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November 3, 2009

District recognized for PLTW certification
The Hamilton School District has earned national certification for its Project Lead the Way (PLTW) program – making students eligible to receive college credits for coursework they have taken in high school.

Milwaukee School of Engineering Professor and PLTW Associate Affiliate Director Marvin Hollman presented a banner to the School Board in recognition of Hamilton being named a school of excellence.

PLTW, the nation’s leading provider of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, offers a rigorous curriculum that allows students to apply what they are learning in mathematics and science classes to real-life engineering and technology projects. The certification program recognizes schools that have successfully demonstrated a commitment to the quality national standards of the Pathway To Engineering program. Students may apply for college credit at more than 35 PLTW affiliate colleges and universities for completing certain courses in high school.

Technology education teachers Brian Steingraber and Steve Campeau helped present the banner. Teachers are a critical component of the success of the PLTW program. All teachers are required to complete an intensive two-week professional development course during the summer before they can teach a PLTW course..

ELL enrollment down slightly
From 2003 to 2006, the Hamilton School District saw the number of English Language Learners (ELL) jump from 44 to 115 students. In the last three years, enrollment has dropped. Educational Service and Human Resources Director John Roubik reported that ELL enrollment dropped to 104 for the 2009-10 school year.

Some 14 different languages are spoken including Hungarian, Mandarin and Punjabi. While sheer numbers of ELL students has tapered off in the past few years, more students enter the district speaking little or no English as compared to previous years. This year, 23 students are at proficiency levels 1 and 2, which reflect students who need the most service. The average number of students in levels 1 and 2 in the previous six years was 16.

Staff members will administer the ACCESS test to identified students to determine their language needs in December, but they are not expecting significant changes in the enrollment projection. The goal of the ELL Program is to support students as they become proficient in English and successfully complete the district’s educational program. Two part-time teachers work with classroom teachers across the district to deliver services to ELL students.

Ladd gives report on final year of Lannon’s site plan
Lannon Principal Richard Ladd reported on the final year of his school’s site plan which will be retired at the end of the school year. The tactics of the plan address the following:

  • Writing, speaking and listening skills to become effective communicators in a global society;
  • Positive development of student social skills through meaningful collaboration with their peers and staff; and
  • Demonstration of high-level thinking strategies among students to problem solve in mathematics and content-area reading.

Ladd said the school will continue to keep a focus on the tactics until the end of the school year. He highlighted achievement gains and areas of concern which are documented in the school profile. School Board members noted improvements, especially in mathematics, over time.

School Board election calendar released
The schedule for the 2010 spring election was released. The terms of the School Board members Gabe Kolesari and Gerald Schmitz are up. Kolesari represents the Village of Sussex and Schmitz is an at-large representative.

The election schedule includes:

  • Jan. 5 – deadline for candidacy declaration and nominations papers;
  • Feb. 16 – primary election if needed;
  • April 6 – spring election; and
  • April 26 – taking of office.