March 7, 2006

Mathematics intervention teachers present

Hamilton School District’s Early Mathematics Empowerment (EME) program may be one of the first of its kind outside of New Zealand. Four part-time teachers who provide mathematics intervention services described strategies they use in working with 119 students in kindergarten and first and second grade.

EME teachers Charlotte Coe, Robyn Hassani, Nancy Lorenz and Donna Uselmann talked to School Board members about the program that was conceived based on the district’s highly successful Early Reading Empowerment program implemented more than a decade ago.

The district looked at promising research from the National Research Council and researchers who followed reading intervention programs. They found that early intervention with students who struggle with mathematic concepts leads to proficiency during elementary school years.

Working without a model in the states, the district implemented a program that provides students with four to 12 weeks of additional mathematics instruction. The program has evolved since last year when Lorenz was the first teacher hired to work at Lannon Elementary School. This year, all the district’s elementary schools have a part-time position in place to screen students and provide services.

The teachers say they provide students with strategies and the confidence to bring them success in mathematics.

When students reach a level of understanding, they exit the program. So far, 24 students have exited the program. Students who have received EME services will be monitored using standardized and local assessments to measure their long-term mathematics progress after they leave the program.

Staff members from other school districts have called on the teachers to learn how the district offers services to students. While the home-grown program seems to be working well in Hamilton, Lorenz said it involves more than just purchasing a packaged program.

School Board members complimented the teachers on their work and said they will be interested in seeing the long-term impact for students.

Year-end projects approved

School Board members gave the Buildings and Grounds Department approval to go ahead with projects using year-end funds. A total of $1.6 million in projects was approved, but not all the projects will be undertaken

Buildings and Grounds staff members will accomplish projects based on year-end funds available in the 2005-06 budget. Among the more significant projects is remodeling of the high school library, window replacements, bleacher additions and band uniform replacements.

Athletic co-op participation approved

Hamilton High School boys will continue to participate in swimming and hockey programs, thanks to School Board approval of two co-op programs. The Swim Program is offered at Menomonee Falls High School, and includes Germantown High School this year for the first time. Germantown previously had a Swim Team, but filled in its pool because it could not afford to operate it and a referendum that would have addressed the operational costs failed. The hockey program is a cooperative with Menomonee Falls, Germantown and Slinger. The program is 100-percent funded with student fees.

Falls/Sussex Youth Leadership planners recognized

Members of the Falls/Sussex Youth Leadership planning committee were recognized for their work in providing leadership development opportunities for students at Menomonee Falls and Hamilton high schools. The committee members who were recognized at the meeting were David Johnson, Sheri Pellechia, Christine Burdick and Drew Dittrich. Those who were not able to attend were Keith Marty, Alex Taylor, Mary Ann Noshay and Beth Harwood.

Personnel news

In personnel business, the School Board:

  • approved the resignation of Marcy Special Services paraprofessional Nancy Ruiz;
  • changed the contract of Templeton paraprofessional Jane Gutmann from 6 to 7.5 hours per day; and
  • issued nonrenewal notices to 13 staff members. Most of the letters go to staff members who were issued replacement contracts because they were hired past the date when regular contracts are issued