November 4, 2014

AODA measures in place to help families

Student Assistance Program and AODA Coordinator Kristin Hasbrook presented an annual report to School Board members about efforts to keep students from getting involved in alcohol and other drugs. Activities in the past year included providing initial screening and AODA referral services, helping families find appropriate community services and conducting activities in the schools.

Middle and high school activities include individual student support, training of peer trainers for health presentations, guidance lessons about drugs and alcohol, and presentations to students about depression, harassment, bullying and internet safety. Districtwide activities include coordination of Hamilton Connects, a program that features presentations for parents throughout the year. Other support for parents includes conducting Love and Logic classes and individual education, counseling or referral services.

In 2014-15, Hasbrook will focus on continuation of current services and expansion of training to provide effective student crisis intervention and trauma counseling.

High school sees achievement gains

Hamilton High School has one goal that indicates “Students will increase engagement across the disciplines to reach higher levels of achievement, develop readiness to compete in a global society and be prepared for college and career.”  Tactics that will measure progress state that students will strengthen their:

  • autonomy, critical thinking and inquiry skills necessary for postsecondary pursuits; and
  • learning by using disciplinary literacy strategies to comprehend, analyze and evaluate text.

Principal Candis Mongan noted that data reflect growth and accomplishments including:

  • Students in all ethnic categories performed better on the PLAN test than in any other year.
  • The class of 2014 earned a 24.1 composite score on the ACT — matching the highest score in Hamilton’s history.
  • The high school was awarded the Wisconsin Title I School of Recognition Award in 2013-14 for all schools that fall in the top accountability index category on the WKCE state standardized test and earned the highest rating of significantly exceeds expectations again in 2014-15.
  • The school achieved an all-time high score of 1.53 on the Advanced Placement Challenge Index, which is defined as the number of AP exams taken divided by the number of graduates. Successful attainment of the Challenge Index requires a score of 1.0, which the school has exceeded since 2010.
  • The AdvancED Accreditation Commission accepted and approved Hamilton for accreditation based on evidence of the school’s continuous improvement.

Lannon site plan approved

Lannon Elementary School Principal Dick Ladd presented the school’s site plan update. New last year was the collaboration of the district’s four elementary schools around a common district literacy goal which stated, “Using the 2013 MAP scores, each elementary school will increase the percentage of students who meet or exceed their projected growth targets by 5 percent.” Lannon used this shared tactic and added another. The second tactic states, “Students will develop positive social skills and pride in their school.”

Lannon attained the 5 percent increase in MAP scores as indicated in last year’s site plan, and its goal for the coming year, like other elementary schools, is to maintain the progress and increase another 3 percent. Ladd said the school will use some of the same strategies as in the past but will bump it up by looking more closely at MAP data to determine what students need to learn.

Lannon was at or near the top of scores among Waukesha County elementary schools, and it earned the highest rating of significantly exceeds expectation on the state report card.

Personnel actions

In personnel matters, the School Board appointed Jennifer Zarwell as a Templeton Title I paraprofessional effective Nov. 10, Sabrina Black as a Hamilton Health Room paraprofessional effective Nov. 12, Suzanne Geiger as part-time Templeton custodian effective Oct. 24 and Teresa Hopkins as the Willow Springs administrative assistant effective Nov. 17.