Thursday, November 2, 2017

Parent Conferences, Volunteer Recognition, Field Trips, Staff Training, and a lot more!!!

As we enter the third month of the school year and the Holiday Season, Mrs. Moran’s Kindergarten and First Graders report that the month of November begins on day 41 of our very busy school year. Here a few highlights of what has been going on and what we have to look forward to.
Staff meetings are scheduled for the first 2 Wednesdays every month and the agendas include preparing for and reflecting on events like Open House and Parent Conferences, trainings, field trips, and addressing staff concerns.  Every meeting also has standing reports on District-wide Professional Development and Seacoast Education Association news. For the October 4 meeting we traveled to Seabrook Middle School for MLP (My Learning Plan, the software used to track professional development and staff evaluations) and again on November 1 for Title IX, Bullying, and Harassment training.  The purpose of joining other schools in these mandatory trainings is to ensure that the staff receives a consistent message throughout the SAU.  October was also a month for Inservice Trainings with our first session in house on October 6, and we invited Dr. Cadarette to present “Competency 101” with discussion and Q&A followed by additional work on MLP carried over from the previous training and development of individual goal setting around our commitment to learning all we can with regards to the competencies.  On October 27, our second Inservice is SAU-wide for a presentation by nationally recognized Lynn Lyons and “Managing Anxiety at School and Home.” The entire teaching staff and our educational associates are joining together to learn about this important issue.
Field trips are an important part of our learning program and we have been reviewing our plan for the year at staff meetings.  All classes will be attending live musical performances at the Leddy Center for the Performing Arts in Epping.  Grades K-5 will see Roald Dahl’s “Willy Wonka” on November 8 and Grades 6-8 will see Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” on December 8.  We are delighted to be able to offer these performances and look forward to extending out learning about the stories and authors in our classrooms.  Experiencing local history will also be included in late winter or early spring with trips to Strawbery Banke (yes that’s the correct spelling) for Grades K-3 and Lowell Mills for Grades 4-8.  Both locations have presentations, tours, and interactive exhibits that fit well into our Social Studies curriculum. We are still in the process of reviewing a whole school trip like recent excursions to the Museum of Science, Currier Museum, Fischer Cats Game, Isles of Shoals, and the Aquarium.  We are always open to suggestions from the community and will keep you posted as we consider our options and the best experience for our students. 
October 24 and 25 were our first round of Parent Conferences for all grades.  Depending on the grade level, 15 or 20-minute appointments were arranged and I’m please to report that 68 such meetings took place thanks largely to the efforts of Mrs. Jones, who not only took calls, but also reached out to parents.  This is a continuation of our mid-trimester plan in order to provide feedback before grades close.  Parents are reminded that teachers are available any time to discuss student concerns and additional time is available at a different date if the blocks seem to short.
Budget season has begun and classroom teachers have submitted their individual requests.  This is a thorough, detailed process of reviewing inventories and student population projections in order to predict needed instructional materials and supplies for the 2018-2019 school year.  The budgets are reviewed and combined with technology, maintenance, office, and other miscellaneous needs.  That information is combined with administrative requests for materials and personnel for review by the SAU in preparation for presentation to the School Board.  We are on track to be on schedule for proceeding with this important responsibility. 
Volunteerism is alive and well here at Barnard school and throughout the state as demonstrated at the NH Partners in Education Celebration of Volunteers Breakfast in Concord on October 25.  Drs. Sullivan and Cadarette, along with all of the SAU 21 administrators and a number of volunteers joined over 250 attendees at this gala event.  Commissioner Edelblut was the keynote along with performances by PSU’s Dr. Trish Lindberg and the University’s internationally renowned, Emmy-winning, TIGER (Theatre Integrating Guidance Education & Responsibility) troupe. South Hampton’s PTA was awarded The Gold Circle Partnership Award, and Barnard School was again recognized with the Blue Ribbon Achievement Award on behalf of our army of selfless, dedicated, volunteers.  Continuing on the subject of volunteers, PTA, in partnership with South Hampton Recreation had another successful Fall Festival on Saturday, October 14.  This incredible community event included chili and soup, raffles of student artwork, music, and a bouncy obstacle course as a wonderfully entertaining and community building fundraiser to benefit student enrichment programming.  Thank you PTA also for providing cider and donuts during Parent Conferences.
Cross Country season came to an end with the Seacoast League Championship Meet on October 11 and Grade 5 Championship on October 18.  As I said earlier, this is the largest team we have ever fielded and we are so grateful to the athletes who represent us so well, the parents, grandparents, and siblings who cheer them on and especially Coach Casassa for her continued devotion to our kids.  Soon we will be looking forward to Basketball, stay tuned for more details.

That’s a short summary of what’s been going on and there’s always more to see and hear about.  Please continue to visit our website, Twitter, Facebook, teacher, and principal pages.  Best wishes on a Happy Thanksgiving and a joyous Holiday Season!

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