The school year began on Tuesday, August 30, with all students and staff ready for another great year of learning, growing, and fun! We gathered at the “Compass” at mid-morning to join in the “Pledge,” introduce 12 new students (6 in K, 2 in 1st, 2 in 4th, and 1 each in 6th and 7th grades), introduce staff and welcome all present to the 2016-2017 Barnard School year.
I have included information regarding new staff in this and other reports. Our most recent additions are Courtney Peterson, Grades 4-5 teacher, Sarah Gouzoules, Special Education Assistant, and Stanley Benosky, Custodian. Thanks again to those who have helped with the important selection of our new staff members. We hope to fill our last and most recent vacancy of a Music Teacher and Band and Chorus Director in time for the first scheduled class Friday September 9th.
The final days before students arrive are very busy ones for us. New teachers throughout SAU 21 have 3 days of orientation, which began Monday, August 22. On Wednesday the 24th we spent the morning in a presentation for over 20 new classroom teachers and a number of student teachers to familiarize them with District policies and initiatives, communication, professional development, and teacher evaluation. The morning of Thursday, August 25 was the District-wide kickoff presentation at WHS followed by a welcome luncheon here for our staff and meetings in the afternoon to discuss schedules, duties, and all the details that need to be addressed before the students arrive.
Now that school has begun, there are already plans for September activities. Mrs. Dugan, Ms. Casassa, and Mrs. Laverty have planned our Summer Reading Celebration for the afternoon of Wednesday, September 14. Our first field trip will be on Friday September 16 with Grades 4-8 attending Ocean Discovery Day at UNH. Ms. Casassa has volunteered to coach our Cross Country Team and the first practice will be on Thursday, September 8, with meets scheduled shortly thereafter. Our annual Community Cookout and Open House will be held on Tuesday September 20.
I have included a link to the most recent student census on my Blog. Apparently we have not tracked this information since the fall of 2014 so I have included that information for comparison. Most notable is that the census does not necessarily predict future enrollments.
NWEA (Northwest Education Association) testing is scheduled to begin on the week of September 12th. We will test students in Grades 1-8 in Reading, Language Usage, and Math. Students in upper grades will also be administered the Science test. We will be reviewing these results and those from the spring Smarter Balanced Testing to drive instruction and address the individual strengths and need of our students.
- • Hampstead Water performed a chlorine treatment of our well in August based on recommendations from Lee Knapp, who designed the water system. They also retested the faucets in the kitchen and tested the water fountains in the K-1 and 2-3 classrooms for lead. All 4 tests were well within safe limits. They also replaced the sediment filters as part of their regular schedule.
- • Steve Balsavage of Precision Shingling has inspected the Gym roof and found no leaks or seams in need of repair. He has proposed that we finish sealing the 14 sections that were left undone during his last repair and that work has been approved and he will fit the work into his schedule before cold weather sets in.
- • There was a minor water condensation leak in the A/C unit that services the Computer lab resulting in some ceiling damage in the hallway. Breen and Sullivan serviced the unit determining that is had iced up and added coolant. Emerald Painting will do patching and painting as soon as they can fit it in.
- • Gayle Porter, our amazing head custodian from WHS, will be working for us in a reduced capacity helping us transition to a permanent staff. We thank her so much for her amazing transformation of our facility! Additionally, she has put procedures in place to see that it continues in the same manner from now on.
- • Stan Benosky, a long-time neighbor from across the street, will join us as part-time custodian. He also works as a night custodian at Exeter Hospital.
Here’s to a successful 2016-2017. As I enter my 5th year I continue to thank the South Hampton Community and specifically the Barnard students, parents, and staff for their kind friendship and support. As always I am always available for any questions or concerns.