February Newsletter 2013
A personal note: I share the following with you so you may say you heard it from me. I have tendered my resignation as principal of Mt. Lebanon School effective June of this year. The past seven years serving the students, teachers and parents of this fine school community has been a great privilege, and source of much joy and professional satisfaction. My best hope is that my tenure has contributed in some way to the advancement of our students toward the goals of our district mission. I have no set future plans in place yet, but am far too young to retire. Truth be known I’m as curious as yourselves as to the next chapter of this educator’s sojourns through the hallways.
ELO : We are getting into place our Extended Learning Opportunity grant-funded program. A small group of teachers will provide remedial instruction 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 current structure will limit the group sizes to 6-8 students to ensure that the teacher will provide plenty of individual attention. If your child has been recommended to me as one who might benefit, I’ll be incontact with you.
Playground happenings: This winter has been an interesting mix of balmy rains and bitterly cold frigid days. At times, our playground has been deemed too wet, too icy, or too cold. Lately, it’s been just right. We appreciate that you are sending your students in appropriate winter weather. To protect your investments, please label your student’s outwear with first initial and last name in permanent marker on the inside label. We’ve had some emotional scenes over lost snow pants. The physical education skating unit is going on now as well and we thank the combined efforts of Mrs. Ballou, Ms. Barnes and our custodians Mr. McGonis and Mr. Porier for their assistance in grooming and keeping the rink in good shape.
PM Closings: The cancellation of after school activities due to snow and potentially hazardous driving conditions includes ALL activities school related or not, that may take place in the building. For example, Cub Scouts is an independent activity. However, if a den meeting is scheduled in school, it will be canceled. This goes for community events, after school clubs and meetings. The central office will issue an Alter Now email, and, it has been decided, voice mail message as well. Please think about your own home contingency plan in the event of after school cancellations.
Upcoming Public Hearing meeting: Saturday, February 2, 9:00 AM in the High School gymnasiam we will hold our Annual Deliberative Session to discuss budget and warrant articles. Please plan to attend the annual meeting. Voting is your second most important civic responsibility. The first is informing yourself of the context that will shape the vote you cast!
NECAP: The NECAP (New England Common Assessment Program) is a state mandated assessment for all students in New Hampshire grades 3 – 8, and grade 11. Our third and fourth grade 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, and Title I (students eligible for receiving federal assistance). The state has a four-point rubric for describing student performance results.
4= Proficient with distinction
1=Substantially below proficient.
Should any group, consisting of 9 or more students, 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.” Additionally, 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 four years, both sets of conditions apply at different times.
This year in our third grade class, of those 48 students taking the NECAP for the time, 77% or 37 students scored proficient or better in mathematics. This is up 7 percentage points from last year. Three quarters of our students scored proficient or better in reading, down just 4 percentage points from last year.
Our fourth grade students, in a class of 42, 81% scored proficient or better in mathematics, up 20 % from last year! In reading 71% scored proficient or better, up 8% points. Well done to our all for showing this growth. We will again use these results to determine how best to target instruction in reading and math by analyzing incorrect student responses against the released materials items. As parents of students in grades three and four, you will receive individual test reports in the coming weeks.
Reminder: Any changes in student afterschool plans must be stated in writing and given by the student to the secretary at the beginning of the day.
February 2, 9:00 AM LHS Annual Deliberative Session
February 4, Report Cards for second quarter go home with students.
Feb. 18. – Feb. 22 : Winter Break, NO SCHOOL
“It’s what you learn after you know it all that really counts.” Alfred E. Neuman