May 20, 2002

School Board honors Sheriff’s Department, retiree, student representatives

The Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department was recognized as the district’s Community Service Award recipient. Superintendent Kathleen Cooke thanked officer Mark Nihoris, Captain Terry Martorano and Deputy Inspector Dan Trawicki for the support the department has provided the district and its communities. Crisis management planning, prompt response, mock demonstrations and drills along with the school police liaison program help maintain a safe and secure environment for all students.

Woodside Elementary School kindergarten teacher Alice Fulop was honored for her 23 years in the district with a standing ovation. The School Board presented her with a clock, state proclamation and certificate from the Department of Public Instruction in honor of her retirement in June. Another veteran of the district, Hamilton High School social studies teacher Ken Newman, also will retire this spring. Newman, who taught in the district since 1969, was not able to attend the meeting.

Hamilton students Alison Furrer and Meredith Cochran were given an inscribed pen set for their service as 2001-02 representatives to the School Board. Members thanked them for their attendance and reports at each meeting throughout the school year.

Referendum decision put on hold

An expected decision on whether the district will hold a referendum next fall was put on hold until June. The community Facilities Advisory Committee (FAC) recommended at the May 7 meeting that the Hamilton School Board consider a November referendum for a Marcy Elementary School addition and renovation project, Hamilton High School fine arts performance and classroom addition, and associated operational costs.

Providing options for the scope of the work to be done and detailed cost analysis is underway as administrators work with architects. School Board members are expected to act on the committee’s recommendation next month after they recieve more detailed information on options.

Staffing plan looked at

The recommendations in the 2002-03 staffing plan that has drawn the attention of many Maple Avenue and Marcy elementary school parents remains consistent with those given previously although principals are keeping an eye on five “hot spots” at three elementary schools. Parents have lobbied the School Board for more staff at particular grades because they are concerned about class sizes that exceed 25 students.

The budget has serious limitations of the district’s ability to fund new positions, according to Educational Services and Human Resources Assistant Superintendent Dean Schultz. Full-time equivalency positions are expected to drop by one at the high school and by one-half at the middle school. Elementary staffing will be the same as in 2001-02, and two contigency positions have been put into the budget for unexpected enrollment increases districtwide. Because enrollments fluctuate, Schultz reported that principals will monitor enrollments and finetune staffing assignments later in the summer.

Employment Endorsement to continue — with changes

The Employment Endorsement Program should continue, but changes should be implemented starting in 2003. Extended Learning Opportunities Coordinator Catherine Tillman presented an update on the program’s evaluation that included those findings. Two of the changes are adding new critieria and requiring participation from all work-based learning students — including academic and teacher assistants, and those in co-op, Youth Apprenticeships, work experience, Learning in Action and marketing programs. The program no longer will be used for students to earn a commons pass. Tillman said that while that change many bring the number of students participating down, those who get the endorsement will place a higher value on the program. She also said efforts will be made to communicate and market the program next year.

CESA contract approved

A $198,000 contract for 2002-03 with the Cooperative Educational Services Agency was approved. The contract is similar to the current one except that nursing services are no longer provided because the district is using another option to obtain those. The cooperative provides services such as occupational and physical therapy, alternative and charter at-risk schools and ombudsperson at lower costs than if the district purchased them independently.

Agreement reached with food service employees

A two-year agreement with food service employees was approved that gives assistant cooks and associate kitchen employees a 40-cent hourly raise and a $5 increase in uniform allowance in each of the next two school years. Those with certification will increase their premium pay from 30 cents per hour to 35 cents and then 40 cents per hour in 2002-03 and 2003-04, respectively.
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Personnel matters approved

In personnel matters, the School Board appointed Robert Blessington as Woodside fifth grade teacher, and Jennifer Butscher as a Woodside first grade teacher, effective at the start of the 2002-03 school year.