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Sept 24th News

Good afternoon, parents, guardians, and members of the Newmarket Community-


Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to make adjustments to our schedules and processes. The local, state, and national staffing shortage epidemic is impacting every area of our operations so if you know of anyone who is seeking employment, please let them know we have many openings to fill. Here is a link to our open positions.


There is hope and progress to share with you as we close out the week.  Vaccines for students 5-11 are coming soon, we hired a Facilities Director who started this week, the new bus schedule has students arriving on time, and state funding is higher than anticipated.  This letter showcases these topics


Vaccines. Earlier his week Pfizer announced that they will be seeking emergency authorization for their vaccine for children 5 to 11 with the Food and Drug Administration by the end of the month.  This means there is real hope that vaccines may be available before Thanksgiving.


Facilities Director. We are pleased to announce that we have hired David Reilly as our shared Facilities Director. David has over 14 years of experience in Facilities Management in both public and private sectors, the last four (4) years of which has been in a public school environment.  David has provided oversight for numerous facilities projects including a recent $3.2 million energy upgrade and the replacement of a water supply system for the Jaffrey-Rindge Cooperative School District.  In addition, David's commitment to students and programs in his district earned him the title of "Honorary Faerie" for a recent drama production of Cinderella at one of his schools.


Unanticipated State Funding Spending Proposal. Earlier this month, the state informed us that we would be receiving additional aid this year. This money will go to reduce taxes unless the School Board holds a special town meeting with a spending proposal for the taxpayers to consider. The School Board approved the following warrant to bring forward to the taxpayers for consideration.


Newmarket Elementary Facility Needs:  As outlined in our Capital Improvement Plan submission this year, we have some pressing facility needs at NES.  These needs stem from deficient infrastructure and systems in the original section of the building (parts that were not included in the recent renovation projects). 


Electrical: Electrical infrastructure in this section of the building is original and was designed in a pre-technology, pre-pandemic era. To meet the daily classroom needs, teachers are implementing “creative” solutions to properly charge student and staff devices, operate modern teaching tools such as smart boards, printers, and projectors, and plug in equipment to improve airflow. Due to COVID, we have doubled the number of devices in our elementary school and each of these devices requires charging.   In addition to providing students with learning opportunities, these devices are also required for students to participate in State testing. 


 Ventilation and Window Replacement: We have increased our HVAC protocols to allow for a greater percentage of outdoor air to circulate in our buildings.  These new recommended protocols provide an extra level of protection needed to address COVID-19.  The design of the original windows at NES do not open fully (they are a top casement-style window), and they do not allow us to install air conditioners unless the window panes are removed and replaced with plexiglass.  Since we have been running a more robust summer school program to address increased instructional needs of students, we have found a need to cool our spaces and provide better air flow when temperatures are high. By replacing the original windows at NES to allow for additional circulation of outdoor air and enhancing our HVAC/ventilation systems to allow for cooling in some areas, we hope to provide a more comfortable, conducive learning environment for students.  By moving additional adequacy aid funds into an existing capital reserve fund, we ensure that the funding will provide adequate resources for these projects, even if we cannot complete them before the end of the fiscal year.


To see if the district will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of up to $498,255  to be added to the School Improvement Capital Reserve Fund previously established.  This sum is to come from additional adequacy funds in the amount of up to $498,255 the district has been informed it will receive during 2021-2022.  No amount to be raised from taxation.


Special Town Meeting - Important Dates





School Board Public Hearing


The public hearing will run concurrent with the School Board meeting.

Special Town Meeting Date


Saturday –Time and Location TBD


My next letter will include more details about the Special Town meeting, parent forums we are planning, and some school improvement committee opportunities that will be starting up this year. 


Thank you for your support and cooperation as we continue to find creative ways to meet the educational, social, and emotional needs of your children while navigating challenges related to the pandemic and staffing shortages.


Susan K. Givens, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools


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