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May Superintendent Report

Superintendent’s Report – May 2017

We continue to make progress toward our annual Board goals.

2016-2017 Hinsdale School Board Goals

Goal 1: Related school, district, and/or SAU goal(s)

• Ensure that all students receive guidance regarding post-secondary education or career options.
• Provide students with educational opportunities and learning based upon the student’s unique needs, interests and learning styles.
• Maintain continuity in instruction between the school buildings
• Set up an end of year review with the new curriculum coordinator.

Thanks to our staff, parents, and our students, more than 93% of the members of our senior class have been admitted to college for 2018-19. Given the comprehensive nature of our high school, small class sizes, and our extended learning opportunity program, graduating Hinsdale students should be better prepared for college and career than most graduating seniors in our area and across the United States.

We are working hard to personalize learning for every student in Hinsdale School District; their voices are leading the way along their own pathway, and they are connected with learning opportunities outside the walls of the classroom in business and industry placements that align with their interest and passion. Currently, over 50% of Hinsdale juniors and seniors have taken advantage of a personalized extended learning opportunity.

We are continuing to work on the coordination of our curriculum between buildings. Recently Hinsdale Middle and High School math teachers met with elementary teachers to talk about the math programs being considered for our elementary students. Soon after that meeting the elementary teachers selected the “Bridges” program. We believe the changes we are making in math instruction will improve math competencies among our students.
We are also working to improve the continuity of instruction between our school buildings in the areas of music, writing, and technology.

Goal 2: Related school, district, and/or SAU goal(s)

Communication
o Maintain communication to promote a collaborative relationship with the community through a continued commitment to holding regular community forums and maintaining a presence in other committees, boards and community events in town.
o Improve relationships with town governing bodies

One successful example of our effort to create a collaborative relationship with the community is the 93% affirmative bond vote which occurred at our 2017 District Meeting. In addition, the District operating budget was approved by the Budget Committee and the District voters by a wide margin.

Goal 3: Related school, district, and/or SAU goal(s)

• Promote an atmosphere that supports a forward-thinking, professional learning community.
• Support and promote anti-bullying practices and ensure policies are being followed.
• Superintendent will spot check the bullying logs and report regularly to the board.

I have reviewed the major components of the Professional Learning Community model with all teachers and emphasized the value of using PLC’s to accomplish our district goals.

District staff have worked hard to create structures that will reduce the likelihood that bullying occurs in our schools. Most notably the implementation this year of our new social emotional curriculum should result in a reduction of incidents of bullying in our schools.

We have had no reports of bullying since our April Board meeting.

Goal 4:

• Support initiatives to recruit and retain professional, high-quality staff that are innovative, dynamic and dedicated to the success of all students.

Passing the bond article and the operating budget, each with a strong majority, should help convince our staff that our community appreciates their work. Hopefully, that demonstration of appreciation will result in increased staff retention.

We have improved our search process. For example, we have dedicated the first meeting of each search committee solely to the purpose of prioritizing the desired attributes we think are needed to best serve our students.

In addition, we have advertised a month earlier than usual regarding our anticipated openings for the 2017/2018 school year. Our goal is to be completely staffed for the 2017-2018 school year by mid-June.

Goal 5:

• Search for ways to conduct business in the most efficient and effective manner
• Work with the Administration to proactively monitor the fund balance
• Annual review of eligibility for the free lunch program under the federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.
• Maintain ongoing communication with the Budget Committee regarding any potential changes in funding.
• Receive detailed backup information for the budget.
• Warrant article to rebuild the maintenance fund.

We have improved our effectiveness and efficiency in several ways. For example, we now use a smart board to illustrate in real time all the minutes taken at our administrative meetings.

We now update the Board each month concerning the status of our fund balance and until recently have updated the Board each month concerning the percentage of our students qualifying for free or reduced lunch.

We have had solid support from our Budget Committee. I met with them several times during the budget process.

Each cost center manager is responsible to maintain detailed backup information concerning their budget requests. This information is available for the Board if asked.

The Board agreed to pass over the article to rebuild the Maintenance Reserve Fund as a result of the approval of the bond article to add to the first floor of our elementary school.

Goal 6:

• Continue to review security audit information and move forward, in a fiscally responsible manner, to ensure our buildings are secure and our students are safe.

We are moving forward in regards to safety enhancements that were recommended in our Safety Audit report in May of 2016. We have enhanced security in both entry ways into our schools, and are planning an evacuation drill that includes reunification with parents/guardians. In addition our building administrators are working with our SRO to refine our quick response capability.
Goal 7:

• Align the district budget to support the 5-year plan recommended by the Hinsdale District Technology Committee.

We included the related costs in the 2017-2018 operating budget associated with the implementation of the first year of the District Technology Plan. As recommended, in the first year of the plan we will purchase a computer for each incoming fifth grade student and each incoming ninth grade student. We have dedicated needed professional development for the staff involved in the direct instruction of fifth and nine grade students. In addition to helping our fifth grade and ninth grade students become familiar with computer based learning we hope to use the technology to better integrate our curriculum helping our students create deeper learning and improving the efficiency of the learning process. Once the plan is fully implemented, all our students in grades 5-12 will have a personal computer, central to the process of learning in Hinsdale.

Superintendent’s Report-March, 2017

We continue to make progress toward our annual Board goals.

2016-2017 Hinsdale School Board Goals

1. Curriculum and Instruction
• Ensure that all students receive guidance regarding post-secondary education or career options.
• Provide students with educational opportunities and learning based upon the student’s unique needs, interests and learning styles.
• Maintain continuity in instruction between the school buildings
• Set up an end of year review with the new curriculum coordinator.

Our ELO program continues to gain attention from State education leaders. Most recently our new Commissioner, Frank Edelblut, praised the relationship Hinsdale School District has with our business community. Approximately 120 area businesses work with us through our ELO coordinator, Karen Thompson.

New Hampshire was recently awarded an extension of its 2015 Waiver from the U.S. Department of Education to pilot a competency based accountability designed to support deeper learning for students. Officials from the New Hampshire Department of Education plan to visit Hinsdale soon to talk to us about our success.

We are continuing to work on the coordination of our curriculum between buildings. Recently HMHS teachers met with elementary teachers to talk about the math programs being considered for our elementary students.

Our new curriculum coordinator is preparing a presentation for the Board meeting scheduled for May 10th.

2. Communication
• Internal
o Periodic school board tours of all school buildings
o Work with Administration to maintain the momentum from the community forums, current social media presence and other initiatives
• External
o Maintain communication to promote a collaborative relationship with the community through a continued commitment to holding regular community forums and maintaining a presence in other committees, boards and community events in town.
o Improve relationships with town governing bodies

The Hinsdale Building Improvement Committee intends to offer another public forum on March 11th, at 10:00 am in the town hall, prior to the Bond vote scheduled to occur at the District meeting on March 18th, at 9:00 am.
Since our February Board meeting I have shared our message concerning our building addition needs with the HES staff and with the HMHS staff. I also spoke to the Hinsdale Lions’ Club, the HES PTA, Meals on Wheels, the PTSA, and helped answer questions at our the Hinsdale Beautification Committee’s chili cook off. I also testified before the New Hampshire Senate Education Committee concerning the importance of lifting the moratorium on school building aid. The Governors’ office is currently looking into our request and the information I have received from his office leads me to believe that the appropriate funding needed for the HES proposed project will be available on or before July 1, 2017 if the District voters approve the bond article by a 2/3rds affirmative vote.
On the evening of March 6th my wife and I will teach “Smile” to our Hinsdale 4th and 5th grade parent/child book club. “Smile” is the story of a girl who discovers her artistic voice, finds out what true friendship really means, and where she can finally smile.
In an effort to strengthen community outreach I attended the Girls’ Varsity basketball playoff game on February 17th.

3. Culture
• Promote an atmosphere that supports a forward-thinking, professional learning community.
• Support and promote anti-bullying practices and ensure policies are being followed.
• Superintendent will spot check the bullying logs and report regularly to the board.

We continue to use our faculty meetings and our professional development time to work in our professional learning communities. Currently we are focusing on two areas. The first is in the use of existing data to better individualize instruction. We are also looking at our curriculum alignment between the buildings, especially as it relates to our social curriculum. HES staff are also working hard in an effort to improve math instruction. HMHS staff are working hard to improve their student accountability measures.
Since our last Board meeting we have had one case of alleged bullying.

4. Personnel
• Support initiatives to recruit and retain professional, high-quality staff that are innovative, dynamic and dedicated to the success of all students.

We intend to make every effort to get contracts to our HSD professional staff by April 10th with the understanding that each recipient of a contract sign his or her contract and return it to the director of Human Resources by April 15th. As a consequence of the April 15th deadline we anticipate increasing the size of the pool for the positions open for the 2017-2018 school year because we should be able to advertise for openings earlier, while the pool of candidates is at its deepest.

5. Financial
• Search for ways to conduct business in the most efficient and effective manner
• Work with the Administration to proactively monitor the fund balance
• Annual review of eligibility for the free lunch program under the federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.
• Maintain ongoing communication with the Budget Committee regarding any potential changes in funding.
• Receive detailed backup information for the budget.
• Warrant article to rebuild the maintenance fund.

We continue to closely monitor our fund balance and at this time anticipate a significant surplus.
We are working with our State Senator and State Representatives to increase state revenues for Hinsdale. There are several bills that seem to have some traction and would significantly add to our anticipated revenue. The most significant funding source is the approximately $2,100,000 that the district would receive in the form of state building aid or in the form of a revitalization grant to be used to support our HES renovation/addition project.
Other significant funding State funding possibilities include a bill that would add about $1,800 annually for each of our kindergarten students. Currently we have 58 students in kindergarten. At present we receive from the State about $3,600 per student in grades 1-12 and $1,800 per student in kindergarten. Another bill would add about $100,000 annually to our revenue by increasing the State contribution to teacher retirement to 15% from zero. For decades the State funded teacher retirement at 40%. Currently the District and the employees make up the State share of retirement costs.

6. Security
• Continue to review security audit information and move forward, in a fiscally responsible manner, to ensure our buildings are secure and our students are safe.

Since our February Board meeting we worked to enhance safety at both the administrative team meeting and at the central office team meeting. Principals and Officer Marcello are meeting on March 29th to work through a table top drill. We plan to use the same format on the afternoon of May 26th with all our HSD staff. The HES principal, the HMHS assistant principal, and Officer Marcello have been meeting regularly to review our current safety plan as well as clarifying our incident command structure.

7. Technology
• Align the district budget to support the 5-year plan recommended by the Hinsdale District Technology Committee.

We intend to offer several technology related workshops to our staff on the morning of our May 26th workshop day. These workshops will help our staff be better prepared to succeed with the implementation of the first year of our five-year technology plan.