After four years of serving the Oconomowoc community, Nature Hill Intermediate School has established itself as a warm and welcoming environment where students excel in academics, the arts and athletics. We serve over 790 students in 5th through 8th grades, who come to us from Meadowview, Ixonia and Greenland Elementary Schools. Additionally, 4th grade students from Ixonia Elementary will be joining us for the 2012-2013 school year. With the rigorous preparation we provide our students in mathematics, language arts, science, social studies, music, visual arts, physical education and technology education, they leave us poised and ready to be successful at Oconomowoc High School and beyond!
The sixty professional educators at Nature Hill believe that all students are capable of reaching high academic expectations when given the care, support and encouragement needed to do so. Our students perform exceptionally well on the annual Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam, with over 90% of all students scoring proficient or advanced in reading and mathematics. We attribute our success to giving students large blocks of time in which to engage with core academic subjects. In addition, students have access to the help they need during daily intervention periods to ensure that every child can succeed.
With the push for academic success comes the need for strong, caring relationships between staff and students. Our teachers continuously go above and beyond the call of duty to meet the social and emotional needs of our students. We offer numerous extracurricular activities, including Robotics, Student Council, Photography and Ski Club, that develop positive connections between our students, our staff and our school.
Nature Hill prides itself on being a leader in instructional technology in Oconomowoc and in the state. Our goal is to leverage the tools available to us to create highly personalized learning environments for all students. This focus has led us down several remarkable pathways. We have adopted several different game-based courses that allow students to learn in new ways. Our older students bring their own mobile devices to connect to the internet, which allows them to pursue their passions and interests in ways previously unimaginable. Utliizing Google Apps for Education, our staff and students are connecting with each other and the outside world to develop deeper understandings of the curriculum. With this flood of innovation, it is truly an exciting time to be at Nature Hill!
New to our language arts curriculum during the 2010-2011 school year was Writer’s Workshop from the Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University. During the 2011-2012 school year, Reader’s Workshop will also be part of the language arts curriculum. The workshop model allows teachers to differentiate literacy instruction so that students write and read at their level and have choice in their learning. Consequently, students are challenged at their appropriate instructional level, engaged, and excited about literacy. With the implementation of Writer’s Workshop, NHI students grew tremendously in the area of writing stamina and writing volume.
The staff, students and families of NHI welcome the opportunities and challenges that a new school year always bring. We look forward to doing great things together!
Mike O'Connor, Principal