December 17, 2001

Maple Avenue interim principal chosen

The Hamilton School Board approved the appointment of former Maple Dale-Indian Hill School District principal Karen Winicki as Maple Avenue Elementary School principal until the end of the 2001-02 school year. Winicki officially begins her new post Jan. 2, but plans to visit staff and students sooner.

Winicki retired in June 2001 after teaching for seven years and being principal for 11 years at Indian Hill Elementary School, which serves River Hills, Fox Point and Bayside students from 4K to third grade. She began her education career in the Mequon Thiensville School District where she taught elementary students for four years. She also taught elementary students for four years in the Shorewood School District.

Winicki received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin (UW) ­ LaCrosse, a master’s degree in administrative leadership from UW-Milwaukee and another master’s degree in educational technology from Massachusetts-based Lesly College.

School Board supports national teacher certification program

Hamilton School District teachers who embark on a national teacher certification program will receive a stipend of $700 to reimburse part of the $2,300 certification fee. The School Board approved providing the stipends for up to two teachers in the 2001-02 school year and five teachers each year thereafter.

Educational Services and Human Resources Assistant Superintendent Dean Schultz described the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) program. Among the goals of the program are to improve teaching practices, commit to student learning and broaden understanding of subject areas. A NBPTS certificate is a credential attesting that a teacher is accomplished, makes sound professional judgments about student learning and acts effectively on those judgments.

According to Schultz, many school districts and state departments of education recognize the certification process as an important component of continuing education. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction provides teachers with up to one-half of the fee, and other organizations provide some financial help.

Teachers who begin the program but do not complete it within four years or those who leave the district before completing the program would have to repay the district stipend. The School Board’s action also allows teachers in the program to use district copiers and computers ocassionally to complete portfolios for the program.

“Teachers who have gone through it report that it is a very rigorous program,” Schultz said.

Two Hamilton High School teachers indicated interest in completing the process, he said.

Enrollment projections show slow growth

Conservative enrollment projections for the 2002-03 school year show that the district will increase by 12 students, according to Schultz. The anticipated increase will not result in a need for more staff, but the School Board should still include two teaching positions in the budget for unanticipated enrollment growth, Schultz said. The School Board will take action on the recommendation in January as it prepares the budget.

While enrollment increases are likely to have an impact on more staff, program development might. Among the additional staff considered for next year are reading, writing resources and honor course teachers at the high school, administration for Willow Springs and Templeton, elementary band staff, health room aides, additional gifted and talented support and more teachers to reduce class sizes. Schultz said administrators to not anticipate that the staff requests will be funded.

Charter middle school working well

A charter school for middle school students who do not do well in a traditional school environment is operating “effectively and efficiently,” according to Supt. Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D. The Cooperative Educational Service Agency (CESA) #1 operates the school but because only school districts are allowed to, the Hamilton School District holds the charter for the school that serves school districts in southeastern Wisconsin.

In its second year of operation, CESA #1-Hamilton Passage Charter Middle School served 17 students last year. Twelve reintegrated back to their home district. The program coordinator is conducting a study to learn about the transition process along with standardized test results of the students who were served.

Cooke reported that attendance among Passage students was 93 percent — an impressive statistic given that many students who attend the school had difficulty in the past. Behavioral referrals also showed positive trends.

Annual Chapter 220 contract approved

The Hamilton School District will continue to offer 95 seats for students who transfer into the district through the Chapter 220 Voluntary Integration Program. Another 10 seats will be available for students displaced by the Milwaukee Public Schools new transportation plan that allows students to choose schools based on zones in which they live.

Personnel news

In personnel business, the School Board approved appointments of Maple Avenue assistant cook Yvonne Zywicki and Lannon second grade teacher Christel Schumann. Schumann was hired to second grade class size at Lannon.