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May Superintendent Report

Superintendent’s Report – May 2017

We continue to make progress toward our annual Board goals.

2016-2017 Hinsdale School Board Goals

Goal 1: Related school, district, and/or SAU goal(s)

• 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.

Thanks to our staff, parents, and our students, more than 93% of the members of our senior class have been admitted to college for 2018-19. Given the comprehensive nature of our high school, small class sizes, and our extended learning opportunity program, graduating Hinsdale students should be better prepared for college and career than most graduating seniors in our area and across the United States.

We are working hard to personalize learning for every student in Hinsdale School District; their voices are leading the way along their own pathway, and they are connected with learning opportunities outside the walls of the classroom in business and industry placements that align with their interest and passion. Currently, over 50% of Hinsdale juniors and seniors have taken advantage of a personalized extended learning opportunity.

We are continuing to work on the coordination of our curriculum between buildings. Recently Hinsdale Middle and High School math teachers met with elementary teachers to talk about the math programs being considered for our elementary students. Soon after that meeting the elementary teachers selected the “Bridges” program. We believe the changes we are making in math instruction will improve math competencies among our students.
We are also working to improve the continuity of instruction between our school buildings in the areas of music, writing, and technology.

Goal 2: Related school, district, and/or SAU goal(s)

Communication
o 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.
o Improve relationships with town governing bodies

One successful example of our effort to create a collaborative relationship with the community is the 93% affirmative bond vote which occurred at our 2017 District Meeting. In addition, the District operating budget was approved by the Budget Committee and the District voters by a wide margin.

Goal 3: Related school, district, and/or SAU goal(s)

• 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.

I have reviewed the major components of the Professional Learning Community model with all teachers and emphasized the value of using PLC’s to accomplish our district goals.

District staff have worked hard to create structures that will reduce the likelihood that bullying occurs in our schools. Most notably the implementation this year of our new social emotional curriculum should result in a reduction of incidents of bullying in our schools.

We have had no reports of bullying since our April Board meeting.

Goal 4:

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

Passing the bond article and the operating budget, each with a strong majority, should help convince our staff that our community appreciates their work. Hopefully, that demonstration of appreciation will result in increased staff retention.

We have improved our search process. For example, we have dedicated the first meeting of each search committee solely to the purpose of prioritizing the desired attributes we think are needed to best serve our students.

In addition, we have advertised a month earlier than usual regarding our anticipated openings for the 2017/2018 school year. Our goal is to be completely staffed for the 2017-2018 school year by mid-June.

Goal 5:

• 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.

We have improved our effectiveness and efficiency in several ways. For example, we now use a smart board to illustrate in real time all the minutes taken at our administrative meetings.

We now update the Board each month concerning the status of our fund balance and until recently have updated the Board each month concerning the percentage of our students qualifying for free or reduced lunch.

We have had solid support from our Budget Committee. I met with them several times during the budget process.

Each cost center manager is responsible to maintain detailed backup information concerning their budget requests. This information is available for the Board if asked.

The Board agreed to pass over the article to rebuild the Maintenance Reserve Fund as a result of the approval of the bond article to add to the first floor of our elementary school.

Goal 6:

• 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.

We are moving forward in regards to safety enhancements that were recommended in our Safety Audit report in May of 2016. We have enhanced security in both entry ways into our schools, and are planning an evacuation drill that includes reunification with parents/guardians. In addition our building administrators are working with our SRO to refine our quick response capability.
Goal 7:

• Align the district budget to support the 5-year plan recommended by the Hinsdale District Technology Committee.

We included the related costs in the 2017-2018 operating budget associated with the implementation of the first year of the District Technology Plan. As recommended, in the first year of the plan we will purchase a computer for each incoming fifth grade student and each incoming ninth grade student. We have dedicated needed professional development for the staff involved in the direct instruction of fifth and nine grade students. In addition to helping our fifth grade and ninth grade students become familiar with computer based learning we hope to use the technology to better integrate our curriculum helping our students create deeper learning and improving the efficiency of the learning process. Once the plan is fully implemented, all our students in grades 5-12 will have a personal computer, central to the process of learning in Hinsdale.

Superintendent’s Report-March, 2017

We continue to make progress toward our annual 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.

Our ELO program continues to gain attention from State education leaders. Most recently our new Commissioner, Frank Edelblut, praised the relationship Hinsdale School District has with our business community. Approximately 120 area businesses work with us through our ELO coordinator, Karen Thompson.

New Hampshire was recently awarded an extension of its 2015 Waiver from the U.S. Department of Education to pilot a competency based accountability designed to support deeper learning for students. Officials from the New Hampshire Department of Education plan to visit Hinsdale soon to talk to us about our success.

We are continuing to work on the coordination of our curriculum between buildings. Recently HMHS teachers met with elementary teachers to talk about the math programs being considered for our elementary students.

Our new curriculum coordinator is preparing a presentation for the Board meeting scheduled for May 10th.

2. Communication
• Internal
o Periodic school board tours of all school buildings
o Work with Administration to maintain the momentum from the community forums, current social media presence and other initiatives
• External
o 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.
o Improve relationships with town governing bodies

The Hinsdale Building Improvement Committee intends to offer another public forum on March 11th, at 10:00 am in the town hall, prior to the Bond vote scheduled to occur at the District meeting on March 18th, at 9:00 am.
Since our February Board meeting I have shared our message concerning our building addition needs with the HES staff and with the HMHS staff. I also spoke to the Hinsdale Lions’ Club, the HES PTA, Meals on Wheels, the PTSA, and helped answer questions at our the Hinsdale Beautification Committee’s chili cook off. I also testified before the New Hampshire Senate Education Committee concerning the importance of lifting the moratorium on school building aid. The Governors’ office is currently looking into our request and the information I have received from his office leads me to believe that the appropriate funding needed for the HES proposed project will be available on or before July 1, 2017 if the District voters approve the bond article by a 2/3rds affirmative vote.
On the evening of March 6th my wife and I will teach “Smile” to our Hinsdale 4th and 5th grade parent/child book club. “Smile” is the story of a girl who discovers her artistic voice, finds out what true friendship really means, and where she can finally smile.
In an effort to strengthen community outreach I attended the Girls’ Varsity basketball playoff game on February 17th.

3. 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 continue to use our faculty meetings and our professional development time to work in our professional learning communities. Currently we are focusing on two areas. The first is in the use of existing data to better individualize instruction. We are also looking at our curriculum alignment between the buildings, especially as it relates to our social curriculum. HES staff are also working hard in an effort to improve math instruction. HMHS staff are working hard to improve their student accountability measures.
Since our last Board meeting we have had one case of alleged bullying.

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

We intend to make every effort to get contracts to our HSD professional staff by April 10th with the understanding that each recipient of a contract sign his or her contract and return it to the director of Human Resources by April 15th. As a consequence of the April 15th deadline we anticipate increasing the size of the pool for the positions open for the 2017-2018 school year because we should be able to advertise for openings earlier, while the pool of candidates is at its deepest.

5. 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.

We continue to closely monitor our fund balance and at this time anticipate a significant surplus.
We are working with our State Senator and State Representatives to increase state revenues for Hinsdale. There are several bills that seem to have some traction and would significantly add to our anticipated revenue. The most significant funding source is the approximately $2,100,000 that the district would receive in the form of state building aid or in the form of a revitalization grant to be used to support our HES renovation/addition project.
Other significant funding State funding possibilities include a bill that would add about $1,800 annually for each of our kindergarten students. Currently we have 58 students in kindergarten. At present we receive from the State about $3,600 per student in grades 1-12 and $1,800 per student in kindergarten. Another bill would add about $100,000 annually to our revenue by increasing the State contribution to teacher retirement to 15% from zero. For decades the State funded teacher retirement at 40%. Currently the District and the employees make up the State share of retirement costs.

6. 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.

Since our February Board meeting we worked to enhance safety at both the administrative team meeting and at the central office team meeting. Principals and Officer Marcello are meeting on March 29th to work through a table top drill. We plan to use the same format on the afternoon of May 26th with all our HSD staff. The HES principal, the HMHS assistant principal, and Officer Marcello have been meeting regularly to review our current safety plan as well as clarifying our incident command structure.

7. Technology
• Align the district budget to support the 5-year plan recommended by the Hinsdale District Technology Committee.

We intend to offer several technology related workshops to our staff on the morning of our May 26th workshop day. These workshops will help our staff be better prepared to succeed with the implementation of the first year of our five-year technology plan.

2016-2017 Before/After School Survey

Any student participating in the morning or after school programs offered by 21st CCLC (HASP) will be asked to participate in a non-academic survey in early March. Students in Grades 3-8 who regularly attend the program (before and or after school) will be asked to complete an on-line survey. The data is used by the NH Department of Education to evaluate our programs. This message is to notify parents or legal guardians of the non-academic survey or questionnaire and its purpose. Both of the surveys are posted here – one is for younger youth, one is for older youth. Parents or legal guardians may opt out of the non-academic survey for their child either in writing or electronically.

Younger student survey
Older student survey

Superintendent’s Report – Febraury 2017

We continue to make progress toward our annual 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 are continuing to add extended learning opportunities for our Hinsdale students.  We are working hard to make certain our coursework and assessment of learning is individualized for each of our students and that emphasis is placed on competency attainment, rather than seat time for all students.

School counselor Paula Brault is continuing to work with our seniors on college placements.  83% of the students in the Hinsdale 2017 graduating class have now been accepted into a college for the fall semester.

A group of Hinsdale teachers will soon begin the fine arts revision process this coming summer.  Other curriculum areas scheduled for summer work include: health and physical education, and science.  We are currently working to improve the continuity of instruction between our school buildings in the areas of music, math, writing, and technology.

  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

The Hinsdale Elementary School Building Improvement Committee held a successful public forum on Thursday, January 26th. The Building Improvement Committee was established in April 2016 by the Hinsdale School Board in the hope of finding a workable solution to the fire safety problem first identified in 2012.  In 2012 the Hinsdale School District was notified by the Hinsdale Fire Chief that our elementary school was out of compliance because we had first grade classrooms on the second floor. These students did not have direct egress to the upstairs fire escapes.  Our appeal to the State Fire Marshall’s Office in 2013 provided a one year waiver. Growing enrollment in grades pre-K, K and 1 has compounded our problem. We currently have 58 kindergarten students, 47 first grade students and two sections of preschool, with just four actual classrooms on the first floor. This has forced us to use our Library and other rooms that are not meant as classroom spaces for classrooms.

Hinsdale was the only district that made the building aid application deadline for 2017, meeting a July 1st deadline and a September 1st deadline, gaining approval from the Building Aid Committee in November and the state board of education in January. The BIC shared the plan with the community at an October 5th public forum and again on January 26th.  The Committee intends to offer one more public forum and members of the Building Improvement Committee are speaking to numerous groups in town.

We have worked hard to keep our proposed building expansion plan as inexpensive as possible. To begin with, we received the acre of land next to our elementary school from a local supporter of our schools, Smokey Smith.  We were able to find other district land Mr. Smith agreed to take as a trade.  The Committee recommended a building expansion plan to the Board that includes three first grade classrooms, three kindergarten classrooms, a music room, and an art room.   All the rooms are on the first floor. The estimated cost of the proposed building expansion is $3,750,000. The School Board has voted unanimously to approve the plan. However, The Board agreed to only raise and appropriate up to $1,500,000 from local taxes.  The additional $2,100,000 would have to come from the state in the form of building aid.  We met with all our state Representatives and our State Senator on December 20th. As a result of information shared that day, including a tour of our elementary school, our State Senator, Jay Kahn, sponsored Senate Bill 192 which if passed would guarantee sufficient state aid to fund the project. Board Chair Holly Kennedy, Hinsdale Elementary School Principal Joe Boggio, Building Improvement Committee Chair and Board member Jim O’Malley, and I are scheduled to testify before the Senate Education Committee on February 7th in support of Senate Bill 192.

In addition to State funding we are actively searching for grant funds and individual donations to reduce the costs of the building project to be raised from local taxes and from State building aid.  The Hinsdale School District applied for emergency funds from the State Fire Marshall’s office.  The New Hampshire Department of Education has set aside $2,000,000 from the current year to accommodate a favorable decision from the State Fire Marshall’s Office.  At present, it appears that we will not receive emergency funds.

The Building Improvement Committee intends to offer another public forum prior to the Bond vote scheduled to occur at the District meeting on March 18th, 2017.  The membership of the Building Improvement Committee includes Board members, Hinsdale Budget Committee members, parents, teachers, local business leaders, our elementary school principal, our business administrator and the Hinsdale Superintendent.

On the evening of February 6th my wife and I will teach “Call it Courage” to our Hinsdale 4th and 5th grade parent/child book club. “Call It Courage” is the story of a boy who tries to overcome his fear of the sea.  The novel won the Newbery Medal for Excellence in American children’s literature in 1941.  We are scheduled to teach “Smile” on Monday evening, March 6th. “Smile” is a story of a sixth grade girl who finds out what friendship really means. “Smile” is a graphic novel and a New York Times Editors’ Choice.

I have attended a Hinsdale Budget Committee meeting, and a Hinsdale Select Board meeting, since our January Board meeting. I also attended the Boys’ Varsity basketball game on January 20th.

  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 have 12 active PLCs currently operating in the Hinsdale School District.  We are looking at our schedule to see if we can add opportunities for additional Professional Learning Communities.

We continue to implement our new social curriculum.  Although it is early, the logic of our programming shift is sound and we expect to see a reduction in the number of confirmed incidents of bullying in the district.  We are evaluating the results of our parent survey and plan to use the results of the survey to help inform the dialogue at the Board Forum on Bullying scheduled for the spring.

Since our last Board meeting we have had two cases of confirmed bullying.

  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 intend to make every effort to get contracts to our professional staff by April 10th with the understanding that each recipient of a contract sign his or her contract and return it to the director of Human Resources by April 15th.  As a consequence of the April 15th deadline we anticipate increasing the size of the pool for the positions open for the 2017-2018 school year.

  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.

We continue to closely monitor our fund balance and at this time anticipate a surplus.

We are working with our State Senator and State Representatives to increase state revenue for the next two years. There are several bills that seem to have some traction and would collectively add several hundred thousand dollars to our anticipated revenue. The most significant funding source is the approximately $2,100,000 that the district would receive in the form of state building aid.  Of course if the Bond article fails to gain a 2/3rds affirmative vote needed the $2,100,000 in State revenue would disappear.

  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.

Since our January Board meeting we worked to enhance safety at both the administrative team meeting and at the central office team meeting.

  1. Technology
  • Align the district budget to support the 5-year plan recommended by the Hinsdale District Technology Committee.

The Board has approved the funds needed in the FY 2018 budget needed to implement the first year of the five year Board approved technology plan.

Superintendent’s Report – January 2017

Superintendent’s Report – January 2017

We continue to make progress toward our annual 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.

To ensure our students receive the best possible guidance concerning post-secondary education and career options based on a student’s unique needs, interests and learning styles we are pursuing the possibility of becoming a “Pathway School” for New Hampshire. Paul Leather, the New Hampshire Deputy Commissioner of Education, is bringing a team to Hinsdale on January 18th to meet with Ann Freitag, Karen Thompson, Karen Craig and myself concerning the possible designation of Hinsdale High School as a Pathway School. The team that Paul will bring with him includes: Eric Feldborg, New Hampshire Department of Education Career Technical Education Director; Steve Rothenberg, Assistant Principal of Concord High School and Director of the Concord Career Technical Education Center (also President of the NH CTE Directors Association); Beth Doiron, Community College System of NH Director of College Access and DoE Programs and Initiatives; Tanna Clews, our NH Consultant for New Skills for Youth; and hopefully Ross Gittell, Chancellor of the NH Community College System.
This meeting should also help move forward the work on our proposal to seek funding for a job training program that would provide employment opportunities for our graduates, and unemployed or underemployed adults in Hinsdale.
Since our last Board meeting Karen Thompson and I met with the Director of Langdon Place in Keene. We talked about potential Extended Learning Opportunity placements for our students and we asked for support with our proposed Nursing Assistant Certification program. The Langdon Place director was extremely supportive. His support should help us in our effort to seek funding to support a nursing assistant program offered in the evenings at HMHS.
On Tuesday, December 20th all our legislators met with Hinsdale School District administrators and two Board members to discuss issues important to our District. The agenda items we discussed included the following: state education aid, state aid for special education, New Hampshire school building aid, our workforce development act grant, and the Common Core.
I recently had a 30 minute conversation with the producer from NHPR concerning our application for New Hampshire building aid. The NHPR producer stated that according to a New Hampshire Department of Education representative we were the only district that made the application deadline for 2017. The other districts who have applied for building aid are competing for 2018 funds. I included a link to the NHPR story. http://nhpr.org/post/backlog-school-projects-nh-districts-await-return-state-aid-program#stream/0

School Counselor Paula Brault is continuing to work on college placements with the graduating members of the Senior Class who are pursuing college admission. Although it is early in the college admission process, 23 Hinsdale seniors have already been accepted into a college for the fall semester.

We are currently working to improve the continuity of instruction between our school buildings in the areas of music, math, writing, and technology.

2. Communication
• Internal
o Periodic school board tours of all school buildings
o Work with Administration to maintain the momentum from the community forums, current social media presence and other initiatives
• External
o 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.
o Improve relationships with town governing bodies

Board members on the Board Facilities Committee recently toured our HMHS library and the Hinsdale Elementary School.
We are working to organize a Board Public Forum with a purpose to hear from the public in regards to issues related to bullying in the Hinsdale Schools. We have initiated a survey that should prove helpful in giving a voice to those unable to attend the forum.
On the evening of January 3rd my wife and I taught “The Long Winter” and “A Long Walk to Water” to our Hinsdale 4th and 5th grade parent/child book club. We are scheduled to teach “Call it Courage” at our next scheduled book club night on Monday, February 6th, at 6:00 pm.
I attended the amazing HES elementary school holiday music concert on December 21st. The gym was packed with smiling children and parents. Both the vocal and the instrumental sections of the concert were outstanding.
I have attended two Hinsdale Budget Committee meetings since our December Board meeting.

3. 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 the work done in our professional learning communities. Our PLC’s have recently been used to create intervention groups for math.
Hinsdale administration recently conducted a survey of staff related to the staff perception of bullying in Hinsdale Schools. The HMHS administration intends to survey parents to help us develop effective programing and to establish a baseline in regards to the percentage of Hinsdale parents who feel their students are unsafe due to bullying. We are also continuing to improve our social curriculum especially as it relates to students who have reoccurring behavior problems.
Since our last Board meeting we have had no cases of alleged or confirmed bullying.

4. 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 strengthen our mentor support system and our Professional Learning Communities. We have added our Director and Curriculum and Instruction to the membership of all our professional staff hiring committees. We intend to broaden our reach in the upcoming hiring season in order to develop a deeper candidate pool.
5. 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.

The administration has created a proposed 2017/2018 budget. The only additional position we have proposed is a tech support position. The tech support position would be needed to implement the first year of the five year technology plan endorsed by the Board.
We continue to closely monitor our fund balance.
With the help of our Hinsdale Elementary School Building Improvement Committee we have a suggested language for an article for the Warrant that if passed by a 2/3rds vote by the voters at our District Meeting would raise the funds needed for a proposed building addition for the Hinsdale Elementary School.
During the past month I have spoken to New Hampshire Public Radio and to our area legislators in hopes of gaining the support needed for State funding of our proposed building addition.

6. 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 are moving forward in regards to safety enhancements that were recommended in our Safety Audit report in May of 2016. Current projects include the planning of a table top drill by mid-May that will include all HSD staff.

7. 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. We also hope to use some funds from our proposed Workforce and Innovation and Opportunity Grant to add hardware and software to our HMHS computer lab.

Superintendent’s Report-December 2016

Superintendent’s Report –December 2016

We continue to make 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 are continuing to work on our proposal to seek funding for a job training program that would provide employment opportunities for our graduates, and unemployed or underemployed adults in Hinsdale. Karen Craig and Karen Thompson are working with me to write the grant/s. The first grant proposal would access funds from the “Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act 2014.” The due date for this submission is January 16, 2017. The purpose of the grant funds are to help job seekers access employment, education, and training to succeed in the labor market, and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in a global economy. Karen Thompson and I have met with executives at GS Precision and Continental Cable to solicit their support. In both cases we were given extensive tours of the plant.
We have added River Valley Community College, GS Precision, Continental Cable, Clear Solutions, and Filtrene as interested potential partners in our effort.
At present our grant proposal would include classes available from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Monday through Thursday, from the week following Labor Day through the third week in May. The Hinsdale School District would act as fiscal agent. The Hinsdale School District would be paid for the grant management out of the grant funds. At this time we are considering the following programs:
– Plumber Licensing
– Electrician Licensing
– Marketing/Distribution Certification
– QuickBooks Certification
– Welding Certification
– Soft Skills Certification
– Advanced Manufacturing Certification
– Coding Certification
– Computer Assisting Drafting Certification
– Nursing Assistant Certification
– Alternative Diploma

We are requesting a five-year grant proposal to be funded at approximately $300,000 per year plus $110,000 for a six month planning phase beginning on July 1, 2017. We are hopeful to have the funds available to operate the program beginning on January 1, 2018.

We are continuing to work on college placement with our graduating members of the Senior Class who are pursuing college admission. Although it is early in the college admission process several Hinsdale seniors have already been accepted into a college for the fall semester.

2. Communication
• Internal
o Periodic school board tours of all school buildings
o Work with Administration to maintain the momentum from the community forums, current social media presence and other initiatives
• External
o 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.
o Improve relationships with town governing bodies

All five of our area legislators have agreed to meet with Hinsdale School District administrators and Hinsdale School District Board members on December 20. As the majority of work in this legislative session will be related to the creation of a two year budget for New Hampshire, much of our conversation will be related to the projected State revenue to the Hinsdale School District. Given that in recent years the State has significantly downshifted costs for education to the towns we will try to make the case that in a state that is already last among the 50 states in funding for education the legislature needs to rethink the State’s responsibility to the children and local taxpayers in New Hampshire. We will also request that our legislators be watchful of any move to underfund the law concerning State Building Aid to school districts.
We are working to organize a Board Public Forum in January of 2017. The purpose of this public forum is to hear from the public in regards to issues related to bullying in Hinsdale Schools. We have initiated a survey that should prove helpful in giving a voice to those unable to attend the forum.
I spent several mornings 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 also attended an honor roll assembly for our seniors and a pep rally for our upcoming sports season.

3. 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 the work done in our professional learning communities. Staff members are meeting frequently using student data as the focus point.
Hinsdale administration is in the process of conducting a survey that would help us develop effective programing and to establish a baseline in regards to the percentage of Hinsdale students who feel unsafe due to bullying. We are also working to improve our social curriculum especially as it relates to students who have reoccurring behavior problems.
Since our last Board meeting we have had one case of confirmed bullying.

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

On December 5th I spoke for over an hour to a group of 25-30 prospective teachers at Keene State College. I talked about the wonderful Hinsdale community and the support process for our new teachers which includes a trained mentor for each new teacher. Hopefully we will have an increased candidate pool as a result of this meeting with Keene State College education majors.

5. 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.

The administration has created a proposed 2017/2018 budget. The only additional position we have proposed is a tech support position. The tech support position would be needed to implement the first year of the five year technology plan endorsed by the Board.
We continue to closely monitor our fund balance.
With the help of our Hinsdale Elementary School Building Improvement Committee we have a suggested language for an article for the Warrant that if passed by a 2/3rds vote by the voters at our District Meeting would raise the funds needed for a proposed building addition for the Hinsdale Elementary School.

6. 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 are moving forward in regards to safety enhancements that were recommended in our Safety Audit report in May of 2016. Current projects include working to enhance security in both entry ways into our schools, and in the planning of an evacuation drill that includes reunification with parents/guardians.

7. 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. We also hope to use some funds from our proposed Workforce and Innovation and Opportunity Grant to add hardware and software to our HMHS computer lab.