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October 7, 2008

District uses new tool for curriculum development
Staff members will use a new electronic tool to development curriculum, Instructional Services Supervisor Dee Bauman, Ph.D., reported to the School Board.

Eclipse, a tool that had been used for several years to analyze school data, has a component that allows staff to collaborative electronically as they work through the revision process. Once the curriculum changes are approved, teachers will be able to access the curriculum electronically.

Art and music teachers will use Eclipse this year as they revise those areas, and Bauman reported that they are excited to use it.

“It really streamlines the process,” Bauman said. “It’s a new way to do the task of curriculum development in the district.”

Teachers also will be able to put lesson and unit plans in one location so that all teachers can have access to them and can share classroom level curriculum.

Bauman also reported that secondary-level communication arts and social studies teachers who began the vertical teaming process last year will meet three times this year to continue their work. Secondary science teachers will begin the vertical team process this year.

The goals of vertical teaming are to:

  • identify essential skills and concepts and teach them with increasing sophistication and depth as students move through grades and courses; and
  • prepare all students for success in higher-level classes, including enriched, honors and Advanced Placement courses.

School Board happy with AODA progress
School Board members had high praise for the work that has been done to address Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) in the district. Student Assistance and AODA Coordinator Kristin Hasbrook presented a summary of activities from 2007-08 and an overview of what is planned for 2008-09.

She reported that the district was awarded a $32,420 grant this year from United Way to continue services offered through the Get Connected Program. In its fourth year, Get Connected has received more than $100,000 from United Way to provide parenting education, community outreach and student support.

The number of families served by the program has increased from 30 in 2004-05, 165 in 2005-06, 200 in 2006-07 and 298 in 2007-08. Two other school districts – Oconomowoc and Mukwonago – have started Get Connected programs that are modeled after Hamilton’s original program.

In addition, Hasbrook described work with individual students and classes at Templeton Middle School and Hamilton High School.

Several School Board members said they were impressed with the work Hasbrook has done. Lynn Kristensen told Hasbrook she should be proud for having a dream of what the program could be and forging ahead.

“It is such a good service for our families,” Kristensen said.

Personnel matters
In personnel business, the School Board:

  • accepted the resignation of Templeton special services paraprofessional Amy Helgeson; and
  • appointed Aaron Dow as a Woodside cleaner, Tracey Jones as a Lannon special services paraprofessional, Aida Kozic as a Lannon media center paraprofessional, Colleen Engel as a Willow Springs special services paraprofessional and Gerald Herman as a Hamilton cleaner.