Woodside celebrates Red Ribbon Week

Woodside Elementary School students will celebrate Red Ribbon Week Oct. 25-27 with activities that promote a drug-free and healthy lifestyle. This year’s theme is “Follow Your Dreams – Don’t Do Drugs.”
 
Activities include:
  • Oct. 25 – Students will wear red and white to kick off the week. They will learn about the history of Red Ribbon Week and be encouraged to do healthy activities with their families such as bike riding, walking or playing sports. Red Ribbons and pencils with the “Follow Your Dreams – Don’t Do Drugs” theme and “Follow Your Dreams” worksheets will be handed out. Students will share what their dreams are.

 

  • Oct. 26  – Students will be encouraged to wear pajamas and hang up their worksheets on lockers or bulletin boards.
 
  • Oct. 27 – Students will participate in healthy snack and lunch day. Ronald McDonald will perform for students in grades K-2, and Deputy Brad Schuenemann and his K-9 unit will present to students focusing on anti-drug and healthy lifestyle messages.
Red Ribbon Week activities are organized through the guidance and fitness education programs and made possible because of funding from the Woodside Home and School.
 
Red Ribbon week got its start in 1988 when drug enforcement agent Enrique Camarena was killed during an investigation into Mexican drug trafficking. In his memory, red ribbons were worn to symbolize the stand against the illegal use of alcohol and other drugs. From this memorial, Red Ribbon Week has turned into a national event. Schools and communities across the nation celebrate this week to renew their commitment to healthy and drug free lifestyles and to show their support for drug and alcohol abuse prevention.
 
Woodside Elementary School is located at W236 N7465 Woodside Road, Sussex.

Hamilton School Board certifies tax levy

Hamilton School Board members adopted a budget and certified a tax levy Oct. 18 that attempted to cushion taxpayers from the impact caused by a difficult economy and strained state finances. While in the past the addition of 63 new students to the district would have meant substantially more state funding to offset the expense of educating them, state aid to the district this year only held steady.
 
The result is that the  local levy – revenue generated through local property taxes – will pick up a greater share of costs. The total gross levy will increase 3.49  percent, from $29.83 million in 2009-10 to $30.87 million in 2010-11. The local levy will cover 55 percent of the district budget and state funding will contribute 41 percent with the remainder coming from federal aid and other local fees. This is a change because in the past 20 years, state aid typically supplied more than half of the district’s revenue.
 
The School Board approved a total budget of $50.19 million, which represents a 3.03 percent increase in spending. School officials anticipated this summer that the budget would increase by 2.79 percent, but that projection was based on an enrollment increase of only 30 new students.
 
Decreased property value had a further influence on the school tax rate. Property value in the district fell 2.54 percent, which is less than many Waukesha County communities and the state average, but contributed to a mill rate increase from $9.54 to $10.18 per $1,000 of property value.
 
The School Board took action previously to mitigate the impact on taxpayers including using $200,000 of interest earnings to buy down the tax rate, refinancing long-term debt which saved taxpayers $725,000 this year, and underspending the budget last year to reduce expenses.
 
Each October, the School Board must adopt the budget, certify the tax levy and establish the tax rate after the Department of Revenue determines property values in the district. Tax bills are sent to property owners in December.

October 18, 2010

Hamilton School Board certifies tax levy

Hamilton School Board members adopted a budget and certified a tax levy Oct. 18 that attempted to cushion taxpayers from the impact caused by a difficult economy and strained state finances. While in the past the addition of 63 new students to the district would have meant substantially more state funding to offset the expense of educating them, state aid to the district this year only held steady.

The result is that the local levy – revenue generated through local property taxes – will pick up a greater share of costs. The total gross levy will increase 3.49 percent, from $29.83 million in 2009-10 to $30.87 million in 2010-11. The local levy will cover 55 percent of the district budget and state funding will contribute 41 percent with the remainder coming from federal aid and other local fees. This is a change because in the past 20 years, state aid typically supplied more than half of the district’s revenue.

The School Board approved a total budget of $50.19 million, which represents a 3.03 percent increase in spending. School officials anticipated this summer that the budget would increase by 2.79 percent, but that projection was based on an enrollment increase of only 30 new students.

Decreased property value had a further influence on the school tax rate. Property value in the district fell 2.54 percent, which is less than many Waukesha County communities and the state average, but contributed to a mill rate increase from $9.54 to $10.18 per $1,000 of property value.

The School Board took action previously to mitigate the impact on taxpayers including using $200,000 of interest earnings to buy down the tax rate, refinancing long-term debt which saved taxpayers $725,000 this year, and underspending the budget last year to reduce expenses. 

Each October, the School Board must adopt the budget, certify the tax levy and establish the tax rate after the Department of Revenue determines property values in the district. Tax bills are sent to property owners in December.

Teachers demonstrate SmartBoard technology

Four teachers demonstrated how SmartBoards are integrated into classroom instruction. Marcy music specialist Rod Loren, Ph.D., Templeton science teachers Laura Jennaro and Marie Kramer, and Hamilton science teacher Toni Lynn Wainio gave brief overviews of how they use the technology with students. They emphasized that SmartBoards allow for greater interaction with students, promotes 21st century skills and allows for a wide variety of material to be used seamlessly in the classroom. 

Hamilton joins CESA E4E consortium

The district will join 18 other southeastern Wisconsin school districts in participating in the CESA #1 Education For Employment consortium. The state Department of Public Instruction notified the district in December that its Education For Employment plan was in good order except that it did not designate a local vocational education coordinator (LVEC). No one in the district has the LVEC licensure.

By becoming a district member of the CESA #1 consortium, the district can take advantage of the consortium’s LVEC. The cost for the contracted services with CESA #1 is taken out of Carl Perkin federal grant funds.

District holds Chapter 220, Open Enrollment numbers

The number of seats available for students to enroll in the district though the Chapter 220 will remain at 110 students and no new Open Enrollment students are recommended for the 2011-12 school year. The School Board voted to maintain the number of students in the Chapter 220 Program contingent on continued full funding from the state.

Chapter 220 is a voluntary integration program that brings Milwaukee Public Schools students to suburban districts. The Open Enrollment Program allows students to attend school in other districts if space allows. The number of incoming seats has been limited in the past several years because of space availability.

Parents will be invited to apply to a waiting list that will be reviewed in early spring.

Youth Options requests approved

A total of 27 high school students requested admission to the Youth Options Program that will allow them to take classes next semester at Waukesha County Technical College, the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha and Mount Mary College. Often, students who have been approved for Youth Options are not able to take the courses because of scheduling conflicts or full classes.

Youth Options is a program mandated by the state that allows students who have completed 10th grade, are in good academic standing and have no disciplinary problems to attend a technical college or university if they have exhausted their high school curriculum.

Lannon celebrates Red Ribbon Week Oct. 25-27

Lannon Elementary School students will celebrate Red Ribbon Week Oct. 25-27 with a several activities. The week is a nationally recognized event that highlights the fight against drugs. Lannon will focus on making healthy choices and saying “no” to drugs.
 
Oct. 25 –
  • Students invited to wear red in recognition of Red Ribbon Week.
  • Students in grades 3-5 will have a presentation from Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Niles and his K-9 partner Conan at 9 a.m. in the gymnasium.
 
Oct. 26 –
  • Students invited to wear sweats in recognition of  the theme  “Making Healthy Choices is No Sweat.”
  • Students in grades kindergarten – 2 will participate in a presentation from Ronald McDonald in the gymnasium.
 
Oct. 27 –
  • Students invited to wear orange as part of their fall spirit day.
  • A raffle with prizes will be held at each grade level.
 
Lannon Elementary School is located at 7145 N. Lannon Road in Lannon.

Hamilton announces September students of the month

Hamilton High School students representing 11 curriculum areas were selected as students of the month for September They are:
  • Kevin Gudex, applied engineering and technology;
  • Kristen Serchen, social studies;
  • Vy Nguyen, business education;
  • Kelsy Ehr, communication arts;
  • Jennifer Janusz, art;
  • Ashley Ingram and Brandon Leet, mathematics;
  • David Brown, fitness education;
  • Lauren Premke, family and consumer education;
  • Julie Posh, world languages;
  • Bradley Helm, music; and
  • Leah Schaumberg, science.
 Students received a certificate and a pin for their accomplishment.
SeptStudentsOfTheMonth

Richard Marx and John Waite headline Hamilton Fine Arts Center Performing Arts Season

This could arguably be the best performing arts season yet for the Hamilton Fine Arts Center (HFAC), as it presents national headliners, debut performances and top-notch entertainment for everyone.
 
Richard Marx, “Stories to Tell” – Saturday, December 18, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.
For more than 20 years, Richard Marx has consistently and powerfully made his mark on the music industry. His debut single, “Don’t Mean Nothing,” and self-titled debut album kicked off his career as a solo artist in 1987 and went on to sell 3 million copies. His 1989 follow-up CD, “Repeat Offender,” became even more successful, selling more than 7 million copies worldwide. From 1987 to 1990, he became the first male solo artist in history to have his first seven singles reach the top five on Billboard’s singles chart, including the No. 1 hits “Hold Onto the Nights,” “Satisfied” and the worldwide classic, “Right Here Waiting.” Enjoy an up close and personal evening with Richard Marx as he sings his favorite songs and shares his personal stories. This performance is supported by the Milwaukee Marriott West and Proline Entertainment, LLC. Tickets are for reserved seating. Advance tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for students. Add $5 at the door.
 
Onstage Swing Dance Soiree – Friday, January 14, 2011 at 7 p.m.
Learn to swing dance with Milwaukee’s most loved Jumpin’ Jive Club instructors Maureen Majeski and Stephanie Wise on the HFAC stage that has been converted into a lounge, complete with dance floor, mood lighting and your favorite swing dance music. Lesson at 7 p.m. Dancing at 8 p.m. Beverages and concessions available throughout the evening. Advance tickets are $10. Add $5 at the door.
 
UPROOTED Theatre presents, “I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document Given to Me By A Young Lady From Rwanda” – Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 7 p.m.
Rwanda takes place in London in 1999, five years after the horrors of the Rwandan genocide. Set in London, this touching piece crafted through a series of conversations offers the audience a glimpse of the atrocities that occurred in Rwanda. The play charts the bittersweet relationship between the two characters, Simon and Juliette. Simon is a struggling poet struggling with insecurities stemming from his faltering career. Juliette is a descendant of the Tutsi tribe, who in an attempt to help the people of the world begins to write a book addressing the terrible events of the Civil War in her home country, Rwanda.
 
The two meet while Juliette is living in a hostel in London. Juliette finds through her friendship with Simon – though limited to their writing project – a pathway to spiritual healing. Simon finds in Juliette a stunning example of resilience, African pride and familial love, while simultaneously regaining his confidence as a writer. This show is sponsored by the Hamilton Education Foundation. Tickets are for reserved seating. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students.
 
Guy Lombardo’s Royal Canadians with Al Pierson – Saturday, April 2, 2011 at 7 p.m.
Countless people remember with nostalgia the tradition of Guy Lombardo with his Royal Canadians playing at New York City’s Waldorf Astoria on New Year’s Eve. Since then, the playing of “Auld Lang Syne” at the stroke of midnight has become a tradition. Enjoy the Guy Lombardo’s Royal Canadians Orchestra with conductor Al Pierson as they play the wonderful tunes of yesterday: “Seems Like Old Times,” “Boo Hoo,” “Coquette,” “Sweethearts on Parade” and “Ain’t She Sweet,” as well as an occasional Lombardo style arrangement of contemporary classic pop tunes. Tickets are for reserved seating. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for senior citizens and $10 for students.
 
John Waite, “Downtown Journey Unplugged” – Friday, April 15, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.
 John Waite’s career ignited in the 80s with the MTV/radio staple “Change” and then exploded with smash hit “Missing You,” which went to No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.  In 1989, as front man for the pop/rock super group Bad English, “When I See You Smile” (penned by Diane Warren) sparked sold-out concert tours and a succession of Billboard Hot 100 Hits. Waite returned to solo work and since 1995 has produced five solo albums including his latest album “Downtown… Journey of a Heart.” This performance is supported by the Milwaukee Marriott West and Proline Entertainment, LLC. Tickets are for reserved seating. Advance tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for students. Add $5 at the door.
 
Special guest performances
The Hamilton Fine Arts Center is pleased to announce special guest performances by the Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra and Brookfield Academy throughout the 2010-11 performing arts season.
 
Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra presents “The Elements of Music” – Saturday, October 30, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.
Celebrating Mike Kamenski’s 25 years as conductor, the Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra performs a light classics and pops concert entitled, “The Elements of Music.” In the style of Leonard Bernstein, one of Kamenski’s musical heroes, the conductor’s role as teacher will guide this concert. With many orchestral examples, music’s very essence and creative process will be explained and demonstrated. To provide a unique perspective of this concert, the audience will be allowed several occasions to be seated on stage amongst the musicians. Tickets are for general seating. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for senior citizens (55+) and $6 for students.
 
Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra presents “A Kamenski Kristmas” – Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.
Continuing the 25th anniversary celebration of conductor Mike Kamenski, “A Kamenski Kristmas” features Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, a medley of Polish Christmas carols and many more Christmas delights. Tickets are for general seating. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for senior citizens (55+) and $6 for students.
 
Brookfield Academy presents  “The Music Man” – March 5-6, 2011 at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Continuing a tradition of production excellence, Brookfield Academy is proud to strike up the band with its all-school musical, “The Music Man.” Follow fast-talking, flim-flamming Harold Hill in this all-American salute to music and romance. Directed by Mark Salentine, Brookfield Academy Upper School Theatre Director and Sunset Playhouse Artistic Director. Tickets are for general seating. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and $5 for students.  
 
Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra presents “Spring Classical Concert” – Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.
The MFSO classical concert opens with Mahler’s “First Symphony” and concludes with Karl Jenkins’ “The Armed Man,” a multi-movement, dramatic work for chorus, soloists and orchestra, that explores the devastation of wars and the absolute need for peace and harmony between peoples. Tickets are for general seating. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for senior citizens (55+) and $6 for students.
 
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 Townline Road, Sussex. No phone orders accepted, please.

Templeton named Exemplary Middle School for fourth time

Templeton Middle School was named Exemplary Middle School for the fourth consecutive year – one of only 11 Wisconsin schools that has earned the prestigious honor every year the recognition program has been in place.  The Exemplary Middle School program, sponsored by the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators  (AWSA) and Department of Public Instruction, honors middle schools for student academic achievement.
 
“Middle school is a time of transition,” State Superintendent Tony Evers said. “Kids at this age experience amazing growth in their intellectual capacity and an increasing desire to test their independence. They need schools that challenge them to learn while supporting students’ emotional and developmental needs.”
 
The program recognizes middle schools with high growth in reading or math scores in the past school year; reading or math scores in the top 10 percent in the past year; or high growth in reading or math scores in reading for schools with a high poverty population.
 
Instituted through AWSA’s Middle Level Commission, the Exemplary Middle School recognition program reviewed academic achievement records for middle schools based on grade-level configuration.

Templeton honors veterans at ceremony

Templeton Middle School will recognize the contributions of American veterans Nov. 5 beginning at 8:30 a.m. at its 10th  annual Veterans’ Day Program.
 
U.S. Marine Major Jeff Anderson will provide the Veterans’ Address. Anderson spent five years in active duty and seven years in the reserves. He was deployed to Desert Shield, Desert Storm and Somalia Operation Restore Hope. He is the brother of Templeton seventh grade science teacher Laura Jennaro.
 
A ceremonial color guard from the Marine Recruitment Office in Brookfield will post and retire the colors and will lay wreaths to honor soldiers who became prisoners of war or missing in action. Guest veterans who attend the program will be individually introduced and their military service recognized. 
 
Students will honor the country’s veterans during the ceremony as well.
–          The Student Council president will lead the “Pledge of Allegiance.”
–          The Eighth Grade Chorus and Eighth Grade Band will perform a selection of patriotic songs including “The National Anthem,” “God Bless America” and “American Anthem.”
–          The Patriotic Essay Contest winner will read his or her essay.

Music teacher Jaye Mier is coordinating a video production that will feature photos of military personnel and veterans who are related to Templeton students. The video will play continuously in the school lobby during the week of Nov. 1 and will be featured during the ceremony.
 
Following the program, honored veterans will be invited to participate in a small reception in the Large Group Area. All veterans and public officials are invited to attend. Please call the school at (262) 246-6477 by Nov. 1.
 
Templeton Middle School is located at N59 W22490 Silver Spring Drive, Sussex.

Hamilton students recognized in NMSC competition

Four Hamilton High School seniors learned recently that they were named in the 2011 National Merit Scholarship Program. Eligibility for the distinction is based on results of the 2009 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.
 
Julie Posh and Evan Thompson were named Semifinalists. They are among approximately 16,000 Semifinalists nationwide and will continue in the 2011 competition for Merit Scholarship awards. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, which represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. To become a finalist, a Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the school principal and earn SAT scores that confirm the students’ earlier test performance.
 
 Paula Myatt and Michael Newman were named Commended Students and are among 34,000 students who were recognized for their exceptional academic promise.
 
The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), established in 1955, is a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 450 business organizations and higher education institutions to honor the nation’s scholastic champions and encourage the pursuit of academic excellence.

October 5, 2010

Future health care costs discussed

Health care costs and the impact of state and federal healthcare mandates were highlighted at the Buildings & Grounds and Finance Committee meeting. Representatives from Hays Companies, the district’s insurance consultants, gave a brief overview on key factors that could have an impact on insurance costs.

As a self-insured employer, the district purchases stop loss insurance to cover high-cost individual and aggregate healthcare expenses. The district recently increased the annual specific deductible from $50,000 to $60,000 per individual.  Below this amount the district is responsible for eligible health care expenditures, and above it the stop loss insurer is. The move added exposure to the district, but provided savings in premium expenses.

State mandates that took effect in September will likely increase health care costs for the district, according to the Hays Company representatives. These mandates include:

  • Covering dependents to age 27 years instead of 25 years;
  • Providing the same level of coverage for mental health and substance abuse as medical services;
  • Covering treatment for autism spectrum disorders; and
  • Providing cochlear implants for children 13 years and younger who need them, and hearing aids once every three years

Federal mandates will take effect in September, 2011 and include:

  • Providing unlimited lifetime coverage for essential benefits  (the district’s maximum is now  $1 million);
  • Restricting application of pre-existing conditions to individuals up to age 19 years; and
  • Not allowing over-the-counter medicine as eligible expenses covered through flexible spending accounts.

Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Bryan Ruud said that the changes will have an impact on future insurance expense for all businesses and organizations. He said he would ask Hays Companies representatives to keep School Board members abreast of changes at future meetings.

Nursing services increase

School Board members approved increasing the nursing contract from 625 hours to 1,040 hours because of a new state mandate that requires all staff members who provide medication to be trained by a nurse or a doctor. All school personnel who administer medication to students must receive Department of Public Instruction-approved training. Staff must have their medication administration skills verified by a nurse or physician.

Curriculum initiatives key to learning

Several curriculum initiatives are underway during the 2010-11 school year that Educational Service and Human Resources Director John Roubik outlined.

  • Staff members are identifying essential overall and unit learning targets as well as unit summative assessments.
  • An enriched curriculum review process that includes 21st century skills and Information and Technology Literacy is being completed for mathematics, financial literacy and employability skills, writing and secondary-level communication arts.
  • Vertical teams identify essential skills and concepts so that they can be taught with increasing sophistication and depth as students move through grades and courses;
  • The process of developing common assessments involves identifying learning targets, assessment development, instruction, evaluation of student performance and then refinement of instructional strategies and the assessment.
  • The district’s reading specialists facilitate reading and writing workshops for elementary teachers to assist in implementation of the curriculum.
  • Teacher collaboration through early release days, monthly department meetings and common planning time helps ensure curriculum articulation and smooth transitions for students as they move from grade and course levels.

AODA efforts reported

A variety of methods are used to keep students from getting involved in alcohol and other drug abuse (AODA). Student Assistance Program and AODA Coordinator Kristin Hasbrook presented an annual report to School Board members about those efforts and the results that have been achieved.

Hasbrook reported that in addition to initial screening and referral services provided to students through guidance counselors, staff and administration, students get support through various school activities. The number of high school students who received individual support on a regular basis increased from 52 to 99 students. She attributed the increase to students feeling comfortable with sharing information. She continued working with the In-Health organization to provide training to selected sophomores on depression and suicide prevention so that they could present information to their peers. Among other activities, Hasbrook facilitated a high school teen leader group to support teens with grief and a middle school peer mediation program. She also presented information about drugs and alcohol in middle and elementary school classrooms.

The cost to provide AODA education and counseling services to students amounts to $32,392, with federal Title IV funds covering $8,566 of the total. The remaining $23,826 is covered by the district.

The Get Connected Program is funded through grants from United Way of Waukesha County. Hasbrook coordinated 12 Get Connected programs for parents. She published six parenting columns in school newsletters, worked to get additional United Way funding, implemented a six-week Love and Logic course for elementary parents and provided direct support for 51 families.

Personnel business

In personnel matters, the School Board:

  • approved the retirement of Lannon Elementary School cleaner Janet Muehlbauer; and
  • accepted the resignation of Maple Avenue Elementary School cleaner Thomas Black.