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November 17, 2014

Board hears about MAP testing growth targets

School Board members received a primer about how growth targets are established and used as part of the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) testing, which the district has been using since 2004. Instructional Services Supervisor Katherine Little, Ph.D., and Templeton Principal Paul Mielke, Ph.D., explained how MAP provides data used to develop targeted instructional strategies.

Depending on grade level, students in grades 1-10 take the computerized adaptive MAP assessments in reading, mathematics and language usage two to three times a year. Growth goals are set based on grade, initial achievement and how many weeks of instruction have been given. Because many students throughout the nation are involved in norming the data, Northwest Evaluation Association – the organization which produces MAP tests – is able to calculate typical growth of similar students.

A class report allows teachers to view deviation of student performance, drill down content strands and individual skill indicators, and plan for differentiated instruction. At the end of each testing season, teachers receive a report regarding individual student progress and class trends.

Steiner presents first Willow Springs site plan report

In her first presentation to the Hamilton School Board, Willow Springs Learning Center Principal Erin Steiner reported on the school’s site planning process. A team of Willow Springs’ staff members met with Human Resources and Organizational Development Director John Roubik on Aug. 13 to review the site plan.

Accomplishments of site plans in the past two years included investigation of new curricula, creation of meaningful student activities that foster social-emotional development, utilization of iPad technology and analysis of PALS and other pre-academic data to influence teaching decisions. They analyzed data and determined that some new ways to gather and monitor social-emotional and pre-academic data was needed.

In the coming year, the school will focus on tactics that will lead to development of social-emotional skills, understanding of students’ individual roles as learners and pre-academic literacy skills. Staff members will promote this through social, emotional and communication assemblies, teaching practices that promote student ownership of learning, evaluation and modification of social-emotional data collection, implementation of benchmark literacy, collection of data and implementation of iPad technology for literacy skill development.

Co-curricular plan presented

Hamilton Athletic and Activities Director Michael Gosz provided his annual Co-curricular Activities Report. Among the highlights of the 2013-14 school year were:

  • The district sponsored 41 student activities and 23 sports with a total of 54 teams.
  • A total of 86 coaches, 65 activity advisors were hired.
  • Gate receipts from sports totaled $48,518 and $33,000 was made from family passes.
  • An all-time high of 3,131 students participated (a duplicated count in which students are counted for each program in which they participate).
  • Average cost per participant was $139.88, down from $142.39 in 2012-13 and $150.51 in 2011-12.
  • Facility improvements included construction of Hamilton Athletic Facility and with help of a local donor, development of softball, baseball and youth fields on school ground.

Catch-up provision in 403b plan eliminated

The School Board authorized a change in the 403b plan document which eliminates the 15-year catch up provision, which legal counsel and 403b providers recommended to remove as the number of IRS violations related to the provision has been problematic in other districts. Previously only employees with 15 or more years of service could make elective deferrals above the amount permitted. No one in the district is taking advantage of the provision.

School Board election calendar released

The schedule for the 2015 spring election was released. Terms of School Board members Dawn Van Aacken, who holds the Lisbon seat, Deborah Briggs, Butler seat, and Brian Schneider, Menomonee Falls seat, are up. All three have indicated they plan to run again.
The election schedule includes:
• Jan. 6 – deadline for candidacy declaration and nominations papers;
• Feb. 17 – primary election if needed;
• April 7 – spring election; and
• April 27 – taking of office.

E4E plan on hold until state determines statute requirements

Extended Learning Opportunities Coordinator and Hamilton High School Associate Principal Pete Ferge reported on the district’s participation in the Education for Employment (E4E) consortium, comprised of 13 southeastern school districts. The consortium, which coordinates a plan to provide career- and college-readiness components, is on hold until the state Department of Public Instruction determines how to meet the requirements of a new state statute that requires all eighth-graders to have an Academic and Career Plan by 2017.
E4E coordination comes with the CESA #1 Carl Perkins Consortium, which the board approved for the 2015-16 school year.

Personnel business

In personnel business, the School Board:

  • Accepted the resignation of Hamilton associate kitchen employee Renee Newman; and
  • Appointed Jennifer Bachhuber as Willow Springs special services paraprofessional and Tarrah Preusser as Templeton instructional and supervision paraprofessional.