Hamilton seeks nominees for Distinguished Alumnus

Community members are invited to nominate Hamilton High School graduates for the 2020 Distinguished Alumnus Award which will be presented at the June 13 high school graduation ceremony.TroubadorOnHorseBlack

People are asked to include the nominee’s name, address and phone number, along with a 50- to 75-word description of why the nominee is worthy of the award. This information may be submitted through the district website at www.hamilton.k12.wi.us on the Hamilton High School alumni page or delivered to Rebecca Newcomer, Hamilton High School, W220 N6151 Town Line Rd., Sussex, WI 53089.

High school faculty members will review nominations and recommend a finalist.

The nomination deadline is April 20. For further information, contact Newcomer at (262) 246-6471 x1104.

Hamilton Girls JV Basketball team feeds the homeless

Hamilton High School Girls Junior Varsity Basketball team distributed food Feb. 29 at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission. The opportunity to serve the homeless came because team member Abby Halcomb’s mother, Amy, works at MRM.HHS—Girls-JV-BB-at-MRM-WEB

“As coaches we knew it would be a great opportunity and the girls thought the same thing,” said Coach Ben Filzen

Each team member brought food and drink to serve along with the MRM’s planned meal. They were stationed at various cafeteria locations. After serving, they cleaned the cafeteria.

The team toured the facility following lunch and learned about MRM programs for men, women and children to reacquaint them to living on their own. In addition to providing food and shelter, MRM helps people deal with substance abuse, job skills, domestics abuse and violence and getting students back to school.

Afterward, the team reflected on their experience, noting the gratitude that many expressed to the girls.

“The experience was really great for all of us,” Filzen said.

Templeton chorus presents “Dear Edwina, Jr.”

Templeton Middle School Eighth Grade Chorus, under the direction of Jaye Mier, will present “Dear Edwina, Jr.” April 2 in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center (HFAC). This delightful family-friendly show begins at 7 p.m.Dear-Edwina-Jr.-Logo-(002)

Dear Edwina Jr. follows the adventures of plucky advice-giver-extraordinaire, Edwina Spoonapple, as she directs the neighborhood kids in a series of buoyant production numbers for the latest edition of her weekly Advice-a-Palooza. Edwina and her friends share wisdom on everything from trying new foods to making new friends through clever, catchy and poignant songs.

Tickets are $7 in advance and $9 at the door. Children under 5 and senior citizens with Golden Agers passes may attend for free, but they must have complimentary tickets for admission to the performance. Golden Agers passes for citizens 60 years and older and a valid show ticket must be presented at the door. Sign up for a Golden Ager Courtesy Pass by visiting the Hamilton School District offices Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Those who do not have a Golden Agers Courtesy Pass will be asked to visit the box office to purchase a ticket. Passes are non-transferable.

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

Hamilton custodians focus on clean schools to keep students, staff healthy

The concept of a clean, safe school environment takes on greater significance as communities across the country worry about the spread of illnesses including influenza and the coronavirus.KeepingIllnessAtBay

Fortunately, Hamilton School District custodial crew members have plenty of experience and knowledge about the most effective cleaning processes, supplies and equipment.

District Building and Grounds Manager Jeffrey Grove prefers to be proactive when it comes to keeping buildings safe for students and staff. When news about the coronavirus first surfaced, Grove checked with the district’s cleaning supply company to verify that the cleaning products and practices used in the schools would effectively destroy this year’s influenza viruses and the new coronavirus. He also ordered additional supplies such as cleaners, disposable wipes, hand sanitizers and equipment.

In addition, use of ultraviolet (UV) lamps and electrostatic disinfection machines offers the district advanced cleaning capabilities. The technology is used to:

  • disinfect heating and cooling coils in school air handling units to destroy bacteria and viruses for cleaner air and lower energy consumption;
  • sterilize air in health rooms;
  • destroy bacteria and viruses in locker room air supply ducts and gym floor mats used for wrestling, yoga and other physical education activities; and
  • provide additional cleaning of rooms during flu season using a mobile UV room sanitizer.

While they can’t eliminate all illness-causing viruses and bacteria, Grove believes the proactive work of custodians to keep schools clean and safe plays an important role in reducing sickness and absenteeism.

Message to families about influenza, coronavirus

Dear Families,

Schools throughout our district have seen an increase of students with symptoms of influenza (flu) in recent days. The 2019-20 flu season has been complicated by a new coronavirus (COVID-19) that was first detected in Wuhan, China and has now been identified in 37 locations internationally, including the U.S. and one confirmed case in Wisconsin.

Even though there is no reported case of the coronavirus in the Hamilton School District, we are taking steps to protect students and staff from all common winter germs and viruses, including the coronavirus.

The district is:

  • monitoring student absences to identify illness trends;
  • contacting the Waukesha County Health Department to report trends and seek guidance as necessary;
  • using effective hospital-grade cleaning supplies and equipment (including ultraviolet lamps) to reduce the spread of germs, paying special attention to disinfecting commonly touched objects and surfaces during this flu season.
  • reminding students about hand-washing and other healthy habits;
  • providing additional hand sanitizers to staff and in computer labs, classrooms and other key areas; and
  • ensuring that people who have flu symptoms are sent home.

In addition to our focus on preventing the spread of disease, we are reviewing plans that would allow students to continue learning should schools need to close. We ask families to review their contingency plans (childcare, transportation, access to technology) in case schools close.

Families can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu by practicing good personal health habits recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

More information about influenza and the coronavirus are available on the CDC’s website.

The health and well-being of our students is our top priority. We will continue to monitor and assess the situation and take appropriate action to protect our students and limit the potential spread of the flu and the coronavirus. Thank you for your cooperation in keeping children healthy.

Sincerely, Paul Mielke, Ph.D

Community invited to day of free fun March 14 at Spring Fest

Community members are invited to a day of free fun that emphasizes healthy living March 14 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Spring Fest–Better Together at Hamilton High School.CardFront2020Web

Entertainment includes Trinity Irish Dancers, Jim Winard Polka Party, Mariachi Band, Bernie Brewer and other mascots, a magician, a balloon-twisting clown, Sparklers dance performance and the Sheriff’s Department K-9 unit. Hands-on children’s activities include a Hall of Games, bulb planting, indoor inflatable soccer foot darts, henna tattoos and professional face-painting.

Exhibitors are offering free health screenings including blood pressure, body composition, spine and posture, alcohol and drug abuse, flexibility and more. The Strollin’ Colon, a room-sized pink inflatable presented by Froedtert Health, allows visitors walk through to learn about the signs of colon cancer, the third most common cancer in the U.S. Hamilton’s Robotics team will demonstrate their robot.

Spring Fest participants can also help others by attending the event. Versiti will have a community blood drive. Make appointments online at www.versiti.org, email donate.wi@versiti.org or call 1-877-BE-A-HERO. Hamilton High School’s Club Action and Science Club will have bins available for community members to recycle their hand-held devices to benefit gorilla habitat in Africa.

Exhibits in the gym open at 9 a.m. where vendors will have booths with information and specialty items to share. Hamilton High School student groups will sell food and refreshments and volunteer at the event.

The event is hosted by the Hamilton School District and organized by the Sussex Area Chamber of Commerce and local community groups. Froedtert Health and the Medical College of Wisconsin is a gold-level sponsor and JT Chiropractic is the activity sponsor. Friends of Spring Fest are Kwik Trip, Schmidt & Bartelt and nature’s Path.

Check out the Spring Fest website for more information.

Hamilton counselor selected Kohl teacher fellow

Hamilton High School counselor Kristin Hasbrook was selected as a 2020 Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Teacher Fellow. She was one of 100 teachers chosen statewide for the award because of her “skill as a leader and agent for positive change and superior ability to inspire love of learning,” according to the letter announcing her selection.Hasbrook

Both Hasbrook and Hamilton High School will each receive a $6,000 grant. The award will be presented May 9 in Milwaukee.

Recipients were selected by a statewide committee of civic leaders and representatives of the program’s co-sponsors: Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Wisconsin Council of Religious and Independent Schools (WCRIS), regional Cooperative Educational Service Agencies (CESA), Association of Wisconsin School Administrators and Wisconsin Parents Association.

The Kohl Foundation Scholarship and Fellowship program was established by Herb Kohl, philanthropist and businessman, in 1990. To date the foundation has awarded $20.9 million to Wisconsin educators, principals, students, and schools.

“Education is the key to the future of Wisconsin and our nation. I am very proud of the accomplishments of these students, teachers and principals and look forward to the great contributions they will make in the future,” Kohl said.

February 17, 2020

Spotlight on Silver Spring culture

Silver Spring Intermediate School Principal Deanna Wellens and Associate Principal Katie Ritchie presented a School Spotlight video that focused on the school’s intentional efforts to build a culture of belonging.

Enrollment up by 14 since September

School districts in Wisconsin are required to take pupil counts the third Friday of September and the second Friday of January. The district’s enrollment went from 4,886 to 4,900 in the nearly four-month span this school year.

School enrollment:

  • increased by 11 at Willow Springs, 9 at Maple Avenue, 5 at Marcy and 1 at Woodside;
  • dropped by 10 at the high school and 2 at Templeton; and
  • remained the same at Lannon and Silver Spring.

Students recognized for drama, perfect ACT score

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Two Hamilton High School students were recognized for outstanding performance. Maggie Flynn and Nick Mitchell qualified for national competition at the Wisconsin Theater Festival. In addition, Flynn earned a perfect score of 36 on the ACT college-entrance exam.

Personnel action

In personnel action, the School Board

  • accepted the resignations of Hamilton world language French teacher Amanda Hunt, effective Jan. 20; Lannon paraprofessional Betsy Molinski, effective Jan. 31; Lannon technology integration resource teacher Julie Kleist, effective June 12; and Lannon special services paraprofessional Anita Hilleman, effective Feb. 17;
  • approved the retirement request of Hamilton High School administrative assistant Nancy Schulz, effective June 30; and
  • appointed Lisa Totsky as Business Office accounts payable administrative assistant, effective Feb. 17; Roberta VonAsten as Silver Spring special services paraprofessional, effective Feb. 17; Susan Bruns as high school guidance administrative assistant, effective Feb. 24, Shelby Froberg as Marcy special services papaprofessional, effective March 2; and Theresa Aron, Marcy associate kitchen employee, effective Feb. 18.

12 students approved for early graduation

Hamilton High School Principal Rebecca Newcomer presented the applications of 12 juniors – Jimmy Baisden, Michael Domino, Mia Garbarek, Madelyn Gilmore, Megan Gilmore, Zackary Jauquet, Jaspreet Kaur, Kaden Lauer, Lillie Stadfeld, Akuma Thao, Toua Thao, Justin Vang – who requested to graduate early. The students met School Board policy requirements and will be eligible to graduate in January 2021.

Cooperative agreement with Elmbrook approved

The School Board authorized district staff to once again contract with the Elmbrook School District special education services in the 2020-21 school year. The contract will provide low-incidence disabilities services for students who have autism, intellectual, hearing and vision disabilities and for the placement of one student at Fairview South, a school that serves students with cognitive disabilities. Hamilton is one of 26 school districts that contracts with Elmbrook for services. Districts reimburse Elmbrook based on usage of services.

Contract with Dominiczak extended

The School Board approved continuing services with Dominiczak Therapy Associates until 2022. The district switched to Dominiczak for occupational and physical therapy (OT, PT) services in the 2015-16 school year and has continued with the company since then.

Instructional Services reports on curriculum, assessments

Instructional Services Supervisor Katherine Little, Ph.D., gave two reports in which she updated the School Board on curriculum committee processes and standardized assessments.

Curricular areas under review or being developed are: K-12 science; K-12 English language arts; and high school courses of music theory, digital electronics and automation, and certain course content in applied engineering and technology.

In her assessment report, Little said a balanced assessment program provides multiple measures of a student’s learning. The Hamilton School District assessment program includes three levels of assessment: classroom assessments, district benchmarks and standardized tests.

Classroom and district benchmark assessments define learning targets for students, evaluate student learning, document student progress, identify the next step in instruction, provide teachers with information to tailor instruction and help develop a student’s ability to self-assess and set learning goals. They are regularly reviewed.

Little noted that establishment of Great Start Conferences this year afforded classroom teachers time to administer early literacy screeners for more accurate instructional planning earlier in the school year. Teachers of grades K-5 successfully used the Fountas and Pinnell literacy assessment program for a few years. This year grade 6 was added. This assessment program determines reading accuracy and fidelity across the district.

Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) data identify students who may be struggling or excelling in a given area or strand and inform individual, small group and whole group instruction. A team of teachers and administrators are investigating FastBridge which could replace AimsWeb Plus for progress monitoring and MAP or PALS for literacy and math screening.

Potential actions are to:

  • continue using AimsWeb Plus for progress monitoring and MAP or PALS for screening purposes;
  • use FastBridge for progress monitoring and continue to use MAP or PALS for screening purposes;
  • use FastBridge for progress monitoring, pilot the FastBridge screener at one or more schools and evaluate results for the potential use of the screener at all schools; or
  • adopt FastBridge for progress monitoring and screening at all schools.

The Wisconsin Student Assessment System (WSAS) is a comprehensive statewide program designed to provide information about what students know in core academic areas and whether they can apply what they know. Standardized assessments are required by state and federal law. Administration occurs each spring and include:

  • The Wisconsin Forward Exam includes English language arts and mathematics for grades 3-8; science for grades 4 and 8; and social studies for grades 4, 8 and 10. It is administered in an online format.
  • The ACT Aspire Early High School is a summative assessment that measures what students have learned in the areas of English, reading, math, science and writing. The ACT Aspire scores predict how a student will perform on both the ACT and when they reach grade 11. It is administered to students in grades 9 and 10 in an online format.
  • The ACT tests include reading, math, English, science and writing. The ACT with writing is a paper and pencil test.
  • The Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) assessment is administered to no more than 1% of students with significant cognitive disabilities.
  • ACCESS for ELLs® is designed to measure English language proficiency.
  • The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is conducted in a range of subjects in grades 4, 8 and 12 across the country. Assessments are given most frequently in mathematics, reading, science and writing. Other subjects such as the arts, civics, economics, geography, technology and engineering literacy, and U.S. history are assessed periodically. Hamilton was not selected for NAEP testing during the 2019-20 school year.

Woodside students fundraise through Cookies for a Cause

Woodside Elementary School kindergartners in Peter Dargatz’s class raised more than $625 for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Feb. 12 by hosting “Cookies for a Cause.” Students promoted the event in school, baked cookies and helped run the fundraiser.

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During the holidays, Dargatz’s class earned tickets in their social studies unit which taught the difference between wants and needs. Students earned tickets to get items they wanted or turned them in for real dollars to donate.

Woodside Elementary School is located at W236 N7465 Woodside Rd. in Sussex.

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Hamilton Band Boosters hosts Jazz Café Feb. 11

An evening of great food and entertainment is in store for the community Feb. 11 as the Hamilton School District Band Boosters hosts Jazz Café from 5 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. in the Hamilton High School Cafeteria. Advance tickets are $10 ages 6 years and up and $6 for children ages 2-5 years. Add $2 for tickets purchased at the door.JazzCafe

The public is invited to enjoy a Cousins’ subs, chips, dessert, soda, water, hot cocoa and gourmet coffee while listening to musical entertainment provided by the Hamilton High School Jazz Band. A free combined Templeton Middle School and Hamilton High School band concert follows at 7 p.m. in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center.

To guarantee a seat, please make a reservation online at chargerband.weebly.com, call Karen Spence at (262) 617-6828 or email HSDbandfundraising@gmail.com.

Hamilton High School and the Hamilton Fine Arts Center are located at W220 N6151 Town Line Rd., Sussex.