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September 3, 2013

District assessment program update given

The district uses a variety of assessments to ensure that instruction meets the needs of students. Instructional Services Supervisor Katherine Little, Ph.D., reported on initiatives of the district’s 2013-14 assessment program whic include:

  • Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) is required for all K4 to grade 1 students beginning in the 2013-14 school year. The screener identifies students at risk of developing reading difficulties, diagnoses students’ knowledge of literacy fundamentals, monitors progress and plans instruction that targets students’ needs. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction will require students in grade 2 will be included next year. Hamilton teachers proctoring the assessments are required to participate in two hours of training on PALS administration, scoring, online score entry and reporting.
  • Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) has been used in the district for about 10 years. Developed by the Northwest Evaluation Association, MAP is used in grades 1-10 in Hamilton and for special education students in grades 11 and 12. The data provides detailed, actionable data for each child. The data is used for instructional purposes and helps to identify students who may be considered for targeted intervention or extension.
  • District benchmarks were reviewed by kindergarten teachers at the end of the last school year to eliminate redundancy with PALS assessments.
  • Comprehensive assessment practices includes a balance of formative and summative assessments. Teachers new to the district participated in professional development to enhance their knowledge of both types of assessments and how to provide high quality feedback to students.
  • RtI progress monitoring is shifting from the use of EasyCBM to aimsweb as part of Response To Intervention requirements. After use of EasyCBM last year, school staff determined that aimsweb would be a better fit for the district. Thirty district teachers were trained to use aimsweb Aug. 30 and will serve as trainers for their colleagues.
  • Smarter Balanced assessment preparation continues throughout the district. Because the new state assessment will be administered in an online format, the district purchased 700 additional laptops to provide students with greater access to computers and comfort to online testing.

District hires 41 new employees

The Hamilton School District started the 2013-14 school year with 41 new employees among its ranks. Marcy Elementary School had the most new employees with 10 new employees on board followed by Templeton Middle School at nine, Hamilton High School at eight, district at five, Woodside at four, Maple Avenue with three and Willow Springs and Lannon each with one.

Other personnel news

In other personnel news from August and September, the School Board:

  • Modified the contracts of district program support Kathleen Mesick from 50 to 70 perent, Woodside music teacher Rose Frohna from 50 to 55 percent and Marcy physical education teacher Devon Hauser from 30 to 33 percent;
  • Approved the retirement of Willow Spring paraprofessional Patricia Koll effective July 23;
  • Accepted the resignations of Templeton paraprofessional Sue Ritter, Maple special service paraprofessional Gretchen Cunningham, Hamilton special services paraprofessional Mary Haumschild, Woodside grade 5 teacher Adam Scanlan, Hamilton administrative assistant Cori Aronow, Woodside special services paraprofessional Kirsten Schlaman, Marcy associate kitchen employee Jennifer Sereg, Templeton associate kitchen employee Brenda Tennyson and Hamilton associate kitchen employee Tami Keen; and
  • Appointed Alicia Ide as a Maple Avenue paraprofessional, Gretchen Cunningham as a Templeton special services paraprofessional, Tim Ferschl as a Lannon cleaner, Tanya Selestow as a Marcy special services paraprofessional, Kristi Last as a Marcy instructional and media paraprofessional, Julie Corbin as a Hamilton special services paraprofessional, Keviin Becker as Hamilton night foreman, Melissa Wood as a Maple Avenue paraprofessional and George Murillo as a Hamilton evening custodian