October 17, 2011

Hamilton launches program to support students who take ACT

Hamilton High School launched an afterschool program to help student prepare for the ACT exam. High school communication arts teachers Dede Paquette and Misty Draeger, science teacher Tim Moeller and mathematics teacher Steve Wunschel meet with students to help them in different content areas.

Hamilton superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., reported to the School Board that the program is open to any student, but invitations were sent to students who did not score as well as expected on the exam based on their abilities. In addition, as part of a plan to help close the achievement gap, students of low socioeconomic, minority or English Language Learning backgrounds were invited to attend.

District holds Chapter 220, Open Enrollment numbers

The number of seats available for students to enroll in the district though the Chapter 220 will remain at 110 students and no new Open Enrollment students are recommended for the 2012-13 school year. The School Board voted to maintain the number of students in the Chapter 220 Program contingent on continued full funding from the state.

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 number of incoming seats has been limited in the past several years because resident student enrollment continue to increase.

Parents will be invited to apply to a waiting list that will be reviewed in early spring.

Youth Options requests approved

A total of 14 high school students requested admission to the Youth Options Program that will allow them potentially to take classes next semester at Waukesha County Technical College, the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha, Wisconsin Lutheran College and Carroll University.

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.

Often, students who have been approved for Youth Options are not able to take the courses because of scheduling conflicts or full classes.

Community members recognized for contributions

School Board members opened their meeting in the Hamilton High School library, and then traveled to the Hamilton Fine Arts Center to recognize community members for contributions to the district. The School Board thanked the family of Gabe Leonard for a large piece of original artwork that now hangs in the HFAC. The piece was created by Gabe – a 1995 Hamilton graduate who died of cancer in 1997 – when he was a Templeton Middle School student. It was created entirely using his thumbprints. Gabe’s mother, sister, brother, sister-in-law and nephew were on hand to see the featured work and accept gratitude from the superintendent and School Board members for the donation.

St. Alban’s Episcopal Church was also recognized for donation of mittens, scarves, socks and school supplies to students. For the past few years, members of the congregation have gathered items as a way to help families in the district. Two members of the congregation accepted the appreciation certificate on behalf of the church.

District has interventions in place to support students

Human Resources and Organizational Development Director John Roubik described interventions in place throughout the district to help students who are not proficient in math or reading on the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam at grades 4,8,10. Interventions by grade level include:

  • High school — Club Success, Advanced Placement Preparatory Seminar, English Language Learner (ELL) support, Introduction to ACT Exam, Senior ACT Survey, Guided Academic Practice (GAP) advisement, GAP college, math advisement, Portable Assisted Study Sequence (PASS), Gearing Up, writing lab, reading resource, Title I services, math tier II advisement, reading tier II advisement;
  • Middle school — Content Mastery, ELL support, Gateway to TMS, invitational summer school – reading and math, promotional summer school, reading resource, Student Training for Academic Responsibility (STAR) math, study center, Success Club, afterschool homework support, individual student achievement plans, supervised afterschool computer lab, guidance weekly academic and goal-setting support, Title I services;
  • Elementary — After and before school tutorial, Early Reading Empowerment (ERE), ERE summer school, Early Mathematics Empowerment, ELL support, invitational summer school – reading and math, Title I services, writing support, leveled literacy intervention, targeted individual and small group learning and practice sessions.

Personnel actions

In personnel matters, the School Board:

  • accepted the retirement request of Hamilton custodian Frederick Krull;
  • modified the contract of Marcy guidance counselor Lori Schlapman from 70 to 80 percent; and
  • appointed Steve Pelzman as Maple part-time cleaner, Richard Piontek as Templeton cleaner and Joshua Peterson as Hamilton cleaner.