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Hamilton Hawks Soar Toward Bright Tomorrows

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Hamilton's television production crew and school staff with Commissioner Horne

At Hamilton Elementary in Seminole County, continuous improvement is the result of a comprehensive approach to creating a learning community. Principal Nan Parker complements a comprehensive research-based curriculum, taught by well-trained faculty and staff, with effective community and family involvement programs. The results are impressive. Since earning a D grade in 1999, student performance has consistently improved. Last year, the school earned a "Bodacious B," and this year the Hawks are aiming for an "Awesome A."

Hamilton offers Seminole County's Magnet Program for Communications through Advanced Technology. At every grade level, students are immersed in a program designed to accelerate their communication skills by providing a strong verbal, written and oral foundation while using technology as an integral tool. During Education Commissioner Horne's recent visit to Hamilton, students demonstrated one way they utilize technology. As the Commissioner read a book from the "Just Read, Florida! for the Holidays" website to a group of first graders, an all student crew, instructed by Communications Specialist Beth Jensen, filmed the reading and broadcasted it live to all the schools classrooms.

One significant component of the Magnet Program is "Success For All", (SFA), a research-based reading program providing all students the opportunity to learn. Students benefit from a daily 90 minute, uninterrupted reading block and the opportunity to be grouped with students at their own reading level and instructed accordingly. In addition, assessments are administered every eight weeks to ensure adequate progress is being made and determine whether additional services are needed.

The instructional programs are enhanced by various family and community involvement initiatives, including "Hamilton Helpers," the school's volunteer program. It was recently recognized by the Florida Department of Education as the number one elementary school parent involvement program in the state.

Additionally, using a 21st Century Grant, Hamilton created a 21st Century Technology Learning Center, (TLC). The TLC enables students, parents, and community members to extend their learning during the school day, evening and weekends. Students are assisted through after-school tutorial help and various enrichment activities. Parents may take advantage of courses offered in Family Management, GED and Basic Education. The TLC also offers family activities and counseling opportunities.

Combining these key strategies and programs, the Hamilton Hawks continue their goal of "soaring toward bright tomorrows."

For more information on Hamilton Elementary, visit www.hamilton.scps.k12.fl.us.