October 21, 2019

JP Cullen, Milwaukee Tool recognized for support of AET

Hamilton High School teacher Alan Mamerow thanked JP Cullen Construction Company and Milwaukee Tool for their support of the district’s applied engineering and technology classes. Mamerow thanked Bryan Sanchez, from Milwaukee Tool, for donation of thousands of dollars of tools and equipment last year. JP Cullen’s Shannon Metoxen and Nick Tibbott were recognized for providing a large palette of job boxes for students to use during Skills USA competitions.

Bryan-Sanchez-With-Gabe-Kolesari-Paul-Mielke Shannon-Metoxen-Allan-Mamerow-Nick-Tibbott

Tax rate increase far below referendum projection

School Board members approved a $61.75 million budget that includes a mil rate of $9.13 per $1,000 of property. For each $100,000 of property citizens own, they will pay $913 in property taxes to support the school district. The mil rate is 21 cents more than the rate from last year.

The total budget increased 7.52% — due largely to the costs of referendum projects approved by citizens in February, 2018 which included construction of a new intermediate school, high school renovations and additions and their associated operational costs. Before the referendum, school officials estimated that, if approved, the mil rate would increase $1.37 from the 2017-18 rate of $8.55 to $9.92 beginning in the 2019-2020 school year. The actual mil rate increase since 2017-18 is 58 cents – 79 cents or 58% less than projected.

The district’s equalized valuation growth of more than 4.3% in the last years contributed to the lower-than-expected tax rate. Historically, property value in the district increased about 2 to 2.5%. The district’s equalized valuation increased by 4.37% in the past year. State aid increased 4.3%.

The gross tax levy — the portion of the budget paid by local taxpayers — increased to $33.7 million from $31.5 million in 2018-19.

Each October, the School Board must adopt the budget, certify the tax levy and establish the tax rate after the Department of Revenue determines property values in the district. Tax bills are sent to property owners in December.

District sees 55 additional students

The official third Friday of September enrollment was 4,886 — up 55 students from last year’s count. Silver Spring Intermediate School opened with 725 grade 5 and 6 students who had previously been at elementary and middle schools which saw a drop of 654 fewer students. In addition, Willow Springs Learning Center and Hamilton High School had a combined drop of 16 students.

New administrators present school reports

New building-level administrators presented their site plan updates for the first time since taking their new leadership positions.

Silver Spring Intermediate School Principal Deanna Wellens and Associate Principal Katie Ritchie described the opening of a new school and priorities for the coming year.

Wellens said prior to having a mission or vision statement, “May This Be a House of Joy” poem was a meaningful statement that grounded staff in the kind of environment they wanted to create at Silver Spring.

Priorities will be to:

  • create a strong community that ensures a sense of belonging; and
  • focus on academic writing across the building and throughout content areas.

Rebecca Newcomer presented her first site plan report as principal of Hamilton High School. She provided data about accomplishments and progress. Two areas of focus will be to:

  • improve achievement levels for students with disabilities, minority and economically disadvantaged students; and
  • maximize resources, instructional time and best teaching and learning practices to ensure social and emotional wellness development for all students.

Newcomer noted that areas for growth will be:

  • differentiation in classroom to address each student’s need;
  • formal data-based decision-making at the classroom level;
  • institutional use of protocols;
  • increased participation in AP;
  • closing achievement gaps between regular education and special education; and
  • staffing to reduce part-time hires.

Dual Enrollment Academy gives students jumpstart on future

For the sixth year, Hamilton High School seniors will continue to be able to enroll in the Dual Enrollment Academy that allows them to get a jumpstart on high-demand fields while earning college credit at Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC). Hamilton Principal Becky Newcomer gave the School Board a status report and requested approval to continue participation in the program.

Participating seniors spend most of their school day at WCTC participating in the Dual Enrollment Academy which offers programs in robotics, hospitality, information technology, tool and die, protective services, building construction and welding. Upon completion, students earn a WCTC diploma along with high school credits.

A total of 14 Hamilton students completed the program last May — three each in hospitality, welding, and tool and die, two each in building trades and protective services and one in robotics. Another 17 students are participating this year.

8 students apply for Early College Credit Program

Eight high school students requested admission to the Early College Credit Program (ECCP), formerly known as the Youth Options Program, that will allow them to take classes next semester at University of Wisconsin – Waukesha, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Wisconsin Lutheran and UW – Online. Hamilton Principal Becky Newcomer noted, as in the past, many students will not be able to take the courses because of scheduling conflicts or full classes. A total of 10 students requested admission to Youth Options last year.

ECCP is mandated by the state and allows students who have completed 10th grade, are in good academic standing and have no disciplinary problems to attend a technical college or university if they have exhausted their high school curriculum.

The program is funded 75 percent from Hamilton High School and 25 percent from the state. If the student fails, withdraws or drops a class, the family pays 100 percent of the cost.

Start College Now has 9 applicants

Another program, Start College Now, had its start as Youth Options. Start College Now allows juniors and seniors with good academic standing and no disciplinary problems to take courses at Waukesha County Technical College. Nine Hamilton students requested admission. The program is funded by the high school, but like ECCP, if a student fails, withdraws or drops the course, the family is responsible for the cost.

Great Start Conferences get good reviews from parents, staff

Human Resources and Organizational Development Director John Roubik and Instructional Services Supervisor Katie Little reported on the district’s first Great Start Conferences for families of students from 4K to grade 6. The conferences allowed students, parents and teachers to meet face-to-face before students’ first day of school to establish relationships and set the stage for a successful year.

In an online survey, more than 85% of parents and 98% of staff supported continuing the conferences. While overwhelmingly positive response, suggestions for improvements were given that will be reviewed for future conferences.

Board takes personnel action

In personnel matters the School Board:

  • accepted the resignations of Hamilton High School Custodian Justin Derksen, effective Sept. 23, district Information Technology Manager Benjamin Hawley, effective Nov. 1, and Maple Avenue special services Paraprofessional Meghan Griswold, effective Oct. 19; and
  • appointed Andrew Redding as Hamilton custodian I, effective Oct. 28, Teri Zeller as Hamilton custodian, effective Nov. 4, Elisabeth Thomsen as Woodside special services paraprofessional, effective Oct. 22, Matthew Clark as district assistant comptroller, effective Dec. 2, and Katherine Hibbard as Marcy custodian, effective Oct. 30.

Maintenance staff address summer projects

During the summer of 2019, the maintenance and custodial staff completed the annual task of preparing our school facilities for the upcoming school year. This work included maintenance on mechanical systems, the cleaning of classrooms, restrooms, locker and shower areas, stripping and refinishing of floors, refinishing wood gymnasium floors, carpet cleaning and the maintenance of the grounds and athletic fields throughout the district. In addition to these annually scheduled tasks, below you will find a brief summary of this summer’s special projects.

1) Added a roundabout to improve TMS/HHS traffic patterns
2) Annual aerial lift and exhaust hood inspections at all schools
3) Annual fire alarm inspection and calibration at all schools
4) All fire extinguishers inspected and/or recharged

Hamilton High School:
1) Cleaned chiller coils
2) Multiple classrooms were fitted with new ceiling tile
3) Asphalt patching
4) Landscaping upgrades
5) Asphalt striping
6) Added walking path from Town Line Road to school
7) Resurfaced and painted tennis courts
8) Replaced science wing roof
9) Provided emergency power to all IT closets
10) Extended walking path between high school and intermediate school
11) Added to and upgraded electronic access system

Templeton Middle School:
1) Repainted classrooms
2) Mulched landscaping
3) Miscellaneous asphalt patching
4) Asphalt striping
5) Replaced main gym north exterior doors
6) Upgraded lighting controllers
7) Added six security cameras outside school
8) Replaced exterior message board
9) Installed viewing window between woodshop and project lab

Silver Spring Intermediate School:
1) Hiring of new staff, move in, final cleaning, supplying new building to ready it for grand opening event and beginning of school year

Lannon Elementary School:
1) Cleaned chiller coils
2) Added woodchips to all playground equipment
3) Mulched landscaping
4) Painted classrooms
5) Miscellaneous asphalt patching
6) Asphalt striping
7) Replaced roof section 5 (IMC area)
8) Replaced 2 cafeteria table modules
9) Installed municipal water to school and abandoned existing well

Maple Avenue Elementary School:
1) Added woodchips to playground
2) Cleaned chiller condenser coils
3) Repainted classrooms and hallways
4) Mulched landscaping
5) Asphalt striping
6) Replaced office air handling rooftop unit
7) Completely replaced HVAC control system

Marcy Elementary School:
1) Added woodchips to all playground equipment
2) Clean chiller coils
3) Painted hallways and classrooms
4) Mulched landscaping
5) Asphalt striping
6) Painted classrooms

Woodside Elementary School:
1) Mulched landscaping
2) Repaired landscaping and replaced bushes
3) Clean chiller coils
4) Painted hallways and classrooms
5) Asphalt striping

Willow Springs Learning Center:
1) Added woodchips to playground equipment
2) Mulched landscaping
3) Asphalt striping
4) Painted classrooms

Staff, including full-time personnel, substitutes and summer help performed efficiently. Despite a summer full of construction and projects, coupled with ever increasing facility use throughout the school year and a growing summer school program, all schools (1,061,544 square feet) were cleaned and ready for the upcoming school year in advance, affording the time to do additional painting and maintenance work.

October 1, 2019

First two snow days will not be made up

The Hamilton School Board voted that the first two snow days will not be made up this year. In the past, Hamilton students and employees made up all days missed due to inclement weather. Recent winters brought more snow and frigid conditions than usual. In 2018-19, schools did not operate for five days due to weather conditions. The days were made up later in the second semester, near Easter, Memorial Day and the end of school, affecting family plans.

Wisconsin laws require a minimum number of instructional hours each school year. Hamilton, like most school districts, builds its calendar to exceed the required instructional time. Ten school districts surrounding Hamilton make up days only when it has an impact on their ability to meet minimum instructional requirements.

Because all district schools exceed minimum instructional requirements by more than two days, School Board members accepted administrators’ recommendation to waive make-up days for the first two days school is called off for students and staff members who do not work year-round.

2020-21 school calendar parameters set

Human Resources Director John Roubik presented parameters that will be used for the development of a 2020-21 draft school calendar. They include:

  • maximizing student instructional time to exceed state requirements;
  • scheduling student break times that best fit the academic needs of students;
  • including spring break during the last full week in March and a four-day weekend at Easter;
  • maintaining days set aside for professional development and time for teachers to prepare and close out their classrooms;
  • offering opportunities for parents and teachers to confer about student progress; and
  • maintaining 192 teacher contract days.

In his report, Roubik noted that the district committed to regularly scheduling spring break during the last full week in March and a four-day weekend which included Good Friday and the day after Easter. Easter of 2021 is April 4, unusually early. Hamilton is considering following the actions of many districts that will schedule spring break the last week in March which includes Good Friday. In this scenario, the day after Easter is likely to be a day off as well.

Input from parent officers and district staff will be sought with a recommendation to the School Board expected by Dec. 16.

Board accepts resignation, appoints staff

In personnel matters, the Hamilton School Board:

  • accepted the resignation of Woodside special services paraprofessional Tammy Brandt, effective Oct. 3; and
  • appointed Anita Hilleman as Lannon special services paraprofessional, Amanda Hunt as Hamilton French world language teacher, Ann Flynn as Silver Spring Title I paraprofessional, Donelle Russell as Woodside special services paraprofessional and Sarah Braunschweig as Hamilton special services paraprofessional.

Templeton site plan report points to achievements, alignment with Core 4

LelandHoffmannTempleton Principal Brad Hoffmann and Associate Principal Cody Leland presented their school’s site plan. The pair pointed to numerous assessment results as evidence of the school’s achievement in the past year including the number of students maintaining or exceeding their growth targets on MAP, designation as a school that “significantly exceeds expectations” on the state report card and ACT college readiness measures. Outside of the classroom, Templeton students were successful in many co-curricular activities.

Templeton’s site planning team prioritized aligning the district’s strategic plan Core 4 into practice.

Willow Springs’ site plan approved

Willow Springs Learning Center Principal Renae MacCudden, Ph.D, presented her school’s site plan, which identifies an over-arching target that states “students will be enriched in a unique, well-defined and articulated four-year-old kindergarten program.”

In summarizing the 2018-19 strategic plan, MacCudden reported many accomplishments including: opening a Creative Block Play Room (STEM initiative), installing new playground equipment, aligning social-emotional curriculum to state competencies, adding a nature consultant in-school field trip and utilizing garden spaces along the back side of the building.

MacCuddenThe 2019-20 Willow Springs Site Plan is structured so that it builds upon strengths, while continues to push forward towards new achievements. Willow Springs’ tactics state the students will continue to develop:

  • social-emotional skills and an understanding of their individual role as a learner; and
  • pre-academic skills in the area of literacy and math.

Educational Services performance, future plans reported

Educational Services administrators John Roubik, Katie Little, Ph.D., and John Peterson updated the School Board on work of the department. They noted that district performance continues to significantly exceed expectations on statewide benchmarks. Many Educational Services initiatives have helped drive the district’s success. Some of last year’s efforts include:

  • Developed, implemented and monitored the district’s strategic priories in the areas of:
    • Systems of assessment for learning
    • Social and emotional wellness
    • Workforce and organizational wellness
    • Facility and technology long-term planning
  • Developed curriculum in
    • K-8 science (year 2-rubric development)
    • 9-12 science (year 1-unpacking and prioritizing standards and “I Can” statements)
    • K-12 English language arts (year 1-unpacking and prioritizing standards and ”I Can” statements for reading and foundation skills)
  • Investigated and implemented a more efficient way to monitor the participation and completion of professional development for district employees.
  • Developed final programming, staffing and facility recommendations for Silver Spring Intermediate School.
  • Continued to facilitate a shift in thinking, moving from coverage of content to becoming a facilitator of understanding though instruction and assessment practices.
    • Continued discussions about the alignment between assessment criteria, learning targets and learning activities.
    • Used a backward design template to consider and redesign classroom instruction (lesson and unit plans): An iterative process including redesign, implementation, reflection, collaborative discussions, and implementation feedback.
  • Continued to develop teacher capacity in the use of EduClimber, the district’s data visualization tool.
    • Classroom teachers began to develop virtual data walls to inform instruction.
    • Academic interventionists used the progress monitoring component with fidelity across all buildings.
    • Elementary behavior interventionists pilot tested the progress monitoring component, provide feedback, and prepare for implementation across all buildings.

2019-20 will include many efforts to improve student achievement and professional growth opportunities for staff including:

  • Continue to develop, implement and monitor the district’s strategic priories in the areas of:
    • Systems of assessment for learning
    • Social and emotional wellness
    • Workforce and organizational wellness
    • Facility and technology long-term planning
  • Develop curriculum in the areas of:
    • K-8 science (year 3-implementaon of curriculum)
    • 9-12 science (year 1-rubric development)
    • K-12 English language arts
      • year 2- reading and foundational skills – rubric development and piloting
      • year 1 – writing and language – unpacking and prioritizing standards, “I can” statements, beginning rubric development
  • Monitor and review the use of technology and impact on teaching and learning in the district.
  • Conduct strategic planning and develop a new plan for future priorities.
  • Support and monitor the academic programming, staffing and professional development needs at Silver Spring Intermediate School.
  • Develop compensation recommendations and implement strategies to retain and attract high quality staff.
  • Roll out year one of the 18 to 21-year-old program for students with intellectual disabilities and daily living skill delays, with a focus on vocational and daily living skill development in the community.
  • Implement a new special education service delivery model at SSI and TMS based on looping and having all special education teachers service students with intellectual and life skills delays

Report describes curriculum alignment, articulation

Instructional Services Supervisor Katie Little, Ph.D., reported on curriculum alignment and articulation initiatives in the district. She noted that alignment and articulation are keys to ensuring that curriculum and instruction are sequenced across grades so that learning can progress in a seamless manner as students move from grade to grade and course to course. Alignment and articulation activities occur in a variety of models and formats.

The following areas, which tie directly with the strategic plan, will be addressed during the 2019-20 school year:

  • Implementation of a collaborative system of curriculum and assessment that includes:
    • Unpacking the standards
    • Prioritizing the standards
    • Creating “I Can” statements
    • Creating rubrics for the prioritized standards
    • Piloting the rubrics and collecting exemplars
    • Piloting instructional resources that align to standards
    • Focusing on strong instructional strategies/unit planning
    • Reflecting and revising rubrics
    • Engaging in collaborative team discussion around assessment practices
  • K-8 science is in year 3 of the curriculum cycle. This August teachers received training in the implementation in the science practices rubrics and resource use. All will begin to participate in professional learning conversations around the rubrics and will begin to curate exemplars of student work for each level represented on the rubrics.
  • 9-12 science teachers will finish their content area “I can” statements and rubrics. They will pilot rubrics in instruction and pilot instructional resources that align to the NGSS standards.
  • 5-6 literacy/social studies teachers will continue to engage in discussion around effective implementation of Reader’s Workshop Model and how instructional strategies for reading might be integrated into social studies at Silver Spring Intermediate School.
  • K-12 English language arts is in the second year of the curriculum review cycle. Team members will finish rubric creation for the ELA standards for the Reading, Speaking & Listening, and Foundational Skills strands. Curriculum team members will pilot the rubrics beginning this fall. Curriculum team members are in the process of unpacking the Writing and Language standards. Rubric development will begin when this work is complete.
  • The district requires teachers of grades K-2 and special education teachers to participate in an Early Reading Empowerment course and to maintain their skills post-coursework completion. This year we did not have enough teachers who need the course to make holding the course feasible. We anticipate holding the course next year. All teachers who previously participated in the course will refresh their skills by participating in two online learning modules.
  • AimsWeb, the district’s RtI progress monitoring system, has been retired and an upgrade to AimsWeb Plus was required. District reading specialists, math support teachers and school psychologists will receive training in the upcoming weeks and will train interventionists, special education teachers, and others within his or her building who require the knowledge. We will monitor the use of this product throughout the school year and discuss whether to continue or migrate to an alternate solution.
  • Work continues on Comprehensive Intervention Model implementation. This year training will be provided for Interactive Writing, an intervention for children writing at the emergent and early levels that focuses on concepts about print, communicating a message, rereading strategies for predicting and monitoring, saying words slowly to hear and record sounds, using simple resources, fluent letter formation, building a core of high frequency words, and cross-checking information sources. In addition, interventionists continue to develop units of instruction for Guided Reading Plus and Comprehension Focus Groups.
  • All teachers will continue to focus on the alignment of standards, assessments and learning activities though Professional Learning Conversations (PLC) at the Oct. 2 and Feb. 28 in-services as well as at building level professional development meetings.
  • Vertical and horizontal teaming among will take place on the Nov. 8 and April 3 in-services. Teachers will identify goals, a work plan and anticipated outcomes. While this list is comprehensive, it is not exhaustive. Professional development is always at the forefront of district instructional planning. We strive to meet needs in the ways noted above as well as providing just-in-time learning as needs arise. It is through focused professional learning and collaboration opportunities that student success is realized.

September 16, 2019

Elementary schools share joint site plan

Principals from the district’s four elementary schools – Lannon, Maple Avenue, Marcy and Woodside – presented a joint site plan to the Hamilton School Board. Elementary administrators met during the summer and devised a common elementary site plan that focused on literacy and social-emotional goals. Each school will build on the overview to reflect its own unique culture.4ElementaryPrincipals

The site plan was created by reviewing district Strategic Plan initiatives and building data including Wisconsin Forward and MAP assessment results and parent survey responses. Initiatives that will be central to practices in the school are assessment, including best practices and outcome alignment, and social-emotional wellness.

2019-20 priorities include collaborative professional development to enhance the strong academic and social-emotional school setting, personalized professional learning and additional tools for schoolwide success.

They presented data describing the elementary schools’ alignment with the four priority areas of the district Strategic Plan, know as the Core 4, which are:

  • Facilities and technology
  • Workforce and organizational wellness
  • Social-emotional wellness
  • Systems of learning and assessment – academic curriculum area

Examples of the schools’ success were: all four elementary schools were rated as significantly exceeding expectations on the State Report Card, implementation of social-emotional learning, creation of Great Start Conferences, Board Breakfast conversations and successful transition of students, staff and families to Silver Spring Intermediate School.

Challenges they face are the loss of staff members to transferred to Silver Spring, increased teacher student contact time that limits staff meeting and prep time, limited pool of employee applicants, additional needs of special student populations and ensuring students receive differentiated instruction to meet their needs.

Summer Opportunities results given

Another successful Summer Opportunities session was realized in 2019. Summer Opportunities Director and Lannon Elementary School Principal Brian Balfany reported on accomplishments of the highly popular four-week summer school program that drew 2,143 students to the district for a range of enrichment and invitational classes.

Most Summer Opportunities students, 1,888 of them, were in grades 4K-8. Another 255 students were from the high school, 31 were non-resident students, 19 were Open Enrollment students and two were Chapter 220 students.

A total of 223 staff members were hired: 78 district teachers, 54 teachers from outside the district, 34 paraprofessionals, 62 student teaching assistants, four assistant coordinators and one coordinator.

Balfany noted highlights of the program in a written report. He recommended that the 2020 Summer Opportunities program:

  • be slated for June 22-July 17 with a day off on July 3 to celebrate the July 4 holiday;
  • introduce before and after school Y-Care at Silver Spring Intermediate School;
  • enhance course offerings
  • train invitational math instructors in Everyday Math strategies and invitational reading instructors in Readers’ Workshop strategies;
  • explore recovery credit make-up and acquisition opportunities;
  • increase the number of students invited to take math or reading;
  • adjust transportation deadline signup for adequate route preparation; and
  • reassess use of high school space.

Curriculum, assessment systems united

The need to form a more cohesive, united system of curriculum development and assessments prompted the district to move to a 5-year review cycle, according to a report written by Instructional Services Supervisor Katherine Little, Ph.D. The first year of the process includes research and renew, the second year will be curriculum review, the third implementation, the fourth revision and the fifth maintenance and monitoring.

Areas being reviewed are:

  • 2019-20 – English language arts;
  • 2020-21 – information technology literacy, world languages and social studies (7-12);
  • 2021-22 – fitness education-health, mathematics (5-12) and social studies (K5-6);
  • 2022-23 – art, music, mathematics (K4-4); and
  • 2023-24 – family and consumer science, applied engineering and technology, business education, guidance and science (7-12).

No students accepted into early admission

No students were admitted early into kindergarten for 5-year-olds or grade 1, according to a report presented by Special Services Supervisor John Peterson. Two students participated in the early admission 5K screening process but were not recommended for placement. No parents requested early admissions for first grade.

District policy indicates children must be four, five or six years old by Sept. 1 to enter four-year-old kindergarten, regular kindergarten or first grade, respectively. While procedures exist for early admission to regular kindergarten and first grade, no early admission is granted for four-year-old kindergarten. Peterson’s report provided 18 years of data about early admissions requests and approvals.

Assessment schedule, coaching report given

In other business, Little presented the district’s 2019-20 testing schedule which includes assessments such as PALS, ACCESS, various ACT exams, Dynamic Learning Maps, Forward Exam and National Assessment of Educational Progress. She also presented a status report on instructional and literacy coaching.

Personnel matters

In personnel business, the School Board:

  • Accepted the resignations of Templeton Paraprofessional Cheri Lang, effective Sept. 18, and Woodside special services paraprofessional Ashley Katz Effective Sept. 6;
  • Appointed Jami Binder as Woodside special services paraprofessional, effective Sept. 3; Darrell Brown as Hamilton instrumental music teacher, effective August 26; Jessica Aschenbrenner as Maple Avenue special service paraprofessional, effective Sept. 3; Amand Frievalt as Willow Springs special service paraprofessional, effective Sept. 3; Maria Albrecht as Marcy paraprofessional, effective Sept. 3;Ariane Fischer as Templeton special services paraprofessional, effective Sept. 3; Beth Lueck as Woodside paraprofessional, effective Sept. 3; Michel Lee as Hamilton custodian I, p.m., Sept. 23; Gayle Ruplinger as Lannon paraprofessional, effective Sept. 10; Justin Derksen as Hamilton p.m. custodian, effective Sept. 23; Lisette Martin as Templeton associate kitchen employee, effective Sept. 9; Kathryn Gengler as Willow Springs replacement literacy interventionist, effective August 26; and Kimberly Zabel as district comptroller, effective Jan. 1, 2020.

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.


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.


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


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


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


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.


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.



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:


Cheer – State champions


Boys Soccer – State finalist


Girls Bowling – State qualifier


Wrestling – Individual state qualifiers


Boys Swim and Dive – Individual state qualifiers


Poms – State qualifier


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


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


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


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


2019 Herb Kohl Foundation Awards winner Marcy teacher Callie Lauer


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


Aida Kozik


Penny Monroe


Amy Roth


Greg Winston


Kelly Wood


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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.