Superintendent’s Blog September 2019

Superintendent’s Blog – September 2019

There was traffic congestion at the Hinsdale Elementary School on the first day but by the second day the traffic prior to the start of school was manageable. By Tuesday, September 3rd the start of school was smooth and uneventful.

Our HMHS boiler replacement project is behind schedule and we anticipate an additional expense of at least $13,000.  Our new boiler was delivered to HMHS on Wednesday, August 14th but we had a few surprises during the removal of the old boiler.

The Reformer did an excellent job on August 27th and August 28th of helping the public connect with a couple of our teachers, as well as to showcase our Hinsdale High School’s U.S. News & World Report’s Best High Schools Award.

Hopefully, by the end of the day on September 19th we will have a state budget approved by the Legislature and signed by the Governor.

Other than our funding uncertainty we are off to a great start to the 2019/2020 school year.

The 2019/ 2020 Board Goals are as follows:

2019-2020 Hinsdale School Board Goals

  1. Curriculum and Instruction
  • Ensure that all students receive personalized 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.
  • Establish continuity and collaboration in instruction between the school buildings.

Our Hinsdale High School counselor has already begun meeting with Seniors to discuss post-graduation plans. For many Hinsdale Seniors post-graduation plans include college.  Our high school counselor provides intensive assistance throughout the college application process.

We already have students who have started an ELO for the 2019/2020 school year. Our Extended Learning Opportunity (ELO) program continues to gain attention, both nationally and at the State level. Hinsdale was noted as a model program recently on the “Exchange.” The “Exchange” is a highly regarded NHPR program. Our ELO program frequently serves as an example of best practice in regards to career ready preparation.

Our Director of Curriculum has started to spend one day each week at the elementary school. Our HES principal and HES staff members are grateful for her accessibility in the building which will help improve day-to-day operations regarding work related to curriculum and instruction.

  1. Communication
  • Internal
    • Twice yearly school board tours of all school buildings – 1 tour during the school day and 1 tour when classes are not in session.
  • 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.
    • Maintain relationships with town governing bodies.

The Hinsdale School Board is scheduled to meet with the Hinsdale Select Board at 6:00 pm on Monday, September 16th.  The purpose of the meeting is to continue to develop a stronger collaborative relationship with the Hinsdale Select Board.

I have a meeting scheduled with the Hinsdale Police Chief at 1:00 pm on Wednesday, September 18th.

  1. Culture
  • Ensure clear behavioral expectations are communicated and followed up on regularly through the development and implementation of a district-wide behavior code, the progress of which will be reported to the Board monthly by the Superintendent.
  • 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 monthly to the board.

The Board has established a Behavioral Support Team which next meets at 4:00 pm on Wednesday, September 25th.

Our Director of Curriculum and Instruction has been working with Hinsdale teachers for weeks to establish a more consistent and productive PLC model for Hinsdale Schools. During the one day she spends each week at the Hinsdale Elementary School our Director of Curriculum and Instruction hopes to work more closely with HES teachers to develop more consistent and productive PLC’s.

We have had no reporting incidents of bullying during the first week of school.

  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.

We currently have several unfilled para positions. We have begun a series of ads through the Monadnock Radio Group in order to reach prospective employees.

  1. Financial
  • Search for ways to conduct business in the most efficient and effective manner.
  • Work with administration to identify and secure additional sources of revenue.
  • Work with the administration to proactively monitor the fund balance.
  • Maintain ongoing communication with the Budget Committee regarding any potential changes in funding.
  • Work with the administration to present a Warrant article to rebuild the maintenance fund.

The Board’s open enrollment study committee met on Wednesday September 4th. It is hoped that this committee will have a recommendation for the Board no later than December 11, 2020.

If a compromise regarding the State Budget is reached this month, it is likely that the Hinsdale School District would receive about $470,000 in additional State revenue for 2019/2020, as compared to last school year.

  1. Security
  • 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.

A safety audit for Hinsdale Elementary School and Hinsdale Middle/High School was completed over the summer by Homeland Security. We have received the audits and have shared them with the Board and the Facility Committee.  We have also shared the audit with our SRO.  The Facility Committee plans to prioritize the recommendations.  We are hopeful that the State will once again offer a grant application process that could result in funding at least 80% of the cost of any District safety upgrades.

  1. Technology
  • Continue to align the district budget to support the 5-year plan of the Future Technology Committee.
  • Support the development and implementation of a data governance plan.

We are currently implementing the third year of our five-year Technology Plan. Our seventh grade and our eleventh grade students have been added to the one-to-one computer initiative this school year.

We are in the process of implementing the Hinsdale School District Data Governance Plan which was approved by the Board in June of 2019. Over the past few weeks our Director of Technology has spent many hours dealing with issues related to data governance.