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November 16, 2015


Personalized Learning Team recognized


More than two dozen teachers and administrators were recognized for their role on the district’s Personalized Learning Team. Human Resources Director John Roubik described the staff members as the movers and shakers in the district who stepped forward to research, design, implement and provide professional development to make the personalized learning initiative a reality in the district.

Teachers who were recognized at the meeting were Kathleen Block, Sarah Cromos, Cathy Drago, Maria Grewe, Jenifer Hajdukiewicz, Robyn Hassani, Marie Kramer, Kristen Lee, Lisa Merritt, Kelly Meyer, Paul Mielke, Candis Mongan, Catherine O’Connell, Mindy Pilecky, Whitney Roth, Michelle Schultz, Kathy Schulz, Michele Trawicki and Pam Welter. Members of the team who were unable to attend were Eric Ebert, Jen Emory Dan Krill and Amanda Norris.

Teachers from elementary, middle and high school levels described how students use learner profiles to set goals and take ownership of their learning.
Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., thanked the team for the leadership role they play in the district. She said research shows that high-performing districts have elements of consistency and fidelity in instructional practices across the district. She said the teachers being recognized have provided insight, ability, coaching, professional development and role modeling to help their colleagues know what personalized learning should look like.

District addresses achievement gap

Hamilton School Board members took a closer look at data showing achievement gaps between majority students and those who in the categories of minority, low economic status, special education and English language learners. While Hamilton fares better than other districts in many areas, academic gaps still exist. The district’s Strategic Plan has prioritized closing the achievement gap since 2008.

  • Data presented in a “Closing the Achievement Gap Report” from Human Resources Director John Roubik and Instructional Services Supervisor Katie Little, Ph.D., identified achievement gaps using various assessments. Key results included:
  • The achievement gap of the district’s fourth grade African Americans students is smaller than in many other area district.
  • Fourth grade special education students have a greater achievement gap than most other area districts.
  • Compared to state and southeastern Wisconsin districts, Hamilton’s majority population ACT scores are higher.
  • Students in poverty score similar on the ACT to the majority.
  • Hamilton High School has a significantly higher graduation rate in all categories than southeastern Wisconsin high schools.
  • In Measures of Academic Progress RIT scores, gaps between majority and all subgroups exist by grade band in reading and mathematics. The gap is smallest for minority students and increasingly widens for students in poverty, special education and English language learners.
  • Significant gaps are seen in college readiness between majority and subgroups except those identifying as Asian or two or more races.
  • Advanced Placement results who the gap among minority and students in poverty is closing.

Roubik and Little presented ways the district supports high quality instruction and assessment practices to ensure success for all students. Among the initiatives are participation in a consortium with other southeastern Wisconsin school districts, use of literacy software with English language learners, Title I services allocated for direct instruction at targeted schools, school site plans using building-level student data to differentiate instruction and determine intervention needed for students with large gaps, interventions matched with students to ensure greatest academic gains, interventionists who regularly meet to discuss effectiveness of current interventions and expand district options, software to monitor student progress on identified interventions, use of learner profiles to personalize instruction and implementation of growth mindset programs.

Co-curricular plan presented

Hamilton Athletic and Activities Director Michael Gosz provided his annual Co-curricular Activities Report. Among the highlights of the 2014-15 school year were:

  • The district sponsored 25 interscholastic sports, 60 teams and 41 student activities.
  • A total of 85 coaches, 61 activity advisors were hired.
  • Gate receipts from fall sports totaled $21,764, winter sports $10,551 and spring sports $38,904. Family passes provided $33,000 in revenue.
  • An all-time high of 3,230 students participated (a duplicated count in which students are counted for each program in which they participate).
  • Average cost per participant was $144.99 compared to $139.88 in 2013-14 and $150.51 in 2012-13.
  • Facility improvements included development of softball, baseball and youth fields on school grounds with the financial help of the Halquist family, completion of the Hamilton Athletic Center for fitness education classes, athletic and band practices.
  • The Charger Way Character Matters program was implemented for all sport programs.

School Board election calendar released

The schedule for the 2016 spring election was released. Terms are up for School Board members Gabe Kolesari, who holds the Sussex seat, and Gerald Schmitz, who is in an at-large seat.

The election schedule includes:

  • Jan. 5 – deadline for candidacy declaration and nominations papers;
  • Feb. 16 – primary election if needed;
  • April 5 – spring election; and
  • April 25 – taking of office.

Personnel business

In personnel business, the School Board appointed Jonathan Kornbeck as a district client support technician and Cheri Lang as a Templeton paraprofessional.