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 400 gifts that will be distributed through the Sussex Food Pantry to local families.
In addition, the Willow Springs staff adopted four families for Christmas and donated items to provide a merry Christmas.
Lannon Elementary School
Lannon Elementary School students, families and staff members contributed 75 new hats, gloves and mittens to Parents Place in Waukesha.
Students created decorated grocery bags donated by Piggly Wiggly to be used at the Sussex Food Pantry.
Lannon staff members provided holiday gifts and necessities for several needy area citizens this holiday season.
Maple Avenue Elementary School
Maple Avenue Elementary School fifth-graders, through their Uniting Kids and Community (UKC) program, sponsored the schoolwide Food for Families drive in November. More than 700 non-perishable food items were donated to the Sussex Food Pantry.
The Veterans Day Committee worked with students to make personalized cards for U.S. military personnel stationed overseas showing support and appreciation for their service to our country.
Buddy classes in first and third grades earned money by doing extra work at home. A total of $747.55 was raised and used to purchase items for children served by the Sussex Food Pantry. They contributed items, including 42 board or card games, 37 miscellaneous toiletries and 33 hats, gloves, mittens and socks.
Maple Avenue staff members sponsored two families providing gifts, books, games, educational toys, clothing, gift cards, snacks and holiday décor for family members. Also, school staff worked with Kohl’s department stores corporate offices to sponsor four additional families for a total of six families sponsored.
Marcy Elementary School
Marcy Elementary School staff raised money for two families that had house fires. The money was used to purchase food while the houses were being repaired.
The entire Marcy student body made cards to send to soldiers. Students also collected candy and toiletries to ship overseas.
Kindergarten classes made “Welcome” cards and gave them to the Ronald McDonald House for children who arrive at the house with their families. 
First grade made holiday cards for the Sussex Outreach Center. Another class is filling a bank with money to donate to a charity.
Third grade collected food items for the Sussex Food Pantry. Cards were made for an area nursing home. One class made treat bags for animals at the Elmbrook Humane society.
A fourth grade class collected gloves and mittens to donate to the Women’s Center in Waukesha.
Fifth grade students collected money for the Heifer Foundation. They raised enough money to buys animals for families in Africa.
Another class is collecting money to donate to the Sussex Food Pantry.
Woodside Elementary School
Woodside’s Health and Wellness Committee hosted its annual Turkey Trot with admission being a non-perishable food item for the Sussex Food Pantry.
Woodside’s Students of Service (SOS) conducted a recycling rummage using donated items from many generous Woodside families. Proceeds from the event went to support Special Olympics. A Special Olympics representative presented information about the organization and the programs it supports at the event and to the entire fourth grade.
Woodside staff members sponsored two families providing them with gifts, books, games, educational toys, clothing, gift cards and cosmetics.
Woodside special education students sold holiday necklaces to staff, students and parents with proceeds used to purchase food and hygiene products for the Sussex Food Pantry.
First and third grade students and their families, in November and December respectively, donated items for the Sussex Food Pantry at their music programs.
A fourth grade classroom collected money for the food pantry, made 100 lunches for the homeless and made holiday cards for nursing home residents.
A fifth grade class earned contributions for Toys for Tots and St. Jude’s Hospital in December.
Templeton Middle School
Computer classes and communication arts classes wrote letters to Marines and sent get well cards that will be distributed to wounded Marines.
Templeton Student Council raised $350 for turkeys for the Sussex Food Pantry, sold glow necklaces and bracelets at the December dance to raise money to purchase gift certificates and presents for local families in need, and held a “ugly sweater” collection to recycle into hats and mittens for those in need.
Templeton staff raised money to buy presents for a family identified by the Waukesha County Christmas Clearing Council
Hamilton High School
Hamilton DECA – In addition to its ongoing fundraising for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and local community service activities, the Hamilton DECA Chapter chose to support Lafollette Elementary School in Milwaukee. DECA members visited Lafollette second grade students to brighten up their holiday season. Every Lafollette second-grader was paired with one or two students from Hamilton who traveled to their school bearing gifts for the children as well as cookies and juice. After spending about an hour with the second-graders, Hamilton DECA members came back to their school with many stories. It was an eye-opening experience, a tradition the chapter plans to continue.
The National Honor Society (NHS) donated nearly 880 half-gallon bottles of 100% juice for needy families in the Milwaukee area. The juice and funds collected went to support the Hunger Task Force. NHS members then went to the Hunger Task Force to help them with their day-before-Thanksgiving HOG Food Drive, sponsored by the HOG radio station. More than two dozen students spent the day unloading approximately 25,000 pounds of donated food from cars and trucks. Because people were in the spirit of giving, they also donated nearly $900 on that day to NHS students who then forwarded those funds to the Hunger Task Force.
Freshman Seminar class sponsored a five-year-old boy through the Waukesha County Christmas Clearing Council and raised money to buy items on a wish list that the boy’s mother provided. Students also brought in toys and clothes they purchased themselves. Students delivered more than two dozen gifts for the boy.
Hamilton School Student Council adopted a family through Waukesha County Clearinghouse. The family consisted of both parents and four children. Student Council members gathered after school to shop, and then students met to wrap the gifts. Two Student Council members and their advisor delivered to gifts to the family.
Spanish Club adopted two Hispanic families (with seven children total) through the Christmas Clearing Council of Waukesha. Students in all Spanish classes donated a total of $688 to purchase gifts for the families including winter jackets, clothing, toys, books and gift cards. Spanish Club members wrapped the gifts and delivered them to the families.
Hamilton Library’s “Snowflakes of Hope” program collected items for families in need. A Novel Idea Book Group and Caring Kids accepted donations for the Sussex Outreach Services and Project Concern in Cudahy. They donated sweaters, scarves, hats, gloves, mittens and toiletries, and gently used clothing.
Sophomores in John Washbush’s advisement period, supported by sociology students in Misti Swanson’s class, focused their efforts on homeless people. As an interpretation of the school’s door-decorating contest theme, “It’s Chilly Outside,” the sophomores decorated their door with pictures of homeless people and statistics about homelessness and poverty in the U.S. and Milwaukee. The decorations also invited people who saw the door to donate hats, mittens, gloves and clothing. Students, especially those studying homelessness in sociology class, collected nearly 200 items of clothing, including jeans, sweatshirts, jackets, hats and mittens, and shoes. The clothes were distributed through Red Door Clothes, a free clothing distribution in Milwaukee’s central city.
Offices A, B, C, Publications and Health Room – High school staff members adopted two families providing them with many items to brighten their holidays including wrapped gifts of toys, games, clothing, food, personal items, household goods and gift cards for families in need.
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’s kindergarten registration to begin soon

Kindergarten registration for children who will attend the Hamilton School District in the 2011-12 school year is set to begin in January. There are several kindergarten options for 4- and 5-year-olds. An optional half-day program for 4-year-olds is available to children who turn four years old on or before Sept. 1, 2011. The district offers parents the option of choosing full- or half-day programming for children who will be five years old on or before Sept. 1, 2011.
Required at registration are the child’s original birth certificate and immunization record. Proof of residency is required when the first child in a family registers in the district. Forms may be downloaded from the district website at www.hamilton.k12.wi.us/district/enrollment.
Also suggested is a list of emergency phone numbers and information if a child will be picked up or dropped off at a location other than home. Children are welcome to attend, but the child’s attendance is not necessary.
Following are three ways to register children for kindergarten in the Hamilton School District.
  • 4K program – Registration is at Willow Springs Learning Center where the program is offered. Willow Springs registration hours are 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Jan. 24 – Jan. 28, with extended hours until 7 p.m. on Jan. 26.
  • 5K program for children currently enrolled in the Willow Springs 4K program – Registration forms containing child’s current information will be sent home the week of Jan. 31. Parents will update information on the forms and choose half- or full-day kindergarten for 2011-12. Parents of current Willow Springs 4-year-old kindergartners are not required to complete registration at their home school.

  • 5K program for children who are not enrolled in the Willow Springs 4K program – Registration is at the school the child will attend in 2011-12. Registration at Lannon, Maple Avenue, Marcy and Woodside elementary schools will be Jan. 31 – Feb. 4.
  1. Hours are:
Lannon Elementary: Monday through Friday, 9:30 – 11 a.m. and 1:30 – 3 p.m. Extended hours on Wednesday from 4 – 6 p.m.
Maple Avenue Elementary: Monday through Friday, 9 – 11 a.m. and 1 – 3 p.m. Extended hours on Wednesday, 4 – 6 p.m.
Marcy Elementary: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with extended hours on Wednesday from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Woodside Elementary: Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. with extended hours on Wednesday from 4 – 6 p.m.
Following are locations and phone numbers for each school.
  • Willow Springs, W220 N6660 Town Line Rd., Menomonee Falls (262) 255-6190;
  • Lannon, 7145 N. Lannon Rd., Lannon (262) 255-6106;
  • Maple Avenue, W240 N6049 Maple Ave., Sussex (262) 246-4220;
  • Marcy, W180 N4851 Marcy Rd., Menomonee Falls (262) 781-8283; and
  • Woodside, W236 N7465 Woodside Rd., Sussex (262) 820-1530.

December 20, 2010

High school celebrates successes

Hamilton High School reached two significant milestones in academic achievement in the 2009-10 school year.

  • The graduating class of 2010 earn a composite score of 24.1 on the ACT, the highest recorded in the history of the school.
  • The percentage of students passing the Advanced Placement exam with a score of three or better reached 89.9 percent while the number of students taking the college-equivalent exams was at its all time highest. The school scored a 1.0 on the  “challenge index,” a ratio determined by dividing the total number of AP exams taken in one year by the number of students graduating that same year.

Principal Candis Mongan updated the School Board on Hamilton’s site plan which identifies that “students will apply 21st century learning to maximize their potential in the global community.”

Action teams met during the summer and composed interventions and implementation steps related to the themes of communication and social responsibility. The interventions state that students will:

  • take an active role in their learning to develop personal and social responsibility skills essential to contribute to their communities; and
  • demonstrate effective communication for a range of purposes in diverse environments.

To continue making progress toward meeting its site plan goal, the school will continue to build an integrated staff development program, modify curriculum and instruction practices based on analysis of standardized test results, examine school data to measure progress and align department plans with site plan interventions.

School Board members expressed appreciation to Mongan and the staff at Hamilton for the school’s achievements.

“The past year was a bang-up year for us as far as achievement,” Deborah Briggs said. “The challenge is to continue to improve.”

Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., said the focus on academic rigor is obvious. She extended appreciation to teachers and leaders at the school who have worked on accelerating academic achievement.

School Board member Lynn Kristensen commented that Hamilton is not just focused on rigor, but also ensuring that students have support when they need it.

UV cleaning system approved for air handling units

An ultra-violet light system that kills mold and bacteria will be installed on all major air-handling units in the district. School Board members approved investing $115,000 to install UV coil bathing units similar to ones installed at the high school with success. While the units have been shown to reduce infection rates in clinical studies, the main benefit of the installing the system is to reduce maintenance and energy costs. The units kill mold and bacteria that grow in coil drain pans in air-handling units. They also destroy biofilm that forms on cooling coils and break down dirt and other growth on the coils. The bioflim and dirt tend to plug the coils over time, requiring more energy to operate them. With UV lights installed, coils stay cleaner and more energy-efficient.

Energy savings from the unit installed at the high school have shown a seven-month payback on the unit, according to Buildings and Grounds Manager Jeff Grove. He estimated that the addition of UV units throughout the district will have a 2-year payback in maintenance and energy savings. Hamilton was selected by UltraViolet Devices, Inc., to participate in a case study and was offered UV components at a reduced cost.

Science curriculum adopted

The School Board adopted a revised science curriculum for students in grades 6-12. The curriculum document format is similar to other recently revised curriculum, and includes overarching learning targets that were established based on the Wisconsin Model Academic Standards, National Science Teachers’ Association Standards and Benchmarks for Science Literacy and Project 2061. The science curriculum committee worked collaboratively last year, with final editing during the summer, to create the learning targets that include:

  • systems, order and organization –all things are part of an orderly interactive system;
  • constancy, change and measurement –scientific measurement can describe constancy and change in nature;
  • form and function – characteristics help an object function and changing these characteristics influence an object’s function;
  • evidence, models and explanations – use of appropriate models explain science themes; and
  • equilibrium and evolution – all living and nonliving things have interdependence and balance that can change over time.

The committee sought to promote a deeper understanding of scientific processes and concepts and relate their knowledge of details and facts with larger scientific principles.

Several programs are being piloted this year at the elementary level. A K-5 science curriculum will be presented for School Board adoption in the spring of 2012.

LaPerriere recognized for performance

Three qualities characterize district maintenance employee David LaPerriere – professionalism, work ethic and dedication to the school district.  Buildings and Grounds Manager Jeff Grove said LaPerriere exemplified those qualities recently when the high school lost its hot water supply. The problem was detected in the afternoon, and LaPerriere essentially needed to re-pipe the entire boiler room to get hot water in time for school the next day. Grove said that when he asked about the likelihood that it could be completed, LaPerriere responded: “Don’t worry about it. If I have to be here all night it will be done.”

Grove said that because LaPerriere is so skilled and able to tackle many projects, he has saved the district hundreds of thousands of dollars because outside contractors were not needed.

In accepting an award for his outstanding contributions to the school district, LaPerriere said, “I never expected anything like this, but I am happy to get it.”

Multicultural activities, Chapter 220 report presented

School Social Worker and Chapter 220 Program Coordinator Erica Bova-Brown provided a report on multicultural initiatives.  She noted in her report that multicultural initiatives are designed to foster respect and understanding of multiple ethnic heritages and prepare students for a global economy through educational opportunities. Chapter 220 students are encouraged to overcome academic obstacles, identify and meet personal goals and use creativity to solve problems.

Hamilton announces November students of the month

Hamilton High School students representing 11 curriculum areas were selected as students of the month for November They are:
  • Joshua Kirchner, applied engineering and technology;
  • Lucas Runingen, social studies;
  • Adam Hastings, business education;
  • Emily Poenitsch, communication arts;
  • Salome Guibreteau, art;
  • Nicholas Block and John Phillips, mathematics;
  • Daniel Jaskolski, fitness education;
  • Amanda Rector, family and consumer education;
  • Emmorie Jossie, world languages;
  • Jonelle Ludin, music; and
  • Joshua Chamberlain, science.
Students received a certificate and a pin for their accomplishment.

Richard Marx to perform Dec. 18 at HFAC in Sussex

Enjoy an up close and personal evening with Richard Marx Dec. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center in Sussex as he performs “Stories to Tell,” a concert of his favorite songs and personal stories.
For more than 20 years, 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.”
Marx’s songwriting credits can be found as producer and co-writer of some of today’s hottest talent, including  Daughtry, Keith Urban, Lifehouse, Sister Hazel and Vertical Horizon.
Tickets are $30 for reserved seats and may be purchased online at www.HamiltonFineArtsCenter.com or at the door for $35.
The Hamilton Fine Arts Center is located at W220 N6151 Townline Road, Sussex. No phone orders accepted, please.

Hamilton students nominated for Kohl recognition

Hamilton High School seniors Erin Swierczek, Julie Posh and Jamie Destache were nominated at the regional level for recognition programs initiated by the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation.
The Kohl Excellence Scholarship Program recognizes student leadership, citizenship, school and community involvement and academic achievement. Students who are selected at the state level receive a $1,000 scholarship to pursue postsecondary education.
U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl established the Kohl Foundation Fellowship program in 1990. The awards programs are co-sponsored by The Herb Kohl Educational Foundation, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Wisconsin Council of Religious and Independent Schools, Wisconsin Cooperative Educational Service Agencies and the Wisconsin Newspaper Association.
State selections will be announced in March.

December 7, 2010

Willow Spring retires one, redefines two tactics

Willow Springs Learning Center celebrated the accomplishment of one tactic and redefined two others as representative staff, parents and volunteers reviewed the site plan at its Nov. 16 annual update. Principal Margaret Tackes, Ed.D, described the year’s accomplishments for School Board members. She noted that staff:

  • addressed the new Wisconsin Model of Early Learning standards through professional development activities that included an invitation to area daycare providers in an effort to develop continuity, programming and transitioning for students. These actions were part of the  retired strategy dealing with social-emotional components of the 4K curriculum that was deemed to be fully embedded in school operations;
  • started implementation of a 4K-to-5K transition program in which Willow teachers observed 4K “graduates” in their new 5K setting during first semester, and invited 5K teachers to Willow Springs during the second semester to watch their future students. Willow students will visit their new neighborhood elementary school in May to meet staff, tour their future school and participate in a school story and snack in the cafeteria;
  • developed 21st century skills by focusing on problem solving skills. Students participated in a series of all-school assemblies in which key content areas were presented. All students participate in expectations regarding greetings, problem solving and conflict resolution.

Tackes said the school will focus on two new tactics as the staff seeks to enrich students in a unique, well-defined and articulated four-year-old kindergarten program. The tactics indicate students completing their 4K experience at Willow Springs will:

  • enter their neighborhood 5K school experiences with developmentally social-emotional, pre-academic, fine and gross motor and communication skills; and
  • demonstrate readiness attributes regarding the knowledge skills and dispositions for 21st century skills in the areas of communication, conflict resolution, creativity, collaboration and technology skills.

To address these tactics, staff members will investigate early interventions, continue transitioning evening and opportunities with receiving schools, include 4K and 5K teachers in vertical teaming, investigate Positive Behavior and Intervention Systems program, enhance all-school assemblies to develop social skills development and problem solving and develop learning skills through the use of technology.

School Board member Deborah Briggs praised the school for its development of report cards that place an emphasis on building up students. She also said that staff commitment to serving the four-year-olds at the school is apparent.

District strategic plan progresses

Four strategic plans have provided direction for the school district since 1991. Educational Services and Human Resource Director John Roubik gave an update of the progress made in the third year of the latest plan. Strategies indicate that the district will:

  • ensure rigorous, relevant curriculum and innovative instruction to support maximum achievement for each child;
  • engage and empower students, differentiate instruction and ensure continuous progress for each child by implementing quality assessment practices;
  • focus professional development on the knowledge and skills staff need as they educate student to thrive in an inter-connected, global community;
  • utilize effective communication practices to promote understanding, support and involvement of our families, community and staff;
  • create learning environments that nurture social and emotional development an respect for our diverse world; and
  • integrate and assess 21st century skills in the areas of financial literacy, employability skills and technological literacy.

Senior volunteer recognized

The School Board recognized Willow Springs Seniors and Students volunteer Gayrene Chambers for her work at Willow Springs. Principal Margee Tackes said Chambers, who began volunteering at Willow Springs seven years ago when her grandson was a student there, is a part of the school’s climate and culture.

“Gayrene has a love of children and a very special way about her that endears children and staff,” Tackes said.

In addition to volunteering in three classrooms each week and logging many hours at special events, Chamber created the Tucker Turtle costume, worn by school staff members to reinforces ideas for positive behavior. Tackes noted that when the school could not find a ready-made costume, Chambers shopped for material, created a pattern and sewed the costume so that the character could be a part of school assemblies.

Personnel business

In personnel action, the School Board:

  • appointed Gerald Herman, a high school cleaner who wanted part-time hours, to work four hours a day at Maple Avenue; and
  • hired Kristyn Brandt as a part-time Marcy instructional and supervision paraprofessional.

Community invited to combined holiday concert

The Hamilton High School Concert Choir, under the direction of Marilyn Ann Mascitti, and Templeton Middle School Eighth Grade Chorus, under the direction of Jaye Mier, will perform a combined concert Dec.15 at 1 p.m. for community members, family and friends. The holiday concert will feature holiday season classics and contemporary music.
There is no charge to attend this performance, so choir members hope to see many people there. This is a wonderful opportunity to share the joy of music with the community and welcome in the holiday season.
The concert will be presented in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center, W220 N6151 Town Line Road, Sussex.