February 17, 2020

Spotlight on Silver Spring culture

Silver Spring Intermediate School Principal Deanna Wellens and Associate Principal Katie Ritchie presented a School Spotlight video that focused on the school’s intentional efforts to build a culture of belonging.

Enrollment up by 14 since September

School districts in Wisconsin are required to take pupil counts the third Friday of September and the second Friday of January. The district’s enrollment went from 4,886 to 4,900 in the nearly four-month span this school year.

School enrollment:

  • increased by 11 at Willow Springs, 9 at Maple Avenue, 5 at Marcy and 1 at Woodside;
  • dropped by 10 at the high school and 2 at Templeton; and
  • remained the same at Lannon and Silver Spring.

Students recognized for drama, perfect ACT score

NickMitchellMaggieFlynn

Two Hamilton High School students were recognized for outstanding performance. Maggie Flynn and Nick Mitchell qualified for national competition at the Wisconsin Theater Festival. In addition, Flynn earned a perfect score of 36 on the ACT college-entrance exam.

Personnel action

In personnel action, the School Board

  • accepted the resignations of Hamilton world language French teacher Amanda Hunt, effective Jan. 20; Lannon paraprofessional Betsy Molinski, effective Jan. 31; Lannon technology integration resource teacher Julie Kleist, effective June 12; and Lannon special services paraprofessional Anita Hilleman, effective Feb. 17;
  • approved the retirement request of Hamilton High School administrative assistant Nancy Schulz, effective June 30; and
  • appointed Lisa Totsky as Business Office accounts payable administrative assistant, effective Feb. 17; Roberta VonAsten as Silver Spring special services paraprofessional, effective Feb. 17; Susan Bruns as high school guidance administrative assistant, effective Feb. 24, Shelby Froberg as Marcy special services papaprofessional, effective March 2; and Theresa Aron, Marcy associate kitchen employee, effective Feb. 18.

12 students approved for early graduation

Hamilton High School Principal Rebecca Newcomer presented the applications of 12 juniors – Jimmy Baisden, Michael Domino, Mia Garbarek, Madelyn Gilmore, Megan Gilmore, Zackary Jauquet, Jaspreet Kaur, Kaden Lauer, Lillie Stadfeld, Akuma Thao, Toua Thao, Justin Vang – who requested to graduate early. The students met School Board policy requirements and will be eligible to graduate in January 2021.

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 2020-21 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.

Contract with Dominiczak extended

The School Board approved continuing services with Dominiczak Therapy Associates until 2022. The district switched to Dominiczak for occupational and physical therapy (OT, PT) services in the 2015-16 school year and has continued with the company since then.

Instructional Services reports on curriculum, assessments

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

Curricular areas under review or being developed are: K-12 science; K-12 English language arts; and high school courses of music theory, digital electronics and automation, and certain course content in applied engineering and technology.

In her assessment report, Little said a balanced assessment program provides multiple measures of a student’s learning. The Hamilton School District assessment program includes three levels of assessment: classroom assessments, district benchmarks and standardized tests.

Classroom and district benchmark assessments define learning targets for students, evaluate student learning, document student progress, identify the next step in instruction, provide teachers with information to tailor instruction and help develop a student’s ability to self-assess and set learning goals. They are regularly reviewed.

Little noted that establishment of Great Start Conferences this year afforded classroom teachers time to administer early literacy screeners for more accurate instructional planning earlier in the school year. Teachers of grades K-5 successfully used the Fountas and Pinnell literacy assessment program for a few years. This year grade 6 was added. This assessment program determines reading accuracy and fidelity across the district.

Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) data identify students who may be struggling or excelling in a given area or strand and inform individual, small group and whole group instruction. A team of teachers and administrators are investigating FastBridge which could replace AimsWeb Plus for progress monitoring and MAP or PALS for literacy and math screening.

Potential actions are to:

  • continue using AimsWeb Plus for progress monitoring and MAP or PALS for screening purposes;
  • use FastBridge for progress monitoring and continue to use MAP or PALS for screening purposes;
  • use FastBridge for progress monitoring, pilot the FastBridge screener at one or more schools and evaluate results for the potential use of the screener at all schools; or
  • adopt FastBridge for progress monitoring and screening at all schools.

The Wisconsin Student Assessment System (WSAS) is a comprehensive statewide program designed to provide information about what students know in core academic areas and whether they can apply what they know. Standardized assessments are required by state and federal law. Administration occurs each spring and include:

  • The Wisconsin Forward Exam includes English language arts and mathematics for grades 3-8; science for grades 4 and 8; and social studies for grades 4, 8 and 10. It is administered in an online format.
  • The ACT Aspire Early High School is a summative assessment that measures what students have learned in the areas of English, reading, math, science and writing. The ACT Aspire scores predict how a student will perform on both the ACT and when they reach grade 11. It is administered to students in grades 9 and 10 in an online format.
  • The ACT tests include reading, math, English, science and writing. The ACT with writing is a paper and pencil test.
  • The Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) assessment is administered to no more than 1% of students with significant cognitive disabilities.
  • ACCESS for ELLs® is designed to measure English language proficiency.
  • The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is conducted in a range of subjects in grades 4, 8 and 12 across the country. Assessments are given most frequently in mathematics, reading, science and writing. Other subjects such as the arts, civics, economics, geography, technology and engineering literacy, and U.S. history are assessed periodically. Hamilton was not selected for NAEP testing during the 2019-20 school year.