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October 6, 2009

District AODA efforts boosted
The district’s efforts to keep students from getting involved in alcohol and other drug abuse (AODA) takes a variety of tactics. Student Assistance Program and AODA Coordinator Kristin Hasbrook presented an annual report to School Board members about those efforts and the results that have been achieved.

In addition to AODA screening and referral, Hasbrook identified other school-specific work. She noted that she provided individual support to 52 high school and seven middle school students on a regular basis. She worked with the In-Health organization to provide training to selected sophomores on depression and suicide prevention so that they could present information to their peers. Among other activities, Hasbrook facilitated a high school grief support group, and a middle school social skills group and peer mediation program. She also presented information about drugs and alcohol to Lannon fifth-graders.

The cost to provide AODA education and counseling services to students amounts to $30,499, with federal Title IV funds covering $8,623 of the total. The remaining $21,876 comes from district revenue.

The Get Connected Program, funded through grants from United Way of Waukesha County, supports a districtwide effort to support parents as they raise school-age children. Hasbrook wrote a dozen parenting columns for school newsletters, coordinated 12 parent presentations that attracted 407 families, networked with other school districts to create similar programs in other communities and offered two sessions of Love and Logic courses for parents of elementary students. Additional funding through the Get Connected Program allowed Hasbrook to support 48 families through education, counseling or referral services.

Hasbrook said she will seek community funding to support continued implementation of the Get Connected program. United Way provided a total of $32,420 to the district and Sussex Outreach Services to support the Get Connected Program.

School Board members Michael Hyland congratulated Hasbrook for the accomplishments of the AODA Program, especially the Get Connected Program.

“I had the opportunity to attend several Get Connected sessions last year,” Hyland said. “The different topics and speakers you had were just incredible.”

School Board members Deborah Briggs said she was impressed that the Love and Logic Program has been around for a long time and is still considered successful.

Curriculum alignment takes on greater role
With adoption of a new Strategic Plan last year, the district’s work in aligning curriculum has become more critical. Educational Services Director John Roubik reported on K-12 curriculum alignment, articulation and vertical teaming initiatives that are underway.

Ensuring that learning progresses seamlessly as students move from grade to grade and course to course is the purpose of curriculum alignment and articulation. Roubik noted that the following will be addressed in the 2009-10 school year:
• Identify overall and specific unit learning targets and unit summative assessments;
• Complete the enriched curriculum review process that includes 21st century skills and information technology literacy in music, art, fitness education, health, science and world languages;
• Determine if the Eclipse curriculum software program will meet the district’s needs;
• Continue or develop secondary level vertical teams in English, science, social studies and mathematics, and develop processes to connect elementary grades to the initiative;
• Assess implementation of financial literacy and employability skills curriculum and its alignment with other curricular areas;
In addition, the report noted that ongoing activities include: development of common assessments; participation in reading and writing workshops facilitated by reading specialists; teacher collaboration through early release days, secondary-level monthly department meetings and scheduling of elementary grade level team meetings; and alignment between special and regular education curriculum.

Personnel news
In personnel business, the School Board:
• Accepted the resignations of Woodside cleaner James Johnson; Hamilton part-time family and consumer education teacher Juliann Jones, Marcy special services paraprofessional Nancy Mason and Templeton administrative assistant Lisa Bauer;
• Appointed Randall Stumpf as Woodside part-time cleaner; and
• Modified the contract of Marcy Early Mathematics Empowerment teacher Charlotte Coe from a 70 to 80 percent position.