Hamilton drama to present “No Opera at the Op’ry House Tonight”

Come join the fun at the Hamilton Fine Arts Center Nov. 8-11 as the Hamilton High School Drama Department presents “No Opera at the Op’ry House Tonight,” an old-fashioned melodrama written with a fast contemporary flair by playwright Tim Kelly. Shows are at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and at 2 p.m. for the Sunday performance.

The Salami Opera Company is about to fall apart in the dusty hamlet of Desert Rat in the Arizona Territory. Foul villain Baron Wolfgang von Wolfpack knows that Alma Pumpernickle is about to inherit a fortune. He’d force her to marry him at once but she has no title, and family pride prevents him from marrying a commoner. To solve his dilemma, he enlists the aid of the notorious Lily Liverspot who discovers that a young nobleman is living incognito as Billy Bright, a destitute composer. Through shady means, Lily schemes to have the young people married so Alma will have a title, and after an annulment, Wolfpack will be able to marry her and claim her unsuspected wealth. Lily arranges a hilarious marriage, but before Wolfpack can claim his prize, he must reckon with the outrageous Madame Violetta whose operatic performance “must be heard to be depreciated.” The action climaxes with a performance of Billy’s opera, “Il Pistachio.”

Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens. For advance ticket purchases and additional information, please call the Drama Department Box Office at (262) 246-6471 x1552.

The Hamilton Fine Arts Center is located at W220 N6151 Town Line Rd., Sussex.

Hamilton schools to observe Veteran’s Day

Hamilton School District students, staff and families will observe Veteran’s Day in November. Following is a summary of activities at each school.

Willow Springs Learning Center,W220 N6660 Town Line Road, Menomonee Falls

Willow Springs 4K students, staff and families will honor veterans Nov. 9 with programs beginning at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. that include a “wall of bricks” highlighting the names of veterans who are part of the Willow Springs family. A program including stories, song and presentation of flags to veterans by their 4K child will mark the occasion.


Lannon Elementary School, 7145 N. Lannon Road, Lannon

Lannon Elementary School will host a Veteran’s Day celebration Nov. 12 from 9:45 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. for students and the community. Fourth and fifth grade choirs will sing two songs, and World War II veteran and school volunteer Thomas Kavanaugh will share a few words. Lannon will continue its tradition of creating a thank you banner and delivering it to the Veterans’ Administration Hospital in Milwaukee.


Maple Avenue Elementary School, W240 N6059 Maple Avenue, Sussex

Maple Avenue Elementary School students and staff have several activities planned to honor veterans including:

–          third-graders reading a poem at 11 a.m. on Nov. 9;

–          letter-writing to veterans;

–          students and staff dressing in red, white and blue to honor vets;

–          a flag-themed display with students explaining why they are thankful for veterans; and

–          literature with a veteran theme including, “Boo, Boo Bear,” and “The Wall” among others.


Marcy Elementary School, W180 N4851 Marcy Road, Menomonee Falls

Marcy Elementary School will have a program Nov. 9 beginning at 1:10 p.m. Fifth grade Boy Scouts will present the colors. Seniors & Students volunteer and veteran Tom Kavanaugh will lead the school in “The Pledge of Allegiance.” Fifth-graders and an outside speaker will present at the assembly. The school is collecting toiletries for soldiers stationed overseas, and all grade levels created banners that will be sent to the troops.


Woodside Elementary School, W236 N7465 Woodside Road, Sussex

Woodside is planning its annual Veteran’s Day celebration beginning at 9 a.m. on Nov. 8. The event includes:

–          inviting veterans who are relatives of Woodside students to attend to receive recognition at the school program;

–          students reciting “The Pledge of Allegiance” and singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “My Country ‘Tis of Thee”;

–          first-graders performing songs and poems that they will perform again at 7 p.m. and hold a food drive for the Sussex Food Pantry;

–          students wearing red, white and blue;

–          students honoring living and deceased veterans from their families by decorating pages that will be displayed on an honor wall in the gym; and

–          students writing thank you letters or making cards for Army personnel to be mailed to a soldier who is a friend of a Woodside teacher, and the soldier will share them with his unit.


Templeton Middle School, N59 W22490 Silver Spring Drive, Sussex

Templeton Middle School will recognize the contributions of American veterans Nov. 9 at 8:30 a.m. at its 12th annual Veteran’s Day Program.

Staff Sergeant Cory Geisler, husband of Templeton communication arts and social studies teacher Beth Geisler, will give the Veteran’s Address. A distinguished soldier with three Army commendation medals and seven achievement medals, Geisler left military service in 2012 after serving his country for seven years, including deployment to support Operation Iraqi Freedom.

A ceremonial color guard will post and retire the colors and will lay wreaths to honor soldiers who became prisoners of war or missing in action. Guest veterans who attend the program will be individually introduced and their military service recognized.

Band, chorus and student council members will honor the country’s veterans during the ceremony as well. Music teacher Jaye Mier is coordinating a video production that will feature photos of military personnel and veterans who are related to Templeton students. The video will play continuously in the school lobby beginning Oct.31 and will be featured during the ceremony.

Following the program, honored veterans will be invited to participate in a small reception in the Large Group Area. All veterans and public officials are invited to attend. Please call the school at (262) 246-6477 by Nov. 1.


Hamilton High School, W220 N6151 Town Line Road, Sussex

Hamilton High School student Bryan Ritter will perform “Taps” for the school at 11:11 a.m. on Nov. 9. Athletic-Activities Director Michael Gosz will read a commemorative passage about the historical significance of Veteran’s Day which will honor the brave service men and women.

New School Report Cards show Hamilton schools with strong results

Strategic plan positions district well

Wisconsin rolled out an educational accountability system with more rigorous benchmarks and a new way to report school progress. Each public school now has a School Report Card that lets people know how well it is preparing students for their futures. Because of strategic planning efforts and a track record of focusing on student achievement, schools in the Hamilton School District earned positive ratings under the new system.

Instead of reporting only student performance on a single test, the new report cards present an overall accountability score calculated using four factors:

• student achievement on a state assessment;

• year-to-year student growth in reading and mathematics;

• success in closing gaps between specific groups of students; and

• predictors of high school graduation and postsecondary readiness.
The overall accountability score rates schools on a scale of 0 to 100 and places them in one of five categories: significantly exceeds expectations (83-100), exceeds expectations (73-82.9), meets expectations (63-72.9), meets few expectations (53-62.9) and fails to meet expectations (52.9 and below). Each Hamilton school was rated as “exceeds expectations” or “significantly exceeds expectations.”
When breaking down the overall accountability scores, Hamilton schools scored highest in the areas of “student achievement” and “on-track for graduation/postsecondary readiness.” For more than two decades, Hamilton’s strategic plan has been a roadmap with action steps that have focused on a rigorous and relevant curriculum, innovative instruction, quality assessment practices, closing achievement gaps among student groups and professional development for staff.
“Hamilton has done well under the new state accountability system because for years our strategic plan has focused on the priority areas that are being assessed,” Hamilton Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., said. “Ensuring maximum achievement for each child is our mission, and staff members are committed to helping students reach their potential.”


“The new system provides helpful information to monitor our progress in the areas that are currently our focus – rigorous standards, student growth and closing gaps,” Cooke said. “The district’s strategic plan has steps in place to address those areas.”


Hamilton School District 2011-12 School Report Card data


Overall rating

Student achievement

Student growth

Closing gaps

On-track, postsecondary readiness







Maple Ave.
























Hamilton High






Student achievement – knowledge and skill level compared to state and national standards using Wisconsin Student Assessment System tests given in grades 3-8 and 10.

Student growth – how much student knowledge in reading and mathematics changes from year to year. 
*Not applicable for high school because the test is given only to sophomores preventing a year-to-year comparison.

Closing gaps – describes if the gap between specific race or ethnic groups, students with disabilities, economically disadvantaged students and English language learners is closing compared to their complementary groups.

Graduation and postsecondary readiness – success in achieving educational milestones that predict postsecondary success such as graduation and attendance rates, ACT participation and performance, and reading and mathematics achievement.


 In addition to establishing School Report Cards, the new state accountability system is bringing about other changes in Wisconsin education including:

• Kindergarten literacy screening will be implemented statewide this year.

• Wisconsin is one of 45 states to adopt “Common Core State Standards” for language arts and mathematics that are aligned with college and work expectations, include rigorous content and skills, and are internationally benchmarked. The math and language arts curriculums will be rolled out this year. In addition, national standards for science and social studies are in process.

• The Wisconsin Concepts and Knowledge exam will be replaced in 2014-15 with new “smarter balanced” assessments that tie to Common Core Standards.

• A new teacher and principal evaluation system which factors in student test scores and educator practices will be piloted beginning this year and will be fully implemented statewide in 2014-15.

• A State Student Information System will be implemented in 2015-16 to track student progress.

Hamilton elementary schools celebrate Red Ribbon Week

Elementary students in the Hamilton School District will celebrate Red Ribbon Week Oct. 23-31 with activities to honor Enrique Camarena, a drug enforcement agent who was killed in 1985 by drug traffickers. Each year, schools across the nation renew a commitment to a healthy, drug free lifestyle during Red Ribbon Week.

Lannon Elementary School

Contact: Lynda Pesch

Lannon Elementary School students will recognize Red Ribbon Week with health and wellness activities. Students in grades 3-5 will learn about nutrition, physical therapy and pilates with yoga, as well as meeting with the police liaison officer. Grades K-2 students will visit a dietician, dental hygienist and health education specialist. Students will rotate between stations set up in the school.

Lannon Elementary School is located at 7145 N. Lannon Road in Lannon.


Maple Avenue Elementary School

Contact: Colleen Casper

Maple Avenue fifth-graders are organizing a schoolwide “Let’s Can Drugs” food drive. Students are collecting non-perishable food items Oct. 16-25 to donate to the Sussex Food Pantry. Red Ribbon Week activities include the following spirit days:

Oct. 22 – Wear red for Movin’ Monday and be ready to move;

Oct. 23 – Tasty Tuesday with a healthy treat in the classroom;

Oct. 24 – Wild and Wacky Wednesday when students will show their spirit and wear their craziest outfit and hair-do; and

Oct. 25 – Stomp Out Drugs by wearing Harvest Day clothing – overalls, straw hat, bandanas, flannel.

Maple Avenue Elementary School is located at W240 N6059 Maple Avenue in Sussex.


Marcy Elementary School

Contact: Lori Schlapman

Marcy Elementary School will display banners with anti-drug messages throughout the building. Students and staff will show support Oct. 22 by wearing red clothing. Parents have been encouraged to talk to their children often about family values and the reasons they choose to live a healthy lifestyle.

Marcy Elementary School is located at W180 N4851 Marcy Road in Menomonee Falls.


Woodside Elementary School

Contact: Pam Bilodeau

At Woodside Elementary, a wide variety of activities is planned for students.

Oct. 22 –

  • Daily theme – “Focus on being drug free”
  • Students will focus on team work and good sportsmanship in fitness education class.
  • Principal James Edmond will read the history of Red Ribbon Week.
  • Pencils and suckers will be distributed.

Oct. 23 –

  • Daily theme – “Don’t lose your focus”
  • Students are invited to dress crazy.

Oct. 24 –

  • Daily theme – “Focus on being proud to be drug free”
  • Students invited to wear red, white and blue.
  • Healthy snack and lunch day.

Oct. 25 –

  • Daily theme – “Focus on being a drug free team”
  • Each class invited to wear same color or spirit wear shirt
  • Two winners for best teamwork, encouraging others and good sportsmanship in each grade will be announced. Winning classrooms will receive a kickball.

Woodside Elementary School is located at W236 N7465 Woodside Road in Sussex.



Willow Springs sponsors Nov. 7 shopping extravaganza

The Willow Springs Parent Group is pleased to present its 13th annual “Shop ‘Til You Drop” night. Community members will have the opportunity to shop from more than 40 home-based businesses Nov. 7 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Willow Springs Learning Center gym. A raffle will be held with many items donated by the vendors and community members. Raffle tickets are $1 each, and attendees receive one free raffle ticket with their $2 entrance fee. Parking is free, and bake sale items will also be available.

The following home-based vendors will have products available for sale: Arbonne International, Avon, Amanda Pfiffer Photography, Celebrating Home, Cookie Lee, Gold Canyon Candles, Grace Adele, Dove Chocolates, Jazzercise, Katherine’s Hand Stamped Jewelry, Lia Sophia, Little Wren Art, Longaberger, Mary Kay, Miche Bags, Onlineglass.net, Origami Owl, Pretty Please Hair Clips, Tastefully Simple, The Baker’s Rack, The Pampered Chef, 31 Gifts, Tupperware, Usborne Books, Wildtree and more are still being added.

The Willow Springs Parent Group will receive a portion of the proceeds to help fund various 4-year-old kindergarten program activities. The school encourages community members to join in an evening of shopping and fun while benefiting the children of Willow Springs. The holidays are just around the corner, so come and get an early start on your holiday shopping.

Willow Springs Learning Center is located at W220 N6660 Town Line Road, Menomonee Falls. For more information about this event, please contact the school at (262) 255-6190.

Hamilton student-drivers to learn about dangers of texting, driving

The AWARE-TXT Simulator will come to Hamilton High School Oct. 17 to educate students about the dangers of texting while driving.

Students will sit in an actual car that is suspended and monitored with sensors to simulate driving. Software renders a virtual field of vision and various road conditions. The simulation allows students to experience the dangers of texting while driving in a safe, controlled environment.

The text-driving simulation is sponsored by Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Bureau of Traffic Safety and Ford Driving Skills for Life. Hamilton is one of six communities selected to participate during National Teen Driver Safety Week.

PEER Awareness trained staff will be present during the simulator experience. PEER Awareness provides cutting-edge sensory technology to engage students in a unique and informative way to help them make better and healthier choices. For more information about the AWARE-TXT Simulator, please visit www.peerawareness.com.

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

Attend Oconomowoc’s Haunted High School Oct. 19, 20 and support HEF

Help support the Hamilton Education Foundation by having a spooktacular time at Oconomowoc’s Haunted High School. A portion of the proceeds from the people who attend the haunted attraction Oct. 19 and 20 and say they are from the Hamilton School District will go to the Hamilton Education Foundation.

Haunted High, Wisconsin’s biggest haunted attraction, is located at 550 E. Forest St., Oconomowoc. Hours are from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 and the Fast Pass is $23


October 15, 2012

School Board makes budget adjustments

Unlike many school districts that are experiencing declining enrollments, the Hamilton School District continues to grow. This year, however, Hamilton’s enrollment went up by 21 instead of 45 students as school officials had projected. Because the district budget is built around estimated enrollment, the School Board members took action at its regular meeting Oct. 15 to adjust the budget to reflect actual student enrollment. In addition, the expense of another bus was added because of enrollments needs.

Lannon and Marcy Elementary Schools and Templeton Middle School saw increases in their budgets while Willow Springs Learning Center, Maple Avenue and Woodside Elementary Schools and Hamilton High School saw cuts. In addition, cuts were made to maintenance, information technology, school board, superintendent and business office budgets.

The state Department of Revenue determined that equalized property value in the district dropped 2.84 percent compared to last year. The district will see more state aid than initially projected. The School Board certified a tax rate of $10.40 per $1,000 of property which is one cent less than the district estimated at the Annual Meeting in June. The 2012-13 levy is $91,859 or 0.30 percent less than 2011-12.

Woodside, Marcy additions on track

Construction projects at Woodside and Marcy Elementary Schools are expected to be completed on time and under budget, the School Board learned. At Woodside, the multi-purpose facility is expected to be ready before Thanksgiving, and the classroom additions at both schools should be ready for occupancy by Jan. 1. The four-classroom relocatable unit at Woodside will be removed and the playground space will be reclaimed for student recess use.

The School Board approved building the additions last year to ease crowding at the two schools. Woodside’s project includes a five-classroom addition and multi-purpose gym space. Marcy’s project entails a six-classroom addition and expansion to create a multi-purpose area for teaching, individual and small-group services at Marcy. Both schools provide additional restrooms to meet municipal codes.

Each project was expected to cost about $2 million. Under the two-year plan, one portion of funding will come from the maintenance budget, which typically funds year-end capital improvements such as roofing and asphalt projects or HVAC equipment replacement. In addition, about $1 million will be taken from the district’s fund balance each year.

District keeps Chapter 220 at same level

The number of seats available for students to enroll in the district though the Chapter 220 will remain at 110, a number that has been consistent for the past 10 years. Chapter 220 is a voluntary integration program that brings Milwaukee Public Schools students to suburban districts

Youth Options requests approved

A total of 19 high school students requested admission to the Youth Options Program that will allow them to take classes next semester at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha and Milwaukee, Waukesha County Technical College and Carroll University. Hamilton Principal Candis Mongan noted, as in the past, many students will not be able to take the courses because of scheduling conflicts or full classes. A total of 14 students requested admission to Youth Options last year.

Youth Options is a program mandated by the state that allows students who have completed 10th grade, are in good academic standing and have no disciplinary problems to attend a technical college or university if they have exhausted their high school curriculum.

Marcy and Willow Springs site plans approved

Principal Michele Trawicki reported on the fourth year of Marcy Elementary School’s Site Plan. The site plan includes three tactics:

  • Marcy staff will help students attain the highest levels of achievement by collaborative goal-setting, excellent instruction, progress monitoring and self-reflection;
  • The Marcy community will actively embrace the Marcy School vision through the implementation of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS); and
  • Staff and students will receive the support they need through efficient communication, analysis of data and resources from all members of the Marcy community.

The goal of Willow Springs Learning Center is stated as: “Students will be enriched in a unique, well-defined and articulated four-year-old kindergarten program.”

Principal Margaret Tackes, Ed.D, described Willow Springs’ two tactics, which state that students completing the Willow Springs 4K experience will :

  • enter neighborhood 5K programs with developing social, pre-academic, fine motor and communication skills; and
  • demonstrate developing readiness attributes regarding the 21st century knowledge, skills and dispositions in the areas of communication, conflict resolution, creativity, collaboration, problem solving and technical skills.

Educational Services team reports on priorities

Three Educational Services administrators reported on accomplishments of the past year and priorities for the coming year. Human Resources and Organizational Development Director John Roubik, Instructional Services Supervisor Katherine Little, Ph.D., and Special Services Supervisor Mardi Freeman updated the School Board on work of the department. They covered numerous initiatives regarding strategic planning, curriculum development, professional development, special education assessment, Response to Intervention and aspects of the new state accountability system.

Personnel business

In personnel news, the School Board accepted the retirement request of Woodside head custodian Thomas Schneider effective Dec. 7.

Hamilton announces September students of the month

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

  • Anthony Marion, applied engineering and technology;
  • Angela Hastings, art;
  • Cody Bailey, business education;
  • Antonio Villarreal, communication arts;
  • Sydney Wisner, family and consumer sciences;
  • Amanda Landergott, fitness education;
  • Valerie Perszyk, mathematics;
  • Shannan Brown, music;
  • Vanessa Ignatew, science;
  • Colleen O’Neill, social studies; and
  • Hailee Weber, world languages.

Students received a certificate and a pin for their accomplishment.



Hamilton sophomores to take WKCE Oct. 30 – Nov. 1

Hamilton High School sophomores will take the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination (WKCE) the week of Oct. 29. School attendance is especially encouraged and all out-of-school appointments should be avoided during the test week.

A parent letter and brochure entitled “Student/Parent Pre-Test Information” will be sent home with students in the weeks preceding the test. This brochure will provide parents and students with additional information about the purpose and format of the test. The brochure also will identify a website with access to sample questions. Parents are encouraged to go over the guide with their children and stress the importance of doing their best on the test.

Test results will allow students to better understand academic strengths and weaknesses and plan their remaining academic courses to strengthen these areas. In addition, the WKCE provides the district with valuable information regarding curricular adjustments and alignment with state standards.

For further information about the test, contact the Hamilton High School Guidance Department at (262) 246-6476.