Volume XIX Issue 7
Mario Andrade, Superintendent of Schools
November 29, 2023
Dear NSD Families and Staff,
It was big news a few weeks ago when it was announced. The date for the NH Presidential Primary is now set for Tuesday, January 23, 2024 and, for our schools, that means only voters and teaching staff will be in school that day while students stay home.
On Monday, the Nashua Board of Education voted to approve a change in the school calendar that swaps the NH Presidential Primary Day with Presidents Day, Monday, February 19, 2024. By swapping primary day with Presidents Day, a day for teaching staff to attend workshops and meetings, the tentative last day of school does not change.
Keep in mind the revised calendar needs to be approved also by the Nashua Teachers' Union and all indications are that membership will agree with the switch. We will certainly get back to you once it is formally approved but, in the meantime, I thought it was important to give you a heads up of the distinct possibility as soon as possible.
Mario Andrade, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Nashua School District
2024 New Hampshire Kid Governor
Ellie Lively, a fifth grader from Bicentennial Elementary School, was elected among seven candidates to be the 2024 New Hampshire Kid Governor!
Her appointment was announced just before Thanksgiving as a surprise to her in front of cheering classmates; Aimee Carignan, her teacher; Michael Mahoney and Laura Dyer, her principal and assistant principal; and her very proud family…her parents, her siblings, her grandparents, and her uncle.
The kid governor program immerses students in learning about state government, elections and voting, and civic participation through a very real election for the state’s Kid Governor, timed to be in sync with the annual November elections.
Ellie will devote her year to promoting her campaign platform, leading to added efforts to mobilize students to take action to address animal abuse in New Hampshire.
Ellie will serve a one-year term, which officially starts in early January with her inauguration at the statehouse where she will be sworn into office by taking the oath of office administered by the Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court in front of Governor Sununu.
Again, congratulations, Ellie, and best of luck with your administration!
Nashua Board of Education
During initial public comment, several individuals spoke about the proposed changes to policy IMBD, formerly policy 2230, which outlines middle level education instructional practices; they were commenting primarily on one of the proposed changes that would eliminate leveling or grouping students in class according to academic ability.
Committee on Policy: At the recommendation of the NH School Boards Association, the Board for the first time as part of its policy development process held a first reading of a policy. A first reading gives each Board member added time to review and comment. Moving forward, each policy will now come to the full Board twice for consideration.
Committee on Curriculum and Evaluation: The Board approved the 2024-2025 Program of Studies for the high schools that includes two new courses:
- Advanced Placement Physics C: Mechanics
Committee on Human Resources: The Board approved one resignation and the hiring of four teachers.
Liaison Reports: The Board reported actions taken at the 11.16.2023 JSSBC meeting, including the installation of acoustical ceiling panels at Birch Hill and Main Dunstable Elementary Schools to cut down on echoes in the temporary classrooms set up in the gymnasiums during renovations; funding was also approved for new uniforms for McCarthy Middle School. At the 11.15.2023 Education Council, the Board heard concerns about elementary instrumental/choral instruction being scheduled after dismissal, middle school personnel changes; and about preparing students for the level of academic rigor at the high schools.
New Business: The Board approved a draft memorandum of understanding with the Nashua Teachers Union regarding devoting the Tuesday, January 23, 2024 NH Presidential Primary to workshops and meetings for the teaching staff instead of Presidents Day.
The next Nashua Board of Education meeting will take place on Monday, December 18, 2023 at Nashua High School North.
Author/NPL Visit Mount Pleasant Elementary School
“You are the dreamers; you are the doers; you are the believers; you are the future,” said Matt Forrest Esenwine, New Hampshire children's author and guest speaker at Mount Pleasant Elementary School.
It was a book reveal on “Library Day” on Tuesday November 28 at Mount Pleasant Elementary School in Nashua. Both the school library and the Nashua Public Library unveiled dozens of new books courtesy of the Children’s Literacy Foundation, also known as CLiF, to the students and staff with the help of author Esenwine. and his presentation on how his work as a children's author is all about being creative.
CLiF, based in Waterbury Center, Vermont, is a nonprofit organization dedicated since 1998 to inspiring a love of reading and writing among children in low-income, at-risk, and rural environments across Vermont and New Hampshire.
Mount Pleasant is a recipient of a CLiF “Year of the Book” grant for the 2023-2024 school year. The grant provides the school with frequent author visits, special programs, and ten free books for each student as just part of the program. Another feature of the grant is that the school library and the Nashua Public Library each received $1,000 to purchase new books for their collections, which were all on display Tuesday. Nicole Belanger, Mount Pleasant Elementary Librarian, is managing and planning all CLiF grant activities this year at the school.
“Can you guess the number of books in the Nashua Public Library?” asked Kat Gatcomb, the Nashua Public Library’s supervisor of youth services. The students’ answers varied widely but nevertheless the 129,978 total impressed all the attendees. In addition, Kat and Kris Murphy, NPL children’s librarian, distributed library cards to 48 newly registered students.
"It's already an exciting year her for our students because of CLiF," said Jacqueline Okonak, Principal, Mount Pleasant Elementary School. "We are grateful for this focus on books, reading, and creating that spark for our students' intellectual curiosity."
Pennichuck Student Advances in Poster Contest
Ava Durden, (pictured below) a creative art student in grade 7 at Pennichuck Middle School, is advancing in an international poster contest. Her entry into the annual Lions International Peace Poster Contest was selected at the local level and has been entered at the district level. Her poster was selected for its originality, artistic merit, and portrayal of the "Daring to Dream" contest theme. Congratulations, Ava!
Sealing Smiles Across NH: Jennifer and Myra, hygienists, (pictured below) are currently visiting Mount Pleasant Elementary School this week to screen students, with parent permission, for dental care. They were at Dr. NW Crisp last week where they screened 82 students. To learn more, please visit nashua.edu, Sealing Smiles Across New Hampshire.