Early admission to school deadline approaches

Parents who want their children considered for early admission into a Hamilton School District 5-year-old kindergarten or first grade class next fall should apply in writing by March 1 to their elementary school principal. Application forms are available at elementary school offices.Early-Admission430

Children who turn five on or before Sept. 1, 2019 meet normal entrance age requirements for the 2019-20 5-year-old kindergarten class; those who turn six on or before Sept. 1, 2019 are eligible to enter first grade.

Parents making application will meet with the principal. During that time, a brief interview will take place and the application will be completed. The child should demonstrate superior intellectual development, superior language skills and advanced physical, social and emotional maturity. Parents will be contacted no later than mid-March, 2019 about the next step in the process.

For more information about early admission, contact an elementary school principal or Special Services Supervisor John Peterson (262) 246-1973 x1184.

Hamilton cheerleaders perform at Citrus Bowl

Three Hamilton High School cheerleaders performed Jan. 1 in the 73rd Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla. Laura Steiner, Kaitlyn Slaats and Mackenzie Irene were among more than 800 cheerleaders from across the United States to participate.Citrus-Bowl-2019-wide-477

Cheerleaders invited to perform in the pre-game performance were nominated by summer camp leaders from the National Cheerleaders Association, a part of the Varsity Spirit brand.

The students traveled to Orlando for a week of rehearsals in preparation for the Citrus Bowl pre-game performance. The cheerleaders performed in front of nearly 60,000 fans at this popular college football game, the seventh oldest collegiate bowl in the country.

January 8, 2019

Position for intermediate school principal approved

School Board members approved a position description for an intermediate school principal which will have a 260-day contract.

While a new position was created, the district will not have more administrative positions because two part-time elementary associate principal positions will be cut in the 2019-20 school year. With students in grade 5 moving to the intermediate school, all elementary school enrollments will drop below 600, the point when an associate principal is considered. Silver Spring Intermediate School will have an associate principal because its enrollment will be more than 600 students.

Drama students recognized for advancing to nationals

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(From left) Hamilton Principal Candis Mongan introduced students Joe Davila and Maggie Flynn and Drama Director Sarah Plamann.

Hamilton High School sophomores Joe Davila and Maggie Flynn were recognized for advancing to national competition after qualifying at the Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival. They were introduced by elementary school music teacher Sarah Plamann who is also the high school theatre director.

The students competed in the Thespian Individual category with Davila performing a monologue from the shows “Harvey” and “My Fair Lady,” and Flynn performing the solo “Journey to the Past” from the musical “Anastasia.”

Davila and Flynn are the first Hamilton students to qualify for national competition in the One-Act Contest. They will compete in June at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

Y-Care to be offered with Summer Opportunities

In a written report, Lannon Principal and Summer Opportunities Coordinator Brian Balfany informed the School Board on plans for the upcoming summer school session which will operate June 19 to July 17 with days off on July 4 and 5. The program will be offered at two sites – Hamilton High School and Maple Avenue Elementary School.

New for parents who enroll their children in Summer Opportunities will be the option to use Y-Care services after summer school classes are done for the day, according to Superintendent Paul Mielke, Ph.D. YMCA childcare, provided independently of the Summer Opportunities program, will be at Woodside Elementary School on days when summer school is in session. Only students enrolled in Summer Opportunities, who will be bussed to Woodside as part of the shuttle bus service, will be able to participate. Families will contract with YMCA directly to participate.

Mielke said additional opportunities for popular STEM classes will be available this year, and an ACT prep course is being investigated for high school students.

Fees that cover the consumable materials used in class will remain at the same $4-$20 level they have been in the past. The bus service that shuttles students to and from elementary schools and the high school will remain at a cost of $20 per rider.

Three incumbents, one challenger in School Board election

In his report to the School Board, Superintendent Paul Mielke, Ph.D., reported that three incumbents whose positions are up for re-election this spring and one challenger have filed papers to run for School Board. Rebecca Zingsheim, who was appointed to fill the Village of Butler seat last year, will run to complete the final two years of the term. Gabe Kolesari, whose position is designated from the Village of Sussex, and Jennifer Waltz, who serves an at-large position, filed papers to run again. Waltz will be challenged by Lori Schnitzka for the at-large seat. A primary election will not be necessary. The general election will be April 2, and successful candidates will take office April 22.

Personnel business

In other personnel business, the School Board:

  • approved the resignation of Marcy grade 4 teacher Patricia Mayer effective Dec. 30, 2018 and Templeton special education teacher Kim Bruessel effective Jan. 18;
  • accepted retirement requests of Maple Avenue technology integration teacher Terese Manske and Marcy literacy interventionist Susan Ladd, both effective at the end of the 2018-19 school year; and
  • appointed Gail Greve as a Maple Avenue literacy interventionist replacement effective Jan. 2, Justine Klug as Templeton associate kitchen employee effective Jan. 7, Elisabeth Leach as Marcy special services paraprofessional effective. Jan. 22 and Amy Jung Templeton special services paraprofessional effective Jan. 22.

 

 

Hamilton’s kindergarten registration begins Jan. 29

Kindergarten registration for children who will attend the Hamilton School District in the 2019-20 school year will begin Jan. 29. The district offers kindergarten programs for 4-year-olds (4K) and 5-year-olds (5K) with bus transportation offered for both.Kindergarten-Registration-250

  • 4K is an optional half-day program at Willow Springs Learning Center for children who turn four on or before Sept. 1, 2019.
  • 5K is a full-day program at neighborhood elementary schools for children who turn five on or before Sept. 1, 2019.

Students new to the district

Students who are enrolling in the district for the first time begin the registration process by going to www.hamilton.k12.us and choosing the “New to district” link. Families with other children already enrolled in the district may log into their Infinite Campus parent portal and click on “2019 New Student Registration.”(Current Willow Springs 4K students are already registered and do not need to register again for 5K.)

The registration process is completed by bringing the child’s original birth certificate, immunization record and two proofs of residency to the school where the child will attend in the 2019-20 school year. Those registering for 4K will go to Willow Springs and 5K students will go to their neighborhood elementary school.

Following is contact information and times when schools will accept documents to complete the registration process:

  • Willow Springs Learning Center – W220 N6660 Town Line Rd., Menomonee Falls (262) 255-6190
    Jan 29: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Jan 30: 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Jan 31: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Lannon Elementary – 7145 N. Lannon Rd., Lannon (262) 255-6106
    Jan 29, 30 and 31: 9:30 – 11 a.m. and 1:30 – 3 p.m.
  • Maple Avenue Elementary – W240 N6059 Maple Ave., Sussex (262) 246-4220
    Jan 29, 30 and 31: 9 – 11 a.m. and 1 – 3 p.m.; 4 – 6 p.m. on Jan. 30
  • Marcy Elementary – W180 N4851 Marcy Rd., Menomonee Falls (262) 781-8283
    Jan 29, 30 and 31: 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. and 1 – 3 p.m.; 4 – 6 p.m. on Jan 30
  • Woodside Elementary – W236 N7465 Woodside Rd., Sussex (262) 820-1530
    Jan 29, 30 and 31: 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.; 4 – 6 p.m. on Jan. 30

December 17, 2018

2 Great Start days for elementary, intermediate students in 2019-20 calendar

Hamilton School Board members approved the 2019-20 school year calendar with two significant changes.

Elementary and intermediate schools will have two days before the start of classes to conduct Great Start conferences and student assessments. Known as Jump Start conferences at Willow Springs Learning Center, the additional time that would traditionally be the first two days of school will be set aside for teachers to meet with parents and gather information about students’ academic levels before the start of classes. It is expected to help staff gain a better understanding of their students sooner in the school year.

Another change is a day off in October for students and staff to achieve a more balanced schedule between semesters.

Other key dates in 2019-20 are:

  • Nov. 27, 28, 29 – break before, after and on Thanksgiving Day;
  • Dec. 23-Jan. 1 – winter break;
  • March 23-27 – spring break;
  • April 13, May 22, June 12 and 15 – break or snow make-up day; and
  • June 11 – last day of school for students.

Fall teams, athletes recognized

Hamilton High School athletes and teams that were conference champs or sectional or state qualifiers were recognized at the School Board meeting. Athletic-Activities Director Mike Gosz introduced coaches and their teams.

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Girls Cross Country state qualifier Isabel Seay

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Girls Cross Country team conference champions with coaches Stephen Schmidt and Ben Nysse

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Boys Cross Country team sectional champions and state qualifiers with coaches Schmidt and Nysse

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Girls Volleyball sectional team qualifier with coach Traci Buhr

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Girls Golf team sectional qualifier with coach Randy Howard

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Girls Swim state qualifiers Madeline Paar, Nicole Simson and Faith Johnson

(The boys soccer team, which was a state finalist, will be recognized at a future meeting.)

Personnel action taken

In personnel action, the School board:

  • approved the retirements of Templeton grade 6 teacher Cynthia Alexander, Templeton special education teacher Catherine Norene, and Marcy grade 1 teacher Beth Schaefer, all effective at the end of the school year;
  • accepted the resignations of Hamilton High School administrative assistant Samantha Nehls, effective Dec. 12, Marcy special services paraprofessional Candy Bauer-Goetz, effective Dec. 21, and Marcy grade 2 teacher Brigid Ingram, effective Dec. 17.
  • appointed Kim Pierce as Marcy associate kitchen employee, Julie Rossi as Templeton part-time custodian, and Jane Schmid as Hamilton cook, all effective Dec. 17.

Parameters set for school budget planning

Budget parameters for schools planning their 2019-20 school year budget will be the same as last year for existing schools. New this year will be the addition of Silver Spring Intermediate School to the mix. The parameters schools have been given as they budget for next year are:

  • General school allocation will be $108 per student for elementary, $128 for intermediate, $138 for middle and $168 for high school.
  • The library allocation will be $33 per student at all levels.
  • Capital outlay per-pupil allocations will be $18 per elementary and intermediate student, $20 per middle school student and $25 per high school student.

Hamilton band, choir prepare for performance on global stage

Hamilton High School band and choir are getting ready for a performance of a lifetime. They will participate in the 2019 London New Year’s Day Parade (LNYDP) and Festival.HHSChargerBand500-web

Charger Marching Band will be part of the Jan. 1 parade, which London has hosted for the past 30 years, that will be seen by 500,000 spectators on the streets of London and an estimated television audience of 600 million people. The parade follows one of the city’s most famous thoroughfares that travels through Piccadilly, Piccadilly Circus, Lower Regent Street, Waterloo Place, Pall Mall, Cockspur Street, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall and Parliament Street.HHS-Choir-500-web

Along with the parade is the LNYDP concert series and grand finale. Hamilton Concert Choir will perform a solo concert at the 800-year-old renown Southwark Cathedral and it will participate Jan. 2 in the culminating London International Choral Festival Gala Concert at Westminster Central Hall. The choir will work with distinguished musicians and conductors throughout their rehearsals and performance.

Local citizens will be able to experience the musicians’ performance by live-streaming them at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcPP2YOJfKY, including:

  • Cadogan Hall band concert – Dec. 30 at 1:30 p.m.;
  • Parade – Jan. 1 from 6 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.; and
  • Choral festival – Jan. 2 from 1:45 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Students have been preparing for this historic performance for more than a year – rehearsing and raising funds for the exceptional travel and music development opportunity.

“We are extremely grateful to have the chance to perform internationally,” said Hamilton Choir Director Marilyn Mascitti. “For many, this will be a once-in-a-lifetime trip overseas.”

“People learn so much through travel and experience, and our students will come back with lessons they would never have learned through books alone,” she said.

Hamilton Band Director Jon Waite believes the performance-travel experiences will have a profound impact on students.

“Many of our students haven’t left the state, let alone the country, and when you throw in performing in historic venues, for so many people it just make the experience so educationally rich,” he said. “We are extremely proud and excited to have this opportunity.”

The 140-member Hamilton Charger Marching Band is one part of a comprehensive instrumental music program that includes two concert bands, two jazz bands, pep band, numerous chamber ensembles and other opportunities. The marching band finished one of its most successful seasons this fall by placing third in class AAAA at the Wisconsin Marching Band Championships.

Hamilton’s choir program is more than 125 singers strong, offering unique opportunities for performance and other music experiences. The choral program consists of Concert, Cantabile, Hamiltones A Cappella and Synergy Show choirs. The various choirs have performed and competed throughout Wisconsin and have traveled to New York and Orlando with the band.

The Hamilton Band Boosters and Hamilton Choir Boosters clubs are dedicated parents who support the band and choir through organizational and fundraising activities.

Hamilton Junior Optimists “Pack the Van” for children

Members of Hamilton High School Junior Optimist Club, with help from the National Honor Society and Student Council, met in November to pack 125 shoe boxes with items that were shipped to children in South America and Africa.GroupPhoto600Web

Junior Optimist Molly Hubred, a senior, spearheaded Hamilton’s involvement in Operation Christmas Child which provides children with shoe boxes filled with clothing, school supplies, hygiene products and toys. It is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization.

Teachers throughout the high school had large boxes in their classrooms for two weeks that students filled with donated items. Junior Optimists, National Honor Society and Student Council members then packed individual shoe boxes after school with a variety of items to be given to children affected by war, poverty, natural disaster, famine and disease.

The Junior Optimists is Hamilton’s newest club and is associated with the adult Optimist Club of Sussex, Lisbon, Lannon and Butler, which provided pizza at the pack-the-van event and chipped in for shipping costs associated with the project.

Optimist President Diane Matuszak welcomed the new student group and congratulated them for forming their club.

“The Optimist Club experience will undoubtedly develop your hidden talents and skills and will prepare you to be future community leaders, here in your community, or where ever your feet land you after graduation,” Matuszak said.

Hamilton communication arts teacher Debbie Figueroa is advisor to the Junior Optimist Club.

A video with more photos from the event is at: https://youtu.be/rMG0k3Ryk20

Templeton bands to perform holiday concerts

Templeton Middle School bands have been busily preparing for three holiday concerts that they will perform in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center (HFAC).Holiday-music

The concerts, which are free and open to the public, begin at 7 p.m. and will be held on:

  • Dec. 11 – grade 6 with Jazz Band;
  • Dec. 12 – grade 7; and
  • Dec. 18 – grade 8.

“The concerts are a culmination of more than three months of rehearsals and practices in which the bands have shown tremendous growth,” said Templeton Band Director David Neubauer. “The Templeton bands are eager to share their holiday concerts with the community.”

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

Hamilton students head to national drama competition

Two Hamilton High School students will advance to national competition after qualifying at the Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival.MaggieFlynnJoeDavila-web

Sophomores Joe Davila and Maggie Flynn were among the 17 Hamilton students who competed at state in La Crosse.They competed in the Thespian Individual category with Davila performing a monologue from the shows “Harvey” and “My Fair Lady,” and Flynn performing the solo “Journey to the Past” from the musical “Anastasia.”

Davila and Flynn are the first Hamilton students to qualify for national competition in the One-Act Contest. They will compete in June at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

Sarah Plamann, a music teacher at Maple Avenue and Woodside elementary schools, is the Hamilton theatre director.

December 4, 2018

Board ratifies contract with ULE

The Hamilton School Board ratified a one-year contract with United Lakewood Educators (ULE) which represents district teachers. Under the contract, base salaries will increase by 2.13 percent for 2018-19, retroactive to the beginning of the school year. In addition, the regular supplemental compensation for Hamilton teachers will increase by $400 per teacher, prorated based on percentage of full-time employment, plus position adjustments for identified staff.

The tentative agreement was reached Nov. 28 between the district and ULE representatives and was presented to ULE members last week for a ratification vote. The increases do not apply to teachers on replacement contracts or plans of assistance.

IT Department lays out future work

Information Technology Manager Ben Hawley updated the School Board on hardware and software updates, networking initiatives, assessments and testing, student information system news, operation of the Help Desk ticketing system and security grant initiatives.

New this year is a student-run help desk system created at the high school to assist Informational Technology Department staff with overall workload and 1:1 support. Four students are located in the library and closely working with IT on day-to-day work and escalations. IT staff created a Google Classroom for the student helpers along with a separate Help Desk website to track tickets and assets.

Future projects include completion of the district’s one-to-one Chromebook initiative in grades 5-12, setting up the new intermediate school with internet-fiber and equipment, provide network and security training for staff, streamlining printers and copiers, replacing smartboard and projectors.

Hawley noted in his report that with the addition of a new school, additional rooms at the high school, one-to-one Chromebook initiative at Templeton Middle School and Silver Spring Intermediate School, IT is projecting a total of 9,000 devices in the district, which is a 30 percent increase. Hawley warned that IT staff is stretched thin.

EL teachers create guidebook identifying services

The number of Hamilton School District students who are English Language (EL) learners increased by seven students from last year for a total of 74 students in the program that provides interventions for students with language difficulties. The number of EL students has ranged from 61 to 79 in the past five years, and before then it was as high as 106 students.

A total of 26 different languages are spoken including Russian, Mandarin and Punjabi with the two most prevalent languages being Hmong and Spanish. Jelena Kapetanovic and Katie Kasper, whose full-time equivalency is 1.5 positions, serve EL students throughout the district. This year Kapetanovic and Kasper collaborated with other teachers in the region to identify resources and instructional strategies for classroom teachers to assist their EL students. Work on that project influenced the state to create an EL Policy Handbook. Later, Kapetanovic and Kasper used their experience working on the project to create a district resource guidebook for Hamilton teachers.

Lannon gets started with student-led conferences

Lannon Elementary School Principal Brian Balfany and second grade teacher Sarah Cromos presented on how student-led conferences are making an impact in the classroom. balfany-cromos-300Rather than the traditional parent-teacher conferences, where the teacher does most of the talking, student-led conferences has students leading the discussion, informing their parents about how they’re doing, what their goals are going forward and what kind of learners they are.

Verizon to set up cell tower at high school

The district has negotiated an agreement with Verizon to install a cell tower on the southwest light pole on the high school soccer field. The tower would mirror the U.S. Cellular tower already installed on the northwest tower of the field. The agreement states that the district would receive a $20,000 signing bonus and $15,000 a year for five years. Installation will begin in the spring or summer of 2019.

Personnel action

In personnel business, the School Board:

  • accepted the resignations of Marcy associate kitchen employee Theresa Aron, effective Nov. 20, and Templeton part-time custodian Ryan Dow, effective Dec. 21; and
  • approved the appointment of Samantha Nehls as Hamilton High School administrative assistant, effective Dec. 10.

Strategic Plan update presented

Human Resources and Organizational Development Director John Roubik gave a quarterly update to the School Board on the priorities of the 2017-2020 Strategic Plan. The four priority areas of the plan are:

Systems of learning & assessment — All students will be challenged and supported to maximize their learning and achievement.

Recent progress includes:

  • Nov. 5 in-service focused on understanding the “why” behind using the Backward Design unit planning process. Content and grade level teams met to begin redesigning one instructional unit, ensuring that standards and assessment are the focus. Assessment Team members facilitated the learning.
  • Assessment Team is in the process of providing feedback to teams on the work completed at the in-service.
  • English-language arts curriculum team is in the process of unpacking and prioritizing the state standards.
  • K-8 science curriculum team has completed drafts of the practice rubrics and is in the process of pilot testing them.
  • 9-12 science curriculum team is reviewing the practice standards in preparation for rubric creation.

Social & emotional wellness — All students will be supported to develop social and emotional wellness related to academic, career and life experiences.

Recent progress includes:

  • Anna Silberg, Ph.D., conducted mindfulness workshops for teachers.
  • The Social Emotional Wellness (SEW) Committee met Oct. 23 with Response to Intervention (RTI) consultant Yuliana Manriquez to discuss the next steps of planning for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), a systematic approach of teaching and reinforcing behavioral expectations through the lens of RTI. Each school had its PBIS leadership team in attendance.
  • The PBIS leadership teams met Nov. 14 with Manriquez and received training on the PBIS system. These teams will come back together for day two of this training Feb. 14.
  • Marcy and Woodside elementary schools’ classroom teachers completed the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) on all of their students between Oct. 15 and Nov. 15. School teams are reviewing the data and are in the process of aligning supports with students who were identified with social emotional needs.

Workforce & organizational wellness – All staff will engage in continuous professional learning and be provided opportunities to improve personal wellness.

Recent progress includes:

  • A total of 25 staff members are participating in the “Maintain Don’t Gain” weight loss challenge through Aurora Health Care. They are receiving weekly health tips and healthy recipes to support them through the holidays.
  • Another 30 staff members are participating in yoga classes.
  •  Flu shots were offered to all employees in October and 217 participated.
  • “Access to Wellness” resources were provided to all staff in the following areas:
    • Domestic violence awareness
    • Surviving holiday gatherings
    • Giving the gift of time
  • Some 127 teachers and administrators are participating in the alternative evaluation process.
  • The district sent out Top Workplaces surveys to gather staff engagement data.
  • Human resources sent an interest survey to support staff regarding employment opportunities at Silver Spring Intermediate School.
  • Business services conducted HRA support seminars.
  • Educational services conducted after-school staff input sessions as part of the school calendar development process.
  • A “gourmet greens” salad bar emphasizes power foods and antioxidants has been offered to high school students and staff.

Facilities & technology — The district will enhance student learning by providing adequate classroom learning space while maintaining existing buildings and infrastructure and optimal student access to technology.

Recent progress includes:

  • Masonry walls and steel nearing completion with temporary weather tight condition scheduled for December at the high school addition and Silver Spring Intermediate School.
  • Raptor visitor management system installed at each school’s main office for visitor management.
  • Current camera security system expanded from 75 cameras and one server at the high school to 250 cameras and three NVR servers across the entire district.
  • Voice over IP (VOIP) servers and phones are being prepared for Marcy and Woodside implementation second semester.
  • Axis door control cameras and visitor buzz in implemented for all schools, including the Y-Care entrances at the elementary schools.