Superintendent Report – May 2016
On Thursday, May 12, all New Hampshire House and Senate Bills are to be acted upon. Any bills that are in conflict will require a Committee of Conference to resolve the differences. Hopefully the bill to provide building aid funds for schools, with fire safety issues as identified by the Fire Marshall, will be passed by both the House and the Senate and then signed by Governor Hassan.
We are making progress toward writing a grant that would support our high school students preparing for careers, as well as provide support for adults in town who are unemployed or underemployed. The grant, if approved by the Hinsdale School Board, the Hinsdale Board of Selectmen, and funded through the Workforce Development Act would help our high school students improve their career preparation by increasing the enrollment of our graduates in credentialing and post-secondary education and by increasing job placements among participating business partners. I have spoken with Principal Freitag, ELO Coordinator Karen Thompson, Director of Technology Debbie Trabucco, Hinsdale Business Administrator Tom O’Connor, Hinsdale High School counselor Paula Brault, Town Administrator Jill Collins, and Brattleboro Development Young Professionals Coordinator Alex Beck. Alex Beck manages a grant in Windham County similar to the grant we are writing. The Vermont grant is called, “Fast Tracks to Success, Career Awareness and Planning in Windham County.” The objectives of the Windham County grant are as follows:
- Increase in workforce participation from program participants
- Increase in credentialing and post-secondary education
- Increase in average earnings of program participants
- Increase in job placements within participating business partners.In addition, I am scheduled to speak to the Hinsdale Board of Selectmen on May 23rd. I have also spoken with a least one representative from the New Hampshire Department of Employment Security, the New Hampshire Department of Labor, the New Hampshire Department of Resource and Economic Development, and the Southwest Regional Planning Commission.The HES Building Improvement Committee met for the first time on May 10th. We discussed our mission and took a tour of the Hinsdale Elementary School. Principal Boggio also outlined issues the school is facing as a result of changes in the fire code and increasing enrollment. Members on the HES Building Improvement Committee include the following: Sean Leary, Jim O’Malley, James MacDonell, Joe Boggio, Steve Fecto, Deb Carrier, Shawn Lee, Courtney Hodge, April Anderson, Kaylah Hemlow, Tom O’Connor, and Wayne Woolridge. We continue to make progress towards achieving our Board goals.
- Goal: Develop a strategic plan, based on data, to address the long range needs of the district.
At our April 29th Facility and Maintenance Committee meeting we meet with two representatives from Eversouce Power and the vice president of Standard Power concerning the long and short term power needs of the district. We also spoke to the Eversource representatives concerning issues related to power quality. There were several possible solutions to current issues discussed with several next steps outlined. Power source options discussed including fossil fuel generated options, New Hampshire hydro power and solar options.
- Goal: Develop and support initiatives to recruit and retain professional, highly qualified staff who are innovative, dynamic and dedicated to the success of all students.
Certainly our new three-year community approved contract should make our district more attractive to area candidates. In addition we are supporting an amazing array of high quality professional development opportunities that should improve the quality of our staff.
- Goal: Provide a continuum of instruction at all ability levels, preschool through grade 12.
Director or Curriculum and Instruction Susan Taft and Principal Boggio have set up several outside visitations where the three teachers scheduled to teach in multi-age classrooms next year will be able to see such classrooms in action and talk to area teachers who currently teach in multi-age classroom settings. With the addition of multi-age classrooms we should be able to more effectively manage our space restrictions for another year and at the same time increase our capacity to provide a continuum of instruction at Hinsdale Elementary School.
- Goal: Develop a budget and a technology plan that supports all aspects of the district.
The Director of Technology has formed a task force that will be charged with a comprehensive review of our use of technology within the district. The task force will meet over the summer and intends to create a plan to present to the Board next fall. The following staff are task force members: Donna Foster, Laura Bradley, Ally Mangan, Victoria Davis, Jodie Holmquist, Sarah Greene, Kristina Raymond, Justin Therieau, and Debbie Child Trabucco.
- Goal: Promote an atmosphere that supports a forward-thinking, professional learning community through ongoing, open communication and a culture of openness between the board, administration, staff, students, parents and the community.
I have posted my March, April and May Board Report as well as my District Annual Report as a blog under the Superintendent section on the District web site.
Our Safe Routes to School program had a successful kick-off. Our Walk and Bike to School Day occurred on Wednesday, May 4th with about 100 students participating. We hope to have another Walk and Bike to School Day in the fall. As a next step the Southwest Regional Planning Commission Safe Routes to Schools staff will conduct traffic studies on Brattleboro Road, School Street, and Prospect Street sometime in May or June.
To get to know the community better I attended the HHMS Variety Show on Saturday, April 30th. The Variety Show was held in the gym, lasted three hours, and included 35 acts. The talent demonstrated at the Variety Show was truly amazing. I am impressed by the high quality of the Hinsdale after school programs.