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Administration

Pittsfield School District welcomes three new school leaders

The Pittsfield School District welcomes three new school leaders who began their service to the district on July 1.  This spring, the Pittsfield School Board appointed Susan Graham as Dean of Instruction, Paul Newell as Dean of Operations, and Sarah Rollins as Director of College and Career Readiness.

The three key leadership positions are newly-created, replacing the former positions of PES principal, PMHS principal, and PMHS Guidance Director.  Each position will serve both school buildings, PS-12; the Deans are sharing the former principal offices at both schools while the Director is based at PMHS.

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Eagle Scout Makeover of PES Nature Trail

Not everybody knows about the quarter-mile nature trail behind PES. In recent years, brush , tree limbs, and muddy areas have made passage challenging.

Thanks to PMHS 9th grader Kyle Hamel, the trail is now the best it’s ever been. For his Eagle Scout project, Kyle and friends have transformed the trail, brought light, firm footing, and even furniture to our wooded backyard.

Kyle has constructed three wooden benches with views of the wetland and constructed a small amphitheatre, suitable for a class meeting. Barton Lumbar donated building materials. Several scouts and scout leaders donated labor and equipment.

We thank Kyle for leading this project for all Pittsfield residents to enjoy.



Summer Programming at PES

Learning never stops at PES. Our fun and engaging PES Summer Program starts July 8 and runs through August 9. Programming happens Monday through Thursday from 8:00-12:00. Look for a registration form coming home next week.

This year the Pittsfield School District will be providing bus transportation to and from the summer programs. In addition, free breakfast and lunch will be provided for anyone under the age of 18 by the Community Action Coalition. Our library will be open to all grade levels during these times. Students may borrow books and to use the computers for math games.

Eligible students entering pre-k, kindergarten, and first grade will be invited to join our classroom programming, which is designed to help students transition to the next grade, while practicing essential skills in literacy and mathematics. Each of these grades has a limit of 12 students.

Eligible students entering grades 2-6 will be receiving information regarding tutoring hours available. Students entering grades two through six may register for two or four days each week. A schedule of activities will be coming out next week. Some options will include: Kids on the Run, Arts and Crafts, Drama, Zumba, iPad Exploration, and Story Time. We will create a schedule of activities for each student based on needs and interests.

Summer Programming is funded by three sources: district money, Special Education and Title 1. Questions can be directed to Danielle Harvey.



Class Placement Process

Forms asking for parents’ input on class placement for next year are going home with students today. The optional forms are due back May 10.

The form explains how we use parent input in our process. We read and consider every form we get back. Teacher teams spend a great deal of time creating groups for the next year. Next year there will be three classrooms for kindergarten (1 morning and 2 afternoon), three first-grade classrooms, and three second-grade classrooms. There will be just two classes in each of grades three, four, five, and six.

We ask that parents not request specific teachers (assignments change), but parents may describe the qualities of a teacher their child responds to. Children will learn their placement for next year on June 21.



Community Forum on School Safety – April 17

The Pittsfield School District will be holding its second Community Forum on School Safety, Wednesday, April 17 at 6:00 PM at the Pittsfield Elementary School.

This forum, co-sponsored by the Pittsfield Elementary School PTO and Pittsfield Parent Connection, is a follow-up to the Safety Forum held back in December that addressed community concerns and provided information pertaining to the emergency protocols in place within Pittsfield Schools.

The Pittsfield School District Crisis Team includes members of Pittsfield’s Police and Fire Departments. Since the December Safety Forum, the team has met with Gregg Champlin of the Department of NH Homeland Security to audit the District’s Emergency Response Plan. Mr. Champlin then shared seven procedures that might be used during various emergency situations. The Crisis team will be sharing the results of their meeting and providing information to the public as to how community members might become involved as team members moving forward in this work.

Answers to questions posed at the initial meeting will also be addressed and an opportunity for more questions from the community will be made available.

Your participation in this event will provide the Pittsfield School District Crisis Team valuable feedback as they refine the District’s Emergency Response Plan.

Informational Meeting on School Administrative Restructuring , April 17

An informational meeting for parents and community members regarding the school administrative restructuring that has been adopted by the Pittsfield School Board will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17, in the PES cafeteria.

The restructuring will eliminate the positions of school principals at both PES and PMHS and replace these positions with a Dean of Instruction and a Dean of Operations who will each be responsible for both schools, PS-12. The restricting is expected to result in (1) academic gains for students, (2) stronger coherence between the two schools, and (3) greater efficiencies in operations. Beginning in 2008, Pittsfield’s schools have been developing strategies to address these three aims. Parents and community members are invited to participate in this upcoming informational meeting to learn more about this exciting change for our schools’ leadership.



School District Meeting

On Thursday, March 14, approximately 130 Pittsfield citizens and interested non-residents attended the Annual School District Meeting in the PES Gym. The meeting started at 7:00 and ended just after 8:30.

Voters approved all the items in the $9.45 million dollar budget, including the over-all operating budget, a teacher contract with a modest salary increases, and a warrant article to replace the siding on the PES building along with most of the older windows.

Most discussion at the meeting was over the cost of the teacher contract and the replacement of siding on the building. The teachers’ contract includes a small salary increase; in exchange teachers pick up more of the cost of their health insurance. The siding and windows will be a one-time expense, rather than a multi-year bond.



NECAP Scores Released

NECAP results were released to schools on January 31 and to the public the next day. NECAP is short for New England Comprehensive Assessment System. In the fall of the school year students in grades 3 through 8 and in grade 11 take NECAP tests in reading and math. Fifth, eighth, and eleventh graders also take a writing test.. Next October will be the final time NH students take NECAP tests before students take the Common-Core Smarter- Balanced assessments.

Grade-level NECAP reports are available through the NH Department of Education web site or at http:// reporting.measuredprogress.org/ nhprofile/. Individual student reports will be mailed to PES parents in March.

Teacher teams at PES are in the process of analyzing grade-level data to see how the subgroups performed. This analysis will help teachers adjust instruction for the remaining months of the school year..

Last year’s grade-three class performed strongly in both reading and math; this year’s grade-three class underperformed. For other grades, generally speaking, reading and writing scores are up this year and math scores held steady or slightly improved.

Five-year NECAP trends show, in general, a narrowing of the gap between PES students and the state. This year fourth graders broke the 80% mark in reading and outperformed the state. We still have some distance to cover to meet our district goal of 85% proficiency goal.



Attendance Matters: Chronic Absenteeism

This year PES continues to focus on promoting good attendance. It’s just common sense that if a child isn’t in school he or she is not learning as much as the children who are. In the worst cases, poor attendance can become a habit that leads to future school failure, drop-out, and poor attendance at work.

Our PES Attendance Team meets quarterly to review attendance data and identify children who are having problems and to reach out to families to offer support. The team consists of the principal, guidance counselor, social worker, student support center supervisor, secretary and a teacher.

This year our focus has been on “chronically absent” students, those who miss 10% of days or more.

The Attendance Team met today. Next week we will be sending letters and making calls to the parents of students with attendance problems. We’ll offer support and ideas to get children here and learning.



Read with Children

It’s that time of year again when new year’s resolutions are flying about. Don’t forget to include reading among your resolutions this year! It is one of the most important things adults can do with children to help ensure their success in school and life. Here are a few great resolutions to help make reading with your child a part of your daily lives:

Read in front of your children— Children who see their parents or caregivers reading are more likely to read themselves. Reading magazines, newspapers— even cereal boxes—counts as long as your children see you doing it.

Visit the library— Make sure you and your child have a library card. What can be better than new books every week? And the best part, it’s free.

Read every day— During lunch, after dinner or before bed are all great times for a story. Pick at least one time during the day and try to make it a regular habit. It makes it more likely that you and your children will remember, and reduces the risk that any reluctant readers will start to negotiate for another time.

Choose a series of books to read together— The Magic Tree House, Little House on the Prairie, or Harry Potter. Read them all together and celebrate when you finish the whole series.

Have fun with books!—Use funny voices when reading aloud, have your child draw his/her favorite scene from the book, be creative or silly to show your child that you enjoy reading and that books are fun.



PES @ Pittsfield Listens Community Awards

PES community were recognized last night for their contributions to the community at the first annual Pittsfield Listens Awards. The awards were presented by Pittsfield Listens’ MC, Kristen Treacy and PES Principal Doug Kilmister.

Fifth-grader Morgan Morasse was recognized for her contributions as the youngest member of Pittsfield Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) In giving the award Ms. Treacy said, “Morgan is always and engaged and excited about SADD. She always gives thoughtful insight and is a positive image that her fellow peers and school mates should follow.”

Olivia Tobin, a second grade student, was recognized as,” very well rounded, playing many sports, achieving good grades, helping out at PYW, and participating in various community events. Her love of school and excitement to be a part of the community is easily seen by all.”

Sixth-grade Teacher David Patsos won the Elementary Teacher of the Year award. Ms. Tracy cited his dedication to Pittsfield students over years, his demonstrated concern for students as individuals, and his positive encouragement for each and all students.