January 17, 2011

Few students have unpaid fees

The number of Hamilton High School students who had unpaid school fees in the past six years is significantly less than it had been prior to changes in collection procedures implemented in 2005. Only three students from the class of 2010 had unpaid fees for a combined $120, compared to the class of 2004 that had 13 students with unpaid fees amounting to $1,891.

Beginning with the class of 2005, the district changed procedures to reduce outstanding school fees among Hamilton students. Six invoices are sent each year to students with unpaid fees, and students who have unpaid fees are not able to get parking permits until they are paid up. In addition, balances greater than $50 are turned over to a collection agency each July.

Prior to fee collection modifications, 3.32 to 6.64 percent of students from the graduating classes of 2000 to 2004 had unpaid fees. After collection procedures were changed, the percentage of students with unpaid fees dropped to .31 to 2.67.

Administrators noted that they are sensitive to the needs of families that are affected by the difficult economy and will remain flexible to minimize the impact on families when possible.

Marcy site plan approved

Principal Michele Trawicki reported on Marcy Elementary School’s Site Plan in which she reviewed the school’s progress. The site plan includes the following three tactics which are addressed by action plans.

  • Students, staff and parents will attain the highest possible levels of achievement through the use of effective and innovative practices;
    • Action plan progress: Piloted assessment-for-learning material, allocated staff development time, created forms folder on network and provided in-services on learning targets, formative assessment, student self-reflection, effective student feedback and success vs. intervention feedback
  • The Marcy community will actively embrace its vision statement through implementation of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS);
    • Action plan progress: Completed PBIS Tier 1 and Tier 2 coaching training, refined discipline referral and behavior reminder forms, trained staff on ODR and BR, and formed subcommittees for acknowledgement, bus, data and recess
  • Students will receive the academic support they need through the creative and efficient allocation of time and resources by all members of the Marcy community.
    • Action plan progress: Held Marcy Math game night, created math resources Moodle page, compiled and distributed vocabulary lists, monitored and analyzed WKCE and MAP scores, reviewed and revised assessment process for new Marcy students, and transferred test prep questions to Smartboard form.

Future plans include:

  • Developing learning targets in a content area with ideas for formative and summative assessment and feedback procedures;
  • Studying progress monitoring;
  • Further implementing PBIS through alignment of consequences with behavior, a winter recess rodeo, data analysis, cool tools for recess re-teaching, teaching substitutes about PBIS and lunchroom procedures;
  • Implementing math buddies once a quarter;
  • Analyzing WKCE and MAP test weak areas;
  • Developing and introducing options for math enrichment; and
  • Refining ways to help students who need re-teaching.

 School Board member Lynn Kristensen complimented the Marcy staff for its work on PBIS, a framework that focuses on positive academic and behavioral practices, which Kristensen said has “changed the entire environment” at Marcy. She said she observes students who are respectful and encouraging of one another.

 Trawicki agreed that PBIS has had a positive impact on the school. She noted that when she first came to the school in 2008 she had 25 bus referrals the first week, and this year she has had less than six all year.

Middle school course catalog approved

The School Board approved middle school course catalog changes that contained no major revisions, but terminology that reflected greater specificity, clarity and alignment with district initiatives.

Personnel business

In personnel business, the School Board accepted the retirement request of Hamilton High School technology education teacher James Lawinger and Hamilton High School physical education teacher Christine Dolphin, both effective at the end of the school year.