Friday, March 3, 2017

In Like a Lion.....

As we return from our Winter Break and the snow days and delayed openings that preceded it, March brings us 7 solid weeks of hopefully uninterrupted instruction and student learning before Spring Break brings us another chance to catch our breath.  Second Trimester grades close March 10, and preparations will soon be underway to prepare for another round of Smarter Balanced Testing and Grades 4 and 8 Science NECAPS. 

Despite the weather we were able to hold our annual Spelling and Geography Bees to challenge students in grades 5-8 for spelling and 4-8 for geography.  Ms. Casassa directed the Barnard School version of The Scripps National Spelling Bee beginning with a 50-word test, which generated 13 finalists, who appeared on stage in the Batchelder Gym on January 12th.  After several grueling rounds, Sully Burchette, Grade 7 placed 3rd, Kylie Considine, Grade 8, 2nd, and congrats to Champion 5th Grader Brielle Molin! Brielle proudly represented us Saturday, February 25th facing nearly 200 competitors at the NH statewide competition at the Capitol Center for the Arts.  The National Geographic Geography Bee, under the direction of Mrs. Cestrone, began with individual classroom competitions in grades 5-8 followed with 13 finalists competing on Friday January 27.  Winners were Drew Mahoney, Grade 8, placing 3rd, Jack Simas, Grade 7, placing 2nd, and Champion Kylie Considine!  Kylie is participating in a written test to qualify for the State Bee and compete to attend the National Bee in DC March 31. As I’m putting the finishing touches on my report we received notification that Kylie has qualified for the State Bee March 31! Congrats Brielle and Kylie and all our finalists and competitors and thank you Ms. Casassa and Mrs. Cestrone for organizing! Please visit my Principal’s Page or our Twitter or Facebook pages for pictures of the competitions and winners.

Barnard School has a rich and rewarding partnership with the South Hampton Public Library, which helps satisfy requirements under ED 306.29 Alternative Compliance for School Accreditation. This relationship is necessary since our school does not have a formal media center, which is a facility requirement by the NH Dept. of Ed.  Our current plan, a continuation of a long-standing series of agreements, was established in 2013 and is scheduled for renewal of its standard 4-year cycle in the summer of this year.  In February, I met with Carole McCarthy, SHPL Librarian, Sue Harter, Seabrook Middle School’s Library Media Specialist and Barnard School’s Library Media Consultant, and Lori Laverty, who works both at SHPL and as Barnard School’s Library Facilitator, maintaining our catalogued book collections.  At that meeting we reviewed our plan and it’s implementation over the past several years and celebrated our success with library visits, shared book and cultural celebrations, our Summer Reading Celebration, and numerous other shared experiences.  Our collections are nearly completely merged using “Follett Destiny” cataloguing software with online access.   During periodic library visits, students not only browse and select book but also learn valuable skills to help with library use in their future studies and as a lifelong activity.  Since the meeting we have invited Carol Dugan to join the team to represent the faculty and she graciously agreed.  The plan is on the agenda for the next staff meeting and I have included a draft of our timeline that Sue Harter developed as a result of discussions at our meeting and review of the current plan.

Facilities:
  • As snowstorms kept coming in the month of February, I continuously monitored the snow load on the Batchelder Gym from the full roof view on the catwalk outside the 3rd floor of the main building.  I shared pictures with the SAU Administration and School Board to keep them informed.  At no time was there any concern for excessive load but it is our policy to stay ahead of it, so Joe Brunet brought his boom truck on Friday, February 17, and his crew cleared the roof taking great care not to damage the center and edge seals. 
  • As a bonus of having the boom truck here the burnt out bulb was replaced in the north parking lot light pole!
  • On Monday, February 27, the new floor scrubber was delivered and it’s everything we hoped for.  The custodians look forward to showing the community how well it works.

As we approach spring, the PTA Ski and Snowboard program is planning one last evening, Thursday, March 2 before the snow all melts.  Thank you Rachel Simas and all our volunteers for making it happen.  Please continue to visit the school and staff web pages and thank you all for your continued kind support.

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