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December 2, 2014

District sees accomplishments of tactical plans

The quarterly update of the district’s strategic priorities and tactical plans were presented by Human Resources and Organizational Development Director John Roubik. Progress in each of the seven tactical plans include:

  • Personalized-differentiated instructional practices – The Personalized Learning Team met three times and developed two lessons about personalized learning and goal-setting for building staff; staff attended the CESA Personalized Learning Network and Annual Convening session; and planning is underway for benchmarking and a second semester goal-setting pilot.
  • Response to Intervention (RtI) readiness – Psychologists and reading specialists and mathematics support teachers are reviewing and recommending changes for duration, frequency and intensity of literacy and mathematics interventions; and special education teachers implemented Aimsweb probes to monitor progress of students receiving pull-out mathematics and reading interventions through special education programming;
  • A student information system to manage student data and inform instructional practice – Teachers received training via screencast videos and face-to-face drop-in sessions for grading and posting marks; first quarter grades were successfully posted at all levels; and IT staff members are exploring online registration for next summer.
  • Athletic classroom-training-practice space to support fitness education, athletics and activities – Occupancy for the Hamilton Athletic Center was granted Nov. 14; the Hamilton Education Foundation’s Charger Challenge: Santa Edition will be the first public use of the facility.
  • Effective two-way communication practices to promote understanding, support and involvement of families, community and staff in strategic priorities – Staff have been provided guidelines on best communication practices using digital media; input from business representatives sought regarding communication of student’s college and career readiness and other district progress and initiatives; and distribution lists were compiled and the first edition of Pipeline, an e-newsletter, was sent in October.
  • Professional development to engage and empower students, differentiate instruction and ensure continuous progress to promote increased achievement – Committee met to check for progress and make adjustments to Educator Effectiveness, Inifnite Campus, benchmark literacy, RtI and personalized learning practices; vertical teaming activities have been planned and will be facilitated by instructional leaders in February; back-to-school in-services focused on Infinite Campus, Educator Effectiveness and building site plans; and early release activities on Educator Effectiveness; and
  • Training to implement the Educator Effectiveness Model – Teachers completed self-evaluations and developed student learning outcomes (SLO) and professional performance goals (PPG); principals completed SLOs and PPGs and began teacher observations and conferences; and Effectiveness Project Implementation Coaches and principals continue training including administrative calibration required by the state Department of Public Instruction.

ELL sees success from Family Literacy Program

The number of Hamilton School District students who are English Language Learners (ELL) is at its lowest level in five years. This year 79 students, who come from homes where 30 languages different languages are spoken with Hmong and Spanish as the most prevalent, will receive services from two teachers whose full-time equivalency is 1.5 positions The number of ELL students has ranged from 89 to 106 in the past four years.

Teachers established the ELL Family Literacy Program two years ago for parents to feel more comfortable with the district’s academic expectations and stress the importance of parent engagement in the student learning process. More families are participating in the program this year and attendance at school functions such as parent-teacher conferences has increased because of the outreach to families.

New literacy resources are being designed to help ELL students with vocabulary development. The resources were purchased with federal funds.

Wisconsin’s school accountability system requires that ELL students meet benchmarks for progressing in English language acquisition, reaching proficiency and meeting yearly progress in state standardized testing. The district met objectives for gaining and reaching English language proficiency, and achieving standardized test results at all grade levels in mathematics and at elementary and high school levels in reading. It did not meet the state’s annual objective for middle school students in reading. Human Resources and Organizational Development Director John Roubik outlined initiatives ELL staff will pursue to address ELL reading needs at the middle school level.

Board approves personnel matters

In personnel matters, the School Board:

  • accepted the retirement request of Hamilton assistant cook Elaine Neuhaus, effective Dec. 19;
  • approved the resignation of Templeton Special Services paraprofessional Carisma Rush, effective Dec. 23; and
  • appointed Capri Krieger as Hamilton assistant cook, Kimberly Gray as Marcy Special Services paraprofessional, Stephanie Sterr as Hamilton assistant cook and Monica Lohry and Jessica Petricca as Hamilton associate kitchen employees.