Superintendent’s Report – September 2016
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.
- On September 1st the Hinsdale Elementary School Building Improvement Committee submitted the draft building improvement plans to the New Hampshire Department of Education. Officials at the New Hampshire Department of Education will review our request and the other requests submitted by New Hampshire school districts and rank them. The Building Aid funds will be allocated to the projects with the highest ranking. If we are approved for building aid the state would pay 60% of the total building cost up front which drastically reduces the borrowing costs obligated by the district. In the past school districts had to pay all borrowing costs at the rate of interest available when the bond was sold. I met with New Hampshire State Senator Molly Kelly on August 31st. She informed me that the State needs $37 million to pay down past commitments. The State is expected to set aside $50 million in the upcoming budget session. It will be important to stay involved in the State budget process in order to ensure the legislators financially support their commitment to school building aid. I also met with Colin Van Ostern, a candidate for Governor of New Hampshire, on August 31st. I spoke to him about the importance of the Hinsdale Bridge, internet connectively for all our Hinsdale students, and school building aid. He voiced strong support for the bridge and internet connectivity. He voiced support for school building aid but believes the 60% contribution from the State, as established in the current law, is too high.
- 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.
We are fully staffed and all our new hires seem to be doing well. All of our 12 new teachers have assigned mentors. We provided each new teacher with seven days of training prior to the first day with students. Our new Director of Curriculum and Instruction is helping our principals support our new hires.
It was great to see several Board members at our first new teacher orientation day on August 19th. The presence of Board members at the first training session for new teachers sent a strong message; a message of caring and support.
- Goal: Provide a continuum of instruction at all ability levels, preschool through grade 12.
Hinsdale teachers worked on curriculum revision for English language arts, math, and school counseling over the summer. Work was down to improve the alignment of math and English language arts with the Common Core Standards. School counselors revised our Hinsdale Integrated School Counseling Core Curriculum to better align with the American School Counselors Association (ASCA) “Mindsets and Behaviors for Student Success.”
Goal: Develop a budget and a technology plan that supports all aspects of the district.
Our technology committee met several times over the summer. The committee is still working on a plan that will be used to guide our use of technology in the district and also be used to inform our budget development for 2017-2018. The following staff are technology committee 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 spoke to our commitment as a Hinsdale School District Professional Learning Community at the opening session with staff on August 24th. Our Director of Curriculum and Instruction also spoke to her belief in the PLC model at the opening day session.
The Hinsdale School Board has scheduled a forum on October 5th. The major topic that will be discussed at the forum will be the proposal for a small addition/renovation for the Hinsdale Elementary School made by the HES Building Improvement Committee. Members of the Building Improvement Committee will speak to their proposal. Marinace Architects will be at the forum to help answer questions from the audience. If the Board approves a building proposal an article for a bond would be placed on the Warrant prior to the February public hearing. The article would need a two thirds affirmative vote.
To get to know the community better I welcomed parents and students at the Sixth Grade Parent Night on August 29th. I spoke at the first PTSA meeting of the year on September 13th. I also attended the first half of the boys’ first soccer game of the year on Friday, August 26th. On the same day I attended the second half of the girls’ first varsity soccer game of the year.