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April 19, 2021

Board votes to continue FastBridge pilot another year

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School Board members accepted the administrative recommendation to continue using FastBridge as the district’s assessment tool for progress monitoring students receiving intervention and special education services and universal screening to determine if intervention services are needed. Because Templeton Middle School and Maple Avenue Elementary schools did not pilot the assessment tool, the district will continue to pilot it for another year so that Templeton and Maple Avenue staff will have an opportunity to weigh in on the decision.

Staff from schools that used FastBridge gave it high marks for ease of use and a time-saver. Reading specialists, math support teachers and school psychologists will continue to serve as the FastBridge leadership team. In addition, the district will:

  • prioritize five online professional learning modules to complete before the end of the school year in preparation for fall professional development;
  • bring the leadership group together May 14 to meet with a representative from FastBridge for a question and answer session;
  • plan opportunities for the leadership team to train administrators and building level teams in late August;
  • recommend all schools pilot FastBridge as a district-wide screener for an additional year; and
  • use FastBridge as a progress monitoring tool for the 2021-22 school year.

3 board members sworn in

Three board members were sworn into office following their successful election April 6. (From left) Dawn Van Aacken will serve in the Lisbon seat, Rebecca Zingsheim in the Butler seat and Brian Schneider in the Menomonee Falls seat. 

Lunch, milk prices rise, but student fees remain the same

For the last four years the district was able to hold lunch prices, but because of increased food prices and extra expenses due to COVID, the cost of a lunch will increase 10 cents and a carton of milk 5 cents in the 2021-22 school year. Lunch prices will rise to $2.70 for grades K-4, $3.05 for grades 5-12, $2.70 for bistro boxes, $3.85 for adults and 40 cents for a carton of milk.

While lunch prices went up, student fees will remain the same next year.

Textbooks approved for 4 high school classes

Four new textbooks were approved for the high school courses “Sociology,” “Oral and Interpersonal Communication,” “AP Human Geography” and “AP Microeconomics.” Total cost for the texts is $38,242. 

8 high school students approved for early graduation

The applications of eight Hamilton High School students – Heather Slamer, Jolie Steeger, Madison Versh, Justine Ackaouy, Samuel Gritzmacher, Malena Herr, Spencer Zoephel and Elaina Smith – who requested to graduate early were accepted. The students met School Board policy requirements and will be eligible to graduate in January 2022.

Students take advantage of college course program

A total of 25 high school students requested admission to the Early College Credit Program (ECCP) that will allow them to take classes next semester at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee/Waukesha. In addition, 11 students’ requests to take Waukesha County Technical College courses through Start College Now were also approved. Both programs were formerly part of the Youth Options Program. Hamilton Principal Rebecca Newcomer noted in a report to the School Board that students are not always able to take the courses because of scheduling conflicts or full classes.

Chapter 220 Program down to 22 students

A total of 22 students will continue to participate in the Chapter 220 Voluntary Integration Program in the 2021-22 school year. The state began phasing out the program about six years ago, only funding students who were already in the program. All the district’s participants now are in grades 6 and higher.

Chapter 220 is a state-funded voluntary integration program that brings Milwaukee Public Schools students to suburban districts. Before Legislators phased out the program, as many 110 Milwaukee students attended the district.

First draft of 2021-22 budget sees 37-cent mill tax rate drop

With a lot of unknowns about state funding, the district created a first draft of the 2021-22 budget that totals $65.4 million, a $760,930 decrease from the current one.

The tax rate is expected to drop 37 cents to $8.08 per $1,000 of equalized property value. The impact for local taxpayers will be a $37 decrease for each $100,000 of property owned.

The School Board will vote in May on the final budget that will be presented at the Aug. 16 Annual Meeting.

The budget assumes that property value will increase 2.5 percent, state aid will increase 8.3% to $30.2 million and the tax levy will drop 2.03% to $32.5 million.

Board takes personnel action

In personnel action, Hamilton School Board members:

  • accepted the resignations of Public Information Office Administrative Assistant Susan Posh, effective June 11, Woodside Grade 2 Teacher Arachana Rajappa, effective June 11, Educational Services Administrative Assistant Julie Bigley, effective May 14, and Lannon Special Services Paraprofessional Mikayla Savaglio; and
  • appointed Leigh Metoxen as Lannon special services paraprofessional, effective April 12, and Cody Leland and Katie Ritchie, associate principals, as Summer Opportunities coordinators, effective April 20.