Superintendent's Bulletin


           

SUPERINTENDENT’S BULLETIN

Salvatore H. Petralia

Superintendent of Schools – SAU 50

February 2018

Mission

To improve the personal, social and academic growth of every student over time.

 

 The Superintendent’s Bulletin will be posted on the third Friday of each month and is available on our website. The purpose of this bulletin is to provide relevant information pertaining to each of our school districts across the SAU. Please read the bulletin and use it to remain updated on district news.

Recent Tragedy in Florida

Earlier this week, we learned of yet another school shooting and the tragic loss of life at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.  Each one of us is deeply affected by this heartbreaking event and as we reflect on these occurrences, we wonder what society can do to prevent them.  Gun violence is a major societal problem.  Unfortunately, schools cannot solve this problem alone and it will take a concerted effort among leaders at the local, state, and national level to address this issue effectively.

I want to assure families in each of our communities that student and staff safety remain a top priority in SAU 50. Consistent training, practice drills, lockdowns and adherence to our School Safety Plans is ongoing. Earlier this fall, Rye Elementary School successfully completed an off-site evacuation drill in collaboration with New Hampshire Department of Safety’s Homeland Security & Emergency Management; Rye Police & Fire Departments.  Newington Public School staff have received training from Newington Police & Fire Departments on A.L.I.C.E (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate), a civilian response training program for organizations such as colleges, schools, and hospitals.  Local police and fire department personnel in Greenland and New Castle consistently devote additional time at our schools and continue to forge positive relationships with students and families.  In addition, our school leaders have submitted applications to the New Hampshire Department of Education seeking additional funding through the Public School Infrastructure Fund.  If approved, these funds will provide valuable improvements at each of our schools geared toward school safety.

Enhancing security at each of our campuses is not a stand-alone approach. The social and emotional well-being and mental health of students continues to challenge us as educators.  A recent article, “Mental Health in Schools: A Hidden Crisis Affecting Millions of Students” calls it a silent epidemic.  “Reportedly, up to one in five kids living in the U.S. show signs or symptoms of a mental health disorder in a given year. So, in a school classroom of 25 students, five of them may be struggling with the same issues many adults deal with: depression, anxiety, substance abuse. Yet most children — nearly 80 percent — who need mental health services will not receive them. Whether treated or not, these children do go to school. The problems they face can tie into major problems found in schools: chronic absence, low achievement, disruptive behavior and dropping out.”1 The teenager accused in the recent incident in Parkland, Florida was described as “a volatile teenager whose strange behavior had caused others to end friendships with him.”

In SAU 50, our administrators, teachers, and support staff work tirelessly each day to develop and maintain strong, healthy relationships with our students. We will continue to support their efforts and in cooperation with our local school boards, we will lobby for the appropriate resources needed to re-engage disconnected students and other students in crisis.

On behalf of the entire SAU 50 community, I express deepest condolences to the students, families, and staff affected by this tragic incident.

https://www.npr.org/series/494272685/a-silent-epidemic-the-mental-health-crisis-in-our-schools1

Flu Season

Here is a message sent by Nurse Erin Russo to Newington families.  It applies to each one of us in SAU 50, so take a moment to review these helpful tidbits.  Thanks, Erin!

With cold and flu season upon us, please keep the following guidelines in mind when deciding whether or not to send your child to school. This will help to control the spread of infectious diseases at school.

Students should remain home for the following reasons:

 • For a temperature greater than 100 degrees. Children should be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school and not taking fever reducing medication to control symptoms. 

• If diagnosed with a strep infection. Students need to be on an antibiotic for a minimum of 24 hours, fever free, and feeling well before returning to school. 

• If your child has vomited or had persistent diarrhea during the night or in the morning before school. 

• If your child has a heavy, moist productive cough, chest congestion, or discolored nasal drainage. 

• If your child has pink-eye (conjunctivitis), your child will need to have completed 24 hours of medication, and have no visible redness or discharge before returning to school. 

Please continue to remind your child of the importance of frequent hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing/sneezing and proper use and disposal of tissues during this cold and flu season. Also, do not share water bottles or snacks.  Parents, please wash your child’s water bottles daily.  

Lastly, if your child is diagnosed with any infectious disease processes, please let us know so we are aware and can to monitor others and help control the spread of infection.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter concerning the health of our students.

**The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that "the single best way to protect against seasonal flu and its potential severe complications is for children to get a seasonal influenza vaccine each year" **

School Board Candidates

School Board seats are open when voters go to the polls next month in Greenland, Newington, and Rye. Voting will take place on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at Greenland Central School, Newington Town Hall, and Rye Elementary School respectively. Registered voters will be asked to choose among the following candidates. Each term is for three years unless otherwise noted.

Greenland (2 seats available):         John Balboni and Randy Bunnell

Newington (1 seat available):          Chris Russo

Rye (1 seat available):                     Debra Crapo, Matthew Curtin, and Eric Moore

The filing period for New Castle School District office will open in March. The New Castle Town Election is scheduled for May 8, 2018.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank school board members who have completed their terms in office and decided not to run for re-election. On behalf of the entire SAU 50, special thanks go to Kevin Brandon in Rye, Sara Huestis in Greenland, David Mueller in Newington, and Anne Pinciaro in New Castle for devoting countless hours attending meetings, serving on committees, and for their many contributions to benefit students and families.

In Our Schools

Greenland Central School

Principal Tamara Hallee reports that GCS recently celebrated National Kindness Week.  Inspirational quotes around the topic were read during announcements and teachers were provided with information on activities which they could do in class. In addition, some students came up with the idea of raising money to do kind acts for students in need of support. 

Congratulations to the boys’ fifth grade basketball team for winning its matchup with Rye in the finals held this past Saturday at Portsmouth High School.

Newington Public School

Principal Peter Latchaw shared a video of the NPS Rock Climbing Club and extended special thanks to staff and families for organizing and volunteering their time for this club.  Special kudos goes to Erin & Chris Russo, Jen & Scott Baker, Angelina Brandolini, Dana McKenna, Samara Robertson, and Laura Varney.

https://youtu.be/7ldA4zhW6Es

Maude H. Trefethen School

Principal David Latchaw recently acknowledged MHT staff members Susan Vitali (Art Teacher), Will Purcell (Grade 5/6), and community member Deb Tillar for their extraordinary work on the Egyptian Hieroglyphics Project, which highlighted the multidisciplinary talents of MHT students and volunteers.  Students learned how ancient Egyptians wrote and formed words by participating in a hieroglyphic writing exercise; created personalized, two dimensional cartouches which were carved into linoleum pressed into clay and then fired in the new kiln.  Great learning exercise by MHT students, staff, and volunteers!

Rye Elementary School

Congratulations to Kamara Williams for winning the Spelling Bee, runner up was Andrew McMorrow.  Congratulations to Sofia Cerasoli for winning the Geography Bee, runner up was Thatcher Kindstedt.

Congratulations to the boys’ fifth grade basketball team for an exciting season.  The boys valiantly fought back last Thursday evening to defeat Portsmouth in a semifinal game played at Greenland Central School.  The boys played brilliantly on Saturday morning, but fell a bit short to a very talented Greenland team in the final game at Portsmouth High School.

Rye Junior High School

Principal Marie Soucy announced an upcoming student storytelling session, “Silver Lining”, scheduled for March 15th at 6:00 PM at RJH.  Students are working with Erin Fleming and Denise Wheeler to craft storytelling pieces to share before a live audience. They meet each Thursday and the pieces are really coming together. The winner of "Silver Lining" will receive tickets to see The Moth live at The Music Hall the following weekend. Please save the date to come out and support these student storytellers! 

Sincerely,

Salvatore Petralia

Superintendent, SAU 50

Calendar of Events

02/19/18          Greenland School Board Meeting, Greenland Central School      6:00 PM

03/05/18          New Castle School Board Meeting, Maude H. Trefethen School  6:00 PM

03/06/18          Secondary School Advisory Meeting, Portsmouth High School    5:00 PM

03/13/18          Election Day for Greenland & Rye   (Visit Town Website for Voting Times)

03/13/18          Newington School Board Meeting, Newington Public School        6:00 PM


03/13/18
          New Castle Annual District Meeting, Maude H. Trefethen School   6:00 PM

03/17/18         Newington Annual District Meeting, Newington Town Hall          10:00 AM  


03/19/18
         Greenland School Board Meeting, Greenland Central School       6:00 PM

03/20/18         Rye School Board Meeting, Rye Junior High School                   5:00 PM


03/28/18
         SAU 50 Joint School Board Meeting, Greenland Central School   6:00 PM

 


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