November 21, 2005

The single goal of Hamilton High School’s site plan is, “Students will demonstrate higher-level thinking skills across the curriculum.”

The simplicity of the statement belies the challenge of its attainment.

Hamilton Principal David Furrer reported on progress the school has made in its site plan. He provided a summary of department goals as the school has implemented three interventions that include applying a specific problem-solving model, incorporating reading strategies across the curriculum and using Bloom’s taxonomy to elevate the students’ level of thinking.

High school staff members have advanced the site plan through monthly staff development sessions, department meetings, curriculum half-dys and a summer workshop. Furrer said.

Departments are using a rubric known as SMART, which stands for a Specific goal that is Measurable, Attainable, Result-oriented and Time-bound.

Furrer said the staff members are deeply committed to improving student achievement and see the planning process as essential in doing so.

Superintendent Kathleen Cooke agreed. She said it would be difficult to find a high school site plan that is as deep in driving instructional change

Gosz gives athletic, activities report

Hamilton High School students participate in 48 different sports teams and 36 student activities, according to the Co-Curricular Activities Report submitted by Hamilton Athletic and Activities Director Mike Gosz.

Among improvements made in the past year, Gosz noted that the tennis courts were resurfaced, a new baseball fence was installed and the weight room was upgraded.

He recommended that the district:

  • ask the new Facilities Advisory Committee to develop a plan to address athletic facilities needs by the school and community;
  • explore the structure for coaches and advisors when their teams move on to advanced competition;
  • consider implication of random drug testing for students in athletics and activities; and
  • review the pay for event workers who are increasingly difficult to hire.
    Auditor reports district financial statements in good order
    After an audit of financial statements, Virnig & Associates, LLC, concluded that the district conforms with accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S. The report of the independent auditor was presented to the School Board.

Personnel matters

In personnel matters, the School Board:

  • approved the resignation of Hamilton administrative assistant Cynthia LeBlanc; and
  • appointed Maria Schuerman as a Marcy Special Services paraprofessional and Beth Murphy as a Willow Springs replacement teacher in the 4-year-old kindergarten program.