June 20, 2011

Mathematics, communication arts curriculum revised

School Board members approved K-12 mathematics and 6-12 communication arts curriculum revisions that align with new Common Core State Standards designed to be robust, relevant and reflective of skills students will need for success in college and careers.

The mathematics curriculum for students in grades K-5 provides a foundation in whole numbers, addition, subtraction multiplication, division, fractions and decimals. The intent of the curriculum, according to interim Instructional Services Supervisor Katie Little, Ph.D., is to apply the concepts to real-world, authentic situations.

Elementary schools will continue to use the Everyday Math program. Since its adoption, the district seen mathematic achievement gains on state standardized tests. At an earlier meeting, School Board members approved purchase of the newest version of the Everyday Math textbook. Fifth grade students who are ready for acceleration will be provided sixth grade Everyday Math experiences.

The goal at the middle school is to provide a rich preparation for algebra and advanced mathematics courses. Ultimately, the district expects that more students will be ready for algebra in eighth grade.

  • Sixth grade has moved from Everyday Math to transitions math. While all sixth grade teachers are experienced with Everyday Math, they will use a traditional mathematics textbook and integrate Everyday Math strategies.
  • Seventh grade will emphasize algebra preparation;
  • Eighth grade Algebra concepts will incorporate pre-algebra in the first half of the traditional course and prepare students for more abstract high school concepts.

The communication arts curriculum for students in grades 6-12 includes reading, writing, speaking, listening and language usage. Each grade level uses developmentally appropriate literature and nonfiction resources to study personal narrative, creative writing, expository writing, persuasive writing or literary narrative. Grammar is emphasized at all grade levels.

 Little noted that the level of complexity in synthesis and analysis increases significantly as students move through grade levels and courses.

 Mathematics and communication arts curriculums outline the specific learning targets and student “I Can” statements that help students understand what they should know and be able to do. School Board members Deborah Briggs said she was impressed that teachers actually put the “I Can” statements on the board.

 “I think it is great that as students are going along and learning, they see how it ties into the common core standards,” Briggs said.

 Little said that students appreciate knowing what they should know and now often ask teachers for them if they don’t see them.

 Both the mathematics and communication arts revised curriculums were a collaborative effort of members of the curriculum committee as well as almost every teacher in the subject areas, Little said.

 “They are proud of their work, and we are proud of their work,” she said.

 District studies supervision-evaluation models revisions

As federal and state officials study new supervision-evaluation models, the Hamilton School District is looking to pilot and implement a new process that emphasizes best practices in instruction

 Educational Services and Human Resources Director John Roubik provided an update on the status of the supervision-evaluation process. Roubik said the district’s goal is to focus not just on student achievement, but overall best practices in teaching. He said compensation tied to student achievement likely will be part of both federal and state proposals. The district has joined with other school districts that may create regional recommendations for a new model. The district’s goal is to pilot and adopt a model that can be implemented in 2012.

Other business

In other business, the School Board

  • accepted the low bid from Mapleton Dairy which is the district’s current dairy provider;
  • approved minor recommended handbook revisions for elementary, middle and high school, National Honor Society, extra-cocurricular activities and special education procedures;
  • approved continued membership in the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association;
  • approved revised policies and procedures for emergency nursing services and bloodborne pathogens;
  • authorized continued participation in Cooperative Educational Service Agency (CESA) alternative schools and a contract for CESA collaborative services for 2011-12; and
  • gave Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., authorization to participate in CESA consortium grants in 2011-12.

 Personnel business

In personnel matters, the School Board:

  • laid off Marcy paraprofessionals Kristyn Brandt and Corina Lawrence, who had been hired earlier in the year for specific enrollment and student needs;
  • appointed Michael Tennessen as a part-time Hamilton French teacher, Corey Schoonover as a Woodside special education teacher, Ryan Grusenski as a Hamilton part-time German teacher, Jennifer Callan as a Templeton seventh grade teacher, Kristen Hartenberger as a Templeton sixth grade teacher, Steffanie Benitez as a Templeton Spanish teacher, Sarah Zboralski as a Templeton special education teacher and Andrea Green as a Hamilton Spanish teacher;
  • modified the contract of Jennifer Luszak who will go from full-time to a 60 percent contract. The other 40 percent of the position will be posted;
  • approved approximately two percent increases in the per diem pay for the summer school paraprofessional, substitute secretary and administrative assistant. The other 15 positions paid on a per diem basis were kept at the same pay level.

Hamilton announces May students of the month

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

  • Kaleigh Hall, applied engineering and technology;
  • Cory Farrell, social studies;
  • Brittany Paa and Taylor Burns, business education;
  • Jacob Kemp, communication arts;
  • Abigail Purfuerst, art;
  • Cassandra Bolz, mathematics;
  • Nicholas Beauvais, fitness education;
  • Emily Vento, family and consumer sciences;
  • Michael Pellechia, world languages;
  • Michael Yu, music; and
  • Brienne Schaefer, science.

Students received a certificate and a pin for their accomplishment.



Hamilton students attend Badger State

Hamilton High School juniors will again attend Badger Girls and Badger Boys State.

Attending Badger Girls State June 19-24 at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh campus are:

  • Uma Avinash; and
  • Amy Walsh.

Attending Badger Boys State June 11-18 at Ripon College will be:

  • Dan Baker; and
  • Dan Herriges.

The Sussex Lions Club and the Hamilton High School Athletic Department sponsor the students’ participation in the program. The students were chosen based on their interest in government, class standing and qualities of leadership, character and fitness.

For more than 70 years, Wisconsin high school juniors have been chosen to participate in this unique program where they can meet other students and learn about Wisconsin’s system of government. Students attending will learn about city, county and state government by carrying out citizenship procedures such as campaigning, voting and holding offices.

June 7, 2011

Administrative position shaved with revised, realigned descriptions

A series of position changes School Board members approved had the net effect of reducing one full-time administrative position in the district and bringing technology consultant costs down. Here’s how the dominoes fell:

  • The instructional technology/assessment coordinator position was eliminated by assigning assessment responsibilities to the supervisor of instructional services and technology responsibilities to the revised information technology manager position. The supervisor of instructional services will now report to the superintendent and will oversee the technology department.
  • The director of educational services/human resources position was changed to director of human resources and organizational development with less emphasis on curriculum and instruction and more focus on personnel matters in light of a new employment scenario brought on by state legislative changes.
  • The manager of information technology will handle additional supervisory and management functions.
  • The network engineer/computer support technician was revised into the metwork/client support technician, and two positions were established for part-time employees to provide client support and web applications development. Outside contracting for web development was eliminated.

The district is estimated to save more than $40,000 because of the position changes.

DECA members recognized

Hamilton High School DECA members were recognized for success in qualifying for and competing at international competition. DECA advisor and business education teacher Skip Hay described the accomplishments of each student who participated in the student business and marketing association competition. Those honored were Sarah Bregant, Riley Feldmann, Elizabeth Fricke, Brooke Ihlefeld, Clinton Lampshire, Vy Nguyen, Brittany Paa and Lauren Wirsbinski.

Tuition agreement approved

School Board members approved tuition agreement with the Waukesha School District for placement of a student in a virtual school academy.

Personnel business

In other personnel business, the School Board:

  • Approved the resignations of Hamilton administrative assistant Pamela Mason and Hamilton Special Education teacher Joseph Blanchard; and
  • Appointed Murrene Payton, Daniel Tackes and Steve Akin as Summer Opportunities assistant coordinators.

Qualified teachers, paraprofessionals

Federal law requires that school districts share the qualifications of teachers and paraprofessionals. All Hamilton School District teachers are considered “highly qualified,” and all paraprofessionals also meet position requirements. To see state qualifications for a teacher, visit www.dpi.state.wi.us/dpi/dlsis/tel/lisearch.html. To learn more about teacher and paraprofessional qualifications, contact the district’s Educational Services Office.



Classroom Code of Conduct

The 1997 Wisconsin Act 335 requires that  teachers shall be authorized to remove students from class for reasons specified in a School Board-adopted Code of Classroom Conduct. Principals are required to place students from a class in accordance with procedures outlined in the established code. The Hamilton School Board adopted code includes:

• specific reasons for removing a student from a class;

• procedures for determining the appropriate educational placement of a student who has been removed from a class and assigned a placement by the building principal or designee; and

• procedure for notifying parents or guardians of a minor student who has been removed from class.

School offices have the complete code available for review.

Alternative programs

Alternative programming and curriculum modifications are available to students in the Hamilton School District. Requests for programming should be made in writing to the special services supervisor at (262) 246-1973 x1184.



Americans Disabilities Act

The Hamilton School District has taken steps to achieve compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, a law designed to protect individuals with disabilities from discrimination in services, programs or activities.  People interested in the effects of the act may contact the assistant superintendent or building and grounds manager at (262) 246-1973.

Asbestos, air quality

Any Hamilton School District employee or resident may, upon request, view the management plan for any school by requesting an appointment through the Business Office at (262) 246-1973. Requests for viewing will be honored within seven days of request, and copies will be available within 30 days of request. A duplication fee is payable in advance.

Entrance age

Children who meet the entrance age requirements shall be enrolled in kindergarten and first grade in the Hamilton School District.

No children may be admitted to 4- or 5-year-old kindergarten or first grade unless they are four, five or six years of age respectively on or before September 1 of the year they propose to enter school, except as otherwise provided.

Early admission to 5-year-old kindergarten or first grade may be granted only according to established procedures. No early admission shall be granted for 4-year-old kindergarten.