School district may adopt "preemptive" snow days
Board gets Kingswood project update
April 08, 2010
NEW DURHAM — The Governor Wentworth Regional School Board may be allowing for another change to the district's 2010-11 school calendar.
Superintendent Jack Robertson brought the subject up at the April 5 school board meeting at the New Durham Elementary School, and the board was open to considering a revision to the already-modified calendar.
The 2010-11 calendar previously approved by New Hampshire Department of Education Commissioner Virginia Barry included minor changes to allow for a longer summer (because of the Kingswood construction) and energy cost savings.
Robertson began by first commending the staff, students and parents for their willingness to attend the Saturday make up days in lieu of adding additional make up days to the end of the school calendar in June. The district held two Saturday make up days this past season on Jan. 16 and Feb. 13, both of which were well-attended. This means that so far students and staff will be getting out early as planned in order to open up the buildings for construction workers to begin Phase II of the renovation and expansion project.
Robertson said that he had been contacted by Maureen Wheeler, a high school health and wellness education teacher, who suggested a change to the scheduling of these Saturday make up days for the upcoming school calendar. Wheeler put forward the idea of scheduling these makeup days on weeks when there would only be a four-day week scheduled, such as the second week in October (when students and staff observe Discovery Day) and the second week in November (when the district observes Veterans Day).
If accepted by the board, these two days would be attended before snow season began and would preemptively cover the first two make up days. At the board's suggestion the administration will put together a draft calendar including the two Saturday school days scheduled for Oct. 16 and Nov. 13 and four more alternate days for the board's review at the next board meeting.
Kingswood project update
Peter Pijoan of Wolfeboro Community TV shared a two-minute clip of Phase 1 construction he's been airing on local Channel 25. The clip was made of 11 different recordings taken from the same spot directed towards the construction site of the new multipurpose building beginning on Jan. 16 up until April 4. The sequences of recordings, taken at week and half-week intervals, depict the progress done at the site.
Fresh from a meeting that afternoon with North Branch Construction, Charlene Seibel, a member of the Building and Maintenance committee, shared what she had learned of the project's progress to date. So far, 265 out of the 320 wells needed for the campus' new geothermal heating and cooling system have been drilled, while 80 of those have been piped up and 40 have been buried.
This week stonework will begin to go up for the two wings on the multipurpose building and the Department of Environmental Services will be by the site on April 8 for a follow up inspection.
The new bleachers are due to be installed in May and the masonry work on the concessions stand will begin.
On Saturday, April 10, Seibel warned, one lane of McManus Road will be closed as workers begin to connect the geothermal system to phase 2 of the project. A traffic pattern is in place for the day and traffic control will be on site. Residents of McManus Road will have no problem accessing their homes, as one lane will always be available.
In addition the district will help to kick off Wolfeboro's Earth Day week of events by hosting a talk and tour on Sunday, April 18 at 1 p.m., beginning in the middle school gym. Presenters Tom Beaudette, Clerk of the Works for the project, and Chip Krause of CMK Architects, will give an overview of the renovation and expansion project, including the geothermal system, and lead a walk outside to view the site from the sidelines.
The district is putting together a forum for parents of students regarding bullying and cyberbullying.
"Parents need to be armed with information," said Assistant Superintendent Kathleen Cuddy-Egbert, who recently attended a statewide technology conference dealing with cyberbullying.
Cuddy-Egbert shared plans that the district would like to host some forums to help parents deal with cyberbullying on the home front. By teaching parents about cyberbullying, their options, how they can monitor their child's use of technology and educating them on programs available to help, Cuddy-Egbert hopes to begin to help parents understand what their children might be involved in and how to help put an end to it.
"As a school district we have to take the lead. We are looked at as a conduit to get information out," commented Chair Jack Widmer. Parents should look for information regarding when and where these forums will be held in the upcoming months.
On a happier note, two high school music department students, Matt Lounsbury and Hannah Seibel, will be participating in this weekend's New Hampshire All State Music Festival at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord. Lounsbury will be performing in the All State Chorus and Seibel will be performing on cello in the All State Orchestra.
The board will hold a joint meeting with the school boards of Alton, Barnstead and Moultonborough on Monday, May 3 at 6 p.m. in the Skylight Dining Room and then hold a regularly-scheduled board meeting in the Dining Room on Monday, May 24 at 7 p.m.
Heather Terragni can be reached at 569-3126 or firstname.lastname@example.org