March 21, 2011

Math sequence change, textbooks approved

The rigor of the math curriculum will increase for many students as a result of School Board approval of a new math sequence and textbooks and resources. With the adoption of the state’s Common Core State Standards, greater algebra readiness at the eighth grade is emphasized.

The district has seen improved math achievement in recent years due to Everyday Math adoption, differentiation in the classroom, professional development and early intervention resources. Math program changes for 2011-12 include the following sequences, textbooks and resources:

  • Advanced students: Grade 5 – Everyday Math for Grade 6; Grade 6 – McDougall Littel Course 3 for Grade 7; Grade 7 – Algebra Concepts involving linear concepts; Grade 8 – Algebra Concepts involving abstract concepts; Grade 9 – geometry;
  • Proficient students: Grade 5 – Everyday Math for Grade 5; Grade 6 – McDougall Littel Course 2 Transitions Math; Grade 7 – McDougall Littel Course 3 for Grade 7; Grade 8 – Algebra Concepts involving linear concepts; Grade 9 – Algebra Concepts involving abstract concepts; and
  • Basic students: Grade 5 – Everyday Math for Grade 5; Grade 6 – STAR Math; Grade 7 – STAR Math; Grade 8 – STAR Math; Grade 9 – Algebra A & B.

Total cost for textbooks and resources adoption is $195,203.

Open Enrollment applicants put on waiting list

All 139 students who applied to attend Hamilton schools through the Open Enrollment Program will be placed on a waiting list until the district has a better understanding of class sizes and space availability. The number of students who want to attend Hamilton schools is up by eight students over last year. District officials will hold a lottery and assign each applicant a number that will determine the order of acceptance should seats become available later.

Secondary schools given OK to continue accreditation

The School Board authorized participation in the North Central Accreditation (NCA) process for Templeton Middle School and Hamilton High School for the 2011-12 school year. Educational Services Director John Roubik said the process was rigorous for schools to go through and emphasized use of data for school improvement.

At a cost of $625 for the middle school and $725 for the high school, 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. Three years, ago, NCE changed the name of the evaluation component of its services to AdvancED.

Students get approval for Youth Options Program

The applications of 15 Hamilton students were approved for enrollment in the Youth Options Program for the first semester of 2011-12. 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. Roubik noted that some students who apply to take Youth Option Program courses are not able to follow through on their intentions because of scheduling conflicts or full classes at the colleges they wish to attend. Students often list several courses on their application in case classes are full.

Summer workshops set for staff

A variety of curriculum projects, professional development and technology course offerings will keep staff members busy throughout the summer. School Board members approved a wide range of curriculum projects and professional development opportunities. The budget for the summer work is $47,952.

The high school will have many curriculum projects including developing Advanced Placement physics, applied energy and fabrication and fitness education classes and revising four classes in math, biology, art and communication arts. Middle school staff will revise an environmental science class, and elementary teachers will work on reading benchmarks.

Professional development includes Everyday Math training for elementary teachers, data analysis workshop and differentiating instruction using the four Cs of 21st century learning for middle school staff, data analysis workshop for high school teachers, and leadership training and new teacher-mentor workshop at the district level.

Technology professional development will include sessions on Moodle, Photoshop, SMART Board, Boardmaker Plus, Pixie, Web 2.0 tools, internet safety in teaching and learning, online learning and teaching, Solo 6, Boardmaker Studio and Overdrive Digital Library.

Art students recognized for Scholastic awards

Eight students of Hamilton art teachers Kelly Belot and Ellen Acuff were recognized for their showing at the Scholastic Art Awards. They were Bradley Geers, Gold Key for his photography portfolio; Laura Eichsteadt, Gold Key for photography; Jennifer Potts, Gold Key for photography; Hailee Weber, Gold Key for glass; Skylar Michels, Gold Key for glass; Kathleen Richards, Gold Key for glass; Hanna Lutynski, Silver Key for glass; and Hannah Zielinski, Silver Key for ceramics.

Personnel news

In personnel business, the School Board:

  • Tabled making a decision on approving retirement requests until the April 1 employee submission deadline has passed and all requests are known;
  • Accepted the resignation of high school English Language Learner and French teacher Jaclyn Mauer;
  • Approved the leave of absence for Woodside second grade teacher Brian Siegel contingent on legal counsel opinion stating that the district is protected upon his return; and
  • Appointed Debra Jansen as a Templeton eighth grade replacement teacher.