Charger Robotics helps SOS Stamp Out Hunger

Charger Robotics members helped Sussex Outreach Services (SOS) sort donations collected in the May 9 U.S. Postal Service Stamp Out Hunger National Food Drive. More than 20 members checked for expiration dates and sorted items for the SOS Food Pantry.

 

About 11,000 pounds of food was collected locally which will help the Food Pantry operate through the summer months when demand is high and donations are typically low. The Stamp Out Hunger Drive is the largest one-day food drive in the nation.

 

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May 18, 2015

Board recognizes retiring employees

The 2014-15 retirements of seven district employees were commemorated at the Hamilton School Board meeting. Combined, the employees provided 164 years of service to the district. School Board members read and approved commendations for each employee that reflected comments from supervisors and colleagues, and each retiree was given a retirement gift.

 

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Those at the recognition were Woodside Elementary School counselor Pamela Bilodeau, Marcy Elementary School grade 5 teacher Ginger Felde, Willow Springs Learning Center 4k teacher Rita Forrester, Marcy Elementary School head custodian Steve Katona and Hamilton High School guidance administrative assistant Mary Weber. Elementary band director Karen Moniza, Hamilton High School assistant cook Elaine Neuhaus were unable to attend.

 

Marjorie Wrezic presented with Community Service Award

 

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The district’s Community Service Award was presented to Marjorie Wrezic for establishing a scholarship program for Hamilton graduates.

 

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In addition, Marjorie’s daughter and son-in-law, Gwen and Michael LaFond, were recognized with a certificate of appreciation for their role in helping to get the scholarship program set up.

 

High school student representative recognized

 

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Hamilton senior Alyse Haven was recognized for her service to the School Board as the student representative during the 2014-15 school year.

 

Hamilton teacher, students present personalized learning initiative

 

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Hamilton science teacher Toni Lynn Wainio presented with two of her students highlighting a personalized learning pilot at the high school. Juniors Natalie Hagenow and Samuel Herriges described the process of creating and tracking SMART goals during their advisement period. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Students created a Google site to track their goals. They filled out a Student Learner Profile which helped them understand and communicate how they learned best.

 

Both students said that learning how to better set goals helped them understand their interests, strengths and weaknesses as a learner. The experience provided them with information to help them do well in their classes, plan the courses they needed and determine possible career choices.

The district’s strategic plan calls for the implementation of personalized learning. Teachers from all grade levels piloted personalized learning projects this year, and will share their experiences to come up with recommendations for the district.

 

Staffing plan for 2015-16 presented

The district will have the full-time equivalency (FTE) of 1.76 fewer certified staff members next year as enrollments shift from elementary and middle school to the high school. While the high school will see an increase of 2.18 FTEs, elementary schools will lose a total of 2.14 FTEs and the middle school will be down 1.8 FTEs. Combined, the district will have 1.76 fewer FTEs next year. The staffing plan was built with projecting a freeze in state funding, not the cuts proposed in the governor’s budget.

 

Sussex proposes amendment to TID

School Board members appointed Hamilton Buildings & Grounds Manager Jeff Grove to represent the district on the Joint Review Board that will consider an amendment to Tax Incremental District (TID) No. 6 in Sussex. The Joint Review Board will consider an amendment intended to eliminate blight on village properties located adjacent to the intersection of Silver Spring Drive and Main Street and south of Main Street between Silver Spring Drive and Maple Avenue. TID No. 6 was created in 2013 to redevelop the former Mammoth Springs Canning Company site. By amending the project plan and boundaries of TID No. 6, the village hopes to encourage development and redevelopment of properties in and adjacent to existing district.

 

TIDs generate tax revenue that can only be used to fund infrastructure investment and other eligible projects that facilitate private development. They affect the school district because when a TID is created, the current base value of all the taxable property within the defined boundaries is established. Taxing jurisdictions where the TID is proposed – including the school district, county and technical college – are notified of a hearing to consider the amendment because it affects tax collections. Over the life of the TID, taxing jurisdictions collect taxes from the property in the TID base value. Meanwhile, new construction and investment increase the value of the property. All of the taxes collected on the growth in value of the property will be turned over to the village as “tax increment” revenue which it uses to pay improvements made to the property.

 

Open Enrollment students placed on waiting list

The district received 199 applications from nonresident students to attend Hamilton schools under Open Enrollment. No spaces are available in the district, so applicants will be placed on a waiting list for the 2015-16 school year. The district will monitor expected enrollment throughout the summer to determine if students will be recommended for placement at schools based on space availability.

 

Personnel matters

In personnel action, the School Board:

  • accepted resignations from Marcy associate kitchen employee Lisa Perreault, effective June 10,
  • Templeton part-time custodian Christopher Herman, effective May 15, and Hamilton associate kitchen employee Jessica Petricca, effective May 21; and
  • appointed Amanda Fields as a Hamilton business education teacher effective Aug. 19.

Willow Springs students branching out

Willow Springs Learning Center will hold its annual Branching Out Ceremony June 9 at 9:45 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center. The ceremony is the culminating activity of the year for students who will attend 5-year-old kindergarten at their neighborhood school next year. The ceremony recognizes their growth as 4-year-old kindergartners during the year and symbolizes how they will branch out to another school.

The children will sing songs, place a leaf on a tree to mark their new school and be introduced as the future class of 2028.

Parents and families will help students celebrate their accomplishment. The Hamilton Fine Arts Center is located at W220 N6151 Town Line Road, Sussex.

Templeton band to perform spring concert

Templeton Middle School eighth grade band will perform June 3 in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center (HFAC).The concert, which is free and open to the public, begins at 7 p.m.

“The concerts are a culmination of three months of rehearsals in which the bands have shown tremendous growth,” said Templeton Band Director David Neubauer. “The band is eager to share its spring concert with the community.”

The concert will include classical concert band repertoire, Broadway musical medleys and medleys of movie soundtracks and much more.

The HFAC is located at W220 N6151 Town Line Road in Sussex.

 

Hamilton students excel at state music festival

 Hamilton High School music students participated April 25 in the Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA) Music Festival held at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The Exemplary Solo Recognition Project, which recognizes exemplary soloists participating in the competition, selected freshman Sarah May as an Exemplary Soloist for her violin solo. Euphonium player Erin Magoon earned a nomination. WSMA adjudicators nominate soloists throughout the day and the honor is awarded at the end of the competition.

Students entered as individual soloists, part of an ensemble or both. A WSMA judge rated them on a I-V system with I as the highest. Earning a superior rating of I:

·        Hamilton A Cappella Choir, mixed vocal jazz;

·        Kaitlin Flynn, soprano solo and musical theater solo;

·        Veronica Ludin, musical theater solo;

·        Hannah Menzel, musical theater solo;

·        Emma Chung, alto solo;

·        Krystal Fedie, soprano solo;

·        Jason Schlaman and Ashley DeJaco, vocal duet;

·        Veronica Ludin and Josef Samara, vocal duet;

·        Dustin Hartwig and Kaitlyn Miller, vocal duet;

·        Emma Chung, Kate Meagher, Lauren LaFond, Lauren Spankowski, Rhea Last, Ritika Rajappa, Emily Smith, Emily Sereg, Alyssa Prodoehl, Isabella Spek, Rachel Burkard, Anne Perrizo, Amanjot Yadev and Suzan Hang, clarinet choir;

·        Alexander Hillmer, Melanie Hall, Benjamin Pink, Stephanie Hopkins, Eric Sapa, Matthew Bettwy, Rashelle Pershman, Chloe Simchick, Megan Jansett, Jonah Brown, Mitchell   Hudson, Brandon Christianson, Maya Peske, Ann Marie Krolczyk, Samuel Chapman, Megan Gundrum and Matthew McGuire, brass ensemble;

·        Alexander Hillmer, jazz improvisation piano solo;

·        Alexandra Stephens and Sarah Chartrand, flute duet;

·        Emma Chung, clarinet solo;

·        Kate Meagher, clarinet solo;

·        Alexander Hillmer, jazz improvisation trumpet solo;

·        Ann Marie Krolczyk, euphonium solo;

·        Erin Magoon, euphonium solo;

·        Chloe Simchick, French horn solo;

·        Megan Jansett, French horn solo;

·        Emma Chung and Kate Meagher, clarinet duet;

·        Emily Smith and Emily Sereg, clarinet duet; amd

·        Sarah May, violin solo.

The following music students earned an excellent rating of II:

·        Gabriela Fuhriman, alto solo;

·        Lindsey Paquette, musical theater solo;

·        Kira Lange, musical theater solo and soprano solo;

·        Tien Mai, soprano solo;

·        Salvatore Calatola-Young, bass solo;

·        Hannah Menzel, soprano solo;

·        Ashley DeJaco, alto solo;

·        Veronica Ludin, soprano solo;

·        Matthew Smith, piano solo;

·        Lauren LaFond, clarinet solo;

·        Jonah Brown, trumpet solo;

·        Maxwell Cavadel, snare drum solo;

·        Paige Lovelien, alto saxophone solo; and

·        Matthew Bettwy, trumpet solo.

Facility meeting needs of classes, afterschool activities

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Fitness classes, afterschool activities make for busy center

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. Instead, the district renovated the Hamilton High School gym in 2008, replacing materials original to the school built in 1963, but space was not added.

Increased enrollment & participation drives need for space

Student enrollment and athletic participation continued to increase. Structural concerns and ADA accessibility arose. 

  • Student athletic participation increased 33 percent and six levels of sports were added in the past decade.
  • Space in the gym which was original to the school built in 1963 was limited. School hallways and the cafeteria were used for classes and training.
  • The second floor weight room was not ADA accessible.
  • Dropping of free weights on the floor created facility distress and was becoming a structural issue.

Community advisory group recommends lower-cost facility

The FAC reconvened in October, 2013 and recommended building an alternative to a fieldhouse that would be substantially less costly for construction and maintenance and provides access for a greater variety of activities than is available in a fieldhouse. A multi-purpose facility with space for fitness education classes during the day and athletic training after the school day was recommended. The district maintenance budget and fund balance would be used to cover its cost of $4.8 million without going to a referendum to increase taxes. The center opened in the fall of 2014.

Hamilton Athletic Center use

  • Intended for physical education classes, training and practice, but not performances, games or contests
  • Nearly 40 girls and boys teams, squads and the marching band will use the indoor practice space
  • Since January, 2015, the facility has been used every school day for fitness education classes during the school day and 99 percent of the time that the space was available after school and Saturdays. Excluding holidays and Sundays when the center is not open, there was only one day when the facility was not being used – Saturday, Jan. 3, during winter break.

Classes and groups that use the Hamilton Athletic Center

During the school day

After school hours and on Saturdays

January – April 2015 data

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District savings allows funding of facility projects

Hamilton School District administrators have worked with a variety of outside consultants to implement cost-saving measures like those used in business. The district has been recognized by Public Policy Forum and Waukesha County as a government entity that manages for results. The priority was to avoid cuts that had a direct impact in the classroom, but create savings that allowed the district to fund facility projects. The district has met the needs of its growing community without increasing taxes on residents during an economically difficult time. Previous reductions and cost-saving were achieved by:

  • Requiring employees to pay a percentage of their wages (ranging from 5.9 to 7 percent) for retirement contributions.
  • Eliminating employee post-employment healthcare coverage through conversion to an HRA, saving the district approximately $22 million in benefit liability.
  • Implementing energy-efficient practices that avoided more than $1.3 million in energy expenses despite adding more than 100,000 square feet of new space. Practices include an energy management system, replacing boilers with energy-efficient models, adding variable-speed drives on air handling units, installing automatic setback systems for climate and lighting controls.
  • Restructuring debt, saving taxpayers more than $12 million.
  • Making changes to the district’s self-funded employee medical and drug plan which is why healthcare expenses have been significantly below national average increases, thereby avoiding nearly $20 million in health care costs since 2005.
  • Implementing across-the-board athletic, department, office and building reductions.
  • Cutting back on purchase of supplies, materials, equipment and contracted services.
  • Keeping the number of administrative positions low in comparison to other school districts (Hamilton’s student-to-administrator ratio is 316 to 1 compared to the state ratio of 246 to 1.)

Hamilton announces April students of the month

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

  • Eric Sapa, applied engineering and technology;
  • Vanessa Ignatew, art;
  • Nicholas Schulze, business education;
  • Alexandra Detweiler, communication arts;
  • Mira Guenette, family and consumer sciences;
  • Joseph Klobukowski and Kirsten Windbiel, fitness education;
  • Taylor Fuerstenberg, mathematics;
  • Emma Chung, music;
  • Jacob Mueller, science;
  • Sydney Trudell, social studies; and
  • Tess Carlson, world languages.

Students received a certificate and a pin for their accomplishment.

 

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Templeton cheerleading tryouts to be held May 28

Sixth- and seventh-graders interested in trying out for the 2015-16 Templeton Middle School cheerleading squad are invited to attend tryouts May 28 at 4:30 p.m. Cheerleading clinics will be May 26 and 27 from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Tryouts and clinics will be at Templeton Middle School, N59 W22490 Silver Spring Dr., Sussex.

A parent-player informational meeting will be held May 19 at 6 p.m. in the Templeton cafeteria. For more information about the cheerleading squad, please contact Coach Kathy Kalupa at (414) 617-4739.

Woodside plans May 30 recycling fundraiser

Woodside Elementary School is giving community members a chance to support students and the environment May 30 from 9 a.m. to noon at its Metal Recycling Fundraiser. The Woodside Green and Healthy Committee is teaming with Cimco Recycling to let people get rid of their unwanted recyclable items.

The students hope community members will clean out their garages, basements and homes and drop off accepted items in the Woodside parking lot where volunteers will help unload items from vehicles. All proceeds go to the Woodside Home and School which provides funding to support students.

Lists of accepted and prohibited items are posted online at http://connect.hamilton.k12.wi.us/news/district/RecyclableItems.pdf and http://connect.hamilton.k12.wi.us/news/district/ProhibitedItems.pdf.

The school is located at W236 N7465 Woodside Road, Sussex.

May 5, 2015

Board gives budget OK before Annual Meeting

The Hamilton School Board gave its approval for the 2015-16 budget that will be presented to voters at the Annual Meeting, normally held in June, but postponed until Aug. 17 this year because of uncertainty of the state budget.

 

Including $3 million toward construction of a high school classroom addition, the district budget is $56.1 million, up by 1.98 percent over last year. The increase covers costs associated with an anticipated 25-student enrollment increase. Property value in the district is projected to increase by 2 percent, and the mil rate is expected to drop from $9.76 to $9.56 per $1,000 of property – a 2.12 percent decrease.

 

Students recognized for National Merit accomplishments

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Four Hamilton seniors were recognized for their high achievement in the National Merit Scholarship Competition. Hamilton High School seniors Brandon Fedie, Adam Klager and Sean Thompson were named finalists in the overall program placing them among the highest-scoring students in the country.

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Remi Lassiter was one of 1,300 Black American high school seniors named finalist in the National Achievement Scholarship Program.

Board officers elected

School Board members kept Gabe Kolesari as their president, James Long as vice president, Dawn Van Aacken as clerk and Michael Hyland as treasurer

 

School career opportunities highlighted

Hamilton High School Associate Principal and Extended Learning Opportunities Coordinator Pete Ferge presented two items to the School Board. 2015-16 participation in the Waukesha County School-to-Work consortium was approved. The School-to-Work Consortium provides grant funding that supports co-op, youth apprenticeship, work experience programs and K-12 career-related initiatives.

 

The district’s Extended Learning Opportunities annual report – highlighting the district’s co-op work experiences, school-to-work partnerships, transcripted credit agreements with Waukesha County Technical College and other opportunities that prepare student for the work world – was accepted. Ferge pointed to connections with local businesses that provide work experience for students and described the GPS Partners for Education as a successful alternative educational setting for students preparing for a manufacturing or machining career.

 

Summer workshops for teachers approved

Summer workshops for teachers were authorized. The action allows teachers to participate in curriculum and professional development workshops focused on district initiatives. Curriculum projects include elementary writing resources, personalized learning, middle school intervention delivery structure and advisement, information and technology literacy review, and implementation planning for advanced algebra, social studies, AP environmental science and world languages. Professional development activities include special and regulation education co-teaching, social studies resources, RtI, writing resources, critical literacy, new teacher orientation and closing the achievement gap.

 

RtI initiatives reviewed

Pupil Services Supervisor John Peterson and Instructional Services Supervisor Katherine Little, Ph.D., updated School Board members on the work of the committees addressing Response to Intervention (RtI) initiatives. One focuses on literacy and the other on numeracy and mathematics. RtI provides a process to integrate data-based decision making, evidence-based intervention, student progress monitoring and professional development. It has been operational in the district for two years.

 

Personnel action

In personnel business, the School Board:

  • accepted the resignation of Marcy special services paraprofessional Kimberly Gray, effective June 10; and
  • appointed Murrene Payton, Daniel Tackes and Steve Akin as assistant summer school coordinators, effective May 19, and Michelle Wolff as a Hamilton clerical and student supervision paraprofessional, effective April 28;
  • approved the retirement request of district elementary band teacher Karen Moniza, effective at the end of the school year;
  • modified the contract of Hamilton communication arts teacher Diana Paquette from 100 to 50 percent; and
  • approved extending the employee assistance program contract with National Insurances Services, a benefit for employees provided free of charge by the district’s long-term disability carrier.

In other personnel business the board, approved sending final nonrenewal notices to 25 teachers for the 2015-16 school year. About half of the staff members were on the nonrenewal list as part of a normal process completed each year for limited-term replacement contracts or due to staffing needs based on student course selection. The others were affected because of the governor’s proposed budget cuts to K-12 education. While all the positions may not be cut, state statute requires that certified staff members be notified in April and again in May if they potentially will not be offered a contract for the next school year. Some Legislators have indicated they would like restore funding for K-12 schools, the district will not know that until the state budget is set in June.