether Home and School format and topics are meeting parents needs, create mini-curriculum guides for each grade level, discuss student-led parent-teacher conferences, share common best practices from professional book study groups and track student interventions and successes using the Response to Intervention model.

Willow Springs Learning Center will continue to work on its single tactic that states: “The student will be enriched in a unique, well-defined and articulated four-year-old kindergarten program.”

Willow Springs Principal Margaret Tackes, Ed.D., described work of the faculty in the past year which focused on development of the Transition to Success Program for student entry into school and organizing the curriculum to align with the Wisconsin model of Early Learning Standards.

The Transition to Success Program was renamed Jump Start to 4K, which was received well by faculty and parents, according to Tackes. The meetings were more directly and clearly publicized. This portion of the site plan was declared completed.

Willow Springs staff worked on a number of other projects throughout the year including rewriting of the report card, piloting of a new handwriting program, establishing a “professional learning community” that held book discussions on several educational books and learning about the updated Wisconsin Model Early Learning standards. They will continue to work on these interventions in the coming year.

Kneiski recognized
School Board members recognized Seniors & Students volunteer Kathleen Kneiske for her work with students at Willow Springs Learning Center. Kneiske, who had been a pen pal prior to tutoring at Willow Springs in 2006, retired as a volunteer this year. Kindergarten teacher Rita Forrester and RSVP Seniors & Students Coordinator Becky Hubred described Kneiske’s contributions to students and thanked her for her service. She was presented with a certificate from the School Board and a box of candy from the Willow Springs staff.

December is month for music at Woodside

Woodside Elementary School students will be making and appreciating music this December. Highlights include:

Dec. 4, 12:45 p.m., Woodside Gym
The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Storytellers will perform on percussion, clarinet and string bass to help students learn that music can tell stories. This performance is part of Arts in Community Education (ACE), which is the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s educational outreach program that encourages understanding of music, improved listening skills and family participation. The Woodside Home and School provides financial support for the ACE program.

Dec. 6 at 5 p.m., Sussex Village Hall
A chorus of 25 volunteer singers from Woodside’s fifth grade will sing songs about winter, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa prior to the official lighting of the Christmas tree outside of Village Hall.

Dec. 8 at 10:45 a.m., Woodside Large Group Area
A group called Present Music will perform for kindergarteners on orchestra instruments in addition to creating sounds from unusual sources, such as playing percussion on rice bowls. The performers, which are part of the ACE program, will improvise music based on students’ movements and drawings, teaching the students about music composing.

Dec. 9 at 1 p.m., Woodside Large Group Area
First-graders will listen to Francisco Mora, an author-illustrator of children’s books, explain his process of creating books. Mora’s appearance is also part of the ACE program.

Heather Cheslock is the music teacher at Woodside, which is located at W236 N7465 Woodside Road, Sussex.

December 2, 2008

Business Education, Marketing curriculum revisions approved
As the district focuses on the skills that students will need for success in the 21st Century, it should consider requiring high school students to take a personal finance course.

After reviewing and accepting revisions to the Business Education and Marketing curriculum, School Board member Lynn Kristensen suggested that the district may want to require future high school students to take a course on personal finance. Currently, the course is offered as an elective.

Personal finance is something that every person will need to know regardless of what they do after high school, Kristensen said.

School Board member Jerry Schmitz said he agreed that it was important for students. Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., noted it and said the suggestion would be reviewed.

Hamilton’s Business Education and Marketing curriculum begins in middle school. All sixth-graders participate in a nine-week introductory computer course. Eighth-graders may choose from two elective courses. High school elective courses focus on computer applications, marketing, business and personal finance. Five high school business courses offer transcripted credit or advanced standing at Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC) and use its approved textbooks, curriculum and assessments. The high school program also offers an Advanced Placement (AP) computer programming course, a co-op experience and a finance Youth Apprenticeship program.

School Board members approved the following revisions:

  • The sixth grade required course was aligned with the elementary writing-technology curriculum.
  • Computer courses at the high school and their accompanying software were updated to align with applications in the workforce.
  • Personal Finance, which is aligned with the state’s recent Model Academic Standards for Financial Literacy, and Entrepreneurship were added at the high school.
  • Business Education & Marketing teachers use Eclipse, an online curriculum management tool, to provide easy access to unit plans, project descriptions and assessments related to their curriculum.

Board members pleased with high school progress
When the high school created its site plan six years ago, it simply stated “Students will demonstrate higher-level thinking skills across the curriculum” as its goal. That still drives the school’s site plan.

Hamilton Principal Candis Mongan presented a report on the high school’s progress in the past year. In the past year, the school has renewed its commitment to department plans, goals and tools for measuring growth. It also successfully completed the AdvancEdNorth Central Accreditation process in all seven standards areas that were assessed. Mongan also reported on specific academic achievement that included increase in number of students earning credit on AP exams, additional sections of AP courses that are offered, significant increase in proficiency on writing assessments and ACT and WKCE test results increases.

Mongan said the school will begin piloting online courses to students in the spring and summer and plans to offer eight courses to students next fall opposite band class.

School Board member Deborah Briggs complimented the high school for progress in AP classes and encouraged the implementation of online classes for students. Schmitz also acknowledged success in the area of AP classes.

Some specific action steps in the next year will be to::

  • disaggregate department data,
  • increase student use of Bloom’s Taxonomy terminology;
  • discuss mastery of assessment before moving to the next curricular level;
  • revisit MAP test utilization within a block schedule;
  • identify and review reading strategies by department
  • disaggregate data and encourage under-represented populations to enroll in honors and Advanced Placement course and take the ACT while providing appropriate support for success; and
  • learning metacognitive skills to improve classroom progress and improve reading, problem-solving and critical thinking.

Personnel news
In personnel business, the School Board::

  • appointed Sally Zoellick as a high school Special Services paraprofessional; and
  • adjusted the contract of Student Assistance Program Coordinator Kristin Hasbrook to be consistent with those of confidential support staff members.