April 17, 2012BARNSTEAD — Principal Tim Rice explained the recent New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) test results and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status of Barnstead Elementary School at the Barnstead School Board meeting on Tuesday, April 5.
Rice explained that the school scored a 91 on the reading test, which was within the confidence interval, but that students in the sub-groups of economically disadvantaged and educational disability didn't score high enough on the test.
"The staff was very disappointed that we didn't make AYP," Rice said. "We just didn't make enough as a whole school in the reading test."
Rice said that BES is entering the fourth year of not making AYP in reading. Rice said he is looking into appealing the results and pointed to students that have moved out of the district that should have counted or students that have moved into the district that should not have counted.
Rice said the scores stayed pretty static in the math portion of the test.
Superintendent Dr. William Compton pointed out that the AYP status isn't only indicator of success.
"This is just one indicator," Compton said. "We know that over the past five or six years things have changed in a positive way."
Member Shawn White talked about seeing more value in the test results than the AYP value and talked about recent discussion about the "system being broken."
There was discussion about the school transitioning to a new testing system in 2015 called the Smarter Balanced Education Consortium.
During public input, Bruce Grey encouraged the school board to meet with the selectmen. Grey voiced concern about the tax rate in town continuing to rise.
Tim Rice introduced new assistant principal Scott Young.
Young, who came from Portsmouth Christian, is excited to be at Barnstead.
"I am excited to be here and be a part of it," Young said. "I have a lot to learn even though I have been education for 15 years."
Stacey Dearborn was also introduced as the new food service director.
Dearborn said she is looking into the issue of Styrofoam trays at the cafeteria.
She reported that biodegradable trays cost about 10 cents a piece and that the current Styrofoam trays costs three cents a piece.
She also reported a re-usable washable tray would cost nearly $5 and reported that the school goes through about 300 to 350 trays on the busier days.
Tobi Chassie came before the board and gave a report on the special education department at BES.
Chassie answered questions regarding the model of service delivery, responsible inclusion, culture, allocation of staff, funding of grants and logistics during her report.
She presented the board with detailed recommendations on to fix the different issues at the school.
Chassie concluded that the school community is caring, hard-working and has a strong sense of community.
She said that there is potential to advance knowledge and best practices and the resources could be allocated in a way that will support the entire school community, including the use of the school psychologist.
She recommended a special education strategic planning workshop and position analysis workshops.
Member Kathy Preston asked how long Chassie worked on the report and she said that she probably put 50 hours of work into the report.
Compton thanked Chassie for efforts on the report and encouraged a response to issues addressed in the report.
"It's very important that we not let this collect dust on a shelf," Compton said. "It will make us a much better department."
Rice talked about the need to add two more teachers in the next seven years at BES. He talked about needing more space and the possibility of reforming the space needs committee.
Rice reported that the enrollment at BES as of April 3 was 508 students.
Chair Diane Beijer reviewed the recommendations of the Buildings and Grounds Committee.
This included a bid by Advance Excavating and Paving to work on the back area on the fire lane with a cost of $24,260.
Vice-chair Eunice Landry asked about contacting the road agent about the project, but Rice felt that the town wouldn't be able to compete with the prices.
A question was raised about the town charging to remove sand, and Rice said he would look into it.
Landry suggested holding off on the project until the summer.
The board approved a drinking fountain in the cafeteria by Hansen & Fox with a cost of $2,375.
The board also discussed installing additional cameras and security, but agreed that it would be summer project.
The board approved the support staff appointments for the 2012-2013 school year, and approved financial transfers recommended by the business administrator.
Landry asked a question about the improvement of instruction fund with no contract being in place. Landry asked if the tuition reimbursement had to be tied to an advanced degree. The issues will be looked into to see if there are caps. Landry is concerned with teachers taking classes to simply move up a track.
The board conditionally approved a 2012-2013 school calendar. Rice indicated that additional early release and delayed openings may be needed.
The first day of school is set for Aug. 29.
Rice reported that 90 percent of the students participated in the Blizzard Bag test run that was recently held.
The board approved the nominations for the SAU 86 office staff that will become effective on July 1.
There was talk about reforming the Space Needs Committee. Anyone interested in joining the committee cant contact the SAU office.
The next scheduled meeting of the Barnstead School Board is on Tuesday, May 8, at 6 p.m. at the Barnstead Elementary School library.
Tim Croes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 569-3126