Hamilton seniors recognized in NMSC competition

Hamilton High School seniors Thomas Diehl, Alex J. Magoon and Brendan M. Schlaman learned that they were named Commended Student in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program. Eligibility for the distinction is based on results of the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test which was taken by more than 1.5 million students nationwide.

Diehl, Magoon and Schlaman are among 34,000 students recognized for exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2014 competition, these three students were recognized for placing among the top five percent of U.S. students who took the qualifying exam.

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.

Woodside teacher awarded science grant

The Meemic Foundation recently awarded Woodside Elementary School approximately $1,300 to purchase materials for stream table models. All fifth grade students will use the stream tables in their earth science unit. Teams of two or three students will be able to see and create the parts of a river and observe various effects of water on land.

Woodside fifth grade teacher Karen DeShong, who applied for the Meemic Foundation grant, said the stream bed models will actively engage students as they learn about basic stream functions and flow properties.

The grant will be used to purchase the materials, and parents or community members will be asked to assist with the construction of the tables.

The Meemic Foundation was established by Meemic Insurance Company to offer financial assistance through grants to educational employees and institutions.

Hamilton earns Blue Star School status

Hamilton High School earned distinction as a Blue Star School for performance on the 2012-13 Working in Support of Education (W!SE) Financial Literacy Certification test. Hamilton is one of 194 high schools in the W!SE national network to be recognized.

Hamilton earned Blue Star School status by achieving an average score of 80 percent or higher on the W!SE national standardized test. Students who pass the test earn designation as Certified Financially Literate (CFL).

W!SE is an educational nonprofit that improves the lives of young people through programs that develop financial literacy and readiness for college and the workplace.

Hamilton plans Homecoming Week activities

Hamilton High School is gearing up for six days of fun, activities and athletic events during Hamilton’s Hollywood Homecoming Week Sept. 30 – Oct. 5. Athletic events are at home until otherwise noted.

Monday, Sept. 30: Theme – Comfy Day, lunch game – Bubble Gum Pie

  • Football – Freshman at Marquette, 4:15 p.m.
  • Soccer – Boys’ JV vs. West Allis Hale, 4:30 p.m.


Tuesday, Oct. 1: Theme – Favorite Movie Character Day, lunch game – Cookie on the Face

  • Soccer – Boys’ JV and varsity soccer vs. West Allis Hale, 5 p.m., 7 p.m.
  • Volleyball – Girls’ freshman, JV and varsity at Brookfield East, 5:30 p.m., 7 p.m.


Wednesday, Oct. 2: Theme – Jersey-Powder Puff Day, lunch game – Limbo Contest

  • Golf – Girls’ WIAA regional at Homestead, 8 a.m.
  • Tennis – Girls’ varsity GMC championship at Elm Grove, 2 p.m.
  • Soccer – Boys’ JV vs. Brookfield Central, 4:30 p.m.
  • Powder Puff Football:
    – Semi-finals: Sophomores vs. juniors, 6 p.m.; freshmen vs. seniors, 7 p.m.
    – Championship game, 8 p.m.                             
  • Fireworks – following championship game

Thursday, Oct. 3: Theme – Western Day, lunch game – Hula Hoop Contest

  • Tennis – Girls’ varsity GMC championship at Elm Grove, 4 p.m.
  • Football – Freshmen vs. West Allis Nathan Hale, 4:15 p.m.; JV at West Allis Athletic Complex, 6:45 p.m.
  • Soccer – Boys’ JV vs. Homestead, 5 p.m.; JV- 2 at Sun Prairie, 5 p.m.; varsity vs. Homestead, 7 p.m.
  • Swimming & Diving – Girls’ varsity relay at Brookfield East, 6:30 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 4: Theme – Charger Pride Day, lunch game – Most Spirited

  • Pep Rally – 10:40 a.m.
  • Student Council and court members will decorate for the dance beginning at noon.               
  • Football – Varsity vs. West Allis Nathan Hale, 7 p.m.                              

Saturday, Oct. 5:

  • Cross country – Girls’ and boys’ JV and varsity at Racine Park invitational at UW-Parkside
  • Grand March – 6:15 pm, gym
  • Dance – 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Hamilton High School, W220 N6151 Town Line Rd., Sussex.

Hamilton students will chose members of court the week of Homecoming.

Students may purchase tickets for the dance Sept. 30 to Oct. 4 during lunches for $15 per person. The first 500 people to purchase their tickets will receive a free T-shirt. Parents are invited to watch the announcement of Homecoming Court at the Grand March. Tickets may be purchased at the door for $1 or two non-perishable food items to be donated to Sussex Outreach Services.

Hamilton teacher chosen for state honor

Hamilton High School Student Council advisor and communication arts teacher Misty Draeger was chosen as Wisconsin’s candidate for the 2013-14 National Association of Student Councils (NASC) Warren E. Shull SHS Advisor of the Year award.

The award recognizes Draeger for significant student council involvement at the local, regional and state level and service on the Wisconsin Association of School Councils (WASC) Governing Board.

As Wisconsin’s candidate, Draeger is among student council advisors from five other states who will be considered for regional honors. One candidate from each of NASC’s eight regions will then compete for the national award announced in June 2014.

Ice Bears Hockey plans Sept. 28 recycling event

Ice Bears Hockey is giving community members a chance to support the high school cooperative hockey team (consisting of Menomonee Falls, Germantown, Hamilton, Slinger, Hartford, West Bend East and West Bend West) and the environment Sept. 28 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at its e-Recycling Event.                                                                                      

The students hope community members will clean out their garages, basements and homes and drop off accepted items in the Menomonee Falls High School parking lot where volunteers will help unload items from vehicles.

Lists of accepted and prohibited items are posted on the district’s website (http://www.hamilton.k12.wi.us/images/RecycledItemsIceBearsHockey2013.pdf).

Menomonee Falls High School is located at W142 N8101 Merrimac Drive, Menomonee Falls.

Hamilton one of only two K-12 school districts with top rating

Hamilton was one of only two K-12 school districts in the state that earned the top “significantly exceeds expectations” rating in the second annual School Report Card released today by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. In addition to the district earning a top rating, Lannon and Marcy elementary schools and Hamilton High School each earned “significantly exceeds expectations” at the school level, and all other schools in the district earned “exceeds expectations” ratings. The district had the highest overall score among K-12 Waukesha County school districts.

“Ensuring maximum achievement for each child is our mission, and staff members are committed to helping students reach their potential,” said Hamilton Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D.

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

“This is one piece of data to help us assess our progress. We know we still have work that needs to be done, and our strategic plan will continue to guide our efforts,” she said.

Wisconsin implemented a new educational accountability system last year 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.

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.”

Hamilton School District 2012-13 School Report Card data


Overall score

Student achievement



Math achievement








Signif. exceeds

Maple Ave.











Signif. exceeds













Hamilton High





Signif. exceeds






Signif. exceeds

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

  • The Wisconsin Concepts and Knowledge exam will be replaced in 2014-15 with a new national assessment.
  • A new teacher and principal evaluation system which factors in student test scores and educator practices is being piloted statewide and will be fully implemented in 2014-15.

Hamilton students recognized in NMSC competition

Two Hamilton High School seniors, Victoria J. Schulze and Michael Y. Scott, learned that they were named in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program. Eligibility for the distinction is based on results of the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test which was taken by more than 1.5 million students nationwide.

Schulze and Scott were named Semifinalists. They are among approximately 16,000 Semifinalists nationwide and will continue in the 2014 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.



September 16, 2013

Hamilton sees success from initiatives

An increasing number of accolades and awards have come the way of Hamilton High School in the last few years. The high school was named to Newsweek Magazine’s “America’s Best High Schools” for two consecutive years and for the first time to The Washington Post’s “America’s Most Challenging High Schools” list. Hamilton is one of only two Wisconsin high schools that will be recognized this year with the Wisconsin Title I School Recognition Award for earning the highest rating of “Significantly Exceeding Expectations” on the state school report card and reducing the achievement gap.

Principal Candis Mongan provided School Board members with actions the school has taken to build rigorous curriculum, promote Advanced Placement classes for all students and prepare student for 21st century skills. Mongan noted the classes and programs that support students including:

  • Advisement curriculum: Students receive curriculum during the intervention period. Topics vary by grade level and include standardized test prep, financial literacy, reading strategies and college and career readiness planning.
  • GAP advisement: Students not proficient on the grade 8 WKCE are placed in an advisement structure that helps students learn and apply study skills, like note-taking, vocabulary acquisition and test-taking strategies.
  • GAP College: This course assists students in advanced placement courses by reinforcing advanced study skills that are required for success at the university level. Also offered are practice opportunities within the context of the current course load.
  • PASS: 32 different computer courses, each consisting of five units, are geared for individual pacing and used by students for credit recovery purposes.
  • Individual learning plans: Guidance works with each student, beginning in their freshmen year to develop an individual learning plan. Career, academic and standardized testing are components included.
  • Intervention block: Students are assigned to an academic advisement classroom three times per week. These classrooms are staffed with an academic teacher in that specific content area. This provides students with the opportunity to work with teachers on an independent basis. Students receive RtI reading and math intervention at this time.
  • Introduction to ACT exam: All juniors are required to take the practice ACT exam, within the context of the school day. Two mandatory advisement sessions are provided. The session prior to the test focuses on strategies to use when taking standardized tests and the follow-up session focuses on data and individual results.
  • Gearing Up: Students attend preparatory advanced placement practice test sessions two months prior to testing. These sessions are facilitated by their advanced placement teacher.
  • Math and reading RtI advisement: Students not proficient in the area of math on the grade 8 WKCE or demonstrate below average ability in Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) testing, are placed into an advisement structure whereby teachers provide a “double dose” of instruction to support proficiency.
  • Portfolio advisement: Students who demonstrate below average ability on the grade 10 WKCE are placed into an advisement structure whereby proficiency is expected in each area of deficiency. Mastery of content is demonstrated through a student portfolio.
  • Writing lab: Assistance is provided during each advisement period for students to receive assistance with the writing process, research skills and editing opportunities.
  • Reading resource: Students learn and apply study skills, vocabulary acquisition and test- taking strategies to assist with reading, writing, organization and study skills. A final portfolio requirement is required.
  • Club Success: After-school homework program designed to provide students with study skills, learning strategies and homework completion.

In addition the school puts a priority on strengthening the skill-set of teacher through:

  • Walk-through documentation: ACT provides benchmark readiness standards for each of the ACT score ranges. Specific teaching strategies are aligned with each benchmark. Hamilton adopted a walk-through form for this school year that integrates the readiness standards. Administrators document teaching strategies that promote college readiness skills.
  • Disciplinary literacy implementation plans: Staff members will continue to expand on the work that was started in August with Doug Buehl. They will implement disciplinary literacy strategies, aligned with our upcoming site plan. Staff members are responsible for reporting-out their progress and student results in this area.
  • Monthly staff development meetings: Staff development has the power and potential to improve educators’ attitudes, behaviors, knowledge and skills to benefit student learning. It is high quality when it is explicit about the results it seeks to achieve and when it produces evidence to document that we have achieved the desired results. Various themes are addressed throughout the school year. Several examples include: literacy strategies, formative assessment, RTI, 21st century learning skills, site planning goals and department plan alignment.

Summer school sees more

As Summer Opportunities staff members recapped the 14th year of the program, the program reflected more – more students, more sections, more transportation and more new class offerings. Three components comprise Hamilton summer school program – credit recovery for secondary students who must gain credits, invitational for students who need to maintain their academic skills and minimize summer loss, and enrichment that serves the largest number of students with its wide variety of academic, fitness and high interest classes.

Coordinator and Lannon Principal Dick Ladd shared information about the highly popular program with School Board members. With 2,101 students, enrollment was up 36 students in 2013, and an additional four sections – for a total of 302 – were scheduled.

Next year’s program will operate from June 23 to July 18 with July 4 as a day off for the holiday.

Increased enrollment spurs need for additional staff

Increasing enrollment at Marcy Elementary School’s second grade and Templeton Middle School’s seventh grade was the impetus behind hiring the equivalent of two full-time paraprofessionals. Marcy’s second and Templeton’s seventh grade classrooms were above district recommended class size averages. Marcy second grade sections were at 26 students per classroom and Templeton seventh grade classes were at 30 students. Class size guidelines suggest average class sizes to be 22 students in grade K-3 and 25 students for higher grades with effort to avoid class sizes of 25 and 30 respectively. Two half-time paraprofessional positions at each school will help provide services to students in the affected grades. The cost for the positions will total $36,000 and will come from the district’s contingency staffing budget.

A part-time reading specialist will be hired to support literacy needs of students as part of the high school’s new advisement structure. The added position was recommended as a way to help best serve students who qualify for Title I services. The part-time position will cost approximately $12,000 to $15,000 and will be funded through a federal grant.

Other personnel action

In other personnel business, the School Board:

  • approved a 2.07 percent salary adjustment for administrators, confidential support staff and administrative assistants and a 1 percent increase for assistant cooks and associate kitchen staff for the 2013-14 school year’; (The food service budget, which funds the district’s self-supporting hot lunch program, will be reviewed at the end of the first semester to consider a further salary adjustment.)
  • accepted the resignations of Marcy special services paraprofessional Heidi Schwartz, Maple Avenue paraprofessionals Amanda Tschanz and Catherine Poepping;
  • appointed Lanell Becker as Hamilton administrative assistant, Kelly Wood as Woodside special services paraprofessional, Colleen Engel as Willow Springs paraprofessional, Tim VanPietersom as Maple Avenue part-time cleaner and Meredith Fenske as a Marcy paraprofessional; and
  • modified Woodside physical education teacher Jennifer Reuter’s contract from 70 to 72 percent.