All posts by Wayne Woolridge

Superintendent’s Report for April 2022

Superintendent’s Report – April 2022

Information on our COVID-19 Dashboard includes the total cases of identified COVID-19 in our School District each month since the beginning of the school year and the number of active cases by school in our District. Since the beginning of the school year we have had 217 known cases of COVID-19 in the District, 121 cases have been at Hinsdale Elementary School and 96 cases have been at Hinsdale Middle/High School. As of April 24thth we had no active cases of COVID-19 reported among students or staff in the Hinsdale School District for 26 consecutive days. The majority of positive cases in the Hinsdale School District this school year occurred in January.

The School Board’s recommend budget for the 2022/2023 school year of $15,886,288 was approved by the District voters at the Hinsdale School District meeting on Saturday, March 12th.  The majority of the $15,886,288 will come from state and federal grants with about $7,677,559 to be raised by local taxes. At the same meeting a three-year teacher contract was approved by the District voters. In addition, the District voters approved spending up to $85,000 to replace the bleachers in our Hinsdale Middle/High School gym.

The New Hampshire Legislature is likely to approve some measure of two bills that would reduce the costs to our local Hinsdale taxpayers for the 2022/2023 school year.  A bill passed the House, 186 in favor to 159 opposed, that would pay 7.5% of our School District retirement obligation. Currently, the District pays 21% of salary into the retirement fund for teachers and 14% for other retirement eligible staff.  If passed by the joint legislature the bill would reduce to District’s retirement contribution by an estimated $400,000 annually. In addition, Senate Bill 420 passed the Senate 17-1 and if passed as written by the joint legislature would add about $120,000 to our state adequacy funding for the 2022/2023 school year.

We continue to fund approved activities through our three federal ESSER grants. We continue welcome public input regarding potential expenditures related to any of our three ESSER grants. At the April 13th Hinsdale School Board meeting we recommended new ESSER spending for the 2022/2023 school year.  We also outlined the savings of $136,190 from previously Board approved “up to” amounts for ESSER III activities.

The requests for additional ESSER III grant funding for the 2022/2023 school year spending included the following: $158,000 for salaries and benefits to continue the employment of two full-time substitute teachers, one at HES and one at HMHS through the 2022/2023 school year. $33,000 to continue to pay substitute teachers an additional $35 per day through the 2022/2023 school year. $1,200 to pay for step increases for next year for current ESSER III grant funded teachers. $260 for a step increase for next year for the HES reading coach. $300 for a step increase for next year for the HES reading interventionist. $5,400 for reading skills training for three special education case managers, two are at HES and one is at HMHS. $700 for 2022/2023 Keene State College course books. $1,246.60 to cover New Hampshire Dance Institute for the remainder of the 2021/2022 school year at HES and $9,650.00 to cover NHDI for the 2022/2023 school year at HES. $24,000 to cover summer school at Hinsdale Elementary School. $9,650 to cover field trips for the remainder of the school year at HES. $4,455 to cover labor and materials to relocate a fire alarm in room 150 (our ESSER III funded behavior support room at HES). $42,000 to cover additional catch-up enrollment at the career center. $16,500 to cover summer school at Hinsdale Middle/High School. $4,400 to cover dental insurance for Interventionists positions. $40,000 for an HVAC system at HES to improve air filtration. $13,658 for an HVAC automation upgrade. $17,224 to cover the COVID custodian position for the 2022/2023 school year. $12,000 for after school catch-up learning transportation. $9,750 for an admin assistant stipend to help manage ESSER grants and a reduction of $10,000 to reduce previously approved ESSER grant manager expenses for 2022/23 and 2023/2024.

To date our allocation for our ESSER III grant (American Rescue Plan) is $1,929,462.25. We have until 9/30/24 to expend these funds.  Any funds remaining after 9/30/2024 will be sent back to the state to be distributed to other districts. Our previously approved ESSER III allocation includes funds for library books and books for students to take home, a school district network upgrade, a social emotional learning program for the middle/high school and related stipends for teachers to become trained, after school tutoring and after school bus transportation, NH Dance Institute Residency program, job embedded professional development – teachers will be released for this while students work with contracted service provider on social emotional learning, a graduate curriculum and leadership program through Keene State College. In addition, we have hired a middle/high school math interventionist and a middle/high school literacy interventionist, a part-time literacy coach at Hinsdale Elementary School, behavioral services support program, funds to support an ESSER III grant manager and funds for an ESSER III grant accountant. We intend to add the expense of two printers into the grant. We hope to add expenses related to an SEL out-of-district placement that is a result of the pandemic. We also hope to add expenses related to rapid COVID-19 tests, and expenses related to hiring a substitute nurse.  We have spent about one-third of our ESSER III allocation of $1,929,462.25.

We have a total allocation of $858,280.07 for our ESSER II grant (American Recovery Plan). These grant funds must be spent by 9/30/23 or the remaining funds will be distributed to other districts in the state. Our approved ESSER II expenses include the following: cleaning supplies, portable storage units, professional development with New Hampshire Learning Initiative, grant management, stipends for summer professional development, a social worker assistant, an increase in pay for substitutes, one full time substitute in each building, funds to offset Covid-19 related substitute costs, a COVID custodian, summer school staffing, copiers, Keys to Literacy training and coaching, laptops, smartboards, document cameras, offsite backup, general supplies, special education compensatory education staffing, a Life Skills Program paraprofessional, and out-of-district special education tuition and transportation. To date we have spent about 70% of our ESSER II allocation of $858.280.07.

Our ESSER I grant (CARES Act) of $188,678.75 needs to be expended by September 30, 2022. To date we have expended funds from ESSER I for the following items: books to support remote learning, supplies to minimize spread of pathogens, storage for excess furniture, special education transportation, special education purchased services, and special education staff time, out of district special education tuition, substitute teachers, social worker assistant at HES, laptops for students and staff, increased internet bandwidth, webcams and related wiring. We have approximately $2,000 remaining in ESSER I.

2021-2022 District Goals

  1. Curriculum and Instruction

 The team leader is our Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, Karen Thompson. Team members include our HMHS Principal, our HES Principal, our Director of Student Services and our HES Special Education Coordinator.

 Our Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment is working with our teachers and administrators to interpret the recent assessment data in order to better develop an effective action plan for improvement. She used the March 14th professional development day to further this effort.  She will continue to share her recommendations for improvement in the coming months. Our Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment is planning our May 27th workshop day to build on our staff professional development.

Our student ELO Exhibition Day is scheduled for May 26th. Last week WMUR ran a story that included an interview with Dan Tetreault, who is the Hinsdale ELO student who raised the funding, and built, our new baseball/softball dugouts. The dedication of the new dugouts will occur during the May 26th Exhibition Day.

Establish continuity and collaboration in instruction between the school buildings. 

We have established a transition team that includes 5th grade teachers and middle school teachers. The team intends to meet 2-3 times a year. 

Ensure all staff has access to pertinent trainings.

Our Professional Development Master Plan is due this year and our CIA Director is in the process of leading the effort of our staff development committee to accomplish this state mandate.

PACE-All grade levels will move towards performance assessment and enhanced personalized learning.

 We are using grant funds to contract with New Hampshire Learning Initiative to strengthen our efforts related to personalized learning. We recently received a $250,000 five-year “Out of School Time Career Pathways Program Grant.”  Only four districts in New Hampshire received these grant funds. The largest district to receive this grant was Manchester and the smallest district was Hinsdale. This grant will assist students in attaining credentialing in high-tech manufacturing, science related fields, technology, engineering, and math related fields. This grant will allow our students to participate in paid internships while gaining skills and knowledge towards an industry recognized credential. Our grant program in Hinsdale will build upon our established Extended Learning Opportunity program and will help to implement opportunities that are not always available in our current Extended Learning Opportunity program structure.

  1. Communication

The team leader is our Director of HR, Ann Diorio. Team members include our HMHS Principal and her assistant, our HES Principal, our Director of Student Services, our Director of Technology and, as needed, the Superintendent.  

Improve overall communication.

We continue to update our community regularity regarding our COVID-19 status. We update our COVID-19 Dashboard during each school day. Fortunately, as of April 25th we entered our 26th consecutive day without a positive case of COVID-19 reported by a Hinsdale student or staff member.

  1. Culture

 The team leader for our Culture Goal is our HMHS Principal, Ann Freitag. Team members include our HES Principal, our Director of Student Services and our HES Special Education Coordinator.  

Promote a culture of kindness and open communication.

Both principals are leading efforts in their respective building to identify and reward students and staff who show exemplary kindness and caring.

Our Manager of Human Resources has been sending out an uplifting note to staff each Friday. Both principals are communicating regularly with staff and frequently including uplifting messages. 

Ensure clear behavioral expectations are communicated and followed up on regularly through the development and implementation of a district-wide behavior plan, the progress of which will be reported to the Board monthly by the Superintendent. 

Our school behavior support teams and our district-wide behavior support team have been meeting regularly to facilitate the creation and implementation of a district-wide behavior plan. The pandemic has been difficult for many of our students. Dealing with the unseen threat of COVID while continuing to regulate emotions and learning to work well with others has been especially difficult. This issue is nationwide.

Promote an atmosphere that supports an inclusive, professional learning community.

We are working with NHLI to improve the PLC component of our organization. We are paying for NHDI from ESSER III funding. Our Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment has recently been trained in using the Professional Learning Community model to improve student learning outcomes.

Support and promote anti-bullying practices and ensure policies are being followed. Superintendent will spot check the bullying logs and report monthly to the Board.

We had one substantiated report of bullying at HMHS since our March Board meeting. We have had one substantiated report of bullying at HES since our March Board meeting.

 Support the implementation of a diversity plan that can be integrated throughout the district.

The Diversity Committee has created a “complaint form which was approved by the Board at the February Board meeting.

The students at HMHS have created a diversity club to help with suggestions to make the school more welcoming and inclusive, from a student point of view.

Our Diversity Committee is working to revise our plan to make certain our plan is in alignment with House Bill 297 and HB 298. The chair of our Diversity Committee organized a workshop for staff. The workshop “Prohibited Concepts in the Classroom” was taught by a New Hampshire attorney who is familiar with the new state mandate.

  1. Personnel

 The team leader is our Director of HR, Ann Diorio. Team members include our HMHS Principal, our HES Principal, our Director of Student Services and our HMHS Assistant Principal.

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

 We recently hired John Barth as the Principal of the Hinsdale Middle High School beginning July 1, 2022. John will be replacing Ann Freitag who retires on June 30, 2022. John has a solid leadership background which includes knowledge of assessment and an understanding of the challenges of preparing middle and high school students for career and college readiness. Currently, John is finishing his sixth year as principal at Mascenic Regional High School in New Ipswich, NH. From 2015-2016 John worked as an assistant principal at Stevens High School.  John has also worked as an admission specialist at Wediko School, a 6-12 principal at Conant High School in Jaffrey, NH, a 7-12 principal at Black River High School in Ludlow, VT, an assistant principal for Monadnock High School, and as a guidance counselor for Monadnock High School.

In addition, we recently added Justin Therieau as the new Director of Technology for the Hinsdale School District.  Justin will take on this new role as of July 1, 2022.  Justin will be replacing Debbie Trabucco who will be retiring on June 30, 2022.  Justin has more than 14 years of experience as an IT professional.  He currently holds the position of Network Administrator for the Hinsdale School District.  Justin has held the position of Hinsdale Network Administrator for the past eight years. Prior to his current position Justin spent six years as the Technical Support Specialist for the Hinsdale School District.  Justin has also served as a Technical Support Specialist for the Winchester School District and for the Monadnock Community Connections School.  Justin was undoubtedly a huge help in our effort to successfully transition to remote instruction at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Currently we are having some difficulty finding candidates for the remaining anticipating openings for the 2022/2023 school year. At the Hinsdale Elementary School, we are looking for several para educators, a part-time English as a second language teacher, a Title One tutor, a part-time math interventionist, a part-time math instructional coach, a kindergarten teacher, and a grade five teacher. At the Hinsdale Middle/High School we are looking for a couple of para educators, a special education case manager, a middle school science/social studies teacher, a middle school counselor, a high school counselor, an eighth grade science teacher and a Spanish teacher.

We also have several anticipated openings for district positions including: an 80% school psychologist, a network administrator, a human resources manager, an extended learning opportunities coordinator, a technical support specialist, several custodians and substitute teachers.

We have used numerous examples of advertising sources in order to spread our message that we have jobs available and that Hinsdale is a great place to work.

  1. Financial

 The team leader is our Business Administrator, Jodie Holmquist. Team members include our HMHS Principal, our HES Principal, our Director of Human Resources and the Superintendent.

 Support ways to conduct business in the most efficient and effective manner.

Our Business Administrator intends to meet with the above team members to debrief the recent budget development and approval process and to develop a budget development process improvement plan to be implemented in the fall of 2022. We are currently investigating the process of a “zero based budgeting” approach which if approved by the School Board would be implemented next year.

  1. Security

 The team leader is our HMHS Assistant Principal, Chris Ponce. Team members include our HES Principal, our Network Administrator, and our School Resource Officer.

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

The new Hinsdale detective and our police chief did a walk-through of the buildings.  It was determined that a couple of rooms needed the security placards which could be viewed outside. Since our last Board meeting we held a couple of drills at HMHS including: a hold in place and a lockdown drill.

A Student Violence and Prevention Management plan has been drafted.  This will be reviewed at the upcoming Facilities meeting.

Our Joint Loss Committee has developed a safety manual.

We are using grant funds to relocate a fire alarm at HES which should improve safety at the building.

 1. Technology

 The team leader is our Director of Technology, Debbie Trabucco, Team members include our Network Administrator and our Tech Support Specialist.

 Continue to align the district budget to support the 5-year technology plan.

 Our technology team is recommending a one-year extension of our five-year plan. We have hired a Director of Technology who is very familiar with our technology plan and should be able to guide our technology committee in the development of a new technology plan.

Ensure all staff has access to pertinent trainings.

 The technology team has implemented cyber security training for all staff. Each staff member has to log in monthly for training. The technology team is in the process of implementing document camera training for our teacher

  1. Facilities

 The team leader is our Business Administrator, Jodie Holmquist. Team members include our Director of Buildings and Grounds and the Superintendent.

 Fully utilize all building spaces.

 We continue to use almost all our available spaces for our education program. We are still doing our best to make certain our students are separated at least three feet.  Our custodians are separating desks whenever they see the desks are too close together.

Superintendent’s Report March 2022

Superintendent’s Report – March 2022

As of Monday, March 28th the 7-day COVID-19 test positivity rate for Cheshire County was 5.5%. When I wrote my February report the seven-day test positivity rate for Cheshire County was 18.8%%. As of Monday, March 28th we had 223 positive cases of COVID-19 identified in Cheshire County during the previous fourteen days. When I wrote my February report we had 1324 positive cases of COVID-19 in Cheshire County over the previous 14 days. We are indeed fortunate to be going the right direction after months of the Omicron surge. However, a new variant of the Omicron COVID-19 variant seems to be moving in our direction. New York City is a current hot spot. This new variant of Omicron seems to last longer on surfaces than Omicron.

Information on our COVID-19 Dashboard includes the total cases of identified COVID-19 in our School District each month since the beginning of the school year and the number of active cases by school in our District. Since the beginning of the school year we have had 214 known cases of COVID-19 in the District, 120 cases have been at Hinsdale Elementary School and 94 cases have been at Hinsdale Middle/High School. As of March 28th we had five active cases of COVID-19 in the Hinsdale School District. The majority of positive cases in the Hinsdale School District this school year occurred in January.

Effective Tuesday, March 1st the wearing of face coverings in the Hinsdale School District became optional. All students and staff were reminded to stay home when they have any COVID-19 symptoms. We continue to regularly sanitize our buildings. We continue to practice social distancing in our schools.  However, if the rate of COVID-19 transmission increases we will likely revisit our policy.

The School Board’s recommend budget for the 2022/2023 school year of $15,886,288 was approved by the District voters at the Hinsdale School District meeting on Saturday, March 12th.  The majority of the $15,886,288 will come from state and federal grants with about $7,677,559 to be raised by local taxes. At the same meeting a three-year teacher contract was approved by the District voters. In addition, the District voters approved spending up to $85,000 to replace the bleachers in our Hinsdale Middle/High School gym.

We continue to fund approved activities through our three ESSER grants. We welcome public input regarding potential expenditures related to any of the three ESSER grants. At the April 13th Board meeting we plan to recommend some new ESSER spending related to improving the fresh air exchange in our classrooms and additional spending in the area of catch-up learning, both academic and social-emotional learning.

Our ESSER I grant (CARES Act) of $188,678.75 needs to be expended by September 30, 2022. To date we have expended funds from ESSER I for the following items: books to support remote learning, supplies to minimize spread of pathogens, storage for excess furniture, special education transportation, special education purchased services, and special education staff time, out of district special education tuition, substitute teachers, social worker assistant at HES, laptops for students and staff, increased internet bandwidth, webcams and related wiring. We have approximately $3,000 remaining in ESSER I.

We have a total allocation of $858,280.07 for our ESSER II grant (American Recovery Plan). These grant funds must be spent by 9/30/23 or the remaining funds will be distributed to other districts in the state. Our approved ESSER II expenses include the following: cleaning supplies, portable storage units, professional development with New Hampshire Learning Initiative, grant management, stipends for summer professional development, a social worker assistant, an increase in pay for substitutes, one full time substitute in each building, funds to offset Covid-19 related substitute costs, a COVID custodian, summer school staffing, copiers, Keys to Literacy training and coaching, laptops, smartboards, document cameras, offsite backup, general supplies, special education compensatory education staffing, a Life Skills Program paraprofessional, and out-of-district special education tuition and transportation. To date we have spent about 2/3rds of our ESSER II allocation of $858.280.07.

To date our allocation for our ESSER III grant (American Rescue Plan) is $1,929,462.25. We have until 9/30/24 to expend these funds.  Any funds remaining after 9/30/2024 will be sent back to the state to be distributed to other districts. Our approved ESSER III allocation includes funds for library books and books for students to take home, a school district network upgrade, a social emotional learning program for the middle/high school and related stipends for teachers to become trained, after school tutoring and after school bus transportation, NH Dance Institute Residency program, job embedded professional development – teachers will be released for this while students work with contracted service provider on social emotional learning, a graduate curriculum and leadership program through Keene State College. In addition, we have hired a middle/high school math interventionist and a middle/high school literacy interventionist, a part-time literacy coach at Hinsdale Elementary School, behavioral services support program, funds to support an ESSER III grant manager and funds for an ESSER III grant accountant. We intend to add the expense of two printers into the grant. We hope to add expenses related to an SEL out-of-district placement that is a result of the pandemic. We also hope to add expenses related to rapid COVID-19 tests, and expenses related to hiring a substitute nurse.  We have spent about one-third of our ESSER III allocation of $1,929,462.25.

2021-2022 District Goals

  1. Curriculum and Instruction

 The team leader is our Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, Karen Thompson. Team members include our HMHS Principal, our HES Principal, our Director of Student Services and our HES Special Education Coordinator.

 Our Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment is working with our teachers and administrators to interpret the recent assessment data in order to better develop an effective action plan for improvement. She used the March 14th PD day to further this effort.  She will continue to share her recommendations for improvement in the coming months.

Our Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment has recently been trained in using the Professional Learning Community model to improve student learning outcomes.

 Establish continuity and collaboration in instruction between the school buildings.

 We have established a transition team that includes 5th grade teachers and middle school teachers. The team intends to meet 2-3 times a year.

Ensure all staff has access to pertinent trainings.

Our Professional Development Master Plan is due this year and our CIA Director is in the process of scheduling meetings to accomplish this state mandate.

PACE-All grade levels will move towards performance assessment and enhanced personalized learning.

 We are using grant funds to contract with New Hampshire Learning Initiative to strengthen our efforts related to personalized learning. We recently received a $250,000 five-year “Out of School Time Career Pathways Program Grant.”  Only four districts in New Hampshire received these grant funds. The largest district to receive this grant was Manchester and the smallest district was Hinsdale. This grant will assist students in attaining credentialing in high-tech manufacturing, science related fields, technology, engineering, and math related fields. This grant will allow our students to participate in paid internships while gaining skills and knowledge towards an industry recognized credential. Our grant program in Hinsdale will build upon our established Extended Learning Opportunity program and will help to implement opportunities that are not always available in our current Extended Learning Opportunity program structure.

  1. Communication

 The team leader is our Director of HR, Ann Diorio. Team members include our HMHS Principal and her assistant, our HES Principal, our Director of Student Services, our Director of Technology and, as needed, the Superintendent.

Improve overall communication.

 We continue to update our community regularity regarding our COVID-19 status. We update our COVID-19 Dashboard during each school day.

  1. Culture

The team leader for our Culture Goal is our HMHS Principal, Ann Freitag. Team members include our HES Principal, our Director of Student Services and our HES Special Education Coordinator.

 Promote a culture of kindness and open communication.

 Both principals are leading efforts in their respective building to identify and reward students and staff who show exemplary kindness and caring.

Our Director of Human Resources has been sending out an uplifting note to staff each Friday. Both principals are communicating regularly with staff and frequently including uplifting messages.

 Ensure clear behavioral expectations are communicated and followed up on regularly through the development and implementation of a district-wide behavior plan, the progress of which will be reported to the Board monthly by the Superintendent.

 Our school behavior support teams and our district-wide behavior support team have been meeting regularly to facilitate the creation and implementation of a district-wide behavior plan. The team last met on March 18th. The pandemic has been difficult for many of our students. Dealing with the unseen threat of COVID while continuing to regulate emotions and learning to work well with others has been especially difficult. This issue is nationwide.

Promote an atmosphere that supports an inclusive, professional learning community.

We are working with NHLI to improve the PLC component of our organization. Our Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment has recently been trained in using the Professional Learning Community model to improve student learning outcomes.

Support and promote anti-bullying practices and ensure policies are being followed. Superintendent will spot check the bullying logs and report monthly to the Board.

We had zero reports of cyber bullying at HMHS since our last Board meeting. We have had four reports of bullying at HES since our February Board meeting. All the reports of bullying at HES have been substantiated.

 Support the implementation of a diversity plan that can be integrated throughout the district.

The Diversity Committee has created a “complaint form” that will be brought to the Board in March or April.

The students at HMHS have created a diversity club to help with suggestions to make the school more welcoming and inclusive, from a student point of view.

Our Diversity Committee is working to revise our plan to make certain our plan is in alignment with House Bill 297 and HB 298. The chair of our Diversity Committee organized a workshop for staff. The workshop “Prohibited Concepts in the Classroom” was taught by a New Hampshire attorney who is familiar with the new state mandate.

  1. Personnel

 The team leader is our Director of HR, Ann Diorio. Team members include our HMHS Principal, our HES Principal, our Director of Student Services and our HMHS Assistant Principal.

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

 Even in this tight job market we have been able to attract the staff necessary to maintain the Hinsdale in-person learning model. We have used numerous examples of advertising sources in order to spread our message that we have jobs available and that Hinsdale is a great place to work. We recently hired John Barth as the Principal of the Hinsdale Middle High School beginning July 1, 2022. John will be replacing Ann Freitag who retires on June 30, 2022. John has a solid leadership background which includes knowledge of assessment and an understanding of the challenges of preparing middle and high school students for career and college readiness. Currently, John is finishing his sixth year as principal at Mascenic Regional High School in New Ipswich, NH. From 2015-2016 John worked as an assistant principal at Stevens High School.  John has also worked as an admission specialist at Wediko School, a 6-12 principal at Conant High School in Jaffrey, NH, a 7-12 principal at Black River High School in Ludlow, VT, an assistant principal for Monadnock High School, and as a guidance counselor for Monadnock High School.

  1. Financial

 The team leader is our Business Administrator, Jodie Holmquist. Team members include our HMHS Principal, our HES Principal, our Director of Human Resources and the Superintendent.

 Support ways to conduct business in the most efficient and effective manner.

Our Business Administrator intends to meet with the above team members to debrief the recent budget development and approval process and to develop a budget development process improvement plan to be implemented in the fall of 2022.

  1. Security

 The team leader is our HMHS Assistant Principal, Chris Ponce. Team members include our HES Principal, our Network Administrator, and our School Resource Officer.

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

Our fire chief has recently inspected our buildings and concluded we are meeting the expectations that are outlined in the law. The team is also pursuing grants to be used to enhance safety.

  1. Technology

 The team leader is our Director of Technology, Debbie Trabucco, Team members include our Network Administrator and our Tech Support Specialist.

 Continue to align the district budget to support the 5-year technology plan.

 Our technology team is recommending a one-year extension of our five-year plan.

Ensure all staff has access to pertinent trainings.

 The technology team has implemented cyber security training for all staff. Each staff member has to log in monthly for training. The technology team is in the process of implementing document camera training for our teachers

  1. Facilities

 The team leader is our Business Administrator, Jodie Holmquist. Team members include our Director of Buildings and Grounds and the Superintendent.

 Fully utilize all building spaces.

 We continue to use almost all our available spaces for our education program. We are still doing our best to make certain our students are separated at least three feet.  Our custodians are separating desks whenever they see the desks are too close together.

Superintendent’s February Report

Superintendent’s Report – February 2022

As of Monday, February 28th, the 7-day COVID-19 test positivity rate for Cheshire County was 7.2%. When I wrote my January report the seven-day test positivity rate for Cheshire County was 18.8%%. As of Monday, February 28th we had 342 positive cases of COVID-19 identified in Cheshire County during the previous fourteen days. When I wrote my January Board report we had 1324 positive cases of COVID-19 in Cheshire County over the previous 14 days. We are indeed fortunate to be going the right direction after months of the Omicron surge.

Information on our COVID-19 Dashboard includes the total cases of identified COVID-19 in our School District each month since the beginning of the school year and the number of active cases by school in our District. Since the beginning of the school year we have had 200 known cases of COVID-19 in the District, 116 cases have been at Hinsdale Elementary School and 84 cases have been at Hinsdale Middle/High School. As of February 28th we had one active case of COVID-19 in the Hinsdale School District. The majority of positive cases in the Hinsdale School District this school year occurred in January.

We are now able to test our students and staff when necessary. Of course we would not test a student without written permission from a parent or guardian.

At 6:15 pm on Monday, February 28th the School Board intends to revisit our current COVID-19 policy and determine if we need to revise the policy in light of the recent announcement by our Governor concerning mask mandates.

We have continued to work with the Budget Committee and our public to better understand the 2022-2023 School District Budget. In response to a recommendation by the Budget Committee the School Board met on January 26th and further reduced the School District Budget by about $52,000.  At the next Budget Committee meeting the Budget Committee added a $47,000 cut to the budget. The School Board does not recommend this $47,000 cut to the 2022/2023 budget.  The School Board is hosting a Public Forum at 6:30 on Wednesday, March 2nd to answer any questions related to the proposed budget and to provide additional information to help clarify the School Boards’ proposed 2022/2023 proposed. budget The Hinsdale School District meeting is scheduled for Saturday, March 12th in the Hinsdale Middle/High School Gymnasium.

Maria Webb has been hired as the Executive Assistant to the Superintendent. Maria comes to us from Sullivan, Maine, where she served as the Administrative Assistant for Adult Education. Prior to her position in Sullivan, Maine she was an Administrative Assistant for the Special Education Department at Keene Middle School. Maria is a graduate of Smith College and has just moved back to the area.

We continue to fund approved activities through our three ESSER grants. Our ESSER I grant (CARES Act) of $188,678.75 needs to be expended by September 30, 2022. To date we have expended funds from ESSER I for the following items: books to support remote learning, supplies to minimize spread of pathogens, storage for excess furniture, special education transportation, special education purchased services, and special education staff time, out of district special education tuition, substitute teachers, social worker assistant at HES, laptops for students and staff, increased internet bandwidth, webcams and related wiring. We have approximately $3,000 remaining in ESSER I.

We have a total allocation of $858,280.07 for our ESSER II grant (American Recovery Plan). These grant funds must be spent by 9/30/23 or the remaining funds will be distributed to other districts in the state. Our approved ESSER II expenses include the following: cleaning supplies, portable storage units, professional development with New Hampshire Learning Initiative, grant management, stipends for summer professional development, a social worker assistant, an increase in pay for substitutes, one full time substitute in each building, funds to offset Covid-19 related substitute costs, a COVID custodian, summer school staffing, copiers, Keys to Literacy training and coaching, laptops, smartboards, document cameras, offsite backup, general supplies, special education compensatory education staffing, a Life Skills Program paraprofessional, and out-of-district special education tuition and transportation. To date we have spent about 2/3rds of our ESSER II allocation of $858.280.07.

To date our allocation for our ESSER III grant (American Rescue Plan) is $1,929,462.25. We have until 9/30/24 to expend these funds.  Any funds remaining after 9/30/2024 will be sent back to the state to be distributed to other districts. Our approved ESSER III allocation includes funds for library books and books for students to take home, a school district network upgrade, a social emotional learning program for the middle/high school and related stipends for teachers to become trained, after school tutoring and after school bus transportation, NH Dance Institute Residency program, job embedded professional development – teachers will be released for this while students work with contracted service provider on social emotional learning, a graduate curriculum and leadership program through Keene State College. In addition, we have hired a middle/high school math interventionist and a middle/high school literacy interventionist, a part-time literacy coach at Hinsdale Elementary School, behavioral services support program, funds to support an ESSER III grant manager and funds for an ESSER III grant accountant. We intend to add the expense of two printers into the grant. We hope to add expenses related to an SEL out-of-district placement that is a result of the pandemic. We also hope to add expenses related to rapid COVID-19 tests, and expenses related to hiring a substitute nurse.  We have spent about 1/4th of our ESSER III allocation of $1,929,462.25.

2021-2022 District Goals

  1. Curriculum and Instruction

The team leader is our Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, Karen Thompson. Team members include our HMHS Principal, our HES Principal, our Director of Student Services and our HES Special Education Coordinator.

Our Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment is working with our teachers and administrators to interpret the recent assessment data in order to better develop an effective action plan for improvement. She will share her recommendations for improvement in the coming months.

Our Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment has recently been trained in using the Professional Learning Community model to improve student learning outcomes.

 Establish continuity and collaboration in instruction between the school buildings. 

We have established a transition team that includes 5th grade teachers and middle school teachers. The team intends to meet 2-3 times a year.

Ensure all staff has access to pertinent trainings.

We are looking ahead to our 2022/2023 school calendar to determine if we can find more time for professional development without adding to the 180 student contact days.  Our administrators intend to propose a calendar that would include an early release day each quarter for the purpose of professional development for our teachers and paras.

Our Professional Development Master Plan is due this year and our CIA Director is in the process of scheduling meetings to accomplish this state mandate.

PACE-All grade levels will move towards performance assessment and enhanced personalized learning.

We are using grant funds to contract with New Hampshire Learning Initiative to strengthen our efforts related to personalized learning. We recently received a $250,000 five-year “Out of School Time Career Pathways Program Grant.”  Only four districts in New Hampshire received these grant funds. The largest district to receive this grant was Manchester and the smallest district was Hinsdale. This grant will assist students in attaining credentialing in high-tech manufacturing, science related fields, technology, engineering, and math related fields. This grant will allow our students to participate in paid internships while gaining skills and knowledge towards an industry recognized credential. Our grant program in Hinsdale will build upon our established Extended Learning Opportunity program and will help to implement opportunities that are not always available in our current Extended Learning Opportunity program structure.

  1. Communication

The team leader is our Director of HR, Ann Diorio. Team members include our HMHS Principal and her assistant, our HES Principal, our Director of Student Services, our Director of Technology and, as needed, the Superintendent.

Improve overall communication.

We continue to update our community regularity regarding our COVID-19 status. We update our COVID-19 Dashboard during each school day.

  1. Culture

The team leader for our Culture Goal is our HMHS Principal, Ann Freitag. Team members include our HES Principal, our Director of Student Services and our HES Special Education Coordinator.

Promote a culture of kindness and open communication.

 Our Director of Human Resources has been sending out an uplifting note to staff each Friday. Both principals are communicating regularly with staff and frequently including uplifting messages.

 Ensure clear behavioral expectations are communicated and followed up on regularly through the development and implementation of a district-wide behavior plan, the progress of which will be reported to the Board monthly by the Superintendent.

Our school behavior support teams and our district-wide behavior support team have been meeting regularly to facilitate the creation and implementation of a district-wide behavior plan. The pandemic has been difficult for many of our students. Dealing with the unseen threat of COVID while continuing to regulate emotions and learning to work well with others has been especially difficult. This issue is nationwide.

Promote an atmosphere that supports an inclusive, professional learning community.

We are working with NHLI to improve the PLC component of our organization. Our Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment has recently been trained in using the Professional Learning Community model to improve student learning outcomes.

Support and promote anti-bullying practices and ensure policies are being followed. Superintendent will spot check the bullying logs and report monthly to the Board.

We had one report of cyber bullying at HMHS which is still under investigation. We have had one substantiated incident of bullying in the HMHS since our January Board meeting. We had one substantiated report of bullying at HES since our last Board meeting.

 Support the implementation of a diversity plan that can be integrated throughout the district.

Our Diversity Committee is working to revise our plan to make certain our plan is in alignment with House Bill 297 and HB 298. The chair of our Diversity Committee organized a workshop for staff. The workshop “Prohibited Concepts in the Classroom” was taught by a New Hampshire attorney who is familiar with the new state mandate.

  1. Personnel

The team leader is our Director of HR, Ann Diorio. Team members include our HMHS Principal, our HES Principal, our Director of Student Services and our HMHS Assistant Principal.

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

Even in this tight job market we have been able to attract the staff necessary to maintain the Hinsdale in-person learning model. We have used numerous examples of advertising sources in order to spread our message that we have jobs available and that Hinsdale is a great place to work. Unfortunately, we still have several job openings in the district.

  1. Financial

The team leader is our Business Administrator, Jodie Holmquist. Team members include our HMHS Principal, our HES Principal, our Director of Human Resources and the Superintendent.

Support ways to conduct business in the most efficient and effective manner.

Our Business Administrator intends to meet with the above team members after the Budget is approved to debrief and to develop a budget development process improvement plan to be implemented in the fall of 2022.

  1. Security

The team leader is our HMHS Assistant Principal, Chris Ponce. Team members include our HES Principal, our Network Administrator, and our School Resource Officer.  

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

Our fire chief has recently inspected our buildings and concluded we are meeting the expectations that are outlined in the law. The team is also pursuing grants to be used to enhance safety.

  1. Technology

The team leader is our Director of Technology, Debbie Trabucco, Team members include our Network Administrator and our Tech Support Specialist.  

Continue to align the district budget to support the 5-year technology plan.

Our technology team is recommending a one-year extension of our five-year plan.

Ensure all staff has access to pertinent trainings.  

The technology team has implemented cyber security training for all staff. Each staff member has to log in monthly for training. The technology team is in the process of implementing document camera training for our teachers

  1. Facilities

The team leader is our Business Administrator, Jodie Holmquist. Team members include our Director of Buildings and Grounds and the Superintendent.  

Fully utilize all building spaces.  

We continue to use almost all our available spaces for our education program. Our business and administrator and I toured both buildings on January 4th and determined that we are fully using our available space. We are still doing our best to make certain our students are separated at least three feet.  Our custodians are separating desks whenever they see the desks are too close together.

Superintendent’s Report January 2022

Superintendent’s Report – January 2022

As of Monday, January 24th, the 7-day COVID-19 test positivity rate for Cheshire County was 18.2%. When I wrote my report one month ago the positivity rate for Cheshire County was 8.6%. As of January 24th we had 1,552 positive cases of COVID-19 identified in Cheshire County during the previous fourteen days. When I wrote my December report we had 845 positive cases of COVID-19 in Cheshire County over the previous 14 days.

Information on our COVID-19 Dashboard includes the total cases of identified COVID-19 in our School District each month since the beginning of the school year and the number of active cases by school in our District. Since the beginning of the school year we have had 147 cases of COVID-19 in the District, 81 cases have been at Hinsdale Elementary School and 66 cases have been at Hinsdale Middle/High School. As of January 24th we had eight active cases of COVID-19 in the Hinsdale School District.

The Omicron variant is complicating our ability to provide a quality education for our students during this pandemic. The Omicron variant now accounts for more than 95% of COVID-19 cases in the United States.  The number of new cases in the United States has quadrupled since the beginning of December.

Based on New Hampshire assessment data, national data, and Hinsdale data, students fell far behind in school during the first year of the pandemic and they have not caught up. Especially among third through eighth graders, math and reading levels were all lower than normal in the United States, New Hampshire, and Hinsdale. The pandemic resulted in an unprecedented learning crisis, unlike anything in the last 100 years. We recently received the data from the New Hampshire 2021 spring state assessment given each year in English Language Arts and Math. The state chose not to administer the assessment in the spring of 2020. Statewide spring summative assessments in New Hampshire in 2021 coupled with student-level mode of education data provides a strong correlation between remote learning and loss of growth in reading and math. Statewide math showed the largest loss of student proficiency from 48% to 38% while English language arts showed a smaller loss from 56% in 2019 to 52% proficient in the spring of 2021. Our Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment is working with our teachers and administrators to interpret the data in order to better develop an effective action plan for improvement. She will share her recommendations for improvement in the coming months.

We are working to assist the budget committee as they better understand the 2022-2023 School District Budget. Our administrators met on January 5th to review the responses to the questions provided to us by the budget committee. All our cost center managers were available to answer questions during the Budget Committee meeting on 1/5/2021.

We continue to fund approved activities through our three ESSER grants. Our ESSER I grant (CARES Act) of $188,678.75 needs to be expended by September 30, 2022. To date we have expended funds from ESSER I for the following items: books to support remote learning, supplies to minimize spread of pathogens, storage for excess furniture, special education transportation, special education purchased services, and special education staff time, out of district special education tuition, substitute teachers, social worker assistant at HES, laptops for students and staff, increased internet bandwidth, webcams and related wiring. We have approximately $3,000 remaining in ESSER I. We hope to use the remaining $3,000 to purchase more masks.

We have a total allocation of $858,280.07 for our ESSER II grant (American Recovery Plan). These grant funds must be spent by 9/30/23 or the remaining funds will be distributed to other districts in the state. Our approved ESSER II expenses include the following: cleaning supplies, portable storage units, professional development with New Hampshire Learning Initiative, grant management, stipends for summer professional development, a social worker assistant, an increase in pay for substitutes, one full time substitute in each building, funds to offset Covid-19 related substitute costs, a COVID custodian, summer school staffing, copiers, Keys to Literacy training and coaching, laptops, smartboards, document cameras, offsite backup, general supplies, special education compensatory education staffing, a Life Skills Program paraprofessional, and out-of-district special education tuition and transportation. As of 1/4/2022 we had spent $523,717.82 out of our ESSER II allocation of $858.280.07.

To date our allocation for our ESSER III grant (American Rescue Plan) is $1,929,462.25. We have until 9/30/24 to expend these funds.  Any funds remaining after 9/30/2024 will be sent back to the state to be distributed to other districts. Our approved ESSER III allocation includes funds for library books and books for students to take home, a school district network upgrade, a social emotional learning program for the middle/high school and related stipends for teachers to become trained, after school tutoring and after school bus transportation, NH Dance Institute Residency program, job embedded professional development – teachers will be released for this while students work with contracted service provider on social emotional learning, a graduate curriculum and leadership program through Keene State College. In addition, we have hired a middle/high school math interventionist and a middle/high school literacy interventionist, a part-time literacy coach at Hinsdale Elementary School, behavioral services support program, funds to support an ESSER III grant manager and funds for an ESSER III grant accountant. We intend to add the expense of two printers into the grant. We hope to add expenses related to an SEL out-of-district placement that is a result of the pandemic. We also hope to add expenses related to rapid COVID-19 tests, and expenses related to hiring a substitute nurse.  As of 1/4/2022 we had spent $275,183.38 out of our ESSER III allocation of $1,929,462.25.

 

2021-2022 District Goals

  1. Curriculum and Instruction

The team leader is our Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, Karen Thompson. Team members include our HMHS Principal, our HES Principal, our Director of Student Services and our HES Special Education Coordinator.

Establish continuity and collaboration in instruction between the school buildings. 

We have established a transition team that includes 6th grade teachers and middle school teachers. The team intends to meet 2-3 times a year.

Ensure all staff has access to pertinent trainings. 

We are looking ahead to our 2022/2023 school calendar to determine if we can find more time for professional development without adding to the 180 student contact days. Our Professional Development Master Plan is due this year and our CIA Director is in the process of scheduling meetings to accomplish this state mandate. The chair of our Diversity Committee recently organized a workshop for staff. The workshop “Prohibited Concepts in the Classroom” was taught by a New Hampshire attorney who is familiar with the new state mandate. About 50 Hinsdale employees attended the workshop.

PACE-All grade levels will move towards performance assessment and enhanced personalized learning.  

We are using grant funds to contract with New Hampshire Learning Initiative to strengthen our efforts related to personalized learning.

  1. Communication

The team leader is our Director of HR, Ann Diorio. Team members include our HMHS Principal and her assistant, our HES Principal, our Director of Student Services, our Director of Technology and, as needed, the Superintendent.  

Improve overall communication.  

We continue to update our community regarding our COVID-19 status.

  1. Culture

The team leader for our Culture Goal is our HMHS Principal, Ann Freitag. Team members include our HES Principal, our Director of Student Services and our HES Special Education Coordinator.

Promote a culture of kindness and open communication.

 We had 140 parents at the last HMHS Open House and about 80% of HES parents participated in the most recent Hinsdale Elementary School Open House, which certainly improves our ability to provide better individualized communication. 

Ensure clear behavioral expectations are communicated and followed up on regularly through the development and implementation of a district-wide behavior plan, the progress of which will be reported to the Board monthly by the Superintendent.

Our school behavior support teams and our district-wide behavior support team have been meeting regularly to facilitate the creation and implementation of a district-wide behavior plan.

Promote an atmosphere that supports an inclusive, professional learning community.

We are working with NHLI to improve the PLC component of our organization.

Support and promote anti-bullying practices and ensure policies are being followed. Superintendent will spot check the bullying logs and report monthly to the Board.

We had zero reports of bullying at HMHS since our November Board meeting. We had four substantiated reports of bullying at HES since our last Board meeting. 

Support the implementation of a diversity plan that can be integrated throughout the district.

Our Diversity Committee is working to revise our plan to make certain our plan is in alignment with House Bill 297 and HB 298. The chair of our Diversity Committee recently organized a workshop for staff. The workshop “Prohibited Concepts in the Classroom” was taught by a New Hampshire attorney who is familiar with the new state mandate.

  1. Personnel

The team leader is our Director of HR, Ann Diorio. Team members include our HMHS Principal, our HES Principal, our Director of Student Services and our HMHS Assistant Principal. 

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

 Even in this tight job market we have been able to attract the staff necessary to maintain the Hinsdale in-person learning model.

  1. Financial

The team leader is our Business Administrator, Jodie Holmquist. Team members include our HMHS Principal, our HES Principal, our Director of Human Resources and the Superintendent.  

Support ways to conduct business in the most efficient and effective manner.

Our Business Administrator intends to meet with the above team members after the Budget is approved to debrief and to develop a budget development process improvement plan to be implemented in the fall of 2022.

  1. Security

The team leader is our HMHS Assistant Principal, Chris Ponce. Team members include our HES Principal, our Network Administrator, and our School Resource Officer.  

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

Our fire chief has recently inspected our buildings and concluded we are meeting the expectations that are outlined in the law. The team is also pursuing grants to be used to enhance safety.

  1. Technology

The team leader is our Director of Technology, Debbie Trabucco, Team members include our Network Administrator and our Tech Support Specialist.

Continue to align the district budget to support the 5-year technology plan.

Our technology team is recommending a one-year extension of our five-year plan.

Ensure all staff has access to pertinent trainings.  

The technology team has implemented cyber security training for all staff. The technology team is in the process of implementing document camera training for our teachers

  1. Facilities

The team leader is our Business Administrator, Jodie Holmquist. Team members include our Director of Buildings and Grounds and the Superintendent.  

Fully utilize all building spaces.

We continue to use almost all our available spaces for our education program. Our business and administrator and I toured both buildings on January 4th and determined that we are fully using our available space.

December 2021 Superintendent Report

Superintendent’s Report – December 2021

As I write this report on Wednesday, December 1st, the 7-day COVID-19 test positivity rate for Cheshire County was 8.6%. When I wrote my report one month ago the positivity rate for Cheshire County was 4.6%%. As of December 1st we had 629 positive cases of COVID-19 identified in Cheshire County during the previous fourteen days. When I wrote my Board report one month ago we had 359 positive cases of COVID-19 in Cheshire County over the previous 14 days.

Information on our COVID-19 Dashboard includes the total cases of identified COVID-19 in our School District each month since the beginning of the school year and the number of active cases by school in our District. Since the beginning of the school year we have had 73 cases of COVID-19 in the District, 41 cases have been at the Hinsdale Elementary School and 32 cases have been at Hinsdale Middle/High School.  As of December 13th we had eight active cases of COVID-19 in the Hinsdale School District.

The Omicron variant is likely to further complicate our ability to provide a quality education for our students during this pandemic. It appears that the Omicron variant spreads more easily than the Delta variant which now accounts for more than 99% of COVID-19 cases in the United States.

We are working to build a conservative operating budget for the 2022/2023 school year. Our cost center managers reviewed the draft budget on Wednesday, November 3rd, and on Monday, November 8th.  Our Finance Committee received the draft budget on Monday, November 8th and made several reductions. The School Board reviewed the budget on November 10th and made several reductions. The School Board met again on December 1st and made further reductions to the budget. The Board plans to review the the District budget again at their monthly Board meeting on Wednesday, December 8th. The Hinsdale Budget Committee plans to review the Hinsdale School District Budget at their meeting scheduled for Wednesday, January 5th.

We continue to fund approved activities through our three ESSER grants. Our ESSER I grant (CARES Act) of $188,678.75 needs to be expended by September 30, 2022. To date we have expended funds from ESSER I for the following items: books to support remote learning, supplies to minimize spread of pathogens, storage for excess furniture, special education transportation, special education purchased services, and special education staff time, out of district special education tuition, substitute teachers, social worker assistant at HES, laptops for students and staff, increased internet bandwidth, webcams and related wiring. We have approximately $3,000 remaining in ESSER I. We hope to use the remaining $3,000 to purchase more masks.

We have a total allocation of $858,280.07 for our ESSER II grant (American Recovery Plan). These grant funds must be spent by 9/30/23 or the remaining funds will be distributed to other districts in the state. Our approved ESSER II expenses include the following: cleaning supplies, portable storage units, professional development with New Hampshire Learning Initiative, grant management, stipends for summer professional development, a social worker assistant, an increase in pay for substitutes, one full time substitute in each building, funds to offset Covid-19 related substitute costs, a COVID custodian, summer school staffing, copiers, Keys to Literacy training and coaching, laptops, smartboards, document cameras, offsite backup, general supplies, special education compensatory education staffing, a Life Skills Program paraprofessional, and out-of-district special education tuition and transportation.

To date our allocation for our ESSER III grant (American Rescue Plan) is $1,929,462.25. We have until 9/30/24 to expend these funds.  Any funds remaining after 9/30/2024 will be sent back to the state to be distributed to other districts. Our approved ESSER III allocation includes funds for library books and books for students to take home, a school district network upgrade, a social emotional learning program for the middle/high school and related stipends for teachers to become trained, after school tutoring and after school bus transportation, NH Dance Institute Residency program, job embedded professional development – teachers will be released for this while students work with contracted service provider on social emotional learning, a graduate curriculum and leadership program through Keene State College. In addition, we have hired a middle/high school math interventionist and a middle/high school literacy interventionist, a part-time literacy coach at Hinsdale Elementary School, behavioral services support program, funds to support an ESSER III grant manager and funds for an ESSER III grant accountant. We are still looking for a part-time math coach at HES. Several administrators are scheduled to meet with our ESSER grant manager on Monday, December 6th. During that meeting we intend to propose we revise the ESSER III grant to include a part-time nurse to assist in the administration of the rapid response COVID-19 tests. We intend to add the expense of two printers into the grant. We hope to add expenses related to Social Emotional Learning out-of-district placements that are a result of the pandemic. We also hope to add expenses related to rapid COVID-19 tests.

2021-2022 District Goals

Curriculum and Instruction

The team leader is our Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, Karen Thompson. Team members include our HMHS Principal, our HES Principal, our Director of Student Services and our HES Special Education Coordinator.

Establish continuity and collaboration in instruction between the school buildings.

 We have established a transition team that includes 6th grade teachers and middle school teachers. The team intends to meet 2-3 times a year. 

Ensure all staff has access to pertinent trainings.

Our Professional Development Master Plan is due this year and our CIA Director is in the process of scheduling meetings to accomplish this state mandate.

PACE-All grade levels will move towards performance assessment and enhanced personalized learning.  

We are using grant funds to contract with New Hampshire Learning Initiative to strengthen our efforts related to personalized learning.

Communication

The team leader is our Director of HR, Ann Diorio. Team members include our HMHS Principal and her assistant, our HES Principal, our Director of Student Services, our Director of Technology and, as needed, the Superintendent.  

Improve overall communication.  

We continue to update our community regarding our COVID-19 status.

Culture

The team leader for our Culture Goal is our HMHS Principal, Ann Freitag. Team members include our HES Principal, our Director of Student Services and our HES Special Education Coordinator.  

Promote a culture of kindness and open communication.

 We had 140 parents at the recent HMHS Open House which certainly improves our ability to provide better individualized communication.

 Ensure clear behavioral expectations are communicated and followed up on regularly through the development and implementation of a district-wide behavior plan, the progress of which will be reported to the Board monthly by the Superintendent. 

Our school behavior support teams and our district-wide behavior support team have been meeting regularly to facilitate the creation and implementation of a district-wide behavior plan.

Promote an atmosphere that supports an inclusive, professional learning community.

We are working with NHLI to improve the PLC component of our organization.

Support and promote anti-bullying practices and ensure policies are being followed. Superintendent will spot check the bullying logs and report monthly to the Board.

We had zero reports of bullying at HMHS since our November Board meeting. We had one substantiated report of bullying and one unsubstantiated report of bullying at HES since our last Board meeting.

 Support the implementation of a diversity plan that can be integrated throughout the district.

Our Diversity Committee is working to revise our plan to make certain our plan is in alignment with House Bill 297 and HB 298.

Personnel

 The team leader is our Director of HR, Ann Diorio. Team members include our HMHS Principal, our HES Principal, our Director of Student Services and our HMHS Assistant Principal. 

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

 Even in this tight job market we have been able to attract the staff necessary to maintain our in-person learning model.

Financial 

The team leader is our Business Administrator, Jodie Holmquist. Team members include our HMHS Principal, our HES Principal, our Director of Human Resources and the Superintendent.

 Support ways to conduct business in the most efficient and effective manner.

Our Business Administrator intends to meet with the above team members after the Budget is approved to debrief and to develop a budget development process improvement plan to be implemented in the fall of 2022.

Security

 The team leader is our HMHS Assistant Principal, Chris Ponce. Team members include our HES Principal, our Network Administrator, and our School Resource Officer.

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

Our fire chief has recently inspected our buildings and concluded we are meeting the expectations that are outlined in the law. The team is also pursuing grants to be used to enhance safety.

 Technology

The team leader is our Director of Technology, Debbie Trabucco, Team members include our Network Administrator and our Tech Support Specialist.

Continue to align the district budget to support the 5-year technology plan. 

Our technology team is recommending a one-year extension of our five-year plan.

Ensure all staff has access to pertinent trainings

The technology team has implemented cyber security training for all staff. The technology team is in the process of implementing document camera training for our teachers.

Facilities 

The team leader is our Business Administrator, Jodie Holmquist. Team members include our Director of Buildings and Grounds and the Superintendent.

 Fully utilize all building spaces.

 We continue to use almost all our available spaces for our education program.

Superintendent’s Report – November 2021

Superintendent’s Report – November 2021

As I write this report on Wednesday, November 10th, the 7-day COVID-19 test positivity rate for Cheshire County was 4.6%. When I wrote my report one month ago the positivity for Cheshire County was 2.3%. As of November 10th we had 359 positive cases of COVID-19 identified in Cheshire County during the previous fourteen days. When I wrote my Board report one month ago we had 303 positive cases of COVID-19 in Cheshire County over the previous 14 days.

We now have a COVID-19 Dashboard located at the top of the Hinsdale School District Website.  Information on the Dashboard includes the total cases of identified COVID-19 in the District each month since the beginning of the school year and the number of cases by school in the District. Since the beginning of the school year we have had 40 cases of COVID-19 in the District. 28 cases have been at HES and 12 cases have been at HMHS.  As of November 10th we had one active case of COVID-19 in the District.

On November 9th the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was approved for children ages 5-11. Within 24 hours of approval our director of HR had received numerous calls from parents asking how they could schedule the shot for their children. Many parents are convinced that the vaccine will prevent infection as well as disruption to schooling. According to the CDC the number of COVID-19 infections among school age children increased five times over the summer months. According to the CDC, during the summer months, 5,200 children developed multisystem inflammatory syndrome as a result of contracting COVID-19. Multisystem inflammatory syndrome often leads to ICU admission. The median age of children getting multisystem inflammatory system is nine years old. In the U.S. at least 172 children ages 5-11 have died from COVID-19. Over the past year COVID-19 is the 8th highest killer of children in the 5-11 age group in the U.S. The Pfizer dose size is one-third the size of the dose given to children 12 and older. The lower dose was chosen to minimize side effects.

Our Business Administrator is working with our cost center managers to build an operating budget for the 2022/2023 school year. Our cost center managers reviewed the draft budget on Wednesday, November 3rd, and on Monday, November 8th.  Our Finance Committee will receive the draft budget on Monday, November 8th and the School Board will receive a draft budget on Wednesday, November 10th.

We continue to fund approved activities through our three ESSER grants. Our ESSER I grant (CARES Act) of $188,678.75 needs to be expended by September 30, 2022. To date we have expended funds from ESSER I for the following items: books to support remote learning, supplies to minimize spread of pathogens, storage for excess furniture, special education transportation, special education purchased services, and special education staff time, out of district special education tuition, substitute teachers, social worker assistant at HES, laptops for students and staff, increased internet bandwidth, webcams and related wiring. We have approximately $3,000 remaining in ESSER 1.

We have a total allocation of $858,280.07 for our ESSER II grant (American Recovery Plan). These grant funds must be spent by 9/30/23 or the remaining funds will be distributed to other districts in the state. Our approved ESSER II expenses include the following: cleaning supplies, portable storage units, professional development with New Hampshire Learning Initiative, grant management, stipends for summer professional development, a social worker assistant, an increase in pay for substitutes, one full time substitute in each building, funds to offset Covid-19 related substitute costs, a COVID custodian, summer school staffing, copiers, Keys to Literacy training and coaching, laptops, smartboards, document cameras, offsite backup, general supplies, special education compensatory education staffing, a Life Skills Program paraprofessional, and out-of-district special education tuition and transportation. We have spent $442,648.64 from our ESSER II grant allocation. We have $415,631.43 remaining in our ESSER II grant account.

To date our allocation for our ESSER III grant (American Rescue Plan) is $1,929,462.25. So far we have spent $93,350.54. We have $1,836,111.71 remaining on our ESSER III allocation. We have until 9/30/24 to expend these funds.  Any funds remaining after 9/30/2024 will be sent back to the state to be distributed to other districts. Our approved ESSER III allocation includes funds for library books and books for students to take home, a school district network upgrade, a social emotional learning program for the middle/high school and related stipends for teachers to become trained, after school tutoring and after school bus transportation, NH Dance Institute Residency program, job embedded professional development – teachers will be released for this while students work with contracted service provider on social emotional learning, a graduate curriculum and leadership program through Keene State College. In addition, we have hired a middle/high school math interventionist and a middle/high school literacy interventionist, a part-time literacy coach at Hinsdale Elementary School, behavioral services support program, funds to support an ESSER III grant manager and funds for an ESSER III grant accountant. We are still looking for a part-time math coach at HES.

Since our last Board meeting there were three reports of bullying at HES.  Two were substantiated and one was unsubstantiated.  There were no reports of bullying at HMHS.

We are working on our District Goals and plan to report out our progress to the Board at the December, March, and June Board meetings. Each goal area has a leader that is tasked to report out our progress in December, March, and June.

2021-2022 District Goals

  1. Curriculum and Instruction

The team leader is our Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, Karen Thompson. Team members include our HMHS Principal, our HES Principal, our Director of Student Services and our HES Special Education Coordinator.

Establish continuity and collaboration in instruction between the school buildings.

Ensure all staff has access to pertinent trainings.

PACE-All grade levels will move towards performance assessment and enhanced personalized learning.

2. Communication

The team leader is our Director of HR, Ann Diorio. Team members include our HMHS Principal and her assistant, our HES Principal, our Director of Student Services, our Director of Technology and, as needed, the Superintendent.

Improve overall communication.

3. Culture

The team leader for our Culture Goal is our HMHS Principal, Ann Freitag. Team members include our HES Principal, our Director of Student Services and our HES Special Education Coordinator.

Promote a culture of kindness and open communication. 

Ensure clear behavioral expectations are communicated and followed up on regularly through the development and implementation of a district-wide behavior plan, the progress of which will be reported to the Board monthly by the Superintendent.

Promote an atmosphere that supports an inclusive, professional learning community.

Support and promote anti-bullying practices and ensure policies are being followed. Superintendent will spot check the bullying logs and report monthly to the Board.

Support the implementation of a diversity plan that can be integrated throughout the district.

4. Personnel

The team leader is our Director of HR, Ann Diorio. Team members include our HMHS Principal, our HES Principal, our Director of Student Services and our HMHS Assistant Principal. 

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

5. Financial

The team leader is our Business Administrator, Jodie Holmquist. Team members include our HMHS Principal, our HES Principal, our Director of Human Resources and the Superintendent.  

Support ways to conduct business in the most efficient and effective manner.

6. Security

The team leader is our HMHS Assistant Principal, Chris Ponce. Team members include our HES Principal, our Network Administrator, and our School Resource Officer.

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

7. Technology

The team leader is our Director of Technology, Debbie Trabucco, Team members include our Network Administrator and our Tech Support Specialist.  

Continue to align the district budget to support the 5-year technology plan. 

Ensure all staff has access to pertinent trainings.

8. Facilities

The team leader is our Business Administrator, Jodie Holmquist. Team members include our Director of Buildings and Grounds and the Superintendent.  

Fully utilize all building spaces.

October 2021 Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent’s Report – October 2021

As I write this report on Wednesday, October 6th, the 7-day test positivity rate for Cheshire County was 2.3%. The positivity rate for Cheshire County one month ago was 3.4%. As of October 6th we had 303 positive cases of COVID-19 identified in Cheshire County during the past fourteen days. When I wrote my Board report one month ago we had 229 positive cases of COVID-19 in Cheshire County over the previous 14 days.

We will be hosting COVID-19 vaccine clinic for HMHS students on October 21, 2021, from 12:30 to 2:30 at the Hinsdale High School Gym.  Students must be at least 12 years old. The second date for the follow-up shot is scheduled for November 15th.  COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective in low doses in children ages 5 to 11. Many believe that a vaccine will be approved for children ages 5 to 11 by Thanksgiving.

Due to the excessive rain and humidity we experienced this past summer August, we hired Hayes Microbial Consulting from Newmarket, New Hampshire to test for mold spores. Hayes Microbial Consulting tested our rooms that were most likely to have mold.  Hayes Microbial Consulting tested for the 17 most common mold organism. As reported to our Facilities Committee in late September all but one room had a negligible mold count.  We quickly fogged the room with a higher mold count as recommend by our consultant. Thankfully we have received much less rain recently and the humidity has significantly dropped so we do not anticipate a mold issue for the foreseeable future.

We continue to fund approved activities through our three ESSER grants. Our ESSER I grant (CARES Act) of $188,678.75 needs to be expended by September 30, 2022. To date we have expended funds from ESSER I for the following items: books to support remote learning, supplies to minimize spread of pathogens, storage for excess furniture, special education transportation, special education purchased services, and special education staff time, out of district special education tuition, substitute teachers, social worker assistant at HES, laptops for students and staff, increased internet bandwidth, webcams and related wiring. We have approximately $3,000 remaining in ESSER 1.

We have a total allocation of $858,280.07 for our ESSER II grant (American Recovery Plan). These grant funds must be spent by 9/30/23 or the remaining funds will be distributed to other districts in the state. Our approved ESSER II expenses include the following: cleaning supplies, portable storage units, professional development with New Hampshire Learning Initiative, grant management, stipends for summer professional development, social worker assistant; increase in pay for substitutes, one full time substitute in each building, funds to offset Covid-19 related substitute costs, COVID custodian, summer school staffing, copiers, Keys to Literacy training and coaching, laptops, smartboards, document cameras, offsite backup, general supplies, special education compensatory education staffing, Life Skills Program paraprofessional, and out of district special education tuition and transportation. We have spent $388,736.13 from our ESSER II grant allocation. We have $469,543.94 remaining in our ESSER II grant account.

To date our allocation for our ESSER III grant (American Rescue Plan) is $1,272,199.57. We anticipate an additional allocation within a month. We have until 9/30/24 to expend these funds.  Any funds remaining after 9/30/2024 will be sent back to the state to be distributed to other districts. Our approved ESSER III allocation includes funds for library books and books for students to take home, a school district network upgrade, a social emotional learning program for the middle/high school and related stipends for teachers to become trained, after school tutoring and after school bus transportation, NH Dance Institute Residency program, job embedded professional development – teachers will be released for this while students work with contracted service provider on social emotional learning, in addition, we have hired a middle/high school math interventionist and a middle/high school literacy interventionist, a part-time literacy coach at Hinsdale Elementary School, behavioral services support program, funds to support an ESSER III grant manager and funds for an ESSER III grant accountant. We are still looking for a part-time math coach at HES.

We had two reports of bullying at Hinsdale Elementary School since our last Board meeting, one case was substantiated and the other unsubstantiated. We had one reported case of bullying at HMHS since our last Board meeting. The HMHS case of bullying reported has not been substantiated.

We are working on our District Goals and plan to report out our progress to the Board at the December, March, and June Board meetings. Each goal area has a leader that is tasked to report out our progress in December, March, and June.

2021-2022 District Goals

  1. Curriculum and Instruction

 The team leader is our Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, Karen Thompson. Team members include our HMHS Principal, our HES Principal, our Director of Student Services and our HES Special Education Coordinator.

Establish continuity and collaboration in instruction between the school buildings.

Ensure all staff has access to pertinent trainings.

PACE-All grade levels will move towards performance assessment and enhanced personalized learning.

  1. Communication

 The team leader is our Director of HR, Ann Diorio. Team members include our HMHS Principal and her assistant, our HES Principal, our Director of Student Services, our Director of Technology and, as needed, the Superintendent.

 Improve overall communication.

  1. Culture

The team leader for our Culture Goal is our HMHS Principal, Ann Freitag. Team members include our HES Principal, our Director of Student Services and our HES Special Education Coordinator.  

Promote a culture of kindness and open communication. 

Ensure clear behavioral expectations are communicated and followed up on regularly through the development and implementation of a district-wide behavior plan, the progress of which will be reported to the Board monthly by the Superintendent.

Promote an atmosphere that supports an inclusive, professional learning community.

Support and promote anti-bullying practices and ensure policies are being followed. Superintendent will spot check the bullying logs and report monthly to the Board.

Support the implementation of a diversity plan that can be integrated throughout the district.

  1. Personnel

The team leader is our Director of HR, Ann Diorio. Team members include our HMHS Principal, our HES Principal, our Director of Student Services and our HMHS Assistant Principal. 

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

  1. Financial

 The team leader is our Business Administrator, Jodie Holmquist. Team members include our HMHS Principal, our HES Principal, our Director of Human Resources and the Superintendent.  

Support ways to conduct business in the most efficient and effective manner.

  1. Security

The team leader is our HMHS Assistant Principal, Chris Ponce. Team members include our HES Principal, our Network Administrator, and our School Resource Officer.  

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

  1. Technology

 The team leader is our Director of Technology, Debbie Trabucco, Team members include our Network Administrator and our Tech Support Specialist.

 Continue to align the district budget to support the 5-year technology plan. 

Ensure all staff has access to pertinent trainings.

  1. Facilities

The team leader is our Business Administrator, Jodie Holmquist. Team members include our Director of Buildings and Grounds and the Superintendent.

Fully utilize all building spaces.

September 2021 Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent’s Report – September 2021

Our first day with students went well. I observed a lot of visibly happy parents and happy students at the HES drop off on our opening day of August 31st. Our enrollment is up about 20 students at HMHS as compared to our first day last year. Our HES enrollment was up six students from the first day last year. Students appeared to be more excited than usual as they entered the buildings.  It seemed that every time I turned around another staff member was going out of his/her way to welcome a student.   Our preschool and our 1-8 after school program opens its doors to students on Tuesday, September 7th. Our after school program for kindergarten students opens the following week.

We continue to monitor the community spread of COVID-19. As I write this report on Wednesday, September 1st, the 7-day test positivity rate for Cheshire County is 3.4% which is about three times higher than it was when we ended the school year. As of September 1st we had 229 positive cases of COVID-19 in Cheshire County during the past fourteen days. As of September 1st we had two Hinsdale students test positive for COVID-19. We followed our approved guidelines.

Due to the excessive rain and humidity we have experienced since the beginning of July we have several indoor air quality issues we are currently addressing. We now have a professional indoor air quality meter that enables us to better determine the quality of our indoor air. We had a mold expert test the air in several areas in HMHS and we should receive the report soon.

Our Director of Facilities has begun to take steps to become certified in the area of asbestos detection and mitigation. Currently we are not aware of any issues related to asbestos but we are trying to be as proactive as possible.

We have many positions open especially at the Hinsdale Elementary School. We still need a reading and writing specialist, a part time English as a second language teacher, several para educators, a Title I tutor, substitute teachers, a math interventionist and a math instructional coach.

We were informed last week that we are able to use HASP unused funds from last year to help support our program this year. We were not expecting to receive these funds which for Hinsdale should be approximately $40,000.

We continue to fund approved activities through our three ESSER grants. Our ESSER I grant of $188,678.75 needs to be expended by September 30, 2022. To date we have expended funds from ESSER I for the following items: books to support remote learning, supplies to minimize spread of pathogens, storage for excess furniture, special education transportation, special education purchased services, and special education staff time, out of district special education tuition, substitute teachers, social worker assistant at HES, laptops for students and staff, increased internet bandwidth, webcams and related wiring.

We have a total allocation of $858,280.07 for our ESSER II grant. These grant funds must be spent by 9/30/23 or the remaining funds will be distributed to other districts in the state. Our approved ESSER II expenses include the following: cleaning supplies, portable storage units, professional development with New Hampshire Learning Initiative, grant management, stipends for summer professional development, social worker assistant; increase in pay for substitutes, one full time substitute in each building, funds to offset Covid-19 related substitute costs, COVID custodian, summer school staffing, copiers, Keys to Literacy training and coaching, laptops, smart boards, document cameras, offsite backup, general supplies, special education compensatory education staffing, Life Skills Program paraprofessional, and out of district special education tuition and transportation.

To date our allocation for ESSER III is $1,272,199.57. We anticipate an additional allocation in October, after the October 1st Free/Reduced Lunch count is posted. We have until 9/30/24 to expend these funds.  Any District funds remaining after 9/30/2024 will be sent back to the state to be distributed to other districts. Our approved ESSER III allocation includes funds for library books and books for students to take home, a school district network upgrade, a social emotional learning program for the middle/high school and related stipends for teachers to become trained, after school tutoring and after school bus transportation, NH Dance Institute Residency program, job embedded professional development – teachers will be released for this while students work with contracted service provider on social emotional learning, a graduate curriculum and leadership program through Keene State College, a middle/high school math interventionist and a middle/high school literacy interventionist, a part-time literacy coach at Hinsdale Elementary School, a part-time math coach at HES, behavioral services support program, funds to support an ESSER III grant manager and funds for an ESSER III grant accountant.

Superintendent’s May Report

Superintendent’s Report – May 2021

We are indeed fortunate to be part of a District with such supportive community as evidenced by the overwhelming support we received by District voters at our May 1st Annual School District Meeting. The District voters approved a School District budget of $14,218,291. The budget was up 0.5 percent from the current year budget. The voters also approved a three-year contract with our para employee group. The contract increased the funding by the district by $44,465 for 2022, $44,783 for 2023, and $42,272 for 2024. The agreement represents 36 paraprofessionals, custodians, maintenance personnel, and instructional assistants. 

We are beginning a discussion related to our use of grants funds that are part of the American Rescue Plan, ESSER III. The recently passed $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” or ESSER III includes $2,045,578 for Hinsdale schools. We were told by our Commissioner that the ESSER III grant will be open to us on May 24, 2021.  As with ESSER II a major focus of the grant includes catch-up learning for students. The funds from ESSER III must be spent by September of 2024. Any of the funds in our allocation that are not spent when the grant window closes will go back to the state for reallocation to other New Hampshire school districts. We are hopeful that we can be prepared to have an introductory conversation with the Board in June concerning possible areas where Hinsdale students would benefit most from the expenditure of ESSER III funds. The District plan for the use of the funds must be completed by August 22, 2021. New Hampshire has already received $350,501,632 in ESSER III funds from the federal government for New Hampshire public schools.

ESSER III contains several provisions that help ensure that federal funds are used in addition to—and not in place of—state and local education funding.

  • Effort: States must continue to fund public elementary and secondary education and higher education at least at the proportional levels as the average annual funding over fiscal years 2017, 2018, and 2019. For example, if a state spent on average 26% of its total budget on k–12 and higher education between 2017 and 2019, then it must provide that same percentage of support in both 2022 and 2023.
  • Equity—State: In the 2021–22 and 2022–23 school years, high-need school districts are protected from states’ spending reductions in two ways. First, state per-pupil funding for the neediest half of districts cannot be reduced by an amount that exceeds the overall decrease in state funds. Second, per-pupil state funding for the 20% of districts with the highest percentage of economically disadvantaged students may not be reduced below pre-pandemic levels (FY 2019).

Cost center managers are still reviewing expenditures we made in the current year to see if the expenditure would be ESSER II eligible. We have discovered several transactions that are being changed so as not to be charged to the general operating budget but instead charged to the CARES Act grant or the ESSER II grant.

The New Hampshire state budget is currently being debated by the legislature. The House has attached a few controversial provisions to the budget including provisions from the “divisive concepts” bill which would prohibit schools from teaching about and offering trainings on systemic racism and sexism.

The American Families Plan is currently being debated by Congress.  One provision of the plan would allocate $200 billion to establish universal preschool for all three and four year olds.  Another provision would appropriate $9 billion for teacher training. Other provisions include: free community college, school leadership training funds, $4,000 to $8,000 a year for college students studying education and money to pay for recertification.

The number of COVID-19 cases has dropped since our last Board meeting.  As of Wednesday, May, 5th the positivity rate in Cheshire County was 1.8 % and the average number of new cases over the past two weeks were 12 per day.

We continue to work to meet the 2020/ 2021 Board Goals.

The 2020-2021 Hinsdale School Board Goals are as follows:

  1. Curriculum and Instruction

Establish continuity and collaboration in instruction between the school buildings.

 We are currently working on our fifth grade to sixth grade transition plan. The plan to date includes a visit by the fifth grade students to the middle school. We also plan to offer an open house for the current fifth grade parents in August.

Ensure all staff has access to pertinent trainings.

There are many examples of needed training that should be grant fund eligible. Our Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment is focusing on professional development opportunities to be accomplished over the summer. Our administrators plan to discuss options for our professional development days scheduled for the fall.

Our Director and Personalized Learning and our Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment are coordinating professional development opportunities for PACE related adjustments to curriculum and instruction.

PACE-All grade levels will move towards performance assessment and enhanced personalized learning.

 Our Director of Personalized Learning is managing a $250,000 grant that should fund our effort to help us move forward with our PACE directive. In addition, we are considering some use of ESSER III funds to help support teachers working with our ELO students.  Our Director of Personalized Learning and our Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment are working with the leaders at the New Hampshire Learning Initiative to create meaningful professional development for our staff.

  1. Communication

Internal-Improve overall communication.

 Our Board continues to frequently update the public as part of the new Communication Plan approved by the Board in September.  The new communication plan is driven by the need to more quickly and thoroughly communicate due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

External-Maintain communication to promote a collaborative relationship with the community in the following ways:

 Continue to hold a minimum of two community forums during the school year.

We hope to hold a public hearing regarding the ESSER III grant prior to agreeing to our grant priorities.  We could hold the public hearing just prior to our regular Board meeting in June.

Maintain a presence on other committees, boards and through attendance at community events in town.

Due to COVID-19 community events have been limited but beginning with this summer community events should be similar to those that took place in 2019 and not 2020.

Maintain relationships with town governing bodies.

Board members currently serve on several town committees.

Culture

 Promote a culture of kindness and open communication.

Our Director of Human Resources has been providing staff with frequent wellness related updates. She continues to coordinate donuts and coffee in the staff rooms on Friday afternoon as appreciation for the difficult work our staff is accomplishing during this trying time. We are in the process of planning a special end-of-year celebration for our staff. 

Ensure clear behavioral expectations are communicated and followed up on regularly through the development and implementation of a district-wide behavior plan, the progress of which will be reported to the Board monthly by the Superintendent.

The Behavioral Support Team in each school have been working on their building school wide behavior plans. The District Behavioral Support Team last met on Wednesday, April 14th.  Board member Kaylah Hemlow chairs the Behavioral Support Team. Under the ESSA II grant and the ESSER III grant Social Emotional Learning is a priority.

Promote an atmosphere that supports an inclusive, professional learning community.

We are planning to use grant funds again next year to continue to support our Professional Learning Communities.

Support and promote anti-bullying practices and ensure policies are being followed.

Superintendent will spot check the bullying logs and report monthly to the Board.

We have had zero incidents of bullying at HMHS since our last Board meeting. We have had three incidents of reported bullying at HES. One was substantiated, one unsubstantiated and one still under investigation.

Support the development of a diversity plan that can be integrated throughout the district.

We intend to bring a new draft of our Diversity Plan to the May Board meeting. The administrative team endorsed the draft plan at the May 5th administration meeting. Our Director of Student Services chairs our Diversity Committee and has led the effort to form a meaningful plan.

  1. Personnel

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

We have several para positions that remain unfilled. Thanks to Board action we now have four long-term substitutes that are being used to help meet our social distancing guidelines.  On May 1st the District voters approved a three-year agreement with our support staff.

Holly Kennedy and Sean Leary were the Board representatives on the Negotiations Committee

  1. Financial

Support ways to conduct business in the most efficient and effective manner.

We cut personnel by 3.4 positions in the budget that was approved by the District voters on May 1st. We expect a significant surplus when we close the books on the 2020/2021 school year budget.

Work with the administration to present a warrant article to rebuild the expendable trust funds.

 Given the personal hardships in our community, that were a result of the current pandemic, the Board chose not to present a warrant article to rebuild the expendable trust funds this year.

Work with the Administration to proactively monitor the fund balance. Our Business Administrator is presenting his estimate to the Board each month.

Maintain ongoing communication with the Budget Committee regarding any potential changes in funding and expenditures and continue to provide detailed backup information for the budget. Recently Board representatives have met with Budget Committee leadership regarding anticipated revenue.

  1. Security

 Continue to review security audit information and move forward, in a fiscally responsible manner, to ensure our buildings are secure and our students and staff are safe. We are focusing our efforts on providing the needed PPE and frequently sanitizing our buildings. We have available grant funds to cover our needs. In addition, FEMA has just announced another round of funding for schools. Our Director of Facilities is in the process of determining if the FEMA grant could be a source of funding for related expenses in the 2020/2021 budget.

  1. Technology

 Continue to align the district budget to support the 5-year technology plan.

As outlined in the 5-year technology plan we will be purchasing computers over the summer for all students in fifth grade and in ninth grade.

 Ensure all staff has access to pertinent trainings.

We will soon be able to use grant funds for additional training and are planning quality summer professional development as well as the professional development we will offer for all staff members in the fall.

  1. Facilities

Twice yearly School Board tours of all school buildings –1 tour during the school day and 1 tour when classes are not in session. The Board toured the HMHS in the fall and the Board Chair, Sean Leary, toured HES on Friday, March 26th.

Fully utilize all building spaces.

We are currently doing a great job of utilizing our building spaces for instruction as evidenced by our ability to provide in-person instruction five days a week since September 8th

Superintendent’s April 2021 Report

Superintendent’s Report – April 2021

“The recently passed $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” includes $2,045,578 for Hinsdale schools. We were told that the ARP grant will be open for us sometime in late May. A major focus of the grant includes catch-up learning for students. It is likely that the funds from the American Rescue Plan must be spent by September of 2024 but we have not received the official word regarding a “spend by date.” Any of the funds in our allocation that are not spent when the grant window closes will go back to the state for reallocation to other New Hampshire school districts.

We will have a draft overview to present to the Board regarding the areas of expenditure we are recommending for the $857,000 ESSER II grant that was recently opened to us. The $857,000 “Response and Relief Supplemental Act” passed by congress in December also focused on catch-up learning.  Those funds must be spent by schools by September 2023.  After September 2023 any funds remaining in our grant account will be returned to the state to be reallocated to other school districts. As we prepare to expend these grant funds available to us we are trying to create efficiencies that will have long term benefits to the District. In addition, we are working to ensure that we are not obligating the District to any costs after the grant funds are exhausted.

In addition to addressing learning loss among students, including low-income students, and children with disabilities​, the grants may also be used for the following:

Purchasing educational technology (including hardware, software, and connectivity) for students who are served by the Hinsdale School District that aids in regular and substantive educational interaction between students and their classroom instructors, including low-income students and children with disabilities, which may include assistive technology or adaptive equipment. ​

Planning and implementing activities related to summer learning and supplemental afterschool programs, including providing classroom instruction or online learning during the summer months and addressing the needs of low-income students and children with disabilities.

Providing information and assistance to parents ​and families on how they can effectively support students, including in a distance learning environment.

Administering and using high-quality assessments that are valid and reliable, to accurately assess students’ academic progress and assist educators in meeting students’ academic needs, including through differentiating instruction. ​

Implementing evidence-based activities to meet the comprehensive needs of students.

Providing mental health services and supports for students and staff.

Providing principals and others school leaders with the resources necessary to address the needs of their individual schools.

School facility repairs and improvements to enable operation of schools to reduce risk of virus transmission and exposure to environmental health hazards, and to support student health needs. ​

Inspection, testing, maintenance, repair, replacement, and upgrade projects to improve the indoor air quality in school facilities, including mechanical and non-mechanical heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, filtering, purification and other air cleaning, fans, control systems, and window and door repair and replacement. ​

Activities to address the unique needs of low-income students.

Training and professional development for Hinsdale staff on sanitation and minimizing the spread of infectious diseases. ​

Purchasing supplies to sanitize and clean the facilities of the Hinsdale District.

Tracking student attendance and improving student engagement in distance education. ​

Currently the Hinsdale administration is recommending the areas of expenditure for ESSER II to include about $106,000 for technology, $170,000 for special education needs, about $60,000 for summer instruction, about $87,000 for substitute teachers, about $85,000 to replace our copiers, about $25,000 for professional development, about $120,000 to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and about $13,000 to manage the grant.

We seem to have a student or staff member test positive for COVID-19 weekly.  As of April 26th the seven-day positivity rate for Cheshire County was 1.6 percent. The 14-day average number of new cases for Cheshire County is 14.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court sent the ConVal school funding case back to the Cheshire County Superior Court for a full trial. The lawsuit claims that the state does not fully fund a constitutionally “adequate” education. The American Civil Liberties Union and the New Hampshire School Boards Association signed in support of the suit. The ruling means school districts will have to wait months or years for a resolution of the lawsuit.

Congratulation to the Hinsdale Girls Varsity Basketball Team. The team won the State Championship for 2021.  In the championship game Colebrook was up 22-8 at the end of the first quarter and looked unstoppable. Undoubtedly, Colebrook was a talented team but as the game unfolded the Hinsdale girls clearly never lost the faith that they would prevail. There was no sense of panic, but rather a focused strong confidence that when the final buzzer sounded Hinsdale would have the championship win. The heart of the team was firmly anchored in the belief that they were better prepared and that, thanks to their coaches, were willing to put in whatever effort that was needed to win the game.

The Hinsdale Coaches include: Terry Bonnette, Sam Kilelee, and Chris Roberts. The Hinsdale players include: Kleay Steever, Addy Nardolillo, Brooke Pagach, Megan Roberts, Delaney Wilcox, Lilee Taylor, Lily Briggs, Olivia Pangelinan, Audrey Martin, Angelina Nardolillo, and Aleah Owen.

We continue to work to meet the 2020/ 2021 Board Goals.

The 2020-2021 Hinsdale School Board Goals are as follows:

  1. Curriculum and Instruction

We are considering many options that would help us achieve catch-up learning which could all be funded from the ESSER II and the ESSER III grants. We are recommending the formation of a task force to help with a strategic plan and with the expenditures related to the implementation of the strategic plan. Hinsdale administration recommends the following positions be included on the task force: two Board members, director of personalized learning, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment, HES principal, HES teacher, HMHS teacher, reading specialist, HMHS principal or assistant principal, special education administrator, and library media specialist. If the Board approves the task force make up, we would bring names for the Board to select from to the May Board meeting.

Establish continuity and collaboration in instruction between the school buildings.

We would ask that this goal area be included in the work of the task force.

Ensure all staff has access to pertinent trainings.

There are many examples of needed training that should be grant fund eligible. Our Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment is focusing on professional development opportunities to be accomplished over the summer.

Our Director and Personalized Learning and our Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment are coordinating professional development opportunities for PACE related adjustments to curriculum and instruction. Once again newly available grant funds should help us achieve this end. The $250,000 grant managed by Karen Thompson should help us achieve this goal. Both the ESSER II grant and the ESSER III grant could also be used to help provide meaningful professional development in the area of personalized learning.

PACE-All grade levels will move towards performance assessment and enhanced personalized learning.  

Our Director of Personalized Learning is managing a $250,000 grant that was recently approved which should fund our effort to help us move forward with our PACE directive. Our Director of Personalized Learning and our Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment are working with the leaders at the New Hampshire Learning Initiative to create meaningful professional development for our staff. This professional learning could also be funding through ESSER II and ESSER III grants.

  1. Communication

Internal-Improve overall communication.  

Our Board continues to frequently update the public as part of the new Communication Plan approved by the Board in September.  The new communication plan is driven by the need to more quickly and thoroughly communicate due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

External-Maintain communication to promote a collaborative relationship with the community in the following ways:

Continue to hold a minimum of two community forums during the school year.

We would need to provide a public hearing regarding the ESSER III grant prior to agreeing to our grant priorities.  We could hold the public hearing just prior to our regular Board meeting in May or June.

Maintain a presence on other committees, boards and through attendance at community events in town.

Due to COVID-19 community events have been limited but beginning with this summer community events should be similar to those that took place in 2019 and not 2020.

Maintain relationships with town governing bodies.

Board members serve on several town committees.

  1. Culture

 Promote a culture of kindness and open communication.

Our Director of Human Resources has been providing staff with frequent wellness related updates. She continues to coordinate donuts and coffee in the staff rooms on Friday afternoon as appreciation for the difficult work our staff is accomplishing during this trying time.

Ensure clear behavioral expectations are communicated and followed up on regularly through the development and implementation of a district-wide behavior plan, the progress of which will be reported to the Board monthly by the Superintendent.

The Behavioral Support Team in each school have been working on their building school wide behavior plans. The District Behavioral Support Team is scheduled to next meet on Wednesday, April 14th.  Board member Kaylah Hemlow chairs the Behavioral Support Team. Under the ESSA II grant and the ESSER III grant Social Emotional Learning is a priority. The ESSA II grant of $857,000 will provide additional training and resources as needed through September 2023.The ESSER III grant should provide Social Emotional Learning support through September of 2024.

Promote an atmosphere that supports an inclusive, professional learning community.

We are planning to use grant funds again next year to continue to support our Professional Learning Communities.

Support and promote anti-bullying practices and ensure policies are being followed.

Superintendent will spot check the bullying logs and report monthly to the Board.

We have had zero incidents of bullying at HMHS and zero incidents of bullying at HES reported since our last Board meeting.

Support the development of a diversity plan that can be integrated throughout the district.

We intend to bring a new Diversity Plan to the May Board meeting. The plan will emphasize our effort to acknowledge the diversity of student accomplishments in all areas. The administrative team plans to endorse a plan at our administration meeting scheduled for May 5thth. Our Director of Student Services chairs our Diversity Committee.

  1. Personnel

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

We have several para positions that remain unfilled. Thanks to Board action we now have four long-term substitutes that are being used to help meet our social distancing guidelines.  The Para Negotiations Committee has come to an agreement with the Hinsdale Support Staff Association leadership. This agreement has been approved by the Board and ratified by the HSSA.  The Hinsdale Town Budget Committee also approved the agreement.

Holly Kennedy and Sean Leary are the Board representatives on Para Negotiations Committee

  1. Financial

Support ways to conduct business in the most efficient and effective manner.

We cut personnel by 3.4 positions in the budget that was approved by the Board and the Budget committee.

Work with the administration to present a warrant article to rebuild the expendable trust funds. 

Given the personal hardships in our community, that were a result of the current pandemic, the Board chose not to present a warrant article to rebuild the expendable trust funds this year.

Work with the Administration to proactively monitor the fund balance. Our Business Administrator is presenting his estimate to the Board each month.

Maintain ongoing communication with the Budget Committee regarding any potential changes in funding and expenditures and continue to provide detailed backup information for the budget. Recently Board representatives have met with Budget Committee leadership regarding anticipated revenue.

  1. Security

Continue to review security audit information and move forward, in a fiscally responsible manner, to ensure our buildings are secure and our students and staff are safe. We are focusing our efforts on providing the needed PPE and frequently sanitizing our buildings. We have available grant funds to cover our needs. In addition, FEMA has just announced another round of funding for schools. Our Director of Facilities recently procured a free pallet of PPE for the Hinsdale Schools.

  1. Technology

 Continue to align the district budget to support the 5-year technology plan.

Due to the number of students who are engaged with our remote learning model we are focusing on identifying the grants funds to support the technology needs for remote learning.

Ensure all staff has access to pertinent trainings.

We continue to provide the training that is needed to meet the needs of our remote learner.  We will soon be able to use grant funds for additional training and are planning quality summer professional for any staff member who wishes to participate.

  1. Facilities

Twice yearly School Board tours of all school buildings –1 tour during the school day and 1 tour when classes are not in session. The Board Chair, Sear Leary, toured HES on Friday, March 26th.

Fully utilize all building spaces.

We are currently doing a great job of utilizing our building spaces for instruction as evidenced by our ability to provide in-person instruction five days a week.