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November 2, 2010

ELL enrollment shows decline

The number of students who are considered English Language Learners (ELL) continues to decline in the Hamilton School District. At its peak with 115 students in 2007-08, ELL enrollment has dropped in the district in each of the past three years. Educational Service and Human Resources Director John Roubik reported that ELL enrollment is at 89 for the 2010-11 school year.

Students are assessed on a scale from 1 to 6 to determine the services they need. Along with the overall drop in ELL enrollment, the percentage of students at the lowest English proficiency levels is down. This year, 12 students are at proficiency levels 1 and 2, compared to 23 students last year.

While 14 different languages are spoken, the most common languages spoken in the homes of ELL students are Hmong and Spanish.

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. Costs for the teachers are covered through district funds, and federal funding provides $27,589 for professional development, interpreter services, afterschool programming and materials.

Ladd gives update on Lannon’s site plan

Principal Richard Ladd reported on the status of Lannon Elementary School’s newly developed site plan and provided School Board members with an overview of how the needs of students are being met. As the smallest of the district’s elementary schools, Ladd noted that a few students can have a significant impact on the school’s test results. While the school has solid scores in most areas, Ladd outlined steps staff members are taking to address the needs of a few students who were not proficient in reading. Interventions for students include additional reading instruction with the reading specialist, sessions with the English Language Learning teacher, general test preparation materials for second-graders and implementation of Leveled Literacy Intervention for identified kindergartners. 

School Board members expressed appreciation to Lannon staff for keeping a close eye on students who have needs. Deborah Briggs noted that reading proficiency increased for students from one year to the next –  from 87 percent proficiency in third grade to 95 percent proficiency the following year when they were tested as fourth-graders.

“Your staff is using data correctly to catch kids every step of the way and give them what they need,” Briggs said.

 Tactics of the Lannon site plan identify that students will:

  • Be engaged in meaningful and active learning to support maximum achievement for every child in reading; and
  • Develop positive social skills through meaningful collaboration with their peers and staff.

School Board election calendar released

The schedule for the 2011 spring election was released. Terms of School Board members James Long and Michael Hyland are up, and both have indicated that they will seek re-election. Long represents the Village of Lannon and Hyland is an at-large representative.

The election schedule includes:

  • Jan. 4 – deadline for candidacy declaration and nominations papers;
  • Feb. 15 – primary election if needed;
  • April 5 – spring election; and
  • April 25 – taking of office.

Personnel business

A half-time instructional paraprofessional position was approved for the second grade at Marcy Elementary School for the remainder of the school year due to academic, ELL and Special Education needs of students.