Hamilton Band Boosters hosts Italian dinner Feb. 16

An evening of great food and entertainment is in store for people Feb. 16 as the Hamilton School District Band Boosters hosts its annual Jazzy Italian Dinner from 5 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the all-you-can-eat dinner are $8 for adults and $6 for senior citizens, students and children under 18 years.
The public is invited to enjoy a delicious spaghetti dinner while listening to musical entertainment provided by the Hamilton High School Jazz Band. Additional entertainment includes a 50/50 raffle and silent auction baskets. A free combined Templeton Middle School and Hamilton High School band concert follows at 7 p.m. in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center.
To reserve a spot for dinner and guarantee a seat, please call Denise James at (262) 820-0272 or e-mail her at bndjamesgang@yahoo.com or Ruth Schulze at (262) 372-4049 or e-mail at rschulze6@wi.rr.com.
Hamilton High School and the Hamilton Fine Arts Center are located at W220 N6151 Town Line Rd., Sussex.

Woodside student takes first at hoop shoot

Woodside Elementary School fifth-grader Adam Hartung took first place Jan. 22 in the Elks Hoop Shoot Contest held at John Marshall High School in Milwaukee. He will advanced to state competition Feb. 12 in Wausau where he and his family will get a two-night stay, pizza party, breakfast and afternoon awards banquet courtesy of the Elks Club.
If Hartung is successful at the state competition he will advance to Iowa City in March. Finalists then compete at nationals in April in Springfield, Mass.
In addition to Hartung’s success, Woodside fifth-grader Taylor Fuerstenberg took third place at the Milwaukee event.

Early admission to school deadline approaches

Parents who want their children considered for early admission into a Hamilton School District 5-year-old kindergarten or first grade class next fall should apply in writing by March 1 to their elementary school principal. Application forms are available at elementary school offices.
Children who turn five on or before Sept. 1, 2011 meet normal entrance age requirements for the 2011-12 5-year-old kindergarten class; those who turn six on or before Sept. 1, 2011 are eligible to enter first grade.
Parents making application will meet with the principal. During that time, a brief interview will take place and the application will be completed. The child should demonstrate superior intellectual development, superior language skills and advanced physical, social and emotional maturity. Parents will be contacted no later than mid-March about the next step in the process.
For more information about early admission, contact an elementary school principal or Special Services Supervisor Mardi Freeman at (262) 246-1973 x1184.

Maya Pechenov wins Templeton Geographic Bee

After nail-biting competition, Templeton Middle School produced its school champion from the top eight finalists in its Geographic Bee. Eighth-grader Maya Pechenov emerged as the 2011 school champion after rounds of intense questions, up against seven other school finalists. The other finalists were Michael Barnes, who was named runner-up, and Zackary Buschke, Connor Davidson, Miranda Milbrath, Andrew O’Neill, Dominic Pino and Nicolas Schmudlach.
All Templeton students participated in a preliminary round by taking a 25-question written test. Students who scored highest on that test advanced to the semi-final round which was held Jan. 5. The eight finalists took part in the Jan. 13 final round.
As the school champion, Pechenov took a written test to qualify for state level competition. Up to 100 of the top scorers in each state will be eligible to compete April 1 in state level National Geographic Bee events. The winner of each state bee will travel to Washington, D.C., in May to participate in the national event.

Hamilton drama to present “Little Shop of Horrors!”

The Hamilton High School Drama Department is pleased to present its production of “Little Shop of Horrors!” Feb. 10-13 in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center (HFAC). Performances begin at 7 p.m. on Feb. 10, 11 and 12 and at 2 p.m. on Feb. 13. Ticket prices are $8 adults and $5 students and senior citizens. A special promotion for seniors citizens is a “buy one get one free” for the Sunday matinee only. For information, please call the drama Box Office at (262) 246-6471 x1552.
People are invited to support the Hamilton Drama Program by enjoying a classic fried chicken dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Feb. 12 in the high school Cafeteria. Then stay and see the Saturday performance of “Little Shop of Horrors!” Chicken dinner tickets are $8 and include fried chicken, sides, beverage and dessert. Because a dinner count is needed, this event is by advance ticket purchase or reservation only.  Make dinner reservations by Feb. 6 by contacting Laurie Cox at (262) 246-8491 or lcox@wi.rr.com.. Tickets for the performance will be sold separately in the HFAC.
For more information, please call the Box Office at 246-6471 x1552. The Hamilton Fine Arts Center is located at W220 N6151 Town Line Rd., Sussex.

Maple Avenue fifth-graders donate to JDRF

As part of its “Buck a Book” program. Christina Garley’s fifth-grade classroom at Maple Avenue Elementary donated $50 to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF ).  Since the 2006-07 school year when students began participating in the Buck a Book program, Garley’s fifth grade classes have donated a total of $450  to various organizations. The reading incentive program encourages students to read on their own time and raise money for a cause they deem important. Parent feedback regarding the program indicates that it has been successful in motivating students to read.
For each book students complete and record in their reading log, they bring in $1 or whatever they can from home. Once $50 is collected, the class decides where to donate the money. The class chose to donate to JDRF because it is a leader in setting the agenda for diabetes research worldwide and is the largest charitable funder of and advocate for type 1 diabetes research. The mission of JDRF is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research.
Maple Avenue Elementary School is located at W240 N6059 Maple Ave. in Sussex.


Question: My daughter says she is being bullied at school. How do I know if it is true bullying or normal school issues? If she is being bullied how can I help out?


Answer: There is a big difference between bullies and children who are not being nice. Unfortunately, it is hard to know unless you are watching it happen. Bullies bully because they like to do it. They think it is fun to pick on people and feel no remorse when the victim shows emotion. They enjoy it. In fact, they thrive on it. A child who merely is being mean will show remorse and feel badly about it. Bullies will continue to bully repeatedly. Children who are being mean often stop after the first time.

Another characteristic of bullies is that they bully in situations where there is an imbalance of power — meaning the bully has either psychological or physical power over the victim. The victim can not stand up to the bully because if he or she tries, the bully will win the confrontation.

It is important that if your child is being bullied that an adult is notified at the school. The only way to prevent bullying is to have adult intervention. When this happens the bully does not have the power or control anymore. Counselors, administrators, teachers are all people who can help your child. Do not hesitate to talk to them if you feel your child is being bullied.

Concern about friends: older students

Question: My son is hanging around with kids who are not polite and they seem to have different goals than my child. I worry about him getting into trouble with some of them. What should I do?


Secondary A: This is a difficult question because so many factors are involved.  First, it is important to know your son’s friends. Sometimes, first impressions and appearances are not always accurate. Spending time with your child’s friends can turn the “I think” to “I know.”

After spending time with them and you are sure your child’s friends would be a bad influence, simply banning your son from seeing them could backfire. The more you tell your child not to see a friend, the more defiant he may become. A better option is to monitor his actions. You will not be able to control who he spends time with during the school day, but you can limit contact at other times. Know where your son is at all times and be sure that he is safe. Consider not allowing your child to go out at night or having an earlier curfew when the kids who cause you concern will be involved. If he is going to a party, call ahead and make sure it will be monitored by adults, and communicate your values and expectations to the parents of your son’s friends.

Holding your son accountable for his actions will help deter him from getting involved in inappropriate activities. Research shows that the most important reason children do not drink is because of their parents’ response to it.

Concern about friends: younger students

Question: My son is hanging around with kids who are not polite and they seem to have different goals than my child. I worry about him getting into trouble with some of them. What should I do?


Answer: This is a difficult question because so many factors are involved.  First, it is important to know your son’s friends. Sometimes, first impressions and appearances are not always accurate. Spending time with your child’s friends can turn the “I think” to “I know.”

After spending time with them and you are sure your child’s friends would be a bad influence, you must monitor his free time. You won’t be able to control who he spends time with during the school day, but fortunately, younger children must rely on their parents to coordinate “play dates.” When your son asks to see a certain friend you can guide him to one who is more appropriate. It is important that you do not openly disapprove of his friends because he may push harder to see the friend you don’t like. Guiding your children toward good friendships is fundamental in their growth.  Friends provide modeling that become integral in their development.  Helping them find good friends, with similar expectations, is an important part of parenting.

January 17, 2011

Few students have unpaid fees

The number of Hamilton High School students who had unpaid school fees in the past six years is significantly less than it had been prior to changes in collection procedures implemented in 2005. Only three students from the class of 2010 had unpaid fees for a combined $120, compared to the class of 2004 that had 13 students with unpaid fees amounting to $1,891.

Beginning with the class of 2005, the district changed procedures to reduce outstanding school fees among Hamilton students. Six invoices are sent each year to students with unpaid fees, and students who have unpaid fees are not able to get parking permits until they are paid up. In addition, balances greater than $50 are turned over to a collection agency each July.

Prior to fee collection modifications, 3.32 to 6.64 percent of students from the graduating classes of 2000 to 2004 had unpaid fees. After collection procedures were changed, the percentage of students with unpaid fees dropped to .31 to 2.67.

Administrators noted that they are sensitive to the needs of families that are affected by the difficult economy and will remain flexible to minimize the impact on families when possible.

Marcy site plan approved

Principal Michele Trawicki reported on Marcy Elementary School’s Site Plan in which she reviewed the school’s progress. The site plan includes the following three tactics which are addressed by action plans.

  • Students, staff and parents will attain the highest possible levels of achievement through the use of effective and innovative practices;
    • Action plan progress: Piloted assessment-for-learning material, allocated staff development time, created forms folder on network and provided in-services on learning targets, formative assessment, student self-reflection, effective student feedback and success vs. intervention feedback
  • The Marcy community will actively embrace its vision statement through implementation of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS);
    • Action plan progress: Completed PBIS Tier 1 and Tier 2 coaching training, refined discipline referral and behavior reminder forms, trained staff on ODR and BR, and formed subcommittees for acknowledgement, bus, data and recess
  • Students will receive the academic support they need through the creative and efficient allocation of time and resources by all members of the Marcy community.
    • Action plan progress: Held Marcy Math game night, created math resources Moodle page, compiled and distributed vocabulary lists, monitored and analyzed WKCE and MAP scores, reviewed and revised assessment process for new Marcy students, and transferred test prep questions to Smartboard form.

Future plans include:

  • Developing learning targets in a content area with ideas for formative and summative assessment and feedback procedures;
  • Studying progress monitoring;
  • Further implementing PBIS through alignment of consequences with behavior, a winter recess rodeo, data analysis, cool tools for recess re-teaching, teaching substitutes about PBIS and lunchroom procedures;
  • Implementing math buddies once a quarter;
  • Analyzing WKCE and MAP test weak areas;
  • Developing and introducing options for math enrichment; and
  • Refining ways to help students who need re-teaching.

 School Board member Lynn Kristensen complimented the Marcy staff for its work on PBIS, a framework that focuses on positive academic and behavioral practices, which Kristensen said has “changed the entire environment” at Marcy. She said she observes students who are respectful and encouraging of one another.

 Trawicki agreed that PBIS has had a positive impact on the school. She noted that when she first came to the school in 2008 she had 25 bus referrals the first week, and this year she has had less than six all year.

Middle school course catalog approved

The School Board approved middle school course catalog changes that contained no major revisions, but terminology that reflected greater specificity, clarity and alignment with district initiatives.

Personnel business

In personnel business, the School Board accepted the retirement request of Hamilton High School technology education teacher James Lawinger and Hamilton High School physical education teacher Christine Dolphin, both effective at the end of the school year.