High school facilities needs presented
Hamilton High School Principal Candis Mongan and Associate Principal Mark Otto presented information on the classroom space needs of the school. As communities in the Hamilton School District are poised to experience significant residential growth in the next five years, high school enrollment is projected to increase by more than 100 students.
Even though a 10-classroom addition was added to the high school in 2014 to handle previous enrollment increases, not all teachers have designated classrooms and some classes are held in less than ideal circumstances, including:
- Music and applied engineering classes do not have separate classrooms and lab spaces.
- The show choir practices in the school cafeteria where risers must be set up and taken down before and after each practice.
- Teachers must share classrooms. Seven teachers travel to different classrooms each hour with their materials on a cart.
- Standardized testing cannot be accommodated without sending students off site.
A classroom addition at Hamilton High School would address enrollment growth and provide for a learning environment where students can actively engage in the curriculum. The greatest impact would be on instrumental and choral music, Advanced Placement, health, applied engineering and media production. In addition to numerous classrooms, the addition would include two multi-purpose learning spaces used for academic interventions, various music classes, extended learning opportunities, multiple Advanced Placement classes and blended coursework, meeting space and teacher work areas. Groups could effectively use larger spaces for after school events.
In addition, the Applied Engineering and Technology (AET) Department is undergoing change to graduate students with a high level of technical skills and ability, and an understanding the design process. Courses have been revised and new class offerings are being proposed. Current facilities, equipment, technology and space configurations, however, will prevent some of these opportunities from becoming a reality. Potential changes to the space include the following.
- Much of the AET area is original to the school built in 1962. The current design calls for increasing the space and equipment in the graphics lab, allowing for new equipment to be brought in and a shared lab space between multiple classes.
- Additionally, the fabrication, machining, and manufacturing labs will be expanded to add work space and to create a separate, clean, classroom space. Having a separate space where students can work at desks and on computers, completing designs is an integral part of the curriculum and something that is not realistic given the current space.
- The wood shop will be renovated to include a separate, clean classroom space where project design can occur. Updated machines and safety equipment will be utilized to provide a safe and dynamic learning environment for students.
School career opportunities highlighted
Hamilton High School Associate Principal and Extended Learning Opportunities Coordinator Mark Otto presented three items to the School Board.
- The School Board approved continued participation in the Carl Perkins grant consortium offered through CESA #1 which provides the district with $15,091 in grant funding this year. The purpose of the grant is to provide students with academic and technical skills to succeed in a knowledge- and skills-based economy. It supports career and technical education that prepares students for postsecondary education and careers. The consortium provides grant-writing management, interaction with professionals from other districts, exposure to what is occurring at state and national levels and consultation services.
- The district’s Extended Learning Opportunities Program annual report was accepted. The program grew out of the school-to-work initiative that aimed to connect education and employment where 4-year college degrees were not required. Experiences in the program include apprenticeships, mentorships, internships and job shadowing. The program strengthens partnerships with the business community to prepare students for the world of work, regardless of the education or career track they choose.
- Participation in the Waukesha County School-to-Work consortium for 2017-18 was approved. The School-to-Work Consortium provides grant funding that supports co-op, youth apprenticeship, work experience programs and K-12 career-related initiatives. Participation in the consortium is voluntary and provided at no cost to the district.
Summer workshops for teachers approved
Summer workshops for teachers were authorized. The action allows teachers to participate in curriculum and professional development workshops focused on district initiatives. Curriculum and professional development projects will focus on Skyward technology, Hamilton edCamp, middle school mathematics resources, secondary applied engineering and technology, elementary science, social studies, Microsoft Office certification, personal fitness, eduClimber data visualization tool, assessment and grading, disciplinary literacy and new teacher orientation.
Next year’s staff development presented
Instructional Services Supervisor Katie Little, Ph.D., presented the 2017-18 Professional Development Plan as created by a planning team of teachers and administrators. The plan forecasts areas of training in the coming year.
Maple Avenue in the Spotlight
The Maple Avenue Elementary School fifth grade class of Michelle Schultz was in the School Board spotlight. Schultz and Principal Kristin Koeper-Hamblin described Genius Hour activities. Prior to the meeting, the students displayed and talked about their Genius Hour projects. Genius Hour is held once a week and students are allowed to research, design, build and work on projects of their own personal interest. Schultz said it is a way to personalize learning for the students.
Annual Meeting postponed
The School Board moved the Annual Meeting from June 19 to July 17 so that the Wisconsin biennium budget will be approved before presenting the district’s local levy to citizens.
Students recognized for achievements
The School Board recognized various student groups including:
High school DECA state and international competitors Logan Ambrookian, Julia Gahr, Sophia Detweiler, Mackenzie Jene, Maanya Kashyap, Shiva Senthil and Andrew Tai presented by advisor Amanda Fields
High school forensic state competitors Jack Larsen, Jordan Koeller, Emma Stokman, Rachel Betters, Matthew Gnanadass, Emily Keith, Kavya Ayalasomayajula, Emily Bader and Abhijeet Puri as presented by Advisors Barry Holloway and Addie Starett and Athletics-Activities Director Mike Gosz
High school National Merit Scholars Dominic Pino presented by Associate Principal Mark Otto
State History Bowl champions Dominic Pino and Andrew Tai presented by Principal Candis Mongan
Templeton National History Day state competitors Connor Gordon and Isabella Sansone presented by Principal Brad Hoffmann
Board officers elected
The School Board elected officers. School Board members chose Gabe Kolesari as their president, Jennifer Waltz as vice president, Dawn Van Aacken as clerk and Deborah Briggs as treasurer.
In personnel related matters, the School Board:
- accepted the retirement request of Marcy special education teacher Kimberly Stumpf;
- accepted the resignation of Hamilton mathematics teacher Ryan Witt; and
- approved the appointment of Russell Comer as Woodside associate kitchen employee.