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October 3, 2000

As the Hamilton School District moves toward programs and initiatives that are based on results, rather than just inputs, School Board members approved a program report that incorporates the new approach.

Educational Services and Human Resources Director Dean Schultz highlighted the many services and programs offered to students who are at risk of failing school. At the high school level they include Empower Academy, the alternative high school, the PASS Program, reading resource, Club Success, Summer School, advisement resource, the Learning Center and School Age Parent Program.

Interventions for middle school level students include the STAR Program, reading resource, Skill Master and Summer School transition and promotion. Elementary programs include Title I and Chapter 220 tutorials, extended day, Voyager Program and Summer Enrichment Educators Camp.

Detailed baseline data for each of the programs has been gathered and were reported to the School Board. Data will be collected and reported each year as the effectiveness of existing programs is studied.

School Board member Michael Hyland suggested providing the data to the Community Budget Advisory Committee that meets each year to study and make budget recommendations to the School Board.

In curriculum issues, Instructional Services Supervisor Dee Bauman, Ph.D., reported that all core curricula are aligned with the Wisconsin Model Academic Standards. Each subject area has performance standards that are benchmarked at grades 4, 8 and 12. She said the next step is to ensure that the curriculum is implemented in classrooms with the further development of units and lessons.

World language, music, art, health, physical education, business education, technology education and family and consumer education teachers have identified ways to reinforce the core curriculum standards in their classes. They will also align their curriculum to state standards. Family and consumer education will be presented to the School Board in June 2001 and business education in September 2001.

Bauman also reported the Academic Progress Profile would be implemented this fall. Achievement of students through sixth grade will be documented on standards-based benchmark assessments in mathematics and reading. Academic performance assessment scores of students in grades 7 to 9 will be recorded. The data from the profile will provide teachers, students and parents with ongoing information concerning student mastery of district curriculum and state standards, according to Bauman.

The district’s guidance curriculum was the topic of School Board discussion and ultimate adoption with one member voting against it. Bauman explained that the state requires schools districts to provide guidance and counseling services. The district offers a K-12 program with preventative, response and crisis components.

The preventative component, referred to as developmental guidance, amounts to about one lesson per month in each elementary classroom, four times a year in middle school classes and less often in high school. The responsive component includes students who come to the school counselor with a concern and the offering of group meetings among students who have parent permission to participate. School counselors are also available to support student needs during a crisis, such as death or other upsetting situations. Parents are able to opt their children out of the guidance program.

School Board member Jennifer Rude Klett said she was “not wild about the guidance curriculum.” She said that she would rather have her children doing more mathematics rather than participating in guidance.

Most parents are doing a good job talking to their children about the issues raised in the guidance program, but the program is designed for the five percent who are not, she said.

Several School Board members, include Deborah Briggs, Gabe Kolesari and Dawn Van Aacken, supported the program.

Briggs said that while most parents are teaching their children important content of the guidance curriculum, not all children come to school with their basic needs met. She said she did not believe that one 30-minute lesson each month was excessive.

Van Aacken said sometimes children need to hear messages from people other than their parents.

Kolesari said that intervention and support early could help prevent additional expenses that come from programs designed to support students when they get older.

School Board President Gerald Schmitz noted that school districts are required to have a guidance program.

“The only way to make a change is in Madison,” Schmitz said.

With a total of 3,885 students, district enrollment increased by 149 students over last year’s count, according to a report given by Schultz. Marcy, with a drop of 13 students, was the only school with decreased enrollment. Lannon was up 46 students, Maple 17, Willow 1, Woodside 22, Templeton 25 and Hamilton 51.

In personnel business, the School Board:

  • accepted the resignations of Maple Avenue aide Pamela Jajtner and Hamilton student supervisor Arthur Colaianni;
  • approved appointments of Templeton aide Kelly Jurasovich, Hamilton aide Colleen Schmipf and Woodside part-time second grade teacher Julie Roebelen; and
  • adjusted the contract of Templeton world languages teacher Sara Laufenberg to include an additional .2 position.