Superintendent’s Report – January 2017
We continue to make progress toward our annual Board goals.
2016-2017 Hinsdale School Board Goals
1. Curriculum and Instruction
• Ensure that all students receive guidance regarding post-secondary education or career options.
• Provide students with educational opportunities and learning based upon the student’s unique needs, interests and learning styles.
• Maintain continuity in instruction between the school buildings
• Set up an end of year review with the new curriculum coordinator.
To ensure our students receive the best possible guidance concerning post-secondary education and career options based on a student’s unique needs, interests and learning styles we are pursuing the possibility of becoming a “Pathway School” for New Hampshire. Paul Leather, the New Hampshire Deputy Commissioner of Education, is bringing a team to Hinsdale on January 18th to meet with Ann Freitag, Karen Thompson, Karen Craig and myself concerning the possible designation of Hinsdale High School as a Pathway School. The team that Paul will bring with him includes: Eric Feldborg, New Hampshire Department of Education Career Technical Education Director; Steve Rothenberg, Assistant Principal of Concord High School and Director of the Concord Career Technical Education Center (also President of the NH CTE Directors Association); Beth Doiron, Community College System of NH Director of College Access and DoE Programs and Initiatives; Tanna Clews, our NH Consultant for New Skills for Youth; and hopefully Ross Gittell, Chancellor of the NH Community College System.
This meeting should also help move forward the 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.
Since our last Board meeting Karen Thompson and I met with the Director of Langdon Place in Keene. We talked about potential Extended Learning Opportunity placements for our students and we asked for support with our proposed Nursing Assistant Certification program. The Langdon Place director was extremely supportive. His support should help us in our effort to seek funding to support a nursing assistant program offered in the evenings at HMHS.
On Tuesday, December 20th all our legislators met with Hinsdale School District administrators and two Board members to discuss issues important to our District. The agenda items we discussed included the following: state education aid, state aid for special education, New Hampshire school building aid, our workforce development act grant, and the Common Core.
I recently had a 30 minute conversation with the producer from NHPR concerning our application for New Hampshire building aid. The NHPR producer stated that according to a New Hampshire Department of Education representative we were the only district that made the application deadline for 2017. The other districts who have applied for building aid are competing for 2018 funds. I included a link to the NHPR story. http://nhpr.org/post/backlog-school-projects-nh-districts-await-return-state-aid-program#stream/0
School Counselor Paula Brault is continuing to work on college placements with the graduating members of the Senior Class who are pursuing college admission. Although it is early in the college admission process, 23 Hinsdale seniors have already been accepted into a college for the fall semester.
We are currently working to improve the continuity of instruction between our school buildings in the areas of music, math, writing, and technology.
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
Board members on the Board Facilities Committee recently toured our HMHS library and the Hinsdale Elementary School.
We are working to organize a Board Public Forum with a purpose to hear from the public in regards to issues related to bullying in the Hinsdale Schools. We have initiated a survey that should prove helpful in giving a voice to those unable to attend the forum.
On the evening of January 3rd my wife and I taught “The Long Winter” and “A Long Walk to Water” to our Hinsdale 4th and 5th grade parent/child book club. We are scheduled to teach “Call it Courage” at our next scheduled book club night on Monday, February 6th, at 6:00 pm.
I attended the amazing HES elementary school holiday music concert on December 21st. The gym was packed with smiling children and parents. Both the vocal and the instrumental sections of the concert were outstanding.
I have attended two Hinsdale Budget Committee meetings since our December Board meeting.
• 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. Our PLC’s have recently been used to create intervention groups for math.
Hinsdale administration recently conducted a survey of staff related to the staff perception of bullying in Hinsdale Schools. The HMHS administration intends to survey parents to help us develop effective programing and to establish a baseline in regards to the percentage of Hinsdale parents who feel their students are unsafe due to bullying. We are also continuing to improve our social curriculum especially as it relates to students who have reoccurring behavior problems.
Since our last Board meeting we have had no cases of alleged or confirmed bullying.
• Support initiatives to recruit and retain professional, high-quality staff that are innovative, dynamic and dedicated to the success of all students.
We continue to strengthen our mentor support system and our Professional Learning Communities. We have added our Director and Curriculum and Instruction to the membership of all our professional staff hiring committees. We intend to broaden our reach in the upcoming hiring season in order to develop a deeper candidate pool.
• 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.
During the past month I have spoken to New Hampshire Public Radio and to our area legislators in hopes of gaining the support needed for State funding of our proposed building addition.
• 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 the planning of a table top drill by mid-May that will include all HSD staff.
• 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.