March 19, 2007

District moves to integrated digital library catalog
Hamilton students from throughout the district will have the opportunity to look up materials in all six school libraries, regardless of which school they attend. The School Board approved implementation of the Follett Destiny library catalog system that will provide students and staff with access to library resources through Web-based technology. School administrators say the upgrade will improve access to materials, increase efficiency and promote student learning.

Destiny maintains a central database for all district holdings as well as a filter to individual sites. The current library system, Circulation+-/Catalog+, holds only individual library holdings.

Because of its Web capabilities, Destiny allows students to search juried Web sites appropriate for student use. It also includes a feature that provides users with a picture and summary of each book.

Instructional Services Supervisor Dee Bauman, Ph.D., in her report said library-media specialists and administrators researched the vendors who offer the integrated, districtwide catalog systems. The cost for Destiny will be a one-time set-up fee of $19,341 payable over two years and annual ongoing costs of $9,488. Funds will come from Educational Services and school budgets.

Growing Woodside gets support
As enrollment at Woodside Elementary School has moved higher, school officials are taking steps to provide breathing room for students and staff. The School Board gave administrators the OK in February to negotiate a 5-year lease for portable classrooms. Along with the new space in next fall, the school will have an additional half-time administrator to help oversee the school. With an increase of 25 additional students this year, the school reached its highest enrollment of 658 students, which is substantially greater than other elementary schools in the district. The cost of the half-time position, including salary and benefits, is expected to be $65,000.

Low bidder get job for high school projects
J.H. Hassinger will be working on high school project this summer if all goes well. The company submitted the low bid of $729,766 for several project at the high school including work Project Lead the Way renovations, installation of an elevator, school store remodeling and restroom update. School Board members authorized administrators to develop contracts with the company based on it low bids for the projects.

More computers to be purchased
The district will purchase 238 new PCs, 10 laptops and 10 Macintosh replacement computers using 2006-07 computer technology funds. The total cost for the hardware is $241,708. In her written report, Instructional Technology and Assessment Coordinator Katherine Little said the district strives to maintain a 5-year replacement cycle for PCs and a 7-year cycle for Macintoshes. She noted that district and building-level technology committees provide input to the decisions about technology replacement. The PC machines will be purchased through Dell Direct, and the Macintoshes through Apple.

Board recognizes achievements
The accomplishments of a dozen individuals were recognized by the School Board.
Hamilton Police Liaison Officer Mark Nihoris was congratulated for being honored at the Associate Principal/School Resource Officers Conference this year. He was recognized for the being the driving force behind the Wisconsin School Resource Officers Association.
Hamilton Principal Candis Mongan said Nihoris is a “great school resource officer and he is great for Hamilton High School” because of his good rapport with students and staff.

Three high school artists were honored for outstanding performance at the 2007 Scholastic Art Awards Regional Competition and Exhibit. Matthew Baron, a freshman, earned a Gold Key for photography; Elizabeth Fischer, a senior, and Sarah Tomke, a junior each earned a Silver Key for stained glass.

Hamilton’s Bowling Team was recognized for their performance at state competition and taking the District 1 Conference Championship. Students on the team were Alexander Baier, Marcus Carus, Samuel Figarino, Joseph Knueppel, Matthew Korek, Joshua Sanders, Benjamin Todd and Nicholas Revolinski.

Maple Avenue presents site plan
Principal Kristin Koeper-Hamblin presented Maple Avenue’s School Profile and reported on the school’s third year of its site plan. She provided an overview of demographic and test score data. The tactics include:

  • implementing a schoolwide writing program with common expectations;
  • implementing an elementary reading scope and sequence of instructional strategies and assessments and developing common expectations within and across grade levels; and
  • developing and implementing intervention programming for students at risk of academic failure.

Templeton site plan update approved
Templeton Principal Patricia Polczynski reported on her school’s site plan that identifies tactics that indicate students will:

  • increase writing proficiency demonstrating understanding of curricular concepts; and
  • experience social and emotional growth through relevant, focused and developmental opportunities ensuring maximum achievement for all students..

Polczynski said that because the site plan tactics are operational, the school will create a new site plan next fall. School Board members commented on the strong achievement Templeton students have achieved since the plan was first implemented.

Technology plan approved
The School Board approved updates to the 2006-09 Informational Technology Plan after learning about progress achieved in the district. Items that were completed or recently addressed include 5-year computer replacement reorganization, HelpDesk technology troubleshooting, School Messenger automated emergency calling, LunchBox lunch ticketing, GradeCheck on-line grading, TechLiteracy assessment, technology in-service opportunities, integration of information and technology literacy standards into curriculum, Destiny library catalog system, automated computer shutdown and Store Area Network data recovery solution.

Secondary schools given OK to continue accreditation
The School Board authorized participation in the North Central Accreditation (NCA) process at Templeton Middle School for a cost of $600 and at Hamilton for a cost of $700. The accreditation process helps schools focus on school improvements related to student outcomes. It aligns with the district’s site planning process and responds to the public’s demand for greater accountability. Hamilton has been a part of the NCA accreditation process since 1966 and Templeton since 1997.

Audit contract approved
Business auditing services will be provided by Reilly, Penner & Benton, LLP for the next three years. The firm first performed an audit for the district this year, and school officials were happy with its performance and price. The costs of the audit will be $11,875 for 2006-07, $12,400 for 2007-08 and $12,950 for 2008-09.

Students get approval for Youth Options Program
The applications of 14 Hamilton students were approved for enrollment in the Youth Options Program for the first semester of 2007-08. The students qualify by completing their sophomore year, having good academic standing and no record of disciplinary problems. The students are able to take technical college or university courses at district expense if they have exhausted the curriculum offered in the district.

Personnel news
In personnel business, the School Board:

  • appointed Margaret Tackes to a two-year term as half-time principal at Willow Springs Learning Center; and
  • approved a leave of absence during the 2007-08 school year for Maple Avenue second grade teacher Alicia Ide.