April Superintendent Report

Superintendent’s Report – April 2017

We continue to make progress toward our annual Board goals.

2016-2017 Hinsdale School Board Goals

Goal 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.

More than 80% of the members of our senior class have been admitted to college for 2018-19. Largely as a result of our extended learning opportunity program graduating Hinsdale students should be better prepared for college and career than most graduating seniors in our area and across the United States.

We have made significant progress in regards to empowering our students to determine their individual educational pathways. On March 29th the New Hampshire Deputy Commissioner and the Director of the New Hampshire Career and Technical Centers, met with Ann Freitag, Karen Thompson, Karen Craig, and myself, to speak with us about becoming the pilot “Pathway District” for New Hampshire. If we commit to becoming a Pathway District we would be mostly committing to the formalization of what we are already doing, through our commitment to our Extended Learning Opportunity program and our commitment to the creation of an individualized education plan for each student.  By becoming a Pathway District we would be increasing the likelihood that our grant applications would be successful and at the same time increase our likelihood of attracting new revenue streams.  Many national organizations, such as the “Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation” have agreed to support the New Hampshire effort to develop pathway districts.

We are continuing to work on the coordination of our curriculum between buildings. Recently HMHS teachers met with elementary teachers to talk about new math support materials being considered for our elementary school students. Soon after that meeting the elementary teachers selected the “Bridges” support math materials. We are planning several days of professional development for the teachers who will be using the new math support materials.

We are also creating technology related workshop opportunities for our grade five and grade nine teachers. We hope these common work experiences with increase the level of continuity of instruction between school buildings.

In addition, we are working to improve the continuity of instruction between our school buildings in the areas of music and writing.

Our new curriculum coordinator is preparing a presentation in open session for the Board meeting scheduled on May 10th.  She will share her observations and make suggestions for future direction shifts.

Goal 2: Communication

    • 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.
    • Improve relationships with town governing bodies

The best evidence of our effort to promote a collaborative relationship with the community is the 93% affirmative bond vote on a secret ballot. In addition, the District operating budget was approved by the Hinsdale Budget Committee and the District voters by a wide margin.

Goal 3: Culture

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

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

District staff have worked hard to create structures that will reduce the likelihood that bullying occurs in our schools. Most notably the implementation this year of our new social emotional curriculum should result in a reduction of incidents of bullying in our schools.  We have a presentation planned for our June Board meeting that will serve to outline our new social curriculum program, speak to the progress of implementation, and give the Board an opportunity to ask questions and provide input.

We have had two reports of alleged bullying since our last Board meeting.

Goal 4: Personnel

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

We have advertised earlier than usual for our anticipated openings for the 2017/2018 school year. We have also worked to improve our nomination process. For example, this year we will be especially looking for staff members who have areas of strength that line up with District and building goals.

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

Goal 5: Finance

  • 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.

There were no negative findings in our recent District audit.

We continue to closely monitor our fund balance and at this time anticipate a significant surplus.

We are working with our Governor’s Office, our State Senator, State Representatives, and the New Hampshire Department of Education to increase revenues for Hinsdale. There are several bills that seem to have some traction and would significantly add to our anticipated revenue. The most significant funding source is the approximately $2,100,000 that the district would receive in the form of state building aid or in the form of a revitalization grant to be used to support our HES renovation/addition project.

Another significant funding possibility is a bill that would add about $1,800 annually for each of our kindergarten students. Currently we have 58 students in kindergarten.  At present we receive from the State about $3,600 per student in grades 1-12 and $1,800 per student in kindergarten.

The New Hampshire Department of Education recently presented the District with a $25,000 grant for professional development and materials. We are also working to attract revenue streams associated with our pilot New Hampshire Pathway District status.

Goal 6: Safety

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

School administrators are meeting with Officer D’Allesandro on April 13th to take part in a table top drill.  The drill will serve as an assessment of our current level of preparedness.

Goal 7: Technology

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

Several Hinsdale staff members are presenting technology workshops to other staff members during our May 26th District workshop day.  Technology related workshop topics include: OneNote, Yammer, and Digital Resources.  Next year’s grade five and grade nine teachers will participate in at least one of the technology sessions to help them prepare for the implementation of our grade five and grade nine individual device initiative.  We are also planning summer technology related workshops for our grade five and grade nine teachers.