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June 7, 2022

Instructional coaching expands in 2022-23


The district will expand its instructional coaching model next year. The district implemented an instructional coaching framework in 2017-18 in which a coach and teacher form a partnership to support instructional growth. The program grew to four full-time equivalency (FTE) positions in 2019-20. Beginning in the 2022-23 school year, the district will expand to 13.01 instructional coaches including: seven literacy coaches with one at each elementary, intermediate, middle and high school; and 5.91 FTEs for math-science coaches – one at each elementary school and .67 each at the intermediate, middle and high school levels.

Staff who will be coaches next year prepared for their roles during the 2021-22 school year by participating in professional development.

The goal of an instructional coach is to build teacher capacity and understanding of high-leverage instructional practices. It is considered a critical lever in improving student achievement.

District safety measures highlighted

Superintendent Paul Mielke, Ph.D., reviewed the district’s safety protocols and procedures with School Board members. The district has a comprehensive and detailed Crisis Management Plan. The plan is reviewed annually and shared with emergency officials when tabletop emergency scenarios are discussed.

Mielke’s report also highlighted: the district’s full-time school resource officer stationed at the high school; staff training in the Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate (ALICE) protocol; Tattletale emergency alert system; district threat assessment team; Raptor visitor management system; information technology security and infrastructure updates; school safety drills; evacuation emergency alternate location; threat procedures; inclement weather monitoring and communication; and emergency communications.

ELA enrichment integrated in class

The School Board accepted recommendations from Templeton English language arts (ELA) teachers for grades 7 and 8 course modifications so that enrichment and differentiation is provided through the class itself rather than in a separate class. Previously the School Board approved integration of reading, writing, language, speaking and listening skills into one ELA class instead of separate communication arts and critical literacy classes. As part of the discussion about middle level literacy, teachers proposed addressing enrichment in all ELA courses.

District moves to online facility requests

The district will move to an online facility-use application and approval process. Currently the district uses a cumbersome paper process. The district will move to a paperless rSchool Facility Scheduler that will collect required insurance certificates and complete invoicing. Notification will be set up automatically to ensure appropriate staff are aware of events.

As part of the new online system, the fee schedule was also revised to be based on a flat hourly rate. School and district groups and district feeder programs are not charged for most facility use, but outside groups are.

Cost for the online system will be $5,900 for the first year and $3,000 annually thereafter, which is expected to be cost-neutral for the district because of gained efficiencies in operations.

Open Enrollment applicants on waitlist

All applicants from non-resident families to be enrolled in the district through the Open Enrollment will be placed on a waiting list for the 2022-23 school year. Due to increasing resident student enrollment, the School Board did not create any new Open Enrollment seats in January. When the Open Enrollment application period ended on April 29, the district had received 175 nonresident requests for entry into the district. Administrators will monitor enrollment throughout the summer to determine if any space would be available for 2022-23 placement.

High school kitchen to get updates

School Board members approved high school kitchen updates which includes the replacement of ovens, refrigerators, stationary kettle, serving counter, shelving and can rack. Including labor, the cost for the updates will be $283,335. Food and Nutrition Manager Kira Cerroni King presented information about needs. All equipment is capable of being repurposed if a future kitchen remodel or expansion project occurs. Revenue will come from the food service fund balance.

Professional development plan approved

The School Board accepted the 2022-23 Professional Development Forecast from Instructional Services Supervisor Catherine Drago. The plan revolves around key goals of the strategic plan especially assessment and social-emotional wellness expectations.

High school video focuses on Student Ambassadors

Hamilton High School Principal Rebecca Newcomer presented a video on Student Ambassadors.

Personnel matter approved

In personnel business, the School Board:

  • approved the resignations of Woodside Paraprofessional Heidi Rakowski, Lannon Paraprofessional Nicole Lockhart, Silver Spring Special Education Teacher Cara Bonnell, Hamilton Speech Pathologist Jennifer Knapp, Templeton Paraprofessional Annette Busalacchi, Marcy Paraprofessional Maria Albrecht, Marcy Literacy Interventionist Amy Durham, District Registrar and Assistant Comptroller Matthew Clark, Woodside Grade 2 Teacher Kelly Donoghue, Maple Avenue Paraprofessional Jessica Black, Marcy Grade 1 Teacher Benjamin Holtzen, Woodside School Counselor Kirsten Schlaman, Woodside Paraprofessional Kelly Flynn, Willow Springs Paraprofessional Pooja Ahuja and Silver Spring Paraprofessional Melanie Peterson;
  • accepted the retirement requests of Templeton Paraprofessional Ann Kraemer, District Payroll Administrative Assistant Catherine Hagstrom and Hamilton High Paraprofessional Laura Lindner; and
  • appointed Lauren LaFond as Hamilton High instrumental music teacher, Taylor Allen as Woodside fitness education teacher, Heidi Rakowski as Woodside literacy interventionist, Van Dahl as Silver Spring and Maple Avenue general music teacher, Kara Batchelor as Marcy math interventionist, Rebecca Buchholz as Woodside math interventionist, Natalie Elfering as Templeton applied engineering and technology teacher, Maggie Condon as Templeton and Hamilton High music choral teacher, Naomi Eyers as Hamilton High speech pathologist, Mary Beth Wild as Silver Spring math interventionist and Madison Versh as Lannon associate kitchen employee.