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April 5, 2022

Instructional start time in grades 4K-6 will change in 2022-23

The start of the instructional day for students in grades 4K – 6 will be modified in the 2022-23 school year as a result of School Board approval at its April 5 meeting.

The most significant shift occurs at elementary schools where classes will begin at 9:05 a.m. compared to the current start time of 8:50 a.m. Willow Springs instruction will begin at 8:50 a.m. instead of 8:45 a.m. for the morning session and 12:50 p.m. instead of 12:45 p.m. for the afternoon session. Silver Spring students will begin their day at 8:40 a.m. instead of 8:30 a.m.

Children who are driven to school in private vehicles will be able to arrive at school before the start of the instructional day. Drop-off will be open at 8:10 a.m. for Silver Spring, 8:40 a.m. for elementaries, and 8:50 a.m. and 12:50 p.m. for Willow Springs.

Buses will arrive between 8:25 – 8:35 a.m. at Silver Spring, 8:35 – 9 a.m. at elementaries, and 8:40 – 8:45 a.m. and 12:40 – 12:45 p.m. at Willow Springs.

Drop-off and bus arrival times remain the same at the high school and Templeton.

All end times remain the same: 2:25 p.m. – Hamilton High, 2:45 p.m. – Templeton, 3:30 p.m. – Silver Spring, 3:50 p.m. – elementaries, 11:30 a.m. – Willow Spring morning session and 3:30 p.m. Willow Springs afternoon session. All schools still have more minutes than required by the Department of Public Instruction so that make-up days will not be required for every emergency or inclement weather day.

The impetus for the change came because teachers in the district did not have the same amount of prep time. Under the current schedule, Willow Springs teachers have 450 minutes of prep time, elementary teachers – 490, Silver Spring – 650, Templeton – 715, and high school – 690. Prep time will increase to 550 minutes at Willow Springs, 590 at the elementary schools, 675 at Silver Spring, and 730 at the high school. Templeton will remain at 715 minutes.

The high school will go from 690 to 730 prep minutes because of previous School Board approval for a modified high school schedule in which classes start at 8:05 a.m. on Wednesdays instead of 7:20 a.m. for the rest of the week. Advisement is not held on Wednesdays and a total of 3 minutes was shaved off of first and second blocks, resulting in the loss of only 3 instructional minutes.

These changes allow more common planning and meeting time for teachers with greater access to building specialists and special education teachers. More time in the morning will allow for parent, Individual Education Plan and Child Assistance Team meetings.

Students will benefit because teachers are better able to plan and communicate with resource staff to meet their needs. They will have greater access to morning clubs and activities. The bus schedule will alleviate buses arriving late for school due to the current tight schedule between runs for older and younger students.

The cost will be an additional $107,000 in additional transportation expenses.

Curriculum review resumes after break because of COVID-19

After a one-year hiatus due to additional COVID-19 staff responsibilities, the district has resumed the process of reviewing and revising curriculum. The process is a 5-year cycle that allows staff to look closely at the standards for each content area and provide a systemic process to achieve a guaranteed and viable curriculum.

Year 1 is research and review. Year 2 is curriculum review. Year 3 is implementation. Year 4 is revision. Year 5 is maintenance and monitoring. Following are the curricular areas and the stage they are at:

  •  K-12 science – year 5
  •  K-12 English – language arts – year 2-3
  •  7-12 world languages  – year 1
  •  7-12 social studies  – year 1
  •  Information technology literacy – year 1

Students take advantage of college course program

A total of 17 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 and Milwaukee School of Engineering. In addition, 12 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.

Personnel action

In personnel matters the School Board:

  • revised the position descriptions for the district nurse and assistant groundskeeper;
  • accepted the resignations of Templeton Middle School Custodian Jerad Perlberg, effective March 3, Lannon Fitness Education Teacher Molly Wirnsberger, effective April 14, Templeton Applied Engineering & Technology Teacher Jerry Johnson, effective at the end of the 2021-22 school year, and Hamilton High Instrumental Music Teacher Dale Bigus, effective at the end of the 2021-22 school year;
  • approved the retirement request of Hamilton High School Buildings and Grounds Assistant Manager Ryan Little, effective July 8; and
  • appointed Jerad Perlberg as Hamilton assistant groundskeeper, Hilary Nethery as Maple Avenue grade 1 teacher, Shelly Brown as Lannon 5K teacher, Colleen McCarthy as Lannon grade 2 teacher, Kimberly Benedict as Woodside, Lannon and Willow Springs library-media specialist, Jamie Kothapalli as district nurse, Christopher Totero as Maple Avenue and Marcy fitness education teacher and Addison Moylan as Woodside grade 2 teacher.