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November 19, 2018

AODA measures in place to help students, families


Student Assistance Program and AODA Coordinator Kristin Hasbrook presented an annual report to School Board members about efforts to keep students from getting involved in alcohol and other drugs. She brought three high school peer leaders who serve as a bridge between students and guidance counselors and other adults who can help students dealing with difficulties. In addition to responding to students who reach out to them, the peer leaders present on stress management and depression in seventh and 10th grade health classes.

Providing initial screening and AODA referral services, helping families find appropriate community services and conducting activities in the schools comprised 2017-18 activities.

Middle and high school activities included ongoing individual student support and giving and organizing presentations for students about drugs and alcohol and depression. In addition, selected students received peer trainer instruction for peer depression presentations. Districtwide activities involved coordination of the parent network Hamilton Connects, creating and implementing a presentation for parents about anxiety, training parents in the Love and Logic program. She also continued to engage with REDgen, an organization that offers training and support to help reduce student suicide and mental health issues.

Future plans are to:

  • use the Question-Persuade-Respond (QPR) model to train students on depression, grief and suicide;
  • create a student club that would extend the mission of Peer Leaders;
  • emphasize mental health education and support for parents;
  • seek additional funding for Hamilton Connects;
  • continue regular support for Hamilton and Templeton students; and
  • support REDgen West as it creates programming in Waukesha County.

3 classes under development for HHS Course Catalog

Three new classes are under development to be included in the 2019-20 Hamilton High School Course Catalog. They are:

  • Math and Logic – provides students preparing for higher education, but for whom Business Math is not the best fit, with another senior-level math elective;
  • Cultures of Healthcare – in the family and consumer sciences department, blends concepts of the current Introduction to Healthcare Professions and Culture of Healthcare offered by Waukesha County Technical College. The course examines employment trends, professionalism, interpersonal and written communication skills, patient privacy and confidentiality issues;
  • Digital Design & Web Development – a Business Education course redesigned from Advanced Applications and Web Page Design to provide rigorous learning as the foundation for success in college and related careers. Students will design and create professional graphics and websites using Adobe Creative Cloud.

Hamilton’s achievement higher, but gaps exist

Achievement discrepancy between majority and minority students, students of low economic status, special education and English learners exists in education. While the Hamilton School District sees this to a lesser extent than state and national averages, gaps among the various student groups exist.

Human Resources Director John Roubik and Instructional Services Supervisor Katherine Little, Ph.D. presented district data and initiatives concerning “Closing the Achievement Gap.” Hamilton students in disaggregated groups outperform their state counterparts on the Forward Exam.

Key findings of the report are:

  • Hamilton’s 2017-18 “Closing the Achievement Gap” score on the School Report Card is 17.5 points better than the state average.
  • Socioeconomically disadvantaged, special education and English learners are underrepresented or not represented in Advanced Placement course testing data.
  • All district subgroups score higher than the state average. The achievement gaps of the socioeconomically disadvantaged, special education and English learner populations attending the Hamilton School District are greater than the state average. This larger discrepancy is attributed to the higher achievement level of the district’s comparative group. However, work is being done with individual students to increase the overall achievement for these populations.
  • For minority populations, discrepancies in reading and math are more pronounced at the elementary level. Using differentiated instructional practices and targeted interventions, achievement narrows as students move up in the grade levels.
  • Achievement gaps for socioeconomically disadvantaged, special education and students learning English remain wide. Individual student needs are being addressed through the RtI and IEP processes.
  • When compared to the state, all subgroups except special education scored higher on the ACT Composite. In most instances, achievement discrepancies are seen between the subgroups and their counterparts. ACT score gaps are seen between the majority and other student groups with the exception of Asian and those identifying with two or more races.

Action steps to ensure the success of all students include:

  • allocating Title I services for direct instruction at targeted school;
  • differentiating instruction to providing interventions for students with larger gaps;
  • matching Response to Intervention actions with student needs to ensure greatest academic gains;
  • meeting of district interventionists to review effectiveness of current interventions and expand intervention options;
  • training for effective use of Comprehensive Intention Model, strategy-based interventions for reading and writing;
  • implementing EduClimber software to monitor student progress and identify interventions;
  • offering specific intervention programming at each school to meet students’ needs;
  • implementing learner profiles and student goal-setting strategies to support personalization of student learning; and
  • training staff on designing strategies and learning environments to meets the needs of all learners.

Athletic-activities report presented

Hamilton Athletic and Activities Director Michael Gosz presented the annual Co-Curricular Activities Report. He noted that 88 coaches and 75 activity advisors lead 62 interscholastic sports teams and 52 student activities. Nearly half the coaches and 91 percent of the activity advisors are district faculty members.

In his report, Gosz recommended that the district:

  • work with the Hamilton Athletic Booster Club to construct a new concession stand on Grove field;
  • replace existing baseball field backstop and netting;
  • explore the possibility of adding synthetic turf to baseball infield to prevent rainouts as baseball will become a spring sport in 2019;
  • resurface the tennis courts;
  • monitor athletic specialization and off-season programs; and
  • consider coach and advisory salaries that have not been adjusted in more than 15 years.

Personnel action – Nov. 19, 2018

In personnel business, the School Board:

  • accepted the resignations of Woodside special services paraprofessional Carrie Goodman, effective Nov. 7, and Maple Avenue literacy interventionist DeMaris Gill, effective Dec. 20; and
  • appointed Carina Esparza as a Lannon special services paraprofessional.