School Board, directors recognize Weier for years of service

The Hamilton School Board recognized Anita Weier at its regular meeting Aug. 16 for her years of service as the Hamilton Education Foundation (HEF) executive director. Weier recently resigned her position – one she took on after teaching at Hamilton High School for 40 years.

Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., praised Weier for fulfilling the role as executive director, treasurer and secretary for 17 years. Cooke said Weier’s contributions included turning the fledgling HEF into a foundation that is a role model in the state, expanding fine arts experiences in the district and advocating for children through successful fundraising. Since its inception, HEF has provided $972,139 in grants and awards to students and staff members.

HEF Board Chairman George Semrad said the board will never be able to replace Weier, “but we had a very good teacher.” Another HEF Board member, Sherry Howard, thanked Weier for “the amazing amount of time and effort you have put into this foundation.”

With Weier’s departure, the HEF Board established an interim plan for 2010-11 in which Ann Ubert will serve as executive director, Peggy Youngblood as secretary and Tammy Ristow as treasurer.

HABC encourages votes for Hamilton High School

The Hamilton Athletic Booster Club (HABC) is asking community members to support Hamilton High School by voting in the Kohl’s Cares $10 million Giveback Contest. HABC encourages people to go to www.facebook.com/kohls by Sept. 3 and vote for Hamilton High School.

Kohl’s is donating $500,000 to each of the top 20 vote-getting schools. If Hamilton High School is a winner, the prize money will fund construction of a concession stand and restrooms on Hamilton High School athletic fields, and purchase SmartBoard technologies for classrooms. The concession stand and restrooms are included in projects of the HABC’s Charging Forward fundraising campaign to improve athletic facilities.

For more information, please contact HABC Officer Tom Blackwell at (262) 246-8486.

Recruiting Realities open to Hamilton athletes, parents

Nationally recognized recruiting expert Jack Renkens will speak Sept. 7 with student-athletes and their parents at 7 p.m. in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center.  Renkens’ organization, Recruiting Realities, is dedicated to exploding the myths and presenting the realities of athletic recruiting including NCAA rules and how to get matched with the best college.

From his days as a high school coach, administrator and teacher through his time as a coach and athletic director at a NCAA Division II school, Renkens has witnessed the recruiting game from all sides.

“The Realities of College Recruiting” is a 60-minute presentation that is free and open to the public. Hamilton Fine Arts Center is located at W220 N6151 Town Line Road, Sussex.

Hamilton schools plan for start of classes

Hamilton School District students will begin classes Sept. 1. The district has compiled information to assist parents and students in preparation for the big day.

Registration — People who are new to the district may register their children at the school they will attend. Call the individual schools to learn their office hours. School phone numbers are:

  • Willow Springs Learning Center (4-year-old kindergarten), (262) 255-6190;
  • Lannon Elementary, (262) 255-6106;
  • Maple Avenue Elementary, (262) 246-4220;
  • Marcy Elementary, (262) 781-8283;
  • Woodside Elementary, (262) 820-1530;
  • Templeton Middle, (262) 246-6477; and
  • Hamilton High, (262) 246-6471.

If you are unsure of your school attendance area, call the district’s Public Information Office at (262) 246-1973 x1100.

Kindergarten — The district offers kindergarten programs for students who are four and five years old. The program for 4-year-olds is at Willow Spring Learning Center, and the program for 5-year-olds is at neighborhood elementary schools.

To be eligible for the optional 4-year-old kindergarten program, a child must be four years old by Sept. 1. The program runs a half day — an 8:45 -11:15 a.m. morning session and 12:45 – 3:15 p.m. afternoon session. Willow Springs Learning Center will have a brief K-4 orientation Aug. 25 at 5:15 p.m. for morning kindergartners and at 6:15 p.m. for afternoon kindergartners to familiarize them with riding the bus. School buses will pick up kindergartners at their home schools and travel to Willow Springs. The school will mail letters with specific times to K-4 parents. Classes at Willow Springs begin Sept. 7. The school will be holding Transition to Success conferences with students and parents Sept. 1-3.

Each elementary school offers a kindergarten program for children who turn five years old by Sept. 1. Most 5-year-olds participate in the full-day program that follows the same schedule as elementary grade school students. Some parents choose to enroll their 5-year-old in kindergarten for only the morning half of the school day.

Transportation — The bus company sends yellow postcards notifying bus riders of their routes. Postcards will be mailed the week of Aug. 23.

Breaks and last school day — Students will not have classes: Labor Day – Sept. 6; teachers’ convention – Oct. 28 and 29; break – Nov. 19; Thanksgiving break – Nov. 25-26; winter break – Dec. 24-31; staff in-service – Jan. 20-21; break – Feb. 21; staff in-service – March 25; spring break – April 22-29; and Memorial Day – May 30. Their last day of school is June 9.

School hours — Elementary school students in grades 1-5 and full-day kindergarten begin school at 8:35 a.m. and end at 3:25 p.m.; Templeton hours are 7:25 a.m. to 2:35 p.m.; and the high school runs from 7:20 a.m. to 2:25 p.m.

Immunization — Wisconsin law requires parents to provide updated records on their children’s immunizations including DTP, MMR and polio. The Hepatitis B (Hep B) and varicella vaccines are required for all students pre-kindergarten through grade 12. Two different vaccine requirements were  added in recent years to the Wisconsin Student Immunization law. The changes began in 2008-09 and will be phased in for all students over the next several years.  For the 2010-11 school year, students entering grades 6, 9 and 12 are required to have one dose of the tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertusis (Tdap) vaccine. Students entering 5-year-old kindergarten and grades 6 and 12 are required to have two doses of the varicella (chickenpox) vaccine.

School lunch program — Hamilton food service staff  members are committed to producing quality meals that are nutritious and appealing to children. Lunches consist of five food items — meat, bread, two or more servings of fruit or vegetables, and milk. To reduce waste, children are offered an entire lunch but may refuse one or two items. The price for lunch remains the same whether a child takes the entire lunch or refuses an item.

Lunch menus will be listed in school newsletters, local newspapers and on the district website. Parents are asked to go over the lunch menu with their children to help them decide what to eat each day. Children should be encouraged to take at least a portion of an unfamiliar or unpopular food item.

Lunch prices for 2010-11 are: $2.10 for elementary students; $2.50 – middle school and high school students; $3.25 – adults; and 30 cents for milk.

Fees — The following are fees for the 2010-11 school year:

  • Pre-kindergarten and half-day kindergarten — $19*;
  • Elementary grades, full-day kindergarten and ungraded — $35*;
  • Middle school — $45*;
  • High school — $60*;
  • High school padlock — $5;
  • Drivers’ education behind-the-wheel training and theory-simulation — $175 each;
  • Templeton sports — $20 per sport ($60 family maximum);
  • Hamilton sports — $30 per sport ($90 maximum);
  • Templeton extra- and co-curriculars — $10 and $20;
  • Hamilton extra- and co-curriculars — $15 and $30;
  • Retake ID (during the school year) — $3;
  • Technology fee — $20 per student ($40 family maximum); and
  • Parking — $100.

*Maximum of $150 per family for these student fees.

Parents may pay all their children’s school and lunch fees through the E-Funds for Schools website and LunchBox. Links to E-Funds for School and LunchBox are on the district website.

District website — The district website is at www.hamilton.k12.wi.us and is updated often with supply lists, newsletters, calendar, lunch menus, news releases and other information.

For more information about the Hamilton School District, contact the individual schools or the district’s Public Information Office at (262) 246-1973 x1100.

Screening slated for preschoolers not in district programs

The Hamilton School District will offer preschool screening Sept. 7  from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for 3- and 4-year-olds who are not already enrolled in a district program and whose parents are concerned about their speech  and language development.

The screening will occur at Willow Springs Learning Center, W220 N6660 Town Line Rd., Menomonee Falls. Call Susan Steldt to arrange a speech and language screening at (262) 255-6190.

Parents should park in the west parking lot at Willow Springs when they arrive for their appointments.

August 16, 2010

Board OKs plan to restructure debt, save $407,000

In an effort to save taxpayer money and provide flexibility for the district in tough economic times, the School Board authorized the Business Office to finalize a debt restructuring plan. Under a current debt plan, the district is set to retire $20.2 million of debt in 2023 at interest rates that vary between 3.5 and 4.5 percent.  By taking advantage of an environment of extremely low interest rates, the district could drop its overall interest rate to 2.25 percent, retire its debt one year early and save taxpayers approximately $407,000 in total principal and interest payments.

The restructuring will even out payments instead of experiencing a significant drop in 2013 included in the current plan.

“The goal is to provide some immediate tax relief this year and next and to smooth the debt service over the remaining decade,” Business Services Assistant Superintendent Bryan Ruud wrote in a report to the board. “This will allow the taxpayers to see some tax relief during this economic down-turn and allow flexibility for future debt issuance.”

Ruud noted that actual savings could be greater if the bond sale yields a more favorable rate than estimated. Robert Baird Company is assisting the district with the restructuring plan. Documents will be presented to the School Board for final authorization.

School Board, HEF directors recognize departing leader

The Hamilton School Board recognized Anita Weier at its regular meeting Aug. 16 for her years of service as the Hamilton Education Foundation (HEF) executive director. Weier recently resigned her position – one she took on after teaching at Hamilton High School for 40 years.

Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., praised Weier for fulfilling the role as executive director, treasurer and secretary for 17 years. Cooke said Weier’s contributions included turning the fledgling HEF into a foundation that is a role model in the state, expanding fine arts experiences in the district and advocating for children through successful fundraising. Since its inception, HEF has provided $972,139 in grants and awards to students and staff members.

HEF Board Chairman George Semrad said the board will never be able to replace Weier, “but we had a very good teacher.”

Another HEF Board member, Sherry Howard, thanked Weier for “the amazing amount of time and effort you have put into this foundation.”

The HEF Board will meet in August to determine an interim plan following Weier departure.

Personnel business

In personnel matters, the School Board:

  • Approved a three-year contract with custodial and maintenance staff that provides total aggregate salary and benefit increases of 3.34 percent in 2010-11, 2.63 percent in 2011-12, and 2.28 percent in 2012-13.
  • Modified the contract of Hamilton German teacher Lindsey Klein from 83 to 100 percent;
  • Appointed part-time Early Math Empowerment paraprofessional positions to Christina White at Marcy, Melissa Heckman at Woodside and Alicia Ide at Maple Avenue;
  • Approved Kristen Swoboda as a Woodside first grade replacement teacher and Laurel Schenkoske as a part-time German teacher; and
  • Appointed Katherina Schneiker as a part-time Woodside instructional and supervision paraprofessional, and Stephanie Shelly and Holly Luczak as part-time Maple Avenue Title I paraprofessionals.