November 7, 2000

Recognizing the potential value of a community center for residents and students, Hamilton School Board members clarified the role the school district could legally take if asked to participate in the Village of Sussex’s plan to create a community center.

The Village of Sussex convened a task force to study building a community center. School Board Member Jennifer Klett, Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D. and Hamilton High School Principal David Furrer have participated in the task force’s initial discussions. The task force is looking for official partners to share in the development and operations of the center.

The board approved a resolution that stipulated the following:

  • The community center would be located on Hamilton School District property.
  • All residents from communities that comprise the district would need to have equal access and an equal fee structure for community center activities and participation.
  • The budget that supports district programs and services for students would not be reduced to take on new expenses to operate a community center.
  • Specific parameters of any legal community center partnership must be agreed upon by the parties involved.
  • The resolution does not address all possible issues and the board reserves the right to modify or address parameters as necessary.

Board members amended the first stipulation that originally identified the center should be located within the school district, but not specifically on school district property. Several School Board members initially opposed the amendment for fear that it would take the district out of consideration as a partner.

School Board Member Gabe Kolesari, who proposed the amendment, asked if the district could legally enter into a partnership to create a community center if it were not built on school district property.

Cooke said unless the space were rented, the answer is probably not.

“So if the center is not built on school property what kind of a partner can we be?” Kolesari asked. “I don’t want to put out any false pretenses about how we can be involved. It is better to state it up front.”

Kolesari’s amendment passed with Klett and Mike Hyland voting against it. The resolution with the amendment passed unanimously.

Teachers describe how GT needs are met

Resource teachers from Spectrum, the district’s gifted and talented program, provided an annual report about how the needs of high achieving, talented and gifted students were met. Deb Zaeske, who works with elementary students, Sherry Malmon, who is at the middle school, and Jill Matarrese, who coordinates high school services, described the program.

Most identified students are considered high achievers and about 40 percent are considered talented and intellectually gifted students. Programming ranges from extension and enrichment in the classroom to pull-togethers, curriculum compacting and cluster grouping.

When asked by School Board members what they could do to support the Spectrum Program, the teachers identified training of staff to teach Advanced Placement courses, clerical support for the paperwork, approval of a proposal to offer a high school honors program and additional Spectrum staff for the elementary level.

Board designates open seats for Chapter 220, Open Enrollment

The board approved maintaining 95 district slots for Chapter 220 requests and 20 Open Enrollment slots. The Open Enrollment slots break down to: Maple Avenue, one each in grades 1-5; Lannon, two each in grades 3-5; Marcy, two at grade 3; Woodside, two at grade 4; and Hamilton, five in grades undefined. No openings are available at Templeton Middle School or Willow Springs Learning Center.

Parents request additional band staffing

During the citizen comment portion of the meeting, parents Joseph Jones and Janet Paterson asked the board to consider additional funding for the high school band program. School Board members asked administrators to report on possible options for increased music staffing at a future meeting.

In personnel business, the board approved the appointment of Maple Avenue Elementary School teacher aide Pamela Jajtner for two hours per day.