Dear Newmarket parents, teachers, students and community members,
Newmarket Schools are rapidly approaching the end of the first quarter and will soon be heading into the holiday season. It seems like yesterday I was writing to tell you that we were opening school using pre-pandemic normal as our guide. We have had a very successful first few months. It has been wonderful to see all the smiling faces of our students and staff in the classroom, the cafeteria, and at school events. As an example, last night I was at the NES Spaghetti Supper and was thrilled to see so many community members come out for this great event. Just one more example of how much Newmarket values its schools.
I would like to begin this communication with some personal news to share. At last week’s School Board meeting, the Newmarket School board approved an extension of my contract through the end of the 2023-24 school year. With this extension the board removed “interim” from my title. Thank you to the Newmarket School Board for the confidence they have shown in me. I am thrilled to be able to stay in Newmarket beyond this year to help the School District chart a course for the future.
Last week, working collaboratively with Tim Cremmen from Newmarket Channel 13, the School District produced our first “Newmarket School Corner” video. It is broadcasted on local cable Newmarket Channel 13 and can be found on the town Youtube Channel. Full disclosure, this was our first foray into video as a means of communicating with the community. We intend to produce regular videos throughout the year. Our hope is that over time “Newmarket School Corner” will be another way for the community to know what is going on in the schools. Check it out if you haven’t already; I promise Gary Swanson and I will improve with practice.
As we are approaching the winter season, I have received several questions about the process for school weather cancellations. I believe in traditional snow days. While virtual learning has value, I do not feel that it is equivalent to in-person learning. Generally, when weather conditions warrant, we will have no school or a 2-hour delay. The decision process begins with monitoring the weather and very early morning phone calls to Newmarket DPW, the School Facilities Director, our Bus Company, and nearby area Superintendents. The decision to cancel or delay school will be made by 6:00 AM and will be communicated via Blackboard Connect (our school communication system). Blackboard connect sends an email, a robocall and a text if you have registered. Please reach out to your child’s school if you want to add or change any contact information in Blackboard Connect. If you have received this message, we have your email in the Blackboard system. The announcement to delay or cancel school will also be placed on the banner of our website and on WMUR. Please know that I will make every effort to get the decision right but ultimately will err on the side of safety. Please email me or reach out to my office if you have questions.
I want to close by offering my congratulations to all of our fall athletes for their efforts this season. Good luck to the Girls Varsity Soccer who will be playing in the second round of the state tournament at home this afternoon against Pittsburg-Canaan. Also, good luck to the Boys and Girls Cross Country teams competing in the state meet tomorrow in Manchester. Congrats to Boys Varsity Soccer for also making the playoffs and good luck to Epping-Newmarket Football team as they wrap up their season. Go Mules!