October 3, 2018

AET Program undergoes changes to meet future workforce demands

As jobs in today’s economy require more complex knowledge and skills than in the past, the Hamilton School District is making its Applied Engineering and Technology (AET) Program more rigorous, engaging and relevant — ensuring that more students have the skills necessary for success in the 21st century workplace.AET-presentation

Hamilton High School Associate Principal and Extended Learning Opportunities Coordinator Mark Otto and AET teacher Joe Premo updated the School Board on proposed changes to the AET curriculum that will get students to think critically, solve problems and be innovators.

Otto reported on a recent meeting with business representatives who provided input on needed skill sets, training facilities and equipment, class offerings and opportunities outside the classroom for students to apply learning in real-world situations.

Updated curriculum will expose a wider spectrum of careers. Rather than giving students a set of plans so that they can create a product, they will be asked to understand the whole design process.

Quad/Graphics employee Sean Krivitz attended the Sept. 19 Business Breakfast and said he was encouraged with what he heard. He said manufacturers increasingly use automation with robots playing a major role on the production floor.

Safety and quality are other areas addressed in the updated curriculum that reflects the needs of today’s businesses. Having students learn about safety and quality is “moving the needle,” Krivitz said. “I am very encouraged to see that is part of the skill set that you are teaching,” he said.

Educational Services reports on priorities

Educational Services administrators John Roubik, Katie Little, Ph.D., and John Peterson updated the School Board on work of the department. They noted that district performance continues to significantly exceed expectations on statewide benchmarks. Many Educational Services initiatives have helped drive the district’s success.

Among accomplishments in 2016-17, Educational Services:

  • Developed, implemented and monitored the district’s strategic tactics in the areas of personalizing and differentiated Instruction, data analysis and progress monitoring;
  • Access to technology and enrollment and space capacity analysis;
  • Developed curriculum for Family and Consumer Services, K-12 Guidance, 6-8 Math and Applied Engineering and Technology;
  • Implemented the district’s new instructional coaching model and literacy interventionist model; and
  • Facilitated vertical teaming initiative and new teacher orientation.

This school year will include many efforts to improve student achievement and professional growth opportunities for staff including:

  • Develop, implement and monitor the district’s strategic priorities for systems of assessment for learning, social and emotional wellness, workforce and organizational wellness, and facility and technology long-term planning;
  • Develop curriculum for Applied Engineering and Technology, Business Education and K-8 Science;
  • Develop programming for a potential new intermediate school for grades 5 and 6;
  • Implement Skyward, a new human resources and business employee database;
  • Design and implement a new professional development series for special education paraprofessionals;
  • Provide follow-up training and monitor consistent use of eduClimber and consider expansion to classroom teachers;
  • Continue to investigate 18-21 year old community-based programming for students with intellectual, daily living and vocational needs;
  • Investigate service delivery models for middle school special education; and
  • Investigate software options for electronic archiving of personnel records.

Curriculum alignment, articulation, vertical teaming report given

Instructional Services Supervisor Katie Little, Ph.D., reported on curriculum alignment, articulation and vertical teaming initiatives in the district. She noted that alignment and articulation are keys to ensuring that curriculum and instruction are sequenced across grades so that learning can progress in a seamless manner as students move from grade to grade and course to course. Alignment and articulation activities occur in a variety of models and formats.

The following areas will be addressed during the 2017-18 school year:

  • The curriculum process will continue identifying essential learning targets and associated student “I can…” statements. Applied Engineering and Technology education, Business Education and K-8 Science will be reviewed this year.
  • A district-wide assessment team has been assembled to lead the implementation of high quality assessment practices.
  • Instructional leaders will continue to act as conduits between grade level and department teachers and administrators to ensure a clear line of communication about curriculum, instruction and organizational content.
  • The district continues to use the Response to Intervention (Rti) model to meet the needs of individual students.

The district is committed to developing and implementing high quality curriculum, learning opportunities and assessments through focused professional learning and collaboration opportunities.

Templeton site plan presented

Templeton Principal Brad Hoffmann presented his school’s site plan.The process used to create the plan was highly reflective and collaborative in nature. Longitudinal and current data was reviewed and analyzed to create a plan that focuses on literacy, math and social-emotional wellness throughout the building.

The Site Plan committee developed the following two tactics:

  • Templeton Middle School staff will research best practice in assessment and developing instructional strategies to increase achievement for all students.
  • Templeton Middle School will research and develop building-wide and classroom-specific strategies to improve student social-emotional wellness.

The planning process allowed the committee to challenge its thinking, look at multiple ways to meet student needs and prepare students to be successful in high school.

Templeton is a high-achieving school and is deeply committed to a continuous improvement process and to aligning the improvement efforts of all staff concluded the report.

Personnel matters

In personnel matters, the School Board approved a supplemental salary compensation adjustment of $500 per teacher (prorated based on full-time equivalency) for the 2017-18 school year. Supplemental salary compensation is not negotiated; it is determined solely at the School Board’s discretion. Base wages are negotiated with the teachers’ union and are limited by state law.

The School Board also approved 2017-18 total aggregate salary compensation increases of:

  • 2.34 percent and benefit adjustments for cooks;
  • 2.5 percent for confidential support staff and administrators;
  • 2.51 percent for custodial and maintenance staff;
  • 2.54 percent for administrative assistants;
  • 3.33 percent for paraprofessionals; and
  • a $1,000 stipend for psychologists who earn their national board certification.

In other personnel business the School Board:

  • approved position adjustments for identified teaching, confidential support, paraprofessional and custodial and maintenance staff as recommended by administration;
  • renewed the contract of Superintendent Paul Mielke, Ph.D., for 2017-19;
  • accepted the resignations of Marcy part-time custodian Jeff Polansky, Maple Avenue paraprofessional Brecken Ashenbrenner and Lannon paraprofessional Sarah DeCraene; and
  • approved parameters 2018-19 calendar planning.