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School board discusses emergency plan, reading program


February 15, 2011
BARNSTEAD — The Barnstead School Board met on Tuesday, Feb. 8, and Principal Tim Rice presented the board with an updated emergency crisis plan.

Rice said the plan is a "living document," meaning updates will be added to it regularly. The plan was sent to the police chief and fire chief for feedback.

Chairman Keith Couch noticed that there were several things missing from the document including a phone tree, which will be added, and an updated map of the school.

"We are approving the concept of the living document more than the actual document," Couch said.

Couch suggested sharing the document with Prospect Mountain High School, and the board approved the document.

Cathleen White, a reading specialist at Barnstead Elementary School, gave a presentation to the board on the Reading Recovery i3 Grant.

Under the program teachers would receive paid training, classes at Lesley University, materials and text and support from supervisors in the program.

White explained the three-tier system, where most students are at tier one, some are dropped down to tier two, where Foundations and Leveled Literary Interventions are used, and tier three, where Orton Gillingham and Reading Recovery is utilized.

White explained that tier two and tier three students take on these programs in addition to the instruction provided by tier one.

White said the deadline to apply for the grant is May 1, and that they would be notified by June. There is also a requirement of a five-year commitment to Reading Recovery to be part of the program.

"This program provides an early and intensive safety net for the most vulnerable first graders," White said about the program.

Under the program, students are designed to be in it for a time span of 12 to 20 weeks, where they can catch up to other students in their grade level.

White pointed out that the second tier was recently added to the reading program and has greatly benefited the students.

Couch showed reserve for the program, saying that they have done it in the past, the program hasn't changed much and that some students have stayed in it for much longer than 20 weeks.

White will be coming back to the board in the coming weeks with data on the number of kids in the different tiers.

Rice said that the program has been more effective recently by having five special education teachers.

Rice presented the board with recent NECAP scores, which showed growth in different grades.

Couch asked Rice to go back and pull up scores from previous years to see how much scores are improving as the kids progress through the school system.

Rice said the students in the summer enrichment program showed improvement in their scores and would like to invite more students into the program in the future.

Rice said that there are still many students who scored substantially below proficiency on the NECAPs.

"The goal with No Child Left Behind is 100 percent," Rice said. "We still have a lot of work to do."

The board approved including a color page on the school annual report, with the cost being $800 for 500 copies. Each member, except for Kathy Preston who was not in attendance, agreed to donate $50 to pay for the color front page.

The board discussed a special warrant article that will allow the school to lease the church property across the street for $1,500 a month. The total cost with taxes for the year will be $22,649.

The monies paid in the lease will go towards purchasing the church in the future.

The pair of petition warrant articles that will probably be rescinded since the board has drafted a pair of articles to cover the cost of the enrichment and music program were approved by the board.

Article 21, a special warrant article that will close the Barnstead Elementary School Parking Lot Reserve fund didn't receive support from the board by a vote of 4-0.

Diane Beijer presented a press release explaining that the teachers and the teachers' association have not yet reached an agreement on a new contract.

The board then discussed several changes in the numbering of the warrant articles.

The school has already started receiving applications for the superintendent's position that will be vacant after Dr. William Compton retires in June.

The Barnstead School Board is scheduled to meet next on Tuesday, March 8, at 6 p.m. at the Barnstead Elementary School library.

Tim Croes can be reached at tcroes@salmonpress.com or 569-3126

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