Kingswood project on schedule so far
New synthetic turf field will be ready in September
May 27, 2010
WOLFEBORO — The new synthetic turf field, anticipated to be ready for use by Sept. 1, has been named Alumni Field. Part of phase I of the Kingswood complex renovation and expansion project, the field, flanked with seating for 1,000-plus fans, will serve as a multi-surface playing area.
Hoping the name both "captures the spirit of the community" and honors Kingswood alumni, the Governor Wentworth Regional School Board voted to accept the moniker during the board's latest meeting held May 24. In the upcoming weeks the field lights and the actual turf itself are due to be installed.
All and all, the building project is on schedule and in some areas even ahead of schedule, according to Building and Maintenance Committee Chair Ernie Brown. With the bleachers in place and the athletic field leveled, a new 85-space parking area is also expected to be completed in early September.
An impressive 300,000 bricks are finding a home on the exterior surface of the new multi-purpose building and those who drive by can see the rapid progress being made on the building's framework.
As construction workers transition to phase II of the project in early June, focus will shift to the existing voc. ed., middle and high school buildings with the removal of all asbestos in each taking priority.
With both phase I and II in progress, Superintendent Jack Robertson commented that this may be the "most complicated public school project ever undertaken in New Hampshire." The project's many layers – including funding, new construction, additions to the existing buildings, complete renovations of each of the existing buildings, installation of a new geothermal heating and cooling system to be tied into the entire complex, reconstruction of multiple playing fields, and the installation of additional new technologies – make for a very intricate process.
Robertson credited North Branch Construction, CMK Architects, Clerk of the Works Tom Beaudette, and Dick Falardeau, the district maintenance supervisor, for the projects success so far.
Alumni Association update
Alumni Association President Kristie Smith provided the board with an annual update on the association's various projects. Also present were Deb Skelley, treasurer of the alumni association, and Jackie Finneron, vice president of the association.
Though this year's is the 46th class to graduate from Kingswood, the alumni association is just wrapping up its sixth year of activities. Currently there are more than 900 registered alumni. The group sponsors annual events such as an alumni vs. alumni hockey game and for the first time this year presented a scholarship to a deserving senior.
In addition to the association's traditional events, Smith spoke of plans to hold a large alumni reunion to coincide with the completion of the Kingswood complex renovation and expansion project. Those interested in volunteering to help organize this event, which will include tours of the newly-renovated buildings, or any other alumni event, should contact the alumni association at firstname.lastname@example.org or can visit them on Facebook. Smith, who is excited at the prospect of getting an alumni association office-storage space on site with the completion of the building project, said the association is always in need of more supporting alumni.
Heather Cummings, the district's director of curriculum, reviewed with the board the district's New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) results for fall 2009, the intent of which is "to measure how well district curricula is aligned to state grade level/ span expectations." Results show that the number of schools missing AYP is climbing at a rapid rate across the state. The 2009 test results showed that 323 of the 473 schools missed AYP in one or more areas, 261 of which are now designated School in Need of Improvement (SINI), resulting in 67 districts now identified as a District in Need of Improvement (DINI).
In Governor Wentworth three schools in particular failed to meet preliminary AYP standards and were designated as SINIs for the 2010-11 school year. Ossipee Central School failed to make AYP in both reading and mathematics, and as a result will advance to a second year of SINI for math. While Kingswood Regional Middle School also failed to meet AYP standards in both math and reading, the high school only failed to meet the requirements for math. Regardless, the high school remains a SINI, as it would have to meet AYP requirements for two consecutive years in the same content area that caused the designation in order to clear itself as a SINI.
Cummings explained that to make AYP designation a school must meet the targets in each of the nine subgroups as well as meet or exceed 95 percent participation in each subgroup and meet or exceed set attendance and graduation rates. The subgroups include among others, economically disadvantaged students and students with educational disabilities.
When broken down, making AYP isn't such a clear-cut designation. Out of seven area school districts Governor Wentworth scored third highest in both primary and secondary grade level reading, beating the state average in both as well. Yet when one subgroup in one school fails to meet the target index score, which is what happened with the Ossipee's math scores, the school does not meet AYP. None of the seven school districts in the Lakes Region made AYP in secondary level math; not one even made the state index score target of 72.
Though Cummings said we should give credence to the test results, we should also realize that they are not all encompassing of the district's strengths and weaknesses. The district is already looking at ways to address problem areas in the core curriculum and has plans to create a restructuring plan for the middle school, address the comprehensive needs of seven through 12 grade mathematics, realign the K – 12 core curriculum in math and language arts, and strengthen the Response to Intervention model already in place.
Set in 2005 by the No Child Left Behind Act, the goal is that by 2014 students across the nation will meet 100 percent proficiency in both math and reading. Cummings noted that there is likely to be a change in direction when a national assessment is considered, geared towards replacing the NECAP, within three to four years.
New math materials
Board member Stacy Trites, chair of the academic affairs committee, brought forth a request to purchase new program materials for the middle school math curriculum. The committee, which continues to work closely with the district's Director of Curriculum Heather Cummings, has been looking into what can be done as a whole to enhance district-wide math performance between grades seven and twelve. After finding areas where gaps in the curriculum occur, the seventh and eight grade program materials, which currently require supplements to enhance student learning, were targeted as an area of need by the group.
The board voted to approve that the newest addition of the University of Chicago math series, a program recommended by fifth and sixth grade staff already utilizing it, be purchased for approximately $30,000 by way of rural educational grant funds. If the grant money comes through, middle school teachers will begin the program as early as this fall.
The board gave kudos to Cathy Kunzler, the district's food service director, who took the initiative to file a National School Lunch Program grant for the purchase of a new oven and stove top to be installed in the Effingham Elementary School. Though the stovetop was not approved, the school will receive an oven at no cost to the district.
The board reappointed Mary Patry as School District Clerk. This will be Patry's 24th year working for the district, seven of which she's served as clerk.
Student Representative Tim Campbell reported to the board that he has been re-elected to serve as student representative to the board for the upcoming 2010-11 school year. Since the May 24 meeting was Campbell's last required meeting until fall, Chair Jack Widmer thanked Campbell for his service and presented him with a gift on behalf of the board.
Kingswood Regional High School commencement ceremonies will be held this Saturday, May 29 at 10 a.m. at The Nick.
The school board will meet again on Monday, June 7 beginning at 7 p.m. at the SAU #49 office on Route 109A in Wolfeboro.
Heather Terragni can be reached at 569-3126 or email@example.com