FAQs for Quarantined Students: Emergency Remote Learning

Accessing Emergency Remote Learning

The Hamilton School District is committed to supporting students in a consistent way across the district so that learning is not interrupted. If children are absent from school due to extended illness or a need to quarantine, they will have the opportunity to stay connected to their learning via Daily Learning Expectations. These Daily Learning Expectations will include the taped mini lessons for the day along with assignments that support the lesson learning goals. Please note that daily learning tasks from the day of absence will not be posted until the following morning (Example: Monday’s lessons will be posted Tuesday morning).

Our goal is to provide your children with access to the key lesson components and allow for concept practice. By viewing the recorded mini lessons and completing the learning tasks contained in the Daily Learning Expectations, your children will be ready to re-enter their classroom in line with their peers.

How does my child access emergency remote learning?  

Willow Springs:

  • Families will access daily learning tasks and directions through the Seesaw Family App.
  • Students will complete work via the Seesaw Class App. Please download the class app if you have not done so already. You will receive a home learning code from your child’s teacher to access the student journal.

Elementary

  • Families will access daily learning tasks and directions through the Seesaw Family App.
  • Students can also access daily learning tasks via the Seesaw Class App. Please download the class app if you have not done so already. Students will log into the Seesaw Class app and other apps using their Clever badge or login at com.
  • Students will complete work via the Seesaw Class App or Google Classroom.

Silver Spring Intermediate

  • Families will access daily learning tasks(example) and directions through the Seesaw Family App.
  • Students can also access daily learning tasks via the Seesaw Class App. Students will log in to the Seesaw Class app and other apps using their Clever login at clever.com.
  • Students will complete work via the Seesaw Class App or Google Classroom.

Templeton Middle

  • All teachers are uploading lessons and posting their daily work on their website. Students can log onto the teachers’ websites through google classroom. Families can go to our school web page, on the right hand side of the page under the heading “Find it Fast”, click on classroom websites, click on the teacher’s name or house, then click on daily learning tasks. All lessons, daily learning tasks, and work can be found here.

Hamilton High

  • All teachers are uploading lessons and posting their daily work on their website.  Please use this link to reach the website that houses all teacher website addresses.

Attendance

Students will be assigned to Emergency Remote Learning by their school for the duration of their quarantine period. 

Do I need to call the attendance office?

  • Only call the school attendance office if your child is unable to complete school work on that day.  Students who can participate in learning activities for the day do not need to be called in.

Will my student be marked absent?

  •  If students are completing work, they will not be marked absent.

How is attendance taken?

  • Students in grades 4K-6 – attendance will be completed by the teacher based on their participation. Students do not need to check themselves in.
  • Students in grades 7-12  – those engaging in Emergency Remote Learning will be responsible for checking themselves into their classes through Infinite Campus. Check-in may be completed after 5 a.m. Virtual learning teachers have the ability to override attendance check-ins if they do not see participation or engagement from students.

Checking in once daily will mark students as “present” for the entire day of Emergency Remote Learning. Students do not need to check in to each individual class. Virtual learning teachers have the ability to override attendance check-ins if they do not see participation or engagement from students.

How does a student check-in for attendance during the school day?

  • Students should follow these steps to complete their daily check-in:
    • Go to Infinite Campus icon in upper right hand corner
    • Log in with your username and password
    • Click “Today” then “Check-Ins → Attendance”

Attendance questions?

Special education

Do children in special education still receive accommodations?

  • At the beginning of the year, the special education teacher and the family communicated to finalize the “Special Education Instructional Plan for COVID” for each of the student’s annual goals. Within the plan, accommodations were covered and reviewed, along with what specially designed instruction looks like for the student.
  • Sample form Hamilton School District Special Education Student Instructional Plan for COVID

Student locker contents

How will my student access items from their locker for use during quarantine?

In all cases, materials must be picked only by someone who is not in quarantine.

  • Willow Springs – materials will be placed in our outside drop box after arrangements have been made with the classroom teacher.
  • Elementary schools – materials needed for remote learning may be picked up in the office between 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Materials may also be placed on a cart outside the front doors of the school during normal school hours.
  • Silver Spring – items can be picked up between 3:30-4:30 p.m. during the week.
  • Templeton – items can be picked up from 3 -5 p.m. during the week.
  • Hamilton High – lockers can be accessed from 3 – 5 p.m. during the week. With advanced notice, materials may also be collected by a high school staff member and placed on a cart in the vestibule of the school during normal school hours.

General quarantine questions

Once my child has completed the required quarantine period, do I need to provide a note when returning to school?

  • If you are in quarantine as determined by the Waukesha County Health Department, a case worker will be in touch with you to provide you with a date that you can resume normal activities.

Can you tell me who the person was that tested positive?

  • Due to privacy laws, the school district is unable to share that information with families.

Does my child have to have a COVID test to return to school?

  • No, a COVID test is not necessary to return to school.
  • The Waukesha County Health Department recommends that you have your children tested approximately five days after they have been identified as a close contact even if your children do not have symptoms.

If my child receives a negative COVID test during their quarantine, can they return to school?

  • No.  Testing does not remove an individual from quarantine.  The full 14-day quarantine period must be completed before returning to in-person learning or school-related activities.

Can my other children still attend school if one family member is identified by the health department as a close contact and must self-quarantine? 

  • Siblings may attend school as long as they are not showing any signs of illness however they should stay home if:
    • they are showing signs of illness
    • the close contact develops symptoms or has a positive COVID test

10 Hamilton students recognized in NMSC competition

Ten Hamilton High School students learned recently that they were named in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program. Eligibility for the distinction is based on results of the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test which was taken by more than 1.5 million students nationwide.national-merit-semifinalists

Ella Chevalier, Ella DeCleene, Margaret Flynn, Nikhita Nair, Mia Traverse and Cynthia Yan were named semifinalists. They are among approximately 16,000 semifinalists nationwide and will continue in the competition for Merit Scholarship awards. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, which represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. To become a finalist, a semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the school principal and earn SAT scores that confirm the students’ earlier test performance.

national-merit-commended

Connor Gordon, Arushi Ranasaria, James Waldenberger and Athena Wenger were named commended students and are among 34,000 students recognized for exceptional academic promise. Although commended students do not continue in the competition, they were recognized on the basis of a national selection index score.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), established in 1955, is a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 410 business organizations and higher education institutions to honor the nation’s scholastic champions and encourage the pursuit of academic excellence.

September 21, 2020

Blackwell, Ubert honored with Community Service Award

IMG_2003Hamilton Education Foundation officers Sandi Blackwell and Ann Ubert were honored as the district’s 2020 Community Service Award recipients at the Sept. 21 School Board meeting. Superintendent Paul Mielke, Ph.D., said both long-time officers were responsible for this year’s decision to move HEF’s dinner-auction fundraiser to a virtual event because of the pandemic. The online auction raised a record-breaking amount of almost $70,000 — the most ever for that event.

Ubert has been HEF executive director for 14 years, and Blackwell has been on the board for 10 years, currently serving as secretary. 

“Your hard work and dedication has allowed students and staff to experience opportunities that never would have existed without the generosity of the Hamilton Education Foundation,” Mielke said. “You have made a significant difference in the lives of our students and staff.”

Offering in-person, virtual options requires staff increase

The district added the equivalent of more than 15 staff members, mostly due to schedule changes required to offer in-person and virtual instruction during the pandemic. Most staff were allocated at the elementary level where the equivalent of 7.1 staff were hired. The high school increased by 4.67 full-time equivalencies (FTE), middle school increased 3.95 FTEs, and intermediate school by .9 FTEs. Because of the restructuring of coaching staff positions, district staff dropped by 1 position. Total FTE in the district went from 321.22 to 336.84.

Curriculum review cycle adjusted due to COVID-19

The Hamilton School District uses a 5-year curriculum review process to analyze the standards for each content area. Instructional Supervisor Catherine Drago presented a report on the cycle in place designed to create a more cohesive, united system that provides clarity around what high quality learning looks like in each content area. 

Work on English-language arts, which was reviewed last year, will continue this year. Future areas in the curriculum cycle will be:

  • 2021-22 – information technology literacy, world languages and social studies (7-12) and continuation of science;
  • 2022-23 – fitness education-health, mathematics (5-12) and social studies (K5-6);
  • 2023-24 – art, music, mathematics (K4-4) and science (K4-6); and
  • 2024-25 – family and consumer science, applied engineering and technology, business education, guidance and science (7-12).

Some content areas originally were scheduled for review earlier, but because of school shutdowns and added responsibilities due to the pandemic, they were postponed in the cycle.

No students accepted into early admission

No students were admitted early into kindergarten for 5-year-olds or grade 1, according to a report presented by Special Services Supervisor John Peterson. Two students participated in the early admission 5K screening process but were not recommended for placement. No parents requested early admissions for first grade.

District policy indicates children must be four, five or six years old by Sept. 1 to enter four-year-old kindergarten, regular kindergarten or first grade, respectively. While procedures exist for early admission to regular kindergarten and first grade, no early admission is granted for four-year-old kindergarten. Peterson’s report provided 19 years of data about early admissions requests and approvals.

Assessment schedule interrupted in 2019-20

School closures due to COVID-19 last spring led to significant changes in teaching and learning expectations for both last year and this. Testing windows were adjusted for many tests and ACT offered an online option. Drago presented a summary of 2020-21 state and local assessment windows which includes assessments such as FASTBridge reading and math, PALS, MAP, ACCESS, Dynamic Learning Maps, Forward Exam and National Assessment of Educational Progress. 

ESEA report given

Human Resources Director John Roubik presented a report 2020-21 initiatives of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Programs that comprise ESEA are: Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged; Preparing Training and Recruiting Licensed Teachers, Principals and Other School Leaders Grants; Language Instruction for English Learners and Immigrant Students; and Support and Academic Enrichment Grant.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction estimates that the district will receive about $177,000 of federal funds for these programs, but the final amount will not be known until later. 

Personnel matters

In personnel business, the School Board:

  • accepted the resignations of Woodside paraprofessional Danielle Strong, Silver Spring associate kitchen employee Jamie Brzezinski, Woodside speech pathologist Sarah Clement, Woodside literacy interventionist Elizabeth Berry and Silver Spring special services paraprofessional Roberta VonAsten;
  • accepted the retirement request of high school art teacher Lorene Lisherone; and
  • approved the appointments of Jessica Montiho as Marcy K5 replacement teacher, Kayla Petrie as Woodside special services paraprofessional, Stephanie Dillemuth as Woodside paraprofessional, Summer McEvoy as Maple Avenue special services paraprofessional, Megan Henning, high school social studies replacement teacher, Catherine Seifert as Willow Spring paraprofessional, Rebecca Leibiger as Templeton paraprofessional, Dana Marklund as high school communication arts replacement teacher, Nicole Piette as Maple Avenue grade 2 replacement teacher, Carrie Grossman as Templeton grade 7 replacement teacher, Sarah Pichler as Templeton special education replacement teacher, Sophia Piotrowski as high school special services paraprofessional, Annette Busalacchi as Templeton special services paraprofessional, Dawn Knollenberg as Woodside paraprofessional, Sally Schmeling as Templeton grade 8 replacement teacher, Rebecca Schlieder as Templeton grade 8 replacement teacher, Rebecca Hirsch as Silver Spring special services paraprofessional, Georgette Dermody as Marcy associate kitchen employee and Brianne Strelow as high school art replacement teacher.
  • modified the contracts of high school math teacher Andrew Fagan from 50 to 100%, Willow Spring speech-pathologist Angela Poulsen from 80 to 100%, Willow Spring special education teacher Melanie Vonachen from 80 to 100%, Woodside literacy interventionists Greg Winston and Nicole Tiutczenko each from 40 to 60%.

 

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.

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.

July 29, 2020

Hamilton School Board members accepted four administrative recommendations concerning the opening of the 2020-21 school year, including requirement of face masks for students and staff who are involved in traditional in-person learning.school board meeting_type

Superintendent Paul Mielke, Ph.D., said the district was taking guidance on the use of face masks from the Waukesha County Health Department, Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics which all endorsed the use of masks when social distancing is not possible.

Policies will be written providing exemptions for individuals with medical, developmental, mental health or religious consideration. In addition, students will not be required to wear masks while outside. Students will be instructed on the proper use and care for masks, and breaks will be built in during the day.

In addition to the mask decision, the School Board agreed that the district should:

  • develop metrics and ranges to determine if school should be conducted virtually based on community spread of the virus, active staff and student confirmed cases, student and staff absences due to close contact, rate of infection among students and staff, overall teacher absence rate and ability to replace staff who are absent with a substitute;
  • research potential to use a hybrid option during significant community spread
  • continue researching new cleaning products and procedures.

More details about health and safety measures were provided in a written report to the board.

Earlier in the meeting Buildings & Ground Manager Jeff Grove described the array of equipment, technology, sprays and chemicals custodial staff will use to clean schools. Grove said the schools will have additional cleaning to reduce and eliminate the virus.

Instructional Services Supervisor Cathy Drago, Curriculum Specialist Whitney Roth and Program Support Coordinator Katie Foy gave School Board members details on how instruction will be delivered next fall. They focused on emergency remote learning for students who might be out of school for up to 21 days due to COVID exposure, extended school closures and the 100% virtual option.

July 20, 2020

Board accepts task force report

Hamilton School Board members approved a plan to reopen schools for the 2020-21 school year that includes in-person and virtual options for students. In June and July, the 70-member Reopening Schools Task Force studied issues of providing instruction and services to students and keeping students, staff and families safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.school board meeting_type

The five subcommittees of the task force also reviewed results of parent and staff surveys to come up with a plan to meet the needs of students, staff and families.

Options for learning

Among the task force’s recommendations and conclusions, three modes of learning were identified as options for students:

  • 100% in-person learning in school;
  • 100% virtual learning at home; and
  • Emergency remote learning for students who are out for several days because of COVID-19 exposure.

Common technology platforms ID’d

The task force also identified common technology platforms to communicate learning and progress to families. Students in grades 4K-6 will use Seesaw with those in grades 3-6 also having access to Google Classroom. Middle and high school students would consistently use Google Sites and Google Classroom.

Additional professional development days offered

Of significance was the School Board’s approval of four additional professional development days in August that will focus on: health, safety and wellness of students and staff; high quality teaching and learning in an online and in-person environment; and the opportunity for staff to collaborate. Staff who attend training Aug. 5 and 6 or Aug. 18 and 19 will get two additional collaborative planning days before Aug. 24.

Templeton moves to block schedule

Templeton Middle School will move to a block schedule this fall that is expected to help students better focus on their classes and cut down on the amount of travel and exposure to others during the day. During the spring when students learned from home, school staff heard from parents and students that managing seven to eight classes per day was difficult. The new schedule keeps the number of classes taken in a semester the same, but using an A/B day schedule, they will have only five classes each day.

More details from 5 subcommittees

In addition, the task force identified plans to: provide social and emotional support for students, staff and families; ensure technology access, support and guidance to all stakeholders; maximize safety through policies and protocols affecting lunch, facilities, transportation, athletics and visitors. Learn more details about each of the five subcommittee’s recommendations.

Financial impact could hit $1.3 million

The impact on the district’s budget could reach $1.3 million for resources, professional development, technology licenses, equipment, additional staff, protective personal equipment and cleaning supplies. The School Board approved having the money come from the district’s fund balance.

No decision on face masks until after county guidance

A decision that the School Board did not make was whether students and staff will be required to wear masks. That will not be addressed until Waukesha County Health Department issues guidance on that issue.

June 30, 2020

Task force looks at reopening schools

Before the 2019-20 school year ended, a task force was already studying myriad issues of reopening school for 2020-21 amid a pandemic. While School Board members will get a final comprehensive report July 20, Superintendent Paul Mielke, Ph.D., gave them a status update on the work of the five subcommittees that comprise the Reopening School Task Force.school board meeting_type

The five subcommittees, their scope of study and status are:

Social & Emotional Wellness – Support students and staff during the reopening of school, reestablish PBIS expectations, identify students in need of assistance and re-establish cognitive endurance.

Status:

  • Evaluating needs of students and staff
  • Prioritizing professional learning activities and welcome back activities
  • Identifying professional learning around supporting students with mental health and SEW needs, with common resources for staff to support students in discussion
  • Developing plans to re-establish PBIS within schools

Teaching & Learning – Enable students to continue to make academic progress and prevent regression. The subcommittee will set the direction and vision for the academic program which includes building the instructional model for potential learning environments.

Status:

  • Preparing for traditional in person start:
    • Preparing for returning students and anticipating the need for virtual instruction for students if they become ill or need to be quarantined for 14 days
  • Creating action plans for “common” platforms based on grade levels, i.e., See Saw, Google classroom, etc.
  • Planning for a 100% virtual option for parents not wanting to send their children back to school buildings
  • Reviewing how to utilize staff who indicated, through a district survey, they are interested in working in a virtual setting
  • Parents will receive a survey to determine interest in a 100% virtual setting for their students

Technology – Ensure effective and equitable access and use of technology to support learning and communication in all learning environments. The subcommittee will lead technology access and support by conducting an inventory, issuing devices and ensuring access for families who do not have internet.

Status:

  • Determining needs for equipment to support teaching and learning
  • Standardizing platforms used
  • Streamlining processes for communicating software and application availability and requests
  • Assessing bandwidth
  • Collect data points during online registration regarding devices available and internet access

Human Resources and Finance – Maintain effective and efficient budgetary, financial and human resources operations. The subcommittee will determine policies to support the health and well-being of staff, understand and ensure human resources and finance compliance and develop a sustainable financial plan.

Status:

  • Creating Pandemic Handbook
  • Accommodation forms
  • Employee sick-time questions
  • Recommendations on travel outside of state
  • Creating guidance for staff to follow regarding PPE in classrooms
  • Creating a flow chart or graphic representation of when an employee/family member/child has COVID

Facilities and Operations – Maintain effective and efficient facilities, nutrition services and other key operations. The subcommittee will determine policies to support the health and well-being of staff, understand and ensure human resources and finance compliance and develop a sustainable financial plan.

Status:

  • Food service items under consideration:
    • Touchless or no-touch point of sale, student IDs on lanyards with barcode
    • Disposable trays and utensils
    • Staggering arrival times in the cafeteria
    • Potential to have assigned seating
    • Directed traffic flow
  • Busing items under consideration:
    • Potential assigned seating on buses
    • Loading back to front
    • Washing and cleaning process between routes
    • Parents can opt out using buses
  • Health room and monitoring items under consideration:
    • Designated isolation room in each school. Showing symptoms (N95 for staff/gowns) isolate in an area
    • Self-monitoring for families/students as well
    • Education and training hygiene – more signage
    • Limiting visitors coming into school to only essential individuals
  • Other items under consideration:
    • Plexiglass high traffic areas
    • Investigating face shields for staff working directly with students
    • Working on hand sanitizer dispensers for all rooms
    • Signage reminders about handwashing and symptoms
    • Closing drinking fountains but keeping water bottle fillers open
    • Reevaluating cleaning processes for cleaning high-touch – high traffic areas
    • DPI has provided district with masks to distribute to students

Personnel action

In personnel matters, the School Board:

  • accepted the retirement request of Food & Nutrition Services Assistant Manager Sandra MacPherson, effective Aug. 31; and
  • approved the resignations of Maple Avenue special education teacher Heather Ertl, Woodside instructional paraprofessional Lauren Vogt and Maple Avenue associate kitchen employee Diana Muche, all effective June 2020.

June 15, 2020

District pulls together task force for opening of 2020-21 school year

Superintendent Paul Mielke, Ph.D., shared with Hamilton School Board members a report how the district is preparing for the opening of the 2020-21 school year considering the COVID-19 pandemic.school board meeting_type

“While the preferred option is to have all students return to school buildings, the district is creating multiple contingency plans in the event that limited numbers of students are permitted to return to an in-person model,” Mielke wrote in his report. “The district is also creating plans and protocols regarding a response should there be a Coronavirus outbreak in one of the school buildings.”

A task force will study issues and provide recommendations to ensure the overall safety and well-being of the school community. Families and employee were invited to provide input via online surveys, and the results will be used as plans are created. The task force will focus on five areas that include: social and emotional support; teaching and learning; technology; human resources and finance; and facilities and operations.

Open Enrollment students placed on waiting list

The district received 152 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 2020-21 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 with priority for siblings of current students.

Lunch prices remain the same

Student fees and lunch prices for 2020-21 will remain unchanged for most students in the district. Lunch prices are: $2.60 for elementary and $2.95 for intermediate, middle and high school students. Intermediate students’ meals will include a salad bar, and bistro box meals will be $2.60.  Lunch prices for adults will be $3.75. The cost for a carton of milk for all students will remain at 35 cents.

District renews participation in SWSA

School Board members authorized the district to renew participation in the Southeastern Wisconsin School Alliance (SWSA). The 32-member alliance provides school leaders from southeastern Wisconsin with objective, non-partisan information and training as they work with policymakers regarding education issues. The annual cost to participate in SWSA is $3,200 per school district.

Reports, documents get OK

Many reports and documents were approved including:

  • Templeton and Hamilton student handbooks;
  • Hamilton 2020-21 co-curricular handbooks;
  • district emergency nursing services policies and procedures;
  • bloodborne pathogens procedures;
  • special education procedures handbook;
  • district interventions status report;
  • teacher supervision and evaluation policies and procedures;
  • membership in the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association; and
  • waiver of Wisconsin local wellness policy triennial assessment.

Personnel action

In personnel business, the School Board

  • accepted the resignations of Hamilton High School Associate Principal Laura Westcott and Silver Spring Intermediate School Teacher Whitney Roth;
  • appointed Whitney Roth as district curriculum specialist and Tracy Gordon as district nurse, both effective July 1;
  • approved retirement request of Hamilton High School Marketing Teacher, Skip Hay effective at the end of the 2019-20 school year.

June 2, 2020

Instructional coach position reconfigured into curriculum specialist

The Hamilton School Board created a new position of curriculum specialist at its June 2 meeting. The new position replaces the district’s instructional coach position, which is currently held by Cathy Drago who will become instructional services supervisor with the retirement of Katie Little at the end of the month. The curriculum specialist will assist the instructional services supervisor and will serve as chair of curriculum committees as well as having a major role in district staff development.school board meeting_type

In a written report on status of the instructional and literacy coaching initiative, Instructional Services Supervisor Katie Little and Human Resources Director John Roubik stated that the new position will focus on supporting the instructional services supervisor in implementation of the assessment initiative. They said they believe the shift in emphasis will have a significant impact on addressing current needs of teachers and strategic plan next steps.

The district hired one full-time instructional coach in 2016 and aligned reading specialists’ teaching schedules to include time for literacy coaching in each building. Over the last four years, hundreds of teachers have benefitted from the coaching provided by these teachers, according to Little and Roubik. As the district moves forward with its strategic plan initiatives, greater emphasis will be on curriculum development and professional learning with a greater understanding of standards and assessment practices.

Reading specialists will continue to support literacy coaching in each building which includes partnering with teachers to help them incorporate research-based instructional practices into their teaching, encouraging reflection about their classroom practices and helping them identify their professional goals and implement a plan for reaching them. The focus will continue to be on improving instruction.

Year-end projects OK’d

The School Board gave approval to a prioritized list of buildings and grounds projects that will be completed if designated year-end budgets allow. Among the highest priority are asphalt replacement of the high school student parking lot, roof replacement and heating, ventilation and air conditioning control updates. Totals project expenses are:

  • District – $323,200
  • Hamilton High – $730,500
  • Templeton – $375,500
  • Silver Spring – $8,000
  • Willow – $42,500
  • Lannon – $52,800
  • Marcy – $76,000
  • Maple Avenue – $123,000
  • Total – $1,737,500

Other business

In other action, the School Board approved revisions to the 2020-21 National Honor Society handbook and accepted a status report update on the district’s strategic plan.