December 7, 2004

High school sees goal as attainable

When the Hamilton High School Site Planning Committee developed its single goal in 2003, some saw it as one that was difficult and complex to attain. One year later, many committee members expressed excitement about the prospect of making headway into attaining the goal.

School site planners identified in 2003-04 their 5-year goal as, “Students will demonstrate higher-level thinking skills across the curriculum.” Hamilton Principal David Furrer reported on the work of the site planning committee to the School Board.

“Many of the committee members expressed excitement in watching such a difficult goal take life through the development of our action plans,” Furrer wrote in this report to the School Board. “For the first time, the committee was able to understand how we would take such a complex and difficult goal of assisting students in demonstrating higher level thinking skills across the curriculum.”

The school plans to reach its goal next four years by:

  • continuing implementation of recommendations from a North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement peer review in October;
  • building a staff development program that supports the goal;
  • creating local assessments that identify and assess higher level thinking skills;
  • ensuring that what is learned through staff development will be applied in the classroom; and
  • making modification to curriculum and instructional practices based on student assessment results.

School Board member Deborah Briggs complimented Hamilton staff for looking at data to determine the direction in which to move.

Willow Springs presents its site plan

Willow Springs Learning Center has developed two intervention in its quest to reach its goal that states, “Students will be enriched in a unique, well-defined and articulated 4-year-old kindergarten program.”

Willow Springs and Special Services Program Support Administrator John Vitale reported on the school site planning process. The interventions state that the school will:

  • organize the 4-year-old kindergarten curriculum to match the Wisconsin Model of Early Learning Standards; and
  • develop an alternative start to the school year to increase the partnership and communication between students, parents and teachers.

Vitale reported that the Wisconsin model was released only last year. He described some of the possible changes including use of “centers” in the classrooms.

He also forewarned School Board members that he will present a proposal in January that will allow parents and students to meet with teachers individually before the entire school congregates. Vitale said the face-to-face meetings could alleviate worries that kindergartners and their parents encounter especially if the 4-year-old has not experienced a preschool program.

Music is final curriculum aligned with state standards

The final curriculum that was revised to align with the Wisconsin Model Academic Standards was presented to the School Board. Instructional Services Supervisor Dee Bauman, Ph.D., presented the music curriculum. The curriculum identified student learning expectations and benchmarks for general, choral and instrumental music.

All Hamilton students in kindergarten through third grade participate in general music classes twice a week. In fourth and fifth grades, a choral music class is added once each week. Students in fifth grade may elect to take instrumental music by participating in the band program. At the middle school level, sixth and seventh grade students select either a general, choral or instrumental music class. Beginning in eighth grade, music becomes an elective program.

School Board recognizes parent, teacher, students

Two adults and four students were recognized with certificates of appreciation.

Seniors and Students Program Coordinator and Hamilton parent Janet Paterson was recognized as “an exceptional individual who has made significant contributions to our school district and community.”

Public Information and Volunteer Program Coordinator Denise Dorn Lindberg recognized Paterson who resigned her position with the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program to move with her family to Arizona. Lindberg noted Paterson’s role in the district as a parent volunteer, co-chair of the community referendum campaign committee and Seniors and Student Coordinator.

Hamilton art teacher Al Skell and four of his art students were honored for the stained glass artwork they created for the Hamilton Fine Arts Center. The students who created the project were Kelly Grabko, Theresa Henninger, Kelly Kornel and September Mueller.

Hamilton Principal David Furrer commended Skell and the students for a masterfully created work of art.

School Board approves personnel matters

In personnel matters, the School Board:

  • accepted the resignation of Maple Avenue Special Services paraprofessional Joelle Quimby effective Nov. 19; and
  • appointed Melissa Mansfield as the new Maple Avenue Special Services paraprofessional beginning Nov. 30, and Alvin Johnson as the Hamilton PM cleaner beginning Dec. 6.