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March 5, 2013


Lannon recognized for distinguished state award

Lannon Elementary School staff members were recognized at the March 5 Hamilton School Board meeting for their contributions in making their school a Wisconsin High-Achieving & High-Progress School. The Department of Public Instruction awarded the distinction to Lannon because it:

  • earned a “Significantly Exceeding Expectations” rating on the new Wisconsin School Report Card;
  • met measurable objectives for all students and all student subgroups;
  • had minimal achievement gaps or showed evidence of reducing gaps between student subgroups; and
  • met test participation, absenteeism and dropout goals.


Principal Dick Ladd, in accepting the School Board’s appreciation and accolades, said the state award was significant to Lannon staff members because it “was not an award that we won, but one that was earned.”

District continues with RtI implementation

The district is in the midst of its multi-year Response to Intervention (RtI) framework implementation. Instructional Services Supervisor Katie Little, Ph.D., provided School Board members with an update on RtI progress.

RtI is a federal and state mandate that is designed to standardize quality instruction, balanced assessments and collaboration. A three-tiered process with various supports to identify and respond to student needs, RtI requires staff to implement research-based instructional and behavioral strategies with an emphasis on intervention rather than remediation. Student progress is frequently and systematically evaluated.

Before students can be referred for special education services, schools must show evidence that a student did not make progress in the three tiers of increasingly-intensive intervention. The district must be ready by Dec. 1 to use RtI to determine eligibility for specific learning disabilities. Recent district progress toward RtI implementation includes the following.

  • Four schools – Templeton Middle and Maple Avenue, Marcy and Woodside Elementary – participated in an RtI external audit. The schools were chosen to represent the district. The audit examined leadership, organizational structures, instruction, cultural responsiveness, student servicing, collaborative practices, assessment practices, behavioral support system, communication and professional development. Auditors’ findings revealed no surprises for the district with many strengths and a few areas for growth including the need for better understanding of the new disability criteria.
  • Professional development continues to provide clarity regarding RtI implementation.
  • After using EasyCBM as its progress monitoring tool for one year, the district is considering moving to AIMSWeb tool as a replacement. Staff determined that EasyCBM does not meet the RtI needs of the district.

New Strategic Plan process previewed

Human Resources Director John Roubik, who is the district’s Strategic Plan internal facilitator, previewed development of a new strategic plan next fall. In preparation for writing of a new 5-year plan next fall, the district has:

  • sought community representation for the planning team;
  • secured CESA #1 Executive Director James Rickabaugh, Ph. D., as the external facilitator; and
  • established personalized learning and student goal-setting and resiliency as areas of concentration for the new plan.

Personnel matters

In personnel matters, the School Board:

  • approved the retirement request of Hamilton art teacher Pamela Mierow, effective June 12; and
  • granted leaves of absences for Woodside third grade teacher Melissa Remmel and Templeton Middle School special education teacher Melissa Neubarth, both effective for the 2013-14 school year.