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June 4, 2019

Capital improvement plan, fund gets approval

The district will set up a long-term capital improvement plan to segregate funds for long-term capital improvements. The School Board approved a plan and trust fund that will help the district plan for future improvements such as replacement and repairs of roofs, heating, venting and cooling systems, asphalt, carpet, lighting, computers, phones, cameras and other equipment.

In a written proposal Assistant Superintendent Bryan Ruud explained:

“The funds cannot be accessed by the District for five years after the creation of the segregated account. The funds can only go towards the purchase of capital improvements found on a Board approved “Long-Term Capital Improvement Plan” that at least covers a 10-year period. There are several benefits for Hamilton School District to open the Fund. First and foremost, it is another tool that the District can utilize to show the community that we are continuing to look ahead and plan for capital liabilities. Second, it allows for the District to realize small expenditures each fiscal year instead of having the negative impact of a large capital expenditure at the time of the project. This in turn helps maximize our state aid allocation which effects our taxpayers positively. Finally, transfers are allowed to be made until July 30 which occurs a month after the close of the fiscal year. This allows Hamilton to have a firm grasp on how much the District is able to contribute to the Fund each year and understand the impact it will have on our State Aid allocation. Finally, because deposits made in the first couple of years cannot be touched for five years, the District is able to take advantage of investments that have a greater yield because the money is locked up for a longer period of time.”

The plan and fund were approved with School Board member Michael Hyland voting against.

Board approves Special Meeting for easement acquisition

A Special Meeting will be held June 25 at 7 p.m. for district residents to vote on a proposal to acquire land easements from Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church located west of Silver Spring Intermediate School. The meeting will be held in the Hamilton High School Library.

Hamilton DECA members recognized


Hamilton DECA members who competed and state and international competitions were recognized including Eric Doese, Margaret Flynn, Aayush Iyengar, Matthew Lehner, Rashmi Majjigapu, Haley Pifher, Arushi Ranasaria, James Richter, Shiva Senthil, Maxwell Unger. Those who were not at the meeting were Sophia Detweiler, Peyton Feudner, Jason Gahr, Maanya Kashyap, Prathmesh Konda Gopinath, Gavin Kuhlenbeck, Michael Maher and John Weber. Hamilton Business Education teacher and DECA advisor Skip Hay presented at the meeting.

Board approves employee contracts

The Hamilton School Board ratified a one-year contract with United Lakewood Educators (ULE) which represents district teachers. Under the contract, base salaries will increase by 2.44 percent for 2019-20. In addition, the regular supplemental compensation for Hamilton teachers will increase by $260 per teacher, prorated based on percentage of full-time employment, plus position adjustments for identified staff. The curriculum rate will increase from $19.25 to $22 per hour.

The tentative agreement which district and ULE representatives reached May 21 was presented to ULE members for a ratification vote. The increases do not apply to teachers on replacement contracts or plans of assistance.

Other 2019-20 employee contracts that were approved and the total aggregate salary compensation adjustments were:

  • Associate kitchen employees, custodial and maintenance staff, paraprofessionals – 2.5 percent;
  • Administrative assistants – 2.23 percent;
  • Confidential support staff – 2.73 percent, plus identified position adjustments; and
  • Administrators – 2.07 percent.

Rates for 16 positions that are paid hourly or per diem were increased between 2.3 and 10 percent.

In addition, the School Board renewed a two-year contract for the district administrator and approved 2 percent total aggregate salary compensation adjustments for certain confidential support and administrative staff in the form of one-time merit stipends.

Employee handbooks revised

Employee handbooks were revised as follows:

  • Master Handbook: Added language that the district will use any paid time available prior to approving unpaid time off.
  • All employee group addendums: “Unplanned Time Off” renamed “Paid Absence Request” to provide more logical terminology as it pertains to paid time off.
  • Administrative Assistant, Custodial, & Paraprofessional addendums: Language regarding probationary period was deleted.
  • Administrative Assistant, Administrator, Confidential Support, Custodial, Paraprofessional and Professional Teaching Staff addendums: Edited insurance coverage language allowing employee to continue on the plan provided that coverage is available, the employee pays for the coverage and it is a continual coverage. Also added that only those on the plan at time of retirement are eligible for the continuing coverage. A new dependent or spouse cannot be added while receiving the retirement coverage benefit.
  • Cooks and Associate Kitchen Staff addendum: Removed the title “Cooks” from the addendum. All kitchen staff will have the title “Associate kitchen employee.”
  • Custodial addendum: Added language stating 1:30 p.m. is the start time for second shift maintenance employees.
  • Professional Teaching Staff addendum: Updated reimbursement to the district for substitute teacher coverage for approved planned personal reasons (vacation, field trips, sporting events) to $170.24 per day.

Other personnel business

In other personnel business, the School Board:

  • approved the resignations of Templeton associate kitchen employee Diana Butcher, effective May 31; Templeton special services paraprofessional Sally Purcell, effective June 12; Templeton associate kitchen employee Justine Klug, effective June 12; and Marcy literacy interventionist Melissa Remmel, effective the end of the 2018-19 school year; and
  • appointed Susan Haley as Silver Spring health room paraprofessional, Diana Muche as Maple associate kitchen employee, Tiffany Wolf as Hamilton special services paraprofessional, Jesse Luedke as Templeton associate kitchen employee all effective Sept. 3; and Megan Karabon as Templeton grade 7 critical literacy teacher effective Aug. 21.

Board approves documents and reports

The School Board approved several documents including the National Honor Society Handbook, Special Education Procedures Handbook, Emergency Nursing Services Policies and Procedures and Bloodborne Pathogens Procedures.

Strategic Plan update presented

Human Resources and Organizational Development Director John Roubik gave an update to the School Board on the 2017-2020 Strategic Priorities and Tactical Plans. Recent highlights for each of the four areas of priority were:

Systems of learning & assessment — All students will be challenged and supported to maximize their learning and achievement.

  • The district-designed Backwards Design template was updated by teachers.
  • Elementary teacher feedback sessions were conducted on the implementation of science rubrics.
  • Student-friendly science rubrics are being designed based on input from the teacher feedback sessions.
  • A schedule of vertical and horizontal learning conversations is being scheduled for next year.
  • The English-Language Arts teachers are completing assessment rubrics.

Social and emotional wellness — All students will be supported to develop social and emotional wellness related to academic, career and life experiences.

  • The district sent a guidance counselor and social worker through the CESA 1 Youth Mental Health First Aid Certification program. This training was funded by the School Safety Grant.
  • Representatives from the Social Emotional Wellness Committee have reviewed Social Emotional Learning curriculum resources and have recommended the Second Step curriculum. This committee has applied for a HEF grant to help fund this resource.
  • Hamilton High School and Templeton Middle School visited area school districts with their PBIS leadership teams to better understand how PBIS could be implemented in secondary schools.
  • Marcy and Woodside Elementary School students completed the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment. A district team is reviewing the data and this tool’s effectiveness in identifying students in need of additional support. Additional screeners may be looked at next year.

Workforce & organizational wellness –All staff will engage in continuous professional learning and be provided opportunities to improve personal wellness.

  • 36 staff members are participating in the “Transformation Wellness Challenge” through Anytime Fitness.
  • An average of 26 staff members participated in a six-week Yoga class this spring.
  • A new staff recognition program was implemented for acknowledging years of service to the district and retirees.
  • The district received the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Best Workplace Award for the eighth consecutive year.

Facilities & technology — The district will provide adequate classroom learning space while maintaining existing buildings and infrastructure and optimal student access to technology.

  • The new district and high school offices opened May 14.
  • Former district and high school offices have been sealed off and are under construction to be converted to new office and classroom space.
  • Work has begun on the remodeling of the graphics lab.
  • Work on Silver Spring Intermediate School (SSIS) continues to progress on time and on budget.
  • Educational Services has met with the SSIS staff to coordinate the classroom and IMC move in procedures.
  • IT has set up all phone and computer systems for the new district and high school offices.
  • IT continues to prep the PC’s and network infrastructure for SSIS.
  • Work continues in preparation for the on-to-one Chromebook initiative to be implemented for grades 5-8 in the fall.