Dear Newmarket parents and guardians,
Mid-November, and already snow is upon us. My grandmother would say that does not bode well for our winter! As a reminder, our district uses the Blackboard Connect notification system to alert you to school cancellations and delays. Snow calls are made to the provided phone numbers and e-mail addresses in Infinite Campus. Storm delay and cancellation decisions are typically made by 5:30 A.M. Information is also posted on our district website and on tv station WMUR, Channel 9. If you need to update your e-mail address or phone number, please contact your school office to make those changes.
Our elementary school was full of parents over the last few weeks for conferences, and we appreciate the efforts made by parents and teachers to find time to come together to discuss the learning of each individual child. The teacher-parent partnership is so important for student success over time. Election day at the junior-senior high was used for teacher professional work focused on curriculum and competencies; our teachers have limited time to work together across their content areas and grade levels, and we appreciate the community's support in providing that conference/workshop day for our teachers.
Construction at both schools continues to move along on schedule and on budget, but it has not been without some hiccups. Once again, we apologize for the cancellation caused by the sewer line back-up at the elementary school last week; we fully understand how disruptive such changes are to family schedules. The sewer line issue may have been exacerbated by construction activity, but seems largely to be due to an aged, eroding line which is 7' below ground and which hasn't been helped by the heavy rain experienced this fall. We are working with our contractors and engineers on a long term solution to this problem, but the temporary resolution will be bi-weekly clean out and flushing of the lines that will take place outside of the school day. We are optimistic that these measures will prevent future back-ups and disruptions to school. Yesterday at the junior-senior high, we dealt with a failure of our temporary boiler which came to light at 6:30 A.M. Though heat was restored by 7:30, we did relocate students from a couple of classrooms where we had failed heating valves. While we wish we could tell you that there will be no other construction or infrastructure related disruptions to the school year, we can not, unfortunately, make that promise. We will continue to have challenges; whenever it is safe and feasible (weather, temperature, running water/plumbing, working kitchens, etc) to have school, we will do our best to stay in operation.
This week, our students and staff mourned the death of a member of our elementary school community. For some children this is their first experience with loss and for others this may also surface prior grief and loss experiences. Supporting children through grief and loss is one of the most difficult tasks that school staff take on in their professional roles, and we are thankful for the outreach and support that has been provided to us. The school is particularly grateful for the support it has received from across the state and region including visits from our local therapy dogs, Summer and Bodie, and counseling support from Seacoast Mental Health providers and the state's behavioral health response team members who came into our community to provide support to our students and staff.
The School Board is continuing its review of the school budget for the upcoming year and is scheduled to meet next on November 29th at 7 P.M. to finalize its review and adopt a budget for 2019-2020. The Budget Committee will begin its review of the School Budget on Monday, December 10th.
Best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving!