June 17, 2019

Board looks at plans for long-term athletic facilities

Representatives from Rettler Corporation, a landscape architecture firm that specializes in sports facilities, presented the School Board with two concepts to expand outdoor athletic facilities including the options of a multi-sport stadium, baseball and softball fields, outdoor band practice space, synthetic turf and concession stands. School Board members Mike Hyland and Brian Schneider said they would like to see the costs associated with the two concepts. The board took no action.

Students recognized

The School Board recognized two groups of students at its June 17 meeting.

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Templeton Middle School forensics team members Aashi Iyengar and Navdeep Singh were recognized for placing at state. Their advisor Anna Zorn described the accomplishments of the students.

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The student artwork of Morgan Price and Nikolas Rehfeld was selected for the permanent art display in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center. President Kolesari and Dr. Mielke presented the students with a $100 honorarium for their artwork contribution.

District renews participation in SWSA

School Board members authorized the district to renew participation in the Southeastern Wisconsin School Alliance (SWSA). The 32-member alliance provides school leaders from southeastern Wisconsin with objective, non-partisan information and training as they work with policymakers regarding education issues. The annual cost to participate in SWSA is $3,200 per school district.

Reports, documents get OK

Many reports and documents were approved including:

  • Templeton and Hamilton student handbooks;
  • Hamilton co-curricular handbooks;
  • summer professional development workshops and plan;
  • grade 5 and 6 applied engineering and technology course curriculum realignment;
  • grade 5 and 6 health and wellness curriculum;
  • grade 7 world languages new curriculum;
  • high school “Culture of Healthcare” new curriculum;
  • high school business education course name change and revised curriculum;
  • high school new “Math and Logic” curriculum;
  • updated “Early Reading Empowerment” curriculum;
  • grade 8 science curriculum resources purchase;
  • high school course additions for 2020-21; and
  • district interventions status report.

In addition, the School Board approved continued WIAA membership, appointed delegates and alternates to the Wisconsin Association of School Board’s January assembly and conducted an internal review of board operations

Personnel action

In personnel business, the School Board:

  • accepted the resignations of Woodside paraprofessional Amy Roth, Maple associate kitchen employee Lisa Minue and Woodside paraprofessional Michella Morgan, effective June 12, Silver Spring Principal Mark Peperkorn, effective June 14, and Hamilton special education teacher Lori Marso, effective June 16.
  • appointed Heather Ertl as Maple Avenue special education teacher, Stephanie Jungbluth as Silver Spring paraprofessional, Anna Fuhr as Silver Spring paraprofessional, Jerry Johnson as Templeton applied engineering and technology teacher and Shannon Canham as Silver Spring paraprofessional.

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

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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.

 

May 20, 2019

Kelly presented with district’s Community Service Award

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The Hamilton School District presented the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Deputy and School Resource Officer Gary Kelly with its 2019 Community Service Award at the May 20 School Board meeting. Public Information Coordinator Denise Dorn Lindberg said Kelly was most deserving of the award because of his tireless efforts to keep schools safe.

“His demeanor with students was not as a disciplinarian, but as a trusting adult who wanted to keep our school safe,” Lindberg said.

Kelly became the district resource officer in 2012. He is leaving that post at the end of the school year to take on other responsibilities in the sheriff’s department.

School Board accepts Ruud’s retirement request, appoints Reilly to position

The Hamilton School Board accepted the retirement request of Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Bryan Ruud at its May 20 meeting and appointed the district’s comptroller, Shelli Reilly, as his replacement effective Jan. 1, 2020.

Hamilton Superintendent Paul Mielke, Ph.D., said the Hamilton School District was fortunate to have Ruud as a leader for the past 26 years.

“Mr. Ruud’s fiscal stewardship has helped the Hamilton School District provide an excellent educational program for students while maintaining low per-pupil spending,” Mielke said. “His sound management led to an upgrade in our Moody’s Investor Services rating which is one of the highest among Wisconsin school districts.”

Ruud joined the district in 1993 as the buildings and grounds manager. He became business director in 2000 and assistant superintendent in 2007.

Final budget approved to be presented at Annual Meeting

The Hamilton School Board gave its approval for the 2019-20 budget that will be presented to voters at the Annual Meeting.

The budget totals $60.5 million, which is a 6.38 percent increase over the current budget. It assumes property value will increase 2.5 percent and state aid will increase 4.07 percent.

The tax rate is projected to be $9.10 per $1,000 of equalized property value – 18 cents more than the current rate. For each $100,000 of property owned, citizens will pay $910 to support local school taxes which is $18 more than this year’s rate. If student enrollment and property value are greater than the conservative assumptions made in the budget, the tax rate will be lower.

Seniors & Students sees increase in volunteers, activities, service hours

Public Information and Volunteer Program Coordinator Denise Dorn Lindberg and Jen Galang updated the School Board on the Seniors & Students Program, a volunteer program designed to recruit, train and place senior citizen volunteers age 55 and older in the district. More than 250 senior volunteers serve throughout the district. Nearly 30,000 volunteer hours have been logged since the program began 21 years ago – a value of more than $2.7 million.

The program saw substantial increases in the number of volunteers, activities and hours of service. Readers’ Café, tutoring, Pen Pals and the Greatest Generation oral history project have continued and volunteers were offered a new opportunity to participate in Templeton Middle School’s intergenerational book discussions.

Open Enrollment students placed on waiting list

The district received 143 applications from nonresident students to attend Hamilton schools under Open Enrollment. No spaces are available in the district, so applicants will be placed on a waiting list for the 2019-20 school year. The district will monitor expected enrollment throughout the summer to determine if students will be recommended for placement at schools based on space availability.

Student representatives recognized

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School Board President Gabe Kolesari (left) and Superintendent Paul Mielke, Ph.D., (right) recognized Hamilton High School students (from left) Haley Pifher and Mikayla Cup for their service to the School Board as the student representatives during the 2018-19 school year. (Not pictured is student Hannah Wenger.)

Peronnel matters

In personnel business, the School Board:

  • accepted the retirement request of Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Bryan Ruud, effective March 13, 2020;
  • appointed District Comptroller Shelli Reilly assistant superintendent of business services, effective Jan. 1, 2020; and
  • appointed Kara Rosenthal as Silver Spring Intermediate School media center paraprofessional, Tanya Simonis as Woodside clerical paraprofessional, Sarah Sallmann as Maple Avenue technology integration resource teacher, Melanie Peterson as Silver Spring health room paraprofessional, Kaitlin Schumaker as Hamilton High School communications arts-reading teacher and Kelly Fant as Maple Avenue associate kitchen employee, effective at the start of the new school year.

May 7, 2019

Board appoints Newcomer Hamilton principal

The Hamilton School Board appointed Rebecca Newcomer Hamilton High School principal at its May 7 meeting. Newcomer, who has been a high school administrator in the Waukesha School District for the past seven years, will begin her new post effective July 1. She replaces Candis Mongan, Hamilton principal since 2006 who will become principal at Oak Creek High School.

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Newcomer has spent her 21-year career in the Waukesha School District, the first 13 years as an English teacher at South High School and then as an instructional coach for two years before moving into administration. She was an assistant principal for nearly two years, then principal for five years at North High School and is currently South High School principal.

Willow staff honor custodian

Willow Springs Learning Center staff members honored their head custodian before the Hamilton School Board. Principal Renae MacCudden and staff planned the surprise recognition for Dewayne Jackson because he takes every opportunity to go above and beyond for Willow Springs students and staff. A dozen staff members shared their favorite moments when Jackson took care of things for them and their students.

Duanne-Jackson

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District extends contract with Teachers On Call

The Hamilton School Board approved a 2-year contract extension with Teachers On Call (TOC) to provide substitute staffing services through June 30, 2021. The School Board accepted the recommendation from Human Resources and Organizational Development Director John Roubik to renew a contract with the company that offers an automated process to secure substitute teachers and paraprofessionals. The district has used TOC for six years.

Because TOC provides services to more than 100 school districts in Wisconsin and Minnesota, it provides a larger pool of substitutes and its economy-of-scale allows for greater operational efficiencies than a single school district could produce. Consequently, substitutes are eligible for an enhanced compensation packet that school districts did not typically offer including paid holidays, bonuses, insurance and more.

The hourly rate is set by the district, and a 27 percent mark-up to TOC covers payroll, benefits, retirement, taxes, liability, unemployment, workers’ compensation, background checks, physicals and other indirect personnel functions such as recruitment, monitoring compliance with state and federal mandates, time sheets, hiring and communication.

Winter teams recognized

Teams that were conference champs or competed at state were recognized. School Board President Gabe Kolesari and Superintendent Paul Mielke, Ph.D., presented each team with a certificate. Those recognized were:

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Cheer – State champions

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Boys Soccer – State finalist

Girls-Bowling

Girls Bowling – State qualifier

Wrestling

Wrestling – Individual state qualifiers

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Boys Swim and Dive – Individual state qualifiers

Poms

Poms – State qualifier

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Boys Basketball – Conference champions and sectional finalist

School career opportunities highlighted

Hamilton High School Associate Principal and Extended Learning Opportunities Coordinator Mark Otto presented four items to the School Board.

  • The School Board approved continued participation in the Carl Perkins grant consortium offered through CESA #1 which provides the district with $15,121 in grant funding this year, an increase from $13,934 the previous year. The purpose of the grant is to provide students with academic and technical skills to succeed in a knowledge- and skills-based economy. It supports career and technical education that prepares students for postsecondary education and careers. The consortium provides grant-writing management, interaction with professionals from other districts, exposure to what is occurring at state and national levels and consultation services.
  • The district’s Extended Learning Opportunities Program annual report was accepted. The program grew out of the school-to-work initiative that aimed to connect education and employment where 4-year college degrees were not required. Experiences in the program include apprenticeships, mentorships, internships and job shadowing. The program strengthens partnerships with the business community to prepare students for the world of work, regardless of the education or career track they choose. While some career development opportunities occur at the elementary and middle school level, a majority of activities are for high school students. They include career speakers, Youth Apprenticeship, work experience, academic assistants, Robotics, Earl College Credit Program, DECA, Healthcare Career Academy, Manufacturing Career Expo, Reality Check and Schools2Skills.
  • Participation in the Waukesha County School-to-Work consortium for 2019-20 was approved. The School-to-Work Consortium provides grant funding that supports co-op, youth apprenticeship, work experience programs and K-12 career-related initiatives. Participation in the consortium is voluntary and provided at no cost to the district.
  • The district’s Education for Employment (E4E) was accepted. The plan identifies, coordinates and assists in preparing students to be college and career ready. It identifies work that has been done, identifies gaps, coordinates and aligns services in the district. Hamilton, like most districts, is adjusting its E4E plan to coordinate implementation of students’ Academic and Career Plans.

New intermediate school causes staffing shifts in 2019-20

The district will have the full-time equivalency (FTE) of 3.62 more certified staff members next year. Significant shifts will occur as elementary and middle schools lose one full grade when grades 5 and 6 attend Silver Spring Intermediate School. Staff will drop by nearly 24 FTEs at the elementary level and 22 FTEs at Templeton. Nearly 49 FTEs will work at Silver Spring. Hamilton High School will see an increase of .43 FTEs as a result of a psychologist and social worker reassignment.

Board officers elected

School Board members elected Gabe Kolesari as their president, Jennifer Waltz as vice president, Dawn Van Aacken as clerk and Jay Jones as treasurer.

CESA contract approved

A $299,583 contract for 2019-20 with the Cooperative Educational Services Agency was approved. The contract provides services such as occupational and physical therapy, alternative and charter at-risk schools at lower costs than if the district purchased them independently.

Personnel action

In personnel action, the School Board:

  • accepted the resignations of Special Services administrative assistant Elizabeth Rose, effective June 30;
  • appointed Elizabeth Rose as Silver Spring Intermediate School administrative assistant, effective July 1; Karen Figarino, Woodside associate kitchen employee, effective May 13; Zachary Beckman, Templeton special education teacher, effective Aug. 21; Tyler Schoemann, Lannon and Marcy music teacher, effective Aug. 21 ; Roberta Semrow, Silver Spring administrative assistant, effective July 1; Rebecca Newcomer, Hamilton principal, effective July 1 ; John Schaeffler, Hamilton pm custodian, effective May 23 ; Jessica Landergott, Woodside fitness education teacher, effective Aug. 21 ; Pawel Skrzypek, Hamilton pm custodian, effective May 28 ; and Celina Pauly, Maple guidance counselor, effective Aug. 21.

April 15, 2019

Board gets first look at budget

Hamilton School Board members took a look at the 2019-20 budget which is the first one that includes facilities and operational expenses that voters approved in the February 2018 referendum. The budget totals $61.1 million, a $3.6 million increase over the current budget with $1.5 million of the increase going toward operational costs of the new Silver Spring Intermediate School.

The tax rate is expected to increase 18 cents from $8.92 to $9.10. Last year, voters approved a referendum authorizing a $1.37 increase in the tax rate that would be phased in over two years. The mil rate increased 37 cents last year, for a total two-year tax rate increase of 55 cents — 60 percent lower than what was projected during the referendum.

The budget assumes conservatively that property value will increase 2.5 percent and resident enrollment will increase by 50 students. State aid to Hamilton is expected to increase 4.07 percent from $24.4 million to $25.4 million. If these assumptions are actually higher, the tax rate will be lower than $9.10.

The budget also includes $600,000 for Lannon Elementary School hook-up to municipal water this summer.

The Annual Meeting, when citizens are able to vote on the local levy, is set for July 15 in the Hamilton Fine Arts Center.

Three board members sworn in

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From left, Rebecca Zingsheim, Gabe Kolesari and Jennifer Waltz being sworn in.

Three board members were sworn into office following their successful election April 2. Gabe Kolesari will serve in the Sussex seat, Jennifer Waltz in the at-large seat and Rebecca Zingsheim in the Butler seat. Kolesari and Waltz will serve a three-year term. Zingsheim, who was appointed to board when the Butler seat was vacant last year, was re-elected to serve the remaining two years of the term.

School Board recognizes students, staff

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Scholastic Art Award winners Hamilton High School students Lexi Neels and Madelyn Mascotti

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2019 Herb Kohl Foundation Awards student winner Hamilton High School senior Maxwell Unger

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2019 Herb Kohl Foundation Awards winner Marcy teacher Callie Lauer

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2019 Herb Kohl Foundation Awards winner Marcy Principal Michele Trawicki

District to complete 1:1 initiative in grades 5-12

With the completion of the new intermediate school this summer, the district will complete its 1:1 initiative for students in grades 5-8 at Silver Spring Intermediate, Templeton Middle and Hamilton High schools.

As part of that plan, the School Board approved the purchase of 1,200 Chromebooks, 300 HP desktops, 120 HP laptops and 2000 cases among other items. In addition, new networking switches and access points were purchased. Cost for the technology, which is in the bidding process, will come from the Information Technology Department budget and referendum funds.  About $86,000 of expense will be refunded through a state technology grant and E-rate, a federal program that makes information services more affordable for schools.

For the past three years, the district has been able to purchase more devices by going with the less costly Chromebooks that meet student needs in the classroom and support the mandatory testing.

Fees, lunch prices remain the same for most students

Student fees and lunch prices for 2019-20 will remain unchanged for most students in the district. Lunch prices are: $2.60 for elementary and $2.95 for intermediate, middle and high school students. Intermediate students’ meals will include a salad bar, and bistro box meals will be $2.60. The cost for a carton of milk for all students will remain at 35 cents.

Student fees will remain the same except for a $15 technology fee increase for students in grades 5-8, from $25 to $40, to accommodate the 1:1 initiative. All other fees — including athletic, activity, club and parking — will remain the same.

Changes approved in 2019-20 board meeting schedule

Board members approved a 2019-20 School Board meeting schedule that includes changes. Instead of beginning at 7:30 p.m., meetings will start at 6:30 p.m., and six meetings have been eliminated. The board will only meet once instead of twice in September, November, December, January, February and March. It will continue to have two meetings in October, April, May and June. It traditionally has had only one meeting each in July and August. Currently, meetings are designated as curriculum & instruction or regular meetings. In the future, they will all be regular meetings.

Personnel action

In personnel business, the School Board accepted the resignation of Hamilton clerical and student supervision paraprofessional Kathleen Krolczyk and appointed her to serve as Hamilton media center paraprofessional, effective Sept. 3.

 

April 2, 2019

Woodside spotlights paraprofessionals

Seven Woodside Elementary School students read tributes written about the school’s paraprofessionals at the April 2 Hamilton School Board meeting. Principal James Edmond, Jr., Ph.D., said the school would not be as successful without the contributions of the paraprofessional group who come to school with great attitudes and build strong relationships with children and families.

Woodside students explained in detail why their paraprofessionals were so important to the school. Those recognized were:

Missy Heckman

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Aida Kozik

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Penny Monroe

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Amy Roth

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Greg Winston

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Kelly Wood

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Board approves requests for college courses

Nine 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-Waukesha and Milwaukee, Wisconsin Lutheran College, Marquette University and Carroll University. In addition, 17 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 Candis Mongan noted in a report to the School Board, as in the past, many students will not be able to take the courses because of scheduling conflicts or full classes. A total of 31 students requested admission to programs last year.

ECCP and Start College Now are programs mandated by the state that allow students who have completed tenth grade, are in good academic standing and have no disciplinary problems to attend a technical college or university if the high school does not offer comparable courses.

Battle of Books, National Merit finalists honored

School Board members recognized the accomplishments of two Hamilton High School groups.

Below, from left: Maja Pechanach, Ellie DeCleene and Nikhita Nair were honored for taking first place at the Wisconsin Education Media & Technology Association Battle of the Books. Members of the team who were not at the meeting were Sean LaVoy and Dorothy Palmer.

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National Merit finalists Abigail Dowse, Ty Kozic, Jonathan Sciortino and Molly Hubred were recognized.

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Personnel business

In personnel matters, the School Board:

  • approved the resignations of Hamilton media center paraprofessional Rebecca Lloyd, effective at the end of the school year; and
  • accepted the retirement requests of Maple Avenue special education teacher Weigel-Mary Smith, Templeton clerical paraprofessional Cathy Henk and Templeton custodian George Murillo.

March 18, 2019

Maple Avenue staff present on Power Groups

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Nine Maple Avenue Elementary School staff members presented on the effective use of Power Groups to help improve literacy achievement at their school. The literacy intervention groups meet regularly to help Tier 2 and 3 student progress. Principal Kristin Koeper-Hamblin noted that student achievement has increased on the state report card from an Exceeds Expectations rating of 77.4 in 2012-13 to Significantly Exceeds Expectations ratings of 86.9-89.9 in the last three years. She attributed part of the school’s success to the use of the Power Group model.

Templeton robotics teams recognized

Members of the Templeton Middle School First Lego League (FLL) Robotics teams were honored for their outstanding season. Head advisor Kathy Better introduced members of each team. The Radioactive Pyros and Bullistic Bulldogs were among 36 teams statewide that competed Feb. 23 in the Wisconsin FLL Championship.

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The Radioactive Pyros won the Project Research Award and were nominated for the Project Presentation Award. The statewide award is the first in Templeton history. They won the Project Presentation Award and was nominated for the Gracious Professionalism and Champions Award in sectional competition.

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At sectionals, Bullistic Bulldogs won the Project Research Award and was nominated for the Project Innovative Solution Award.

Participation in NCA program continues

The district will continue to participate in AdvancEd/North Central Association accreditation at a cost between $750 to $1,000. The accreditation process aligns with district site planning and responds to the public’s demand for greater accountability for schools, including an increased focus on student learning methods and professional development. Hamilton has been NCA accredited since 1966.

The district plans to continue using CESA services and programs to assist students who are at-risk, not succeeding in a traditional school environment or have specialized educational needs. Alternative placement programs offered through CESA include New Pathways, Turning Point, Project Success, Fresh Start and Distinguished Scholars Academy.

Currently, 19 Hamilton students participate in New Pathways, two in Turning Point, one in Project Success, and two in Distinguished Scholars Academy.

Services for 2019-20 will be contracted as needs arise.

Personnel action

In personnel matters, the School Board:

  •  approved the resignations of Hamilton High School Principal Candis Mongan, effective June 30; Hamilton special education paraprofessional Ashley Katz, effective March 8; and Woodside associate kitchen employee Karen Figarino, effective March 15;
  • accepted the retirement request of Marcy music teacher Rodney Loren, Ph.D., at the end of the school year;
  • appointed Allyson Billings as Maple and Lannon psychologist, effective Aug. 21, Sara Grunzel as Woodside reading specialist, effective Aug. 26 and Kristina Scott as Woodside administrative assistant effective July 1; and
  • modified the contract for Templeton special education teacher Melissa Brokate El-Meanawy to change her last day to March 12.

March 5, 2019

JP Cullen reports progress, future action on construction projects

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It has been a little more than a year since Hamilton School District citizens voted in favor of a referendum to build a new intermediate school and renovate and add space at the high school, but in that short time, construction progress has been substantial. At the start of the school in September, several high school applied engineering & technology classrooms and labs were opened.

JP Cullen Senior Project Manager Shannon Metoxen provided a progress report on major work that has been recently completed and what is to come.

At the high school, the past 30 days focused on the classroom and office addition on the front of the school that included mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection rough work. Stone veneer was completed on all faces of the front addition. The district office area has a roof, windows have been installed and drywalling is underway. High school offices have windows and will soon have a roof. Windows are being installed in the classroom addition.

The next 30 days will see completion of the permanent roof, window frames and glass installed, building façade architectural metal panel nearing completion and continuation of drywalling and painting. Ceiling grids will follow painting and cabinet installation is slated to begin March 18. Mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protections finishes will continue when the ceiling grid is in place.

District staff are expected to move to the new space in May, earlier than initially expected so that the construction crew has more time to return the office space back into classrooms.

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At Silver Spring Intermediate School, masonry crews installed interior walls in the music area. The north side receiving area and office outside walls are being brick veneered. Almost all roof joists have been set. With 80 percent of the roof decking completed, the remaining areas that don’t have roof decking are the library and northeast classroom pod. All stairs have been installed. Roofing is completed on the second floor of the south side classroom pods. First floor exterior windows are installed and 75 percent of second floor windows are in. After second floor windows are complete, the canopy will be the only remaining area. The steel stud structure on the canopy and feature columns are nearing completion and work will continue inside. Office drywall is almost complete. When the remainder of the building is weather-tight, drywalling will continue throughout the rest of the building. Crews have painted most of the office space and the gym is underway.

In the next 30 days, interior block work will be completed and brick veneer will continue around the building. Exterior metal panels will be installed and roofers finish up the roof and get the building weather tight. Concrete crews will pour the topping slabs and stairs for the second floor. Terrazzo installation will begin on the first floor corridors and break-out areas. Acoustical ceilings will be installed, followed by casework. When the gym is painted, equipment will go up. The elevator will be installed in mid-March. When the topping slabs and roof is completed, paint crews will paint the break-out spaces.

Cooperative agreement with Elmbrook approved

The School Board authorized district staff to once again contract with the Elmbrook School District special education services in the 2019-20 school year. The contract will provide low-incidence disabilities services for students who have autism, intellectual, hearing and vision disabilities and for the placement of one student at Fairview South, a school that serves students with cognitive disabilities. Hamilton is one of 26 school districts that contracts with Elmbrook for services. Districts reimburse Elmbrook based on usage of services.

Strategic Plan update presented

Human Resources and Organizational Development Director John Roubik gave an update to the School Board on the priorities of the 2017-2020 Strategic Plan. The district’s strategic planning team met Jan. 31 to review progress of each tactic, and it recommended continuation of the four priority areas of the plan which are:

  • Systems of learning & assessment — All students will be challenged and supported to maximize their learning and achievement.
  • Social & emotional wellness — All students will be supported to develop social and emotional wellness related to academic, career and life experiences.
  • Workforce & organizational wellness –All staff will engage in continuous professional learning and be provided opportunities to improve personal wellness.
  • Facilities & technology — The district will provide adequate classroom learning space while maintaining existing buildings and infrastructure and optimal student access to technology.

Personnel action

In personnel matters, the School Board:

  • approved the retirement request of Woodside administrative assistant Phyllis Akins, effective June 30;
  • accepted the resignation of Templeton special services paraprofessional Amy Jung, effecctive Feb. 25; and
  • appointed Marianne Selkey as Hamilton cook, effective Feb. 18, Julie Bigley, district administrative assistant, effective March 18, Murrene Payton, Elizabeth Lodl and Nick Roth, as Summer Opportunities assistant coordinators, effective May 13.

February 18, 2019

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Literacy Lounge engages students in reading

Templeton Middle School grade 7 teachers Mary Caucutt and Ashley Pfeifer and nine of their students described their school’s Literacy Lounge which was started two years ago with a grant from the Hamilton Education Foundation. Their goal was to create a coffee shop or bookstore environment that encouraged students to engage in reading and discuss books. This year they took it to another level by inviting older volunteers from the Seniors & Students Program to participate in book discussions. They showed a video that they submitted as part of entrance in the Follett Challenge.

Instructional Services reports on purchases, curriculum, assessments

Instructional Services Supervisor Katherine Little, Ph.D., gave three reports in which she recommended resource purchases and updated the School Board on curriculum committee processes and standardized assessments.

  • The School Board adopted nearly $220,000 of math, family and consumer sciences, science and social studies resources as recommended by committees of teachers. Funds will come from Educational Services Department, high school and career prep grants and student fees.
  • The following curricular areas are under review or are being developed: K-12 science; K-12 English language arts; intermediate school applied engineering and technology, and health and wellness; high school courses of math and logic, culture of healthcare and digital design and web development.
  • The Wisconsin Student Assessment System (WSAS) is a comprehensive statewide program that includes the Wisconsin Forward Exam, ACT Aspire, ACT, ACT WorkKeys, Dynamic Learning Maps, ACCESS for ELL and National Assessment of Educational Progress. In addition, the district implements elementary benchmark assessments in reading, mathematics and writing, along with Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessments and the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS). After looking into the STAR assessment as a potential replacement for MAP, administrators recommended continued use of MAP.

Personnel business

In personnel matters, the School Board:

  • Accepted the resignation of Hamilton cook Jane Schmid, effective Feb. 15; and
  • Appointed Kalyn Graziano as Hamilton High School administrative assistant, effective Feb. 25; and Laurie Roth as executive assistant to the instructional services supervisor, effective March 1.

February 5, 2019

Peperkorn chosen Silver Spring principal

The Hamilton School Board approved the hiring of Mark Peperkorn as the principal of Silver Spring Intermediate School at its Feb. 5 meeting. He will begin his new position July 1.Peperkorn-at-meeting-500

Peperkorn has been principal at Pilgrim Park Middle School in the Elmbrook School District since 2015. He was the Pilgrim Park associate principal before then. He started his career in education in 1997 as a social studies teacher at Waterford Union High School. He earned his master’s degree in educational leadership from Marian University in 2009 and his bachelor’s degree in social studies from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire in 1995.

“We are fortunate to hire Mr. Peperkorn who has significant experience as a successful administrator and educator,” said Hamilton Superintendent Paul Mielke, Ph.D. “He is known as a highly visible, engaged leader who has the ability to build a collaborative learning environment by listening to and understanding the needs of students, families and staff.”

“His strong knowledge of instructional practice, desire to support the best interests of students and ability to forge positive partnerships with families and the community will serve Silver Spring Intermediate School well,” Mielke said. Hamilton School Board members approved the appointment of five employees including the new Silver Spring Intermediate School principal.

Marcy students contribute to review of Addams book nominees

Marcy Elementary School second grade teacher Whitney Roth, along with four of her students, described their involvement with the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Program, named in honor of the first American woman who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.Roth-students-250 The award is given to children’s books that advance the causes of peace and social equality. The Marcy students explained the criteria used for the award.

Roth first participated in the program while an education student at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. After becoming a teacher at Marcy, she had students read and discuss nominated books and provide their insights about the books based on criteria of the program. Her reviews of the nominated books now include perspectives of her students.

Personnel news

In other personnel business, the School Board:

  • approved the retirement request of Woodside reading specialist Pamela Welter, effective at the end of the school year; and
  • appointed Tamera Ericksen as a part-time Woodside Elementary School special education paraprofessional, effective Feb. 11 and Melissa Brokate El-Meanawy as a Templeton Middle School replacement special education teacher, effective Jan. 24.

Board members report on state convention

School Board members Jay Jones and Mike Hyland as well as board president Gabe Kolesari reported on the sessions they attended at the 2019 State School Boards Association Convention.

Students approved for early graduation

In a report, Hamilton High School Principal Candis Mongan presented the applications of juniors – Kayla Kidman, Vincent Polidori, Zoe Schultz and Payton Wunschel – who requested to graduate early. The students met School Board policy requirements and will be eligible to graduate in January 2020.