Superintendent’s Report – September 2017
We are off to a great start for the 2017-2018 school year. We began on August 22nd with two days of training for our new teaching staff. We followed our two days of new teacher training with two days of professional development for all teachers. Most Hinsdale students returned to our schools on Tuesday, August 29th. Our first day for kindergarten students was Tuesday, September 5th. Our first day for incoming preschool students was Monday, September 11th.
Parents and students seem to be happy with the placements made by staff and administration for the 2017/2018 school year. We are indeed fortunate to have the current level of parent support for our schools. We are working hard to prove that their faith in us is justified. Our first PTSA meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 12th at 7:00 pm. All our new middle school and high school teachers plan to be there. Our first Hinsdale Elementary School PTA meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 14th at 6:00.
Buses typically run late during the first few days of school but his year but that was not our experience. From the very first day our buses ran on time.
As we begin the new school year we are fortunate that the condition of the grass on our fields is excellent. However, as expected we will still have to reseed and recondition our southern soccer field at the conclusion of the season.
Our new athletic director, Sam Kilee reports that fall sports are off to a great start. We began the season with 15 boys on the boys’ varsity soccer team. We started with 18 girls on the girls’ varsity soccer team. This year each of the two teams are scheduled to play the same number of home games. Mr. Kilee has met with the Hinsdale Recreation Department Director and is working hard to strengthen the relationship between the two programs.
The Hinsdale Elementary School Building Improvement Committee has met once since our August Board meeting. During that meeting the members of the Building Improvement Committee voted to recommend to the Board an area construction manager to oversee the construction process of the new addition to our elementary school as well as the renovation of the first floor. A subcommittee of our Building Improvement Committee interviewed three finalists and have a determined the best match for our needs.
In late June we were informed that State funds were approved by the Legislature for our elementary addition/renovation project. A few days later Governor Sununu signed the State budget. The Hinsdale Elementary School project was the only school building aid project approved by the New Hampshire Department of Education and by the Legislature this session. At this time the State funds have yet to be transferred into our account but we anticipate the funds will be transferred by the end of the month.
We recently received the results of our annual Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Almost all high school students in New Hampshire take this survey. The survey is part of data collected each year by the CDC. More than 80 percent of our high school students took the volunteer survey last year. We now have Youth Risk Behavior Survey data comparing the New Hampshire student population with our Hinsdale High School student population from 2007 to the present. Among the positive trend lines included a significant drop in the use of alcohol by our high school students. Our school counselors will analyze the data and then the data will be shared with the staff. Data points include: vehicle and bicycle safety, alcohol use, bullying, fighting, marijuana use, heroin and other hard drug use, other health risks like poor sleep habits, physical inactivity and unhealthy dietary behaviors, dating violence, students who felt sad or hopeless, and tobacco use.
I am proud of the work of our technology team has done to successfully roll out “Office 365.” At the same time the technology team rolled out Office 365 they also developed an excellent roll out plan for our one-to-one five year technology plan. Our Director of Technology, Deborah Trabucco, will lead a conversation with parents of the students who are scheduled to be assigned a laptop this month, on Tuesday, September 12, at 6:00 pm.