Lannon earns state recognition for achievement

Lannon Elementary School will be recognized May 21 at the State Capitol in Madison for being among 24 high-achieving schools in the state.LannonCardinalsWeb

The recognition is part of the Wisconsin Title I Schools of Recognition awards ceremony in which three categories of awards will be presented to 135 schools. Schools will be recognized for being high-achieving, high-progress or beating the odds.

As a high-achieving school, Lannon met all annual measurable objectives for achievement and had achievement gaps less than three points between student groups or showed evidence of reducing gap.

“The state’s Title I Schools of Recognition awards recognize the efforts of students, their families, teachers, school administrators and school staff members to break the link between poverty and low academic achievement,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers. “Their success is something to celebrate.”

The Wisconsin Title I School of Recognition awards highlight schools that have demonstrated success in educating students from low-income families. To be eligible, schools must receive federal Title I funding to provide services for economically disadvantaged children.

Schools raise funds for heart association through activities

Students, staff and families in the Hamilton School District made significant contributions to support the American Heart Association (AHA) this year through fitness activities that emphasize healthy living. Combined, schools raised more than $50,000 through Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart activities.

Photo of A Matthiesen with Heart and jump ropes

Lannon, Maple Avenue, Marcy and Woodside elementary school fitness education teachers coordinated their school’s participation in Jump Rope for Heart, a fundraising and physical activity program that teaches school-aged children how to keep fit and healthy, all while having fun and raising vital funds for heart disease research and education.

Children learn physical activities like rope-jumping to help improve their strength, gain confidence, build stamina and extend their physical abilities in other activities. Hoops for Hearts is the basketball version of Jump Rope for Heart coordinated for Templeton students during their Advisement period.

Marcy Elementary fitness education teacher Andy Matthiesen coordinated his last Jump Rope For Heart event due to his upcoming retirement. At the conclusion of 29 consecutive events, Marcy, under Matthiesen’s guidance, raised more than $250,000 for AHA. This year Woodside fifth grade student Parker Reich achieved Grand Master status for the first time in school history. This honor is earned by performing jumping routines 1-8 with no halts or mistakes.

Hamilton students named GMC Scholar Athletes

The Greater Metro Conference named the following Hamilton High School students 2017-18 Winter Scholar Athletes:

HHS-sign-Home-Of-Chargers

  • Eliana Selin, Taylor Fuerstenberg, Taylor Laboy, Brooke Barbeau, Taliah Carlson and Kristin Thompson – girls basketball; and
  • Ryan Filo – boys basketball.

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

Templeton students submit winning recipes

Two teams of Templeton Middle School seventh grade students qualified as winners in the sixth annual Whipping Up Wellness Wisconsin Student Chef recipe competition.StandingBulldogWord

The team of Mya Trafficante, Ella Packer and Stephanie Burg developed an original, student-friendly recipe – Creamy Potato and Vegetable Soup with Italian Sausage. The team of Alyssa Wick, Mikayla Giles and Emily Hokanson developed Cheesy Spinach Pesto Flatbread.

Both recipes included dark leafy greens and will be in the student chef cookbook published by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Schools throughout the state submitted recipes created by teams of students in grades 6-12. Recipes were judged on nutritional quality, incorporation of dark leafy greens, use of culinary skills, ease of use by school food service, recipe presentation, recipe description and creativity. The contest was sponsored by Wisconsin Team Nutrition and healthTIDE.

Hamilton announces March students of the month

Hamilton High School students representing 11 curriculum areas were selected as students of the month for March.

March students of the month

They are:

  • Nicholas Purko, applied engineering and technology;
  • Maniphone Thao, art;
  • John Weber, business education;
  • Rachel Betters, communication arts;
  • Samantha Sidoti, family and consumer sciences;
  • Forest Anderson and Colton Martell, fitness education;
  • Mitchell Fox, mathematics;
  • Kellie Kuehl, music;
  • Jacob Bender, science;
  • Dane Klitzka, social studies; and
  • Gabrielle Grzona, world languages.

Students received a certificate and a pin for their accomplishment.

Outstanding Hamilton seniors to be recognized

Hamilton High School will recognize outstanding seniors May 23 at the Senior Scholarship Ceremony. This is a special night to recognize seniors for their accomplishments as outstanding scholars, athletes, actors and musicians.HHS Horse

Students who win scholarships or other awards will be notified they should attend. Parents or students should inform the Guidance Office of outside scholarships received. Parents and other interested students also are encouraged to attend.

The ceremony, which will be held in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center, W220 N6151 Town Line Rd., Sussex, begins at 7 p.m. and concludes with refreshments in the lobby.

Any business or individuals interested in supporting the Hamilton High School Scholarship Program with a scholarship may contact David Johnson at (262) 246-6476 x1133.

April 16, 2018

Board names new school

The name of the new school voters approved in the Feb. 20 referendum will be Silver Spring Intermediate School. School Board members took action to officially name the school at its April 16 meeting. The mascot will be named at the May 1 Groundbreaking Ceremony that was rescheduled from April 16 due to weather conditions.

District gets favorable rate on referendum bonds

Because of the district’s strong Moody’s rating, interest rates to finance the referendum projects were better than expected. School Board members authorized the sale of $57.4 million in building and improvement bonds to Bank of America Merrill Lynch at an interest rate of 3.1466 percent. School officials projected the rate would be 3.7 percent. The lower rate will allow the district to pay off the debt one year sooner and at a lower tax rate than projected, collectively saving taxpayers millions of dollars. The tax impact for the construction projects was expected to be 98 cents per $1,000 of property value; instead it will be 94 cents per $1,000. The difference is an annual savings of $12 for the owner of a $300,000 home.

Board gets first look at budget

Hamilton School Board members took their first official look at the 2018-19 budget at their regular meeting. The budget totals $57.5 million, which is a 3.99 percent increase over the current budget.

State aid to Hamilton is expected to increase 4.56 percent from $22.1 million to $23.1 million. The tax rate is expected to remain at $8.55. The budget assumes 70 additional students and property value increase of 3.25 percent, both of which are conservative. If either of these assumptions are actually higher, the tax rate will be lower than $8.55.

The Annual Meeting, when citizens are able to vote on the local levy is set for July 16 in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center.

Briggs recognized for service to School Board

DebbieBriggs

Serving at her last meeting as a School Board member, Deborah Briggs, who chose not to run for her Village of Butler seat on the board, reflected on the transformation she has witnessed in the district not only as a board member, but also as a Hamilton High School graduate.

“I have seen this district grow over all these years and am completely amazed where we have come,” she said.

A School Board member for 24 years, Briggs pointed to her two grandchildren who are students in the district and were in the audience with her son and husband when she said, “The most important people are these little guys.”

“The only reason we open the doors in the morning is for students,” she said, and expressed optimism about the next generation.

“I just can’t wait to see what the future brings,” she said.

Two members take oath of office, one position vacant

SchneiderVanAackenSwearIn

Two board members were sworn in for another three-year term following their successful election. Brian Schneider and Dawn Van Aacken were re-elected April 3. Schneider has the Menomonee Falls seat and Van Aacken holds the Lisbon seat.

No one ran for the Butler seat following the retirement of School Board member Deborah Briggs. Butler resident Dawn Endries received the most write-in votes, and she has until April 23 to accept the position. If she does not, the School Board will begin the process of appointing a Butler resident to that position.

1:1 initiative in grades 5-12 supported with technology purchases

As the district reaches toward its goal of having a 1:1 student-to-device ratio in grades 5-8 in the next three years, the School Board took a big step in making that happen. It approved $697,000 for the purchase of 75 laptops, 40 iPads, more than 1,100 Chromebooks and other infrastructure to support use of technology. In doing so, next year all high school students will be issued their own Chromebooks, a lower-cost alternative to desktop and laptop computers.

The purchase is an increase in the district’s computer replacement cycle which typically replaces about 250-350 computers each year. For the past two years, the district has been able to purchase more devices by going with the less costly Chromebooks that meet student needs in the classroom and support the mandatory testing.

Funding for the technology will come from the Information Technology Department budget, Applied Engineering and Technology referendum dollars, reimbursement through a state technology grant, an increase in student technology fees and refunds from E-rate, a federal program that makes information services more affordable for schools.

Most fees unchanged; athletics, parking, technology to see increase

Basic student fees will be unchanged, but fees for athletics, parking and technology will be going up in the 2018-19 school year, including:

  • middle school athletic fees from $50 to $60 per sport;
  • high school athletic fees from $65 to $75 per sport;
  • student parking fee from $150 to $200 per year;
  • technology fee for Chromebooks in grades K-8 $25, grades 9-12 $40.

School lunch fees will not go up, unless the federal government determines that a fee increase is necessary.

Board approves requests for college courses

A total of 25 high school students requested admission to the Early College Credit Program (ECCP) that will allow them to take classes next semester at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha and Milwaukee, Marquette University and Carroll University. In addition, six students’ requests to take Waukesha County Technical College courses through Start College Now were also approved. Both programs were formerly part of the Youth Options Program. Hamilton Principal Candis Mongan noted in a report to the School Board, as in the past, many students will not be able to take the courses because of scheduling conflicts or full classes. A total of 26 students requested admission to Youth Options last year.

ECCP and Start College Now are programs mandated by the state that allows students who have completed tenth 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.

Early graduation request granted

Hamilton High School sophomore Dayne Lassiter will be allowed to graduate in June 2019 after meeting the requirements of the district’s early graduation policy.

Classroom resources approved

School Board members approved the adoption of $48,363 of fitness education, communication arts, mathematics, applied engineering and technology, and reading resources. Nearly $30,000 will fund literacy benchmark assessment system kits.

Staffing plan approved

The School Board approved a preliminary staff plan for the 2018-19 school year that will increase teaching positions across the district by 2.63 full-time equivalency (FTE) positions. The total reflects enrollment shifts that result in a reduction of one FTE at the elementary level, an increase of 3.3 FTEs at the middle school and increase of .33 FTE at the high school.

Personnel business

In personnel matters, the School Board:

  • approved the resignations of Maple Avenue Grade 4 Teacher Kimberly Mechenich, Hamilton German Teacher Melody Seip and Templeton Associate Principal Laura Montez, effective at the end of the school year;
  • appointed Veronica Seher as Marcy special services paraprofessional for the medically fragile, effective April 9; Kimberly Mechenich as Maple Avenue math support teacher, effective Aug. 27; Kristin Kyde as Templeton grade 8 teacher, effective Aug. 27; Devon Hauser as Marcy physical education teacher, effective Aug. 27; Kara Duehring as Maple Avenue physical education teacher, effective Aug. 27; Hope Onysio as Templeton grade 8 teacher, effective Aug. 27; and Adaliz Silva as Lannon associate kitchen employee, effective April 18.

Hamilton students earn State Honors

Four Hamilton High School students were invited to participate in the Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA) High School State Honors Music Project. More than 1,400 students competed in a rigorous audition process to earn positions on five different choir, band and orchestra ensembles.HHS-sign-Home-Of-Chargers

Freshman Nolan VanHaren was selected for mixed choir ensemble and sophomore Megan Nielsen for band. Junior Olivia Neils and freshman Cynthia Yan were selected alternates for band and orchestra.

The Wisconsin State Honors Music Project offers talented youth the opportunity to rehearse and perform with nationally-known conductors. Students selected for the WSMA State Honors Music Project participate in an intensive four day summer camp in June and perform in Madison during late October as part of the Wisconsin State Music Conference.

Moody’s rates Hamilton a strong Aa1

In preparation for financing of referendum projects, Moody’s Investor Services evaluated the Hamilton School District’s financial status and assigned it an Aa1 rating.MoodysAa1NoSpace

“Obligations rated Aa are judged to be of high quality and are subject to very low credit risk,” according to Moody’s website.

Moody’s generic ratings are: (from lowest to highest) C, Ca, Caa, B, Ba, Baa, A, Aa and Aaa. In addition, Moody’s appends numerical modifiers 1, 2, and 3 to each generic rating classification from Aa through Caa. The modifier 1 ranks in the higher end of the generic rating category, with 2 in the mid-range and 3 in the lower end of the generic rating category.

Hamilton’s rating was second highest among the possible 21 ratings. The high quality rating will allow the district to secure funding for referendum projects at a favorable interest rate.

In its evaluation, Moody’s Investor Services cited the district’s favorable location, growing enrollment, moderate pension liabilities and healthy financial position.

Nearly 62 percent of district voters approved $57.4 million of construction in a referendum Feb. 20 that included a new intermediate school, expansion and renovation of the Applied Engineering and Technology Program and a 15-classroom high school addition. Groundbreaking ceremonies for the referendum projects will be April 16 at 5:30 p.m. at the site of the new intermediate school.

Hamilton places sixth at state forensics tournament

Hamilton High School’s forensics team earned sixth place in its division April 7 at the Wisconsin Forensics Coaches’ Association (WFCA) state meet at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. The Chargers set a team record by advancing 13 students from preliminaries. It is the first time the team has finished in the state’s top six in back-to-back seasons.HHS-sign-Home-Of-Chargers

A total of 25 Hamilton entries joined more than 800 students from 76 schools throughout the state to compete in various speech and drama categories. The team award was determined by evaluating the average rank performance of individual team members.

The following students were category trophy winners:

  • Elise Rades, fourth place in Farrago;
  • Matthew Gnanadass, sixth place in Extemporaneous Speaking; and
  • Krystal Fedie, Nicole Hentzell and Manola Inthavong, sixth place in Group Interpretive.

Focusing on developing students’ public speaking and communication skills, the Hamilton forensics team helps students build confidence and community through extra-curricular competition.