December 4, 2007

High school reports progress
Hamilton Principal Candis Mongan presented a positive report on the high school’s progress in the past year.

The school site plan identifies three interventions that emphasize higher-level thinking through a problem-solving model, application of reading strategies and Bloom’s Taxonomy. Mongan said the three interventions will remain part of the school’s focus for the next three years.

School accomplishments include:

  • doubling of Advanced Placement enrollment in one school year;
  • empowering faculty with department goal-setting through embedded professional development;
  • earning its highest composite PLAN score, which is well above national norms; and
  • increasing the proficiency range of juniors on the district writing assessment from 49 percent to 62 percent in one school year.

Some specific action steps in the next year will be to:

  • assess and adjust resources for struggling students;
  • increase the school’s ACT score by having juniors take a practice ACT test, requiring a pre- and post-test advisement session and encouraging students to take the ACT-recommended core units;
  • encourage students to use “metacognition” – or reflective – skills to improve reading, problem-solving and critical thinking skills;
  • continue to disaggregate data and encourage under-represented populations to enroll in honors and AP courses and take the ACT test; and
  • better prepare students for the math and science portions of the WKCE test through implementation of ninth grade biology and a math resource room during advisement for students who need math support.

National accreditation completed
Along with its annual site plan update, the school completed a five-year school improvement planning process through AdvancEd North Central Accreditation. Hamilton was accredited in all seven standards assessed by the AdvancEd peer review team. Mongan reported that the review team reported many accolades for the school.

The AdvancEd report noted:

  • The school is united on a common purpose of higher student achievement. The success of the block schedule resulted in an environment where teachers teach and students learn. The climate of trust and responsibility are central elements for growth and student learning and achievement.
  • Teachers, students and school leaders demonstrated joy and enthusiasm in embracing the challenge to develop higher-order thinking skills among students and to elevate their achievement. Teachers take advantage of the block schedule to engage student to foster higher-thinking skills.
  • The school leadership’s decision to empower faculty with the responsibility for department goal-setting is supported by identification and use of embedded faculty experts for professional development linked to the department’s efforts. Taken together, these have created a strong foundation for continuous school improvement.

Business, students recognized
School Board members recognized a community member and two student-athletes. Greg Rossebo, owner of The Great Frame Up in Menomonee Falls, was honored for his generosity to the district. Rossebo frames student artwork selected for the Hamilton Fine Arts Center at a discounted rate. He also donates matting material to middle and high school art classes.

Cross country runners Theresa Selestow and Marcus Paulson were recognized for their outstanding cross country running season. Both students are sophomores who were named all-conference runners and competed at state. Hamilton Athletic & Activities Director Mike Gosz commended the students for their ability as athletes and in the classroom. In addition to running cross country this fall, Paulson was on the football team.

Personnel matters
In personnel matters, the School Board appointed school social worker Murrene Payton and Templeton sixth grade teacher Bob Blessington as summer school assistants for the 2008 program.