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November 3, 1999

Annual reports describing the accomplishments of three programs were accepted Nov. 3 at the Hamilton School Board meeting.

Instructional Services Supervisor Dee Bauman, Ph.D., presented information about how the district’s gifted and talented program, Spectrum, operates. While the goals of the Spectrum Program are the same throughout all grades, the structure differs from elementary, middle and high school.

At the elementary and middle school levels, the program provides direct service to students in the classroom and through small groups pulled together for specialized activities. The program supports ongoing planning and collaboration between the Spectrum resource and classroom teachers.

The high school Learning Center coordinator monitors student progress and course selection. High school programming includes advanced course work, college level courses through the Advanced Placement program, independent study and Youth Options.

The high school and middle school offer a variety of co-curriculars including fine arts activities, leadership opportunities, academic extensions and athletics.

Bauman said two Spectrum initiatives were underway. Maple Avenue Elementary School is piloting a program that provides additional time for the collaboration between the classroom teacher and the Spectrum resource teacher. Also, a Hamilton High School Achievement Design Team is developing a proposal to identify structures and strategies to significantly increase expectations for student learning.

Among the goals for the coming year are clearly communicating to parents Spectrum services available to students, differentiating curriculum for high ability students, providing elementary level co-curricular offerings and improving Spectrum programming coordination between grade levels.

Another group of students assisted in a special program are those who are at-risk. Educational Services and Human Resources Director Dean Schultz described legally at-risk students as those who are at least one year behind classmates in credits attained or at least two years behind in basic skills. They also are dropouts, habitual truants, parents or adjudicated delinquents.

The Hamilton School District intervenes with many students before they reach at-risk status through programs for students who are not reaching proficiency on standardized tests, disenfranchised or disengaged or deficient in credits.

The high school programs include Empower Academy, alternative high school, PASS, reading resource, Fifth Block (Club Success), summer school, advisement resource, the Learning Center and School-Age Parent Program.

At the middle school, students receive services through STAR, reading resource, Skill Master, summer school transition and promotion programs. Elementary level programming includes Title I and Chapter 220 tutors, Extended Day Program, Voyager Program and SEEK.

Each of the middle school and high school programs have collected baseline data on individual students including grades, standardized test results, cumulative credits, attendance and behavior referrals. Progress will be noted after this year. Elementary staff members are determining what student data should be collected to measure student progress.

The Chapter 220 Program is a program that promotes respect and understanding of one another to provide academic success for all students. Chapter 220 Coordinator and Human Relations Specialist Erica Bova-Brown described the program’s goals and accomplishments.

The School Board approved offering 95 seats to students wishing to participate in the program in the 2000-2001 school year. While the number of seats offered is unchanged from the current year, state funding for transportation will decrease. Ultimately, families of students wishing to participate in the program will be responsible for transportation, which will likely reduce enrollment in the program.

Bova-Brown reported on the Open Enrollment Program that is in its second year. This state-initiated program allows parents to apply to any school district in the state. Parents do not pay tuition but are responsible for transportation unless they meet the state’s low-income guidelines.

Eleven Open Enrollment students are enrolled in the district this year and 12 resident students are attending other school districts. Most of the students who exited the district had previously enrolled in private schools and were not ever enrolled in one of the district’s school, noted Supt. Kathleen Cooke.

School districts must establish the number of Open Enrollment seats that will be available, and the Hamilton School Board set the limit at 26.