September 13, 2012WOLFEBORO — With very few glitches another school year is off to a good start, said Superintendent of Schools Jack Robertson at the Governor Wentworth Regional School Board meeting last Monday, Sept. 10.
With the exception of one young student missing his bus stop and giving school officials and his parents a good scare, "opening day went extremely well," he said.
Joking that summer didn't seem as long this year as in year's past Robertson said he thought both the Kingswood students and staff seemed happy to return to a complex with no construction in progress.
"In particular for the folks here at the Kingswood complex it was sure nice to come back and not have construction folks walking all over the place and places blocked off," he commented adding, "They were great the last couple of years during all they had to go through to get us to were we are now."
While opening day numbers were down by 54 students from last year's enrollment, Robertson predicted that with new students still registering during the first few weeks of school the numbers are sure to go up. Overall on opening day there were 2,397 registered students across the district.
Other events during the first few weeks of school included a Google Docs training day for staff of which Assistant Superintendent Kathleen Cuddy-Egbert expressed her gratitude to the many volunteers who made the training session such a success.
Members of the district's technology task force and a few other individuals including Mike Abraham, Rebecca Bureau, Rick Davidson, Cheryl Greeley, Kara Jacobs, Karen Libby, Cara McNevich, Katy Meserve, Amy Riebau and Jo Williams all helped to make the day fun and productive she said.
Understanding Google Docs is important because it acts as the platform for understanding what needs to and can be done for blizzard bags. Cuddy-Egbert referred positively to the progress she has seen on the blizzard bag development at all grade levels and said the lesson plans and blogs that have been created by staff "are rigorous and well done."
"I think they'll be a real success," she said though she assured that there'd be some minor hiccups throughout the learning process.
Though the absence of the construction work has been a great change for the staff and students of the Kingswood complex, Robertson once again took a moment to openly thank the public for allowing the building project to be done when it was.
"I just want to commend this board and our public for acting when they did in getting our project adopted and passed," he said.
Referring to the moratorium on school building aid that took effect very shortly after the voters approved the Governor Wentworth Regional School District's project back in 2009, Robertson explained that now the whole process by which building aid is handled is being revamped. Building aid will now be given to districts which the state will prioritize and the percentage of aid given is likely to drop dramatically.
"Timing is always everything," he said of the district's building project, which luckily passed under the old statutes.
Effective Oct. 1 school lunch prices will go up five cents at both the elementary and secondary levels. This increase keeps the district in compliance with the national school lunch program requirements.
Steve Guyer, Director of the Lakes Region Technology Center, reported in a letter to Robertson and the board that the Center had received a donation of approximately $12,500 worth of equipment and lighting from Wolfeboro Community Television. The equipment will be installed in the studio located in the center for students use.
The board received and accepted the resignation of school board member Kathleen King who has been unable to attend board meetings and events for health reasons. The board will be seeking and interviewing New Durham residents interested in replacing King until the next election. A notice will be posted in the paper in upcoming weeks. Any one interested in filling the seat should contact the school board.
On behalf of the Academic Affairs Committee, Diane Drelick reported that Heather Cummings, Director of Curriculum, and staff have been reviewing some recommended changes in the seventh thru twelfth grade math program. Focusing on the middle school level, the plan would be to introduce algebra earlier. Changes to the math curriculum would include offering pre-algebra in the seventh grade (currently offered in eighth grade) and algebra 1 in eighth. This would also include the resequencing of algebra 2 and geometry at the high school level so that algebra 2 would be offered first. With some fine-tuning and approval the new curriculum would begin with the start of the next school year.
The next full school board meeting will be held on Monday evening, Sept. 24 beginning at 7 p.m. in the Kingswood Regional high school lecture hall.