February Newsletter

posted Feb 6, 2012, 2:09 PM by mfoxall@sau88.net

February Newsletter 2012


Dear Parents


ELO : We regret the halting start of our Extended Learning Opportunity grant-funded program that will take place before and after school hours.  This program is primarily designed to help those students who need just a little extra support in reading, writing and mathematics.  Our original plan limited the group sizes to six students to ensure that the teacher could provide plenty of individual attention.  In fact, some groups exceeded eleven or twelve, and so now teachers are having to make some difficult choices, though we are going to try to serve as many as need the help and are interested.  Thank you for your patience.  We plan to begin this program, again, : - ) on Monday, February 13.


Playground closings: This is turning out to be the winter that wasn’t!  However, please continue to send your student to school in appropriate winter dress.  We will go out in most weather, and very much regret having to close our playground due to very icy and hazardous conditions.  The physical education skating unit is going on however, and we thank Ms. Liz Whalley for doing an outstanding job with the students in Mrs. Ballou’s maternity leave absence.  Also, we are sending a permission-to-walk-around-the-neighborhood-during-recess form.  Teachers will provide supervision and walks will be on cleared walkways in the immediate vicinity.  Please sign and return ASAP as this icy trend could continue. 


New Federal Lunch Regulations: Thirty two million school lunches are served every day, but now there are new federal regulations that will cut down on salt and fat.  If you have questions or suggestions about our hot lunch program you may contact Mr. Dennis Samuel of Café Services at dsamuel@sau88.net.


Upcoming meeting: Saturday, February 4, 9:00 AM Annual Public Meeting to discuss budget and warrant articles.  Please plan to attend the annual meeting.  As you are aware, the board has made a second round of budget cuts.  These cuts will affect school materials, technology equipment, library books, furniture, consumable texts and school supplies.  We will also recognize two of our colleagues who will be retiring at the end of this school year, both kindergarten teachers, Mrs. Wendy Heidenreich, and Mrs. Ethel Weinberger.  


NECAP tracking student progress using standardized tests:  The NECAP (New England Common Assessment Program) is a state mandated assessment for all students in New Hampshire grades 3 – 8.  Our students take the reading, language and math sections of the test annually in October.  These test results are disaggregated by the state into 8 subgroups: gender, race/ethnicity, LEP students (learners of English), IEP students (identified with learning disabilities), students in low-income households, migrants, Title I (students eligible for receiving federal assistance).  The state has a four-point rubric.  4= Proficient with distinction  3= Proficient  2=Partially proficient  1=Substantially below proficient.  Should any group, (must have at least 9 students to be considered a group) not make an average score of  3, or reach proficiency, or should a percentage of the entire group not reach it, the school is deemed “in need of improvement.”  Or, if a majority of students do not meet proficiency standards as set by the state, a school may be designated “in need of improvement.”  Mt. Lebanon School has had for the past three years, both sets of conditions apply at different times.  This year in our third grade class, of those 43 students taking the NECAP for the first time, 79% scored proficient of better in the area of reading, while 70%, scored proficient or better in mathematics. 

Our fourth graders, in a class of thirty eight, had 63% demonstrate proficiency in reading  and 63 % scored proficient in or better in math.  We will use these results to determine how best to target instruction in reading and math by analyzing incorrect student responses.  As parents of students in grades three and four, you will receive individual test reports in the coming weeks.


Important Dates:

January 30, Report Cards for second quarter go home with students.

February 4, 9:00 AM LHS Annual Deliberative Session

Feb. 20.  – Feb24   : Winter Break, NO SCHOOL


Michael Foxall



“Children, love one another, and if that is not possible at least try to put up with one another.”  Goethe