“We engage, empower and inspire all learners to thrive in their lives and communities.”
Our district’s mission statement, approved by the school board on December 18, 2017, has provided direction for all the work we have done over the past few years, and it will continue to be the filter for all of our future planning. and decisions. manufacturing.
Ahead of the current school year, our school administrators have been hard at work setting goals and outcomes for the 2021-2022 school year. Although COVID-19 and rising costs have been a challenge throughout the year, we have followed our district’s strategic design by continuing our journey of developing a collaboration system that will lead to a continuous and sustainable innovation for learners and teachers.
Current ongoing efforts include strengthening teacher leadership across the district, revising the district-wide curriculum with a clear focus on content, complex reasoning, and habits of mind for learners, development of personal learning plans, increased emphasis on social-emotional learning (SEL), improved communication throughout the district (both internally and externally), increasing engaging learners in extracurricular activities, strengthening and developing community partnerships, improving safety, and increasing efficiency and accuracy in all of our business operations.
We are currently working with an NHDOE consultant on a district-wide implementation of a Multi-Tiered Behavior and Well-Being Support System (MTSS-B). Under the oversight of our District Inclusion Coordinator, David Fraser, we expect full implementation to take place over a four-year period, with the 2020-2021 school year serving as the first year in the process.
We have been very successful in increasing learner participation in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. Winter sports have seen an even higher level of participation than we have seen in recent years, and our club’s participation has continued to grow. Heather Linstad, Director of Activities, works continuously with our learners, coaches and advisors to implement new opportunities for learner engagement and student voice.
We have seen an exciting curriculum shift in our schools to include more STEM and STEAM programs. The secondary school continues to build new educational pathways with the aim of involving more learners and empowering them to take more ownership of the learning path they have chosen. More and more learners are engaging in internships, extended learning opportunities (ELOs), and undergraduate courses.
We have worked with Keene State College (KSC) and Franklin Pierce University (FPU) over the past few years to develop a number of partnership development initiatives. KSC worked with us to design the Jaffrey-Rindge Leadership Academy, an initiative that helped establish a more collaborative approach to leadership across the district. More than 40 of our teachers have taken courses under this program and 23 teachers have already graduated from the academy.
Simultaneously, the district increased formal teacher leadership roles in all schools. We are currently in the process of establishing a team led by teachers and school administrators at the district level as well, a team that will serve as the district’s educational investigation and research team for academic curriculum and teaching and SALT.
The partnership with the FPU is twofold. First, our Activities Director worked with the university to identify several volunteers to work in our clubs and extracurricular activities. FPU students have been instrumental in helping us expand our club offerings, especially those focused on physical activity and wellness. Second, we are currently collaborating with the UPF Department of Education to develop a strong multi-level internship model involving undergraduate and graduate students and our schools, with an emphasis on a partnership between the department of Elementary Education and Jaffrey Grade School and Rindge Memorial School. . The model we are working on is still in the design stage, but we hope that we will soon be able to take the next steps towards full implementation.
The Jaffrey-Rindge Cooperative School District has done an outstanding job over the past two years. During perhaps the toughest years to work in a school system, our teachers, administrators, learners and families have faced the challenges and met them head-on. Our teaching and support staff in particular have been the backbone of our success during this time, and they will continue to be a driving force in our future success and innovation.
We are committed to adopting a collaborative leadership approach in our school district. As this effort grows stronger and better, so will all of our current and future work. As the district increases the distribution of leadership within the organization, our learners and our community will experience greater success.
Reuben D. Duncan is superintendent of the Jaffrey-Rindge Cooperative School District.