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June 7, 2016

Board action provides K-12 instructional coach

After studying the benefits and piloting a program, the district will move ahead with instructional coaching for teaching staff. The School Board approved hiring Templeton teacher Cathy Drago as a full-time K-12 instructional coach as the latest step to implement instructional coaching throughout the district.

The action follows the School Board’s approval in May to include instructional coaching as one of the responsibilities for district reading specialists Kim Weber, Heidi Spingola, Amy Yellin, Pamela Welter, Anne Hatfield, Patty Sankey and Addie Starrett. The addition of 10 part-time interventionists will provide direct and intensive interventions for students who need literacy support that reading specialists provided in the past. The new literacy interventionists will be financed through special education and Title I and II funds.

Teachers who were members of the Coaching Research Team spoke to School Board members earlier in the year about an instructional coaching pilot designed to help teachers in the classroom. Instructional coaches research the best scientifically proven instructional practices and help teachers in areas they want to improve, working collaboratively with colleagues in a non-evaluative manner. Teachers involved with the pilot said the experience helped them better the craft of teaching and focus on what they can do for students.

For the past three years the district contracted with a part-time instructional coach to support teachers during their first two years in the district. Research indicates that instructional coaching increases the likelihood that teachers adopt new teaching practices which has a significant positive impact on student achievement.

Many students recognized for excellence

Hamilton School Board members recognized many students at the June 7 meeting including:

National Merit Finalists
National Merit Finalists Samantha Moore, Yuchun Wang and Cassandra Zimdars
Wisconsin Academic Excellence Scholarship recipients
Wisconsin Academic Excellence Scholarship recipients Kate Meagher and Yuchun Wang (not pictured is Matthew Smith)
Herb Kohl Scholarship Recipient
Herb Kohl Scholarship recipient Yuchun Wang
Hamilton Chargers Robotics Team 2016
Hamilton Charger Robotics team which earned the FIRST regional Chairman’s Award for the fifth time in six years and competed at the World Championships in St. Louis. Their advisors are Hamilton social studies teacher Lori Hinytz and applied engineering and technology teacher Joe Premo.

District takes steps to ensure summer travel participants are aware of risks

Summer foreign travel for students and staff became more problematic with the outbreak of the Zika virus and attacks in Europe. As a result, the district has taken steps to ensure that parents and staff are aware of the risks.

Student-paid trips coordinated by world languages faculty will go to Belize and Guatemala June 12-21, and Paris, Brittany and Normandy July 11-29. A Level 2 Alert has been issued by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommending that South American travelers practice enhanced precautions against mosquitos which carry the Zika virus. The U.S. State Department issued a Travel Alert for Europe due to the risk of potential terrorist attacks.

To ensure that families understand the potential threats, parents, students and chaperones must attend meetings so that they are aware of the risks of travel. Participants will receive CDC and State Department information along with recommendations for mosquito bite prevention and safe travel practices pertinent to the area they will visit. Parents will make individual decisions regarding their child’s participation, and must sign a Release and Assumption of Risk Agreement if their child takes the trip.

Board approves array of documents and reports

The School Board approved several documents including the Co-curricular Handbook, National Honor Society Handbook, Special Education Procedures Handbook, Emergency Nursing Services Policies and Procedures, Bloodborne Pathogens Procedures and District Professional Development Plan.

In addition, it approved district Response to Intervention and Supervision & Evaluation reports and authorized continued membership in the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association.

Personnel action

In personnel matters, the School Board:

  • Appointed Nathan Wichert as a part-time high school German teacher, Colleen Engel as the Willow Spring administrative assistant, Teresa Karrels as a high school German teacher, Lauren Rogahn as a high school physical education teacher, Laura Montez as the Templeton associate principal, Melanie Bunton as a Marcy grade 3 teacher, Kelsey Jasinski as a Templeton grade 8 teacher, Cathy Drago as the K-12 instructional coach and Amber Skaros as the Maple art teacher; and
  • Accepted the resignations of Marcy paraprofessional Karen Seiler, high school communication arts teacher Erin Blome, high school communication arts teacher Diana Paquette, Maple Avenue paraprofessional Melissa Wood and Marcy associate kitchen employee Elaine Schimmel.
  • Increased by 2 percent the hourly rates for “non-group” positions including casual custodian, diagnostician, fitness center assistant, hall monitor substitute, supervisor greeter, noon hour-playground monitor, food services substitute, summer school paraprofessional, program support, summer substitute secretary, seasonal employee and summer school administrative assistant. The annual salary for the driver education coordinator also went up 2 percent, and the hearing interpreter hourly rate increased by 3 percent.
  • Reallocated high school special education paraprofessional positions to increase two positions to full-time status and eliminate one part-time position.