September 5, 2006

School Board evaluates internal operations
Elected officials often evaluate the performance of people in the organizations they represent. The Hamilton School Board annually takes a critical look at their own performance as leaders. Overall, School Board members said they were satisfied with the collective role they play, but pointed to others who supported the direction that they establish.

“The work of the board is one small piece,” Deborah Briggs said. “The thing we do best is hire well. I credit the staff for doing the job that we all want done.”

Citing the district’s recent all-time high score on the ACT college entrance exam, Mike Hyland said the School Board set the expectation for having more competitive test scores in Waukesha County and then allowed school staff to work on that goal.

“We have discussions and make our decisions, but we do not micromanage or second guess,” Hyland said. “We step aside.”

Using the strategic planning process and staying focused on those goals has helped the School Board make sound decisions, Gerald Schmitz said.

New to the School Board this year, Lynn Kristensen noted a cooperative, respectful attitude as she was at various schools on the first day of school.

“I am pleased with the mutual respect between board members, administrators, teachers and students,” she said. “I am amazed at the caliber of people who are teaching our children.”

Staff members involved in summer workshops
Instructional Services Supervisor Dee Bauman, Ph.D., reported on the summer workshops. She said she was grateful for the extended time in summer for teachers to participate in curriculum and staff development opportunities. Some 200 teachers worked on curriculum projects during the summer or were involved in staff development offerings – many of them participating in more than one activity.

Curriculum work included: revision of the K-12 social studies and guidance curriculum; Everyday Mathematics assessment development; Project Lead the Way and English Language Learners program development; sixth grade literacy block planning; Writers’ Workshop planning; middle school enriched communication arts and health, and 10th grade communication arts curriculum updates; elementary and middle school instructional technology articulation; Woodside and Maple Avenue writing initiatives; Maple Avenue content reading initiative; Woodside looping classroom planning; and Willow Springs mathematics and literacy initiatives.

Professional development workshops focused on Everyday Mathematics, writing instruction, data interpretation, professional development plan reviewer, Learning Environment Reviews, Responsive Classrooms, mentor-new teachers, Project Lead the Way, reading benchmark assessments, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, technology and Special Education.

The cost for the summer training was $27,053.

One early admission granted
Special Services Supervisor Mardi Freeman reported that all six children whose parents requested early admission to 5-year-old kindergarten were screened last year and one was granted early admission. One request for early admission to first grade was made, and based on screening, the child was not recommended for early admission.

The district’s policy states that children must be four, five or six years old on or before Sept. 1 of the year they attend school to be admitted to 4K, 5K or first grade, respectively. The early admission policy allows parents to request early admission to 5K and first grade. School staff members base their approval or denial of an early admission request on results from academic, social, physical and emotional development screening.

Personnel issues decided
In personnel business, the School Board:

  • accepted the resignations of Maple Avenue Special Services paraprofessional Maria Schuerman and Woodside clerical paraprofessional Laura Vitale;
  • appointed Shirley Hall as a Marcy Special Services paraprofessional , Tracey Webster as the Public Information Office administrative assistant; Kristin Truelove as the Woodside replacement speech and language specialist, Katie Wissing as the Woodside Special Services paraprofessional, Laura DeStefanis as the Hamilton Fitness Center supervisor, Jeffrey Boyke as the Hamilton science replacement teacher, Janet Garbe as the Maple Avenue clerical paraprofessional, Amanda Lindstedt as the Marcy second grade replacement teacher, Sara Doyle a the Templeton Title I paraprofessional and Diane Peterson as the Templeton Special Services paraprofessional;
  • modified the contract of Maple Avenue and Marcy physical education teacher Jennifer Reuter from 75 to 90 percent.