March Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent’s Report –March 2018

I was able to attend several Hinsdale Boys Varsity and Hinsdale Girls Varsity basketball games during the past month, including the Girls’ Championship game in Plymouth, New Hampshire. Both teams were exceptional and both teams qualified for the playoffs. The Girls’ State Championship game was incredible. I am especially proud of the manner in which the Hinsdale girls dealt with circumstances that developed in the middle of the fourth quarter. Hinsdale had been ahead the entire game but found themselves behind in the middle of the fourth quarter.  Even after the sudden change in fortune the team members never lost their composure. Our team successfully made several crucial plays in the last few minutes of the game to win by two points. The Hinsdale 2018 State Championship Team includes seniors Monika Costello, Gabrial LeClair, Mariah Nichols; junior Hannah Lynch; sophomores Maggie St. John and Ericka Girroir; freshmen Angelina Wilcox, Audrey Martin, Olivia Pangelinan, and Kleay Steever.  Our head coach is Terry Bonnette.  Our assistant coach is Al Putnam. Our manger is Rachael Girroir.

Our State Senator Jay Kahn has sponsored a New Hampshire Senate Resolution recognizing the amazing accomplishments of our Hinsdale Girls Basketball Team. He hopes to read the resolution at the Hinsdale Annual School District meeting on Saturday, March 17th.

To date our Hinsdale Elementary School addition/renovation project is on time and under budget. Our Hinsdale Elementary School principal, Joe Boggio, meets daily with the project superintendent. I have met with the project superintendent several times and each time he has stated that everything is working out as well as could be expected. Our Building Improvement Committee, the Hinsdale Construction Committee, and the Hinsdale Facility Committee have all met and discussed the HES project since our February Board meeting.

All signs point to a quality Hinsdale Elementary School addition and renovation project that the community will be proud of, a project that will benefit Hinsdale students for generations to come.

Our next Hinsdale Building Improvement Committee meeting is scheduled for 6:00 pm on Tuesday, April 3rd. Our next Facility Committee meeting is scheduled for 2:15 on Friday, March 16th.

We are making progress towards the 2017-2018 Hinsdale School Board Goals.

2017-2018 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. 

We are making progress as we move towards a student competency education model. Our teachers spent the majority of the day on Monday, March 5th working to become a PACE (Performance Assessment for Competency Education) District.  Currently our teachers routinely use PACE type assessments. The Director of the New Hampshire PACE program and the Curriculum Director for New Hampshire PACE gave a ninety minute informative presentation to all our teachers during the March 5th workshop day. The Hinsdale District PACE Committee would like to present their plan to the Board at the May Board Meeting.  The Board might then offer a public forum regarding the move to a more competency education model. The District PACE Committee would need an affirmative vote of the Board in June in order to move forward with our PACE application. If we adopt the PACE model one outcome, likely beginning in the fall of 2019, would be a decrease in the number of grades assessed yearly from seven to three using the “common core” state test.  There are significant free resources available to Districts who are identified by the State as a PACE District.

  1. Communication 
  • Internal 
  • Twice yearly school board tours of all school buildings. 
  • External 
  • Maintain communication to promote a collaborative relationship with the community through a continued commitment to holding a minimum of two forums and maintaining a presence in other committees, boards and community events in town. 
  • Improve relationships with town governing bodies. 

The Board Communications Committee plans to organize two community forums before the end of the 2018 school year. Topics under consideration include a review of the outcomes and parent input related to our new Social Emotional Curriculum.  One of the motivating factors cited in the argument to embrace a new social emotional curriculum two years ago was the need to reduce the frequency of bullying in our schools. We are in our second year of our District-wide social emotional learning curriculum implementation. At present, it appears that the social emotion curriculum is showing positive results.  We plan to report out on the data points at the May or June Board meeting.

The PACE Committee is hopeful the Board will offer a public forum that would parent input concerning our move to a competency-based personalized learning model.

  1. Culture 
  • Promote an atmosphere that supports a forward-thinking, professional learning community. 
  • Ensure clear behavioral expectations are communicated and followed up on regularly.  
  • 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 are continuing to strengthen our Professional Learning Community culture. Teachers spent some time in their PLC groups during our March 5th workshop day discussing performance based assessments.

HMHS had two allegations of bullying during the past month. Both allegations were unsubstantiated. There were no reported allegations of bullying at the Hinsdale Elementary School during the past month.

  1. Personnel 
  • Support initiatives to recruit and retain professional, high-quality staff that are innovative, dynamic and dedicated to the success of all students. 
  • Promote an atmosphere that supports an inclusive, professional learning community. 

The Board has approved a three-year agreement between the Hinsdale School Board and the Hinsdale Support Staff Association. If the agreement is approved by the voters at the Annual School District Meeting on March 17th we should improve our rate of retention and our ability to hire high quality staff.

We think our move towards competency based education will result in a greater level of retention of innovative staff.

  1. Financial 
  • 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. 
  • Formulate a written facilities capital improvement plan.  

The Budget Committee unanimously endorsed the 2018/2019 School District Budget as recommended by the Hinsdale School Board. The town voters will determine the final 2018/2019 School District Budget at the School District Meeting scheduled for Saturday, March 17th.

There were no negative findings in the recently completed third party audit of our financials.

Our Facilities Committee is meeting on the third Friday each month at 2:15. The next meeting is scheduled for Friday, March 16th. The committee hopes to create a capital improvement plan to recommend to the Board during this school year.

  1. Security 
  • 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. 
  • Formulate a written security plan.

Several of our Hinsdale administrators and I recently met with our school resource officer and the Hinsdale Police Chief. We discussed recommendations that would further improve campus security in order to keep our students safe. We plan to share some of these recommendations with the Facilities Committee at the March 16th meeting.

  1. Technology 
  • Continue to align the district budget to support the 5-year plan of the District Technology Committee. 
  • Formulate a written technology capital improvement plan.   

Our teachers are taking advantage of our technology initiative to help with the transition to a competency-based education model. Teachers were further trained in technology by our Director of Technology and her staff during our March 5th workshop day.