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March 21, 2016

Teachers report benefits of instructional coaching


Teachers spoke to School Board members about the impact of a pilot to use instructional coaching to help teachers in the classroom. Members of the Coaching Research Team – Templeton teachers Cathy Drago and Patty Sankey, Lannon teacher Sarah Cromos and Hamilton teacher Addie Starrett – described how instructional coaching is designed to help focus on higher-quality teaching by working collaboratively with colleagues in a non-evaluative manner. The instructional coaches research the best scientifically proven instructional practices and help teachers in areas they want to improve. 

Templeton teachers Shannon Becker, Paul Schmidt and Trenette Fowler described the impact of having Drago and Sankey working side-by-side with them in their classrooms. They said the experience helped them better the craft of teaching and focus on what they can do for students.

Summer school teacher pay to increase

Hourly pay for Summer Opportunities teachers will go up from $20 to $23-25. The district experienced a decline in the number of teachers willing to teach in the summer program because pay was falling behind other districts. The School Board agreed to increase the hourly rate to $23 for first and second year summer school teachers and $25 for those who have taught in the district summer program for more than two years.

Lunch program decisions made

To comply with state requirements, the price of elementary school lunches in the 2016-17 school year will increase by 5 cents from $2.55 to $2.60 per meal. Middle and high school lunch prices will remain at their current level of $2.95 and a carton of milk, at 35 cents, will not increase

The School Board extended the contract of Kemps Dairy for the 2016-17 school year. Food Services Manager Kira Cerroni King reported that she is pleased with the quality of the service from Kemps. The milk is produced by local Wisconsin farmers, it is brought in cold and stored properly and delivery is in the early morning with excellent security.

Sports co-op programs approved

School Board members approved Hamilton High School’s involvement in a new Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association cooperative team and continued participation in two other cooperative teams through 2018.

Hamilton, Brookfield East and Central, Wauwatosa East and West, Menomonee Falls and Catholic Memorial high schools will form a cooperative boys’ hockey team. Schools will split the cost of the ice rental, officials, transportation and uniforms. All fees will be equally distributed among the players.

Teams for boys swim and dive and girls’ hockey will be renewed. Hamilton boys will continue to participate in a cooperative swim and dive team with Menomonee Falls and Germantown high schools, and the girls’ hockey cooperative team includes Arrowhead and Kettle Moraine.

Textbooks approved

Textbooks for a new high school family and consumer sciences health careers course, elementary mathematics, business mathematics and Advanced Placement physics were approved. The new textbooks will cost a total of $48,418 and will come from the Educational Services Department budget and high school Carl Perkins career and technical education grants.

Participation in programs continues

With School Board action, the district will continue to participate in several long-standing programs including North Central Association (NCA) accreditation and Cooperative Education Service Agency #1 (CESA) alternative schools.

At a cost of $745, Hamilton High School will continue to participate in the NCA accreditation process that aligns planning efforts with site planning. Hamilton has been NCA accredited since 1966.

The district plans to continue using CESA services and programs to assist students who are at-risk, not succeeding in a traditional school environment or have specialized educational needs. Alternative placement programs offered through CESA include New Pathways, Turning Point, Project Success, Fresh Start and Distinguished Scholars Academy. In addition GPS Education Partners, a non-CESA program, offers an alternative model for credit-deficient students allowing them to complete their high school education while gaining real work experience. Currently, 17 Hamilton students participate in New Pathways, one in Distinguished Scholars Academy and four in GPS Education Partners. Services for 2016-17 will be contracted as needs arise.

Board approves Youth Options requests

A total of 26 high school students requested admission to the Youth Options Program that will allow them to take classes next semester at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha and Milwaukee, Waukesha County Technical College, Wisconsin Lutheran College, Mount Mary, Marquette University and Carroll University. Hamilton Principal Candis Mongan noted, as in the past, many students will not be able to take the courses because of scheduling conflicts or full classes. A total of 17 students requested admission to Youth Options last year.

Youth Options is a program mandated by the state that allows students who have completed tenth grade, are in good academic standing and have no disciplinary problems to attend a technical college or university if they have exhausted their high school curriculum.

Personnel matters

In personnel business, the School Board

  • accepted the retirement request of Hamilton administrative assistant Mary-Ellen Crandall, effective March 14;
  • accepted the resignation of Hamilton technology education teacher Glenn Buelow, effective at the end of the school year; and
  • appointed Jennifer Bachhuber as Maple special services paraprofessional, effective March 8, and Janet Enters as Hamilton administrative assistant, effective April 1.