NEWTON/KINGSTON — The semi-annual joint School Board meeting with Fremont took place on October 2 in the Sanborn HS Library, with a featured presentation on the High School by Principal Brian Stack, Assistant Principal Bob Dawson and Director of Guidance Heidi Leavitt.
Covered, by request of the Fremont Board members, were
• Discipline, with focus on Relationships with self and others rather than punishment where possible
• Recognition as a Model PLC School due to measurable benefits for students
• College and Career Preparedness, with updates on the expanded Dual Enrollment program
• Facilities Configuration when grades 7&8 move to the High School next Fall
• Curriculum Updates
There has been improvement over the years since our new HS opened 13 years ago, and accelerated improvement under the current Administration and School Board in the past 3 years. This is what we have been working toward in the District...this is what we need to continue and build on. Careful management and best use of Taxpayer dollars for improved Student Outcomes is key.
Discipline was a big problem a decade ago, and there has been improvement over the years. One key part of the change has been a shift in emphasis to relationships rather than punishment. Involved in that are the teachers, the Student Justice League with peer help, Administrators and Guidance Counselors, and the parents.
There was discussion of ALICE, a program to deal with threats. If and as needed, there is a Student Resource Officer on duty daily. There is a movement among community parents to add Student Resource Officers at each of the elementary schools via a citizen-petition warrant article next Spring. The probable cost of about $175,000 would be added to the annual budget, with the goal to insure student and staff safety.
Mr. Stack and team discussed Sanborn High School’s recent recognition as a Model PLC School, a demonstration of three years of improved measurable outcomes for our graduates.
College and Career Readiness is a goal of Sanborn education. Ms. Leavitt reviewed the Dual Enrollment Program, with emphasis on Sanborn’s new option of students attending Northern Essex Community College with the possibility of earning an Associates Degree along with their High School diploma. NECC is one of the recent dual enrollment opportunities for Sanborn students to earn college credits while in High School.
Fremont contributes to the expenses of our High School since Fremont tuitions in High School students to Sanborn. Mr. Stack showed that the dedicated and shared space for moving the Middle School to the facility will result in no reduction in curriculum for the HS students.
Lastly, covered were some curriculum updates, including a new Aviation class of 25 students in this STEM subject.
NKTA has worked hard these past five years to build on the best in our District, and to allocate tax dollars for the highest measurable results for students. Congratulations to the District and the High School for the progress being made.
(Editor’s note: The comments in this article are the opinion of the NKTA. For official meeting minutes, visit www.sau17.org.)