A hallmark of Hamilton High School staff members is their commitment to consistently seek ways to increase student learning and achievement. This outstanding dedication prompted the school community in 1996 to restructure to a four-period day, which allows implementation of the most effective teaching strategies. Classes meet for 83 minutes with one shortened hour allotted to an advisement and resource hour that replaces study halls and the old home room concept. By nearly doubling the class period, students finish a yearlong course in one semester.
In addition to a rigorous core curriculum of mathematics, language arts and science, the school offers an array of classes designed to prepare students for whatever they wish to pursue after high school, whether continuing their education at a university, technical school or entering the world of work or armed services. Highlights of the school’s offerings include an Honors Program, Advanced Placement courses and their equivalent high-level capstone courses and world languages classes.
Opportunities exist that allow students to apply their knowledge outside the classroom. Apprenticeships, work experience opportunities and co-op programs are available. Hamilton High School partners with GE Healthcare and Rockwell Automation in an international robotics competition. Project Lead the Way — a national science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education program — prepares students in rigorous hands-on curriculum. In addition, the Charger Corner, the school store, provides marketing students the chance to practice marketing and accounting concepts learned in business education coursework.
The school’s guidance counselors offer individual support groups, scholarship information, testing resources, career counseling, college information and job opportunities to all students.
The Learning Center provides alternatives for students who are credit-deficient through P.A.S.S. and G.A.P., individualized course programs and summer school credit courses. The Academic Assistant Program is offered through the Learning Center, allowing responsible, interested students the opportunity to shadow and work with district teachers. In addition, students have the option of attending an after-school study program, Club Success, designed to assist students in improving overall study skills, habits and strategies.
The doors of Hamilton High School opened in 1962 to freshman and sophomores assigned to the new high school who had previously attended Pewaukee, Arrowhead, Germantown, Menomonee Falls, Brookfield, Wauwatosa and Waukesha. Each consecutive year, a class was added until the first senior class graduated in the spring of 1965. The school’s name is in honor of Alexander Hamilton, a signer of the Constitution who fought for freedom, one of the rights being the freedom of education. The name was chosen in a “Name the School Contest” held in 1959 submitted by Butler resident Linda Wicklund.
Significant additions to the original building include new classrooms in 1970, a science wing with eight state-of-the-art science classrooms in 1996 and the Hamilton Fine Arts Center in 2004. This 35,000-square-foot addition includes a 750-seat theater, full-fly stage, orchestra pit for live musical accompaniment, ticket booth, dressing rooms, new music rooms, costume-prop storage, control booth area and art display area. During the summer of 2008, the school’s main gymnasium underwent a major facelift, including updated bleachers, floor and overall appearance followed by upgrades to internal and external scoreboards in 2012. The Hamilton Athletic Center, a multipurpose facility with space for fitness education classes during the day and athletic training after school, was completed November 2014.