November 10, 2016

Post date: Nov 10, 2016 6:56:15 PM

Dear Parents,

It has been an abnormal week for sure. I wanted to thank all of you who took the time to come out for parent/teacher conferences this past week. This action alone means so much towards your child's success. Please keep these lines of communication as open as you feel is necessary.

Last night I had the pleasure of sharing information about enVisionmath 2.0 with about 20 parents in attendance. My goal was to answer questions from the survey I sent out as well as to garner any more thoughts from parents concerning what they need. My biggest takeaway was we need to make it easier for parents to access the Pearson Realize site as well as a quick "How-to" sheet when accessing. I will "digitize" the presentation and email it out as well as posting it to the website sometime next week. I will also take care of creating a link to Pearson Realize and a how to sheet for parents.

Along with this presentation at the PTO meeting, I also discussed some preliminary budget thoughts with the parents in attendance. Some major pieces of the 2017-2018 budget are the continued discussion of all day kindergarten.As you may remember, this was passed as a "conditional" all day kindergarten program. In order to have all day kindergarten next year, we need to determine whether or not we will need 13 or 14 teachers. If we need 14 teachers in order to have all day kindergarten next year, we need to determine if we will be continuing with 13 classrooms (meaning we would have to team teach at a grade level) or if we will be looking at building an extra classroom.

These options are clearly something the school board will need to wrestle with this budget season. Should we team teach at a grade level,the two grades with numbers low enough to warrant such a decision would be this year's first grade or next year's kindergarten. We also have 18 registered kindergarten students with three "maybes". This number has the potential to increase from now until August 2017.

Some other discussion points for next year are increasing guidance time from two days a week to full time. We are also looking at increasing our technology aide position to full time (from half time)and moving from True North providing technology support to the Bow School District providing our technology support. We are also discussing some technology upgrades.

I cannot stress enough that this school board is always open to improving the educational experience of our children, but they also need to balance these needs with the tax base of Dunbarton. I would encourage you to attend the December 7th and January 4th school board meetings in order to further educate yourself on the budget process as well as to ask any questions you may have.

Next week: Monday is Picture Retake Day. If you want your child's picture to be retaken, you must send in their original picture packet with them. Girl Scouts of America will be hosting an information night for parents in the Common Area and library on Thursday, November 17, from 6-7 pm. On Friday, popcorn will be available at snack time for any student who wants to purchase it for a quarter. It will also be "Dunbarton Spirit Day," so please remind your child to wear Dunbarton Spirit Wear or blue.

In closing, I wanted to remind all of you that we have tomorrow off in honor of Veterans Day. We had a Veterans Day breakfast and flag raising ceremony this morning. It was our pleasure to have many veterans in attendance to serve them some breakfast and thank them for their service. It certainly allowed all of us to put things in perspective following such a dramatic election cycle.

I hope all of you have a restful weekend and are able to spend some quality time with friends and/or family.


Owen Harrington