New athletic center used throughout school day and after school

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The Hamilton Athletic Center has been a busy place since it opened in November of 2014. The facility is booked throughout the school day with fitness education classes. After school girls and boys teams use the center to train.

Highlights of the Hamilton Athletic Center include:

  • It is a multi-purpose athletic, classroom and training facility.
  • Facility is first of its kind in Wisconsin for a K-12 school district.
  • Nearly 40 girls and boys teams, squads and the marching band will use the indoor practice space.
  • Construction cost was $4.83 million that came from the district’s 2013-14 and 2014-15 maintenance budget and fund balance without raising taxes.
  • Included are an athletic center, weight room, training room and two bathrooms.
  • Synthetic field turf was used in the athletic center.
  • It is intended for training and practice, but not performances, games or contests.
  • The district looked into building a new fieldhouse in 2006, but a survey showed community was not in support.
  • The project was supported by members of the community Facilities Advisory Committee (FAC).

Need for training space:

  • Practice and training space was much needed; athletes were using hallways and the cafeteria because of limited gym space.
  • Student athletic participation increased 33 percent and six levels of sports were added in the past decade.
  • School hallways and the cafeteria were used for training in addition to the main gym, small gym and wrestling room.
  • The second floor weight room was not ADA accessible.
  • Dropping of free weights on the floor created facility distress.

Background:
The community Facility Advisory Committee (FAC) reviewed building space needs in 2006 and concluded that additional space was needed for fitness classes and athletic use. The committee considered construction of a fieldhouse as a solution, but survey data showed lack of support for a facility that was expected to cost nearly $15 million in 2008, and the idea was dropped. The district renovated the Hamilton High School gym in 2008, replacing materials original to the school built in 1963, but space was not added.

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Hamilton schools contribute to community during holidays

 Hamilton School District students, staff and families showed appreciation for the needs of others during the holidays by contributing to charitable organizations and extending acts of kindness within the community and beyond. Following is a summary of activities at each school.

Willow Springs Learning Center

Willow Springs Learning Center four-year-old kindergartners and their families contributed generously to Sussex Outreach Services (SOS) this holiday season. Families and staff collected 300 gifts and students hand delivered them as a group to St. James Catholic Church where they sang songs before returning to school. The toys and gifts will be distributed within the local community.

Lannon Elementary School

Lannon Elementary School students, families and staff members collected a brimming barrel of children’s new under garments, gloves, hats and gently-used winter clothing that was donated to SOS.

Lannon staff sponsored a family for Christmas through SOS and generously donated gifts and gift cards to help them this holiday season.

The Lannon School Girl Scouts troop collected 418 non-perishable food items in a “Stuff the Cart” food drive for the Sussex Food Pantry. Grades 3-5 also collected 100 items for the Sussex Food Pantry as part of their holiday program.

Students decorated 280 paper grocery bags donated by Sussex Piggly Wiggly to be used at the Sussex Food Pantry Christmas Dinner distribution.

Maple Avenue Elementary School

Maple Avenue buddy classes in first and third grades earned money by doing extra work at home. A total of $441.62 was raised and used to purchase items for children served by SOS. Sixty fiction and non-fiction books were purchased for families to enjoy during the holiday season.

Maple Avenue staff members sponsored a family of seven providing gifts, books, games, educational toys, arts and crafts, scrapbooking supplies, clothing, gift cards, snacks and holiday décor.

Christina Garley’s fifth-grade classroom is collecting money for a charitable organization as part of its “Buck a Book” program.

Marcy Elementary School

Marcy students collected $2,500 for the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight which will send five veterans on a future flight. Students were inspired by the veteran who spoke to them at the Veteran’s Day program.

Kindergarten students donated money to Kayla’s Krew whose mission is to build an all-accessible and fully-inclusive playground in Franklin.

First grade students collected 450 non-perishable food items for the Sussex Food Pantry.

Second grade students collected toys and craft supplies for the Child Life Council (CLC) at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. CLC supports children and families master challenging events related to health care.

Third-graders made cat toys and treat bags for animals at the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County. In addition, they assisted the fourth grade with their book drive.

Fourth grade classes organized a book drive for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. The project was led by two fourth-graders and a parent. The girls spoke to each fourth grade class to get the drive started. Students responded generously, collecting at least four carts of books.

Fifth grade classes collected donations for Charity: Water, an organization that brings clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. The collection is an extension of learning about the need for clean water around the world.

Woodside Elementary School

Woodside’s SOS (Students of Service) Club made table decorations for Virginia Highlands Nursing Home and Christmas cards for the military. They are working on making fleece blankets for the Linus Project and mittens for a homeless shelter.

Fifth-graders in Karen DeShong’s class are fostering Bridget, a 2-year-old guinea pig, in hopes of finding a forever home. They are reading to, feeding, giving water and playing with her each day.

All kindergarten classes collected more than 50 gifts and gift cards for residents at a local assisted living residence which were distributed at the residents’ holiday party.

Woodside families and staff members collected more than $1,800 before Thanksgiving to create turkey baskets filled with groceries for families in need in Milwaukee’s Notre Dame Middle School community. Woodside students were asked to donate money they earned by doing chores at home. Parent volunteers shopped for groceries to build the baskets. Items included a frozen turkey, bag of stuffing, jar of gravy, white and sweet potatoes, fresh vegetables, bread, canned cranberries, a fresh pie, beverages, appetizers such as crackers and nuts, along with an aluminum roasting pan. All of the items were put into a large sturdy laundry basket and delivered to families.

Templeton Middle School

Templeton Student Council conducted an after-school “Crazy Obstacle Course” which raised $151 for the Cancer Care unit at Froedtert Community Memorial Hospital in Menomonee Falls. Student Council also collected new children’s and young adult books for area families in need.

Eighth grade art students sponsored their annual school wide collection of gently-used shoes that resulted in nearly 100 pairs of shoes being sent to adults and children in Africa.

Templeton staff provided shoes, clothing, gifts and gift cards for several families in need.

Hamilton High School

A Novel Idea book group’s “Snowflakes of Hope” program collected items for families in need. Students accepted donations for SOS and Project Concern in Cudahy. They donated sweaters, scarves, hats, gloves, mittens, toiletries and gently-used clothing.

Club Action raised money by selling 200 bracelets of fair trade from Ghana. A donation of $1,200 was made to World Vision, an organization that helps support clean water initiatives in developing countries. In addition, the club volunteered at Retzer Nature Center.

Students in Hamilton High School’s Freshman Seminar class sponsored a local seven-year-old through the Christmas Clearing Council of Waukesha County and students signed up to provide items on the family’s wish list. Students spent their homeroom period wrapping a total of 15 gifts for the family.

German Club St. Martin’s Day Clothing Drive:  To help people who are less fortunate and in the spirit of the German St. Martin’s Day tradition, the Hamilton German Club collected 986 articles of clothing, jackets and shoes. Items were donated to Red Door Clothes to be distributed to Waukesha families in need.

German Club hosted the first-ever “Battle of the Clubs” coin drive. Students were encouraged to donate loose change to their favorite high school club during lunch periods for one week. A total of $150.56 was collected and used to purchase presents for the SOS Christmas gift distribution. German Club executive board members shopped and delivered gifts.

Spanish Club adopted three Hispanic families with eight children total through the Christmas Clearing Council of Waukesha County. Students in all Spanish classes donated a total of $1,800 to purchase gifts for the families including winter jackets, clothing, toys, books and gift cards. Spanish Club members wrapped the gifts and the officers delivered them to the families.

Colton Hilgart, Ryan Wall, Ethan Steinmetz, Zachary Brewer and Aaron Zillmer from Mr. Kersten’s Introduction to Machine Woodworking class made 30 wooden airplanes and six jewelry boxes to distribute to several adopted families for the holidays.

HHS Cantabile and Concert Choirs sponsored a food drive for the Sussex Food Pantry.  The drive was promoted in class as well as at their fall concert. Together the choirs contributed nearly 250 items to the Sussex Food Pantry in time for Thanksgiving.

In addition, Hamilton choir members spread cheer by caroling at these events:

Dec. 4 – Power Test tree lighting ceremony;Dec. 5 – Third Ward tree lighting ceremony;Dec. 6 – Hamilton Education Foundation Charger Challenge: Santa Edition;Dec. 6 – Sussex Lioness Lunch with Santa; and Dec. 17 –Senior Lunch at the Sussex Community Center.

National Honor Society held a November blood drive. At this event, more than 100 pints of blood were donated — enough to save 300 lives. Members also hosted several food drives to benefit SOS the week before Thanksgiving, producing more than 2,500 food items and $2,500 in donations. A card-writing and supply drive for Tricia’s Troops Cancer Connection resulted in more than 50 items to be used in comfort totes. Totes will be distributed to local hospitals for patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Hamilton School Student Council adopted four children through the Christmas Clearing Council of Waukesha County. The children are all located in Waukesha and most are in single parent homes. Student Council members joined together to shop and wrap the gifts. Student Council also sponsored the annual No Shave Novembeard campaign during November. Hamilton male students pledged to go unshaven during November. Each participant obtained sponsors, usually other students, who pledged an amount for each day the young man does not shave or a flat donation at the end of the month. Proceeds were donated to Pancreatic Cancer Research.

Hamilton DECA members shopped for holiday presents for the first grade class at Gaenslen Elementary School in Milwaukee. First graders at Gaenslen completed “All About Me” forms and Hamilton DECA members provided gift bags with at least one nice toy and other inexpensive gifts to these students. Gaenslen Elementary is located in a Milwaukee neighborhood that has one of the lowest household incomes in the state. Several of the first grade students are currently homeless. Students at Hamilton enjoy one of the highest household incomes in the state. In addition to delivering presents, Hamilton DECA took cookies and juice, and the Hamilton students spent an afternoon Dec. 10 with the children they shopped for, reading them books, putting together their new toys, and playing with them. This has become an annual event for Hamilton DECA and is always a heart-warming experience for the students who participate. The advisor and 36 students made the trip.

Hamilton Charger football team members participated in a food pack for Waukesha Food Pantry and a clothing pack for Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The “Tackle Hunger” food drive held at a home football game resulted in six 52-gallon bags of non-perishable food items and a $187 donation to Sussex Food Pantry. During the Christmas season, team members volunteered at the Charger Challenge: Santa Edition and shared cookies and carols with the residents of the Sterling House in Sussex.

Offices A, B, C, Publications and Health Room – High school staff members adopted a family in lieu of exchanging gifts with one another providing them with many items to brighten their holidays including wrapped gifts of toys, games, clothing, personal items, household goods and gift cards for families in need.

District staff members

Staff members throughout the district adopted families in lieu of exchanging gifts with one another. They provided wrapped gifts of toys, games, clothing, food, personal items, household goods and gift certificates for numerous families in need of support

 

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Hamilton students named GMC Scholar Athletes

The Greater Metro Conference has named the following Hamilton High School students Fall 2014-15 Scholar Athletes:

  • Lauren Anthony, Paige Cosson, Colleen O’Neill, Lauren Ullmann, Meghan Wieseckel – girls golf;
  • Cassidy Pilo, Shyanne Savage, Lauren Spankowski – girls swimming and diving;
  • Nicolette Pridavka – volleyball;
  • Hannah Jeffers, Jenna Layton, Alyssa Molinski, Anna Selestow – girls cross country;
  • Mariah Bazile, Mannat Gill, Shanna Mogden, Morgan Murtos, Marissa Lastrilla, Katie Bembenek – girls tennis;
  • Kevin Fantl, Sean Thompson – boys cross country;
  • Kyle Wischnefski, Connor Davidson, Matthew Young, Trevor Wesline, Cameron Valuch – boys soccer; and
  • Michael Barnes, Matthew Young, Mike Fryda, Matthew McGuire, Andrew Poenitsch, Jack Rieder, Tanner Schaefgen, Eric Thompson – football.

Student-athletes have earned a minimum 3.5 cumulative grade point average and have senior standing.

December 15, 2014

Enrollment has typical fluctuation since beginning of year

Student enrollment since the beginning of the school year has increased by 11 students districtwide, according to a report from Human Resources and Organizational Development Director John Roubik. The increase is typical of fluctuations the district sees during the school year.

Per-pupil allocations to be static

Schools will not see an increase in per-pupil allocations as they prepare 2015-16 budgets, but because 25 more students are projected to enroll next year, an additional $8,165 will be allocated to meet the needs of the extra students who are expected to be at Lannon, Marcy and the high school. A larger-than-normal eighth grade class will graduate from Templeton Middle School, creating an estimated 45-student decrease at that school next year and will account for a large part of the projected 60-student increase at the high school.

Calendar approved with opposition

2015-16 school year classes begin September 1 and end June 8 for students in the Hamilton School District. The 2015-16 school calendar was approved with a similar format and parameters as the one used this year. The calendar will continue to have:

  • 180 student contact days;
  • 192 teacher contract days;
  • traditional break times;
  • early release days for professional development including five in-service days, four early release days and three work days;
  • days set aside for professional development and teacher preparation and close-out of their classrooms; and
  • parent-teacher conferences.

One difference is that instead of having a teacher work day the Friday after first semester ends, the work day will be the Monday of the last week of the semester. This year’s work day is Friday, Jan. 23, but next year it will be Monday, Jan. 18. The change was made to balance instructional time between semesters and still provide a three-day weekend for families.

Board members Gerald Schmitz and Brian Schneider voted against the calendar because they said they wanted to see additional student contact days.

Advisory committee recommends high school addition, board to consider plan in January

In her report to the School Board, Superintendent Kathleen Cooke summarized outcome of the Dec. 8 Community Facilities Advisory Committee meeting which was held to review community growth data, enrollment projections and high school classroom facilities needs. The committee unanimously supported adding classroom space at the high school and suggested rather than building eight classrooms on the north end of the building, the administration should consider a larger addition. Depending on the number of classrooms added, the cost of the project is expected to be between $3 million and $3.6 million. The School Board will take up the matter in January when architectural plans and more precise costs will be available.

Hamilton National Honor Society hosts food drive

The Hamilton National Honor Society (NHS) collected $2,499 in donations and 2,558 non-perishable food items to contribute to Sussex Outreach Services (SOS) Food Pantry. Jennifer Waltz, SOS executive director, attributed the drive’s success to the generosity of the community.

Hamilton NHS Advisors Wendy Otto and Misti Swanson expressed appreciation for community support of the students’ efforts and to Sussex Pick’n Save and Piggly Wiggly for hosting the drive again this year.

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Hamilton announces November students of the month

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

  • Aaron Zillmer, applied engineering and technology;
  • Nicole Utecht, art;
  • Natalie Schmidt, business education;
  • Mayya Pechenova, communication arts;
  • Cora Christianson, family and consumer sciences;
  • Rachel Klibowitz, fitness education;
  • Alex Menzia, mathematics;
  • Erika Ludorf, music;
  • Kerchia Lee, science;
  • Morgan Fenninger and Eliana Selin, social studies; and
  • Katherine Ciolkosz, world languages.

Students received a certificate and a pin for their accomplishment.

 

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Templeton students hear from foundry professionals

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American Foundry Society representatives provided a better understanding of the casting industry to a group of Templeton Middle School students. Rick Yrigoyen and John Lewinski spoke to an afterschool group of technology and engineering students about basic casting process, high tech products created from sand castings and castings made locally. Each student in the afterschool program formed a sand mold, melted tin and poured a casting.

This is not the only exposure to manufacturing industries Templeton students experienced this year. Technology and engineering students attended the Waukesha and Washington County Manufacturing Career Expo, toured injection molding company SussexIM and participated in a “Day of Engineering” with volunteers from QuadTech and STEM Forward.

All Templeton seventh-graders take a quarterlong technology and engineering course, and eighth-graders have the option of taking a yearlong class. In seventh grade, students study the design process, drafting, 3D modeling and printing, and wood and plastic fabrication processes. Students in the eighth grade elective course continue to study concepts covered in the required course and advance to electricity, robotics, transportation, software coding, material properties and structures.

Templeton’s Technology and Engineering program is highly acclaimed. It was chosen the 2012 Wisconsin Technology Education Association Middle School Program of the Year, a 2013 International Technology and Engineering Education Association Program of Excellence and is a Project Lead the Way School of STEM Excellence.

Community invited to Dec. 10 holiday concert

The public is invited to attend a free Winter Holiday Concert Dec. 10 at 1 p.m. in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center (HFAC).

A total of 250 students who are members of Hamilton High School choirs and Templeton Middle School Eighth Grade Chorus will perform traditional holiday and winter-themed music. This event is an annual holiday tradition for senior citizens and community members.

Directors are Jaye Mier, Templeton chorus and Marilyn Mascitti, Hamilton choirs. The HFAC is located at W220 N6151 Town Line Road, Sussex.

Hamilton earns consecutive Blue Star School status

For the second consecutive year, Hamilton High School earned distinction as a Blue Star School for performance on the 2013-14 Working in Support of Education (W!SE) Financial Literacy Certification test. Hamilton is one of 284 high schools in the W!SE national network and one of 10 high schools in Wisconsin 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.

December 2, 2014

District sees accomplishments of tactical plans

The quarterly update of the district’s strategic priorities and tactical plans were presented by Human Resources and Organizational Development Director John Roubik. Progress in each of the seven tactical plans include:

  • Personalized-differentiated instructional practices – The Personalized Learning Team met three times and developed two lessons about personalized learning and goal-setting for building staff; staff attended the CESA Personalized Learning Network and Annual Convening session; and planning is underway for benchmarking and a second semester goal-setting pilot.
  • Response to Intervention (RtI) readiness – Psychologists and reading specialists and mathematics support teachers are reviewing and recommending changes for duration, frequency and intensity of literacy and mathematics interventions; and special education teachers implemented Aimsweb probes to monitor progress of students receiving pull-out mathematics and reading interventions through special education programming;
  • A student information system to manage student data and inform instructional practice – Teachers received training via screencast videos and face-to-face drop-in sessions for grading and posting marks; first quarter grades were successfully posted at all levels; and IT staff members are exploring online registration for next summer.
  • Athletic classroom-training-practice space to support fitness education, athletics and activities – Occupancy for the Hamilton Athletic Center was granted Nov. 14; the Hamilton Education Foundation’s Charger Challenge: Santa Edition will be the first public use of the facility.
  • Effective two-way communication practices to promote understanding, support and involvement of families, community and staff in strategic priorities – Staff have been provided guidelines on best communication practices using digital media; input from business representatives sought regarding communication of student’s college and career readiness and other district progress and initiatives; and distribution lists were compiled and the first edition of Pipeline, an e-newsletter, was sent in October.
  • Professional development to engage and empower students, differentiate instruction and ensure continuous progress to promote increased achievement – Committee met to check for progress and make adjustments to Educator Effectiveness, Inifnite Campus, benchmark literacy, RtI and personalized learning practices; vertical teaming activities have been planned and will be facilitated by instructional leaders in February; back-to-school in-services focused on Infinite Campus, Educator Effectiveness and building site plans; and early release activities on Educator Effectiveness; and
  • Training to implement the Educator Effectiveness Model – Teachers completed self-evaluations and developed student learning outcomes (SLO) and professional performance goals (PPG); principals completed SLOs and PPGs and began teacher observations and conferences; and Effectiveness Project Implementation Coaches and principals continue training including administrative calibration required by the state Department of Public Instruction.

ELL sees success from Family Literacy Program

The number of Hamilton School District students who are English Language Learners (ELL) is at its lowest level in five years. This year 79 students, who come from homes where 30 languages different languages are spoken with Hmong and Spanish as the most prevalent, will receive services from two teachers whose full-time equivalency is 1.5 positions The number of ELL students has ranged from 89 to 106 in the past four years.

Teachers established the ELL Family Literacy Program two years ago for parents to feel more comfortable with the district’s academic expectations and stress the importance of parent engagement in the student learning process. More families are participating in the program this year and attendance at school functions such as parent-teacher conferences has increased because of the outreach to families.

New literacy resources are being designed to help ELL students with vocabulary development. The resources were purchased with federal funds.

Wisconsin’s school accountability system requires that ELL students meet benchmarks for progressing in English language acquisition, reaching proficiency and meeting yearly progress in state standardized testing. The district met objectives for gaining and reaching English language proficiency, and achieving standardized test results at all grade levels in mathematics and at elementary and high school levels in reading. It did not meet the state’s annual objective for middle school students in reading. Human Resources and Organizational Development Director John Roubik outlined initiatives ELL staff will pursue to address ELL reading needs at the middle school level.

Board approves personnel matters

In personnel matters, the School Board:

  • accepted the retirement request of Hamilton assistant cook Elaine Neuhaus, effective Dec. 19;
  • approved the resignation of Templeton Special Services paraprofessional Carisma Rush, effective Dec. 23; and
  • appointed Capri Krieger as Hamilton assistant cook, Kimberly Gray as Marcy Special Services paraprofessional, Stephanie Sterr as Hamilton assistant cook and Monica Lohry and Jessica Petricca as Hamilton associate kitchen employees.