4-year-old kindergartners participate in Harvest Fest

Students in the Hamilton School District’s 4-year-old kindergarten program will celebrate the season of fall Oct. 19 at Harvest Fest.

School staff members and families are working together to plan this event that will culminate the students’ study of the changing seasons. The event is sponsored by Willow Springs Learning Center and the Willow Springs 4K Parent Group. Many local businesses and families provided generous donations to make the event successful.

The students will experience fall at stations including:

  • hay riding;
  • creating a harvest vest to wear in the Oct. 25 all-school parade;
  • learning about animals in the fall; and
  • enjoying a pumpkin cookie for a snack.

The activities will begin at 9 a.m. for the morning kindergarten session and at 1 p.m. for the afternoon session.

The 4-year-old kindergarten program is housed at Willow Springs Learning Center, W220 N6660 Town Line Road, Menomonee Falls.

 

Hamilton students recognized in NMSC competition

Two Hamilton High School seniors, Caroline Hope and Brooke Schounard, learned that they were named in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program. Eligibility for the distinction is based on results of the 2011 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test which was taken by more than 1.5 million students nationwide.

Hope and Schounard were  named Semifinalists. They are among approximately 16,000 Semifinalists nationwide and will continue in the 2013 competition for Merit Scholarship awards. The 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.

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 440 business organizations and higher education institutions to honor the nation’s scholastic champions and encourage the pursuit of academic excellence.

Foundation presents awards, grants to Hamilton staff

The Hamilton Education Foundation presented 12 Hamilton School District staff members with awards at the Aug. 29 Back-to-School Breakfast. Four teachers were presented with A Class Act tributes, another seven teachers were awarded New Horizons Grants and one support staff member received the ROSS award.

A Class Act Tributes salute teachers for meritorious performance in the classroom who are outstanding role models in “enhancing our children’s futures.” These awards went to (from left): Templeton Middle School teachers Kerri Warsh, Kristy Laurich, Erin Maslowski and Judy Schatz.

New Horizons grants will fund a total of about $5,000 unique and innovative projects as requested by Hamilton teachers to enrich or supplement teaching efforts and learning activities that directly benefit students.  Each New Horizon Grant offers up to $750 to help implement new ideas into the class curriculum beyond those supported by budgeted school funds. Since its inception in 1991, the Hamilton Education Foundation has awarded nearly $150,000 in New Horizons Grants to more than 322 teachers for projects which have benefitted more than 43,000 students in the elementary, middle and high schools. The following teachers were awarded 2012-13 New Horizons grants: (from left front row) Marcy Elementary School teachers Caryn Deeken, Amanda Norris and Kaye Hunt, Templeton Middle School teachers Lisa Schmeling, Mary Caucutt and Tina Hill, (back row) Marcy Elementary teachers Pam Biron, Bridget Matthiesen, Willow Springs Learning Center teacher Rheann Fegley, Templeton teachers Kristin Hill, Angela Weber, Marie Kramer, Jennifer Callan and Erin Maslowski.

Recognition of Support Staff (ROSS) tributes are presented to district support staff members who are committed and dedicated to a positive and professional environment in Hamilton schools. This award went to Woodside paraprofessional Karin Burleson pictured with Hamilton Education Foundation trustees Jackie Rottler, left and Peggy Youngblood.

 

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September 17, 2012

Special education paraprofessional time added

Hamilton School Board members approved adding seven hours of daily paraprofessional services at Marcy and Maple Avenue elementary schools to ease the demand for special education services. Special Services Supervisor Mardi Freeman requested the additional aide time because of new students who enrolled in the district who have significant needs. An additional three hours each day was approved for Maple Avenue and four hours for Marcy at a cost of $22,000 for the school year.

Ladd reports on successful summer school session

Another successful Summer Opportunities session was realized in 2012. Summer Opportunities Director and Lannon Elementary School Principal Dick Ladd reported on accomplishments of the highly popular four-week summer school program that drew 2,065 students to the district for a range of enrichment and invitational classes. Ladd noted that this year’s program increased total student enrollment and improved academic support for students with the addition of more staff. Total staff numbered 251 teachers, paraprofessionals, administrative assistants, teaching assistants and coordinators.

At a previous meeting, the School Board accepted Ladd’s recommendation for 2013 summer school dates. The 2013 session will be June 19 – July 17. Next year’s summer school will start on a Wednesday instead of the typical Monday first day because the last teacher work day for the regular school year is June 12, with high school graduation on June 15. The later end dates are typical of other area school districts. The start date was moved to a Wednesday to allow for scheduling of summer school staff meetings, training and preparation. Pushing the schedule later in the summer would create problems for the cleaning and maintenance of school buildings in preparation for the start of school in fall. Another change in the schedule will give students two days off for the July 4 holiday. Normally, summer school is not in session on just July 4, but school attendance drops significantly when the holiday falls on a Thursday as it does in 2013.

High school initiatives support student achievement, teacher development

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 of staff members have created interventions and implementation steps related to 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.

Each high school department develops goals and assessment tools to measure student growth in identified areas. They then interpret results each semester and present data to administrators and the school’s steering committee.

Following are descriptions of supportive measures put in place to support student achievement:

  • Advisement Curriculum –students learn about standardized test preparation, financial literacy, reading strategies and college-career readiness planning, among other topics, during intervention period;
  • GAP Advisement – students not proficient on the grade 8 WKCE learn study skills;
  • GAP College – Advanced Placement (AP) students get reinforcement for college-level study skills;
  • PASS – individual pacing for students through 32 computer courses used for credit recovery;
  • Advanced Placement Preparatory Seminar – a six-hour seminar that focuses on study and research skills for success in higher level courses;
  • Introduction to ACT – two mandatory advisement sessions prior to students taking the practice ACT exam;
  • Junior-Senior ACT Survey – junior and senior survey data provided to guidance counselors who help students plan for greatest success on the ACT;
  • Gearing Up – practice test sessions facilitated by their teacher given to AP students two months before testing;
  • Math-Reading RtI Advisement – a double dose of instruction to support students who were not proficient on the grade 8 WKCE;
  • Portfolio Advisement – for students who are below average on the grade 10 WKCE where the goal is to demonstrate mastery of content through a student portfolio;
  • Writing Lab – assistance during advisement for students who need help with writing, editing and research skills;
  • Reading Resource – students learn and apply study skills, vocabulary and test-taking strategies to assist with reading, writing, organization and study skills; and
  • Club Success – afterschool homework program that helps students with study skills, learning strategies and homework completion.

In addition to the students measures, teacher development is addressed through the walk-through documentation process, literacy implementation plans, peer review visits and monthly staff development meetings.

Results of the school’s efforts show sustained growth and recent scores at all-time highs for AP, ACT and the Challenge Index.

Personnel business

In personnel action, the School Board:

  • accepted the resignation of Woodside paraprofessional Katherina Schneiker and Maple paraprofessional Kristin Brehm; and
  • appointed Colleen McCarthy as a part-time Maple Avenue Early Mathematics Empowerment paraprofessional, Kayla Vits as a part-time Maple Avenue Instructional & Supervision paraprofessional and Judy Flegner as a part-time Marcy special services paraprofessional.

“Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids” comes to Hamilton

Top athletic entertainers will come to Hamilton High School Sept. 17 to educate students about the dangers of tobacco use, offer information on combatting the pressure to use tobacco and provide tips for tobacco-use cessation.

A national action-sports event producer will bring its ASA High School Tour to the high school where students will see spectacular BMX, inline skating and skateboarding performance featuring top X-game stars including Anthony Furlong, Trevor Mayer, John Parker, Koji Kraft and Jimmy Walker. The outdoor program which begins at 1:15 p.m. incorporates announcements, brochures and trivia questions to help students understand the dangers of all forms of tobacco use from dip and chew to cigars and cigarettes.

The tour includes a 14-foot half pipe on which the professional athletes will perform stunts during the on-campus assembly where students will be encouraged to interact with the athletes and engage in a trivia session to earn prizes by answering questions about the dangers of tobacco use. Students also will have the opportunity to talk to pros about how they can remain tobacco-free.

The 11-city fall ASA High School Tour kicked off this month in Denver and will make 55 stops to area schools. For more information about the ASA High School Tour, supported by the United States Marine Corps, or the tour’s Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids activities, please visit www.ASAentertainment.com/events/ASAHighSchoolTour.

Hamilton High School is located at W220 N6151 Town Line Road, Sussex.

 

Hamilton student elected at Badger State

Hamilton High School senior Kate Wehrman was elected governor of 2012 Badger Girls State held this summer at the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh campus. Wehrman was one of 711 delegates who attended the weeklong session sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary.

After studying government processes, organizing into two mock political parties and conducting campaigns, Badger Girls State participants elected fellow delegates for local, county and state offices. Wehrman was sworn into office by Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Shirley Abrahamson, delivered her acceptance speech and performed duties as governor at the final assembly. She was also a guest in July at the Wisconsin American Legion Auxiliary convention in Middleton.

Badger Girls State began more than 70 years ago and emphasizes the role of responsible citizenship in good government. The American Legion Auxiliary designed the nonpartisan, nonpolitical program to train future stateswomen in the science of government. Girls State program goals are to develop leadership and pride in American citizens, instill a greater understanding of American traditions and stimulate a desire to maintain the democratic government process.

 

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PSAT offered Oct. 17 at Hamilton

The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) will be given Oct. 17 from 7:20 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Hamilton High School. This voluntary test provides an opportunity for college-bound sophomores and juniors to experience and practice taking a shortened version of the SAT Reasoning Test. (The SAT may be used for the University of Wisconsin System admission although the ACT is preferred.)

For juniors, the PSAT is the only route of entry into the National Merit Scholarship Competition (NMSC) and may be required for some other scholarships.  Sophomores who are interested in entering the NMSC next year are encouraged to take the PSAT this year as practice.

Interested students must register in the high school guidance office by Oct. 1.  The $15 test fee is payable at the time of registration. Juniors enrolled in the free or reduced lunch program are eligible for a fee-waiver. Please contact the school Guidance Department for more information.

HFAC announces 2012-13 performing arts season

The 2012-13 performing arts season could be the best yet for the Hamilton Fine Arts Center (HFAC) as it presents national headliners and top-notch entertainment for everyone.

 

Hotel California – A Salute to the Eagles – Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m.

For more than two decades Hotel California has touched the hearts of fans all over the world by faithfully and accurately reproducing the Grammy award-winning sounds of the Eagles. See the spirited blend of originality mixed with world renowned vocal harmony and a phenomenal light show on Eagles’ megahits, including “Take it Easy,” “Heartache Tonight” and, of course, “Hotel California.” Reserved seating tickets are $20. Add $5 at the door.  

 

Mark Wood of Trans-Siberian Orchestra with Hamilton High School Band – Jan. 9 at 7 p.m.

Not only is Mark Wood known as string master and original member for the multi-platinum-selling symphonic rock extravaganza, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, he has collaborated with and appeared alongside some the biggest names in music including Lenny Kravitz, Celine Dion and Kanye West. As a member of his touring band, Wood performed with the legendary Billy Joel for both historic final concerts at Shea Stadium, sharing the stage with Paul McCartney, Steven Tyler and Roger Daltry. Wood has appeared on the world’s most venerable stages including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and Madison Square Garden, and he now performs with our very own Hamilton High School band! The musical selections are surprising and include Wood’s own compositions and arrangements of classic rock and contemporary music such as Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train,” Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven,” and the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” General seating tickets are $20. Add $5 at the door.

 

Lorna Luft celebrates her mother, Judy Garland, in “Songs My Mother Taught Me” with the Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra – May 11 at 7:30 p.m.

Lorna Luft celebrates her mother, Judy Garland, in this very special Mother’s Day concert performed with the Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra. Born to legendary entertainer Judy Garland and producer Sid Luft, Lorna Luft is a celebrated live performer, stage, film and television actress, best-selling author, recording artist and Emmy-nominated producer. One of her most ambitious projects to date is this highly acclaimed multi-media production. This theatrical extravaganza melds one of the world’s most familiar songbooks with personal memories from a loving daughter. General seating tickets are $25 adults, $20 seniors and $10 students.

 

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 2012-13 performing arts season.

 

Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra presents “Scheherazade” –  Oct. 28 at 2 p.m.
Rimsky-Korsakov’s most remarkable creation, “Scheherazade,” is the cornerstone of this concert. Recounting the enchanting stories she told the Persian king that kept him spellbound, this symphonic suite speaks volumes with no words, simply the picturesque timbres of the symphony orchestra. Don’t miss this tale as told by the Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra. General seating tickets are $15 adults, $12 seniors and $6 students.

 

Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra presents “A Storybook Christmas” – Dec. 2 at 2 p.m.
Sit back and enjoy ageless stories of Christmas narrated with the musical leadership of the Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra. Children of all ages will delight in hearing about Rudolf, Frosty, “The Polar Express,” “Twas the Night Before Christmas” and many more. General seating tickets are $15 adults, $12 seniors and $6 students.

 

Brookfield Academy presents “Annie Get Your Gun” – March 8 and 9 at 6:30 p.m., March 9 and 10 at 2 p.m.
Performed by Brookfield Academy, this wild west show-within-a-show tells the ageless love story of the sharpest sharpshooter, Annie Oakley, and the heart-throb of Buffalo Bill’s traveling show, Frank Butler. Hum along to unforgettable tunes like “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “I Got The Sun in the Morning” and “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better.” Enjoy a dazzling score and laugh-a-minute fun that delights audiences young and old. Reserved seating tickets are $15 adults, $10 seniors and $5 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. beginning Oct. 3.  The Hamilton Fine Arts Center is located at W220 N6151 Town Line Road, Sussex. No phone orders accepted, please.

September 4, 2012

Technology summer work detailed

Buildings and Grounds Committee Chairman Michael Hyland recapped a report that district Information Technology Manager Ryan McMillan presented at the committee level earlier in the evening. The report included details about recently completed information technology updates, upgrades and implementation including:

  • third phase completion of the district’s network infrastructure upgrade;
  • other network initiatives such as expanded storage for student and staff data, Storage Area Network firmware upgrade, implementation of the new back-up system, and segmenting and firewalling the wireless network to allow students and staff to attach their own devices;
  • software initiatives;
  • successful summer school online registration;
  • installation of 25 SMART board projection systems;
  • replacement or installation of nearly 300 desktops and laptops; and
  • resolution of more than 4,200 HelpDesk trouble tickets from staff. 

Curriculum work, training keep staff busy in summer

Staff members worked on numerous curriculum projects and professional development activities during the summer. The curriculum projects were communication arts  Common Core text alignment, blended Global Issues course development, high school advisement restructuring and Response to Intervention (RtI) math and reading interventions.

Professional development included training in the administrator-teacher effectiveness model, elementary science, grade 8 communication arts, Rti train-the-trainer model, new teacher induction and the Hamilton-Pewaukee cooperative Technology and Learning Academy. Total costs for the curriculum work and professional development was $28,750.

Board sets annual goals

The School Board established four 2012-13 goals for the superintendent and school board. They include:

  •  Develop resources and implement strategies and initiatives to enhance student achievement;
  •  Update the district Strategic Plan;
  •  Identify implications of state and federal initiatives for the district and develop and operationalize strategies for implementation;
  •  Develop communication plan to assist stakeholders in understanding the new state accountability system; and
  •  Update board policies and position descriptions.

Personnel news

In personnel business, the School Board:

  • accepted resignations of Marcy physical education teacher Joshua Repovsch, Templeton special services paraprofessional Ben Bunke, Maple Avenue paraprofessional Vicki Linzmeyer, Maple Avenue paraprofessional Stacie Benson and Marcy special services paraprofessional Lisa Anderson — all had teaching certification and obtained teaching positions;
  • appointed Aaron Dow as Templeton night foreman custodian, Brooke Umnus as Marcy grade 1 replacement teacher, Leigh Ann Gabbard as Maple Avenue special services paraprofessional, Margaret Wrobleski as a Templeton paraprofessional, Sue Ritter as a Templeton paraprofessional, Devon Hauser as a Marcy part-time replacement physical education teacher, Kristin Brehm as a Maple Avenue Title I paraprofessional, Glenn Buelow as a Hamilton replacement applied engineering and technology teacher and Catherine Poepping as a Maple Avenue paraprofessional; and
  • modified the contract of Hamilton art teacher Ellen Acuff from 70 to 75 percent contract.