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June 5, 2001

Co-curricular Handbook changes made

Hamilton High School students involved with athletics or activities who use alcohol, tobacco or other drugs (ATOD) will face stiffer consequences as a result of changes approved in the Hamilton Co-curricular Handbook.

The Hamilton School Board accepted a study committee’s recommendation to require students who are caught using alcohol, tobacco or other drugs to participate in an alcohol and drug assessment. A first-time violation will result in the student missing 30 percent of regular season contests and a second violation will mean ineligibility for 60 percent of the season. A third violation will result in permanent suspension from co-curricular activities.

The changes are effective in the 2001-2002 school year.

Previously, students caught drinking alcohol or using drugs had the option of getting an assessment, which could reduce the first-time violation from 30 percent to 15 percent ineligibility during the season and second-time violations from 60 percent to 30 percent.

Hamilton Athletic and Activities Director Mike Gosz said the current policy was too lenient and students were not taking the assessment seriously. Gosz said that students who have an infraction will receive a packet that includes a list of agencies that provide assessments. Some are provided at no charge and others involve a fee.

Because the district alcohol and other drug abuse and Student Assistance Specialist position was eliminated, parents will now have to get an assessment from a source outside the district.

“The process will not be as convenient for students or parents, and parents may put more pressure on their son or daughter” to follow the expectations of the handbook, Gosz said.

School Board Member Deborah Briggs, who was a member of the Handbook Revision Committee, said she understands that for some students, athletics and activities are their only real connection to school.

“We don’t want them to completely cut themselves off” because of a violation, she said. “We’ve tightened up the consequences, but still have given students an opportunity to be involved.”

Board Member Mike Hyland said the consequences were not overly punitive. Instead, he said, everyone is held accountable.

Student fees raised

In a topic related to student activities, user fees were changed to increase the family maximum athletic fees by $15 to $60 at Templeton Middle School and $90 at Hamilton. In addition, club fees would go to a tiered system based on program costs. Service clubs would have no fees.

At Templeton, a $10 fee would be charged to Computer Club, Book Club, Intramural Tennis and Volleyball and Cheerleading participants. Students in Future Problem Solving, Ski Club, Forensics and Destination Imagination would be charged $20.

High school service clubs would have no fees. These include Amnesty International, Club Unique, Cultural Exchange Club, Ski Club, Vedeo Club, SADD, Pep Club, Executive Club, Student Council and Varsity Club. Art Club, Bike and Hike Club, FBLA, Intramurals, German Club, Graphic Arts Club and Photo Club would involve a $15 fee. Debate Club, FIRST, Forensics, Drama Club and Academic Decathlon will have a $30 fee.

All club fees will be applied to the family maximum amounts.

Last year all middle school club fees were $7 and high school fees were $10.

Supervision-evaluation process reviewed

Educational Services and Human Resources Assistant Superintendent Dean Schultz update School Board members on the supervision-evaluation process. A committee met in May to review goal-setting and staff feedback on how the process worked this year. Among his highlights, Schultz said that teachers are generally pleased with the process. Trust, accountability, cooperation, support and feedback are strengths of the model, he pointed out.

ERE Program gets high marks

The Early Reading Empowerment (ERE) Program continue to serve students well, according to Educational Services Supervisor Dee Bauman, Ph.D.

ERE is a short-term, one-on-one or small group intervention designed to meet needs of children who have difficulty learning to read. ERE-trained teachers provided instruction to 79 first-graders in 2000-2001. Students remained in the program until they no longer needed support and were able to read at the same level as average first-graders.

Results from the most recent Wisconsin Reading Comprehension Test available shows that among the 35 former ERE students, five scored in the advanced proficient range, 23 were proficient and 7 were at the basic level. None was in the minimal category.

Maple Avenue staff recognized

Maple Avenue fifth grade teacher Christina Garley and teacher aide and parent volunteer Nancy Gin were recognized for the Maple Avenue Museum Project they spearheaded this year. Student created detailed, professional museum about the American Revolutional War

District goes with YMCA for child care

After reviewing proposals from several organizations, the district chose to sign a contract with the YMCA of Milwaukee for parent-paid child care. Services will be offered in all elementary schools for before and after school child care if there is enough parental interest. Childcare will also be offered to Willow Spring Learning Center four-year-old kindergartners. The YMCA will be charged a fee consistent with what the Sussex Senior Center is charged for room usage. The YMCA replaces the Medallion Program which had been offered for the past two years.

Personnel matters decided

In personnel business, the School Board:

  • approved the retirement of Special Services administrative assistant Joanne Smith;
  • granted a leave of absence to Marcy first grade teacher Sara King for 2001-2002;
  • accepted resignations from Woodside teacher aide Diane Wargolet, Templeton teacher aide Michael Pipp, Marcy teacher aide Kim Campbell and district gifted and talented resource teacher Deborah Zaeske;
  • appointed Alicia Truckenbrod as Maple Avenue second grade teacher, Kerri Warsh as Templeton communication arts teacher, Steven Newcomer as Templeton sixth grade mathematics teacher, Brooke Dreske as Templeton art teacher, Kathryn Lohrey as Willow Springs and Maple Avenue kindergarten teacher, Kathryn Felker as Templeton physical education teacher, Laureanna Gamboa Raymond as Lannon second grade teacher, Ellen Acuff as Hamilton art teacher, Katherine Little as district technology-assessment coordinator, and Kathryn Klug as accounts payable administrative assistant in the Business Office.