KINGSTON/NEWTON — The Sanborn Regional School District School Board adopted a proposal from Superintendent Thomas A. Ambrose for two synchronous educational plans on October 7:

Students attend face-to-face instruction five days a week; or, at parents’ choice or Students attend remotely. 

Mr. Ambrose stated that there are challenges: Staffing continues to have shortages, New virus flare-ups can occur, and Synchronous instruction is a new way of teaching.

To meet the staffing challenge, the School Board a week earlier adopted the Superintendent’s proposal to allow staff with childcare challenges to enroll their out-of-district children at Sanborn, tuition-free, for this academic year, with no new tax impact.

In addition, the School Board raised the pay rate for substitute teachers to $130 per day. Mr. Ambrose recommended the increase for this year in order to compete with nearby districts for needed staffing.

The Federal Government has passed legislation that allows fulltime Staff to take partially paid leaves for CoVid19. Childcare challenges are covered under both FMLA and FFCRA. High health risks are covered under ADA. The goal of the School Board ‘s both allowing the tuition-free attendance and also increasing substitute teacher pay is to mitigate the challenges presented by these federal acts.

The second challenge is that new flare-ups can occur, and it is an unknown. The District has a remote learning capacity and plan if needed, for as long as is needed, as a backup, if quarantines or closures are required.

The third challenge of synchronous instruction is being met with two additional professional development days prior to the 10/26 start date, and 6 weeks of half-days on Wednesdays for planning and professional development. Our teachers have been trained to teach face-to-face, not remotely and not both face-to-face and remotely at the same time, or synchronously. This professional development is designed to help them meet this challenge.

The next step is for families to choose either remote or face-to-face learning for their children. If remote is chosen, Mr. Ambrose said that option must remain in place until January, for District planning purposes. Following the family choices, made on or before October 13, the administration will finalize classes with staffing. Some substitute teachers and PARA’s have already come forward…this is a critical need in the District to make education work for Sanborn students.

The video of the meeting can be found on the SAU17.org website. The minutes will be posted once approved in a School Board meeting.

(Editor's note: NKTA is a NH non-profit corporation, with a mission of excellence in education and local government at affordable and sustainable taxpayer costs. Since formation in 2015, NKTA has worked with local community leaders and voters to improve educational outcomes for students while restraining tax growth. More information at NKTA.vpweb.com. Support and join: $20/family/year.)

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