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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.

October Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent’s Report – October 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.

The Board and administration are scheduled to meet on October 11th to help develop the Board’s district goals for the current school year. Each administrator plans to develop yearly goals with the help of his/her supervisor as soon as the Board has established Board goals for 2016/2017.

  • 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 working to support our new staff and to create a more supportive and more collegial environment for all our staff. We are also strengthening our Hinsdale professional learning community. One typical attribute of a strong professional learning community is better retention of staff.

  • Goal: Provide a continuum of instruction at all ability levels, preschool through grade 12.

In September, Hinsdale teachers worked in groups to analyze the Hinsdale student results on the most recent New England Common Assessment Program science test. We are not satisfied with the results and are in the process of creating an action plan that when implemented will lead to improved results. One expected component of the action plan will include an effort to integrate the science standards into other content areas.

  1. Goal: Develop a budget and a technology plan that supports all aspects of the district. 

Our technology committee has completed a five-year plan which was presented to our administrative team by our Director of Technology and Assessment, Deborah Trabucco on October 5th.  After a lengthy discussion the plan was unanimously adopted by our administrative team.  The administrative team looks forward to discussing the details of the five-year plan with the Board at our October 11th meeting.

  1. 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 participated in the Hinsdale School Board public forum on October 5th. The major topic discussed at the forum was the proposal for a small addition to the Hinsdale Elementary School. This proposal was developed by the HES Building Improvement Committee.  As a member of the Building Improvement Committee I helped address questions related to the Building Improvement Committee proposal.  The HES Building Improvement Committee members 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 myself.

To get to know the community better, and to have the community get to know me better, I welcomed parents at the first Hinsdale Elementary School PTA meeting on September 21st and I welcomed parents to the first Hinsdale Middle/High School PTSA meeting on September 13th.  I also attended a homecoming soccer game on Saturday, September 17th where I witnessed a great soccer match and a bald eagle flying directly over the field.

I participated in the inaugural meeting of the Hinsdale Education Foundation on Saturday, September 24th.  We elected officers, developed a mission statement, and established an action plan that when completed will include registration with both the IRS and the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office.  In addition, our newly elected treasurer plans to open a Hinsdale Education Foundation bank account with the Brattleboro Savings and Loan. The officers of the Hinsdale Education Foundation are as follows: President, Jim O’Malley; Secretary, Steve Bonnette; Treasurer, Frank Moriarty.

I led the first Hinsdale Parent/Child 4th and 5th grade book club on Monday, October 3rd.  The students and parents enjoyed the first book, “Freedom Rider.”  The book is based on a true story about a young girl in the early 1800’s who runs away from a New Hampshire orphanage and disguises herself as a man to become a stagecoach driver. She ends up driving a stage in California during the gold rush and becomes the first woman in the US to vote in a presidential election. Our book club plans to meet on the first Monday of each month.

Superintendent’s Report-September 2016

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.

August Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent’s Report – August 2016

Few things surpass the feeling of anticipation and the promise of the new school year. It is a privilege to share in the excitement of the staff as they troop into freshly scrubbed buildings bringing their hopes that they will make a real difference in the lives of our students. Our promise to them must be that we will all reach out and support them. Our new staff begin this Friday, August 19th at 8:30 am, with a welcome by the Board and administration followed by three days of training. At 8:30 am next Wednesday we will welcome our returning staff in the HES Cafeteria. Board members are welcome to join us from 8:30-9:15 next Wednesday, August 24th. Our first day for students is scheduled for Tuesday, August 30th. For many students, the first day is the most exciting day of the year. It is the universal feeling of hope in something new and fresh with limitless possibilities. This cycle of a school year that begins with promise and ends with pride in all that’s been accomplished is one of the reasons that working in the public school system is so wonderfully unique and fulfilling.

The Hinsdale Elementary School Building Improvement Committee has met seven times since our June Board meeting. We have made significant progress in several areas. First, the committee met with area legislators, including Senator Molly Kelly, to advocate for the full funding of the new law related to New Hampshire school building aid. Under the new law the State would pay for 60% of the total school building project cost. So far, it appears that all our current legislators support full funding of the law. We submitted the preliminary building aid application prior to the July 1st deadline. We have another submittal deadline of September 1st for a final application that includes preliminary architectural plans.

The HES Building Improvement Committee met with interested area architects on July 19th. During the meeting representatives from the nine architectural firms present were given a tour of the Hinsdale Elementary School. Eight architectural firms submitted a “statement of qualifications” to the HES Building Improvement Committee prior to August 4th. The HES Building Improvement Committee hopes to share a plan with the community at an October 5th public forum. If the Board decides to propose a building bond article on the Warrant in March of 2017, a super majority affirmative vote would be needed for approval.

The HES Building Improvement Committee members 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.

The HES Building Improvement Committee subcommittees met several times over the summer as well. The members of the subcommittees include the following:

Finance: James MacDonell, Courtney Hodge, Tom O’Connor, Kaylah Hemlow, Sean Leary

Public Relations: April Anderson, Steve Fecto, Courtney Hodge, Kaylah Hemlow, Sean Leary

Curriculum: Deb Carrier, Joe Boggio

Facilities: Shawn Lee, James MacDonell, James O’Malley, Sean Leary, Wayne Woolridge

We are making progress toward writing a grant that would better support our high school students preparing for careers, as well as provide support for adults in town who are unemployed or underemployed. Our Extended Learning Coordinator Karen Thompson and I met with Mollie Kaylor from the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development in Hinsdale on July 6th and we met with Fred Bramante and Mollie Kaylor in Concord on July 12th. We are in the process of creating a budget for a five-year grant. We are hopeful that we can identify planning funds for appropriation beginning on January 1, 2017 with a program start-up date scheduled for July 1, 2017.

As mandated by the new federal Elementary and Secondary School Education Act the Star-Spangled Banner will be sung by school children nationwide on Friday, September 9, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. Students will learn about the words and meaning of the flag and sing the first stanza.

New Hampshire recently passed a law relative to school lunch meal payment policies. The law reads as follows:

“A school lunch meal payment policy which is implemented by a school board either before or after the effective date of this section shall ensure that all students have access to a healthy school lunch, that the school district will make every reasonable effort to inform parents of the policy, and that no student will be subject to different treatment from the standard school lunch meal or school cafeteria procedures. The department of education or the state board of education, upon request of the local school board, may provide communication assistance to school districts and parents of school children regarding the school lunch meal payment policy.”