Superintendent’s Report for November 2022

Superintendent’s Report – November 2022

As of Wednesday, November 30th, the number of new cases of COVID-19 in Cheshire County over the past 14 days was 106.  As of November 30th, we have had 51 active cases of COVID-19 this school year in the Hinsdale School District, 17 at Hinsdale Elementary School and 34 at Hinsdale Middle High School.  We currently have no known active cases of COVID-19 in the Hinsdale School District.

We continue to follow the Center for Disease Control (CDC) updated guidance for COVID-19 in schools. The guidance advises to stay home for at least five days when sick with COVID-19. Those with the following symptoms should stay home: After five days out and 24 hours of being symptom free (without medication) students/staff may return as long as they wear a mask for the first five days after returning.  Those with the following symptoms should stay home:

  • respiratory or gastrointestinal infections
    • cough,
    • fever (temperature greater than 100 degrees F),
    • sore throat,
    • vomiting
    • diarrhea

Testing is recommended as soon as possible for people with symptoms. We are currently not conducting tests, but do have tests available for families to test at home. Parents are asked to please contact the school if their child tests positive.

Quarantine is no longer recommended for people who are exposed to COVID-19.

All the recommended steps for HVAC systems in the Hinsdale School District have been taken. The district teaches and reinforces proper hand washing and the use of hand sanitizer especially during key times of day such as snack and meal time. We will also emphasize proper covering for coughs and sneezes.

Surfaces are cleaned once a day. If a person with COVID-19 has been inside a school within the last 24 hours, the space is cleaned and disinfected.

Hopefully the improvements made to our HVAC system and in our frequency of cleaning common surfaces will result in fewer colds and cases of the flu.  In addition, many communities have seen a dramatic increase of RSV among students.  The same mitigation strategies we are using to reduce the rate of COVID-19 and the flu should work to reduce the cases of the respiratory virus RSV. RSV infections are a bigger concern for our young students.  Over the past few months many hospitals around the country have been overwhelmed with the respiratory virus RSV. To my knowledge RSV has yet to be a problem for our Hinsdale students. For those who only get a mild case of RSV the symptoms will likely resemble cold symptoms.

Our staffing shortage continues. We still need several paras and substitutes in both buildings. We also need a HMHS literary interventionist, a HMHS science teacher, a HMHS special education case manager, a preschool case manager, a HES Title I tutor, a HES math interventionist, a district school psychologist, and several HASP club advisors. We desperately need a HES school nurse.

Our ESSER Review Committee met on October 26th to review the expenditures in our ESSER II and ESSER III grants and to determine if there are additional requests to be considered at the November School Board meeting. We found several areas of savings. At the November 2nd meeting, the administrators approved revisions to ESSER II of $90,055.26 and revisions of ESSER III which total $177,327.72. These recommendations were presented to the School Board for approval at the November 9th Board meeting. The Board approved all but two of the revision requests. The revised grant applications have been sent to the New Hampshire Department of Education for final approval.  As with all ESSER funding recommendations, the public has the opportunity to provide input during the public comment section at all our monthly School Board meetings.

All COVID-19 relief funds expire in September of 2024.

Our business administrator is working diligently on the 2023/2024 school year budget. Our Finance Committee met on November 14th and November 21st at which time the Finance Committee reviewed the administrators’ proposed budget and made several recommendations which are included in the draft budget proposal which will be reviewed by the entire Board on Thursday, December 1st.

We are working on our 2022/2023 School District Goals. We plan to discuss our progress at our December 7th administrators’ meeting.  I plan to report on our progress at the December 14th Board meeting. 

Our school district goals for 2022-2023 are as follows:

  1. Curriculum

Through collaboration with the Hinsdale Community, the HSD will develop a K-12 Portrait of a Learner that will ensure equity throughout the curriculum.  (Aligned with Portrait of a Learner.)

Curriculum design and implementation will provide and enhance opportunities for all students to meet standards that are both practical and progressive and will help each student realize their potential and move toward higher educational and career goals. (Aligned with the Portrait of a Graduate.)

  1. Communication

Continue to promote various forms of communication for staff and to provide staff with the information they need in a timely manner.

Increase our web presence to be more user-friendly and to showcase the positive educational experiences at the Hinsdale School District.

  1. Culture

Nurture a culture of kindness, open/honest communication and empathy. 

  1. Personnel

To be the School District of choice through thoughtful recruiting efforts, retention of professional, high-quality staff that are innovative and dedicated to the success of our students.   To allow for meaningful and relevant professional development.

  1. Financial

To explore options for the budget process, including the principals of a modified zero based budget process.

  1. Technology

To provide effective training to better integrate technology into all aspects of the district.

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