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Castleberry Fairs

Mentorship program on tap for Barnstead teachers


by Tim Croes
Staff Writer - The Baysider
January 17, 2012
BARNSTEAD — The Barnstead School Board met on Tuesday, Jan. 10, and was given a presentation by a pair of teachers, Julie Couch and Annie Bourque, about the teacher mentor leadership program at Barnstead Elementary School.

Couch and Bourque talked about the importance of creating a mentorship program that would benefit new teachers and teachers already at BES.

Couch talked about the importance of teachers having resources to turn to other than members of the administration.

The pair said that there is excitement from the teachers at starting the program, and a coordinator would be needed that would be paid with a stipend.

The board approved a maternity request by first-grade teacher Allison Gardner. She will be out beginning on April 6 until the end of the school year.

The board also accepted the resignation of a paraprofessional, who recently was offered a fulltime job with benefits elsewhere.

Principal Tim Rice talked to the board about E-Waste and updated technology plan.

Rice said that there are many old televisions and computers that need to be disposed of. They can be dumped for a fee, but the board agreed to try to donate the old computers or televisions to town departments if they could be used.

Rice talked about the technology plan, which details how the school will update computers for the next couple of years, and member Kathy Preston commented that it is very ambitious.

An updated final version of the technology plan will be brought forward at the next meeting.

A question was raised by vice-chair Eunice Landry about the technology coordinator and technology integration teacher.

The budget currently calls for a part-time technology coordinator and a full-time technology integration teacher, but the school currently has a full-time technology coordinator and part-time technology integration teacher.

Rice talked about a proposal from TSE for a new phone system at BES, which the SAU office already utilizes.

The new system would establish a telephone connection through the Internet, with a few landline phone lines left for emergency situations.

Landry and Maureen Fitzpatrick requested more information on the company.

Rice explained that when the current phone system needs repair it is often expensive because it is so old.

Rice gave an enrollment update and said that the school currently has 510 students.

Rice also informed the board that the school would be applying to the 'ED'ies awards.

Superintendent Dr. William Compton agreed that teachers at BES deserve to be awarded for their hard work.

On Dec. 20, Anna Williams resigned as the Special Education Director.

Vice-principal Misty Lowe has been appointed to the role on an interim basis, and the board approved paying her an extra $75 a day for as long as she holds the extra position.

The board agreed to start advertising for the open position.

Rice talked about studying the Special Education program at BES and suggested using the services of an administrator at Pittsfield, Tobi Chassie.

Rice said that the cost of surveying the department would be just over $2,000 if BES used Chassie.

The board approved an audit of the special education program by Chassie in the coming months.

The board briefly discussed the warrant articles, and a further discussion will be had at the next board meeting when a final version of the articles is brought forward to the board.

The board discussed raising the amount of money to be included in the Special Education Fund and agreed to raise it by $40,000. The main reason for this is that when a student is added to the program, the funds are quickly depleted.

Chair Diane Beijer talked about a list of projects at BES that has been prioritized by the buildings and grounds committee.

The board briefly discussed the date for the annual district meeting, which will be held on Saturday, March 17.

Beijer briefly discussed a complaint about the quality of water at the school. She explained that the water coming out of one of the water fountains is fine, but the temperature is warmer than usual because of the high cost it would be to put in a new system that would lower the temperature.

The next meeting of the Barnstead School Board is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 24, 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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