March 19, 2012

District refinances for savings

For the eighth time since 2001, the Hamilton School Board approved refinancing district debt. This time, the district will save $475,457 by refinancing $5.84 million of debt. BOSC, Inc. came in with the lowest competitive bid at 1.6762 percent.

Robert W. Baird & Co. prepared a “Summary of Savings” for the district that shows nearly $12.6 million in savings through debt refinancing since 2001. Business Services Assistant Superintendent Bryan Ruud said the savings go back to taxpayers. He said the new financing plan will even out payments without extending payments beyond the original maturity date of 2022.

As part of the process to sell bonds, the district was rated as Aa1 by Moody’s Investor Service – the highest possible rating for a district Hamilton’s size. The favorable Moody’s rating resulted in the district’s ability to obtain low interest rates from bidders.

Milwaukee Magazine ranks Hamilton in top 10

Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., reported on the district’s latest recognition for high performance. Milwaukee Magazine rated the district and Hamilton High School in the top 10 in southeastern Wisconsin. Both the high school and district were rated No. 7. The rankings were based on state standardized test score results and college readiness as measured by the ACT and Advanced Placement tests. Cooke noted that among the top 10 school districts, Hamilton had the lowest per-pupil spending. Some districts spent nearly $2,600 more per pupil than Hamilton. She said the statistics reflect the hard work and high quality results of staff members.

Girls can play in hockey co-op

Hamilton girls interested in playing hockey will be able to participate in a co-op team beginning next fall as a result of the School Board approval. Hamilton will join Kettle Moraine, Brookfield Central and East, Menomonee Falls, Milwaukee King, Mukwonago and Waukesha North and West as part of the Eastern Shores Hockey Conference. The program will be family-paid, the same as the boys’ program.

Board re-establishes Open Enrollment waitlist

The School Board acted on an item it took up in October to place all incoming Open Enrollment applicants on a waiting list. The decision was made based on a review of class sizes and enrollment projections. The district had to take the action again because the state Open Enrollment law changed since October.

Participation in programs continues

With School Board action, the district will continue to participate in several long-standing programs including North Central Association accreditation, summer teacher workshops for curriculum and professional development and Cooperative Education Service Agency #1 alternative schools.

15 apply for Youth Options

A total of 15 high school students requested admission to the Youth Options Program that will allow them potentially to take classes next fall at Waukesha County Technical College, the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha and Carroll University.

Youth Options is a program mandated by the state that allows students who have completed 10th grade, are in good academic standing and have no disciplinary problems to attend a technical college or university if they have exhausted their high school curriculum. Often, students who have been approved for Youth Options are not able to take the courses because of scheduling conflicts or full classes.

Art students recognized

High school art students who earned 15 awards in the 2012 Scholastic Art Awards were recognized for their success in the statewide contest. Students who earned awards were: Maya Pechenov, Gold Keys for printmaking and design (cut paper self-portrait); Erica Jakubic, Gold Key for ceramics and glass; Rebecca Mulkey, Gold Key for ceramics and glass; Kendall Taivalkoski, Gold Key for design (stained glass panel); Grace Thompson,  Gold Key for ceramics and glass; Amy Zoulek, Gold Key for glass; Jordan Kind, Silver Key for painting; Rachel Merkel, Silver Key for ceramics and glass; Amanda Frey-Klug, Honorable Mention for digital photograph; Samantha Hennecke, Honorable Mention for ceramics and glass; Shelbey Keel, Honorable Mention for ceramics and glass; Maxine Mueller, Honorable Mention for ceramics and glass; Alyssa Norton, Honorable Mention for digital photograph; and Joseph Rosewicz, Honorable Mention for printmaking

ScholasticArtWinners

Personnel

In personnel business, the School Board:

  • approved Hamilton High School technology education teacher Ryan Little as the district’s Buildings and Grounds assistant manager, effective July 1;
  • appointed Murrene Payton, Daniel Tackes and Steve Akin as summer school assistant coordinators for 2012; and
  • changed the name of “elementary writing technology teachers” to “elementary technology integration resource teachers” to better reflect their roles in integrating technology in all areas of the curriculum.