On Saturday, July 11, the new Drake Field playground was formally opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Through a generous donation from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and monies allocated from the Drake Field reserve fund, the installation of the playground was made possible this past spring. The Drake Field Committee, which is made up of representatives from the teaching staff, athletic department, school administration, School Board, and community, researched and selected equipment to be installed at Drake Field. We are very fortunate to have a new play area for our children that includes slides, swings, monkey bars, a rock climbing wall, and workout stations for teenagers and adults. We wish to extend a warm thank you to the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, the Pittsfield School Board, and the Drake Field Committee for making this possible.
On February 20, over 100 students and parent volunteers joined together in the PES gymnasium to celebrate three weeks of fundraising for the American Heart Association. Using long ropes, short ropes, Chinese jump ropes, and hula hoops, students engaged in heart healthy activities. We are thankful for the parents who came and supported our efforts by bringing a healthy snack or by simply turning a rope. Together the Pittsfield community raised over $3,400.00 that will help children and adults who have special hearts. It was an outstanding event! Thank you to all those who contributed and participated in Jump Rope for Heart.
The PES School Improvement Team wishes you all a very safe and fun summer vacation. Please continue to check The Suncook Valley Sun and district website for updates over the summer! Save the date: Our first meeting of the new school year will be September 23, 2014 from 6-7:30 PM. As al-ways, if you should have any questions or would like more information regarding the work of the PES SIT, please email Ross Morse firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week, the focus is on the PES School Improvement Team’s Best Practice Sub-Team
The Best Practice Sub-Team has identified needs to be met by its work. They are: To look critically at what current practices are; To research and investigate other practic-es that will enhance instruction and student learning; To identify, prioritize and plan for professional development needs. In support of those needs, the team has made school visits to Litchfield Elementary School and Barrington Elementary School to see how potential changes in the PES Math and English Language Arts curriculum might look once implemented. The next meeting of the PES SIT is Tuesday, May 27. The evening begins with a light dinner at 5:30, followed by the meeting at 6:00. The anticipated closing of the meeting is 7:30.
As mentioned in last week’s communication, the PES SIT has created four sub-teams to be charged with contributing to the PES long-term plan for success. This week, the focus is on the Communication Sub-Team. The Communication Sub-Team has identified two needs to be met by its work: 1) Short Term: While the plan is being created, to communicate to all stakeholders the status of the process and encourage feedback 2) Long Term: To devise a structure for timely and accurate communication between and among all stakeholders. In support of those needs, the team has created a timeline of opportunities to share the progress of the plan via informative presentations and forums de-signed to include feedback. The Communication Sub-Team has also been invited by the PES School Improvement Team to make a presentation at the next SIT meeting. The presentation will be a sharing of the Vision/Mission/Guiding Principles of the Pittsfield School District. This next meeting of the PES SIT is Tuesday, May 27. The evening begins with a light dinner at 5:30, followed by the meeting at 6:00. The anticipated closing of the meeting is 7:30.
Although the work of SIT has begun, we welcome new members to become involved. There are varying levels of commitment. All are welcome and encouraged to attend. There is a place for everyone as an active participant and for those wanting to become more informed.
The PES School Improvement Team, familiarly known as SIT, is a group of community members, faculty, staff, administration, as well as regional government officials that have come together to formulate a long term plan for success for the Pittsfield Elementary School. The SIT is using a Logic Model as its template. The Logic Model is the name given to the long-term plan and is centered around five focus areas that can be tied to the District’s Vision and Mission statements.
Ensuring student ownership of learning
Raising student academic achievement
Ensuring 21st century learning/ civic responsibility/social emotional socials (skills to insure success for future)
Redefining adult roles and performance expectations
Engaging with the community
The PES Logic Model will ensure the plan is organized in a fashion that is understandable and representative of its stakeholders. The SIT is currently comprised of four sub-teams: Best Practices, Communication, Data, and Performance Management. These teams are also made up of community members, faculty, staff, and administrators. Each sub-team meets outside of the SIT meetings (at the convenience of its membership) to accomplish tasks for inclusion in the logic model final draft. As co-chair of the communication team with Tara Ash, we anticipate regular communications to keep our school community informed. The next meeting of the SIT is scheduled for May 27, at 6:00 p.m.. A light dinner is offered at 5:30. All are welcome to come and participate. People seeking more information or to join the work of the PES SIT may email me at email@example.com.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the school on February 20 to mark the reconstruction and uplift to the school that occurred over that last two years. The school is beautiful with the new roof, windows and siding. Thank you Pittsfield!
Cutting the ribbon are Mike Wolfe, Chair of the School Board and Lucas Kiley, Kindergartener Also attending the ceremony are Dan Bisson from Harriman Architects & Engineers, Gary Bertram and Jim Laverdiere from Hutter Construction and Scott Antonucci from Granite State Glass.
I thought you would be interested in the complimentary comments that Governor Hassan made about our Pittsfield schools in her state-of-the-state address delivered at the State House in Concord on Thursday, February 6, which are excerpted from her speech below. Thank you for your ongoing support of our students and school.
John J. Freeman, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
… New Hampshire’s public schools are often ranked among the nation’s best in graduation rates, in reading proficiency and in math proficiency. And many of our schools are innovating and working to find better ways to edu-cate our students. Pittsfield Middle High School, for example, has brought businesses, parents and the entire community together to develop a student-centered learning program. Educators are working collaboratively with students to identify what they need to learn and what they are having trouble learning. Then together they build plans, including opportunities outside the classroom, that help each student thrive. Pittsfield students are seeing the results in their test scores, with the number of 11th-graders testing proficient in math nearly doubling since the program began. Pittsfield is seeing improvements because they were willing to look at education differently. And that is what we need to do across our state. We may be doing better than most states, but we have heard from our businesses that we still have work to do to ensure that we have a workforce that can compete in the future. That is why, across New Hampshire, local school districts are pursuing college- and career-readiness standards that include the Common Core, an effort that has the support of educators and businesses, of Republicans and Democrats. States came together to develop these robust standards in order to provide a consistent, clear under-standing of what students are expected to learn, so that they can develop the skills they need and the ability to think critically – helping our young people succeed in their careers, in higher education and in life. Local school districts continue to have the flexibility to determine whether and how to implement these standards — and they should be implemented. For our students to succeed, we must work together to ensure that communities are able to implement college- and career-readiness standards effectively, through collaboration with parents, students and educators. These standards are an important step forward, but we must build upon them and make sure that students have access to a strong curriculum in a full range of subjects, from English – to math – to the arts. And to help young people fill the jobs that growing businesses are creating here in New Hampshire, we need to come together as a state to ask tough questions about how we can best educate our young people, especially in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Is it acceptable in today’s economy to only require two years of math from our high school students? Should we be requiring computer science as well as biology? How can we better integrate engineering and technology into our classrooms? For New Hampshire to lead the way in building a workforce that is prepared for the high-tech jobs of today and tomorrow, our schools need to provide an even more rigorous STEM education that our businesses believe in, our educators believe in, and our students and families believe in. That is why I will be creating a STEM Education Task Force made up of diverse stake-holders who will make recommendations for modernizing STEM education in our schools. Strengthening educa-tion in the STEM fields is just one part of the equation. New Hampshire’s high-tech and advanced manufacturing companies are struggling to fill job openings, even for jobs with wages over 25 percent higher than average. We need to reach our students at a young age and help them understand that they can stay in New Hampshire, find jobs here that are interesting and exciting, and build careers that will allow them to support their families and climb the ladder of opportunity…
We would like your a help! Over the last two years, teachers have been working on clarifying grade level expectation for what skills are to be mastered. As part of our reflection on the work we have done so far, we want to get information from PES families. We’re seeking feedback because we need and value parent perspectives in better serving students. A paper verison of this survey will be sent home with the Pink Newsletter, or you may complete the online version at the following link:
Thank you in advance for your help! Please contact Danielle Harvey (dharvey at pittsfieldnhschools.org) with any questions.