February 5,2016

Post date: Feb 10, 2016 6:39:19 PM

Dear Parents,

Thank you to all of you that came out for the Budget Hearing this past Wednesday. We certainly had a large number of individuals in attendance, which makes for an informed public come the time of the school district meeting. I will briefly reiterate what Dr. Cascadden sent out earlier today. I also wanted to remind you of the upcoming winter activities and discuss where we are with the math committee that is starting to review various math programs.

At the recent budget hearing the school board reviewed their proposed budget for the 2016-2017 school year. The following items were highlighted:

Article 3

The overall proposed budget was set at $6,076,138.00 and one of the major highlights of

this cost is the reduction of one sixth grade teacher to create one class of 22 at the sixth

grade level for the 2016-2017 school year.

Article 4 (Teachers’ Contract)

The proposed teachers’ contract has a first year cost of $35,829.00. This proposed

contract includes insurance changes and percentage increases of 3%, 2%,and 2%

respectively for three years. This article was recommended by the board 5-0.

Article 5 (Conditional All Day Kindergarten)

The proposed cost for Article 5 is $75,000.00. The conditional aspect of this article

indicates we would be able to provide all day kindergarten as long as there is space

available for the program. This article was also recommended by the board 5-0.

Article 6 (2.5% Tax Cap)

The tax cap petition article was placed early on in the ballot in order to account for the hour

needed for polls to be open. This article was not recommended by the board 0-5.

Articles 7 & 8 (Kitchen/Community Center Fund)

Articles 7 and 8 encompass placing money in the Kitchen Fund as well as the renaming of the “Kitchen Fund” to the “Community Center Fund” so it is more all-encompassing of the community center’s needs. This article was recommended by the board 5-0.

Article 9 (Capital Reserve Fund)

The purpose of article 9 is to set aside $50,000.00 in the capital reserve fund in the event of any needed capital improvement projects.This article was recommended by the board 5-0.

Article 10 (SB2)

Article 10 is about SB2. Please refer to Dr. Cascadden’s email for more information about what SB2 entails. This article was not recommended by the board 0-5.

I would also encourage any and all of you to attend the SB2 and Tax Cap hearings that will be held on February 10th at 7:00 at DES. Should you have any questions about the specific articles, this would be an excellent forum for you to ask questions.

Should you desire more information about these articles, the All Day K presentation or about the school board procedings in general, please visit the school board website: https://sites.google.com/a/dunbarton.k12.nh.us/dunbarton-school-board/ .

As we move into the second week of February, please remember there will be no school on Tuesday, February 9th due to the Presidential Primary voting. Voting will take place from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm in the Community Center.

Winter activities are nigh upon us. We will begin the activities on Friday, February 19th at 12:00. Students who are participating in the Pat’s Peak skiing program will be dismissed at that time. Please remember the school is not providing transportation to Pat’s Peak. I trust that you have all signed your child(ren) up for a winter activity. Although not everyone was able to secure their preferred activity, please know all the activities will be well run and enjoyable for the participants. Students will have ample opportunity to work on skills that are not traditionally taught in the classroom setting as well as working on team building and camaraderie amongst their peers. Always a good thing.

The DES Math Committee has been hard at work establishing its charge as well as determining how to best move forward. The committee consists of a teacher from each grade level, a special education teacher, the DES Math Coach, Dr. Gage (SAU 67 Director of Curriculum), and me. At this point, we have created a rubric to review various math programs and collectively (as a group) assign them point values to determine which we rate highest. Currently we will be reviewing at least four programs: Go Math, Envisions, Math in Focus (often referred to as Singapore Math) and ST Math. We will also be reviewing Everyday Math to see if that still meets our needs. As we move forward in this process,we hope to determine which program or programs we would like to pilot and to do so during the following school year. We will also be visiting schools that are using these programs to see them in action and hear unbiased reviews of the program effectiveness. Dr. Gage has provided his guidance during this process and his oversight has been very helpful in creating a thoughtful and systematic approach. Should you have any questions about the process or the various programs, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Mrs. Hast is continuing to see an uptick in illness at DES and has asked that I include the following:

DES is starting to see an increase in a variety of illness including colds, strep throat and the dreaded "stomach bug". Please remind your children to wash hands with soap, water & friction for 15 seconds before eating and after using the bathroom to prevent the transmission of germs. I do have fact sheets on all of these topics on my web site, which you can access on the staff directory portion of the DES website.

Please remember to keep your child home if he/she is not feeling well and be sure your child is fever-free for 24 hours without medicine before returning to school.

As always, I appreciate knowing what is going around. You can leave me a message at 774-3181 ext 205. Your child is important to me!

As always, if you have any questions,feel free to contact your child’s teacher or any of us in the office. I hope all the DES students have the opportunity to enjoy their unexpected day off and the snow. Always exciting!


Owen Harrington