January 16, 2006

Course catalogs approved

Hamilton School Board members approved changes Jan. 16 to course catalogs for Templeton Middle School and Hamilton High School.

Templeton Principal Patricia Polczynski described changes for the Templeton course catalog that include:

  • listing Content Mastery as a support intervention for students who perform below proficiency;
  • aligning course descriptions and content strands and standards information with what is published in parent curriculum guides;
  • including summary of allied arts options in that are offered opposite fitness education; and
  • providing full descriptions for all elective choices.

Polczynski said Allied Arts teachers will create a video that will include descriptions, content strands and standards and photos of the classroom room environment for each elective course.

Hamilton Principal David Furrer presented changes in the high school course catalog. The most significant will be information about Advanced Placement courses using a weighted grade scale of 5.0 instead of 4.0. Other high school course catalog changes include

  • modifying various course title changes;
  • rotating course offerings in fitness education;
  • adjusting honors eligibility due to elimination of Terra Nova testing in middle school;
  • transferring computer programming courses from mathematics to business education; and
  • placing the Academic Teaching Assistant program under the direction of the Learning Center.

Lannon Site Plan approved

Lannon Elementary School Principal Richard Ladd presented his school’s site plan. Ladd said the school plans to continue working on the existing strategies which indicate that the school will:

  • maintain and enhance a positive, nurturing culture so that students strive for excellence;
  • improve the building referral process to meet the needs of all students; and
  • enhance the schoolwide writing program, allowing each student to develop the skills necessary to express themselves effectively through written communication.

Future work will include:

  • refining the procedure to select students for the “Notice ME!” program;
  • exploring methods of evaluating the impact of Cardinal Café;
  • creating list of classroom strategies and resources to help address student needs before referral to the Child Assistance Team;
  • administering and scoring writing prompts and marking writing portfolios;
  • continuing to showcase student writing through publication in the school newsletter and Writers of the Month program; and
  • organizing monthly Six Trait Writing teacher make-and-take sessions to create new writing lessons for students.

School Board member Gerald Schmitz raised concerns about drops in test results. Ladd said school staff, too, shared the concerns which he said could be a reflection of a few students who did not do well.

Personnel business

In personnel business, the School Board approved the retirement requests of Lannon kindergarten teacher Judy Gurath, Hamilton art teacher Alan Skell, Marcy learning disabilities teacher Juliana Seboth, Hamilton learning disabilities teacher Mary Penn and Hamilton Spanish teacher Caryl Klug.

Board member Deborah Briggs said the five employees had 159 years of accumulated service to the district. She said it would be sad to see them go, but she wished them luck in their future pursuits.

The School Board also approved preliminary notification for nonrenewal for 13 teachers who were hired under replacement contracts. Briggs said the action is required because some were hired to replace teachers who will return to their positions, and others were hired after the school year began. She said she hoped many of the individuals on the list would be back on a future personnel list for rehiring.

Feb. 7 meeting canceled

Finally, the School Board voted to cancel its Feb. 7 meeting because several members had conflicts with the date. All agenda items from that meeting were moved to other meetings.