Superintendent’s Report – December 2017
On Tuesday, December 5, our Hinsdale School District Construction Committee met with architects from Marinace and members of our construction team from McMillin. Several decisions were made at that meeting that should help ensure we make the project projected timeline. For example we agreed that a frost blanket should cover the construction site through late January. On the last week of January 2018, we can expect additional site work preparation. We can expect the construction process to get fully underway during the first week of February. We also determined that the heavy equipment would use the Prospect Street entrance and when possible avoid bus drop off and pick up congestion. After consulting with HMHS administrators we agreed that the HES summer programs, such as our extended year learning program and our summer preschool program, would use space at HMHS. We are still working on developing a process for establishing background checks for construction workers and recommending a 2018/2019 calendar for the Board.
Senate Bill 193 has passed the New Hampshire House Education Committee. If passed by the full House and Senate, likely decided this coming winter, the law would provide New Hampshire parents with the state’s basic per-pupil grant of roughly $3,600 to be used for private school tuition or home schooling. Under the bill, the money would flow through a nonprofit scholarship organization that would keep five percent for administrative costs. To qualify, parents would have to have a household income less than or equal to 300 percent of the federal poverty limit, currently 300 percent of the federal poverty limit for a family of four is $73,800. Students with disabilities who receive the $3,600 grant would waive their rights under federal and state disability laws, including the right to an IEP, the right to services, and the right to a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment.
We are making progress towards the 2017-2018 Hinsdale School Board Goals.
2017-2018 Hinsdale School Board Goals
- 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.
We are making progress towards a system migration towards a competency education model. Currently, we are making modifications to our Hinsdale High School Program of Studies to better reflect the move towards a competency education model. All our HMHS students are receiving individualized instruction for three days each week in math and English. Our after school program is another opportunity for our students to participate in a personalized learning program.
- Twice yearly school board tours of all school buildings.
- Maintain communication to promote a collaborative relationship with the community through a continued commitment to holding a minimum of two forums and maintaining a presence in other committees, boards and community events in town.
- Improve relationships with town governing bodies.
Our PTA and our PTSA continue to enjoy a high level of parent participation.
A joint meeting of the School Board and the Budget Committee is being scheduled for January, 2018.
- Promote an atmosphere that supports a forward-thinking, professional learning community.
- Ensure clear behavioral expectations are communicated and followed up on regularly.
- Support and promote anti-bullying practices and ensure policies are being followed.
- Superintendent will spot check the bullying logs and report monthly to the board.
We are continuing to strengthen our Professional Learning Community culture.
We are in the second year of the implementation of our new social/emotional learning curriculum. We are beginning to embed the SEL lessons into regular content instruction.
We have seen a decline in the incidents of bullying as compared to last year at this time. At present, we have had one report of bullying at HES and one report of bullying at HMHS since our last Board meeting.
- Support initiatives to recruit and retain professional, high-quality staff that are innovative, dynamic and dedicated to the success of all students.
- Promote an atmosphere that supports an inclusive, professional learning community.
Our mentor program continues to add an important level of support for our new staff. In addition, our contract for service instructional coach has been a huge asset to many of our staff especially our new teachers.
- 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.
- Formulate a written facilities capital improvement plan.
Our recently modified Facilities Committee is meeting on the third Friday each month at 2:15. The next meeting is scheduled for Friday, December 15th. The committee hopes to create a capital improvement plan to recommend to the Board during this school year.
- 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.
- Formulate a written security plan.
On Monday, November 20th several members of Hinsdale Police and Hinsdale Fire joined Hinsdale schools administrators in the SAU conference room as part of a “table top drill.” The table top drill was organized and led by our School Resource Officer, Marcello D’Allesandro.
We have recently submitted two security grants to the State. We anticipate a notification of approval at any day, at which time the Board would be asked to accept the grant funds. Our School Resource Officer Marcello D’Allesandro, our Director of Technology, Debbie Trabucco, and our Business Administrator Tom O’Connor have all participated in the grant application.
- Continue to align the district budget to support the 5-year plan of the District Technology Committee.
- Formulate a written technology capital improvement plan.
The first year implementation of our five-year technology plan is going well. One unanticipated outcome for our students involved in the one-to-one initiative has been an increase in positive group problem solving opportunities which has helped our students improve our social emotional learning ouitcomes.