Superintendent’s Report – August 2016
Few things surpass the feeling of anticipation and the promise of the new school year. It is a privilege to share in the excitement of the new staff as they troop into freshly scrubbed buildings bringing their hopes that they will make a real difference in the lives of our students. Our promise to them must be that we will all reach out and support them. Our new staff begin this Friday, August 19th at 8:30 am, with a welcome by the Board and administration followed by three days of training. At 8:30 am next Wednesday we will welcome our returning staff in the HES Cafeteria. Board members are welcome to join us from 8:30-9:15 next Wednesday, August 24th. Our first day for students is scheduled for Tuesday, August 30th. For many staff, the first day is the most exciting day of the year. It is the universal feeling of hope in something new and fresh with limitless possibilities. This cycle of a school year that begins with promise and ends with pride in all that’s been accomplished is one of the reasons that working in the public school system is so wonderfully unique and fulfilling.
The Hinsdale Elementary School Building Improvement Committee has met seven times since our June Board meeting. We have made significant progress in several areas. First, the committee met with area legislators, including Senator Molly Kelly, to advocate for the full funding of the new law related to New Hampshire school building aid. Under the new law the State would pay for 60% of the total school building project cost. So far, it appears that all our current legislators support full funding of the law. We submitted the preliminary building aid application prior to the July 1st deadline. We have another submittal deadline of September 1st for a final application that includes preliminary architectural plans.
The HES Building Improvement Committee met with interested area architects on July 19th. During the meeting representatives from the nine architectural firms present were given a tour of the Hinsdale Elementary School. Eight architectural firms submitted a “statement of qualifications” to the HES Building Improvement Committee prior to August 4th. The HES Building Improvement Committee hopes to share a plan with the community at an October 5th public forum. If the Board decides to propose a building bond article on the Warrant in March of 2017, a super majority affirmative vote would be needed for approval.
The HES Building Improvement Committee members include the following: Sean Leary, Jim O’Malley, James MacDonell, Joe Boggio, Steve Fecto, Deb Carrier, Shawn Lee, Courtney Hodge, April Anderson, Kaylah Hemlow, Tom O’Connor, and Wayne Woolridge.
The HES Building Improvement Committee subcommittees met several times over the summer as well. The members of the subcommittees include the following:
Finance: James MacDonell, Courtney Hodge, Tom O’Connor, Kaylah Hemlow, Sean Leary
Public Relations: April Anderson, Steve Fecto, Courtney Hodge, Kaylah Hemlow, Sean Leary
Curriculum: Deb Carrier, Joe Boggio
Facilities: Shawn Lee, James MacDonell, James O’Malley, Sean Leary, Wayne Woolridge
We are making progress toward writing a grant that would better support our high school students preparing for careers, as well as provide support for adults in town who are unemployed or underemployed. Our Extended Learning Coordinator Karen Thompson and I met with Mollie Kaylor from the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development in Hinsdale on July 6th and we met with Fred Bramante and Mollie Kaylor in Concord on July 12th. We are in the process of creating a budget for a five-year grant. We are hopeful that we can identify planning funds for appropriation beginning on January 1, 2017 with a program start-up date scheduled for July 1, 2017.
As mandated by the new federal Elementary and Secondary School Education Act the Star-Spangled Banner will be sung by school children nationwide on Friday, September 9, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. Students will learn about the words and meaning of the flag and sing the first stanza.
New Hampshire recently passed a law relative to school lunch meal payment policies. The law reads as follows:
“A school lunch meal payment policy which is implemented by a school board either before or after the effective date of this section shall ensure that all students have access to a healthy school lunch, that the school district will make every reasonable effort to inform parents of the policy, and that no student will be subject to different treatment from the standard school lunch meal or school cafeteria procedures. The department of education or the state board of education, upon request of the local school board, may provide communication assistance to school districts and parents of school children regarding the school lunch meal payment policy.”