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September 21, 2009

High school points to achievement
Hamilton High School continues to make progress in increasing student achievement. Principal Candis Mongan provided School Board members with an overview of work that has occurred and the promising results that have been attained at the school, pointing specifically to ACT and Advanced Placement achievement.

Four years ago 80 Hamilton students took 108 AP exams with 79.6 percent of those students earning a score of 3 or higher. Last year, 231 students were enrolled in AP classes and they took a total of 242 exams. At 88.8 percent, they earned the highest pass rate in the school’s history.

Accomplishments also can be seen in ACT test results. The number of students taking the college entrance exam increased from 179 students in 2005 to 225 in 2008. The average composite score increased from 22.9 for the class of 2007 to 23.2 for the class of 2009.

Mongan pointed to the site plan that has focused students and staff on higher-level thinking as a school improvement goal.

“Evidenced through increased test scores, decreased number of drop-outs and anecdotal feedback via surveys and discussion, this goal has positively impacted the way teachers deliver instruction and students perform,” Mongan reported.

She also identified numerous supportive opportunities for students to prepare students for success in their coursework and standardized tests.

Staff development has focused on: data workshops in which test data is analyzed and disaggregated; vertical teaming opportunities in communication arts, science and social studies; and monthly staff development meeting that address various themes throughout the year.

School Board Member Gerald Schmitz was impressed.

“The results are excellent,” he told Mongan. “Stay with it, don’t lose it, just keep going because this school is on the right track.”

Summer Opportunities reports success

School Board members also were happy with the news coming from the Summer Opportunities Director and Lannon Elementary School Principal Dick Ladd, who said 2009 was probably the smoothest operation to date.

A total of 1,763 students were enrolled in the program – 40 more than last year. Staff totaled 198 which included 128 teachers, 39 paraprofessionals, three administrative assistants, 43 student teaching assistants, three assistant coordinators and one coordinator.

Ladd said they will modify the online registration process to better accommodate the initial rush of registrations. In its first year of offering the on-line option, the system bogged down because it received so many simultaneous hits the first evening. A software program will be purchased that can simulate thousands of hits to be sure the technology can handle the demand.

An alternative pick-up pattern at the high school will be considered for next year with possible police support to handle traffic at the south entrance on Town Line Road during drop off.

School Board Member James Long asked Ladd to congratulate the Summer Opportunities staff for another successful program.

“It was wonderful as usual and it just gets bigger and better every year,” Long said.

Next year’s program is scheduled to occur June 21 to July 16, with July 5 off in celebration of the July 4th holiday.

2009-10 goals set for board and superintendent
School Board members approved five goals with numerous success indicator for the board and superintendent to achieve in 2009-10. The goals are:

  • Develop resources and implement strategies and initiatives to enhance student achievement;
  • Implement the district’s Strategic Plan;
  • Monitor status of the state of Wisconsin’s funding of public education for preparation of the district’s 2010-11 budget;
  • Monitor district enrollments and community growth; and
  • Update board policies and position descriptions.

In personnel news, the School Board appointed Daniel O’Connell has a half-time replacement band teacher at the high school.