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April 23, 2007

District gears up for staff development, summer workshops
Instructional Services Supervisor Dee Bauman, Ph.D., presented the district’s training initiatives and summer workshops.

The district’s Professional Development Advisory Council helped put together a plan that will help staff have even greater effectiveness in the classroom. The 2007-08 plan will focus on: closing the achievement gap related to poverty and status as a minority, English Language Learner or special education student; working on Advanced Placement vertical teaming; and continuing a grading initiative designed to clearly and accurate report student progress.

Summer workshops include curriculum projects at all grade levels. Bauman mentioned a few including: development of social studies research projects that integrate information and technology literacy standards in grades 5, 7 and 9; vertical team projects in secondary level science and communication arts; and numerous middle school and high school curriculum revisions projects.

District conducts self-assessment
Females in the Hamilton School District are twice as likely to apply for scholarships, and scholarship winners are twice as likely to be female. Educational Services Assistant Superintendent Dean Schultz reported those findings as part of the district’s pupil nondiscrimination self-evaluation. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction requires the self-evaluation which focuses on three areas:

  • methods, practices, curriculum and materials used in instruction, counseling and assessment;
  • participation patterns and district support of extracurricular and recreational activities; and
  • trends in scholarship awards and recognition.

Overall, the district fared well in nondiscrimination and equality of educational opportunity. Minority and special education students receive awards and scholarships, however, the rate is less than that of their white, non-special education student counterparts, the report stated. Schultz said the most notable recommendation from the self-evaluation is to monitor award applicants and recipients based on gender, race, special education and English Language Learner status and communicate award possibilities more aggressively.

Summer school fees adjusted
School Board members adjusted fees for the 2007 Summer Opportunities program to a two-tiered system. In previous years the district charged one average fee for summer school courses. School officials learned this year that the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction now requires a different way of assessing fees. Some class fees will be $4 and others will be $8. The summer school fee schedule will be included with information materials distributed to families.

Students and staff recognized
Two district teachers and two students were recognized. Templeton eighth grade social studies teacher Rhonda Watton and Maple Avenue fifth grade teacher Christina Garley were honored for being selected as state winners in the 2007 Kohl Teacher Fellowship Program.

Templeton students Makayla Imrie and Miranda Brown were honored for success in the 2007 Wisconsin Letters About Literature competition. Imrie took first place and Brown took second place. Imrie read the letter she wrote to Markus Zusak about his historical novel, “The Book Thief,” a moving story of a girl during the Holocaust.

Oaths of office administered
School Board members Gabe Kolesari and Gerald Schmitz took oaths of office for another three-year term after they ran unopposed in the April 3 election.

Annual Meeting agenda OK’d
The 2007 Annual Meeting will be held in the high school cafeteria June 18. School Board members approved the date, time and place for the meeting. The meeting follows the Annual Public Hearing, which begins at 6:15 p.m. in the Little Theater. The events were originally slated to be in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center, but a community dance group has requested to use the facility for a dance performance and rehearsals.

Personnel business
In personnel business, the School Board:

  • approved the retirement request of Lannon custodian Wayne Niederdorfer;
  • accepted the resignation of Maple Avenue clerical paraprofessional Janet Garbe and Woodside third grade teacher Jennifer Thomas; and
  • appointed Brian Siegel as a Woodside second grade teacher, Margaret Supa as a Woodside first grade teacher, Christina Frey as a Templeton seventh grade teacher, Stephanie Shoemaker as Hamilton biology teacher and Daniel Diedrick as a district cleaner.