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April 5, 2016

HEF grant funds language lab


Hamilton High School world languages teacher Lindsay Klein showed Hamilton School Board members how technology allows her to differentiate instruction for the students in her German classes. Klein demonstrated capabilities of the Robotel Language Lab, provided to the school with a $45,000 Hamilton Education Foundation (HEF) grant. 

Klein and Hamilton colleague Danielle Kempf, who teaches Spanish, thoroughly researched capabilities of the digital language lab before submitting their request to HEF. Robotel helps teachers deliver classroom and self-study activities to improve their students’ speaking and listening skills. Klein said the lab can be used by students learning any of the language taught at Hamilton – German, Spanish, French and Mandarin – and is especially helpful in addressing pronunciation skills.

Schmitz attends last meeting


After serving the school district for 40 years, Gerald Schmitz attended his last meeting as a Hamilton School Board member. Board members and administrators congratulated Schmitz on his accomplishments.

Compensation adjusted for staff

In personnel matters, the School Board approved a supplemental salary compensation adjustment of $730 per teacher (prorated based on full-time equivalency) for the 2016-17 school year. The School Board established a minimum salary of $45,000 for teachers who have worked three years in the district and $50,000 for those who have worked five years in the district. In all, 45 teachers will be affected by setting these minimum salaries. In addition, the board approved annual stipends of $2,500 for teachers with National Board Certification and $500 for those with a doctorate.

Supplemental salary compensation is not negotiated; it is determined solely at the School Board’s discretion. If the teachers’ union recertifies next fall, negotiations will take place for base wages which by law many not exceed .12 percent.

“This supplemental compensation adjustment was determined by the board in recognition of exemplary staff contributions,” Superintendent Kathleen Cooke said. “For example, the board recently received Badger Exam results. The district scored at the top of the county in most categories.”

In other personnel matters the School Board approved 2016-17 total aggregate salary compensation increases of:

  • 1.5 percent for cooks and custodial and maintenance staff;
  • 1.92 percent for administrators;
  • 2.0 percent for paraprofessionals; and
  • 2.5 percent for administrative assistants and confidential support staff.

Other position adjustments were approved for specific confidential support and administrative staff members. In addition, differential hourly rates were approved for paraprofessionals who work with special student populations. The differential for special education paraprofessionals will be an additional 15 cents per hour and 40 cents per hour more for those who serve medically fragile students.

Staffing plan presented

The number of full-time equivalency (FTE) teaching positions in 2016-17 will increase from 300.95 to 302.28 if student projections are accurate. Human Resources and Organizational Development Director John Roubik reported that preliminary data show the high school will have 1.83 more FTEs, the middle school will be down one position and elementary schools will lose half of a position. The changes reflect high school increases in special services, family & consumer education and social studies enrollment, decreases in communication arts and world languages, and middle and elementary school special services enrollment shifts.

Other personnel business

In other personnel business, the School Board:

  • accepted the resignations of Woodside special education teacher Jamie Jury and Templeton grade 8 teacher Kayla Wojciechowski, effective at the end of the school year;
  • appointed Brian Balfany as Lannon principal effective July 1 and Herb Larsen III as Hamilton science teacher effective Aug. 26;
  • named Murrene Payton, Daniel Tackes, Elizabeth Lodl and Katie Foy as summer school assistant coordinators; and
  • modified the contract of Willow Springs speech pathologist Barbara Michalak from full-time to 80 percent beginning next fall.