September 6, 2011

Hamilton to join districts for curriculum collaboration

Hamilton will join with 12 other southeastern Wisconsin school districts to coordinate curriculum review efforts. Instructional Services Supervisor Katie Little, Ph.D., reported on plans for school districts to share a common curriculum process and cycle. The intent of the collaboration would to streamline the work of curriculum and instruction, but not to adopt a common curriculum. Districts would continue to develop learning targets that align with their own strategic plans and learning objectives.

The advantage would allow districts to possibly pool knowledge, resources, purchasing strength and professional development. School districts that are interested in the collaboration are Elmbrook, Franklin, Grafton, Greendale, Mequon-Thiensville, Mukwonago, South Milwaukee, Oak Creek, Oconomowoc, Pewaukee, St. Francis and Whitefish Bay.

The group plans to begin the initiative with the social studies curriculum in July 2012. Involvement in the project requires Hamilton to switch its social studies curriculum revision from 2011-12 to 2012-13, and reading-learning strategies revision from 2012-13 to 2011-12

Five goals set for district

The School Board approved five broad goals that it and the superintendent will focus on in the 2011-12 school year. The goals were created based on formal conversations Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., had with School Board members during the summer. They are:

  • Develop resources and implement strategies and initiatives to enhance student achievement;
  • Update the district’s Strategic Plan;
  • Monitor status of Wisconsin’s public education funding and prepare 2012-13 district budget;
  • Monitor district enrollments and community growth;
  • Implement staff handbook; and
  • Update School Board policies and position descriptions.

Technology services makes another year of progress

Technology updates, upgrades and implementations have kept the district’s Information Technology Services team busy in the past year. Information Technology Manager Ryan McMillan provided a written report to the School Board. He outlined significant initiatives of the department, which include:

  • The second phase of the network infrastructure upgrade that saw network switch replacement at Hamilton and Templeton, wireless access added to cover 85 percent of Hamilton and nearly all of Templeton and common areas in elementary schools;
  • Other network initiatives such as fiber optic installation at elementary schools and Willow Springs to provide more bandwidth, more storage for staff and student data, summer school server and storage addition for online registration, upgraded firewall and active directory environment upgrade;
  • Software deployment of Microsoft Windows 7 deployed to most computer labs, Mac Snow Leopard deployment, Microtype 5 upgrade at high school, Every Math installation in elementary math rooms and Infinite Pre-Algebra at Templeton and Hamilton;
  • Project Lead the Way computer lab software updates;
  • Installation of more than 70 SMART boards;
  • Replacement of nearly 300 desktop and laptop computers as part of the district’s five-year rotation cycle; and
  • Fielding of more than 4,000 HelpDesk trouble tickets.

 One student admitted into kindergarten early

One student was admitted early into kindergarten for 5-year-olds last year, according to a report presented by Special Services Supervisor Mardi Freeman. District policy indicates children must be four, five or six years old by Sept. 1 to enter four-year-old kindergarten, regular kindergarten or first grade, respectively. While procedures exist for early admission to regular kindergarten and first grade, no early admission is granted for four-year-old kindergarten.

Student artist recognized

In other business, Hamilton junior Natalie Semrad was recognized for selection of her 3-D artwork for the Hamilton Fine Arts Center.

Personnel business

In personnel matters, the School Board:

  • accepted the resignations Maple Avenue fifth grade teacher Stephanie Obermyer, Maple Avenue paraprofessionals Alicia Ide and Lisa Dardich, Hamilton administrative assistant Kirsten Ellsworth and Marcy paraprofessional Ann Myrold;
  • appointed Charise Dawson as a half-time Hamilton communication arts teacher, Julie Corbin as a part-time Templeton paraprofessional, Christina White as a part-time Lannon Early Reading Empowerment (ERE) teacher, DeMaris Gill as a part-time Maple ERE teacher, Kristen Lee as a Maple fifth grade replacement teacher, Angela Nolan as a part-time Woodside ERE teacher, Phillip Losey as a Templeton part-time Spanish replacement teacher, Andrea Diedrick as a Hamilton cleaner and Linda Hake as the part-time Woodside associate principal;
  • modified the contract of Hamilton communication arts teacher Misty Draeger from 50 to 83 percent.