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School district makes plans to improve middle school test scores

November 04, 2010
TUFTONBORO — Members of the Governor Wentworth Regional School Board were entertained last Monday evening, Nov. 1, by Tuftonboro Central School students who shared their enthusiasm for the Million Minute Challenge, a school-wide reading challenge where students, staff and their families are encouraged to read a combined million minutes or more at home before the end of the school year,

After two separate endearing performances by second and fifth grade students Superintendent Jack Robertson turned the discussion over to Superintendent Assistant Kathy Cuddy-Egbert who began by addressing the challenge the middle school currently faces of restructuring its curriculum to meet new requirements dictated by the New Hampshire Department of Education. Part of the Adequate Yearly Progress system mandated by President Bush's No Student Left Behind initiative, the school will be working to create substantial changes in its program in order to boost student achievement and make progress against goals.

Because the school district has been identified as a School In Need of Improvement, middle school staff will be working together with a Department of Education facilitator to go through the federal government's Rapid Improvement program, a tool that all schools going through the restructuring process will be using. Based on evidence and research accumulated over time, "The idea would be," explained Cuddy-Egbert, "that we would have some solid plans by May and recommendations for some changes in the middle school."

Without knowing what those changes will be just yet, the assistant superintendent assured that this would be a "very exciting project."

"I think people are really excited about taking a look at what are we doing, how are we doing it, and how can we make it better," she said.

Also keeping middle school staff busy will be the relocation of several classes to the new Kingswood Arts Center over winter break. Once an occupancy permit is obtained the entire second floor of the middle school will be packed up and moved temporarily to the Arts Center, thereby making room for the addition and renovation work going on in the existing building. A one-day waiver of school, extending the middle school student's break by one day, may be needed in order to make this possible said Robertson. The goal is that all middle school students will be back in their own facility by next September.

The final details and particulars of Phase One are coming to fruition as the Kingswood Arts Center nears substantial completion anticipated for early December.

"Everything has gone extremely well to date," remarked Robertson of the project's progress.

The school board will meet again on Monday evening, Dec. 6 beginning at 7 p.m. in the Carpenter School gymnasium.

Martin Lord & Osman
Varney Smith
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