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April 1, 2008

New high school staff approved
Two secondary-level teaching positions were approved for the 2008-09 school year. Educational Services Assistant Superintendent Dean Schultz outlined the need for a Project Lead the Way (PLTW) teacher and half-time band instructor in a written report to the board.

With the addition of “Principles of Engineering” at the high school and more sections of PLTW courses at Templeton, an additional applied engineering position is needed between the two schools. Increased enrollment in band and a large incoming freshman class will require a half-time high school band instructor.

The new positions were requested before the budget process was completed because of immediate needs and timing. A part-time band instructor could be identified as the district interviews candidates for the middle school band director due to the retirement of Bart Fojtik. Also, getting an early start in the PLTW hiring will provide an advantage to the district. Later this spring, a more complete staffing request will come before the School Board.

District gears up for staff development, summer workshops
The district will continue to address the theme of “Excellence and Equity for All” in its in-services for the 2008-09 school year. The theme was introduced this year to focus staff efforts on supporting achievement gains for all students regardless of factors such as income, race, language and special education backgrounds. Instructional Services Supervisor Dee Bauman, Ph.D., reported on the district’s training initiatives and summer workshops.

In addition to the excellence and equity theme, professional development for 2008-09 will include: Advanced Placement vertical team workshops in communication arts, social studies and science; continued work on assessment and grading; and instructional strategies to implement a revised reading curriculum. Bauman said work will continue in elementary reading and writing, PLTW, and literacy training for new teachers.

The district’s Professional Development Advisory Council has played a key role in the development and evaluation of training initiatives for the past 12 years, according to Bauman. The committee plans district in-service days that provide professional development.

“It gives teachers a voice and commitment to professional development for them and their colleagues,” Bauman said.

School Board member Deborah Briggs said she was impressed with how the district’s professional development has evolved over time. She commended the district for involving teachers and using student data to determine offerings.

“It struck me how far we’ve come,” Briggs said.

Summer workshops include curriculum projects at all grade levels. Bauman presented a list of summer curriculum and professional development workshops including:
revision of business education, applied engineering and technology, and reading curriculums; articulation of the elementary writing-technology and middle school technology programs; elementary software review; planning for implementation of assistive technology; reading strategies update at Woodside; curriculum planning of fine, gross motor and social emotional skill development at Willow Springs; examination of student work and Project Lead the Way curriculum review at Templeton; high school curriculum revision and updates in communication arts, special education, reading and writing, physical science and PASS mathematics programs; and personal finance and web design courses.

Professional development opportunities over the summer include data interpretation workshops at Templeton, Hamilton and Woodside; secondary-level grammar workshop; Einstein train-the-trainer workshop; literacy curriculum for new teachers; mentor-new teacher workshop; and Project Lead the Way training. In addition, the district will host Viterbo College graduate courses in Microsoft Office applications, technology integration into curriculum and spelling instruction best practices.

The budget for the summer curriculum projects and professional development initiatives is $30,150 which includes the curriculum rate pay for staff and trainer fees.

Hockey co-op gets OK
School Board members gave approval to continue a cooperative hockey team with five other high schools for the next two school years. Hamilton Athletic and Activities Director Michael Gosz said that four Hamilton students plan to participate in the program which offers varsity and junior varsity co-ed hockey teams. The other high schools involved in the co-op are Germantown, Menomonee Falls, Slinger, West Bend East and West Bend West. The program is funded by participant fundraising. No district funds are contributed, according to Gosz.

Personnel business
In personnel business, the School Board:

  • approved the retirement request of Woodside administrative assistant Deb Van Driel; and
  • appointed Barbara Larson as a Maple Avenue special services paraprofessional.