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April 24, 2017

Grades 5-6 intermediate school as best solution to classroom space needs

As the school district projects student enrollment to increase by 377 students in the next five years and schools have limited classrooms available, the district will be looking at a grades 5-6 intermediate school to provide classroom space from 5K to grade 8.

Educational Services Manager Katie Little, Ph.D., Marcy grade 5 teacher Callie Lauer and Templeton grade 6 teacher Beth Geisler shared information with the Hamilton School District about why the Community Facilities Advisory Committee favored a grades 5-6 intermediate school over other grade configuration options.Geisler-Lauer

Building one intermediate school would address the space needs of the district from kindergarten through grade 8 because space would open up by pulling grade 5 from the elementary schools and grade 6 from the middle school.
A team of district staff members conducted research and on-site visits to Wisconsin intermediate schools in Oregon and Waunakee. The team favored a grades 5-6 intermediate school to address Hamilton space needs because it:

  • keeps children with their neighborhood school classmates for an additional school year;
  • allows staff to focus on the specific age-related needs of students in grades 5 and 6;
  • supports a gradual transition from an elementary school self-contained classroom schedule to a multiple classroom schedule at the middle and high school;
  • encourages a teaching approach that better supports students’ individual instructional needs through interdisciplinary team teaching and flexible grouping of students;
  • provides teachers with common planning time to meet student needs through differentiation, intervention and extension; and
  • could offer options for elective opportunities at an earlier age as seen in other intermediate schools such as the study of world languages.

Lauer and Geisler highlighted additional advantages of an intermediate school including the physical environment and social-emotional considerations.

MacCudden selected as new Willow Springs principal

Renae MacCudden, Ph.D. has been selected as the new Willow Springs Learning Center principal following School Board approval April 24. She will begin July 1.Renae-MacCudden

MacCudden has been an assistant professor of elementary education at Concordia University since 2015. Prior to then, she was an elementary school classroom teacher for 17 years in Oconomowoc, Wauwatosa, Whitnall and Elmbrook school districts. Other professional experiences include being an event coordinator, adjunct faculty member, principal and camp-youth program director.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in 1997 in elementary and middle school education from Marquette University and her master’s and doctorate in educational administration in 2000 and 2010, respectively, from Cardinal Stritch University.

Two Hamilton teachers win Kohl recognition

Templeton Middle School science teacher Mary Caucutt and Woodside Elementary School fourth grade teacher Kelly Flanagan were recognized for being selected 2017 Herb Kohl Foundation Fellowship recipients.Flanagan-Caucutt

Caucutt and Flanagan were among 100 Wisconsin teachers chosen for the Kohl Teacher Fellowship Program, which recognizes educators who have a superior ability to motivate people, inspire a love of learning and provide leadership and service within and outside the classroom.

Each teacher and his or her respective school were awarded a $6,000 grant at an April 8 recognition luncheon hosted by retired U.S. Senator Herb Kohl.

Board gets first look at budget

Hamilton School Board members took their first official look at the 2017-18 budget at their regular meeting. The budget totals $55.07 million, which is a 2.17 percent increase over the current budget.

The governor’s state budget proposes to increase state aid to school, and if that holds true, Hamilton state aid is expected to increase 4.49 percent from $20.6 million to $21.5 million. The tax rate is expected to decrease from $8.92 to $8.91.

The Annual Meeting, when citizens are able to vote on the local levy is set for June 19, but the district may postpone it until lawmakers pass the state budget.

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, Milwaukee and Washington County, Waukesha County Technical College, Wisconsin Lutheran College, Mount Mary, Marquette University and Carroll University. Hamilton Principal Candis Mongan noted in a report to the School Board, as in the past, many students will not be able to take the courses because of scheduling conflicts or full classes. A total of 26 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 news from April 24

In other personnel matter, the School Board:

  • approved the retirement request of Woodside Elementary School grade 4 teacher Peggy Olson;
  • accepted the resignation of Hamilton High School German teacher Nathan Wichert;
  • appointed Margaret Bingen as a Lannon Elementary School special education teacher, James Hilgenberg as a Templeton Middle School grade 8 social studies teacher, Kristin Broetzmann as a Templeton Middle School grade 8 replacement science teacher, and Kristin Mandella as the Marcy school psychologist

Two members take oath of office

Two board members were sworn in for another three-year term following their successful election. Jay Jones and Michael Hyland were re-elected April 4. Jones has the Lannon seat and Hyland is an at-large representative.Hyland-Jones

Templeton students recognized

Templeton Principal Brad Hoffmann recognized students who performed at the state level in the Geography Bee, forensics and robotics.