The Board was joined by the Concord High School administrative team on 5/19. Superintendent Murphy, Principal Reardon, and Assistant Principals Herbert, Chilauskas, Corkum, and Rothenberg provided an information update ranging from Deerfield students’ academic progress at CHS to curricular and structural changes coming to CHS.
As expected for a year of school during COVID, academic news was mixed for Deerfield students. Some positive change (an increase in CRTC enrollment as well as higher average AP course grades, for instance) was balanced by negative (a decrease in average grades for some math courses, for instance).
Upcoming efforts include renovations of the common spaces at CHS (into a STEM lab, a robotics/art work space, and a welcome center/senior lounge), robust summer programming for competency recovery and 9th-grader orientation, as well as a big-picture look at competency-based education at CHS.
At the 6/2 meeting the Board approved spending for summer work on improvements to DCS including painting the upstairs hallway, renovating the library, and repairing fascia over the entryway.
The updated social studies curriculum was presented to and approved by the Board. Recent changes include aligning with the rigorous C3 Framework national standards and increased emphasis on inquiry as a component to class instructional activities.
SAU Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Chris Motika presented an update on competency-based ed. at DCS and described the adjustments coming up next year. Changes will be seen by students and parents in the use and appearance of ALMA as well as in some instructional practices. Increased use of inquiry, among other changes, will be seen by students next year.
The district will be closing the year with a larger-than-normal surplus due to decreased staffing of busing, decreased utilization of special ed. services, and reductions in personnel, among other savings. As usual, it is expected that most of this surplus will be returned to the town to lower tax rates.
The Board has signed a contract with Lavallee Brensinger Architects from Manchester to begin work on planning and bringing a bond request to the voters for a building expansion project. The Board hopes to have an article on next year’s warrant to move forward on this project.
The High School Committee has narrowed down the list of schools to six: Bow, Coe-Brown, Concord, Dover, Pembroke, and Pinkerton. Further contact and visits to schools will be happening over the summer. Discussions are exploring how to incorporate community input demonstrating a desire for a school-choice model for Deerfield families.