January 18, 2016

Board determines superintendent candidate profile

Jim Rickabaugh, hired by School Board members to coach them through the superintendent search process, presented results of the online survey and focus groups conducted with parents, employees, business and community representatives. Attributes common among groups were:

  • student focus;
  • harnessing financial resources and business acumen;
  • visible, accessible, approachable proactive communicator;
  • promoting partnerships and politically savvy;
  • creative problem solver;
  • professional and personal integrity;
  • motivates others, team-builder;
  • committed to the district, not using as a stepping stone;
  • demonstrated track record as successful leader;
  • developer of people and organizational capacity; and
  • practices shared decision-making.

Deadline for applications is Jan. 31. Rickabaugh will meet with board members Feb. 2 in closed session to determine which candidates to interview and what questions to ask. Initial interviews will be held Feb. 8, 9 and 10. 

Hamilton, Templeton course catalogs approved

The School Board approved the middle school and high school course catalogs. The most significant changes occurred in Family and Consumer Education at the high school where “Hospitality & Culinary Arts and Fashion” and “Interior Design” classes were dropped and “Introduction to Healthcare Professions” and “Medical Terminology” classes were added. Both courses are transcripted with Waukesha County Technical College. In addition, beginning with the class of 2017, students must pass a state-mandated civics exam in order to graduate. Also required for students beginning with the class of 2017 are three credits each of mathematics and science.

Templeton’s course catalog reflects reorganization of science curriculum scope and sequence that the School Board approved last spring. Other changes included language clean-up and creating more specific essential questions in critical literacy curriculum intended to make them more meaningful to students.

Summer Opportunities offers similar program

Lannon Principal and Summer Opportunities Coordinator Dick Ladd reported on plans for the upcoming summer school session. Enrichment and Templeton promotional courses will be held June 20 to July 15 with no school on July 4.

The popular free shuttle bus service from Woodside, Lannon and Marcy elementary schools and Sussex Village Park to Hamilton High School will again be offered. Parents drop off their children at the shuttle sites and they are taken to their summer school program. Originally offered two years ago to mitigate traffic at the high school where construction projects were underway, the service has been a big hit with parents who don’t have to deal with traffic jams.

Most aspects of the program will remain the same as last year. Parents will receive email messages about the program and they will be able to register for their children’s classes online. In addition, fees are expected to remain the same, ranging from $4 to $20 per class. The fees cover the cost of consumable materials used in class. A $50 non-resident tuition fee in addition to regular class fees will be assessed as well.

District unpaid school fees up

For the last six years the trend in collecting unpaid student fees has been positive — going from more than $1,500 owed in 2007 to last year’s significantly lower total of $99.55. 2015 bucked the trend, however, with total unpaid fees shooting up to $459.46. While the amount is higher than what the district has seen lately, it is the result of only two students — one of whom amassed $394.46 in debt before withdrawing from the district. Students are reminded about their unpaid debt twice each year and asked to pay it off. In addition, a policy went into effect in 2009-10 that requires clearance of all unpaid fees and fines before a parking permit is issued.

Board ratifies contract with ULE

The Hamilton School Board ratified a contract with United Lakewood Educators (ULE) which represents district teachers. Under the contract, base salaries will increase by 1.62 percent for 2015-16, retroactive to the beginning of the school year.

The tentative agreement was reached Jan. 11 between the district and ULE representatives and will be presented to ULE members this week for a ratification vote. The increases do not apply to teachers on replacement contracts or plans of assistance.

Staff added to address needs

Needs of students will be addressed at Templeton and Maple Avenue schools with the hiring of additional staff for the remainder of the school year. Both schools will use federal grants to hire Title I paraprofessionals who will work 70 percent schedules. The positions, at a total cost of $29,000-33,000, will be used to support reading and math at the middle school and reading at Maple Avenue. In addition, a half-time replacement teacher will be hired at Maple Avenue for the rest of the year due to increased special education needs. Special education funds will pay for the position.

Personnel news

In other personnel business, the School Board:

  • accepted the resignation of Templeton special services paraprofessional Jenny Galbavy; and
  • appointed Jessica Splittgerber as a Templeton Title I paraprofessional.