Superintendent’s Report – November

Superintendent’s Report –November 2016

We have already made progress toward our new Board goals.

2016-2017 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
  • Set up an end of year review with the new curriculum coordinator.

We may have one of the best, if not the best, extended learning opportunity program in New Hampshire. Certainly the extending learning opportunity program is an excellent way to provide college and career guidance as well as to provide educational opportunities and learning based upon the student’s unique needs, interests and learning styles. The statewide director of ELO programs and a film producer met with our ELO director, our director of curriculum and instruction and myself at central office on Friday, October 28th. After a two hour meeting at central office the film producer described a plan to create a documentary that would feature the Hinsdale ELO program. The producer has recently completed a documentary that chronicled six years of the lives of individuals from a refugee camp in Nepal to their inclusion in various communities in the United States and Europe. I believe all our students at HMHS will benefit from the focus and attention we would receive though this process.

Our director of curriculum and instruction intends to provide a summary report to the Board in May. She will also give an oral report to the Board in May and answer questions raised by Board members.

  1. Communication
  • Internal
  • Periodic school board tours of all school buildings
  • Work with Administration to maintain the momentum from the community forums, current social media presence and other initiatives
  • External
  • Maintain communication to promote a collaborative relationship with the community through a continued commitment to holding regular community forums and maintaining a presence in other committees, boards and community events in town.
  • Improve relationships with town governing bodies.
  • I will arrange a tour of the school buildings at the request of the Board. One option for a building tour would be a tour of the buildings just prior to the HES holiday concert on Wednesday, December 21st.  An option for a Board tour while school is in session would be just prior to a Facilities Committee meeting.  The Facilities Committee typically meets at 2:15 on the last Friday of each month.

We recently linked our newly developed Building Improvement Committee information to our Hinsdale Elementary School website. The HES Building Improvement Committee met on October 25th and is scheduled to next meet on November 18th. We will post the minutes from that meeting as soon as possible.

In an effort to maintain communication and to promote a collaborative relationship with the community I attended the senior final home soccer games on Friday, October 21st.  Also, I spent most workday mornings and afternoons this past month in front of the elementary school at bus arrival times and bus departure times. By being out in front of the school at student drop off and student pick up times I add an element of safety, in addition to being visible and accessible to parents.

I led the Hinsdale Parent/Child 4th and 5th grade book club on Monday, November 7th.  The students and parents enjoyed the book, “The One and Only Ivan.”  The Newberry Award winning book is based on a true story of an easygoing gorilla who lived in a shopping mall in Washington State for 27 years before being transferred to a zoo in Atlanta where he passed away in 2012 at the age of 50. Ivan is the gorilla made famous for his paintings which he signed with his thumbprint.

  1. Culture
  • 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 regularly to the board.

We are continuing to work hard to improve our professional learning communities. Staff members are meeting frequently in results orientated meetings using student data as the focus point.

HMHS administration held a meeting with parents on October 12th to discuss bullying procedures and to communicate the steps we have taken recently to eliminate bullying at HMHS. As of November 2nd we have had one case of confirmed bullying and five investigations into alleged bullying during the 2016-2017 school year.

  1. Personnel
  • Support initiatives to recruit and retain professional, high-quality staff that are innovative, dynamic and dedicated to the success of all students.

We continue to support our mentoring program for existing new staff. We have assigned our director of curriculum and instruction to serve on the interview teams for all prospective new teachers in order to assist in the selection process.

  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.

I met with the HES PTA and the HMHS PTSA in September to review the guidelines for federal free and reduced lunch participation. This year both Hinsdale Elementary School and Hinsdale Middle School have exceeded the 50% threshold in regards to eligibility for the free or reduced lunch program under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. Our middle school eligibility increased from 41% in October of 2015 to 51% in October of 2016.

The administration has created a proposed 2017/2018 budget. We presented the FY 2018 budget to the Board on November 2nd.  The Business Administrator and I will be in attendance when the Budget Committee meets on November 16th to discuss competing demands for town resources.

  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.

We have a representative from Cheshire Glass scheduled to meet with us during our January Facilities Committee meeting to discuss safety enhancements that were recommended in our Safety Audit report in May of 2016.

  1. Technology
  • Align the district budget to support the 5-year plan of the Future Technology Committee.

The administration has included the proposed expenditures in the administration budget needed to implement the first year in the five year Board approved technology plan.