VAPING: A REAL Health Threat EmergingPosted by Tina McCoy on 9/21/2018 8:00:00 AM
Vaping. How much do you know about it? As someone who cares deeply about our students and their futures, I'm deeply concerned about the fast-growing trend of Vaping. Vaping may appear benign on the surface, but it is a serious long term health risk. Parents, students and anyone who is concerned about the health of their loved ones should learn more about Vaping and the problems associated with it. Through Breathe New Hamphire, the Raymond School District is sponsoring a presentation about Vaping. Please come to Raymond High School on Tuesday the 25th of September at 6:00 PM for Vaping Unveiled. You owe it to yourself and your family to take time to learn about the health risks of vaping. Please do come! Everyone is welcome.
PARENTS Remember: Open House!Posted by Tina McCoy on 9/13/2018 5:00:00 PM
Don't forget to attend the Open House at your child's school! These are important events for parents and teachers. They are also exciting for the students, who always like to know that their parents are interested in visiting the school. At the Open House events you will meet teachers and administrators, see classrooms, and view some student work. You can even learn more about ALICE (our new response strategy for certain types of emergencies), get help with PowerSchool, and even learn about job opportunities in the Raymond School District. Each Open House makes for a special evening for all involved.
Please do come, from 6:00 to 7:30 PM:
LRES - September 13th
IHGMS - September 18th
RHS - September 20th
Laura Yacek Named Principal of LRES!Posted by Tina McCoy on 9/6/2018 4:00:00 PM
I am very proud and excited to announce that Laura Yacek has been chosen to serve the community of Raymond as Princial of Lamprey River Elementary School! Ms. Yacek was the clear choice for this important leadership position. She is a highly experienced educator who is dedicated to the success of the students of Raymond. Laura is already knowledgeable about our students, our staff members, our district and our town. For the past three years, she has served in the key leadership role of Assistant Principal at LRES, and now she is more than ready lead the school forward as Principal. Ms. Yacek is a positive and energetic person who is always looking for ways to work with teachers and parents to strengthen LRES and nurture a positive learning environment. She puts children at the very center of all her actions and decisions. We are so fortunate to have Laura Yacek provide the stability and enthusiasm we need in the leader of LRES. Please join me in congratulating her regarding her new position!
Openings NOW in Raymond School District!Posted by Tina McCoy on 8/31/2018 5:00:00 PM
There are many opportunities for employment in the Raymond School District still available in the District. This is due primarily to a few last minute resignations and the fact that some new students have moved in.
The Raymond School District is a great place to work and help the community at the same time. If you are interested in a position here, please do check out the jobs posted on our website.
Click the following link to view and apply for our open positions:
You will receive an email confirming we have received your application.Only those who are selected for an interview will be contacted.
Moving ForwardPosted by Tina McCoy on 8/24/2018 3:00:00 PM
I am thrilled to have all of our employees back from their summer break, and can't wait for our students to return on Monday the 27th of August. We are energized and ready to move forward together with our community!
We are on a great path to strengthen our practices across the District as we:
- Refine Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment
- Strengthen & Support the Workforce
- Increase Community, Family & Business Engagement & Student Involvement
- Improve Communication
- Further Promote a Safe & Secure School Environment
Please read our entire Renewed Strategic Plan to see where we'll be headed in the next five years!
Tina H. McCoy, Ed.D. - Superintendent of Schools
ALICE TRAINING UNDERWAYPosted by Tina McCoy on 8/17/2018 4:00:00 PMOn Tuesday August 7th most of our administrators and office staff engaged in the District's first ALICE 'scenario' training session. The session was led by Todd Ledoux and Sue Frotton, who did an outstanding job.The training was compelling and relevant to the challenges we face in the world today.The implementation of ALICE is an important step for our school system, and will help prepare students and employees alike to respond as effectively as possible in the face of potential violence. ALICE is a nimble approach that allows those in harm's way to react in ways that make sense for their unique, immediate circumstances. Online and in-person training will continue in the next several weeks, with the goal of having all employees trained by the end of the day on September 11th. Once all employees are trained, student training will commence.
Opening Day for Staff Coming Up!Posted by Tina McCoy on 8/15/2018 3:00:00 PMI can't wait for all of our staff members and students to return for the start of a phenomenal new school year! I hope each and every one of you had a relaxing and enjoyable summer. You are amazing employees, and the community of Raymond is fortunate to have all of you teaching and supporting the children and youth of the District.
Mark your calendars:
- Orientation for All New Teachers - 8:00 AM on 8/22/18 at LRES
- District In-Service for All Staff - 8:00 AM on 8/23/18 at RHS
- In-Service Day - 8/24/18 in Respective Schools
- STUDENTS RETURN - 8/27/18
- Look for more detailed information in Welcome Back Letters and in next week's staff newsletter.
Important Reminder for Para-educators: The number of school days in our calendar has been reduced by two to allow for additional professional learning days. Para-educators must plan on being at work on August 23rd and 24th, September 11th and January 18th.
Laura Yacek Named as Acting Principal of LRESPosted by Tina McCoy on 8/3/2018 9:00:00 AM
The Raymond School Board accepted the resignation of Principal Bryan Belanger on the evening of August 1st. Today (8.3.18) is Mr. Belanger’s last official day as Principal of Lamprey River Elementary School. Bryan has served our District and community very well as an energetic, innovative and dedicated leader. I wish him all the best as he undertakes new challenges at Parker-Varney School in Manchester.
Very fortunately for the District and for LRES, we have a top-notch administrator ready to step in and serve as the leader of your school as we prepare for the start of the fast-approaching school year. Ms. Laura Yacek is a highly competent and seasoned leader knows the staff and students. She has worked with the faculty and parents for the past three years, and is familiar with all of the processes and plans underway at the school. Laura will serve as the Acting Principal of Lamprey River Elementary School beginning on Monday, August 6, 2018. She will remain in that role until such time as a permanent Principal is hired.
While August is a difficult time for administrative changes to take place, I have complete confidence in the capabilities of Ms. Yacek and the staff of LRES to work to ensure a smooth opening of school and an outstanding start to a new year. I am grateful to have the opportunity to appoint Laura as Acting Principal of Lamprey River Elementary School.
Raymond is Sorry to See Principal Belanger LeavePosted by Tina McCoy on 7/26/2018 6:00:00 PM
The Raymond School District regrets to announce that Principal Bryan Belanger (far left in phote), of Lamprey River Elementary School, has submitted a letter of resignation to the Superintendent of Schools. His resignation will be formally considered by the Raymond School Board on August 1st, 2018. Mr. Belanger has played an essential role in our District for the past three years. Under his leadership the phenomenal team of educators at LRES has accomplished great things for our students. At this time he has decided to transition to a position of Principal at Parker-Varney School, an elementary school in Manchester. We would sincerely like to thank Bryan for his contributions to our school system. We wish him well as he undertakes new challenges in the Manchester School District.
Governor's STEM Scholarship Agreement with RaymondPosted by Tina McCoy on 7/6/2018 2:00:00 PM
The Raymond School District now has a signed agreement pertaining to the Governor's Concurrent and Dual Enrollment STEM Scholarship Program. While that statement may sound like educational jargon, what it means is more opportunity for our students who want to take college courses for credit while they are still in high school. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics; important academic areas that can springboard students to good jobs in the future.
The Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) now has on file the Raymond School Board Policy on Dual Enrollment, and students from Raymond are on the teh CCSNH list to receive reimbursements for eligible CCSNH STEM or STEM related concurrent or dual enrollment classes. As indicated by the CCSNH, beginning this fall, for the academic year 2018-19, Juniors or Seniors taking eligible STEM courses will be allowed to registe for up to two STEM or STEM related dual and/or concurrent enrollment courses at no charge.
Security Projects to be Underway at IHGMSPosted by Tina McCoy on 6/29/2018 4:00:00 PM
In the next few months, you will see some work going on at Iber Holmes Gove Middle School. This is because our District has been awarded two grants from the Public School Infrastructure Fund. The grants cover 80% of the cost of two separate but related projects that will improve the security of the school. One will reconfigure the front entry way, and the other will reconfigure the gymnasium entrance (making it possible to close that section of the building off from the remainder of the school). We are very happy to receive $56,554 for the secure (main) entry way project and $35,440 for the secure gymnasium entry project. Thanks to Todd Ledoux and Ron Brickett for submitting the plans and applications to obtain funding for these important projects.
Raymond Teachers Keep LearningPosted by Tina McCoy on 6/22/2018 3:00:00 PM
After school for students ended on June 15th, teachers and paraeducators in the Raymond School District had the unique opportunity to engage in several days of professional learning activities. Thanks to the collaboration of many key educators and the leadership of Curriculum Director, Mike Whaland, a wide range of learning and work activities took place. Vertical alignment of competencies, student intervention team consultation, Section 504 training, rubrics development training and crisis prevention intervention training are a few of the examples of the activities our staff members engaged in. This work was very valuable and will help us get off to an even stonger start to a new school year in late August!
Summer Break!Posted by Tina McCoy on 6/20/2018 4:00:00 PM
I'd like to thank the entire educational community of Raymond - students, parents, employees, Board members and citizens - for a wonderful school year! Your dedication and support make Raymond School District a wonderful place. Have a wonderful summer!
Marjorie Whitmore Hired as New Business AdministratorPosted by Tina McCoy on 6/11/2018 4:00:00 PM
We are very fortunate to have Marjorie Whitmore assume the key position of Business Administrator for the Raymond School District starting on July 1st. Ms. Whitmore has nine years of finance experience in New Hampshire public schools. For the past 5 years, she has been very effectively administering over the financial and business aspects of three school districts, and juggling the demands of three district and four Boards (and budgets) with notable success. Marjorie is described as someone who is thorough, dedicated, and detail-oriented. She prioritizes well, anticipates needs, and presents information in ways that that help her Boards make sound and timely decisions. Ms. Whitmore works well under pressure when needed, and remains calm in stressful or challenging situations. She is meticulous and flexible; personable and capable. She will be an outstanding member of our administrative team. Please join me in welcoming her to our school system.
Community Input for Strategic PlanPosted by Tina McCoy on 6/6/2018 9:00:00 AM
Thanks to everyone who participated in our June 4th Community Conversation on Education! The turnout at IHGMS and on Facebook Live was strong, with a good cross ssection of stakeholders with valuable viewpoints.
Please remember that the Strategic Planning Steering Committee will still be gathering input until the 11th of June. You can still contribute by considering the following questions:
- What are we doing really well as a School District? What excites you and makes you proud of our School District?
- What are some of the challenges facing us that we need to address in the next 3-5 years? What can we do together as a community to begin to make this happen?
Send your thoughts regarding the preceding questions to the committee via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call our special strategic planning input phone number at (603 200-3038) to leave a voicemail. If you are willing to let us contact you about your responses, please leave a number or an email address.
Thanks for being a part of the Community Conversation on Education in Raymond!
LRES and IHGMS Shift to Trimesters Next YearPosted by Tina McCoy on 6/5/2018 8:00:00 AMAt the most recent meeting of the Raymond School Board, teachers and administrators from both Lamprey River Elementary School and Iber Holmes Gove Middle School presented to the Board about the proposed shift to trimesters at both schools. Our professionals did a phenomenal job of explaining to the Board and to the public why the change from quarters to trimesters for students in grades Pre-K to 8 will be advantageous to teaching and learning in Raymond. In short, there will be more time to focus on instruction and more opportunities for students to gain and demonstrate their newly acquired skills and knowledge before grades close.
At both LRES and IHGMS, our newly developed report cards, as well as special education (IEP) progress reports will be issued on a trimester basis beginning with the upcoming school year. Raymond High School will remain on a quarter/semester reporting schedule. We thank the Raymond School Board for supporting this change for Pre-K to grade 8 students.
A Community Conversation on EducationPosted by Tina McCoy on 5/25/2018 3:00:00 PM
Where will the Raymond School District be in five years?
How will we get there?
You can help determine the answers to these questions by participating in our upcoming Community Conversation on Education, on the evening of June 4, 2018 between the hours of 5 and 8 PM at the Library/Media Center at IHGMS. Our Strategic Planning Steering Committee members will hold this forum to gather input from stakeholders who are truly invested in the future of our schools. Parents, students, citizens, business owners, employees.... anyone who wants to influence the direction of the District in the next five years is invited to share their ideas and perspectives. The format of the forum will be relaxed and straightforward, with two main guiding questions:
- What are we doing really well as a school district? (What excites you and makes you proud?)
- What would you like to see improved in the District? (What are some challenges we need to address together in the next three to five years?)
Light refresments will be provided in our cool, air conditioned middle school library! You need not spend your entire evening engaged in the forum (although you are welcome to do so). There will be sessions at 5 PM, 6 PM and 7 PM. Please come and have an enjoyable time talking with others who care about our schools and our community - and influence the future of the Raymond School District!
Please note - If you have a hard time getting there in person, several alternatives are available to allow you to participate:
- Join the Strategic Planning Facebook Group prior to the meeting and engage through Facebook live with our virtual meeting facilitator, Art Wolinsky!
- Send your thoughts regarding strengths and needs of the District to the committee via email to email@example.com.
- Call our special Strategic Planning Input phone number at (603 200-3038) to leave a voicemail sharing your ideas regarding what's working well in our school system and what should be improved. If you are willing to let us contact you about your responses, please leave a number or an email address.
The Committee will be accepting input until June 11, 2018.
The Cheshire Cat in the beloved book, Alice in Wonderland said, "If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there". Together we can make sure that we do know where we are going, and that our future destination is well in tune with the values and needs of our community stakeholders.
I hope to see you on the evening of June 4th at Iber Holmes Gove Middle School in the library!
Stand Together Against BullyingPosted by Tina McCoy on 5/18/2018 12:00:00 PM
A safe and secure learning enviroment for every student is the highest priority of the Raymond School District. There are many strategies that we employ as we work to promote and maintain school cultures where all students feel accepted, valued and comfortable. One of those strategies is embodied in our Bullying Policy, which is Policy JICDA (Student Safety and Violence Prevention). In accord with this Policy, our employees work hard to to detect possible bullying, address and report misbehavior, and investigate it thoroughly. They take steps necessary to respond appropriately and prevent bullying from reoccurring. When warranted, they also take steps to prevent relatiation for reporting. In short, our entire organization works together to prevent and/or address bullying in our schools.
Every new employee in our District is required to engage in training pertaining to bullying. On an annual basis, each school holds a refresher training on bullying as well. This year, we held compelling and age-appropriate assemblies at each school that were designed to help students understand the implications of bullying and how to stand up against it . Two outstanding parent presentations were also held in the evenings (one for elementary level and one for both middle and high school level) to help parents learn more about bullying and how they support the children and youth of our community.
It's absolutely essential that misbehaviors that may constitute bullying are reported in a timely manner. Reported incidents will be thoroughly investigated, and steps will be taken to properly address reported situations. While not every misbehavior is bullying, it is still very important that potential bullying incidents are reported. Other types of misbehavior that are detected will also be addressed by school administrators. There are many ways to report bullying; one easy mechanism for reporting is our online Bullying/Harassment form. There is a form available for each of our three schools: Lamprey River Elementary School. Iber Holmes Gove Middle School and Raymond High School.
Employees, students, parents and community members are all on the same team that works against bullying. Please stand with us, and do all you can to help make sure that our children and youth are protected from bullying and refrain from engaging in it. We must stand together against bullying.
What Will Competency Based Education Look Like in Raymond?Posted by Tina McCoy on 5/6/2018 11:00:00 AM
Every school system should be a unique reflection of the community in which it is situated. Therefore, while there are many interesting and useful trends in the field of Education, it is up to us to decide how we can improve in ways that stay in tune with the values and aspirations of stakeholders in Raymond.
The purpose of competency based education is to better prepare our students for success in future schooling and, most importantly, in life. The purpose of competency based grading is to provide more accurate and meaningful information to parents, more actionable feedback to students, and provide increased personalized learning. In the previous school year, teachers in our District determined what competencies are most important for students in each grade, content areas, and/or course. This year, teachers across our District continue to collaborate to make sure all of the competencies align properly to ensure an appropriate flow (steady scaffolding) of skills, knowledge, and dispositions for students as they move through our school system. Next year, some notable improvements will be underway that will strengthen the educational experiences of all of our students. Highlights are:
- Academic instruction will focus on the knowledge and skills that we have determined to be most essential for our students’ future success (the designated and aligned competencies).
- Students will be graded on their performance and progress toward achieving the stated competencies.
- Important work habits that are key to success in school, post-secondary opportunities and the workplace will be included on report cards. These work study practices are Communication, Creativity, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, and Self Direction.
- Students will not receive extra credit toward subject matter grades for actions unrelated to their academic performance; nor will they be graded down for actions unrelated to their academic performance.
- Our schools will emphasize achievement and progress for all by putting in place supports and multiple opportunities for all students to achieve competencies.
- There will be an increased, articulated emphasis on helping students progress past competency to higher depths of knowledge and levels of application, synthesis, analysis and problem solving.
- There will be increased consistency across our schools in relation to expectations for students who meet or exceed academic requirements.
- All students will have a report card that they or their parents can print out.
Given all these improvements, it’s easy to envision drastic changes in our District. However, the shift to competency based education in Raymond has been purposefully planned to be gradual, and some things will not change at all. A few examples are:
- Students at the middle and high school level will still have traditional letter grades; the grade scale will not change.
- Grade point average and class rank will not be affected.
- New practices will be phased in gradually over time at RHS so that, part way through their high school career, our students will experience no abrupt changes in the way they are graded.
The practices and report cards developed at each school have been carefully planned to ensure a developmentally appropriate and consistent flow of curriculum, instruction and assessment as students move through our entire school system. Our schools are all moving in the same direction, but each school has leeway to adjust to the appropriately meet the needs of students at each developmental stage (elementary, middle and high school). To learn more about the specifics of what is planned at each school, please to attend one of our important Parent Forums (also open to interested members of the public). At these forums, Principals will show examples of the new report card format and highlight for parents what will change and what will remain the same in relation to educational and grading practices for the upcoming school year.If you are apprehensive about the changes that are planned for next year, or just want to learn more about our transition to competency based education, please attend one or all of these important forums on our shift toward Competency Based Education and Grading. Change can be challenging, but it is also necessary for our school system to move forward. We need your support to focus on meaningful and sustainable improvements in the Raymond School System.
- All teachers will receive ongoing professional development and support as they use our newly developed and aligned (technology based) report card system. Teachers at RHS will have an additional year of using and testing the system prior to official use.
Requests for School Board Agenda ItemsPosted by Tina McCoy on 5/3/2018 5:00:00 PM
Did you know that a member of the public can request that an issue considered as an agenda item at a School Board meeting in our community? Click here to find Policy BEDB-F, the Request for Inclusion on the Raymond School Board Agenda. This simply form can be completed and submitted to the office of the Superintendent of Schools. Active participation at our School Board meetings is important. Please consider completing the form associated with Policy BEDB-F if you have a topic or issue that you believe should be considered at a formal meeting.
What is Competency and Proficiency Based Learning?Posted by Tina McCoy on 4/20/2018 4:00:00 PM
By guest blogger Mike Whaland, Curriculum Coordinator for the Raymond School District:Competency Based Learning is a system of instruction, assessment, grading, and academic reporting and school culture, that is based on students demonstrating that they have learned the knowledge and skills they are expected to learn as they progress through their education. In public schools, competency-based systems use state learning standards to determine academic expectations and define “competency” or “proficiency” in a given course, subject area, or grade level (although other sets of standards may also be used, including standards developed by districts and schools or by subject-area organizations). The general goal of competency-based learning is to ensure that students are acquiring the knowledge and skills that are deemed to be essential to success in school, higher education, careers, and adult life.
Transitioning to Competency Based EducationRaymond has begun the thoughtful process of moving towards a culture of ongoing learning. A culture that allows for ongoing learning and multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate mastery in a given competency. Our educators have been working diligently to develop, align, identify, and in some cases create competencies that represent the hallmarks of knowledge and skill in a given course or content area.In practice, competency-based learning can take a wide variety of forms from state to state or school to school—there is no single model, prescription, or universally used approach. While schools often create their own competency-based systems, they may also use systems, models, or strategies created by state education agencies or outside educational organizations. We will work to continue to build our capacity, structures, and systems to transition to a competency based education model that works uniquely for the Raymond School District.
Why Competency Based EducationCompetency Based Education allows for personalized learning through improved individualized learning outcomes for all students. Student agency can be utilized demonstrate learning through extended learning opportunities, problem statements utilizing critical skills to solve real world problems and performance assessments. Competency Based Learning can improve the accuracy and integrity of our grading and reporting systems. Students will receive information of their progression towards mastery in all competencies within a given content area. This information will be vital in providing specific interventions and enrichment opportunities for students so they can reach their full potential in an ever changing world.
'Do-Over' Presentation for ParentsPosted by Tina McCoy on 4/13/2018 4:00:00 PM
On Tuesday the 10th of April an outstanding parent presentation took place in the media center at Raymond High School. Mr. John Halligan shared with Raymond parents, 'If I Could Have a Do-Over'. Mr. Halligan spoke from the heart about his son, Ryan, who committed suicide at the age of 13. He provided relevant and useful lessons and tips for adults with the purpose of increasing awareness and giving strategies to address depression, bullying (and cybercullying) and suicidal tendancies in youth. More information and many resources can be be found on his son's website - Ryan's Story. Please review this information to gain insight into the challenges that some of our children may face and what you can do to help.
New Special Education Director SelectedPosted by Tina McCoy on 4/5/2018 1:00:00 PM
I am very pleased to announce that a Scott Riddell has been selected to serve as our Director of Special Education starting on July 1, 2018. Scott has over 23 years of experience in the field of Special Education, and has served as a Special Education Administrator for the past 12 of those years. He is an exceptionally well rounded professional who is knowledgeable, consistent, enthusiastic and articulate. His myriad of experiences and qualifications make him an excellent choice for this key leadership role in Raymond. Please join me in congratulating Scott for being chosen to serve as our Special Education Director!
Competency Based Education and WHYPosted by Tina McCoy on 3/30/2018 4:00:00 PM
From Guest Blogger Steve Woodward - Principal of Raymond High School!
Competency Based Education & Why?
New Hampshire is one of a small handful of states that have been leading the competency based education (CBE) initiative, but the question remains, why? I believe that ultimately, it is about providing the student and parents will more detailed information about a student is learning.
Some of the key characteristics that distinguishes classes in a CBE program from traditional classes is that students can progress at their own pace. Understandably, some of us learn quickly, while some of us need more time comprehend material In CBE, students make progress toward class objectives based on demonstrating that they are competent and possess all the skills necessary to proceed to the next step. Some students will demonstrate mastery and accelerate their progress as other students might take more time and practice to advance.
Mr. Bickford, principal of IHGMS, compared in the Green Gazette a couple of CBE with a pilot and I am going to build off that analogy. Think about what would happen if we graded pilots using the same traditional grading system. During the pilots final exam he/she scored an 80 on the exam. Maybe the instructor divided the exam into four parts and the student received the following grades on each section:
· Preflight check 95
· Takeoff 85
· Navigation 90
· Landing 50
In the traditional school setting, we would all agree that the pilot passed. The problem is, none of us will get on the plane with this pilot and this is the issue that CBE addresses. We want all of our students to be competent and proficient in several areas as opposed to focus on the final score.
New Business Administrator NominatedPosted by Tina McCoy on 3/23/2018
I am very pleased to announce that a new Business Administrator for the Raymond School District has been hired to replace retiring Ron Brickett. The nomination of Bonnie Sandstrom was accepted by the Raymond School Board on Wednesday. Bonnie has over 16 years of experience in school finance and has served as a Business Administrator in New Hampshire schools for over 8 years. She is an active member of the New Hampshire Association of School Business Officials, and is described as responsive, thorough, conservative, collaborative and trustworthy with an incredible work ethic. We are so very fortunate to have Bonnie come on board this summer after Ron retires. Please join me in welcoming Ms. Sandstrom to our community.