Category Archives: Superintendent Blog

Superintendent’s Report for November 2022

Superintendent’s Report – November 2022

As of Wednesday, November 30th, the number of new cases of COVID-19 in Cheshire County over the past 14 days was 106.  As of November 30th, we have had 51 active cases of COVID-19 this school year in the Hinsdale School District, 17 at Hinsdale Elementary School and 34 at Hinsdale Middle High School.  We currently have no known active cases of COVID-19 in the Hinsdale School District.

We continue to follow the Center for Disease Control (CDC) updated guidance for COVID-19 in schools. The guidance advises to stay home for at least five days when sick with COVID-19. Those with the following symptoms should stay home: After five days out and 24 hours of being symptom free (without medication) students/staff may return as long as they wear a mask for the first five days after returning.  Those with the following symptoms should stay home:

  • respiratory or gastrointestinal infections
    • cough,
    • fever (temperature greater than 100 degrees F),
    • sore throat,
    • vomiting
    • diarrhea

Testing is recommended as soon as possible for people with symptoms. We are currently not conducting tests, but do have tests available for families to test at home. Parents are asked to please contact the school if their child tests positive.

Quarantine is no longer recommended for people who are exposed to COVID-19.

All the recommended steps for HVAC systems in the Hinsdale School District have been taken. The district teaches and reinforces proper hand washing and the use of hand sanitizer especially during key times of day such as snack and meal time. We will also emphasize proper covering for coughs and sneezes.

Surfaces are cleaned once a day. If a person with COVID-19 has been inside a school within the last 24 hours, the space is cleaned and disinfected.

Hopefully the improvements made to our HVAC system and in our frequency of cleaning common surfaces will result in fewer colds and cases of the flu.  In addition, many communities have seen a dramatic increase of RSV among students.  The same mitigation strategies we are using to reduce the rate of COVID-19 and the flu should work to reduce the cases of the respiratory virus RSV. RSV infections are a bigger concern for our young students.  Over the past few months many hospitals around the country have been overwhelmed with the respiratory virus RSV. To my knowledge RSV has yet to be a problem for our Hinsdale students. For those who only get a mild case of RSV the symptoms will likely resemble cold symptoms.

Our staffing shortage continues. We still need several paras and substitutes in both buildings. We also need a HMHS literary interventionist, a HMHS science teacher, a HMHS special education case manager, a preschool case manager, a HES Title I tutor, a HES math interventionist, a district school psychologist, and several HASP club advisors. We desperately need a HES school nurse.

Our ESSER Review Committee met on October 26th to review the expenditures in our ESSER II and ESSER III grants and to determine if there are additional requests to be considered at the November School Board meeting. We found several areas of savings. At the November 2nd meeting, the administrators approved revisions to ESSER II of $90,055.26 and revisions of ESSER III which total $177,327.72. These recommendations were presented to the School Board for approval at the November 9th Board meeting. The Board approved all but two of the revision requests. The revised grant applications have been sent to the New Hampshire Department of Education for final approval.  As with all ESSER funding recommendations, the public has the opportunity to provide input during the public comment section at all our monthly School Board meetings.

All COVID-19 relief funds expire in September of 2024.

Our business administrator is working diligently on the 2023/2024 school year budget. Our Finance Committee met on November 14th and November 21st at which time the Finance Committee reviewed the administrators’ proposed budget and made several recommendations which are included in the draft budget proposal which will be reviewed by the entire Board on Thursday, December 1st.

We are working on our 2022/2023 School District Goals. We plan to discuss our progress at our December 7th administrators’ meeting.  I plan to report on our progress at the December 14th Board meeting. 

Our school district goals for 2022-2023 are as follows:

  1. Curriculum

Through collaboration with the Hinsdale Community, the HSD will develop a K-12 Portrait of a Learner that will ensure equity throughout the curriculum.  (Aligned with Portrait of a Learner.)

Curriculum design and implementation will provide and enhance opportunities for all students to meet standards that are both practical and progressive and will help each student realize their potential and move toward higher educational and career goals. (Aligned with the Portrait of a Graduate.)

  1. Communication

Continue to promote various forms of communication for staff and to provide staff with the information they need in a timely manner.

Increase our web presence to be more user-friendly and to showcase the positive educational experiences at the Hinsdale School District.

  1. Culture

Nurture a culture of kindness, open/honest communication and empathy. 

  1. Personnel

To be the School District of choice through thoughtful recruiting efforts, retention of professional, high-quality staff that are innovative and dedicated to the success of our students.   To allow for meaningful and relevant professional development.

  1. Financial

To explore options for the budget process, including the principals of a modified zero based budget process.

  1. Technology

To provide effective training to better integrate technology into all aspects of the district.

Superintendent’s October 2022 Report

Superintendent’s Report – October 2022

As of Monday, October 31st the number of new cases of COVID-19 in Cheshire County over the past 14 days was 153.  As of October 31st, we have had 41 positive cases of COVID-19 this school year in the Hinsdale School District. We currently have seven known active cases of COVID-19 in the Hinsdale School District.

The BA.5 subvariant remains the dominant version of COVID-19 nationwide making up an estimated 83% of the cases. The U.S. is averaging approximately 45,000 new cases each day with an average of approximately 3,500 hospitalizations. The death rate for COVID-19 is about three times the death rate of the flu during a typical year. It is estimated that Omicron has infected 80 percent of Americans. Going forward, it is estimated that COVID will continue to infect 50 percent of the population every year, even without another Omicron-like new variant. In contrast, flu sickens an estimated 10 to 20 percent of Americans a year. The best predictor of the impact of the flu on the U.S. population during the winter season is the impact of the flu during winter in the Southern Hemisphere. Australia is just now recovering from a very early and very hard flu season.

We are worried that a winter surge of COVID-19 along with a hard flu season in Hinsdale would stretch our resources beyond the manageable range. Therefore, we plan to recommend emergency options to the Board at the November Board meeting. Given the difficulty we are having finding substitutes it would be very difficult to manage if many staff members remain home due to illness. Further complicating this problem is that we have not found a full-time school nurse for Hinsdale Elementary School. We are managing at about 50% coverage with the help of a substitute nurse and our previous HES nurse who is available one day per week.

In addition, due to staffing shortages our ability to manage during a likely winter surge of COVID-19 is compromised. We still need several paras and substitutes in both buildings.  We also need a HMHS literary interventionist, a HMHS science teacher, a HMHS special education case manager, a HES Title I tutor, a HES math interventionist, a district part-time curriculum coordinator, an ELO coordinator, a district school psychologist, HASP club advisors, and a JV boys’ basketball coach. As previously mentioned we desperately need a HES school nurse.  We are not the only district finding it very difficult to fill our openings. Across the nation it is estimated that a current shortage of 350,000 teachers exists.

We continue to follow the Center for Disease Control (CDC) updated guidance for COVID-19 in schools. The guidance advises to stay home for at least five days when sick with COVID-19. After five days out and 24 hours of being symptom free (without medication) students/staff may return as long as they wear a mask for the first five days after returning.  Those with the following symptoms should stay home:

*respiratory or gastrointestinal infections
• cough,
• fever (temperature greater than 100 degrees F),
• sore throat,
• vomiting
• diarrhea

Testing is recommended as soon as possible for people with symptoms. We are currently not conducting tests, but do have tests available for families to test at home. Parents are asked to please contact the school if their child tests positive.

Quarantine is no longer recommended for people who are exposed to COVID-19.

All the recommended steps for HVAC systems in the Hinsdale School District have been taken. The district teaches and reinforces proper hand washing and the use of hand sanitizer especially during key times of day such as snack and meal time. We will also emphasize proper covering for coughs and sneezes.

Surfaces are cleaned once a day. If a person with COVID-19 has been inside a school within last 24 hours, the space is cleaned and disinfected.

The US Department of Education is awarding nearly $1 billion in “Stronger Connections Grants” to 56 states and territories through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.

We are encouraged to write a grant proposal that would accomplish one of the following:

  1. Implementing comprehensive, evidence-based strategies that meet student social, emotional, and mental well-being needs; create positive, inclusive, and supportive school environments; and increase access to place-based interventions and services.
  2. Engaging students, families, educators, staff, and community organizations in the selection and implementation of strategies and interventions to create safe, inclusive, and supportive learning environments.
  3. Designing and implementing policies and practices that are responsive to underserved students, protect student rights, and demonstrate respect for student dignity and potential.

New Hampshire will be allocated $4,833,025 for the Stronger Connections Grant. Maine, Vermont, and Rhode Island are also receiving that same amount.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, New Hampshire has not implemented its federal accountability system required under the “Every Student Succeeds Act” since the Fall of 2019.  With the accountability system fully resuming this Fall, we are expected to see the Hinsdale student assessment results from the past school year by early November.  In order to meet the state goal for Hinsdale we need to reach 62.54% proficiency in reading and 50.14% proficiency in math.

Our ESSER Review Committee met on October 26th to review the expenditures in our ESSER II and ESSER III grants and to determine if there are additional requests to be considered at the November School Board meeting. We found several areas of savings and intend to propose several options for consideration at the meeting of SAU 92 administrators on Wednesday, November 2nd.  If, at the November 2nd meeting, the administrators approve revisions to either ESSER II or ESSER III, those recommendations will go to the Board for approval at the November 9th Board meeting.

We have established district goal teams for the 2022-2023 Hinsdale School District goals. We plan to report out our progress each month beginning in December. 

Curriculum

Through collaboration with the Hinsdale Community, the HSD will develop a K-12 Portrait of a Learner that will ensure equity throughout the curriculum.  (Aligned with Portrait of a Learner.)

Curriculum design and implementation will provide and enhance opportunities for all students to meet standards that are both practical and progressive and will help each student realize their potential and move toward higher educational and career goals. (Aligned with the Portrait of a Graduate.)

Communication

Continue to promote various forms of communication for staff and to provide staff with the information they need in a timely manner.

Increase our web presence to be more user-friendly and to showcase the positive educational experiences at the Hinsdale School District.

Culture

Nurture a culture of kindness, open/honest communication and empathy. 

Personnel

To be the School District of choice through thoughtful recruiting efforts, retention of professional, high-quality staff that are innovative and dedicated to the success of our students.   To allow for meaningful and relevant professional development.

Financial

To explore options for the budget process, including the principals of a modified zero based budget process.

Technology

To provide effective training to better integrate technology into all aspects of the district.

Superintendent’s Report – September 2022

Superintendent’s Report – September 2022

Our first day with students went well. I observed a lot of visibly happy parents and happy students at the Hinsdale Elementary School drop off on our opening day of August 30th. Our preschool and our afterschool program at HES and HMS began on Tuesday, September 6th.

Our new bleachers are installed in our Hinsdale Middle/High School gym. On Wednesday, August 31st our athletic director demonstrated a remote control device that activated the process where the bleachers opened. The bleachers take about ten seconds to roll in place. Thanks to all our maintenance personnel, including our Director of Facilities, for the quick installation. Thanks to the Board and the voters for supporting this project.

We hired a staff payroll accountant on Tuesday, September 6th. Gretchen Higgins has experience in both accounts payable and in payroll and will be doing both for SAU 92. Gretchen replaces Debbie Godin.

The state adequacy preliminary revenue for the current school year have been released. Overall we are expecting slightly more than we received last year, $5,282,242. The state-wide education property tax was cut by $100 million. The $100 million amounts to about 30% of the total. However, for each dollar the Hinsdale School District is losing in statewide property tax revenue we are generally receiving a state adequacy dollar to replace it. The result of the reduction in state-wide property tax will likely result in lower overall property taxes which should be reflected on the Hinsdale November property tax bill.

The base per pupil state adequacy revenue rate is now set at $3,786.66 per student. Adequacy includes an additional rate for certain students as follows: $1,893.32 for a free or reduced-price meal eligible student. $2,037.11 for a special education student who has an individualized educational plan (IEP). 740.87 for an English Language Learner (ELL) receiving English Language instruction. $740.87 for each 3rd grade student whose achievement score on the state assessment for reading was below the proficient level, provided the student is not already counted in any of the above three categories. Other major contributors to our adequacy revenue from the state include free and reduced revenue modifications. Last year all free/reduced student numbers were, at a minimum, brought to the 2019-2020 school year number to act as an enrollment hold harmless. For this year we will only receive free/reduced revenue based on current numbers of students with completed qualifying applications.

Any Equalized Valuation Per Free/Reduced Pupil that is under $1 million gets the maximum grant of $650 per free/reduced lunch pupil. There is additional aid based on free/reduced lunch numbers and this grant is called “Relief Aid.” This new grant awards a sliding scale grant starting at $150 and going up to $600 per free/reduced lunch student. Communities with at least 12% free/reduced lunch student population are eligible. Hinsdale currently has a free/reduced lunch percentage of 37%. The $151,580 in funding for our Hinsdale Afterschool Program, $264,885 for our Title I (reading and math) program, $39,562 for our staff development program are mostly determined by our free/reduced lunch student total.

Senate Bill 140 was renamed “Extraordinary Need Grant.” Hinsdale should receive $126,424.00 from this grant, as long as our application is accepted. The accountability plan application for the Extraordinary Need Grant is due by January 9, 2023. The Extraordinary Need Grant revenue is included in the $5,282.242.00 total in state adequacy revenue.

As of Wednesday, September 14th the number of new COVID-19 cases in Cheshire County over the past 14 days was 125.  As of September 14th we have had eight positive cases of COVID-19 this school  year in the Hinsdale School District. We are following the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recently released updated guidance for COVID-19 in schools. The guidance advises to stay home when sick. Those with the following symptoms should stay home: respiratory or gastrointestinal infections, cough, fever (temperature greater than 100 degrees F), sore throat, vomiting,
and diarrhea. In addition, testing is recommended as soon as possible for people with symptoms. We are currently not conducting tests, but will have tests available for families to test at home. Parents are asked to please contact the school if their child tests positive. For attendance purposes, please email a picture of a positive test with the date and student’s name. If the student’s test is negative but with symptoms, please email a picture of the negative test with student’s name and the date on it.

All the recommended steps for HVAC systems in the Hinsdale School District have been taken.

The district teaches and reinforces proper hand washing and the use of hand sanitizer especially during key times of day such as snack and meal time. We will also emphasize proper covering for coughs and sneezes.

Surfaces are cleaned once a day. If a person with COVID-19 has been inside a school within last 24 hours, the space is cleaned and disinfected.

Quarantine is no longer recommended for people who are exposed to COVID-19.

If you test positive for COVID-19, stay home for at least five (5) days and isolate from others in your home.

If you had COVID-19 symptoms, please follow this guidance:

  • Day 0 of isolation is the day of symptom onset, regardless of when you tested positive.
    • Day 1 is the first full day after the day your symptoms started. You may end isolation after Day 5 and return to school – wearing a mask – through Day 10 if:
    • You are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication, and your symptoms are improving

If you still have a fever or your other symptoms have not improved, continue to isolate until they improve. If you had moderate illness (shortness of breath or had difficulty breathing), or severe illness (you were hospitalized due to COVID-19), or you have a weakened immune system, you need to isolate through Day 10. If you had severe illness or have a weakened immune system, consult your doctor before ending isolation. Ending isolation without a viral test may not be an option for you. If you are unsure if your symptoms are moderate or severe, or if you have a weakened immune system, talk to your healthcare provider for further guidance.

We still have many positions open. We still need a HMHS literary interventionist, a HMHS science teacher, several para educators, a Title I tutor, substitute teachers, and a HES math interventionist.

We continue to fund approved activities through our three federal ESSER grants. As always we continue to welcome public input regarding potential expenditures related to any of our three ESSER grants. Our ESSER I grant (CARES Act) of $188,678.75 needs to be expended by September 30, 2022. We have very little left in our ESSER I account. 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.

Our ESSER Committee intends to meet on October 26th to review the expenditures in our ESSER II and ESSER III grants and determine if there are additional requests to be considered at the November School Board meeting.

August Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent’s Report – August 2022

Our students returned on Tuesday, August 30th for their first day in class for the 2022/2023 school year.

Our elementary school open house on Monday, August 29th was well attended with about 80% of our HES parents in attendance. In addition, our sixth grade open house on Thursday, August 25th was also well attended.

Numerous search committees met over the summer to help select the best candidates for our many openings. We have made 19 new hires over the summer. To date our new hires include the following: Second Grade Teachers Michel Pion and Kassandra Anderson, Kindergarten Teacher Pam Bressett, HES school counselor Morgan Braniff, HES paras Vanessa Johnson, Whitney Reed, Cassandra Barry, Jessica Seymour, and Amy Avery, HMHS principal John Barth, HHS counselor Matt Azzaro and HMS counselor Joe Smith, HMS case manager Kara Garvey, HMHS full time substitute teacher Alicia Muller, HMHS Spanish teacher William Frazier, HMHS paras Kim Whelch and Kleay Steever, technical support specialist Connor Martin, network support administrator Shawn Wood, and manager of human resources Sarah Tatro.

The unemployment rate is as low as it has been in more than 50 years, and as a result it has become increasingly difficult to fill all our open positions. We opened the school year with some positions unfilled. Current openings include: substitute teachers, HES math interventionist, HES math instructional coach, Title I tutors, HMHS science teacher, HMHS literary interventionist, school psychologist, and HMHS part-time van driver.

On August 11th, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) released updated guidance for COVID-19 in schools and child care settings. Last school year, the Hinsdale School District followed CDC guidance and plans to continue to do so for the 2022-2023 school year. The guidance advises to stay home when sick. Those with the following symptoms should stay home:

respiratory or gastrointestinal infections
cough
fever (temperature greater than 100 degrees F)
sore throat
vomiting
diarrhea

Testing is recommended as soon as possible for people with symptoms. The schools will not be conducting tests this year, but will have tests available for families to test at home. Parents are asked to please contact the school if their child tests positive. For attendance purposes, please email a picture of a positive test with the date and student’s name. If the student’s test is negative but with symptoms, please email a picture of the negative test with student’s name and the date on it.

All the recommended steps for HVAC systems in the Hinsdale School District have been taken. We also plan to open windows as much as possible.

The district will teach and reinforce proper hand washing or use of hand sanitizer especially during key times of day such as snack and meal time. We will also emphasize proper covering for coughs and sneezes.

Surfaces will be cleaned once a day. If a person with COVID-19 has been inside a school within last 24 hours, the space will be cleaned and disinfected.

Quarantine is no longer recommended for people who are exposed to COVID-19.

If you test positive for COVID-19, stay home for at least five (5) days and isolate from others in your home.

If you had COVID-19 symptoms please follow this guidance:
• Day 0 of isolation is the day of symptom onset, regardless of when you tested positive.
• Day 1 is the first full day after the day your symptoms started.

You may end isolation after Day 5 and return to school – wearing a mask – through Day 10 if:
• You are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication, and your symptoms are improving

If you still have a fever or your other symptoms have not improved, continue to isolate until they improve. If you had moderate illness (shortness of breath or had difficulty breathing), or severe illness (you were hospitalized due to COVID-19), or you have a weakened immune system, you need to isolate through Day 10. If you had severe illness or have a weakened immune system, consult your doctor before ending isolation. Ending isolation without a viral test may not be an option for you. If you are unsure if your symptoms are moderate or severe, or if you have a weakened immune system, talk to your healthcare provider for further guidance.

Last school year we had 246 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Hinsdale School District. We had 135 reported cases at HES and 111 at HMHS. Federal data show that the highly transmissible BA.5 sub-variant of the omicron coronavirus strain now accounts for almost 82 percent of all new infections. BA.5 is the variant that is responsible for President Biden’s recent infection. The virus mutation has increased from less than 1 percent of new cases at the beginning of May. There have been 124 new cases of COVID-19 identified in Cheshire County over the past 14 days.

A lawsuit was filed in June that contends New Hampshire’s education funding formula is inequitable to taxpayers. The lawsuit contends that the state’s failure to adequately fund education results in local property tax rates that vary widely from town to town and place an undue burden on towns with lower tax bases. The case is similar to the ConVal lawsuit, and is scheduled for trial in early 2023. The new lawsuit emphasizes tax rates as opposed to per-pupil funding. One talks about the real cost of educating our students. Whereas the other talks about how we raise that money.

Our Legislature passed numerous bills into law this past session.  Some of the most impactful new state laws include:

A law which establishes a committee to study teacher shortages and recruitment incentives.

A law which removes school staff approval as a requirement for converting an existing public school to a charter school.

A law that creates an independent office of the advocate for special education to ensure schools comply with disabilities laws and serve as a point of contact for students with disabilities and their families.

A law that creates an office for “right-to-know” complaints.

A law that demands all schools create a site-specific school emergency operations plan and submit the plan to the director of homeland security by October 15th each year.

A law that requires a performance audit of the department of education freedom account program beginning in October of 2023.

A law that states no federal firearms related law that is inconsistent with NH firearm related law shall be followed.

A law that establishes a Legislative Oversight Committee to oversee the development and implementation of state education accountability programs.

A law that requires a child’s parent or guardian to provide written consent for any medical or dental treatment provided in a school setting.

A law that requires the local School Board ensure that their physical education courses and their health education courses focus on the importance of exercise and wellness.

A law that demands that any school employee who knows of or suspects a cybersecurity incident within their information systems shall immediately report such an incident to the New Hampshire Department of Information Technology.

A law that states that all students prior to graduation receive a grade of 70% or better on the 128 question civics naturalization examination. A district may develop a localization competency assessment and request approval by the state.

A law that demands all NH K-12 Schools Boards include a student Board member. The student Board member does not vote and does not participate in non-public sessions but has the same authority and status of the other Board members.

A law that prohibits the School District to require a COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment. In addition, employees cannot be required to test for COVID-19 more than once a month.

A law that requires Districts to allow all NH students who are eligible to receive special education services to access those services up to age 22.  Previously those services ended at age 21.

A law that establishes a position of education freedom account administrator in the NH Department of Education.

A law that provides support services for military connected students. The services include access to licensed counseling and psychological services.

A law that requires local schools not be more restrictive to non-public, charter school or home educated students.

A law that adds civics, government, economics, geography, history, Holocaust and genocide education, art, music, personal finance literacy, and logic/rhetoric to the requirements for an adequate public education.

A law that requires all students in grades 6-12 receive a student ID that includes the name and telephone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline printed on the back of their ID card.

A new Special Education Parent Advocate office to be established in the NH Department of Education.

A law that requires school Boards to provide public comment periods at Board meetings for no less than 30 minutes.

A law that establishes an extraordinary need grant for schools to be established by the Commissioner each year.

A law that states distance education shall not count as part of the 180 calendar days of a school year.

A law that requires schools to offer a Holocaust and genocide education program to begin no later than 8th grade.

Superintendent’s June Report

Superintendent’s Report – June 2022

Information on our COVID-19 Dashboard includes the total cases of identified COVID-19 in the Hinsdale 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 238 known cases of COVID-19 in the District, 128 cases have been at Hinsdale Elementary School and 110 cases have been at Hinsdale Middle/High School.   As of June 13th we had one active case of COVID-19 reported among students or staff in the Hinsdale School District. The majority of positive cases in the Hinsdale School District this school year occurred in January.   We have had 271 new cases of COVID-19 in Cheshire County over the past 14 days.   Currently, Cheshire County is in the high community transmission level as defined by the CDC.

We are still having difficulty filling all our open positions for next year.   We have advertised in five area newspapers, local radio, and have numerous electronic posts including the web sites of 59 New England colleges. In addition, HR plans to attend a job fair in Brattleboro on June 17th.   Administration has set a meeting for July 18th to determine if a plan that includes some reorganization is needed.  If so, administration would present the plan to the Board at the July 27th Board meeting.

We continue to fund approved activities through our three federal ESSER grants.  As always we continue to welcome public input regarding potential expenditures related to any of our three ESSER grants. At the April 13th Hinsdale School Board meeting the Board approved new ESSER spending for the 2022/2023 school year.  The Board also approved the changes that resulted in the savings of $136,190 from previously Board approved “up to” amounts for ESSER III activities.  All of the Board approved requests have been approved by the New Hampshire Department of Education.  At the June 8th Board meeting an up to amount of $10,000 was approved by the Board from ESSER III funds to assist in the support for the students social emotional learning needs for the 2022/2023 school year.

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 also included a social emotional learning related out-of-district placement that is a result of the pandemic. We also added expenses related to rapid COVID-19 tests, and expenses related to hiring a substitute nurse. At this time the State has discontinued free COVID-19 tests.

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 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.

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 spent almost all our ESSER I funds.

 2021-2022 District Goals (The Board intends to meet prior to the fall term to develop a Board strategic plan)

  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 organized the May 27th professional development day to further the professional growth for our teachers.  She has also started the planning process for our August workshop days.

Our student ELO Exhibition Day on May 26 was a success. The event was covered well by the “Brattleboro Reformer.” 

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 Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment is in the process of leading the effort of our staff development committee to accomplish this state mandate.

Performance Assessment -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.

The Hinsdale School Board approved a Revised Communications Plan at the June 8th Board meeting.

  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 two substantiated reports of bullying at HMHS since our May Board meeting. We have had no substantiated report of bullying at HES since our May 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.

  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.

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.

We intend to review several grant funded safety and security proposals at our Facilities Committee meeting scheduled for June 17th.

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

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 tech plan.

At the December 8, 2021, Board meeting the Board approved a one-year extension to the plan with a 5-0 vote.  The thought was this would provide time for the new Director of Technology to work on a new plan with the technology committee.

Ensure all staff has access to pertinent trainings.

We have provided monthly cyber security training using KnowBe4 that is required of all staff.  I have also sent emails to staff that come my way via email throughout the school year regarding training pertinent to technology.  As a team we have provided individual training including SharePoint usage, O365, document cameras, and Tech Tip Tuesday mini training emails.  I have also been training individual users including Ms. Thompson on technology related to assessment and Mr. Therieau on a variety of topics including PowerSchool, i4see, phone system, door access.

  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 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.