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November 20, 2000

The School Board approved $32,500 in staffing allocations for music and gifted & talented programming and clerical support. The allocations, which are effective in the second semester, will provide an additional high school band instructor for one block, one-quarter of a teaching position to begin providing an elementary ensemble, coordination of parent-paid lessons through a private company, extracurricular pay for a high school Academic Decathlon coach and gifted and talented clerical support and clerical support at Marcy.

The funds were available based on the district’s increased enrollment.

Board member Dawn Van Aacken said the approved positions were a long time in coming.

“This came to us three years ago as a recommendation,” Van Aacken said, referring to a district committee that studied and recommended offering an elementary music program. “The full board supported it and wanted to offer it when we could fit it in the budget.”

“I am glad we were able to do it,” she said.

In a report that showed enrollment projections for next year, Supt. Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., credited the district’s increased enrollment for allowing the district to fund the Academic Decathlon and additional band opportunities.

District enrollment was up in the past two years, thanks to the implementation of the optional half-day kindergarten program for 4-year-olds and optional full-day kindergarten for 5-year-olds. State revenue caps and state aid are based on district enrollment.

While enrollment increased more than six percent in 1999-2000 and four percent in 2000-2001, enrollment projections for next year are expected to be only .3 percent. Neighboring school districts with flat or declining enrollments have had to cut programs and services because the state revenue cap does not meet cost-of-living increases, according to Cooke.

In other financial business, the School Board approved a charge for the Community Budget Advisory Committee. In addition to reviewing and providing input into development of the upcoming budget, the committee will be asked to look at “walk vs. ride,” a school bus policy issue. Last year’s Community Budget Advisory Committee asked that the issue be studied by a future committee.

Templeton Middle School Principal Patricia Polczynski and Associate Principal Dale Kuntz provided an update on a committee’s analysis of the school’s time-structure. The School Board is expected to receive a recommendation from the committee in January.

Hamilton Education Foundation Chairman Mike Ziegler reported that the foundation would use proceeds to buy seven additional automatic external defibrillators for the schools. Two already exist in the high and middle schools. He said Hamilton would be the first district in the state to equip all of its schools with the lifesaving devices.

School Board President Gerald Schmitz listed dates from the 2000-2001 election schedule. Among them were the Dec. 22 deadline for incumbents to announce their non-candidacy, Jan. 2 deadline for candidacy declaration and nominations papers, April 3 spring election and April 23 School Board members take office. The positions of Gabe Kolesari, who represents the Village of Sussex, and Schmitz, who is an at-large representative, are up for election.

Hamilton Principal David Furrer and Track Coach and teacher Jerry Wetherall recognized Hamilton senior Jennifer Prochazka for winning the state title in the shotput and for her academic success.

In personnel business, the School Board:

  • approved the resignation of Templeton secretary Lynn Nielsen;
  • tabled action on Hamilton social studies teacher Kathy Lynch’s leave of absence; and
  • appointed Elaine Schimmel as a Marcy associate kitchen employee.