October 15, 2007

District AODA efforts boosted
The district’s effort to prevent Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) among students is seeing encouraging trends. Student Assistance Program and AODA Coordinator Kristin Hasbrook presented an annual report to School Board members about district activities and efforts.

Hasbrook noted increases in three areas: networking, students served and funding.

  • Networking among staff members to help students is on the rise. Hasbrook described, for example, working with the police liaison officer and social worker to help a student in trouble. Hasbrook said she also continued relationships with community agencies and other school districts.
  • More students are being served after counselors, the athletic-activities directory, staff and administrators refer them to work with Hasbrook. She provides support to 45 secondary school students on a regular basis, and conducted classes and sessions on topics such as grief, stress, peer mediation, resiliency training and refusal skills.
  • Funding also increased with the help of an additional grant from United Way of Waukesha County which contributed another $7,000 for the Get Connected Program. Get Connected is a network that helps parents as they raise their school-age children. The program provides parents with age-appropriate information, networking with other parents, presentations from professionals, and guidance and support. The additional funding will provide more services for families. Already, Hasbrook conducted seven parent networking sessions.

Two other school districts – Oconomowoc and Mukwonago – have started Get Connected programs using the model developed in Hamilton, according to Hasbrook.

School Board member Mike Hyland, who attended Get Connected parent sessions last year, encouraged other School Board members to attend.

“There is so much to learn,” Hyland said. “You will be really amazed at the sessions.”

Lynn Kristensen, School Board and Get Connected Parent Advisory Committee member, said the program is successfully reaching parents.

“Our numbers are growing, and people really appreciate the programs,” she said.

District holds Chapter 220, Open Enrollment numbers
With an eye on the district’s increasing enrollment and potential space needs, School Board members chose to keep the Chapter 220 and Open Enrollment numbers at current levels.

Chapter 220 is a voluntary integration program that brings Milwaukee Public Schools students to suburban districts. The Open Enrollment Program allows students to attend school in other districts if space allows. The School Board voted to maintain 110 seats for Chapter 220 and 54 seats for Open Enrollment at schools that can handle additional students.

While increasing the numbers could bring additional revenue, the district is cautious about increasing enrollment because some schools are nearing or past intended capacity. An Enrollment Review Committee will meet Oct. 29 to study recent trends and consider options that could alleviate growth in certain areas.

Assistant Superintendent Dean Schultz reported that the district’s enrollment increase by 41 students from last year. Templeton saw an increase of 30 students, Woodside 22 and Willow and Maple each 3. The high school dropped by 13 students and Lannon by 4. Marcy stayed the same.

Schultz noted that while Templeton was up, its enrollment may not be as high in the future because lower grade levels coming up are not as big as those now at Templeton. He said it appears that the district is not growing as fast as it has in the past.

Youth Options requests approved
A total of 28 high school students requested admission to the Youth Options Program that will allow them to take classes at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha and Milwaukee, Waukesha County and Milwaukee area technical colleges and UW Online College. Hamilton Principal Candis Mongan noted, as in the past, many students will not be able to take the courses because of scheduling conflicts or full classes, but the cost is expected to be $10,000 for tuition.

Youth Options is a program mandated by the state that allows students who have completed 10th grade, are in good academic standing and have no disciplinary problems to attend a technical college or university if they have exhausted their high school curriculum.

School Board member Gerald Schmitz said he is concerned that the program has gone too far by requiring school districts to pay for the postsecondary school classes.

“Five years ago we would not have seen some of these classes,” he said. “Some of these classes are important, but should a school district have to pay for it?”

Board election calendar presented
School Board President Gabe Kolesari presented the 2007-08 election schedule. Among the dates are:

  • Jan. 2 – deadline for candidacy declaration and nominations papers;
  • Feb. 19 – primary election if needed;
  • April 1 – spring election; and
  • April 28 – taking of office.

The terms of Lannon representative James Long and at-large member Michael Hyland are up for this year.