MANCHESTER SCHOOL DISTRICT Curriculum Instruction Committee by MikeJenny


									                      MANCHESTER SCHOOL DISTRICT
                 Curriculum & Instruction Committee Meeting
                                April 17, 2006

    The Curriculum & Instruction Committee met at the School Administration
Offices on Monday, April 17 2006, at 7:00p.m. Present were Chairman
Labanaris and Committee Members Soucy, Kruse, and Langton. Non-
Committee Member Beaudry was also present and Comm. Stewart was present
for a time at the beginning of the meeting. Present from Administration were
Supt. Ludwell, Asst. Supt. Aliberti, Asst. Supt. Bass, and Asst. Supt. Burkush.
MaryAnn Murray, the representative from the Auburn School District was also
    Chairman Labanaris presided and called the meeting to order. The clerk
called the roll. There was no public forum.

  Comm. Kruse made a motion to approve the minutes of the previous meeting.
Comm. Soucy seconded the motion. The motion passed by unanimous vote.

NHEIAP Testing
    Asst. Supt. Bass said that the 3 high school principals were present to speak
on the upcoming NHEIAP test that will be happening this coming May. This is
the last year in the NHEIAP cycle. Starting next year it will be the NECAP test.
There will be a pilot for the high schools next fall and then it will be live in the
following year. In an effort to do the best we possibly can each of the 3 principals
have looked at their schools and they have tried to figure out ways in which they
can make the best possible testing conditions. They looked at some of the
issues that were present in last year's testing and they have tried to make
corrective additions.
    Principal Adamakos of Memorial High School came forward. He distributed a
handout to the Committee members. He said that included in the handout was a
copy of an outline that he had sent to Dr. Bass on April 10 talking about how
Memorial administers the test. That has been one thing that has been key to
their school. One thing they are very proud of at Memorial is that for the last 3
years not only have they done the best in the City but they have improved each
and every year. Last year the school did make AYP, as a school, that is school-
wide on both the language arts portion and the mathematics portion but it was in
some individual cells that they did not make AYP. So those are the areas that
they have targeted for this year.
    Prin. Adamakos said that the test gives you a 2-week window. It's a math and
language arts test. There are 2 parts to the language arts test and there are 2
parts to the math test. There is an information period where the students have to

Curriculum & Instruction Committee        1                       April 17, 2006
color in the dots to identify who they are and what accommodations that need to
be made etc. At the end of the test there is a questionnaire that must be filled
out. At Memorial they take the 2-week window and they administer the
examination from Tuesday to Friday in the first week after coming back from April
vacation. He happens not to like that week because the kids are automatically
hit with the test as soon as they come back from April vacation. He said “it hasn't
hurt us over the last few years so I guess I won't say too much about that
because there aren't results to back that up.” He said that on the Monday that
the students come back from their vacation he meets with the sophomore class
at a sophomore class meeting, basically for a pep rally. He tells everybody what
the situation is involving the NHEIAP. They all know the test is coming. They
have given the release items to their language arts people and their math people
so they all know about this and they have some idea what to expect on the tests.
They start covering things as close as possible to the month of April because if
they start to cover that material early on the students would just forget it before
actually taking the test. So they get all prepared and then they go off on April
vacation and upon return from vacation they move on to the examination period.
     Prin. Adamakos referred to page 2 of his handout. He said that gives an
example of what their examination period is like. Because there are 4 exams
they have chosen to go with 4 days worth of testing. They try to make the
periods as short as possible. They include the “D” section in the first day and
they also have the “D” section on the last day for that questionnaire portion of the
test. This gives what they feel is optimum testing conditions because the
students are not taxed taking multiple tests in one day. Not only that, Memorial
has 3 transfers to MST all day long so they don't want an upheaval to the entire
schedule because they do test a significant number of individuals. This year the
number will be somewhere around 515 students. He said “for some schools in
the State of NH that is the number of the entire student population but that is
Memorial's entire sophomore class.” So in order to coordinate 515 people they
use 20 classrooms and they sort the people out by accommodations. Prin.
Adamakos referred to page 3 of the handout. He said they cover the student
ranges as far as their regular ed students, those who need or can use
calculators, those who need extra accommodations, and the ELL students who
need different kinds of help. They also put a list of proctors together with their
assignments. They follow a period “B” schedule so period “B” is the examination
period. If they need longer time they can cut in to period “C” and it wouldn't affect
their lunches. If they're done quicker the students are sent immediately to period
“C” and they get everyone moving and try to keep as much of a regular school
day as possible. Naturally, while over 500 people are taking the test the school
still has 1,700 not taking the test. Obviously that can displace some teachers
and there are some room swaps. They use the English wing and the
mathematics wing of the school so in some cases they have to relocate those
people who do not have sophomores to other parts of the building so that the
testing area can be kept as quiet as possible during that period “B” time.
     Prin. Adamakos referred to page 4 of the handout. He said that is a sheet
that is distributed during the sophomore pep rally. He said that he stresses to the

Curriculum & Instruction Committee         2                       April 17, 2006
children they should get plenty of rest prior to the test days, they should eat well
and especially to eat something before they come to school on those test days
so they will be ready to take the examinations. He informs the students to bring
a #2 pencil and also to bring extra pencils. He said that they let the kids know
the day before what room they have been assigned to where they will be taking
the test. They do that so there is a minimal amount of upheaval as far as the
kids knowing where they're going and they can go straight to those rooms. With
teachers who have a class with mostly sophomores but may have a couple of
juniors or seniors as well in the class those couple of juniors or seniors have
been told ahead of time where to go for that period “B”. They are sent to the
library/media center. They don't want to have people walking around the building
or going places where they shouldn't.
    Prin. Adamakos said they have made some changes this year. They have of
course tried to align their curriculum to be as close to the test as possible. The
students are given the release items to go over during the month of April prior to
the test administration. One thing that is a real benefit is that Mrs. Richardson is
not only the District's secondary-level ELL Coordinator but she is also a teacher
at Memorial so they have really tried to work better with the school's ELL
population. The school's results last year with their ELL students really hurt them
in 4 categories. Mrs. Richardson feels very confident that this year there will be
the most improvement in that area. Another little wrinkle that has been added
this year is for those students who qualify for a hands-on or interactive
experience with a computer they can use a CD that is loaded in the computer.
They have identified 7 individuals in this sophomore class as being eligible for
the accommodation of using that CD. It's for the math portion only but they will
be able to use that CD to take the math test for the 2 days.
    Prin. Adamakos said that the last thing that does well for their school is the
fact that they really try to administer the test as optimally as possible. They take
the 4 days with one test per day. They do keep track of all of the students who
are absent. They have had no problems with meeting the 95% rate of taking the
test. One year they actually had 99% and that actually hurt them. The advice
given to them by the NHEIAP advisors from the State was that we were basically
tracking down people who were just coloring in the dots rather than taking the
test in earnest. So they try to get between 95-97% as far as that is concerned
and they no longer try to get every kid to take the test once they've met the
threshold because at that point they have met their obligation with the State.
They then spend the entire second week of the testing window doing make-up in
the library and media center with those who didn't take the test during the first
week. The guidance counselors sit with those students in the library/media
center to make sure that the school meets that threshold. So not only does
everyone have to take the test they have to make at least that 95% and to this
point they have had no problem in doing that for the last 4 years.
    Over the last 3 years Memorial has improved each and every year. They're
looking at meeting or exceeding that this coming year. Prin. Adamakos said that
he thinks the school may be in a good position to hit every cell that they had
missed last year to hopefully make AYP. That is their goal. They will see how

Curriculum & Instruction Committee        3                       April 17, 2006
things work out in a couple of weeks.

    Comm. Beaudry asked if students that are in the Ombudsman Program take
the NHEIAP tests. Prin. Adamakos said that those who are sophomores who
have not taken the test before are sent the test through the Ombudsman
Program so they have the opportunity to take the test. Comm. Beaudry said that
he understands that last year there was a problem with the State when they
came to train the proctors. He asked if there was any training for the proctors
this year. Prin. Adamakos said “we didn't encounter any problems with our
training so we didn't have anyone come to see us. If that happened at another
school I was not privy to that.” He said that at their school they have a
combination of 10th grade teachers who have been proctoring the test for a
number of years along with the guidance counselors. They are given a booklet
ahead of time. He said “the most important part of the test administration is
really making sure that the students color in the right dots to make sure that the
cell groupings are accurate and reflect really what the school is all about. You
certainly don't want to give the test to the wrong sub-groupings. They really
haven't had those kind of issues in the last 4 years.”
    Comm. Langton commended Prin. Adamakos for his and his staff's efforts in
the preparation of the students particularly using the released items from the
years passed. That is a huge benefit to the kids. She has been working with this
test for the last several years. The last time these kids in grade 10 would have
taken the test was when they were in grade 6. It helps the students to catch on
so they don't mis-read questions and mix up the concepts. Sometimes the
questions are set up in such a way that they want to make sure that the kids are
observant. Prin. Adamakos said that he would share an editorial comment. He
said that some of the questions on the test are designed to fool the students.
The answer is either “a” or “b” or “b” and “a”, “c” and “d”, or all of the above, or
none of the above. So they really try to work with the kids to make sure that they
understand what the answers are or how to answer the questions. There are
experimental questions on the examination. For a kid who is a low-achieving
student who hits one of those experimental and who doesn't even have a shot in
getting it right that can derail them for a while and they ask themselves why they
should even bother because they know they don't have a shot in answering it.
Even though the experimental questions are not counted against them, what
does that do to their confidence level. Some times the questions are such that
only a couple of people in the building could answer them and those people
would be the 2 calculus teachers who have been teaching for over 20 years. He
said that he is concerned with some of the ways that the test is designed but they
have to go with it. Last year, school-wide, they had 80% pass the language arts
test and 74% pass the math test. Comm. Langton said that she agreed with Prin.
Adamakos' comments. She said that by showing the students previous
questions they understand that things like that may happen so they shouldn't get
hung up on those questions. If they don't know the answer they should take their
best guess and then go on.
    Comm. Stewart said that she is pleased to hear about the interventions that

Curriculum & Instruction Committee        4                       April 17, 2006
the school is taking and all of the steps that they are taking in order to meet AYP.
She asked what barriers do they continue to have to continue with AYP in their
building. Prin. Adamakos said “the biggest one for me is the ELL situation.” He
said that Manchester has the largest ELL population in the State. Manchester
has over 1,700 ELL students. If an ELL student has been here for 10 months
they have to take the test. It's liking throwing someone in a foreign country that
they know nothing about and they are just learning the language for the first time
and they are now taking an examination such as this in that language in some of
the most difficult areas possible. He said there are many, many communities in
the State that don't even have enough ELL students to make up a cell. You have
to have at least 10 students to make up a cell. So the one part that Memorial
struggles with is the fact that there is a population that is new not only to the
State or to Manchester but to the school yet they are thrown into having to take
this examination. The test is incredibly difficult for the English-speaking students,
never mind for these students. He said “I find that we have to do something
about measurement in terms of our ELL results.” They have done extremely well
as a school but they were knocked out in 5 areas last year and those were all
ELL related. Six students did poorly. The #1 thing was that they were all
relatively newcomers to the United States. He said “I think that what NH should
look at is figuring out a way to test for proficiency and if they don't meet that
proficiency then they should have those scores excluded.” He said that it is sort
of like him going to France and he has never spoken French before but he is
made to take a language arts test in France in French even though he has only
been there for 10 months. That doesn't make much sense to him and it shouldn't
make much sense to others. He is hoping that in that area something can be
done to fix that problem because that is the one thing that plaques them. As he
said, Manchester has 1,700 ELL students and the next city is Nashua and they
have 705 ELL students. There are some communities that don't have enough
ELL students to make up a cell of 10 students with their K-12 population. So
those results are not counted against them. It is unfair to put those kids in this
type of situation. Studies have shown that they need an English-immersion
course for at least 5 years before they would be comfortable to being tested in
the way the NHEIAP test is put together. He said “we teach students to select
the right answer but the way that the test is designed the students have to
exclude all of the wrong answers. So it is more or less opposite of what they are
being taught.”
    Comm. Kruse said that he had a question that was sparked by this
conversation. He said “I think we all understand the segments of the population
including the ELL students and some of the SPED students for whom taking the
exam is a pretty big struggle and their scores tend to lag in some cases.” He
asked “what do we do however for the rest of the students who, by the scores we
saw from the last testing, still lag behind in the State average?” He said that that
was in every category among every student with every subject matter. To him it
looks like there is more here than the fact that Manchester has a large ELL
population. He asked “what are we going to do about the rest of the students
who don't meet up to the average of the State?”

Curriculum & Instruction Committee         5                       April 17, 2006
    Prin. Adamakos said “I'm not a statistician but I've looked at the numbers for
quite a while. Manchester is the largest testing group in the whole State.
Because of that we actually hurt ourselves because as we improve we push up
that average. He said “I have 515 kids taking the test and there are some
communities that don't even have 515 kids taking the test on the 3 rd grade level,
6th grade level, and 10th grade level. So statistically speaking what happens is
that as Manchester improves we'll drive up the State average but we'll always
either be a little bit above, a little bit below, or right at the State average simply
because we make up the largest percentage of test takers.” He said “Memorial
has improved for 4 straight years and they are still just below the State average
even though Memorial exceeded the threshold as a school in both math and
language arts.” He said that he understands what Comm. Kruse is saying. But
statistically because there are so many test takers Manchester is at a
disadvantage. It's been this way for a long time. Manchester is the one who will
drive that State average up. He said “we might get close to it and we might even
get a little bit above it but for us to be way above it will be tough and difficult
simply because of the number of people taking the test in Manchester.
    Comm. Kruse said “Londonderry is a pretty large district in the State
comparatively speaking though certainly not as large as Manchester. If you look
at a town like Londonderry, are their students exceeding the State average
regularly or not?” Prin. Adamakos said “I have no idea. I'm only concerned
about one school, one place and that's Manchester. I look at my results. I look
at it this way. If we're supposed to make 77% and we make 80% as a school
with a lot of things going against us I think that's pretty good. If we're supposed
to make 64% in math for example for this past year and we make 72% I think
we're doing OK. I can't compare ourselves to another place because I don't live
there and I don't go to school there and I'm not a taxpayer in that community. I
know what our population is. We're trying our best with our population and it's
important to know that Manchester is a very transient community. People come
in and out all of the time. So the people we're testing are not the people who
have been with us for 10 years all of the time. Other communities though have
that as a luxury. With that they are able to gauge their results. But with our
transient community he is concerned about how our results look but he can't do
much about it when in fact there are so many people moving in and out of
Manchester on a regular basis. That really is something that he can't fix as an
educator.” He said “I do the best that I can possibly can with our staff and with
the population that we have. We let the chips fall as they may.”

    Principal Rist of Central High School came forward. A handout was
distributed to the Committee. Mr. Rist said that he would highlight what Central
High School's faculty has devised to help improve the test scores for sophomore
testing. First and foremost he said they are very proud of the fact that they have
raised their scores over the last 3 years and they hope to continue that trend on
May 3 and 4 when they administer this year's sophomore testing. Mr. Rist
referred to the 1st page of the handout showing a timeline of the activities that
they have undertaken to analyze and assess the data and to prepare for the

Curriculum & Instruction Committee          6                       April 17, 2006
logistics of giving the test. When the tests were returned to them they did an
analysis of the questions that were right or wrong. They are always involved with
the curricula alignment with the NH frameworks and they have been doing that
over the past 3 years through the NESAC report etc. They have examined the
demographic data and they looked at the areas where they did not achieve AYP.
Mr. Rist said “I'm pleased to say that in 10 of the 11 categories we did increase
and improve however we did not meet AYP which leaves us in the same
    In January a committee of faculty members at Central was created. They met
on a continuous basis to discuss how Central could best properly administer the
test for a higher rate of success. Some of the information that they received was
that students don't understand what the test is and they don't understand why it
is important and they don't have any motivation to do the best that they possibly
can. So one of the things that the administration and the faculty of Central has
focused on over the past several months is how to make this test meaningful to
those test takers and to solicit their best efforts at test time.
    In March, the math department and the English department, worked with
students in their sophomore classes with sample questions and they went over
how to interpret the questions, how to react before answering the question, and
how to analyze the information that is being asked. They focused on the
approach the students should take to properly understand the questions and
answer the questions. Also, they talked with all of the students about general
test-taking tips. This was similar to what Prin. Adamakos talked about. Prin. Rist
said that ironically some of the sample questions that were provided by
Measured Progress had for answers either “a” was correct or “b” was correct or
“c” was none of the above, and “d” was all of the above. According to Measured
Progress the answer was “d” all of the above. With “c” being none of the above
that is impossible. He said “so we ran into a few situations like that.”
    Prin. Rist said that other disciplines at Central also became involved because
even though the test focuses on English and mathematics it certainly includes
analysis of charts and graphs and data or information including reading and
writing. So they encouraged all of the other disciplines to engage their students
in activities that would solidify the skills that they need to take the test. On April 5
the Central administration met with the sophomores and they had a discussion of
why this is important. The students were given a tentative schedule for the
upcoming sophomore testing. Prin. Rist said that since that date he has been
visiting with sophomore classes and he has been trying to tell them why this is
important. He has been patting them on the back and encouraging them. On
April 12 the sophomore testing committee met with the entire faculty during the
early-release time. They put together a nice program and they answered some
commonly-asked questions etc. Different members of the committee spoke
about why this is so important even to teachers who don't deal with sophomores
or who don't deal with English and/or math. The response was excellent. They
also gave proctoring tips. They talked about the schedule and the logistics of
moving classes around to accommodate the best possible physical conditions for
administering the exam.

Curriculum & Instruction Committee          7                         April 17, 2006
    Prin. Rist said that the final script of their upcoming sophomore-class
assembly became available. They decided that maybe a little humor might
reinforce some of the tips that they want the students to remember. Sean
Russell, a teacher at Central, wrote a script. There will be role playing and acting
out with some teachers. It brings home with humor some of the test-taking tips
such as rest the night before, have a good breakfast on the testing days, etc.
Prin. Rist said that a letter would be being mailed to the parents of all
sophomores at Central. A copy of the letter was included in the handout. This
letter indicates why this process is important and what it means to the school. It
asks parents to encourage their children to give it their best possible effort. On
May 2 there will be a sophomore class assembly. It will basically be a pep rally.
He will stress why it is important for all students to give their best effort.
    On May 3 and 4 the days of the testing the students will be provided with a
breakfast consisting of a juice and a granola bar. He said “we feel that will
provide at least some energy for some of our students.” During the test if the
child is exhibiting what the proctors would be considering proper effort and
decorum during the test they will get a ticket. The tickets will be part of a raffle
where prizes will be given out later on down the road. The library will be closed
on the testing days in order for the sophomore students to be able to use the
computers for the computer-assisted CDs for some students' test taking. On
May 5, after the testing days, there will be pizza and drinks for the students and
the raffle will be done then. Prin. Rist said “we are trying for 100% participation
with this. Students who do not take the test will get a 'do not admit slip' and they
will be referred back to the library to make-up the test. This is an attempt to
solve some of those logistical problems as far as making sure that every child
takes the test.”
    Prin. Rist said “we've put in a tremendous effort at Central High School. The
teachers on the committee have been very thoughtful on this and they have had
a lot of different ideas. The important point that they want to make with all of the
students is that this test deserves their best effort. It helps them and it speaks to
them and it also speaks to the school and they want to maintain Central pride.
That is their main focus other than the nitty-gritty data analysis.”

    Comm. Soucy asked “recognizing the ELL population at Central is an issue as
Prin. Adamakos described and probably even moreso given Central's
demographics, are any of the materials that go home to the parents translated in
other languages?” Prin. Rist said “very rarely.” He said that the letter he will be
sending out will not be translated in the 35 different languages. However, they
do certainly make accommodations and the very dedicated ELL staff will work
with those students. He said “the mantra is the rising tide lifts all ships.” Rather
than target one specific demographic they feel that if every child makes their best
effort hopefully there will be higher scores and they will make AYP which
obviously is the school's goal. Again, the Ombudsman Program students and the
PASS Program students will also be participating in the testing. They're trying to
get 100% participation.
    Comm. Langton said that she applauds Prin. Rist and his faculty in trying to

Curriculum & Instruction Committee         8                       April 17, 2006
make the test more meaningful. The script is a good idea. It is a visual rather
than just an auditory message for the students. She does share the concern with
questions that had options for answers that don't have an answer so it leaves the
kids not knowing where to go. It does get confusing to students. She said that it
is a huge help to the students to go over the questions early with the students
because it teaches the students how to eliminate answers. At times it is not just
how to decide which answer is correct but it is how to eliminate the answers that
are not correct and finding the correct answer. This test isn't just about knowing
the answer, the students need to think about the questions to find the answers.
Also, she thinks it is a nice touch to offer breakfast to the students because that
is a huge factor. A lot of kids don't or won't have breakfast but everyone knows
that kids who do have breakfast will do better with the testing. Prin. Rist said
“this demonstrates that we feel this is important. I know that a juice box and a
granola bar is not much but it's all we can give so we're at least trying.”
    Chairman Labanaris asked “your testing schedule uses only 2 days for the
test?” Prin. Rist replied “yes.” Chairman Labanaris asked “what do you do the
1st day?” Prin. Rist said that the English test is done the first day and math is
done on the second day.

    Principal Thompson from West High School came forward. She too
distributed a handout to the Committee. She said that she provided the
sophomore testing schedule and also the information that the faculty would be
getting. They will be testing over 4 days at West; on May 2-5. Also provided to
the Committee was a copy of a poster that has been on display throughout the
school regarding this testing. Colored posters were made and teachers were
asked to put them up in their classrooms as a reminder to the students that the
tests are coming so they should be preparing themselves. They have already
held an assembly with the sophomore students. It was done by Asst. Prin.
Lodico, Asst. Prin. McGorry, and the guidance counselor Mrs. Beaudry. They
talked to the students about the seriousness and purposeness of the test and
how the test doesn't only reflect on themselves but on the school. During the
testing time each of the classes at West will have a shortened period of time and
during the time that the sophomores will be taking the test there will be no bells
ringing. There won't be any passing of students during that testing time. The 9th
graders as well as the juniors and seniors will go to their period “a” class to get
supplemental materials for that particular class on that first day. On Wednesday
they would go to their period “b” and on Thursday they would go to their period
“c” and on Friday they would go back to their period “a”.
    She said that they have asked the teachers to provide enrichment during that
time because some times sophomores are coming out of that testing time while
other students are taking the test. It would be more of a supplemental or
enrichment instruction time. This way the bells won't be ringing which is
distracting for students and there won't be extra movement in the hallways. The
students will be separated according to their needs. Students who are SPED
students or who might need special kinds of services will be taking their test with
their case manager. SPED students that don't need those extra services will be

Curriculum & Instruction Committee        9                       April 17, 2006
taking the test with the other reg. ed. students who will be taking the test. Those
are the basic differences that West will do compared to what Central and
Memorial would do.

    Comm. Stewart asked if she could address some questions to all 3 principals
instead of to just one individually. She asked “are we covering all the educational
material or all of the curriculum that is being tested now?” She said that she
realizes that the test has changed over the years and she realizes that obviously
the District has been working on aligning the curriculum but what areas are we
missing. Are we covering everything that needs to be covered by the end of the
sophomore year or where are our gap areas?”
    Prin. Rist said that there is a gap with some of the sequence of the curriculum
that is offered with some of the questions. Part of the gap is that not every
student is going to be exposed to all of the subjects and all of the questions that
might be asked in the math section and in the literature section etc. So obviously
that is a problem. He said that they just completed a curriculum revision for the
9-12 level and the first 2 years focus on the sophomore test in the hopes that
they will continue to show improvement.
    Prin. Adamakos said “as you know when the test was first given it included
Social Studies and science. Nobody was in sequence.” He said that when he
was working at the Central Office they used to insist that there needed to be
some improvement but ultimately with the budget they could only afford to focus
on the English and math sections. So they were really happy with the fact that
science and Social Studies were no longer being tested. As far as the language
arts section is concerned he would say that we're doing OK with that part of it.
One concern that he has is whether enough of the students are being exposed to
the geometry portion of things on the math test. The curriculum alignment that
they are working on for this coming school year will take care of that part. Where
he would say things are falling short is with the geometry section, the breadth of
it basically.
    Prin. Thompson said that she is in full agreement with Prin. Adamakos. Not
all of their sophomores are exposed to geometry by their sophomore year. Next
year that will occur. Their freshmen will be exposed to algebra and the level IV
students will be exposed to some geometry. Then in sophomore year all of the
students will be taking some form of geometry. Those with more ability will be
taking higher levels but they will all at least get the basics to have exposure to
geometry. Up until this year that has not happened.
    Comm. Stewart said “I've been doing some reading and it appears that other
school districts that are meeting AYP are doing one thing that we're not doing in
Manchester.” She asked the principals to comment on this. She said that from
the principals' testimony tonight we're doing a good job in the classroom with
working with students to review last year's questions to prepare them as well as
we can for the test. The one element that appears to be missing in Manchester
is an after-school review. It appears that with a lot of districts that are doing
those after-school reviews they are making AYP. She asked if the principals
would comment in terms of the success we might have if we were to offer it in

Curriculum & Instruction Committee        10                        April 17, 2006
terms of getting students to come.
    Prin. Rist said “there would be a motivation problem there.” It would be great
to have an after-school for the students to have another way to concentrate on
this but he is not sure what type of attendance they would see. It's a “what's in it
for me question” for the student. He said that in the District ordinarily the
students' testing scores are not part of their transcripts. If a student has done
very well it would be something to put on the transcript as an accomplishment so
later down the road it may benefit them but at this time transcripts do not have
that information on them.
    Prin. Thompson said “our scores are not tied in to graduation either. In some
states they are tied in to graduation. That is not so with NH. In states where it is
tied in with graduation, students cannot graduate if they don't pass their state
assessment test.” She said “we have to work very hard in motivating our
students to do well for their own self image. They try to build pride in the
students and for them to do the best job that they can because it reflects on their
school. They try to tell the students to take pride in what they do not just with the
test but in life.
    Prin. Adamakos said that NH has one of the most difficult assessment
programs in the Country. It is a difficult test. He was in CA recently and a long-
time Memorial High School teacher who has moved to CA told him that the CA
assessment test has nothing beyond grade 6 mathematics on it. He said “the
test has changed every year so it is like hitting a moving target. We study for this
and they give us that. We study for that and they give us this again. It keeps on
moving around to the point where even if they had a strategy and they taught to
the test the problem is what test are we going to get. One thing that is going to
help is when the State goes with the NECAP the schools will now have
something that they can get comfortable with. Once they go through a trial of the
NECAP and they get a taste of what that test is all about then they would be in a
better position to talk about what the strategies might be to address the
shortcomings that we may have in our test results. Right now we're in a position
where we're going to be doing the best we possibly can on the last NHEIAP test.
Since everything is changing again he would like to see the schools then make a
concentrated effort once we see what that test will mean to our grade 10
population.” He said “I do believe over a course of time as we prepare our kids
on the NECAP tests we'll do much better. We'll be more comfortable and it won't
be a test in flux monitored by what the State wants to spend on testing for that
particular year so they will be in better shape to assess what strategies they
might use to get the best results they can.”
    Prin. Rist said that last year they piloted the PSAT as a possible Statewide
assessment for sophomores. He said that that would have been a great
barometer for many more children that are being impacted by this test. That is
something that everyone knows what it is and it has value because many
students eventually take the SATs. He was hoping that would happen but it
    Comm. Kruse asked to follow up on something that Prin. Rist had said. He
said that he understands that the State doesn't permit us to use the exams as a

Curriculum & Instruction Committee         11                        April 17, 2006
requirement for graduation as Prin. Thompson was pointing out and Prin. Rist
pointed out that we don't put them on the transcripts. He asked “is that a District
decision or is that also a State decision?” Supt. Ludwell said that it is a District
decision. He said “this Administration inherited that practice.” Prin. Adamakos
said “as far as I know it has not been a District position. Memorial put stickers on
the transcripts to cover them up. If a student wants their score released we lift off
the sticker and we sent it but if they don't want us to send it we keep it covered
up. But we do include it on the transcript because we want to make sure that we
have some record of what that person got in grade 10. As far as I know there is
no District standard on that. They put their scores on them but they cover them
up and only send them if the student requests that it be sent.”
    Comm. Kruse said “given the compelling arguments that the principals have
made about putting some teeth into the test and recognizing that the State, at
least at this point, is going to permit us that these will actually count I would move
this evening that we would have the scores on the transcripts not covered up and
therefore released to anyone who sees the transcript.”
    Chairman Labanaris said that before she takes that motion she would ask if
Supt. Ludwell would comment. Supt. Ludwell said “obviously we haven't had
time to look into this to develop a proposal but I think that would be more
appropriate. I would like to confer with the State and I would like to see what the
common practice is throughout the State. I'm not sure what motivational factor it
would have to a child to put a test score on their transcript when they know that it
doesn't make a difference. Colleges aren't necessarily going to look at it. It may
be a matter of pride if a student has scored well but.....” He said that he would
prefer to have at least a month to report back to the Committee on this.
Chairman Labanaris agreed that that would be a better way to proceed. Prin.
Adamakos said that the timing of this is good. There is a Class L principals'
meeting tomorrow. These are held twice a year. He could get some information
as to what everyone else is doing. One of the topics for the meeting is the
NHEIAP and what everyone is doing so there are probably some things that
we're not doing that we maybe should be doing. By getting that information it will
be more helpful for the Committee to make their decision as far as our schools
are concerned.
    Chairman Labanaris thanked the principals for coming to the meeting.

American Studies Class of Central High School
    Chairman Labanaris said that Dr. Bass and Supt. Ludwell and she had the
pleasure of attending the American Studies class at Central High School on 2
occasions. Not speaking for them but she is sure they would agree they were
very impressed not only by the students in the classroom but by the teachers
who teach the class. They invited them here tonight to talk about the class and
for some students to speak about the class as well. She introduced Joe Silveira,
the US History teacher and Kelly McDonald the English teacher of the class.
    Asst. Supt. Bass said that it is a pleasure to introduce the teachers. This is a
unique class in the City of Manchester. It is team taught as a disciplinary
seminar joining together US History and junior English. It is a wonderful

Curriculum & Instruction Committee         12                        April 17, 2006
opportunity for students to engage in this kind of a format.
    Ms. McDonald said that they work hard at their job and they enjoy their job
engaging with the students and with each other. This is their 2 nd year teaching
the American Studies class. They believe that the humanities approach to this
subject is very important. Putting the literature in context to the historical events
and having the literature providing some tangible proof to the characters and
plots as well as the effects of some of the historical movements such as the loss
of innocence during the Great Depression or the liveliness of the American spirit
during the jazz age comes to life through the literature and through the historical
context in which it is presented. In addition to that if you're talking about a level
IV group of students who are going to go on to be the leaders of our cities it is a
very profitable approach to prepare them for college because they will encounter
classes like this and they will be better off as far as organization of materials and
their time and effort etc. It is a huge undertaking for these kids having this class
in the curriculum in the Manchester School District and it speaks to the quality of
education that we try to provide for our kids here. They are deserving of that.
She said “I would think the next step would be to be offering it at Memorial and
    Mr. Silveira said that he is a bit biased towards the program. His bachelors
degree was in the humanities and his masters degree was in American studies.
He had 5 years of college education studying the history in context with literature
and the arts and philosophy. So he is a bit biased because he feels that it gives
a richer experience for the students. Each year he had multiple classes and he
had classes where one teacher would be in the back of a room while another
professor may be lecturing and another 2 or 3 professors would be seated
around the room and they would share their insight about the lesson. It was
interesting as a student to watch the engagement between the professors and
listen to what they had to say and what they were thinking about the topic at
hand. This opened his eyes and he hopes that he and Ms. McDonald's
interaction in the classroom is opening the eyes of their students.

     Comm. Beaudry asked how many students are in this class. Mr. Silveira said
that this year there are 19. Last year there were 25. Chairman Labanaris asked
if there was only one section of American Studies. Mr. Silveira said “yes.”
     Comm. Kruse asked the teachers to talk a bit about the steps that they take to
insure that students are receiving a fair and balanced presentation of different
issues relating to the different periods of time that they study. Mr. Silveira asked
if the question was regarding the balance between the literature and history.
Comm. Kruse said “no, more the balance of perspectives and philosophies
behind the perspectives.” He asked if they would talk about the selection of
materials. How do they go about deciding which materials they will select for a
particular unit? Ms. McDonald said the reason books are chosen is because
they have those books in their classrooms right now. She said “inventory is
money so there is that consideration. However, having said that, the texts that
were chosen were chosen with a lot of thought. They try to teach the higher
works of literature that answer the greater questions of life of why are we here

Curriculum & Instruction Committee         13                        April 17, 2006
and what is our purpose and what do we hope to accomplish. Through the
characters that they read in the great literature such as The Great Gatsby and
Moby Dick etc. they strive to answer those questions or at least pose those
questions in some of the most beautiful ways imaginable. She said that in
addition she and Mr. Silveira are pretty aggressive in picking out supplemental
material to enrich the students a bit more with music and art and with more
contemporary expressions of those ideas.
    Mr. Silveira said that if they have a historical era that they are looking at, for
example events that led up to the Civil War, they look at the issues that are
present. Actually they inherited the course that had been present at Central for
about 30 years. The teachers before them had their students reading Uncle
Tom's Cabin so he would assume that the approach that they took when
choosing that novel was to look at which novel fits this era and because it was
such an important novel at that time and they chose it as part of the course. If
you look at the Industrial period of the late 1800s or early 1900s one of the short
stories that they read is Stephen Crane's Maggie, Girl of the Streets. That gives
a vivid image of the history of that time and the conditions of the cities. So not
that the literature is dictated by the history but there is an exchange that has
taken place and we take part in such an exchange and there are points that they
try to emphasize. The decision is made as far as what novels will emphasize
which points. Most of the time it goes along with what needs to be covered for
the history and what are the great novels that fit.

    Comm. Langton asked “so both of you have been co-teaching this class for 2
years but was there a program similar to this prior to you both doing this?” Mr.
Silveira said “yes, Bob Lord and Millie Hussey started the course at Central High
School and they taught it for many years.” Comm. Langton said “and the other
schools don't have this program it's just at Central.” Chairman Labanaris said
that was correct. Comm. Langton said “it's not something that you find in a lot of
schools and it is an interesting concept.”
    Comm. Kruse asked “the credit that a student receives for this, does this
count as an elective or does it count as their English and their Social Studies
credit both?” Mr. Silveria said “it is a 2 credit course.”
    Chairman Labanaris asked of the 19 students that are in the class or of the
20+ that were in the class last year how many students take the AP exams in US
History and English. Mr. Silveira said that this year there were 14 out of 19. He
said that it is not an AP course. It is a level IV course and they teach it in an
approach so that the students may take the AP exams. Chairman Labanaris
asked “can you tell where they score, do they score 4s and 5s when they take
the exams? Do you have that data”” Mr. Silveira said that last year which was
his and Ms. McDonald's first year teaching the class there were only 2 of the
students that took the AP exams. One young lady scored a 4 and another
scored a 2. Ms. McDonald said that the English AP exam is taken during the
senior year because then they have had World Literature so the students are
better off when they take the test.

Curriculum & Instruction Committee          14                        April 17, 2006
    Chairman Labanaris asked the students to come forward. Steven Bass was
the first student to speak. He said that he totally agrees with what Ms. McDonald
said about how you can't read literature without knowing the historical
background. In literature there are references to a period of time and you won't
understand those concepts unless you understand the history behind it. For
example in the book they are reading called McTeague it takes place during the
Industrial period and there is civil service reform and that is why the main
character loses his job. There are railroad strikes etc. So if you don't understand
the history behind it you won't understand the book.
    A student named Alison said that she enjoys the class a lot because of the
way that the class gets completely immersed in it. They learn about the different
aspects of the different time periods. In her French class she is learning about
Louis XVI and that is totally awesome. And she is going to be taking British
authors. So she is learning about all of these times. She likes it that this class
reinforces that when they're reading a certain book that it took place during this
or that time period and this was when it was published and so this is how it
affected the people at the time.
    Joseph Malloy said that in other English classes the teachers tell students
about different periods of literature and about the authors but it doesn't really
mean anything. So when they tell you things you say OK but you don't
understand why. If you get the history with it too it explains why things were like
this or that and it gives meaning to the literature. The history backs up the
    Chairman Labanaris said that there is a lot of participation in that class as
well. As she was reading the syllabus for the students she noticed that the
students cannot be just seen but they have to be heard as well. From attending
the class on 2 occasions she saw that there is quite a lot of participation. Many
times in English classes you sort of are told the story but you don't really get a
chance to participate. Both on the Social Studies level and on the English level
there is participation and there are quite thought-provoking questions and the
students' perceptions are very important and nobody is ever told something is
right or wrong but they just state their case and it is a very refreshing way to see
students engaged as much as those in the class are engaged on a daily basis
from bell to bell. That is the kind of engagement that she as a School Board
member and as a teacher as well is looking forward to every time she goes into a
classroom and this certainly was superlative in every way in that area.
    Allison Parker, another student spoke. She said that she agrees with what
the others had said. The dual teaching that goes on really brought her into the
class and it is great to have 2 different perspectives with the history and the
literature side by side. Often times one teacher will be teaching and the other will
pipe in and bring in some idea from the other subject. It is just a great way of
doing things.
    Chairman Labanaris asked “does it make you appreciate English and Social
Studies more the way they are presented to you in that manner where things are
woven together?” Allison said “I think it definitely does because it helps you
understand things better and to also have a greater appreciation.”

Curriculum & Instruction Committee        15                        April 17, 2006
    Melissa, another student, said that she agrees with what everyone stated. It's
not just that you're being taught but you're told to make connections yourself and
to get help in doing that. It's a great way of learning. Chairman Labanaris said “it
makes you think, doesn't it.”
    Chairman Labanaris thanked the students. Questions from Committee
members were asked at this time.

    Comm. Kruse thanked the students for coming as well. He said that there are
a lot of people who have not seen or been in a team-taught class before,
particularly folks who grew up in an earlier time. He asked “can you tell people
exactly what it looks like in the classroom? Does the Social Studies class begin
and then the English lesson picks up? Are you reading the English book and
then you're talking about the geographic components or the historical factors?
Could you give us a sense of what it actually looks like in the room?”
    Steve said that there are 2 mods and the 1st mod is English and the 2nd is
history. While they are discussing the literature with Ms. McDonald, Mr. Silveira
might chip in about the history background. So there are 2 primary teachers but
one teacher will be in the background giving you the other side to fill things in.
Comm. Kruse said “so for the English side you're primarily reading novels,
poems, and works of literature and then there is a textbook for the history plus
supplementals.” He asked “so are the homework assignments for example for
this week you're going to read novel x and simultaneously you've got to read
chapters 1 and 2 in the textbook?” The students agreed. Comm. Kruse said “so
there is twice the homework it sounds like.” The students agreed. One said “it's
homework for 2 classes.”
    Comm. Stewart asked if a student could describe a recent written assignment
or a project that they had to do. Allison said this past week they had a simulation
in the class. They do simulations in the class to help the students understand the
literature. As a writing assignment for history they recently had to write a
muckraking article and they had to pretend they were progressives and they
were part of the Legislature. That helped to solidify the lessons they had been
being taught about that. Comm. Stewart said that she thinks it is really a credit to
the School District and particularly to Central High School that there is a program
like this. As a parent of a Central graduate who went on to major in American
Studies in college, thanks to Mrs. Mirabile who was her child's inspiration, she
thinks that it is important to know that this particular course is unique in that it is
team taught but yet in the English department as well as in the history
department at Central High School anyway many of the teachers do this in their
own genre on a day-to-day basis. That really helps the students do just what
these young people were talking about which is to develop a sense of where
were we in time and what was happening and what were the people thinking and
how were the changes coming about. It's really wonderful that they have the
opportunity to do it in this particular course but they also do that in both
departments at that high school and that certainly is a credit to the men and
women that work in those departments and the way that they work together to
develop young students. She said that she wants to thank them for that.

Curriculum & Instruction Committee          16                        April 17, 2006
   Chairman Labanaris said “that's exactly why we brought them before us
tonight because they are in an extraordinary course and we wanted to showcase
them because we're proud of everything they do particularly the students who are
the best and the brightest certainly. And to recognize their teachers who inspire
and engage them.” She said “we're very proud of you and we're very happy to
have had you here tonight. Congratulations and keep up the good work!”

    Chairman Labanaris said that next month continuing with the trend to bring
certain groups before the Committee Barbara DeVenuti of the Academy of
Finance from MST will come before the Committee. She said that the Committee
will be doing this with Read 180 and other programs that are in the District as
well so we can get to meet our students and our teachers which is why we're
    Comm. Beaudry asked with the other English classes and Social Studies
classes what is the student to teacher ratio. Asst. Supt. Bass said that it
depends on the school. In the Social Studies classes across the 3 high schools it
averages to be about 24 per teacher. English would be a little bit less at
somewhere around lower 20s to 23-24. He said that is an average across the
District. Comm. Beaudry said that at Memorial they have 35 and over in several
of the Social Studies classes. Asst. Supt. Bass said that they did have some
classes that were very high. Chairman Labanaris said “we mustn't forget that this
is a level IV class so not as many people subscribe to those classes as they do
for those of level II and level III.” Comm. Beaudry said that he realizes that but
he was trying to get it clear in his mind what is the student to teacher ratio for a
program to exist. He said that he knows that several programs have been cut
including at Central because the enrollment wasn't great enough to sustain the
program. Chairman Labanaris said “as I recall it was if there were fewer than 12.
For sustainability they need 12 or more students.” Asst. Supt. Bass agreed.
    Comm. Kruse asked “if 2 teachers are team teaching a particular course does
that mean that those teachers would be teaching fewer classes, obviously they
would be teaching the same number of periods because they're both engaged in
the conversation during both of those mods?” Asst. Supt. Bass said that was
correct. Those 2 teachers get credit for those 2 courses that they are teaching
and they would teach 3 other classes in addition but in each case whether it is
the Social Studies or the English side both teachers are present in the room each
and every day. Comm. Kruse said “so the number of students that they carry is
smaller than colleagues who aren't team teaching but the number of periods they
teach is the same.” Asst. Supt. Bass said that is true.

Non-Violent Crisis Intervention Training
   Asst. Supt. Aliberti said that Mr. Paul, the principal of Highland Goffe's Falls
School, was present at the meeting along with other representatives from the
school. They would do an overview of the Non-violent Crisis Intervention
Training that has been in existence in the Manchester School District since 1999.
The primary focus of this program is to assist teachers in managing disruptive
student behaviors. Informational material was distributed.

Curriculum & Instruction Committee        17                        April 17, 2006
    Prin. Paul introduced Amy Kramer from Southside who is one of the District's
CPI instructors. Also, Nancy Pierce, the assistant principal at Highland who is a
CPI instructor also. And Tracy Laliberte who is a CPI instructor.
    Prin. Paul said that this is a course that is offered to para-professionals and
teachers across the District. Ms. Pierce said that since 1980, more than
3.5million human service providers across the globe have been trained to provide
for the care, welfare, safety, and security of everyone involved in a crisis
situation. The principles and techniques taught in the Non-violent Crisis
Intervention Program have proven effective. Prin. Paul said that the International
Association of Non-violent Crisis Intervention has certified instructors. Their
purpose is to formally validate the global standard of providing high quality,
meaningful training in the safe management of disruptive and assaultive behavior
and to formally recognize professionals and other stakeholders committed to that
standard. Ms. Pierce said certified instructors are individuals who have
successfully completed a Non-violent Crisis Intervention Instructor Certification
Program and who are authorized to provide a Non-violent Crisis Intervention
training at their base of employment.
    Prin. Paul said there is an Instructor Excellence Renewal Process, something
new as of 2002. The system of re-certification for Non-violent Crisis Intervention
certified instructors is designed to maintain and improve the skills of certified
instructors. This process includes measurable objectives related to training
hours, re-qualification testing, and ongoing training. Ms. Pierce said the
Instructor Excellence Renewal Process has 3 components. The first component
is teaching hours. Each year, certified instructors must submit documentation to
IANCICI for a minimum of 2 formal training sessions for staff, totaling at least 18
hours. Ms. Pierce said that normally speaking they have done 20 hours because
they have allowed an extra hour for each of the courses. The second component
is a written examination. Once every 2 years, certified instructors must
demonstrate their comprehension of key concepts of the Non-violent Crisis
Intervention Program through successful completion of a competency-based
written examination. This examination can be completed as part of the
participation in a qualifying instructor training course or can be taken on-line at
the IANCICI website. The third component is ongoing training and practical
testing. Once every 4 years certified instructors are required to attend and
complete a qualifying IANCICI instructor training course, which will include both
written and practical testing. Ms. Pierce said that that is where both she and Ms.
Laliberte are at this point. This is their 4th year so they need to do that this
summer before the end of August. She said that instructors may choose any of
the following 5 options for renewal. Option #1 is Enhancing Verbal Skills:
Applications of Life Space Crisis Intervention. Option #2 is Applied Physical
Training. Option #3 is Advanced Training Strategies. Option #4 is a 3 day Non-
violent Crisis Intervention Renewal Program. And option #5 is something called
Proficiency Plus.
    Ms. Pierce said that the Manchester School District implemented the Non-
violent Crisis Intervention Program in the fall of 1999. There was one certified
instructor and that was Mr. Paul. In the summer of 2001 some new instructors

Curriculum & Instruction Committee        18                       April 17, 2006
were trained including herself and Ms. Laliberte. In 2001 and 2002 all of the
Manchester teachers were trained and there was an initiative to take care of that.
In 2002 and 2003 unfortunately all of the certified instructors lost their certification
except for four and those are Mr. Paul, Ms. Laliberte, Ms. Kramer, and herself.
The standard training is 9 hours but they usually allow 10 hours. When they do
training the standard is 10 hours over the course of 5 days. Two or more
instructors are present for each session and Highland Goffe's Falls School is
used as the training site.
    Prin. Paul said that the outline of the program includes a pre-test and then
there are 5 units. Unit #1 is the CPI Crisis Development Model. Unit #2 is
Nonverbal Behavior. Unit #3 is Paraverbal Communication. Unit #4 is Verbal
Intervention. And unit #5 is Precipitating Factors, Rational Detachment, and
Integrated Experience. The second part of the program has another 5 units.
Those units include unit #6 Staff Fear and Anxiety. Unit #7 is CPI's Personal
Safety Techniques. Ms. Pierce said that is one of things that is stressed most of
all. Unit #8 is Non-violent Physical Crisis Intervention and Team Intervention.
Unit #9 is Situational Role-Plays where they practice what has been learned.
And unit #10 is Postvention which involves the documentation and the looking to
the future. At the end of all 10 units there is a post test and those being trained
have to pass this test. Units 1-7 are the preventive techniques that are used to
identify the behavior levels that contribute to the development of a crisis and to
choose an appropriate staff intervention for each level. Also, to identify useful
non-verbal techniques which can help to prevent acting-out behavior and to use
to de-escalate behavior. The techniques demonstrate principles of personal
safety to avoid injury if behavior escalates to a physical level. They are used to
provide for the care, welfare, safety, and security of all those who are involved in
a crisis situation. Prin. Paul said “that's the motto for CIPI----the care, welfare,
safety, and security for all; teachers, students, whomever.”
    Prin. Paul said that unit #8 helps those involved in the program to understand
and develop team intervention strategies and techniques. Also, to recognize the
importance of staff attitudes and professionalism in responding effectively to
those in their charge. It helps to demonstrate physical control and restraint
positions to be implemented when physical control is necessary as a last resort.
And it is to provide for the care, welfare, safety, and security of all those who are
involved in a crisis situation.
    Units #9 and #10 are included so that participants will be able to apply the
material covered in training to “real-life” situations, to find ways to use the time
after a crisis (postvention) as a step toward preventing future crises, to use a
model for action after an incident that will bring about necessary closure,
debriefing, and/or re-establishment of a therapeutic relationship with the
individuals involved, and as has been said before to provide for the care, welfare,
safety, and security of all those who are involved in a crisis situation.
   The keys of the Non-violent Crisis Intervention training are care, welfare,
safety, and security. Prin. Paul said that these are talked about over and over
again and they are stressed throughout the training. Other keys are that the use
of physical control would only be used as a last resort, there is common

Curriculum & Instruction Committee          19                         April 17, 2006
language for personnel to use, and there is standards-based training for the
instructors. The standards-based training involves the documented training
hours pertaining to the full course of 10 hours as well as a 3-4 hour refresher
course. Prin. Paul said that is sad to say that they haven't done too many
refresher courses in the last year other than for the 4 instructors mentioned.
    In conclusion, the Non-violent Crisis Intervention training brings consistency to
the District. The Non-violent Crisis Intervention training principles and
techniques will help staff remain safe. And the Non-violent Crisis Intervention
training establishes a framework for teams.

     Comm. Beaudry asked “do you offer this to Board members, some of us could
have used this training in the past?” He said that he commends Mr. Paul and the
other instructors for keeping this program alive. He knows that some teachers
utilized this program in the past and they have said it has been helpful to them. It
is unfortunate that all of the instructors had to lose their certification. Hopefully
the District can re-gain that level of instructors back to what it was so that all of
our teachers would be certified if certification is needed or to be at least trained in
the program.
     Prin. Paul said that included in the handout material is a budget proposal. It
proposes a 3-year cycle. Certification is usually good for 3 years. Comm.
Beaudry asked if new teachers are being trained once they come. Prin. Paul
said that is hard to say. There was an October training and that was the largest
one they have had. He said that the kick-off early in the year is always the
largest one. Then their next one was down to 12-15 people and even 9. They
had to cancel 2 trainings actually. He said that he sends out a request for
volunteers. All of the principals in the District get the information and they in a
way have to motivate their teachers to come to get the training.
     Comm. Kruse said “I assume that this is the kind of training that like CPR you
hope you never have to use it. It is more of a preventive 'just in case' kind of
measure.” He asked “can you talk about examples of situations where someone
has had to use this? What are the kinds of situations where this comes into
play?” Prin. Paul said that the worst-case scenario for him was back in 1999
when he had a 1st-grade student banging his head on a brick wall and needing to
intervene not knowing whether any of the staff were knowing what was being
done. He said that that was scary. After going through this process it helps
people to understand first of all that they aren't doing any harm and as has been
said physical control is used as a last resort. First of all they always begin by
focusing on verbal communication. He said that units 1 through 7 are more or
less about personal safety. Unit 8 is where there is training for physical control.
There are some states in the Country and some districts in states where they
don't allow hands-on control on students. In those states they basically skip unit
8 and go on to unit 9. Comm. Kruse asked “we do step 8 though here in NH?”
Prin. Paul responded “yes, there is a statute that gives the right to do that.”
     Comm. Beaudry asked what is taught regarding personal safety. Prin. Paul
said unit 8 talks about if you have a student that is harming themselves or
someone else how to step in. Comm. Beaudry said “to restrain the student but

Curriculum & Instruction Committee          20                        April 17, 2006
not to injure yourself.” Prin. Paul agreed.
     Asst. Supt. Burkush said “I don't think that we can stress enough that actually
teachers, para-professionals, and administrators do indeed use this on a daily
basis because they learn all of those first parts about verbal and non-verbal
communication that you can be giving. So it is actually used every day with
every student in every situation. It is just that end part, the last resort for the
physical restraint, that we hope that we never have to use. It is a very good
     Comm. Langton asked “do we currently have someone trained in this at every
one of our schools?” Prin. Paul said he couldn't say. Since 2001 everyone was
trained. There were at least 2 per school and the high schools had 4 people
trained. But those people lost their certification. In order for certified instructors
to keep their certification there had to be 2 full sessions per year but somehow
the majority had gotten their first session completed but they never followed
through with their second session. Prin. Paul said “we 4 were the only ones who
complied with ongoing certification.”
     Chairman Labanaris asked is this the only program like this that is out there.
Why was this program selected over the others? Prin. Paul said that he brought
it to the attention of Asst. Supt. Burkush back in 1999. Asst. Supt. Burkush said
that Prin. Paul was trained in this. At the time the District was contracting out to
an area agency which was the Moore Center. They were doing MOAB and
Solve training. The Board policy at the time was written up as a non-violent
passive restraint policy. That fit better with the CIPI Program so that is why the
District changed to go with CIPI. Prin. Paul referred to a blue sheet that was
included in the handout material. He said that that sheet includes the names of
training programs on prevention and physical restraint. He said that there are
other programs available. Chairman Labanaris asked “I see the mention of the
MOAB one but that did not fit our model as well as this one?” Asst. Supt.
Burkush said that at the time it wasn't as popular but the Moore Center Services
who we were contracting with were using Solve but people were talking more
about this CIPI being a better model. So at the time she and then Asst. Supt.
Hamblett and some other people looked into it. The District had a trainer and
Title V funds were used to train the whole District as approved through that grant
funding source. Prin. Paul said that all of the programs have similarities.
     Ms. Pierce said that one of the exceptional qualities of this program is the
preventive aspect of it. The focus is more on prevention than in other programs
that are available. The program takes one through the different levels that a
crisis will build and it works out how to respond. For example if x happens then
you need to be supportive or directing or setting limits or whatever. It is like 98%
prevention and very little of the actual hands-on. And that is the way it is in the
everyday world because the hands-on is very rare.
     Chairman Labanaris asked if the cost of this program is similar to other
programs that are comparable. Prin. Paul said that he doesn't have those
statistics. This is the program that he had originally been trained in 12 years ago.
His understanding is that the cost really hasn't gone up that much over the years.
Chairman Labanaris said “this seems to be quite an important program keeping

Curriculum & Instruction Committee         21                        April 17, 2006
youngsters safe and teachers and anyone who is working with kids as well as
themselves but we've all lost certification so what is the problem, Mr.
Superintendent.” Supt. Ludwell replied “money.” He said “I believe the amount
requested this year was around $40,000. I'm not sure that that made it through
the budget process.” Comm. Beaudry said “with that being said it frustrates me
in a lot of ways that we handed in $1.2million last year and we're going to hand in
another $1.6million plus this year and every year we've handed in money yet this
program has sat stagnant. We have student and teacher safety at stake here. I
think that instead of giving money back we should be implementing programs
that are going to have safety for our students and our teachers. I hope that we
look at this this year with some of the surplus money and at least look at the
certifications for the teachers so that they are certified to instruct others. It
wouldn't put the burden on the 4 individuals that we see standing before us
today.” Chairman Labanaris said “the Administration is here and if the
Committee expresses itself with regard to whatever monies we have left over
using at least some of that money to train the people who are necessary to be
instructors so that we can get this program once again that seems critical. I
mean not even just important but it seems critical. So maybe the Administration
could look into that.”
    Comm. Kruse said that he would make 2 related points to that. One is that he
would recommend if the District were to implement this that we set up a
staggered system so we don't face the same situation where everyone runs out
at the same time. He said that he knows that there had been discussion about
grant opportunities during the Finance Committee's budget work sessions. This
strikes him as one of those areas that likely if we were to work through some of
the contacts that the District has with the Chamber of Commerce and the
different businesses located here in Manchester this would be a perfect
opportunity for a business to say they are going to step up and help the District
implement some very important safety training and measures in the District. It is
good PR for them obviously and more important than that it enables us to
accomplish an important objective for the District.
    Comm. Langton said that she concurs both with Comm. Kruse and Comm.
Beaudry. She thinks that this is an important issue. The cost of it could quite
outweigh any liability that we could have later. Keeping kids and teachers safe
should be #1. She agrees with a staggered system. It sounds like at one point
there were too many instructors and not enough certified staff. Prin. Paul said
that was correct. He referred to the handout information and he said that the
proposal calls for a 3-year certification cycle. There would be 2 sessions during
the year.
    Comm. Beaudry said “I don't know if there are any statistics of teachers in the
District getting injured by students and needing to go on workmen's comp
because of their injuries. If you have one teacher injured who could be out for
several weeks that could be enough to pay for the program.”
    Chairman Labanaris said “on behalf of the Committee we're really going to
stress to the Administration, at least from our point of view, that we're very
interested in having this program implemented with any monies that are available

Curriculum & Instruction Committee        22                       April 17, 2006
to us from now through June 30.”
    Mrs. Brisson, the District's federal grants administrator, said that she had a
question. She asked “you say that a few years back everyone had been trained
in this so is there any data available about how effective this training has been?”
Prin. Paul said that there isn't any data because they didn't have one central
committee made up of administrators and teachers to look at that type of data.
He had at one time recommended such a committee but it never came to be. He
said that the 4 of them have full-time jobs and they do take on the training. Such
a thing would have to be done collaboratively but there hasn't been the time to do
that. Mrs. Brisson said that she knows that there are some other behavior
programs going on throughout the District. Possibly the administrators and
teachers could be surveyed as to what they think might be effective as a District-
wide initiative. Chairman Labanaris said “sure, that would be left up to the
Superintendent. Another thought is there is a District grant writer and maybe we
might go to her to see if there might be any grants out there that could fund this
worthy cause.” Chairman Labanaris thanked Prin. Paul and the others for
coming before the Committee.

Request for Paraprofessional
    Asst. Supt. Burkush said that there is a request for a paraprofessional for
Gossler Park Elementary School. This is a special education issue. She can't go
into details because of confidentiality but the current resources at the school are
not sufficient to meet the needs of IEPs. The proposal is that this para-
professional would be for just the remainder of this current school year. Ms.
DeFrancis has determined the fiscal impact of this position. Prior to the next
school year they would need to look again as to whether that need would still
    Comm. Kruse made a motion to approve the request for a
paraprofessional for Gossler Park Elementary School. Comm. Soucy
seconded the motion. The motion passed by unanimous vote.
    Comm. Beaudry asked how are the para-professionals designated to the
schools and how the requests are made to get a para-professional. He is aware
of a school that has a child that is handicapped and they have a half-day para-
professional but there isn't one for the afternoon. Asst. Supt. Burkush said that
principals would fill out a staff requisition form. They need to do an updated
analysis each time they might make a request as to how they are currently using
their staffing pattern. If anything has changed in terms of students' individual
education plans the principals are discouraged from having para-professionals
from working in the office as some have placements there. It is a goal
throughout the year for students to become less and less reliant on para-
professionals so they do expect that the principals would do an analysis. They
send all of that information to her office. They go through each individual with an
IEP plan and they write who the para-professionals are assisting and it is
documented on each IEP and it is further documented on their SPED data
information system paperwork. She said “we do make sure that the coverage is

Curriculum & Instruction Committee        23                       April 17, 2006
legitimized and justified through IEPs. Principals are requested to submit that
data to us prior to the request being forwarded to the C & I Committee.” She said
that she has all of the required paperwork associated with the request from
Gossler Park School.
    Comm. Beaudry asked “you say that the principal has to give an analysis of
the utilization of their personnel but are you talking about just para-professional
personnel or everybody?” Asst. Supt. Burkush replied “all of their staff. Different
schools may have para-professionals or certified staff that are working with
students with disabilities. A couple of years ago they started saying to the
principals that it would be more valuable and more efficient for staff to be certified
because if they have non-certified staff then the certified staff have to supervise
the non-certified staff and they have to write all of the lesson plans etc. So that
direct service is more preferable for students. Some of the schools did do that so
they are asked to be sure that they provide the SPED office with what their SPED
staff are doing as they go into the classroom or if they are doing pull-out or if they
are ding Resource Room services.” Comm. Beaudry said “with the situation I
referred to there is a para-professional in the morning so there must be a need
so I don't understand how that need stops in the afternoon when the physical
capacity of the child is the same.” Chairman Labanaris asked Comm. Beaudry to
speak directly with Asst. Supt. Burkush after the meeting about this for privacy
purposes. Comm. Beaudry agreed.

Request for Early Release Dates for Professional Development
     Asst. Supt. Bass said that this year there is a request for a series of early-
release dates at the middle and secondary schools. These times have been
found to have been very successful for the schools to continue on many of the
initiatives underway as well as seriously looking at the NECAP and NHEIAP
issues. After discussion with his colleagues, they are proposing a consolidated
group of dates for early-release dates at all 3 levels. The request is for 6 early-
release dates for next year. Those dates are October 11 and November 28 of
2006 and January 11, February 14, March 22, and April 10 of 2007.
     Comm. Kruse asked if the dates are all Fridays. He asked whether an effort
is made to get early-release dates on Fridays in order that it creates a nice week-
end situation for folks or is the aim not to do that. Asst. Supt. Bass said that he
didn't think that had been thought about but certainly it is something that could be
looked at. Chairman Labanaris asked if Comm. Kruse was referring to this set of
dates for them to be reviewed so that they could all fall on a Friday. Comm.
Kruse said he had just thought about the idea. If it is possible to do it for this
year that would be great but if not that would be fine. He throws the idea out for
food for thought.
     Comm. Langton said “I know that these dates are made available when the
early calendar is sent home but it may be helpful to some parents who may not
be conscientious about putting things down in their personal calendar to send a
reminder to parents perhaps on the report cards or on some other material that
goes home to parents periodically. That may alleviate some parents getting off
guard when realizing that tomorrow may be an early-release date. They wouldn't

Curriculum & Instruction Committee         24                        April 17, 2006
need to then panic about child care etc.” Asst. Supt. Bass said that he is sure
that the principals make sure that that information gets out and reminders are
sent to parents in a timely fashion.
    Comm. Soucy referred to the last line on the background sheet that states
“principals at all levels will lay out a plan on how these dates are to be used and
why.” She asked are they determining the subject matter of the professional
development. Are they going to be coordinating whether they would be looking
at testing results or would they be scheduling things?
    Supt. Ludwell said that it is a combination. The intent is for the principal after
consulting with his or her staff to look at the primary goals of that school and to
work on those goals. One of the real advantages of having all of the schools on
the same dates is as the District continues to work on the District In Need of
Improvement plan it will allow Districtwide opportunities to get together. Also,
teachers over and over again say that they need to provide that articulation
between and among grade levels. So now the elementary-grade level teachers
would have an opportunity to work with middle-school level teachers and some of
the middle-school teachers could work with the high-school level teachers.
There is a real advantage there.
    Chairman Labanaris asked if principals would have enough time to lay out a
full plan for the full year if they begin in the fall when the first date is October 11
and why they can't begin that at an earlier date in the spring before school ends.
Asst. Supt. Bass said “we could have it ready for June but I wanted to at this
point in time give them the opportunity to look at some changes that might occur
over the summer as they are preparing for the next year. Many times with
different faculty and different issues that come in through the summer you hit the
ground running in September and you want to be in a position to say 'Ok with that
issue in mind I'd like to be able to add the following components'. They could
have something ready for June and then in the fall if they need to make any
changes subsequent to that they would be able to do so.” Chairman Labanaris
said that she is not trying to say that the plan should be finished by the end of the
year but at least to have some template about what they would be doing would
be good so that they don't have just one month to get the whole schedule in
order. It seems like too short a period of time.
    Comm. Kruse made a motion to approve the request for the early-
release dates for professional development as presented. Comm. Langton
seconded the motion. The motion passed by unanimous vote.

Secondary Summer School
    Asst. Supt. Bass introduced Mr. McGeough, the new Summer School director
for this year. Enclosed in the agenda material was a list of the courses that will
be being offered this year. Asst. Supt. Bass said that he is pleased to announce
that Mr. McGeough and his colleagues have got the Summer School information
onto the District's website. Chairman Labanaris said that she had the opportunity
to go to the website that morning and she was very pleased to see that people
can even download the registration form for Summer School from the website.
    Mr. McGeough said that when he first took over the program they worked on

Curriculum & Instruction Committee          25                        April 17, 2006
putting together the information for the website and the summary of the program
as well as the forms used in the program. Then he and Ms. Finnegan worked on
the information regarding the courses. In the past there was basically a one-
page sheet of information of the listing of the courses offered. He has worked to
put together a packet of information about the courses with descriptions etc.
They have put together 36 packets that are going to be being sent out to schools
in the area. They will be sent to the schools' guidance departments so they will
have the needed information. He said that he believes improvements have been
made and there are other things to get to down the road. In the short period of
time since becoming the director and assistant of the program they have worked
after school and on their own time to develop the packets of information and the
information provided on the website. They are also working on a new grading
program where the students' marks will be able to be posted much faster than in
the past. He said that he welcomes any suggestions or criticisms regarding the
website or other things associated with the program.
    Comm. Kruse made a motion to approve the course offerings and to
approve West High School as the site for the Summer School. Comm.
Soucy seconded the motion.
    Comm. Beaudry asked if the information regarding the hot and cold breakfast
items that will be for sale in the cafeteria on the days of the Summer School
could provide the cost for the items. Parents would be able to know this
information prior which would be helpful. Mr. McGeough said that there will be a
flier going out about this and it will be included in the packets and they will be
sent out separately as well. The flier will have a breakdown of the meals, the
prices, the nutrition value etc. so parents will know ahead of time. Comm.
Beaudry asked if students will have a meal card for the Summer School program
or will they have to pay cash. Mr. McGeough said that they would need to use
    Comm. Kruse thanked Mr. McGeough for putting together the information
packet. It is very thorough and it clearly lays out what the program is going to
look like. He said that he hasn't had a chance to get onto the website but he is
delighted to hear that it is there. He asked about phys ed under the course
descriptions. He asked if this will be offered more as an enrichment course or
are students taking phys ed because they are failing it or because they're not
able to fit it into their schedule. Mr. McGeough said that the answer comes on 3
different fronts. He said that it is offered at the middle and high school levels. He
said that from the feedback they got from the principals that was the #1 issue
they said that they needed. A couple of months ago he started to look into other
summer schools and he saw phys ed courses being offered. When he saw that
he started to question whether it should be part of the offerings. So with the
feedback he was receiving from the principals that there was a demand for it he
quickly looked for an instructor. He found one and he filled him in on how it was
really needed. Many phys ed classes are really packed. Comm. Kruse asked
“what drives that demand for this class?” Mr. McGeough said “I was told that a
lot of students are not passing it, some because they are not in shape or some
just don't want to keep up.” He said that he wanted to provide the opportunity

Curriculum & Instruction Committee         26                       April 17, 2006
because “if we have a demand then we should meet that demand.” One of his
goals is to have a feedback policy at the end of the year to get feedback from the
instructors and from parents about what happened. He would be able to have
more to his answer regarding phys ed come September once they see how
things came out regarding the course. Comm. Kruse said “we appreciate very
much the approach Mr. McGeough is taking where he is looking at the model and
he is trying some things out with a plan to analyze them and to come back and
look at what happens. This is a terrific approach.”
    Comm. Soucy said this was a question for Administration. When she looked
at the registration form she noted that the District collects credit card information.
She asked if the District has a policy on securing that information. Supt. Ludwell
said that he is not sure. He would look into that. Comm. Soucy said that the
reason the question occurred to her is because she does track legislation as part
of her job. The State if it will be enacted this year in political sub-divisions of the
State which would include the District would be responsible for notifying people if
there were ever a breach of security. That legislation looks like it is potentially
going to pass so that would become effective. Her concern was that the District
secure this information that is gathered and it should either be made part of a file
that is locked but that it not be left out and subject to being taken or used in any
    Comm. Beaudry asked if the students know what credits they would receive
for the courses they would take. For example, Introduction to Art, would that be
a one credit course or a half-credit course. Maybe that would be information to
include with the course offerings and descriptions. Asst. Supt. Bass said that at
present there are no credits offered for enrichment courses. They just go on a
student's transcripts. He said that there had been a discussion about that a
couple of years ago but at this point in time there have not been changes made
in that regard. They're basically for enrichment purposes with no credit attached
. Comm. Beaudry said “but art is a credit subject in high school so why would the
Introduction to Art course be an enrichment course and not a course for credit.”
Asst. Supt. Bass said “going back to the discussion that we had a couple of years
ago the concern was over the amount of time that was being placed in the
Summer School program. The Summer School program by its nature is basically
designed to remediate for courses that students have had difficulty with over the
course of the year. It is not designed as a full replacement for a course that a
student would take during semester 1 or semester 2. Therefore, the enrichment
really doesn't meet the standard in terms of the time and the curriculum design
that is placed at the school level. Until we come up with a better position on that
we are not able to offer credit at this point in time.” Comm. Beaudry asked “so if
I'm a student in high school and I take an art class and I fail that art class I can't
go to Summer School and take the Introduction to Art course and get a credit?”
Asst. Supt. Bass said that is 2 different situations. The first one is if a student
wants to take the art class because they're interested in art for art's sake then it
would be an enrichment class and they would not get credit. If you flunked an art
class and you wanted to go back to get credit for that class then you could take it
and you would get credit for it.”

Curriculum & Instruction Committee          27                        April 17, 2006
    Chairman Labanaris said that she had some questions. She asked about the
world language courses that are being offered. She asked “would there be any
reason why we would be offering the course 'Spanish for Native Speakers'? Are
there Spanish people who are native speakers that have failed that class so that
would be why we're offering it?” She said that there was a “Spanish for Native
Speakers” class given at Central High School and they dropped that class. So
she was very surprised to see that as an offering in the Summer School. She
asked Mr. McGeough to speak to that.
    Mr. McGeough said that when he came aboard last year he observed as
much as he could and he constantly heard from people questions about the
language of Spanish. Questions came up from several parents that came in.
There are many people of different Spanish backgrounds in Manchester and
they're basically looking for that type of course. So he felt that it should be part of
the curriculum and he put it in. He said “I feel there is a calling for it but if we
don't have 8 to 10 students it is not going to go. But I was there last year and
with the limited insight I had to the program that class came up enough that I felt
it would be a good enrichment course to put out there.” Chairman Labanaris
asked “so are you saying that if I were a student and I wanted to take for
example Spanish II in the summertime as a preview to the course that I would be
taking in the fall that I could take Spanish II as an accelerated student if I were
one or I could take it as a make-up class if I failed it during the regular school
year. Is that correct?” Mr. McGeough said “it is an enrichment course. If it's a
case that you had taken the course and failed it during the school year and you
wanted to take it during Summer School as a make-up class then you would
have to have the principal's OK on that. If you fail a course you need to have the
principal's OK to take a course as a make-up.” Chairman Labanaris said “and
that pertains to all of these classes here.” Mr. McGeough agreed. Chairman
Labanaris said “so the class “Spanish for Native Speakers”, you're adding this
class for enrichment purposes.” Mr. McGeough said that the basic purpose for
offering that course at this time was for enrichment.
    Chairman Labanaris said “the other courses that are listed here such as
Health Education, Physical Education, Introduction to Art, and Introduction to
Computers those are a list of courses that are more or less for enrichment
purposes.” Mr. McGeough said that is true. Most of those courses were there
from the past. Next year he would like to send out a survey asking all of the
students and teachers and principals what they would like see offered so he
would have a better grip on that for next year. Chairman Labanaris said “but you
stated earlier that when you surveyed the principals you put in physical education
because it was needed because students had not passed phys ed. The other
courses that you have including physical education could be for enrichment but a
student could also take it if for example if they failed pe during the school year
with the principal's OK.” Mr. McGeough said that was correct.

  Comm. Langton said that Mr. McGeough has put together a great document.
She said that regarding phys ed when there was talk on this issue before it was

Curriculum & Instruction Committee          28                        April 17, 2006
stated that some students don't get phys ed for whatever reason during their 4
years so was that a reason why it was offered. You need that credit to graduate.
So could someone take this because they didn't get phys ed during their 4 years
in their high school and they could get credit? Mr. McGeough said “in the time
since I have inherited this that question was given to me because that has come
up at principals' meetings and that was a #1 concern. When I was told it was a
#1 concern I put the course in because students need phys ed to graduate.”
Comm. Langton said that there is the same thing with art too and for whatever
reason sometimes students can't get it in to their schedule because of other
courses that they need to take. Chairman Labanaris asked Dr. Bass to respond.
     Asst. Supt. Bass said that he would make a clarification. He said “as it stands
right now you cannot take physical education because you are unable to get it in
your regular classroom periods. If at some future date we come up with a
position that allows for that to occur obviously we would come back to the Board
for approval on that. But right now it follows in the same general policy of the
other courses that it would only be for enrichment purposes and you can't take it
as a means of by-passing the regular school offering even if you're unable to take
it for a variety of reasons, at least in this point in time.”
     Comm. Langton said that that makes sense but generally there are a lot of
offerings of phys ed just for that reason that students need to have that credit in
order to graduate. Asst. Supt. Bass agreed.
     Chairman Labanaris called for the vote on the motion regarding the
Summer School. The motion passed by unanimous vote.

District in Need of Improvement Update
    Supt. Ludwell said that he and the Administration have been working with the
MEA, the GMPDC, and the Mentoring Committee with the intent that when the
District in Need of Improvement's sub-committee on professional development
comes to the point where they will have developed their final document it will
have a unified and comprehensive professional development plan for the entire
District that would cover all elements of professional development.
    Mrs. Lecaroz, the DINI Coordinator, said she would do a quick overview for
the Committee to know where the teams are relevant to the last time that she
provided an update to the Committee. The teams are actually moving quite
rapidly through their identified areas that they needed to accomplish by the end
of this year or by the end of the 2 years. The curriculum team has finished their
recommendation for the curriculum development process. In other words, what
process they are recommending that every curriculum committee will follow in
order to write curriculum and/or revise curriculum. Also, how would that
committee be created and what would be the procedure for that to make sure
that the committees are representative of the entire District including Title I and
non-Title I schools and from the north, south, east, and west parts of the District.
That will be going to the monitoring committee on May 4 and if it passes there it
would then be coming to the C & I Committee for approval after which it would be
forwarded to the Full Board.

Curriculum & Instruction Committee        29                        April 17, 2006
    The vision committee has met and formulated a vision. They will be meeting
this Thursday to finalize that. That will then go to the monitoring committee for
their meeting to be held on May 4. Hopefully it would then come to the C & I
Committee for next's month meeting.
    The language arts curriculum team meets tomorrow. They will finish revising
the secondary language arts curriculum for grades 6 through 12. The plan is for
that document to come to the C & I Committee next month for approval. Mrs.
Lecaroz said that she could electronically send the copy of the document to the
Committee members as early as by the end of this week however it wouldn't be
spell-checked. She knows that the Committee had appreciated receiving the
math curriculum as early as possible so this copy could be sent out early. The
document would be spell-checked and ready within the next couple of weeks in
time that it would be ready for the next C & I Committee meeting. Mrs. Lecaroz
said that the document has gone out for feedback twice to the language arts
teachers and to the entire District.
    The professional development team is working feverishly to create a
coordinated professional development program for those early-release dates and
for the workshop dates for next year. They're trying to foresee what will in the
future be a year-long process. They are talking with as many different groups
and departments as possible to coordinate the professional development. They
are meeting with the Mentoring Committee and the GMPDC and the MEA; all
who are involved in helping to identify what professional development is needed.
They are doing that along with a draft of the professional development process
which will be being sent to the monitoring committee come June.
   And with the assessment team, a draft of the assessment program for the
entire District, in other words what assessments are being recommended at each
grade level and with each subject area, are also going to be being sent to the
monitoring committee in June.
    Mrs. Lecaroz said those are the big things coming up with the teams. This
was an overview of the District In Need of Improvement initiatives.

    Chairman Labanaris asked what happens at the book study that is mentioned
in the update information. Mrs. Lecaroz said that there a number of book studies
going on. The book study on the book Assessment for Learning is a research-
based book study on current research that is out there on how to be effective in
student motivation and also in increasing student achievement. Those are 2 big
areas of interest. Understanding by Design is a book study where the curriculum
team is looking at standards-based planning which is in line with the “Leading for
Learning Instruction For All” that the Administration and a number of teachers
have been engaged in for the past 3 or so years. It is taking the planning
process and looking at how do we take that standard in the curriculum and make
a lesson plan from that. Chairman Labanaris said “so with curriculum
development the outcome is the first part and then you work backwards from the
outcome, is that the way it works?” Mrs. Lecaroz agreed. She said “instead of
saying these are the activities we do and trying to fit to a standard we start with
the standard and we identify what assessments we're going to use to show

Curriculum & Instruction Committee        30                       April 17, 2006
mastery of that standard. Then we identify the activities that will prepare the
students to be successful on that standard. Any activity that is going on is
directly related to the standard rather than spending time doing activities and
some may relate to the standards.” Mrs. Lecaroz said that the Reaching
Readers book study comes from the elementary language arts proposal of the
elementary language arts curriculum. They have done a book study in the fall
which was Reading Essentials and Reaching Readers is what they're doing in
the spring semester. All of the elementary teachers are engaged in those book
studies and there are facilitators in each school that help to facilitate the
discussions that happen.

Curriculum Mapping
     Mrs. Lecaroz distributed copies of curriculum maps that were actually created
by teachers in the District. She had blacked out the names because she hadn't
asked the teachers if she could use their maps. And because it isn't really about
what a particular teacher is teaching but it is for the Committee to see what a
map looks like. She said that she had some bullet points to help answer some
questions that have been asked about curriculum mapping. As she was thinking
about the different things that had been talked about the last time, one question
was what exactly is it. It is a data base of the operational curriculum in a school
or district. The curriculum that the District approved in math is a list of standards
and concepts that we want the students to be able to master by the end of either
a first trimester or first semester or second semester or the second trimester.
The operational curriculum of a curriculum map is the actual activities and
content and skills that the teachers use in order to prepare the students to
master those standards that we have identified in the curriculum. So it takes it a
little bit further. It actually is what is happening in the classroom rather than what
maybe ought to be happening or what the curriculum says is happening. It
requires the teachers to not take the curriculum and stick it on a shelf and never
look at it but constantly check back with their map to see that it is aligned to the
curriculum and whether they are meeting the standards that are identified. It also
establishes the connection between what is expected of students and what is
taught in the classroom because the curriculum tells us what we expect the
students to be able to do but how we get them to do that may be significantly
different depending on the students that the teachers have sitting in front of them.
That would be indicative of the fact that there are curriculum maps that are
different. It is also a means to identify what works in our classrooms. If we have
20 curriculum maps in front of us and we have some assessment data attached
to those maps and we realize that 5 out of those 20 maps the students are
mastering the objectives or the grade-level expectations then we need to take
those 5 maps to make sure that the rest of those 15 other people know what is
on those 5 maps. That doesn't mean however that one map is going to be the
answer. The chance for the teachers to have that creativity and to have that
choice within their classroom is important to meet the different needs of the
students in the classroom. It is a process for ongoing curriculum and
assessment review.

Curriculum & Instruction Committee         31                        April 17, 2006
    Mrs. Lecaroz referred to the copy of the example of a 6th grade language arts
program. She said that there is the month of the year on the side of the map
form. There is the content which are the essential topics for concepts that are
going to be covered during that particular month. The skills are what the
students need to be able to do in order to reach mastery in that particular grade
level expectation. She said “you will see these “s”es all over the map and those
are the standards that are attached to those skills or content and those standards
are the grade-level expectations. So for example, on that copy of the 6 th grade
language arts map of a particular teacher one of the standards is “to identify
unfamiliar words while reading.” And by that standard that is how that teacher is
meeting that grade-level expectation. So they're able to generate grade-level
expectations from there so that teachers can see if they have taught and covered
all of the grade-level expectations or have they missed any or have they taught
some more than others. When we get our NECAP data back in December of
2006 it will be directly correlated to this map.
    The 2nd map that was copied for the Committee was a copy of a map from
Parkside. This map can actually be correlated to the NECAP results that just
came out last month. This is this year's map for a particular teacher. They also
had a 2004 map that they could also look at to correlate the data to the test
results that were just received. This teacher is going to be able to see that what
they did for this or that particular grade-level expectation was this and yes it
worked for his students or no it didn't. If the answer is that it didn't then the
teacher needs to find a different way to approach that grade-level expectation.
    Another thing about curriculum mapping particularly in the educational
environment that we have right now with the number of retirees that are coming
up and the new teachers coming in to the profession is it is an opportunity for our
experienced teachers to “electronically pass the torch” to the newer teachers. If
a new teacher walked in and was handed 3 or 4 or 5 maps of their particular
subject area from teachers within the District that would really help them
considerably when it would come time for them to make their own lesson plans
and to decide how it is they are going to teach and sequence their course.
    Mrs. Lecaroz said that last week she went to Hillside to do their first
curriculum map review. She said that doing this helps to create a really strong
and cohesive learning community among the teachers. The professional
conversations that take place as a result of these maps are almost more
significant than what is actually on the paper. For example, at Hillside she was
there for 2 ½ hours and the entire conversation was based on curriculum in
particular areas. They started off with all of the teachers within their departments
and they talked about gaps and repetitions. There were comments like “I didn't
realize you taught that” and “how do you do this or how do you do that” and it
was all curriculum-related conversation. Then they went into their teams and the
unified-arts teachers also went into teams with them and there were inter-
disciplinary ideas that were started as a result of the conversations. Each
department is going to offer a particular piece or activity within their class that is
going to actually support some things that are going to be going on with the
academic core classes in the teams. As we know, the more integration that we

Curriculum & Instruction Committee         32                        April 17, 2006
can provide for the students the more relevant the information is to them and the
more they are likely to master it.
    Mrs. Lecaroz said that curriculum mapping isn't a template to insure that all
teachers are on the same page on the same day. There are things that do that
but that is not what curriculum mapping is. It is not a lesson plan however it can
be used as a lesson plan. Some teachers choose to use it as a lesson plan.
What has been explained to all of the teachers is that that is a decision that they
and their administration needs to make together to determine if that is an
acceptable lesson plan for them. Some administrators require more than just the
information that is on the map so it may not be able to be used as a lesson plan.
    To the question of why would we want to have a curriculum map. We need to
be able to identify whether standards are being taught in the District's
classrooms. The maps with the little “s”es that are not on there help us do that.
We need valid information that what we are teaching in the classroom is working
or not working. Those reports along with the assessment reports allow us to do
that and the assessment program that the DINI assessment team is creating will
also give us more assessment data so we won't have to use just our NECAP
data to correlate these maps to. It allows teachers to identify gaps or
redundancies and possible areas of integration. It encourages teacher creativity
and in turn affects their effectiveness. The #1 factor in student achievement is
teacher effectiveness and how effective the teacher is. One of the primary areas
of teacher effectiveness is with instructional strategies. Teachers need to have a
plethora of instructional strategies available to them that they are confident and
competent in so that they can use whatever instructional strategy is necessary
for the group of students in front of them. A particular instructional strategy may
work one year with one group of students but it might not necessarily work the
next year with the next group of students. So this allows a teacher to
individualize instruction for the students in the classes and it increases
communication needed for effective transitions. The communication that this will
provide for the freshman teachers will make it easy for them to actually see what
was covered in the classes for a particular student. When a student goes from
the elementary level the middle-school 6th grade teacher will be able to see what
actually was taught in the student's 5th grade.
    Mrs. Lecaroz said that last time a question was asked about why don't we just
create a map that we give out to people that they can use. That is what she was
trying to address a little bit with that teacher effectiveness piece. Some things
can be consistent. That is what they would have on a consensus map. On a
consensus map would be things that we agree upon but it doesn't necessarily
outline what happens every day. Some subject areas lend themselves to a
consensus map in some ways but in other ways they don't. For example, the
sequence of how you teach math is often very similar regardless of what class
you go to because the concepts build upon each other. So that makes sense in
that respect and that map may work for that but the pace may not. For some
things for some students it may take 2 weeks to master a concept in a class this
year but next year with a different class of students it may take a month. If we
say that the teacher has to cover this or that material in 2 weeks and then they

Curriculum & Instruction Committee        33                       April 17, 2006
have to move on would it be better for us to cover more material with the
students and then insure the mastery of that material than to cover all of the
material at a level 1 than to go into the depth of the knowledge of level 1, 2, and
3. If the students only understand surface in everything it's not going to give
them a depth of knowledge that is needed to build on in the future. When looking
at language arts the pacing may be able to go along more logically with the
books that are chosen in a particular grade level but at times that pacing may not
be appropriate for a group that a teacher would have in front of them. For
example the Diary of Ann Frank is a great book for some students and there is
another book about a Muslim girl who goes through a very similar experience but
through the Muslim culture. A teacher who has used both books has found that
the book about the Muslim girl was far more effective with one of her classes
than the Diary of Ann Frank would be. If there was a master map that everyone
had to follow then everyone would have to read the Diary of Ann Frank and that
wouldn't necessarily be the best book for all of the classes of students.

    Comm. Soucy asked how pervasive at this point is curriculum mapping. Mrs.
Lecaroz has identified middle schools that are doing it. Are we doing it
Districtwide yet or what is our schedule towards moving towards that? Mrs.
Lecaroz said that 3 of the 4 middle schools are currently mapping. Southside will
be trained next year. The DINI plan will be looking at who will be next. Probably
it will be the high schools just because our elementary school teachers are
getting overwhelmed seeing that they have a brand new language arts
curriculum and they also have a brand new math curriculum and science is next.
To put curriculum mapping on top of all of that would mean we would be doing to
them what was just mentioned regarding students being taught just the surface
and they wouldn't be able to go to the depth that we would want them to go with
this. There have been preliminary conversations at the DINI level that the plan
would probably be to go with the high schools next but that hasn't been officially
determined yet.
    Comm. Kruse thanked Mrs. Lecaroz for the additional information regarding
curriculum mapping. He asked how long does it take a teacher to actually create
a map. Generally how long does it take to map the curriculum for a course
understanding that some teachers would be slower at it and others would be
faster at it. Mrs. Lecaroz said that the average time for a teacher to create a map
according to research is 3-4 hours. She said that with the copies of the maps
that were provided to the Committee, one teacher's map is the map that was
created for her third time because she didn't like things in her other 2 maps and
saw changes and improvements that she wanted to make. So she obviously
spent more than the usual amount of time on her mapping. Another teacher's
map that consists of 10 pages probably means that that teacher spent more
hours on her. The copy of the math map probably was one that a teacher spent
3 or 4 hours on. Next year when these teachers map it probably won't take them
as long because the program that we have allows them to flip their map. What
that means is they can copy their map from this year to next year and then their
responsibility is to edit that map to reflect what they actually did next year. Mrs.

Curriculum & Instruction Committee        34                        April 17, 2006
Lecaroz said that there is a plan to earmark an early-release day next year for
them to be able to put their maps in and to modify them. One early-release day
should be sufficient for them to do that for those who have already learned to
map. For those just learning to map it took 2 full early-release days plus an
early-release day on their own so about 6 hours. Southside will be going through
that training with different groups throughout next year.
     Comm. Kruse asked “is it a map for each section or a map for each course so
if I teach 2 different English courses I would do a map for each or would I do one
for each of my sections?” Mrs. Lecaroz said that it depends on how much the
teacher varies the sections. For example, the example of the algebra map that
was given to the Committee, the first year that the teachers created maps they
were asked to just pick one course so they could learn how to map. The next
year this teacher will be required to do his algebra map and an 8th grade math
map. So if there are 2 different courses they would have 2 different maps. If
people do significantly different things in their sections they may choose to do
separate maps. That is a choice they can make.
     Comm. Kruse said that part of what generated some of the concerns last time
is if it is taking 3 or 4 hours to do a map and some teachers are doing a couple of
maps and I assume every teacher in a particular school that is doing maps is
doing them you have every individual in a particular school working on maps
spending hours and hours doing it. He said “we all know there are some
teachers who are particularly good at their craft and there are some who are not.
Usually the students, fellow teachers, principals, administrators, and parents
generally know which are which. Ask any student who are the most desirable
teachers to get and often it is the same teachers. They're also the ones who
tend to be the most effective. So part of where I have some concern is with the
use of manpower so to speak. You've got all of these people working on maps
and you've got teachers spending hours and hours crafting a map that essentially
is probably not an effective one. Rather than have that teacher spend time
mapping out something that isn't working I'm thinking it would make more sense
to have that teacher either get a map from somebody who is effective and tweek
and alter or partner up with somebody who is a very effective teacher and have
that teacher walk through that process and show the less effective teacher how
it's done. Because at the end of this you've got all of this time put in and you've
got a series of ineffective maps and someone has to look at all of them to see
which ones make sense and which ones don't. I would think you would save a
lot of time if instead of having everybody doing it you would have the ones who
are the best doing it and then you multiply that across the school so that you
have everyone engaged in the best practices.”
     Mrs. Lecaroz said “I hear what you're saying. I think that what you're saying
has a lot of merit. I think the piece to look at is the first year there is a lot of
manpower used to create the maps but in future years there is not as much. I
can see if you thought that we were going to use that number of hours every year
that would be a huge issue. But I think the process of developing a map is what
is the most important and not necessarily what the map says after they're done
after the first year. The process of even just being required to identify what

Curriculum & Instruction Committee        35                        April 17, 2006
content and what skills are those students required to do within my class in order
to master this particular curriculum standard and for a teacher to say this is what
they are doing so that they will master that and be able to take the assessment
data to see if that worked. Right now with the structure that we have we have
teachers saying 'my kids are ready for this' but we never have the opportunity to
take the assessment data to look if they actually showed that mastery. It is a lot
of manpower but the process of them doing that personally has them invested in
it. If they didn't do it personally then it is just somebody else's stuff.” She said
we all take teacher effectiveness and creativity out of there. She said “I would
agree that we can pretty much identify those teachers that are most effective but
there are those out there that may not have been pinpointed as someone who is
but their data may turn up and actually show that they are.” She said that that
did happen at Parkside. They had one teacher whose data came back loud and
clear that they weren't anticipating. So they wanted to take a look at what was
that teacher doing. She said “I would have never anticipated that nor had my
fellow administrator either.” She said “I would hate to lose that.”
    Comm. Kruse said “way back when we did the language arts curriculum for K-
5 one of the questions that I asked then was at what point would we have a list of
books that we will require that all students will have read by the time they have
finished elementary school in the Manchester School District. My recollection
was that at some point we would get that. It sounds like maybe that isn't
necessarily the case if we're allowing teachers to essentially choose whatever
books they see fit to meet the certain curriculum standards. The questions I ask
about that is this; yes, there no doubt are some other books that maybe can get
at some of the same themes of something like the Diary of Ann Frank or
Huckleberry Finn but the fact is that those are great works of literature that are
culture commonalities for certainly this Nation and in many cases for other
nations as well. One of the pieces that we miss in education if we don't
particularly prescribe which books our students will have read and which
historical figures our students will have known about by the time they finish
school is we deny the students the opportunity to learn the common culture.
Particularly those students who come from elsewhere or who come from family
backgrounds where there might not be a mom or dad home reading to them The
Tall Tales or the Greek myths or different literature whose common themes
permeate our society. Those students are at a special disadvantage. In my view
rather than catering to or in an extreme case pandering to students and saying
'well you can only read about folks who look like you regardless if the stories are
or are not great literature' I think we do a disservice to them. I wonder if you
could speak about are there going to be certain works of literature that we will
expect our students to have read during their time in the District.”
    Mrs. Lecaroz said “I struggle with this issue very much and I can tell you that
the secondary language arts committee is struggling with this issue as well.”
Comm. Kruse asked “what's the struggle?” Mrs. Lecaroz said “we're really
looking primarily at a protected list of books with certain books that would be
protected that can't be read at other grade levels because they are earmarked for
a particular course. At the high school level there are certain books that are

Curriculum & Instruction Committee        36                        April 17, 2006
identified for particular courses. So they are looking at protecting those. So I
think you may see some of that when looking at the secondary language arts
curriculum. The other side of the argument there that is pervasive in the literacy
movement at this point is that if we earmark certain books for students to read
and they're not at their instructional level it is a waste of their time and a waste of
the teacher's time for them to be reading a book that is not at their instructional
level. So if we say you must read this or that book in 8th grade and those
students are not instructionally ready for that particular book than we have
wasted their time and the teacher's time and we have wasted time when we
could have been doing something that would have moved their instructional level
forward. If you read something that is too high above their instructional level then
they are not moving forward at all.”
    Comm. Kruse said “I guess I wouldn't advocate for 'in 5th grade you must read
x and in 6th grade you must read y' but rather by the time you finish the primary
grades these are the fundamental works of literature, poems, nursery rhymes,
historical events and figures that you must know and must have a familiarity with
so that when you converse in common language and you go off to college and
people make allusions to literary references you will have no idea what they're
talking about and they're not always going to tell you. Children who grow up in
families where they happen to have the luxury of having parents who are reading
to them and immersing them in those different cultural elements are going to
probably end up being just fine because they're getting it at home but it's the
students who don't come from those backgrounds who are at a special
disadvantage and I would think that we as a district, particularly given the size of
our population that fits that category, we would make a special effort to make
sure that those students become familiar with those various things that make up
the common culture of the Country.”
    Mrs. Lecaroz said that she doesn't know where the elementary language arts
curriculum is in relation to that issue but the secondary language arts does meet
this week and she will surely bring this back to them. They can either answer
that later in May or they will have that decision already. Comm. Kruse asked if
Dr. Aliberti might comment on the language arts for K-5 level. Asst. Supt. Aliberti
said he would be happy to do so at the next meeting.
    Comm. Beaudry referred to the example of the 8th grade algebra map. He
said if he looks at page 2 of 4 of that document and you look at February of 2006
it says analyzing linear equations. He asked if that is saying that the students
should be teaching the students in her class linear equations at that point in time.
Mrs. Lecaroz agreed. Comm. Beaudry said “but it was mentioned that you don't
have to. I would assume the teacher would teach to the ability of their students
so if the students don't have the ability to move that quickly and in February
they're not up to that point in the book then what do you do.” Mrs. Lecaroz said
“then they would change their map. What this is saying is that this particular
teacher that teaches this algebra class taught linear equations during February.”
Comm. Beaudry asked “so they're doing the mapping after the fact?” Mrs.
Lecaroz said “we do a combination diary calendar projected map in that
depending on when they create their map. Some teachers chose to do their map

Curriculum & Instruction Committee          37                        April 17, 2006
at the end of the month, others chose to do their entire map and project out what
their map would be and then at the end of each month they went in and revised
the map so that it reflected exactly what happened. They may have predicted in
September that they were going to do linear equations in February but found that
grasping relations and functions in January took the whole month so they had to
bump things out in February. They can do that but the map was already in to
revise. Their instructions are that by the end of June this map would be a direct
reflection of what took place in the classroom. Looking at that particular map you
can notice that that teacher has already projected out April, May, and June. So
this is a projection and if she doesn't get to it this map could change between
now and the end of June.” Comm. Beaudry said “so each 8th grade teacher
could project different projections of where their class is going to be at a certain
point in time.” Mrs. Lecaroz agreed.
    Chairman Labanaris said “but at the end they have to be at the same place,
that's the key.” Mrs. Lecaroz agreed. She said that at the end of the year they
need to have covered and the students need to be able to show mastery of all of
the grade-level expectations. Comm. Beaudry said “with that being said though, if
I'm the 8th grade teacher and in my mapping I project that I'm going to do the
linear equations in February but here it is April and I haven't done it yet
something is going to miss out. If I'm still doing linear equations then what I'm
supposed to be doing in April, May, and June I'm not going to have time to do, I
would assume. So if we want to be unified how do you unify a curriculum when
depending on the teacher and the student body you may not get to the point that
you want to get to in the same amount of time.” Mrs. Lecaroz said “I have to be
realistic that that can happen.” She said they had this exact discussion with the
math curriculum meeting today that was for middle-school teachers. Obviously
their concern is that there is an awful lot to expect of 6th graders when they walk
into the door. What we had to have a conversation about is that we cannot
expect that the 6th grader that walks into the door next September has mastered
everything that is in the 5th grade curriculum because they haven't had this
curriculum in front of them for 5 years. They've never had these expectations for
the past 5 years. So it's a building process. So the 6th grade teacher
understands that when the students walk through the door their goal is to have
the students be able to show mastery on all that is for the 6 th grade. But in reality
we have to look at the change that that is going to happen within a year with
needing to remediate 6 years of expectations that may have been different than
what is sitting in front of us now is not going to happen overnight. The research
that we looked at when we were doing the DINI plan is that districts turn around
in 5-7 years. They don't turn around in one year because of that very reason.
With a kindergarten or a 1st grade teacher when they look at that curriculum it is
going to be a lot different for them and they're going to be able to say 'OK this is
what I have to do' but a 5th grade teacher who has been relying on a lot of
mastery and conceptual understanding that was developed in the earlier grades
that may not have been developed is going to have to do some different things.
That is why teachers are trained professionals and they can make those kinds of
decisions in that they have to look at this and say 'OK this is where I can

Curriculum & Instruction Committee         38                        April 17, 2006
reasonably get to'. That was part of the conversation that was held today. If we
know that we cannot get to everything that is in this curriculum do we just cover
everything surface or do we spend the time and make sure that the kids really
conceptually understand what is it is that they are doing. We really talked about
we need to slow down to make sure our students conceptually understand
something and that they can get to level 2 and 3 in the depth of knowledge. Lots
of times we spend so much time trying to cover so much information we're only
doing level 1. I can tell you that the level 1 questions that are on the NECAP
exam there aren't enough of them that the students would be able to score well
enough on to be able to get us out of being in need of improvement. But if our
students got the conceptual understanding which means they got it to level 2 or
level 3 in the depth of knowledge then we're able to build on that year after year.,
eventually we'll pull ourselves out of that and we'll be able to show the 10%
improvement that we need to show.”
    Comm. Beaudry said “that helps me.” He asked “how do they transition from
the middle school to the high school? If I'm an 8th grader, how does that 9th
grade teacher know what the 8th grade student has achieved and the depth of
knowledge they have in a subject matter so that they would know whether they
need to have some remedial training in certain areas so they can move forward?”
Mrs. Lecaroz said that is a very good question. She said that that is one of the
struggles that we have without an assessment program. So the proposed
assessment program that the DINI assessment team is working on will be an
assessment program that will be able to give teachers that kind of information so
when a kid walks in the door on day 1 they have the profile of this student's ability
in all of the different areas and not just a math score. They will have a math
score in each strand or each grade-level expectation so they will know where
their strengths and weaknesses are so they can better meet those. Also, with
the NECAP data that we have now that at least was generated this year, they
have actually broken down for us the different strands in math where we can see
was the student in the proficient range for numbers and operations, functions,
algebra, geometry, etc. That's more information then we have ever had in the
past. So that's better. And the assessment program that the DINI team is
creating will give even more information going into the future.”

    Comm. Langton said that she is a bit confused with this whole mapping
concept. She asked “when we hire a teacher don't get they get a curriculum
guide of some sort in any grade level?” Mrs. Lecaroz replied “yes. The
curriculum guide pretty much outlines what standards and what expectations
there are at each grade level and which expectations should be covered at a
particular timeframe. But it doesn't say what instructional strategies the teacher
is to use necessarily at what month.” Comm. Langton said “that is where the
teacher is depending upon their training in the past.” Mrs. Lecaroz agreed.
Comm. Langton said “now this is only with language arts and math from a 6th
grade, would another language arts map look exactly like this. For example in a
middle school there are probably at least 5 or 6 language arts teachers, should
they all not be teaching basically the same thing. They may be arriving at it in

Curriculum & Instruction Committee         39                       April 17, 2006
different ways with different books or different work sheets but.....” Mrs. Lecaroz
said that was right. She said “if you ran a standards report from a 6 th grade map
it should be reflective of another 6th grade teacher and another 6th grade teacher
but the actual wording and the specific things that are covered in a particular
month may be considerably different. Some people get so specific. For
example, there is a notation of writing letters on one map. One teacher may not
assess the writing of complete sentences and using capitalization and
punctuation as a way to assess that. So they could be different. But the
standards report at the end of the year should reflect this of each other. If they're
not then that is where we have to look and that gives us our basis for discussion
and changes to be made etc.” Comm. Langton asked “so whether it's language
arts, math, or science; if you had a science teacher and you had 5 different
science curriculums for the year mapped out all 5 in one school could be different
and the same with the other 3 middle schools?” Mrs. Lecaroz said “the actual
maps would probably be different, yes, because every classroom is different with
the way the teacher approaches things and the different topics that they do.
They really get specific with what they do. But the standards that are covered
should all be the same.”
    Comm. Langton said that she is having a hard time understanding how the
time and the money involved in creating this is worth it. It seems like there would
be a lot of teachers creating something and yet 90% of it we might not use. She
understands that the standards need to be delineated in some way and then in
as far as how you get that done. She asked “are the standards here under skills
when you're referring to standards?” Mrs. Lecaroz said “this particular teacher
attached them to the skills, yes.” Comm. Langton said “now you're talking that
we can change things around and the teachers have the ability to change things
around but wasn't there an issue where kids move from one school to the other
and they could repeat. I'm trying to get an understanding of how everyone in the
school would get basically the same concepts but not necessarily the same
assessments because teachers are constantly evaluating their curriculum in the
way they assess; however this curriculum for language arts or for science should
be the same for every student in that grade level unless there is leveling but
there is no leveling in the middle schools except maybe for math.” Mrs. Lecaroz
said “there is a curriculum which is the District curriculum that everybody needs
to follow but how we implement that curriculum is what the map is documenting.
Because it says 'curriculum map' it makes people think curriculum but they're not
creating their own curriculum here. They're following the District curriculum but
how they're implementing is significantly different. When you walk into a
classroom in 6th grade at Southside they're following the same curriculum but the
activity that they're doing may be significantly different but they're still achieving
the same result so that's OK. And if you went into a 6th grade class at Hillside
they may be doing something completely different but they're still achieving the
same standard so that's OK. For example we're not dictating that teachers have
to all do the chemistry lab of of the bunsen burner lab. Some teacher may
choose that that is the best way for the students to meet a particular standard but
another teacher may have a different lab that they use to do that. And if they're

Curriculum & Instruction Committee         40                        April 17, 2006
both effective then they should both be able to do them. Lots of times it also has
to do with materials. For example, looking at the Social Studies maps you would
see that by the end of the year the students achieve the same standards but they
didn't by any means follow the same order because they have to share their
textbooks. We have 5 different textbooks for Social Studies in the 7th grade so
one teacher uses the Europe and Asia textbook while another is using the
medieval times textbook and they then go on to the next book so that they are
not overlapping books and they don't run out of books. So those kinds of things
happen. They do that a lot with science as well, especially at the high schools.
There was a conversation about that the other day with microscopes. If
everyone is going to do the microscope labs at the same time in the same month
they're not going to have enough microscopes to do it. But if by the end of the
semester they all have to do the microscope lab then they can do it.” Comm.
Langton said “and that is a better use of resources.”
     Comm. Langton said “my question with all of this is if the teachers changes
this as they go, are they putting it in after the fact, or as Comm. Beaudry said if
the students haven't gained that standard or they haven't reached that level and
you want depth rather than breadth then you're going to keep working at it, is that
going to be a problem if they don't get to the end of their curriculum for that year.
You might have a group that is really bright and they get through everything and
then some but then you have another group where you can't get that far and
you're missing 2 months worth of activities or in language arts you might not get
to another book and you could only do 3 class novels as opposed to 4 or
whatever the normal standard would be. Is that going to be a problem and are
they constantly going to have to be inputting and changing on a yearly basis?”
Mrs. Lecaroz said that on a yearly basis they will update their maps, yes. But to
update your map takes about an hour. To create a map takes about 3-4 hours.
It's the conversations and the reviews and the discussions that take place where
the real professional development and the professional learning takes place not
necessarily in the development of the map. It's the department conversations
and the curriculum decisions that are made and the correlation between what is
taught in the classroom and the assessment data that has been gained and what
is learned from that that creates the most in professional development which in
turn improves student achievement.”
     Comm. Langton asked “with all of the 6th grade language arts teachers or all
of the 7th grade science teachers, do they get to get together to go over their
maps. To me it sounds like they would be extremely different.” Mrs. Lecaroz
said “yes, and we just did that at Hillside last week.” Comm. Langton asked “is
that a one-time thing once a year?” Mrs. Lecaroz replied “no, they can do that
more often than that and that is the schedule that we have to sit down with the
middle-school principals to talk about how they're going to do that next year
within their schools. It should be something done on a regular basis. A number
of teachers do that on a regular basis without the structure from administration,
others need the structure from administration in order to do that.”
     Comm. Beaudry said “this gets confusing and I think we're going to need a
map to figure out the maps.” He asked “if a teacher develops a map and he or

Curriculum & Instruction Committee         41                        April 17, 2006
she is going by the map that they have developed and the students don't achieve
the way the map was developed and they don't get everything accomplished, the
teacher restructures the map for that class. Now the following year they're going
to have a map of that class but now they're getting a new class coming in that
may be over-achievers and would extend well beyond what the map that they've
developed now states. So I don't understand what the purpose of the map is
because if you're going to continue to keep changing it for the student body that
you're teaching.....I thought that the map was a guide so if I was at Parkside and I
got transferred to Southside and I was at a certain level in February when I went
to Southside I should be at that same level that I would have been at Parkside.
That way we'd have a unified curriculum. If the teachers keep changing the
maps depending on what student body they have it perplexes me and I don't
know how this has the District improving in anything.”

      Asst. Supt. Bass said “this is a very interesting conversation. I think the
problem is that we're getting into tremendous depth into what these maps have
on an individual level. I think that it is important to go back to Comm. Beaudry's
point. Yes, there are essential elements in the maps that everyone must have.
So if you're in a Social Studies, language arts, math, or science map those
essential elements must be there and they must be tied to the standards. And no
matter where you are in the District those essential elements will be in the map.
That cuts across everything. You have to have that. As you get more skills and
more deeper into the maps, you get into the issues that Mrs. Lecaroz is alluding
to where you're talking about actual teaching techniques and how you're getting
at these issues and where is the assessment coming from. And how are you
using your assessment to drive your instruction. That's where you're getting very
in depth with the map. If you take things on a basal level at this point in time, it
gives you a better understanding of all teachers within a department area having
central elements that are tied to standards that you're going to find no matter
where you are in the District.”
    Comm. Soucy said “I think we missed the point of the discussion earlier which
is we're in the infancy of this stage of doing the mapping and for the District to
improve we need to create this data over a number of years and cumulatively
use it to improve not only our teachers but to improve our professional
development but also use this data in conjunction with the testing data to match
them up and follow our students' improvement. I think that's what we're working
towards. Somehow in the discussion tonight we seem to be getting bogged
down in the details of whether somebody is using letter writing to teach a
standard as opposed to whether they're using poetry writing.
    To my knowledge, looking over the minutes of various meetings that have
been held of this committee, I never thought reading that that we ever intended to
make the classrooms uniform in that things were done at the same time and in
the same way and manner across the board, but rather that uniformity was the
availability yet we still recognize teachers as professionals who bring to their
position decision making recognizing their individual classes and their individual
students and the needs of those students. So I find the discussion tonight to be

Curriculum & Instruction Committee        42                        April 17, 2006
rather interesting because we're not where we need to be because we haven't
been doing this long enough to get there to look back to assess it and evaluate it.
I think the tool is very interesting and I would think in terms of professional
development individual teachers would find it very useful just to mark their own
progress as they go along. I very much appreciate the information that Mrs.
Lecaroz brought to us this evening and I look forward to seeing more of it in the
future as it is developing throughout the District.”
    Chairman Labanaris asked “at Parkside, how many years have they been
doing curriculum mapping?” Mrs. Lecaroz said “last year was the first year that
they went on line with the maps but we did do curriculum mapping almost 4 years
ago.” Chairman Labanaris said that that was what she recalled so that means
that we do have some history at least at Parkside with regard to the maps. A
second point she would make and she thinks it is what these Board members are
trying to establish is this. If she is a Spanish teacher and she had 12 units that
she has to cover in a particular book but she has a slower class this year and she
only completes 8 units, what happens to the other 4 units' knowledge when her
students go on to Spanish II? She said that she thinks that is what the members
of the Committee are most concerned about and that is what she is concerned
about. Does she flip that map? What if she doesn't have those students again
the next year? Mrs. Lecaroz said “thank you for that example because I think
that will help. That map for that year will have 8 units covered so the next year's
Spanish teacher will be able to see that map and will be able to see that only 8
units were covered. That information may not necessarily have gone to the next
year's teacher in the past because there was no vehicle to do that. As far as
whether you flip that unit, that is the teacher's decision. If they feel that it is
appropriate to only do 8 units again the next year but if that doesn't fit the
curriculum she doesn't know why they would flip that map so they would probably
flip their other map. But what can they learn from that year when they have only
covered the 8 units versus when they would cover the 12 units.”
    She said that it is important what Comm. Soucy was talking about. We do
want to look at data over a period of time and we don't want to just look at one
year at a time. So what worked this year but didn't work the next year maybe is
not something we want to look at but if some things worked for 1 or 2 or 3 years
in a row then we could say that was effective so let's keep that. So to build on
those things that we are proving are effective and that has to happen over a
period of time. Chairman Labanaris said “as a teacher what I really think is the
most important aspect of the map is that it follows the students.” She said “if I as
a math teacher didn't solve linear equations with my students then you as the
next year teacher are going to know that because that map is going to follow the
student so you will know where you have to begin. You won't have to do what I
had to do as a teacher which was to spend the first 6 weeks reviewing last year's
curriculum because they never made it to chapter 12. It was impossible. So I
think when you're talking about depth of learning when you're forming the
curriculum you have to take all of those things into account and you have to be
realistic about what can be covered. Are you interested in 12 units not really well
or do you want 8 units perfectly well done? Quality or quantity?”

Curriculum & Instruction Committee        43                        April 17, 2006
     Comm. Beaudry said “you just brought up another question for me.” He
asked “in the scenario that Chairman Labanaris stated if you have a Spanish I
class and they're going into Spanish II but they only did 8 units instead of 12
these children may be dispersed among 2 or 3 Spanish teachers so how are they
going to track them where there may be some kids in the class that did all 12
units and they were done perfectly?” Mrs. Lecaroz said that on the system with
all of the maps that are on them one can view the map of any teacher within the
District. So I have the students sitting in front of me and I'm going to find out who
their teacher or teachers were last year and I can pull up those maps. That
would only take about 30 seconds. Once I would see the maps I would know
what was covered. So that is how they can track that because if I'm a teacher at
Hillside I can see all of the maps at Parkside and McLaughlin and eventually at
Southside. Once they put other schools on, the teachers will be able to do that.
So for example if there is student that is coming to you from Southside and you're
a Parkside teacher and they come to you in February and you find out what
teacher they had at Southside you could actually go on line and find out what
was covered already in those classes. So that can be a communication tool as
well for teachers. That's one other aspect that can happen. It is not necessarily
the main focus it is for but it does help in that way.
     Comm. Kruse said “just a question that maybe will fundamentally bring this
into focus.” He asked “does the map tell us where we have been or where we're
going?” Mrs. Lecaroz said “it tells what we have done.” Comm. Kruse said “so
it's a retro-active map essentially.” Mrs. Lecaroz said “yes. For example, right
now the NECAP data that we just got back we want to use last year's maps from
Parkside so we can know what took place last year to compare it to the data that
we just got so that we can then affect what we're going to do in the future and so
we can make better instructional decisions.” Comm. Kruse said “as opposed to
getting the maps or the methods used by the districts that do well on the tests?”
Mrs. Lecaroz said “we look at all of those things too. We look at those things
especially when we're looking at the curriculum. For example, the elementary
language arts is going to be coming out with an instructional handbook. They are
pretty close to finishing that. Those are the steps down the line that we use
which are instructional strategies that the curriculum team recommends to
implement the curriculum.” She said “to go back earlier in this conversation,
there are some things that we can reach consensus on and are appropriate to
have consistent but there are other things that we need to allow the flexibility for
the nature of the subject area or for the students. So there is a need for some
consistency and curriculum maps can help us do that. They can also show us if
people are doing what they're supposed to be doing.
     Chairman Labanaris thanked Mrs. Lecaroz for her presentation. She said “we
may have to continue this discussion next month.”

Conference/Seminar Reports
   Comm. Beaudry asked about the report for the 21st Century conference that
was held in North Conway, why is it that we have to send 8 people to the same
conference. He asked “could we send one individual and have something like

Curriculum & Instruction Committee         44                       April 17, 2006
train the trainer or if there could be somebody from the Professional
Development Center to go?” He thought that was why we have that Center so
that teachers can go down there as a group and receive professional
development instead of sending 8 people to the same conference.
    Mrs. Brisson said “as far as I know the conference is put out so that all of the
people that are site coordinators are gaining more strategies and more
information on best practices to bring back to their individual sites. I think that is
the way the conference is developed for the people in the field.” Comm. Beaudry
asked “but why couldn't we send one site coordinator and have that individual
come back and train the other 7 coordinators and utilize the money for students
instead of on a conference?” He said “this is just a suggestion. I don't know if it
is some type of hands-on conference where they get a better benefit by actually
being there but it just seems to me to have 8 individuals going to the same
conference to learn the same information isn't wise when you could send just 1 or
2 and have them come back and train the others.” Mrs. Brisson said “point well
taken.” She said that she would look into this. It may be a mandate of that grant
where it is from the State.
    Asst. Supt. Aliberti said that one of these conferences, although he is not sure
about this particular one, will offer multiple sessions during the days. So if there
is more than one person that is going then more than one session can be
covered. So that is a way to bring more information back.
    Chairman Labanaris said that on page 44 it states that “attendance of this
conference is a requirement of the grant.” She said “now I don't know that it is a
requirement that everybody go or that somebody go.”
    Comm. Kruse referred to pages 60 and 61. This was a conference to
Chicago for mentoring. He asked if this is the same conference that was talked
about in the Finance Committee last month or is this a different one. Asst. Supt.
Aliberti said that this is not the same one. Comm. Kruse said “so in other words
this person who is retiring at the end of June is going on 2 conferences at the
end of her time here.” Asst. Supt. Aliberti replied “no, because we didn't approve
the other conference.” Comm. Kruse said “we approved sending someone
whomever the Administration decided to send.” Chairman Labanaris said “but
not this particular person.” Comm. Kruse said “but they could decide to send this
person.” Supt. Ludwell said “she withdrew her name for consideration for that
trip.” Comm. Kruse said “but the intention though was that we were going to
send her to 2 conferences though by the end of the year. I would continue to
advise against that. We hear all of the time when teachers come to us to say
that there are not enough opportunities for everyone to take advantage of them
and I would much rather have the folks that are here and that will remain here
have those opportunities so that we can meet their needs.”

   Comm. Langton made a motion to go into non-public session for the
discussion of matters covered under RSA 91-A Section II. Comm. Soucy
seconded the motion. A roll call vote was taken and the Committee went into
non-public session.

Curriculum & Instruction Committee         45                        April 17, 2006
   Comm. Soucy made a motion to return to public session. Comm. Kruse
seconded the motion. The motion passed by unanimous vote.
   Comm. Kruse made a motion to seal the minutes of the public session.
Comm. Soucy seconded the motion. The motion passed by unanimous vote.

Scovell Scholarships
   Comm. Kruse made a motion to approve the Administration's
recommendation for the recipients of the Scovell Scholarships. Comm.
Soucy seconded the motion. The motion passed by unanimous vote.
   Chairman Labanaris said that these awards are given out at the schools'
scholarship and awards nights. Board members usually are the ones to present
the Scovell Scholarships. She said that at Central their awards night is on June
8 at 6:30 in the auditorium. At Memorial it is May 31 at 6:30 in the auditorium.
And at West it is June 7 at 7:00p.m. in the auditorium. Chairman Labanaris and
Comm. Kruse would do the presentation at Memorial. Comm. Beaudry said that
he would be present at that presentation. At Central, Comm. Soucy will present
the scholarships. Comm. Langton said that she would present the scholarships
at West. Chairman Labanaris said that the practice is to have 2 Board members
making the presentation. She would work on getting other Board members to
see if they would be willing to do presentations at Central and West.

   Comm. Kruse made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Comm. Soucy
seconded the motion. The motion passed by unanimous vote. The meeting was
adjourned at 10:28p.m.


Suzanne O. Sears, Clerk of the Board

Curriculum & Instruction Committee       46                      April 17, 2006

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