By Michael A. Morgan,Superintendent
Carriage Towne News
---- — EXETER - Efforts to collaborate with local police from the six towns in SAU 16 continue. The major focus of the work is to provide assistance to each other in the event of an emergency in one of the schools. School board members and building principals have joined SAU administrators to coordinate key services in the event of a lockdown or response to a critical incident. Exeter Chief Richard Kane, Stratham Chief John Scippa, and Newfields Chief Art Reed have played important roles in this process.
A recently held meeting highlighted many of the recently implemented recommendations to enhance safety and security in the schools and participants shared suggestions for more improvements. It also included a review of some of the Key Findings from the report from the NH Department of Safety that deals with school issues. The next meeting of this group will take place on Wed., February 19, 2014.
Meeting with Legislators - The fourth annual meeting of local state legislators with the SAU Joint Board will be held on October 28, at Exeter High School. The primary purpose of this meeting is a discussion about the continuing trend of the state “downshifting” many of its costs to local towns and school districts. Personal invitations have been sent to over 70 local NH legislators, Executive Councilor Chris Sununu, and Governor Maggie Hassan. The meeting is open to the public.
Enrollment Trends - Officially the New Hampshire Department of Education requires each school district to annually report its student enrollment on October 1st. Trends are determined from this consistent data point.
For the nine school years beginning on October 1, 2005 through October 1, 2013, the following changes are noted:
Brentwood-391 to 346-Decrease of 11.5%%; East Kingston-188 to 174-Decrease of 7.78%; Exeter-1013 to 1023-Increase of 0.98%; Kensington-208 to 135-Decrease of 35.10%; Newfields-165 to 136-Decrease of 17.58%; Stratham-644 to 616-Decrease of 4.34%; Cooperative Middle School-1326 to 1363-Increase of 2.79%; Exeter High School-1611 to 1693-Increase of 5.09%.
The Exeter High School (EHS) Girls Soccer Team is rated “Number One” in the United States by the National Soccer Coaches Association of American because of its impressive streak of 37 consecutive victories, dating back to 2011. Sincere congratulations are extended to Coach Megan Young and the outstanding student athletes who have helped to achieve this record!
Fifth graders at Swasey Central School (SCS) are focused on building classroom and grade level communities as they prepare to transition to the Cooperative Middle School (CMS) next year. Through individual goal setting, classroom challenge activities, and the recent successful field trip to the Browne Center at the University of New Hampshire, these students are encouraged to connect serious learning in fun and dynamic ways. Their work with the US Constitution helps them to understand the national government process while their exposure to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) is expanding their learning in a wide variety of ways. In preparation for the holidays, these fifth graders are already planning a food drive to help the Pilgrim United Church in Brentwood.
Four students from the fifth grade at East Kingston Elementary School (EKES) collaborated recently to collect books for needy children in the seacoast area. Working with the Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) during their annual Scholastic Book Fair, the students raised funds for books by collecting donations at the Book Fair and by selling popcorn during snack time. Through their efforts and the generosity of various donations, the students raised $170. The Scholastic company doubled the number of books that the students were able to purchase and then the students donated those books to Seacoast Family Promise, a non-profit organization that provides a safe place for families who need immediate food, shelter, and social services.
Kensington Elementary School (KES) is working closely with Police Chief Michael Sielicki to review, update, and implement its Emergency Response Plan. Specific steps have been taken to provide new security windows for some of the offices and consideration is being given to reinforce the main entrance. The KES Emergency Response Team has coordinated several security and safety measures to address protocols and procedures that will help the students and staff in a crisis situation.
Athletic Director Bill Ball Honored - Coach Bill Ball, long-time Athletic Director and Varsity Football Coach at Exeter High School (EHS), was recently awarded the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) State Award of Merit. This prestigious award is presented by the association to a National Interscholastic Athletic Administration Association (NIAAA) member who demonstrates outstanding leadership and meritorious service and achievement in the vocation of interscholastic administration.
Coach Ball has been Athletic Director at EHS for the past 14 years. He has been a football coach at Exeter since 1979. He served as co-head coach for five years and was named the program’s sole head coach in 1993. His teams have captured NHIAA Sportsmanship Awards in 11 different school years.