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November 18, 2013

ELL teachers describe Family Literacy Program

At 92 students, the number of English Language Learners (ELL) is down by 14 students compared to last year but the total number of languages spoken in the homes of those students is at a high of 30. Human Resources and Organizational Development Director John Roubik highlighted a written report to the School Board that included a chart showing the number of ELL students has been stable over the past five years ranging from 88 to 106 students.

Following Roubik’s summary, ELL teachers Jeanna Tinus and Lynn Panek-Heeren reported on the second year of the Family Literacy Program, an effort to increase parent involvement and student academic success for ELL students. They started the program as pilot serving only six families and eight students this year, but hope to take what they are learning and expand it.

Families attend monthly meetings that Tinus and Panek-Heeren coordinate so that parents can further improve their children’s literacy and academic achievement. Parents helped select topics and times of the meetings. Students have separate meetings with activities which are supported with childcare assistance from Hamilton National Honor Society members.

2014-15 school calendar parameters set

Human Resources Director John Roubik presented parameters that will be used for the development of a 2014-15 draft school calendar. They include:

  • 180 student contact days;
  • 192 teacher contract days;
  • traditional break times;
  • early release days for professional development;
  • days set aside for professional development and teachers to prepare and close out their classrooms; and
  • parent-teacher conferences.

Roubik noted that in addition to the regularly scheduled professional development days during the school year, administrators are considering expanding the number of learning opportunities during the summer that would be embedded in the annual Technology & Learning Academy.

Input from parent officers and district instructional leaders will be sought with a recommention to be presented to the School Board in January. School Board member Gerald Schmitz said he hoped that when a final recommendation is presented to the board, it has more student contact days in it.

School Board election calendar released

The schedule for the 2014 spring election was released. Terms of School Board members Jim Long, who holds the Lannon seat, and Mike Hyland, who has an at-large seat, are up. Both men have indicated they plan to run again.

The election schedule includes:

  • Jan. 7 – deadline for candidacy declaration and nominations papers;
  • Feb. 18 – primary election if needed;
  • April 1 – spring election; and
  • April 28 – taking of office.

Personnel decisions made

In other personnel business, board members:

  • approved the retirement requests of Hamilton custodian Robert McCarty and Maple Avenue custodian Alvin Johnson; and
  • appointed Scott Meier as a part-time Lannon replacement art teacher.