Significant calendar changes approved
The 2021-22 school calendar was approved and the most significant changes were: an additional in-service day before the start of student contact days in the fall; Jan. 17 off for students and staff in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; spring break returning to the last full week in March; and the last day of school as a half-day of instruction for students followed by a half work-day for staff.
Staff work and professional development days will be Aug. 23-26 and 31. Sept. 1 is the first day of school for middle and high school students and the first day of Great Start Conferences for grades 4K-6. The first day of school for 5K-6 students is Sept. 3 and 4K is Sept. 8
Breaks are Oct. 22, Nov. 24-26, Dec. 23-31, Jan. 17, March 21-25, April 15-18. The last day of school is June 10 with high school graduation slated for June 11.
Pandemic cut short spring season
Before the 2019-20 school year was cut short because of COVID-19, Hamilton High School co-curriculars was set to have a break-through year. Despite the pandemic and the loss of the spring athletics and activities spring season, 2019-20 gate receipts were $57,621— down only by about $1,000 from 2018-19.
Athletic-Activities Director Mike Gosz reported on the year’s accomplishments and issues. The high school sponsored 31 interscholastic sports – 15 male and 16 female – with 69 teams and 50 student activities. Some 97 coaches and 85 advisors were employed with 56% of coaches and 76% of advisors being faculty members.
Conducting the parent-athlete Co-curricular Code meeting via webcast was a hit with families who enjoyed the ease and convenience of the new format.
Because the year was cut short, no facility improvements were made.
2 board members honored for 30 years
Michael Hyland and Dawn VanAacken were recognized for 30 years of service to the Hamilton School Board. They will be honored in January at the 2021 Wisconsin Association of School Board’s 2021 virtual State Education Convention. Hyland is actually celebrating 31 years of service, but he was not recognized last year.
District AODA efforts help students, families
Student Assistance Program and Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (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.
Providing initial screening and AODA referral services, helping families find appropriate community services and conducting school-specific services comprised 2019-20 activities. She presented on depression, trained students to be peer leaders, facilitated girls and boys support groups and coordinated an “Out of Darkness: High School Campus Walk” to highlight suicide prevention.
Districtwide activities involved coordination of the parent network Hamilton Connects. The district received a $6,000 grant as a result of Hasbrook being named a Herb Kohl Education Foundation Fellowship Award. She also continued to engage with REDgen, an organization that offers training and support to help reduce student suicide and mental health issues and worked with community groups to establish The Wellness Resource Network (WRN), a resource network for parents.
Among others, 2020-21 plans are to create a new Peer Leader program using technology tools, emphasize mental health education and support for parents, provide parent education to reduce AODA and solidify the WRN.
Personnel action sees resignations, retirements, appointments
In personnel action, the School Board:
- approved the resignations of Marcy Paraprofessional Maria Albrecht effective Nov. 16, Silver Spring Paraprofessional Barbara Larson effective Dec. 4, Woodside Grade 1 Teacher Gretchen Sciortino effective Nov. 30, Lannon Paraprofessional Catherine Losiniecki effective Dec. 4, Silver Spring Kitchen Employee Jesse Luedke effective Dec. 7, and Hamilton High Kitchen Employee Capri Krieger effective Dec. 7.
- approved the retirements, effective at the end of the 2020-21 school year, of Lannon Math Support Teacher Nancy Lorenz, Hamilton High Communication Arts Teacher Debra Figueroa, Maple Avenue Grade 2 Teachers Pamela Jeletz and Cathy Romanski.
- appointed Melissa Kappeler as Marcy paraprofessional effective Dec. 9, Betsy Molinski as Lannon paraprofessional effective Dec. 15., Madisyn Fech as Siilver Spring paraprofessional effective Dec. 21, Joseph Johrendt as Hamilton High technology support specialist effective January 18, and Grace Shaw as Marcy paraprofessional effective January 4.
- approved a temporary emergency leave plan that will extend sick and family medical leave for specific reasons related to COVID-19. The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) put the provisions for extended leave into place April 1 and they are set to expire Dec. 31. District administration expects the federal act will be extended. The School Board act will provide a two-week safety net for COVID-related illness, quarantine or temporary lack of childcare due to closure.