Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Update
Mr. Baker, Ms. Tufts, Mr. Dangora, Ms. Organek, and I met on August 10th to discuss the co-teaching model being piloted this year at NWES. A School Board presentation will occur this fall on the co-teaching model being piloted in grade 5.
Professional Development Update
On Thursday, August 10th administration and administrative office staff received emergency management training facilitated by the NH Department of Homeland Security. Hudson Police Department and Fire Department were also part of this training. The training provided a practical use of the school emergency operations plans while reviewing a specific scenario and assessing our practices, protocols, and takeaways for improvement.
The administrative team had two days of workshops last week. The workshops included principals, assistant principals, department heads, special education administrators and district administration. The two days included a review of leadership practices, district priorities, new evaluation and professional development system including an online dashboard to manage evaluations and professional development, a school safety update, and unconscious bias training.
New teacher orientation occurred last Thursday and Friday. New teachers met at Hills Garrison Elementary School. We welcomed 53 new teachers to the district. The two days provided a review of district priorities, school safety training, Schoology training, PowerSchool training, and other key professional development to prepare teachers for their tenure in Hudson School District. New teachers had time to meet with their mentors as well.
The district is hiring teaching positions for specialized subject areas including heavy-duty mechanic teacher, Hudson Memorial School art teacher, Alvirne High School Chemistry teacher, Alvirne school counselor, and other teaching positions being reviewed this evening. The district currently needs 10 teaching positions. Due to the teacher shortages, Mr. Bowen will alter the grade level teams at HMS from 8 to 7, increasing class sizes from 19-20 students per class to about 23 students per class. There are two special education teacher positions due to late resignations that will be challenging to hire. Mr. Bowen and Ms. Borge have modified teacher-student ratios to approximately 20 students per teacher.
Paraprofessionals have also presented hiring challenges, there are 47 paraprofessional vacancies. A plan has been brought forward this evening to modify the 12 paraprofessional positions from part-time to full-time positions. The district for the first time in over a year has all lunch staff positions completed.
Community Engagement Update
I spent time in the Non-Profit Volunteer booth at Hudson Old Home Days on August 12. I spent a few hours talking with Lion’s Club and had a couple of visits from community members. As part of the conversations, we talked about the current vacant teaching and staff positions. An informational flyer was available to ask for the community to help with the hiring for these staff positions. I would like to thank the Non-Profit Volunteer group for allowing me to join them.
On August 31 I will be joining Mr. Gasdia and HCTV staff for the HCTV show to discuss the beginning of the new school year. I look forward to discussing several topics as part of the HCTV show.
School Facilities Update
An update on the CTE driveway - the drainage repair is complete, including repair to catch basins. The driveway is on track to be paved before the start of school. Continental Paving with be doing the paving this week.
The renovation to kitchen ventilation at the Barnyard Café is ahead of schedule and inspection will occur prior to the start of school. One of the HMS science labs is on track to be complete before the start of school. The other science lab will be finished during the early part of the school year. Other summer school facilities projects are being completed before the start of school. I had the opportunity to have lunch with custodians, maintenance, grounds, and facilities staff on Friday. I want to thank the district school facilities department for all their great work this summer getting the schools ready for the start of the new school year.
The “handbook and policy review” process was shared with families on August 11. This process includes parents and guardians reviewing and agreeing to important district policies, a review of the school handbook and consent to treat a student.
Bus routes and a schedule of all “back to school” events on August 25 have been shared with families and are available on the website.
I attended the Board of Selectmen meeting on August 8. Police Chief Tad Dionne presented the plan to restrict traffic during the school day at Memorial Drive at HMS. This will require two public hearings to obtain public input, meaning pending public hearings and will not go into effect until October.
The district has three workshop days scheduled this week, on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. The District Welcome will be on Thursday at Alvirne High School.
We look forward to having students returning to school next week, on Monday, August 28th. The schools are quiet during the summer months, and it will be great to have students back to start the new school year!
Daniel Moulis, Ed. D