CURRICULUM & EVALUATION COMMITTEE
                                     TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2008
                                              6:30 P.M.
                                  SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION BUILDING

A meeting of the Curriculum & Evaluation Committee was held at the School Administration Building on Tuesday,
September 16, 2008. Mr. Hallowell called the meeting to order at 6:32 p.m.

Present:          Mr. Hallowell, Mrs. Ziehm

Also Present:     Dr. Sheaff, Dr. Cochrane, Mrs. O’Gara, Mr. Insinga, Videographer

Hiring Procedures – Teacher Qualifications

Dr. Sheaff
The teacher needs to be certified in their major teaching assignment. If a high school teacher is teaching Biology,
they can teach one section of another field in science. They would have to be highly qualified in that area, but only
have to be certified in their major teaching assignment. And you would see elementary education teachers being
certified in elementary education ELL teachers being certified in that area; and SPED teachers being certified in that
area as well.

The one question that surfaced was about Gifted & Talented Certification, in particular, so I did some research in
that area. New Hampshire is not only in not having Gifted Certification. It is pretty sparse in terms of the
consistency. NH is one of 27 states that doesn’t have a Gifted Certification. This year, we are requiring all of our
new to profession educators to engage in 4 workshops in Gifted Education so they do have that knowledge.

Mr. Hallowell
How many teachers do we have for Gifted & Talented?

Dr. Sheaff
There are 6 in the REACH program throughout the district, and then there is one teacher who does the geometry at 2
middle schools.

Mr. Hallowell
So when we were at the Facilities Work Group meeting last night, Birch Hill had an actual room for REACH.

Dr. Sheaff
We’ve asked each of the principals to find a space for the REACH teacher when the REACH teacher comes to their
building. At the elementary level, there are about 3 schools for one REACH teacher, and 2 of the REACH teachers
are doing the middle and high schools.

Highly qualified teacher status is a little difficult to navigate if you haven’t worked with this a lot. But primarily
there are 3 pieces that you need to have. First you need a Bachelor’s Degree, you need state certification and you
have to demonstrate how highly qualified you are for your core area. That’s done either by taking a test called the
Praxis II or they can have 30 credits in the content area to demonstrate competency.

Mr. Hallowell
So you can be highly qualified in Biology, but that doesn’t qualify you to teach Chemistry, Physics, etc. Is science
the only one that’s broken up that way?
CURRICULUM & EVALUATION COMMITTEE MEETING                                                         September 16, 2008

Dr. Sheaff
Social Studies even more. It’s divided into Civics & Government, Economics, History and Geography. If you take
the Praxis II in social studies it covers all of those areas. Otherwise you would need 30 credits in each of those to
teach all of the social studies courses. Candidates have to be highly qualified up front when come for a position.

Mrs. Ziehm
Would the state vote and determine if we would require something for Gifted Certification?

Dr. Sheaff

Mr. Hallowell
Would that be the state legislature or would it just be the Department of Education having a rule?

Dr. Sheaff
I think it would be both, but I don’t know the specifics that would be involved.

Dr. Cochrane
It would be The State Standards Board typically in conjunction with the Council for Teacher Education. Technically
they’re passed by the Standards Board and enforced by the Council.

Mr. Hallowell
Let the record show that Mr. Sherman in the background is nodding in agreement to that statement.

Dr. Sheaff
One of our classroom teachers, our Peer Coaches was the Chairperson of the Professional Standards Board.

Mrs. Ziehm
Do the states that do require the certification do better than the 27 that don’t? Do we have a feel for that?

Dr. Sheaff
No, but I saw that in states that did require the certification, some had as little as 6 courses. It varied the number of
courses that they needed for certification. So I don’t think we could say that one state did better than another with
that certification.

Mr. Hallowell
But for Gifted & Talented, we do require that they’re highly qualified in something.

Dr. Sheaff
They don’t need to be highly qualified. They need to be certified. There are just core content areas that you have to
be highly qualified in.

Mrs. Ziehm
So what do you think of as the major difference between highly qualified and gifted & talented?

Dr. Sheaff
There’s not a difference. Here is says certification and highly qualified and I put gifted & talented under
certification because there was a specific question about that. You need both.

Mr. Hallowell
So Mrs. Ziehm, the gifted & talented is referring to that class of students and not to a type of certification.

Mrs. Ziehm
Maybe I’m misunderstanding. I’m trying to get at what we look for when we allow one teacher to teach Gifted &
Talented while some cannot. Where you had them separated, I assumed they were different.

CURRICULUM & EVALUATION COMMITTEE MEETING                                                     September 16, 2008

Dr. Sheaff
No, the gifted & talented was just a question that they need to be certified. They don’t need to have a highly
qualified status unless a gifted & talented person were to teach math for example.

Mr. Hallowell
When you say gifted & talented, what is that class?

Dr. Sheaff
You are working with REACH students and you’re giving supplemental enrichment. You’re not giving direct
instruction in the curriculum… you’re extending and moving beyond it. Except in the case of the REACH at the
middle school where that instructor is the sole instructor for geometry.

Mr. Hallowell
So these gifted & talented students have classes in math, science, etc. that are taught by other teachers. And then
they have an additional class where they go to this gifted & talented program where there is additional material. It
may be in math, science, etc. but it’s treated more like physical ed electives, etc.

Mrs. O’Gara
We also have SPED teachers who provide remedial, tutorial assistance to teachers who do not have to be HQT. So
it happens to SPED teachers as well.

Mr. Hallowell
So if I looked at every teacher teaching a core content area in our schools, they would all be HQ?

Mrs. O’Gara
We do have some exceptions to that. It happens with critical shortage areas (math, science SPED). It happens in the
alternative plans and in SPED. We have other alterative that the state provides to us, which include Alternative IV
which is a critical shortage area; and Alternative V which is where someone is HQ in most cases, where they have
demonstrated content knowledge.

Mr. Hallowell
So there’s a level distinction between Alt IV and Alt V… so ALT V is someone with more training? Is that the

Mrs. O’Gara
In the content area. If someone has 30 credits or has a major…

Mr. Hallowell
But it’s still somebody who doesn’t have the teaching portion.

Mrs. O’Gara

Dr. Sheaff
And they are technical not HQT until they have their certification in hand. ALT IV and ALT V candidates have 3
years to get their certification.

Mrs. O’Gara
There are 5 ways to become certified in NH. Alt I is when you go to school in NH and go through a teaching
preparation program and come out with a certification. Alt II is when you go to school in another state and then you
apply for certification in NH. Alt III is a process where there is a review… one is a hearing before the committee
and the other is testing out.

Mr. Hallowell
So Alt I and Alt II sound like normal teachers.

CURRICULUM & EVALUATION COMMITTEE MEETING                                                       September 16, 2008

Mrs. Ziehm
Can you explain III to me?

Dr. Sheaff
It would be like coming to this Board and everybody was an engineer and you wanted to prove that you had all the
skills to be an engineer. All the Board members would question you to get a sense of your skills.

Mrs. O’Gara
Very few people go through III.

Mr. Hallowell
So in all of Alt I through Alt III they all went to school to be a teacher. And Alt III is only going to be used to show
you have all the skills to do say art or music without going through all the hoops.

Dr. Sheaff
Or if Brian wanted to get his superintendent certification, he could put together all the proof in a portfolio that would
show that he had gotten all of the standards.

Mrs. Ziehm
Wouldn’t Mr. Hottel be a perfect example of that? He did the classes but never got the certification because he
didn’t do the final step and so now he will do this third thing.

Dr. Cochrane
I actually do have my Superintendent certification.

Mrs. O’Gara
IV and V are critical shortage areas. These include SPED, all the sciences, guidance counselors, etc. They have to
apply to the state and there are certain requirements for the DOE to say it’s okay for a school district to hire you.
That’s the statement of eligibility that Brian was referring to. In each area there are certain requirements you have to
meet. Everyone has to have a Bachelor’s Degree except in vocational areas. But to get a statement of eligibility for
Physics teacher, for instance you have to 2 courses of Physics and one of those has to be a Physics Lab. Then you
could get a statement of eligibility from the DOE. Because it’s very hard to find a Physics teacher. Then Alt V
would be if you had undergrad in a content area.

Mrs. Ziehm
Do we have qualified people doing that in our District now?

Mrs. O’Gara
We have certified Physics teachers and we do have teachers on the Alt plan.

Mr. Hallowell
So, roughly how many Alt IV and Alt V teachers do we have in the district?

Dr. Sheaff
Maybe 30-40. But some are in year 1, or 2 or 3.

Mrs. Ziehm
And what is V?

Mrs. O’Gara
V is the content area that you have an undergraduate with 30 credits.

Mr. Hallowell
So Alt 5 is an easier process than Alt IV.

CURRICULUM & EVALUATION COMMITTEE MEETING                                                        September 16, 2008

Dr. Sheaff
Then the last 3 bullets are about SPED that Dana just referred to, where if a teacher provides direct instruction they
have to be HQT in that core content area. But if they are doing a tutorial, they do not need to be HQ. Then HQT for
SPED, there is a Praxis II that all teachers take when they come out of their post secondary school. And HQT for
grades 7-12 have to be in the area that they teach.

Mr. Hallowell
So does the 30 credit rule apply in elementary education?

Mrs. O’Gara
For elementary education, really the only way that you can be HQT is to take a Praxis II… today. In the past there
were house plans where they could demonstrate competency.

Mr. Hallowell
Because we have 6, 7 and 8 in our middle schools you have HQT elementary teachers that could be hired for 6 th
grade and teach any subject… but they are not allowed to teach a 7 th or 8th grade class if they’re not highly qualified.

Mrs. O’Gara
There are some elementary teachers who are certified K-8 as well. The difference is the teacher who can teach up to
grade 6 would take the elementary education Praxis II content area. The elementary certified teacher up to grade 8
has to take the Praxis II in the subject they’re teaching or have 30 credits in that subject.

Mr. Hallowell
So that teacher who has the content area in science, K-8 wouldn’t be able to teach a 1st grade general class, would

Mrs. O’Gara
Yes. They would have to be HQT. If you’re K-8 and teach in the elementary level, you’ll need the elementary
Praxis II, which is generally required everywhere. If you planning on teaching at the middle school level, you’ll
need to be HQT in that subject area.

Mr. Hallowell
But if I’m HQT in science, why can’t I teach 9, 10 and 11 grade science?

Mrs. O’Gara
Because you’re only certified to grade 8. In order to teach 9, 10 and 11 you have to be certified at HQT.

Mr. Hallowell
So the certification has multiple levels to it.

Dr. Sheaff
You could be certified 7-12, 5-8… They have different categories depending upon different subjects.

Mrs. O’Gara
When you get up to the secondary level, the certification breaks out into subject areas. And they add endorsements
all the time.

Mrs. Ziehm
When the middle changed to include 6th grade, it also changed the complexity of hiring teachers for the middle level.
Because I was told that indeed what was required for elementary as opposed for middle school was different.

Mrs. O’Gara
For the most part it is different because there is an overlapping at the middle school of endorsement areas. You
could have an endorsement to give grades 5-8. You could have one to teach 7-12 or 5-12. And then you can be
elementary certified through grade 8 as well. I was told that there were people who were teaching middle school
who did not have the correct certification. You’re telling me they do and I certainly take your word, so thank you.

CURRICULUM & EVALUATION COMMITTEE MEETING                                                      September 16, 2008

Dr. Sheaff
Dana has to do an annual report to the state on the HQT status. The certification goes without saying. Everyone
either has to either have a certification or eligibility under one of the alt programs in NH to be hired. Then HQT is
on top of it.

Mr. Hallowell
So in math and science, where it’s hard to get teachers… are there classes that had to do something inventive to
cover a class?

Mrs. O’Gara
There is a very small percentage of teachers who are not highly HQ and it’s usually only for some of the classes they
teach. It happens with SPED teachers because often times we try to get them to fit the schedules with academic
areas and it gets very difficult. On occasion you may find a SPED teacher teaching out of the area that they have
HQT for a class.

Mr. Hallowell
So you give a report to the state… what’s the ramification back to the district?

Mrs. O’Gara
It happens in all districts and they recognize that… especially in the alternative areas. You’re not going to find
someone with an Alt IV eligibility and be HQT. This past school year, HQT went up to 100% and districts are still
transitioning to that.

Mr. Hallowell
Does a continuing sub have to be HQT?

Mrs. O’Gara

Mr. Hallowell
But not a regular sub:

Mrs. O’Gara
The DOE says that after 20 days teaching the same position you have to be credentialed.

Policy IMAH – Health Education/Wellness

Dr. Sheaff
IMAH is general health education. In the first sentence we stated that it’s regular physical activity, exercise and
physical education to minimize health risk created by inactivity, childhood obesity and other health related
problems. We took out the phrase “for at least 30-60 minutes each day.” We just said that we recommend regular
physical activity to promote wellness.

Mr. Insinga
The reason we did that was because it’s hard for us to mandate that with the times and schedules of every kid in
every class in every building. So we took the specifics out and made it was regular, physical activity to ensure that
we could encompass everybody in a way that we could reach the rest of the goals there set forth underneath.

Dr. Sheaff
And those 8 items include:
To encourage parents and guardians to support the participation in physical activities at home.
The second is special programs such as walking programs, family fitness events, etc.

CURRICULUM & EVALUATION COMMITTEE MEETING                                                        September 16, 2008

The third had said, integrate health and physical activity throughout the school curriculum and was changed to
“research, opportunities to integrate.” We didn’t feel we were at the level of doing that complete integration.

Mr. Insinga
And that one ties into the fifth one for long-range goals with adequate resources to include the funding, the correct
personnel and the safe equipment to do those things on a long-term basis.

Mr. Hallowell
In number 2, what does family fitness events mean?

Mr. Insinga
Those are types of activities where kids would do certain activities at school and then take them home to try and get
families to do those with them at home. Some teachers would allow a certain amount of hours logged at home to
count as make up work.

Dr. Sheaff
And the last 3 include: Professional development. That’s always important for all staff to understand all components
of health and wellness.

Dr. Sheaff
Number 7 is establish community rec and youth sports programs and agencies to coordinate the physical education.
What are some of the agencies or communities?

Mr. Insinga
The best one is the Boys & Girls Club, which does a phenomenal job with after school programs that broaden those
children’s activities during the school year, summer, after school hours, etc. They do a great job with some of the
athletic programs that we can’t afford. They supplement either equipment, coaches, etc. They offer the swim teams
for North and South to have all their meets there.

Dr. Sheaff
Number 8 is to encourage physical activities outside recess periods. Do you want to explain why number 9 was
crossed out? Institute a tracking and evaluation method.

Mr. Insinga
That goes back to adequate funding. When you have a district our size, we try to track as much as we can from K-
12, but as far as what we can with limited funding it’s very difficult.

Mrs. Ziehm
I think it would seem impossible to do number 9 or number 5. But when I look up at the top it says, The Board
Recommends. This is a recommendation, not a requirement and I think to take that out… I don’t even like taking
“daily” out and putting “regular” in. To me we have an obesity problem in the US and if it’s only a recommendation
why are we watering it down?

Mr. Insinga
We did toy with that a lot, but one of the things we go back to is our resources.

Mrs. Ziehm
But this is just to recommend and that can the best scenario. To water it down further is watering it down and I
would be opposed to that because I think it sounds like whatever you want to do is alright. I can’t imagine a child
who didn’t do at least 30 minutes a day.

Mr. Hallowell
I’m okay with it. I certainly don’t think it’s telling people they can’t do daily physical activity. There is even some
evidence that says that daily isn’t even needed for you to have a good physical or exercise program. I think regular
is fine. I think the language is fine. I always struggle with these policies. We have lots and lots and lots of policies,
and what do you think this policy is supposed to help us do?

CURRICULUM & EVALUATION COMMITTEE MEETING                                                     September 16, 2008

Dr. Cochrane
Realistically the Board can’t pass a policy without a funded mandate. Hence, the changes we’re trying to make I
think is a matter of trying to strike a tone. Do you try and encourage daily physical activity knowing that to
maintain that over a period of time, schools have to make choices without resources and then it’s a very voluntary
thing. Or do we want to do something that’s more realistic and perhaps more people will take it on? As Dr. Sheaff
pointed out, that was the nature of the discussion and we felt it was more supportive to put language in that really
doable. It was felt that this is a more appropriate balance to take.

Dr. Sheaff
We also used as a benchmark where we are currently. Currently students at the elementary receive physical
education one time per week. At the middle school it’s by trimester.

Mrs. Ziehm
Don’t the elementary kids go out for recess everyday? I would consider that physical exercise.

Mr. Hallowell
I guess the question is if they’re being physically active, are we going to make them be physically active?

Mrs. Ziehm
I would suggest that just by exposing them to outdoor recess we’re providing them the opportunity. And exposing
them to those children who do is a source of encouragement for them to do it as well. This is not a mandate but
what the Board is just suggesting. Thirty minutes might be walking the stairs at Nashua High North.

Mr. Hallowell
Regarding number 9, does our new X2 software allow any interactivity back from households in terms of tracking
and evaluation?

Dr. Cochrane
Certainly not at this point in time. Given the nature of the program it’s something that could be worked if we
decided to implement it. They’re willing to do some personalization.

Mr. Hallowell
I know there’s a walk for diabetes coming up soon. Do we do anything to encourage things like and make staff
aware of these kinds of things?

Mr. Insinga
In certain times of the year we do. At the end of basketball season there is March Madness for instance. There is
always a very good push around the Marathon. But as far as specific groups doing things, you have groups that
volunteer at the marathon, etc.

Mr. Hallowell
Do you do anything to promote… say for the Juvenile Diabetes one is coming up, do we make forms available for
students and say this is a physical activity you could do for the community?

Mr. Insinga
Most teachers will point children to the websites where these are generated. I know a lot of kids do the walk for
breast cancer.

Mr. Hallowell
At the high school where we have these 90 minute blocks, do you find that inhibits your ability to maintain
somebody’s physical education? To keep them active?

Mr. Insinga
No, I think it actually fosters it more. Because when you have them captive for that long, you have more of an
opportunity to give them a broad range of activities and appeal to the lifelong contribution they can make. We try to
promote lifestyle change and lifetime activities. From my background as a teacher, where 42 minutes was the norm

CURRICULUM & EVALUATION COMMITTEE MEETING                                                      September 16, 2008

for a class, you’re more limited. In a 90-mintue block you can give out more information and actually put it in
clinical use. You can feed children the basics of target heart range. To have a 90 minute block to actually get them
to it. And they can actually feel the effects of 90 beats a minute as opposed to walking around the track for 20
minutes. I think it’s a huge asset for our teachers to be able to do that. In a classroom they can do jumping jacks to
rejuvenate themselves.

Mr. Hallowell
Do you feel we should leave that 30-60 minutes out?

Mr. Insinga
I can see both sides of the argument. I see where it’s a recommendation. And again I can see where we’re trying to
strike a happy medium in order to be balanced and as consistent as we possibly can in K-12. With all the people
we’ve talked and given all the input we received, that was a strong reason we went with the language we did. I
would not be against it, but in all respect, to try and keep the consistency I feel this is the best way.

Mrs. Ziehm
I’m just concerned that we’d be sending the wrong message to minimize the value of physical education. And
where it’s a recommendation…

Mr. Hallowell
I know a lot of things that I have read… though you are correct that being out at recess time or going upstairs that’s
physical activity. But when people read things like this they don’t think of that as doing 30-60 minutes of physical
activity. Thirty minutes might not sound like a lot of time, but for some people a 30 minute chunk is a big chunk of
time. So now the message they actually get can be, wow if I can’t do 30-60 minutes of physical activity a day, it’s
not worth it. And there have been many studies that state that 15 minutes a day can do a lot to make a difference.

Mrs. Ziehm
But it seems to me those are simple things… the kids complain about running up and down the steps and you say to
them this is good for you and it will make you healthier. I respect everyone, but my vote is no.


         SO VOTED.

Policy IKB – Homework

Dr. Sheaff
This policy would replace Policy 2217. We have taken the template from the state and taken the portion of 2217
that is policy, and then the part of 2217 that is actually IKB-F, which is procedures. We’re also just received the
latest template from the NHSBA on IKB, Homework. In IKB-Homework, the policy, we’re talking about
homework as a constructive tool and how it can be used as…

Mr. Hallowell
May I interrupt a moment? Mr. Vaughan sent us an updated version of the state’s policy. I got into a lot of
confusion last time when we swapped things at the last minute… To be clear for the record, the original policy that
we’re looking at that says, “Teachers may give homework to students to aid in the students’ educational
development.” That’s the same. The one that Mr. Vaughan sent us is the most up-to-date state policy. So I would
move to replace what Administration gave us with the new up-to-date policy that Mr. Vaughan gave us and then we
can make the edits that you want to make just so we can be clear. Then there was an additional piece that Mr.
Vaughan sent.

CURRICULUM & EVALUATION COMMITTEE MEETING                                                      September 16, 2008

Dr. Sheaff
He was referring to the legal reference for this, which should be Section Ed 306.14b.

Mr. Hallowell
Which, in the one that was sent here was 306.18a. Okay, so Mrs. Ziehm can you make the motion?


         SO VOTED.

Mr. Hallowell
Okay so we now have the new and updated IKB-Homework Policy revised May 2008 from the School District.

Dr. Sheaff
The edits we make are in the first paragraph in the last sentence. We wish it to say, “As an extension of the
classroom, homework must be planned and organized; must be viewed as purposeful to the students, and when
evaluated should be returned to students in a timely manner.” We don’t evaluate every homework assignment, but
we’re saying that when it is evaluated, it should be returned to students in a timely manner.

Mrs. Ziehm
Do kids know when it’s going to be evaluated and when it’s not?

Dr. Sheaff
That’s down in the second paragraph, where it says, “A teacher shall carefully explain to students how homework
relates to the grading system.” So they would know. Then in the next paragraph, which actually incorporates the
sentence that says, “Teachers may assign homework as part of their curriculum”, I think the way we re-stated it in
our policy says the same thing. We said, “Homework should be related to core subject goal attainment and should
not be assigned to disciplinary purposes.”

Mrs. Ziehm
I would not want this to appear as though I’m a trouble maker, but I don’t like that either. If you’re going to assign
homework to a child, then I think it should be reviewed by the teacher or you take away 50% of their motivation to
do it.

Dr. Sheaff
The word was “evaluated”. So if you as a teacher ask your students to read a chapter in the book, you would be
reviewing as part of the discussion and asking comprehensive questions, but you wouldn’t be reviewing it.

Mr. Hallowell
I have heard complaints. There are teachers that assign homework that is not really checked. It’s just go do this for
homework. Then it’s not looked at or evaluated. I think that’s what Mrs. Ziehm’s concern is.

Mrs. Ziehm
Yes, if you ask them to read something, I imagine it comes with questions to ensure that it was read. I think
homework should be reviewed.

Dr. Sheaff
I’m talking about a situation where you might just want them to read and then be part of a discussion. You’re not
interested in questions; you just want to be able to discuss a chapter. Another situation would be when homework is
given as a precursor to a lesson. You might want students to just review a science chapter before it’s being
discussed. You wouldn’t necessarily give a quiz on that, you just want to have a discussion.

CURRICULUM & EVALUATION COMMITTEE MEETING                                                      September 16, 2008

Mrs. Ziehm
I do not like that language. When there is a paper coming back, it should be evaluated so the child knows if it was
done correctly. I view that as a critical component of what the teacher is bringing to the child.

Mr. Hallowell
The phrase before it, that the homework must be viewed as purposeful to the students does indicate that there’s a
rationale for why the teacher is asking them to do it. I think the example of the reading is a good one. I might tell a
student to go home and read sections 1-4 and that will be on a quiz at some point. In essence, any homework you do
is evaluated at some level. So I don’t know that we need to make a distinction between homework that is…

Mrs. Ziehm
But to be returned means paperwork.

Dr. Cochrane
This is an issue that has come under some discussion in a variety of levels, including the high schools. It relates to
several things. One is grading policies and what do we do with homework. I agree with Dr. Sheaff that homework
fulfills many purposes. One of which are assignments, which are intended to be part of the grade. What does one
do with other source of homework? Because in some cases, homework is not intended to evaluate a person’s
performance, but to improve it.

Normally, if it’s a case of practice, we don’t take points away if they get practice wrong. If we say it’s evaluated
then we’re really saying it becomes part of the grade. So, if I give you both chemistry equations to balance and you
get them all right and she gets them all wrong… it was practice so do I punish her by evaluating her? So it creates a
situation where we recognize that homework is a fundamental tool for helping students learn.

Sometimes we evaluate that homework directly. Sometimes we give feedback and it’s assessed indirectly. By
phrasing it this way, we’re really foregrounding the learning that results as a result of the homework as opposed to
doing the homework itself. Most of the time, it’s not time efficient for a teacher to go through 20-40 math problems
a night. We may have some students who get all right or all wrong. What do we do in that case? When we say
evaluate, typically we mean grading. And if it’s practice, a student should not be punished for getting questions

But we’re not indicating that the student shouldn’t be given feedback and helped to improve. Then when a test
comes up, at that point in time if you don’t know how to do it, yes it’s evaluated and counted towards your grade.
So we’re trying to distinguish between those 2 experiences. And the language around assessment and evaluation is
often used inconsistently and we’re trying to be consistent in this case. And recognize that there are times when it
may not be inappropriate for the teacher to grade. Questions may be gone over in class without the teacher do an
evaluation of and record something. That doesn’t mean that a teacher doesn’t expect that homework must be done,
and if it’s not take it into account… as long as students know ahead of time. But to set up an expectation that every
time homework is assigned the teacher must grade it, then we’re limiting the opportunity to have practice home and
assign reading.

Mr. Hallowell
For homework, I might argue there are 3 types of homework, to paraphrase what you just said. There’s practice
homework, there’s preparation homework and there’s assessment or evaluation homework.

Dr. Cochrane
There are at least three, and those are the most comment and there are combinations within.

Mr. Hallowell
So, Mrs. Ziehm for things like read ahead, which teachers often give as preparation and the way you’re going to
evaluate that is that they’ll be better by the end of the year. Practice might be the 20 problems, or look up 20 words
for vocabulary every week. Again, maybe not something you want to evaluate because it is practice. Then there’s
assessment because the teacher is trying to gauge how well are the students generally doing at getting the material.
It’s the same way when you give a test that has no ramifications… you’re not going to spend as much time on it if
you know it doesn’t count for anything. So I’m wondering if there’s a way we can wordsmith this to include these 3

CURRICULUM & EVALUATION COMMITTEE MEETING                                                       September 16, 2008

types and then in terms of assessment home should be evaluated and returned to students in a timely manner,
because that is important.

Dr. Cochrane
And I think the last statement of the first paragraph was an attempt to say just that, but was over worded and
restrictive. I think that captures exactly the conversations around the policy.

Mr. Hallowell
I think we should clear it because I think it’s a little muddy.

Mrs. Ziehm
I think when it says evaluated that does not connotate that it’s necessarily going to be graded. When I think about
evaluate and grade they are two different things. And I also think it’s up to the teacher’s judgment. If she’s doing
something just as an exercise in the process of learning something I certainly think she has the option not to count
those grades. But I think to require a child to go home and spend time on a paper and then not let them know what
they did right or wrong, from my perspective it’s self defeating.

Dr. Cochrane
But that’s not what the policy suggests. There are lots of ways the student can get feedback, including having
students come up and answer math problems on the board. The teacher’s not evaluating, the students are assessing
their answers, giving themselves feedback and asking the teacher questions.

Mrs. Ziehm
It could be read your way. From my perspective I would not want a teacher to ask a student to go home and spend
time problem solving on a paper and then not have to tell them what they did defeats the learning process.

Dr. Cochrane
But that implies that all learning has to flow from the teacher. When in fact students can be checking in the back of
the book, they could be doing peer edits in reading. Then the function is actually to give feedback to each other. If
the only source of information of what is good work not so good work is the teacher, then we’re limiting our
students and expecting that the teacher is the center of all learning. When in fact, what we’re trying to promote is
students as good learners. In the writing process, we’ve built in self and peer editing where the student looks at their
own work and then does peer editing of other students. And so, you’re suggesting that only when looked at by the
eyes of a teacher can someone help a student’s performance. And explicitly in the classroom, we do things that
violate that in that the teacher is not seen as the only one that can give feedback and be the critical eye.

Mrs. Ziehm
I ask myself if in Nashua where 1/3 of out kids are in poverty, in dysfunctional homes. Those kids I would question
if they have anybody who can help them. If they don’t understand and bring back a piece of paper that shows the
teacher that they need help and without that…

Dr. Cochrane
A peer edit, would be another student in the class, so you and I would both go home and write out papers and I
would critique you and you would critique me.

Mrs. Ziehm
I understand that, and that’s another way of evaluating the work.

Dr. Cochrane
I think the term evaluate in that context will be interpreted more as grading than of giving feedback. I think your
concerns are very valid. Homework that is done for no reason and homework on the curriculum where there is no
feedback, is not only unproductive it’s counter productive. That’s why some of the language has been tweaked to
give teachers a little more flexibility and also to make sure that it’s more meaningful. If an assignment hasn’t
connected with a student they don’t understand what they’re doing and why. Its ability to enhance their learning
decreases. Where it says, “homework should be an application or adaptation of a classroom experience”. That
eliminates a lot of types of homework that are valid and valuable. So the language changes have really been an

CURRICULUM & EVALUATION COMMITTEE MEETING                                                       September 16, 2008

attempt to say that homework is a useful thing. It has to be used judiciously. There are times when the teacher
needs to view it and give feedback; there are times when other sorts of feedback will work; and self feedback is
valuable. I think we have to leave it to…

Mrs. Ziehm
If I don’t know how to do something, self analysis isn’t going to help me. I need someone to help me.

Dr. Sheaff
One of the things I see with this is the word evaluated. No one is arguing, and I think Dr. Cochrane’s point is
feedback. If we can in some way work on the word “evaluate” because it has different connotations and is the
problem area here. So if we can take the last sentence, and I think Mr. Hallowell is working on it…

Mr. Hallowell
If we stop that sentence as “must be viewed as purposeful to the student” and put a period there, I think it gives us
something to start with. I also don’t want it to be too restrictive to the teacher. So, what I would add replacing all
that’s left there in that sentence is, “Homework that will be counted towards the students grade will be evaluated and
returned to the student in a timely manner.”

Dr. Cochrane
That way they get the feedback.

Mrs. Ziehm
Going back to those kids who come in dirty and hungry and carrying emotional problems from a bad night at home,
when you tell them that it’s not going to be graded or evaluated is that they’re not going to do it.

Mr. Hallowell
But my point is that there is homework that is done for various reasons. The preparation one is a perfect example. I
don’t want to require teachers to have to evaluate whether the student prepared or not… for exactly the way you’re
saying. There may be students who just physically won’t be able to do that because of their home circumstances. I
don’t want to require teachers who are giving practice to students to have to grade that. Because as Dr. Cochrane
points out, you’re giving them practice for the very reason because you know they’re not going to do very well at it.
Now that doesn’t stop the student from coming to the teacher and say I couldn’t do this.

Mrs. Ziehm
I remember there were papers that were practice and had nothing more than a check mark on it. So the teacher
recognized that I had made the effort and done what was requested of me. I’m only one vote…

Mr. Hallowell
Mrs. Ziehm, I’m trying to word it so you can agree with it. If you have other wording, please...

Mrs. Ziehm
I see no reason why we can’t go with the state. They didn’t make such changes and I have to believe they reviewed
it as conscientiously as we did. I think at a minimum they should put that check mark on it.

Dr. Sheaff
You consider the check mark as evaluation?

Mrs. Ziehm
Yes, they are definitely saying she did what she was asked to do.

Mr. Hallowell
So can I try again? Let’s leave the sentence as the state wrote it, and say after evaluated, put in parenthesis “graded
and/or reviewed”.

Mrs. Ziehm
Yes, that’s okay.

CURRICULUM & EVALUATION COMMITTEE MEETING                                                           September 16, 2008

Dr. Sheaff
So what we’re dealing with there is the difference between effort and content. So, just putting the check mark and
seeing that you did write it 100 times is an effort evaluation, rather than a content evaluation.

Dr. Cochrane
Then you can add, “Graded homework should be returned in a timely manner.”

Mr. Hallowell
Well, no because I think Mrs. Ziehm point is that that child who did that effort at home when it was really hard is
going to get more satisfaction out of a checkmark than out of an X.

Dr. Cochrane
If we’re saying it should be returned it means it has to be brought in as opposed to taking a look at the students
work. For example if a teacher asks the students to do 10 problems as homework and then circulates around to see
that they’ve done it, do I need to put a check mark? Do I have to stop and take time out of class to do check, check,
check, check for 20 something students? That takes away from class time.

Mrs. Ziehm
When we used to do it in class it was a practice and we graded it together. Sometimes they took the grade and
sometimes they didn’t.

Mr. Hallowell
Okay, but I think the reason this line is even in here is because if a teacher doesn’t get something back to the student
in a timely manner, that you don’t get the instantaneous feedback and no longer remember what you did right, So I
think we have to get that in there. Because especially in the case of the graded homework, it is important to get that
returned to the student so they can review it.

Mrs. Ziehm
I think it’s just as important for the teacher too, because it gives her a picture of where that child is.

Mr. Hallowell
I think the teacher has what she needs, because she’s already got it. The question is how do we get the student what
they need, which is the feedback from the teacher. So are you okay with what Dr. Cochrane said, which would be to
put the “Graded and/or reviewed” after “evaluated” and put a period, and then add a sentence that says, “Graded
homework should be returned to students in a timely manner”?

Mrs. Ziehm

Mr. Hallowell
Okay, why?

Mrs. Ziehm
It’s going right back to my whole point. If I’m going to ask a child to go home and do homework…

Mr. Hallowell
But I’ve required that the teacher review them, so there’s some way that the teacher is letting the student know that
they’ve reviewed their homework.

Mrs. Ziehm

Mr. Hallowell
So, I think the only ones the student actually needs to get back is one where they need actual time to digest what
they did or didn’t do right. And the only ones that’s going to be on is the graded homework.

CURRICULUM & EVALUATION COMMITTEE MEETING                                                       September 16, 2008

Mrs. Ziehm
Maybe I’m wrong, but I see it as circumvented the process. The process of doing homework… some children can
go home and mother or dad can fill in the spots they don’t understand. But some children don’t have anyone…

Mr. Hallowell
I understand what you’re saying. I’m trying to get to the…

Mrs. Ziehm
I don’t mind if you put in the “or reviewed” in there. Other than that though, that last sentence… I don’t like it. I’m
willing to compromise with you and add “or reviewed” in the statement.

Mr. Hallowell
You’re not compromising anything. That is to address your concern. So that’s why that’s added in there. That’s
not a compromise.

Mrs. Ziehm
Well I like evaluated better.

Mr. Hallowell
But evaluated is unclear. Evaluated is not clear to the teacher. Evaluated to a teacher is going to mean they have to
grade it. And grade to them means a 92 or 97, etc. And what I’ve heard you say, is your view of evaluated is a
checkmark, or “that’s good… you did that.”

Mrs. Ziehm
We’re not saying they have to put a grade on it.

Mr. Hallowell
I know that. And I’m trying to make that clear in the policy because hundreds of people are going to want to read
and understand it. I don’t want to leave it for interpretation what evaluated means. I don’t want a parent to come in
and say not all of Johnny’s homework is being graded and therefore is not meeting this policy. That is a
clarification of what evaluated means.

Mrs. Ziehm
That’s why I don’t have a problem with putting evaluated or reviewed. But the last statement that you added I
believe circumvents the whole purpose of homework.

Mr. Hallowell
So your belief is that if homework comes in and the first 5 minutes of class is that Johnny and Jane take one
another’s paper and verify that they did it and it is returned somehow to the student… I don’t want to argue it
anymore. I don’t think that will be misinterpreted that every homework has to be returned. I don’t know how you
return “read chapters 1-3.”

Mrs. Ziehm
By the word returning, you’re connotating that there’s a paper process. Evaluated… the only other way you could
evaluate is by asking questions in class on a read book. I don’t think that’s what this is saying here. This is saying
that homework is work you do at home. Reading can be work, but what are you going to return? Your brain?

Mr. Hallowell
Well that’s my point in separating the 2 sentences. When it was added by administration, “and when evaluated”,
they were truing to make the distinction of homework that would be returned to students. That’s why they added the
“when”. If we’re going to take that out, and I agree with you that we should… but now what are we telling them
that needs to be returned to students in a timely manner? If it’s all homework, and regardless how we define
homework… I believe teachers define it to also be read chapters 1-3. And you might evaluate that, but you can’t
return it.

CURRICULUM & EVALUATION COMMITTEE MEETING                                                     September 16, 2008

Mrs. Ziehm
That’s why I suggest to you they’re not talking about reading there, because most people are going to realize you
can’t return reading.

Mr. Hallowell
We have 2 experts here… what is the definition of homework?

Mrs. Ziehm
To me when you say return, there’s a connotation of paper. If you want to make that more substantial, by all means
wordsmith it and put “when said homework is paper.” When they’re doing paper homework I believe very strongly
that it should be evaluated and be the teacher’s responsibility that the homework did what it was supposed to do by
monitoring it. And that doesn’t mean it has to get a grade.

Dr. Cochrane
But in order to perform that task, teachers don’t have to take the work away from students. And if you’re saying it
has to be returned, then teachers have to take first it away. If I did my 10 math problems and we correct them on the
board, and I realize which ones I got right and wrong, the homework has achieved its purpose. I did meaningful
work, I learned from it. If I didn’t know it, the teacher has corrected me. Why would I then give my homework to
the teacher? Because it was practice.

Mrs. Ziehm
And I hear what you’re saying. But to me that provides a loophole for teachers to justify when there is paper
homework that they’re not evaluating it. There’s a clear loophole there where teachers can decide to evaluate or not.

Mr. Hallowell
I don’t believe that’s true. If that first sentence reads, “As an extension of the classroom, homework must be
planned and organized, must be viewed as purposeful to the students, and shall be evaluated (graded and/or
reviewed)” there is no loophole. Correct?

Mrs. Ziehm
That verbiage is fine.

Mr. Hallowell
Okay. What we’re asking for is a sentence to follow that which says “Graded homework shall be returned to
students in a timely manner.”

Mrs. Ziehm
If you do it the way you just said it, it sounds all right.

Mr. Hallowell
That’s what I said the first time.

Mrs. Ziehm
I won’t argue with you. You may be right. Say that again.

Mr. Hallowell
“As an extension of the classroom, homework must be planned and organized, must be viewed as purposeful to the
students, and shall be evaluated (graded and/or reviewed. Graded homework shall be returned to students in a timely

Mrs. Ziehm
Thank you. That’s all right.

CURRICULUM & EVALUATION COMMITTEE MEETING                                                       September 16, 2008


         SO VOTED.

Mr. Hallowell
And the end, the last sentence that Administration requested to change was to read, “Homework should be related to
course/subject goal attainment and should not be assigned for disciplinary purposes.” That sounds fine to me.

Mrs. Ziehm
That sounds fine to me.


         SO VOTED.


         SO VOTED.

Dr. Sheaff
We now move to IKB-R. These are the ways in which that policy will be implemented in schools. What we’ve
done here is just to add to the sentence, “All teacher teams will regularly assign homework”. We wanted to reflect
the policy and add the phrase, “that enhances student achievement.”

And on the second one, where it talks about the ability level of the student, we wanted to add, “based on the
student’s needs.” It could be that a student in extension or foundation is having difficulty with a particular concept,
so it’s based on a student’s needs.

Then going down to the 5th paragraph, we wordsmithed a bit. Instead of “budget their time” we just said “manage
their time.”

The next one we changed… “at the beginning of the term the teachers should always make clear to the students”…
we wordsmithed “expectations regarding the grading of homework and its effect on the final grade.”

We made no changes to the amount of time of homework from the current policy, which is averages 20 minutes for
grades K-2; 40 minutes for grades 3-4; not to exceed 60 minutes for grades 5. At the middle level, on average 1-1/2
hours per night and at the high school level should not exceed on average 2 hours total. And it also said with the
exception of the AP courses.

We made no changes to the parent responsibilities, the guidelines or the make up work when your child is on
vacation. They stay as in current policy.

Mr. Hallowell
I see we have make up work for when your child is on vacation. What’s the procedure when they’re sick?

Dr. Sheaff
That is not in here in the policy.

CURRICULUM & EVALUATION COMMITTEE MEETING                                                      September 16, 2008

Mr. Hallowell
There is something in the handbook, at least in the high school that talks about having 1 week if you’re out, I didn’t
know if we had changed that. But I was curious why it’s not in here.

Dr. Sheaff
I don’t believe it’s in the current policy. So that must be a site-based decision. Would you like us to include

         CHILD IS SICK.

         SO VOTED.

Dr. Sheaff
The next meeting is the 30th at the high school, which will be on leveling. Then we need to do competencies. That
could be an October meeting in the first or second week.

Mr. Hallowell
I’d like to keep 2 weeks in-between meetings, so the second week. Although it might get challenging as Mr. Dowd
just randomly started filling in dates with Facilities Work Group dates.

                  Mrs. Ziehm moved, seconded by Mr. Hallowell to adjourn. So voted at 8:35 p.m.

                                                                                           Submitted by Jacki Waters


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