Superintendent’s Report –December 2016
We continue to make progress toward our new Board goals.
2016-2017 Hinsdale School Board Goals
1. Curriculum and Instruction
• Ensure that all students receive guidance regarding post-secondary education or career options.
• Provide students with educational opportunities and learning based upon the student’s unique needs, interests and learning styles.
• Maintain continuity in instruction between the school buildings
• Set up an end of year review with the new curriculum coordinator.
We are continuing to work on our proposal to seek funding for a job training program that would provide employment opportunities for our graduates, and unemployed or underemployed adults in Hinsdale. Karen Craig and Karen Thompson are working with me to write the grant/s. The first grant proposal would access funds from the “Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act 2014.” The due date for this submission is January 16, 2017. The purpose of the grant funds are to help job seekers access employment, education, and training to succeed in the labor market, and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in a global economy. Karen Thompson and I have met with executives at GS Precision and Continental Cable to solicit their support. In both cases we were given extensive tours of the plant.
We have added River Valley Community College, GS Precision, Continental Cable, Clear Solutions, and Filtrene as interested potential partners in our effort.
At present our grant proposal would include classes available from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Monday through Thursday, from the week following Labor Day through the third week in May. The Hinsdale School District would act as fiscal agent. The Hinsdale School District would be paid for the grant management out of the grant funds. At this time we are considering the following programs:
– Plumber Licensing
– Electrician Licensing
– Marketing/Distribution Certification
– QuickBooks Certification
– Welding Certification
– Soft Skills Certification
– Advanced Manufacturing Certification
– Coding Certification
– Computer Assisting Drafting Certification
– Nursing Assistant Certification
– Alternative Diploma
We are requesting a five-year grant proposal to be funded at approximately $300,000 per year plus $110,000 for a six month planning phase beginning on July 1, 2017. We are hopeful to have the funds available to operate the program beginning on January 1, 2018.
We are continuing to work on college placement with our graduating members of the Senior Class who are pursuing college admission. Although it is early in the college admission process several Hinsdale seniors have already been accepted into a college for the fall semester.
o Periodic school board tours of all school buildings
o Work with Administration to maintain the momentum from the community forums, current social media presence and other initiatives
o Maintain communication to promote a collaborative relationship with the community through a continued commitment to holding regular community forums and maintaining a presence in other committees, boards and community events in town.
o Improve relationships with town governing bodies
All five of our area legislators have agreed to meet with Hinsdale School District administrators and Hinsdale School District Board members on December 20. As the majority of work in this legislative session will be related to the creation of a two year budget for New Hampshire, much of our conversation will be related to the projected State revenue to the Hinsdale School District. Given that in recent years the State has significantly downshifted costs for education to the towns we will try to make the case that in a state that is already last among the 50 states in funding for education the legislature needs to rethink the State’s responsibility to the children and local taxpayers in New Hampshire. We will also request that our legislators be watchful of any move to underfund the law concerning State Building Aid to school districts.
We are working to organize a Board Public Forum in January of 2017. The purpose of this public forum is to hear from the public in regards to issues related to bullying in Hinsdale Schools. We have initiated a survey that should prove helpful in giving a voice to those unable to attend the forum.
I spent several mornings this past month in front of the elementary school at bus arrival times and bus departure times. By being out in front of the school at student drop off and student pick up times I add an element of safety, in addition to being visible and accessible to parents.
I also attended an honor roll assembly for our seniors and a pep rally for our upcoming sports season.
• Promote an atmosphere that supports a forward-thinking, professional learning community.
• Support and promote anti-bullying practices and ensure policies are being followed.
• Superintendent will spot check the bullying logs and report regularly to the board.
We are continuing to work hard to improve the work done in our professional learning communities. Staff members are meeting frequently using student data as the focus point.
Hinsdale administration is in the process of conducting a survey that would help us develop effective programing and to establish a baseline in regards to the percentage of Hinsdale students who feel unsafe due to bullying. We are also working to improve our social curriculum especially as it relates to students who have reoccurring behavior problems.
Since our last Board meeting we have had one case of confirmed bullying.
• Support initiatives to recruit and retain professional, high-quality staff that are innovative, dynamic and dedicated to the success of all students.
On December 5th I spoke for over an hour to a group of 25-30 prospective teachers at Keene State College. I talked about the wonderful Hinsdale community and the support process for our new teachers which includes a trained mentor for each new teacher. Hopefully we will have an increased candidate pool as a result of this meeting with Keene State College education majors.
• Search for ways to conduct business in the most efficient and effective manner
• Work with the Administration to proactively monitor the fund balance
• Annual review of eligibility for the free lunch program under the federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.
• Maintain ongoing communication with the Budget Committee regarding any potential changes in funding.
• Receive detailed backup information for the budget.
• Warrant article to rebuild the maintenance fund.
The administration has created a proposed 2017/2018 budget. The only additional position we have proposed is a tech support position. The tech support position would be needed to implement the first year of the five year technology plan endorsed by the Board.
We continue to closely monitor our fund balance.
With the help of our Hinsdale Elementary School Building Improvement Committee we have a suggested language for an article for the Warrant that if passed by a 2/3rds vote by the voters at our District Meeting would raise the funds needed for a proposed building addition for the Hinsdale Elementary School.
• Continue to review security audit information and move forward, in a fiscally responsible manner, to ensure our building are secure and our students are safe.
We are moving forward in regards to safety enhancements that were recommended in our Safety Audit report in May of 2016. Current projects include working to enhance security in both entry ways into our schools, and in the planning of an evacuation drill that includes reunification with parents/guardians.
• Align the district budget to support the 5-year plan of the Future Technology Committee.
The administration has included the proposed expenditures in the administration budget needed to implement the first year in the five year Board approved technology plan. We also hope to use some funds from our proposed Workforce and Innovation and Opportunity Grant to add hardware and software to our HMHS computer lab.