Hamilton students earn top honors on state Microsoft exams

Three Hamilton High School students learned that they earned exceptional scores on state Microsoft Office Specialist Certification exams. They are: BongardSchmidtGouin – Copy

  • Nicholas Bongard – State champion in Excel and second place in Word;
  • Koryna Schmidt – second place in PowerPoint and
  • Jacob Gouin – third place in Word.

The students were in Toni Hillmann and Brenda Savic’s Computer Applications courses last year where the “Productivity” strand of the program was completed. The course provides student with the opportunity to take Microsoft Office Specialist Certification exams in Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Hamilton has successfully participated in Microsoft Imagine Academy since 2016-17. It is a complete technology education solution connecting staff, teachers, students, employers and local communities through leading-edge technology skills development that lead to industry standard certifications.

Hamilton custodians have new safe option to fight viruses

Recognizing that it will play an important role in keeping schools safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hamilton School District’s Buildings & Grounds Department has explored additional options for cleaning and disinfecting. One of its new tools is the hypochlorous acid generation system that produces a disinfecting solution inexpensively on site.hypochlorous-acid

Large quantities of hypochlorous acid can be made by mixing salt and a weak acid such as vinegar with electricity to produce the electrolyzed water. Hypochlorous acid is an internal substance found in all mammals and is an effective oxidizing agent against a broad range of bacteria and viruses including COVID-19. It is a green alternative to harsh chemicals, but is 100 times more powerful than bleach and does not pose a risk to people.

According to district Buildings & Grounds Supervisor Jeffrey Grove, the system checks a lot of boxes as an ideal school disinfectant.

“It is nontoxic to people, won’t harm surfaces and is noncorrosive,” Grove said. “Finding a product that is effective and safe for students and staff is extremely important and this product does just that.”

The district invested $18,000 in purchasing the machine that makes the solution, but Grove expects the payback will be less than one year because the district will be able to produces 130 gallons of disinfectant each day for three cents per gallon. A district parent, who is a firefighter, suggested the system after seeing the Greenfield Fire Department use it extensively in all of its ambulances.

Templeton students write letters to senior citizens

Templeton Middle School Student Council spread positivity by writing 130 letters to residents of the Brookdale Senior Living Center in Sussex.TMS LettersphotoWeb

Because visitors are not allowed due to COVID-19 restrictions, the letters included positive messages, jokes and riddles, colorful drawings and short stories about recent events.

The next Student Council letter-writing campaign will focus on thank you letters to local healthcare workers.

August 17, 2020

Board approves 14 positions to cover virtual learning option

Hamilton School Board members approved an increase of 14 full-time equivalency positions to accommodate the needs of students who selected the virtual online learning option for the 2020-21 school year.school board meeting_type

About 21% of students chose the virtual online option compared to nearly 79% who chose the traditional in-person model during online registration last week.

A staffing plan was developed that included three additional elementary teaching positions, one intermediate position, three middle school positions and five high school positions. In addition, two contingency positions were allotted to deal with potential enrollment fluctuations.

The additional staffing is expected to be a one-time expenditure to offer the virtual online option for the 2020-21 school year only.

Face covering protocols approved

After determining July 31 that face coverings will be required for students, staff, visitors and vendors in the traditional in-person learning model, the School Board approved protocols for use in schools.

Face coverings are not required for children under age 2 years, those with health care provider certification of a medical condition that prevents them from safely wearing a face covering and those identified in their IEP/504 health plan.

Schools will provide students with periodic breaks to remove face coverings while under supervision and maintaining appropriate social distancing.

Face coverings will not be required: outside the school building while socially distanced; at planned mealtime; during strenuous physical activity; during receipt of health care; if a person is experiencing acute trouble breathing, is unconscious or incapacitated; and other exemptions as deemed appropriate by the district administrator.

The protocols will be enforced while in school and at school-sponsored events and activities. Students who do not comply will be reminded of the protocol and ultimately provisions of School Board policy and student handbooks will be followed. Students who repeatedly refuse to comply will be required to receive their educational instruction at home.

Employees are expected to comply or face disciplinary action spelled out in the Employee Handbook and School Board policies. Visitors to the school will be informed of the protocol and will not be admitted to the building without a face covering.

County metrics framework adopted

The School Board accepted the Waukesha County Health Department’s Metrics Framework to determine assess COVID-19 risk levels in making decisions for the district and individual schools on instructional model delivery. The framework is based on the work of the Harvard Global Health Institute.

The levels include the following:

  • Green – on track for containment;
  • Yellow – community spread;
  • Orange – accelerated spread; and
  • Red – tipping point.

The county created a dashboard that will allow each district to analyze and monitor its active cases by defined age ranges that will include students, community and school staff.

Superintendent reports on other COVID-19 matters

In an update to the School Board, Superintendent Paul Mielke, Ph.D., reported that approximately 21% of students selected virtual online learning option for the first semester of 2020-21, and 40% of students opted out of bus transportation.

He also reported that a group of teachers and administrators explored a transition plan that would have half the enrollment attend in-person two days while the other half attended virtually, with one day for individual and small group instruction. It would be a temporary solution to reduce the number of students in the building at one time between traditional in-person and emergency remote learning. The plan was recommended only as a temporary transition if greater virus mitigation was necessary and not to start out the school year because of the disruption and inconsistency for families and staff

Induction program supports new teachers

New educators in the district will continue to be supported through the New Teacher Induction & Coaching Program. Teachers who are new to the profession typically need more direct, according to Instructional Services Supervisor Cathy Drago and Human Resources Director John Roubik, who presented a report to the School Board.

Support for the new teachers will focus on instructional design, classroom management and strong instructional practices. Teachers receive support for two years. Veteran teachers new to the Hamilton School District participate in the district’s instructional coaching model. In addition, new teachers participate in monthly meetings with their mentors and a first semester check-in with Educational Services staff.

New teachers will learn about:

  • district’s mission, vision and strategic plan initiatives;
  • new teacher support and instructional coaching model overview;
  • mentor-mentee relationship and expectations;
  • district technology resources;
  • Educator Effectiveness options and introduction to Frontline software;
  • Teachers on Call
  • Skyward;
  • ALICE active shooter drills;
  • COVID-19 planning and virtual teaching expectations.

Personnel actions

In personnel matters, the School Board:

  • accepted the resignations of Willow Springs special services paraprofessional Amy Krueger, Maple Avenue special services paraprofessional Crystal Mazur and Templeton Title I paraprofessional Eden Mitchell; Kathleen Peterson as high school associate kitchen employee and Laura Watson as Maple Avenue special services paraprofessional;
  • appointed Heather Leffler as Maple Avenue special education teacher, Calli Bemis as food service assistant manager, Marina Samens as Lannon special services paraprofessional, Brianne Hill as Maple Avenue grade 1 teacher, Nicole Lockhart as Lannon special services paraprofessional, Andrew Fagan as Hamilton mathematics teacher, Lauren Little as Silver Spring music teacher, Cathy House, as Maple Avenue associate kitchen employee, Danielle Danz as Lannon grade 1 replacement teacher, Taylor Dietz as Woodside grade 4 replacement teacher, Catherine Losiniecki as Lannon health room paraprofessional and Alexis Prei as Silver Spring grade 6 replacement teacher; and
  • modified the contract of Lannon speech pathologist Amy Chavie from 80% to full time.

Families can apply for free, reduced lunches

The Hamilton School District announced its policy for children unable to pay the full price of meals served under the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program, or milk served under the Special Milk Program. Household size and income criteria determine eligibility.HSD-Logo_4c_TaglineWeb477

To apply for free or reduced price meals or free milk, households must fill out the application available through the Infinite Campus portal. Families who do not have access to the Internet, may contact the district’s Food and Nutrition Services Department at (262) 246-1973 x1142. Applications may be submitted at any time during the year.

If a household member becomes unemployed or if the household size changes and the household income falls at or below the levels shown above, the family should contact the school. Such changes may make households eligible for reduced price meals or free meals or milk, and they may reapply at that time.

In certain cases, foster children are also eligible for these benefits. If a household has foster children and wishes to apply for free or reduced price meals, the household should complete an application for a family of one or contact the school for more information.

The information provided by the household on the application is confidential. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, creed, age, national origin, ancestry, pregnancy, marital status or parental status, sexual orientation, or ability.

The Hamilton School District is an equal opportunity provider. For more information, contact Kira Cerroni King, district food service manager, at (262) 246-1973 x1142.

Hamilton teacher completes SBE professional development

Hamilton High School business education teacher Amanda Fields completed six hours of professional development related to School Based Enterprises (SBE) in July. The training was sponsored by the Department of Public Instruction, Wisconsin Marketing Education Association and WiseLearn.Fields

2020 Virtual SBE Academy participants collaborated and learned about creating an SBE, best practices, curriculum integration, SBE Gold Certification and school based enterprise educational resources provided by other school based enterprise teachers and advisors from across the country.

Hamilton’s Charger Corner is an entrepreneurial operation in a school setting that provides goods and services to meet the needs of the market. SBEs are managed and operated by students as hands-on learning laboratories that integrate National Curriculum Standards in marketing, finance, hospitality or management.