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February 19, 2001

Some 21 Hamilton High School students were approved for early graduation in January 2002, but School Board members have differing views on whether that’s a good thing. The students who applied for early graduation met the requirements of district policy, but School Board President Gerald Schmitz suggested changing the policy to encourage more students to remain in high school for second semester their senior year.

Board member Deborah Briggs disagreed. She said if students are ready to move beyond high school, they should be allowed to pursue their interests.

Hamilton Principal David Furrer noted that 60 percent of the students requesting early graduation are pursuing postsecondary education. Another group will work full-time to save money for college. Only 10 percent plan to enter the work world without plans for additional schooling.

Lannon’s Site Plan updated

Principal Richard Ladd updated the board on Lannon’s Site Plan. The plan includes tactics that focus on:

  • a school-wide writing program;
  • weekly parent communication; and
  • staff planning.

Lannon’s writing scores in the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam and the district’s Third and Fifth Grade Writing Assessments have improved. All third- through fifth-graders entered a Black History Month writing contest.

All Lannon staff members use a weekly newsletter reporting academic activities to parents. Parents report that the newsletters help them prepare their children for tests and provide support for weak academic areas.

More than two-thirds of the staff is involved in study groups regarding teaching strategies and practices.

Future steps for Lannon include developing new writing assessments, surveying parents about the effectiveness of the weekly newsletters and expanding staff planning opportunities for cross grade planning.

County consortium to create new plan

The Waukesha County School-to-Work Consortium has agreed to create a new strategic plan that will replace the original one created in 1993. The consortium identified standardized tests, curriculum alignment to state standards and new teacher licensure procedures as initiatives that the new plan must encompass. The 12 Waukesha County school districts and Waukesha County Technical College comprise the consortium.

Survey volunteers recognized

Public Information Coordinator Denise Dorn Lindberg thanked 41 students and six parents who volunteered last November to help the district conduct its Community Survey. She noted that without the help of the volunteers, the district would not be able conduct the survey that asks 525 randomly selected community members about their expectations and perceptions of the district. Results of the survey will be reported in March.

Security software approved

The School Board authorized administrators to purchase up to $10,500 of additional security software for the computer network. The district is planning to go to on-line report cards, attendance and other functions that will create greater accessibility to the district computer system. The new software will maintain current and provide additional security levels.

Personnel changes approved

In personnel business, the School Board approved the:

  • resignation request of Hamilton social studies teacher Kathleen Glusick at the end of the 2000-2001 school year;
  • appointment of Susan Schritz as a Willow Spring Learning Center Special Education teacher aide; and
  • increase of speech and language specialist Michelle Underkofler’s contract by an additional .5 full-time equivalency position.