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February 21, 2000

With the addition of optional half-day kindergarten for 4-year-olds and full day kindergarten for 5-year-olds, preschool screening as the Hamilton School District once offered it is no longer needed.

School Board members accepted a recommendation from a committee that proposed modifications to the screening process. Special Services Supervisor Charlene DeGroot said in her report that screening’s original intent of identifying children for Chapter I services for 4-year-olds no longer exists. All district parents can sign up their 4-year-olds for the optional half-day kindergarten program.

Screening modifications that were accepted include:

  • greater communication to parents and community members regarding “child find” activities;
  • opportunities for screening the first week of school at Willow Springs Learning Center;
    in-services for Willow Springs to assist them in identifying students for the Child Intervention Team; and
  • encouragement of teachers and parents to identify 4-year-old kindergartners who need Child Intervention Team services.

In a written report from Extended Learning Opportunities Coordinator Catherine Tillman, the School Board learned of the Waukesha County School-to-Work Consortium strategic planning efforts.

The aim of the 12-district consortium is to assist students make successful transitions from educational experiences to the work world. The initiative links schools, business, industry and the community in providing:

  • a rigorous curriculum;
  • achievement of high standards; and
  • preparation of youth for postsecondary education and productive employment.

At the strategic planning session, consortium members heard a report from a state Department of Workforce Development official who noted that:

  • 40 percent of Wisconsin high school graduate go to a four-year college;
  • a little more than half of those 40 percent graduate from college;
  • 20 percent of Wisconsin jobs require a college degree;
  • 34 percent of Wisconsin jobs are related to manufacturing;
  • parents and students need to know there are many good career options.

The consortium agreed to work on expanding K-8 career awareness opportunities, promote competency congruence among educational entities, and define and clarify school-supervised experience-based career education.

School Board Member Deborah Briggs explained the continuing construction projects at Maple Avenue Elementary School. Phase II of the project will occur from April until summer addressing areas identified in the referendum as well as additional needs at the school. Among the areas that will be worked on include the front office, the classroom wing leading to the new addition and installation of a new chiller. Phase III will begin in April 2001 and will include updating of many classroom not addressed in Phase I or II.

Educational Services & Human Resources Director Dean Schultz presented a report requesting 10 more positions in 2000-01 to handle increased elementary enrollments. The additional staff would include those needed for expanded kindergarten programming. In addition, two contingency positions were budgeted for unanticipated enrollment needs. School Board members voted to place the positions in the budget for planning purposes only. The financial impact of the 12 positions is $720,000 for salary and benefits.

The top three Hamilton seniors who will receive a four-year renewable $2,500 annual scholarship to attend a Wisconsin college or university are Jason Huibregtse, Brian Huibregtse and Brian Veness. The students were awarded the state-sponsored Academic Excellence Higher Education Scholarship based on their grade point averages.

Sussex Senior Center Director Tammy Rocker presented Templeton eighth-grader Joseph Semrad for recognition before the School Board because of his volunteerism. He was nominated for the Waukesha County United Way Ray Rupple volunteer award.

In personnel business, the School Board:

  • appointed Melissa Emberts as a Lannon teacher aide, Cynthia Lofy as a district speech and language specialist and Jean Fico as a Maple Avenue second grade teacher;
  • accepted the resignations of Marcy fourth grade teacher Lisa Barber, Templeton guidance counselor Kristin Hasbrook and Hamilton science teacher Cathleen Loehr;
  • approved the retirement request of district custodian Roy Salentine effective March 31.