Schools – Rochester New Hampshire News https://rochesternhnews.com Official News Portal Wed, 14 Feb 2018 21:52:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 https://i2.wp.com/rochesternhnews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/114/2017/06/cropped-color-seal-correct.png?fit=32%2C32 Schools – Rochester New Hampshire News https://rochesternhnews.com 32 32 129230579 Spaulding High School Students Participate in Penguin Plunge https://rochesternhnews.com/2018/02/06/spaulding-high-school-students-participate-penguin-plunge/ https://rochesternhnews.com/2018/02/06/spaulding-high-school-students-participate-penguin-plunge/#respond Tue, 06 Feb 2018 15:34:51 +0000 https://rochesternhnews.com/?p=1180 Superintendent Michael Hopkins is pleased to announce that members of the Student Athlete Leadership Team (SALT) participated in the High School Penguin Plunge last weekend. 

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Superintendent Michael Hopkins is pleased to announce that members of the Student Athlete Leadership Team (SALT) participated in the High School Penguin Plunge last weekend.

The Penguin Plunge, held on Saturday, Feb. 3, at Hampton Beach, brought together high school students, faculty and staff from throughout New Hampshire in support of  Special Olympics of New Hampshire and its partner organization, Project UNIFY. Spaulding students raised $1,800 to benefit those causes.

This year marked the first time that Spaulding entered a full team, which was organized just a week ahead of time by SHS Physical Education Teacher Sheila Colson. Temperatures on plunge day peaked at just 25 degrees.

“The Plunge was a fun way for our students to get involved and give back to two worthy organizations,” Colson said. “I’m thrilled with how enthusiastic they were about participating, and we all had a great time.”

The Penguin Plunge is an annual event in which hundreds of people from New Hampshire high schools dive into the Atlantic Ocean.

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Rochester Schools Host First District-Wide Professional Development Day https://rochesternhnews.com/2018/02/01/rochester-schools-host-first-district-wide-professional-development-day/ https://rochesternhnews.com/2018/02/01/rochester-schools-host-first-district-wide-professional-development-day/#respond Thu, 01 Feb 2018 21:47:03 +0000 https://rochesternhnews.com/?p=1160 Superintendent Michael L. Hopkins is pleased to announce that the Rochester Schools' entire faculty came together this week for a first-of-its-kind district-wide professional development day.

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Superintendent Michael L. Hopkins is pleased to announce that the Rochester Schools’ entire faculty came together this week for a first-of-its-kind district-wide professional development day.

On Monday, Jan. 29, teachers were immersed in the personalized learning model that the district has been steadily expanding to its schools, emphasizing a hands-on and largely self-directed approach based on their individual interests and needs.

At the district-wide professional development day, teachers from grades kindergarten through 12 gathered at Spaulding High School and were offered 33 modules to choose from based the skills they hoped to develop and put to use for the benefit of Rochester’s students.

“We wanted to take the opportunity to tap the wide range of expertise that we already have within the district,” Curriculum Administrator Heidi Zollman said. “We want to highlight what’s already working within our district and expand our capacity for great classroom instruction.”

Monday’s professional development day represented a renewed approach in three core ways for the Rochester schools:

  • It gave teachers direct input into the workshops offered, allowing them select modules based on their needs and interests rather than mandated sessions.
  • Each workshop included at least 30 minutes of application and collaboration time, allowing them to brainstorm ideas for how to put their new skills to use and make them more involved in their own development.
  • The workshops relied on the expertise of teachers themselves rather than outside instructors that would traditionally make up the bulk of a teacher workshop.

“The personalized learning approach has proven successful so far in helping our students grasp subjects and demonstrate their learning,” Assistant Superintendent Kyle Repucci said. “Faculty members gave us feedback that they’d like to have more of a voice and more choices in professional development, and this renewed approach does just that.”

Faculty from throughout the district worked together to teach and learn from one another by working through modules that placed a heavy emphasis on technology-aided teaching, hands-on learning and traditional techniques to improve their classrooms.

The day featured a wide variety of sessions, including ones on using tech tools from Google, as well as a module on an online math program that relies on the personalized learning philosophy.

“Personalized learning relies upon a less structured, more engaging approach to education, and we wanted to apply that to professional development,” Superintendent Hopkins said. “It gives our teachers a practical view of what personalized learning should look like, and positions them well to apply those same techniques in their classrooms.”

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Rochester Schools Continue to Build Upon STEM Partnership With UNH and Albany International https://rochesternhnews.com/2017/12/08/1008/ https://rochesternhnews.com/2017/12/08/1008/#respond Fri, 08 Dec 2017 19:36:02 +0000 https://rochesternhnews.com/?p=1008 UNH, Albany International and the Rochester Schools are continuing to help students to explore science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

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From left: Rochester students Caleb Reavis, Caiden Brand and Lucien Iorio work with UNH STEMbassador Michael Cook (Courtesy Photo).

ROCHESTER — More than two years into a partnership with the University of New Hampshire and Albany International, the Rochester Schools are continuing to develop innovative opportunities for students to explore science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“Albany International and UNH continue to be tremendous partners by empowering students and teachers alike,” Assistant Superintendent Kyle Repucci said. “With their help, we’re doing some awesome work with the STEM fields that will have a lasting impact on our students.”

Following a three-year financial commitment by Albany, UNH has brought its K-12 STEM Teachers Collaborative program to Rochester, enabling the city’s elementary school educators to increase their expertise in computing, engineering and technology.

Through their partnership, Albany, UNH and the Rochester Schools have worked hand-in-hand to make substantial changes to the school district’s STEM program through professional development opportunities, curriculum revision and the introduction of coding into the classroom.

The collaboration has positioned STEM TC to enhance Rochester’s curriculum offerings, train teachers and provide access to advanced equipment that allows students the opportunity to truly embrace STEM methods.

The university has sent student STEMbassadors to visit Rochester’s schools on four occasions, conducted a Family STEM Night and will also send STEMbassadors to visit Rochester’s after school program in the spring.

“From our vantage point, there is no greater source of long-term competitive advantage than talent — especially STEM talent — and no better way for a state to promote long-term economic development than by investing in its STEM infrastructure,” said Albany International’s President and CEO Joe Morone.  “Business has a responsibility to form educational partnerships that help build that STEM infrastructure, and we very much hope that our collaboration with UNH and the Rochester schools will be duplicated by other companies with other school districts in other parts of the state.”

Albany has also gone above and beyond in working with Spaulding High School to create a dual enrollment opportunity in advanced manufacturing that could position them for career placement following graduation.

“UNH and Albany have a deep appreciation for the value of a STEM education, and they have made an extraordinary commitment to our students and teachers,” Superintendent Michael Hopkins said. “In just two years, this partnership has invigorated our teachers and enabled them to take exciting ideas back to their classrooms.”

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Rochester Schools to Expand Personalized Learning Initiative https://rochesternhnews.com/2017/12/01/rochester-schools-expand-personalized-learning-initiative/ https://rochesternhnews.com/2017/12/01/rochester-schools-expand-personalized-learning-initiative/#respond Fri, 01 Dec 2017 18:54:50 +0000 https://rochesternhnews.com/?p=972 The Rochester Schools will launch an innovative new program at five schools next month aimed at providing a custom educational experience.

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Sixth graders Emanuel Casey and Makenna Stevens worked on a problem solving activity as part of the Rochester Schools Personalized Learning program. (Courtesy Photo)

ROCHESTER — Superintendent Michael L. Hopkins is pleased to announce that the Rochester Schools will launch an innovative new program at five schools next month aimed at providing a custom educational experience based on each student’s needs, strengths and areas of emphasis. 

The Personalized Learning initiative is an educational framework that leverages students’ strengths, needs and interests in the planning and delivery of classroom instruction. The completely custom approach is Rochester’s next step in developing competency-based learning, which emphasizes increased student reflection and ownership of their education. 

“The Rochester Public Schools strives to provide a superior education to every student, and we feel that the best way to do that is by offering personalized learning. Everyone deserves to be engaged and passionate about their education,” Superintendent Hopkins said. “Using this model, our teachers will be able to better connect with their students and develop a stronger sense of their strengths and interests.”

Using this method, the Rochester Schools will target students individually and maximize their ability to grasp topic areas and move on to new ones at their own pace.

Personalized Learning will launch next week at Spaulding High School, McClelland School, East Rochester School and Gonic School. It will also continue at Rochester Middle School, where it was piloted during the 2016-17 school year.  

The Personalized Learning model relies on four core elements:

  • Integrated digital content, giving teachers and students a broader range of choices  curriculum choices that can be sorted by academic level and topics of interest for each student.
  • Targeted instruction, where teachers and students will meet in small groups based upon student performance.
  • Student reflection and ownership, allowing students frequent opportunities to reflect on what they are learning and the success they are having. Students will identify goals to improve their learning outcomes and have opportunities to make authentic choices for their learning.
  • Data-driven decision making, which relies on formative assessment data that will support students and teachers as they work to make personal learning plans for success.

With the implementation of the program, there will be some noticeable changes in the structure of classroom instruction. Teachers will be using an individualized list of activities and classroom projects — called “playlists” — as well as flipped classrooms and other activities.

A flipped classroom model may have students viewing video lessons or working on special programs in small groups while other students are meeting with the teacher for targeted instruction.  At the upper grade levels, it may mean students are viewing videos or preparing at home to allow for more work in the classroom.  

Playlist activities would be developed based upon a short formative assessment done digitally, which would provide teachers with immediate feedback about students’ understanding of a concept. Teachers will then use their students’ interests and learning styles to provide them with individualized lesson plans — or playlists — that most closely match their interests, abilities and areas of need.

As these five schools integrate the Personalized Learning model, faculty will be provided with feedback. Each school has a Personalized Learning Leadership Team of four to six members who will lead the work done at their schools. These groups will conduct informal classroom walkthroughs that will generate feedback and support a smooth implementation process.

Education Elements, the organization that developed the program, is working with these Leadership Teams to assist them in developing instructional models, support plans and communication plans.

Rochester Middle School launched the initiative last year with a pilot group of approximately 20 teachers, and those faculty members will be leaders in the work necessary to grow the program to other schools in Rochester. Last year, Rochester Middle School moved to 1-to-1 technology to support this instructional model and is continuing to expand the Core 4 of Personalized Learning to more teachers.

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Spaulding High School Restores Clock Tower With Help of Rochester Resident https://rochesternhnews.com/2017/11/09/spaulding-high-school-restores-clock-tower-with-help-of-rochester-resident/ https://rochesternhnews.com/2017/11/09/spaulding-high-school-restores-clock-tower-with-help-of-rochester-resident/#respond Thu, 09 Nov 2017 16:45:32 +0000 https://rochesternhnews.com/?p=806 When the power came back on at Spaulding High School following the completion of sprinkler work over the summer, the clock tower remained still.

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Paul Dumont First Repaired the Clock in 1999

ROCHESTER — When the power came back on at Spaulding High School following the completion of sprinkler work over the summer, the clock tower remained still.

Once Facilities Director David Totty noticed, he worked to install a digital timer that would keep accurate time to within one-1,000th of a second. But it didn’t work, and so Totty, in a moment of desperation, called the number written on the side of the clock tower’s failed timing mechanism.

Paul Dumont — a retired county commissioner and Gonic resident who installed the homemade system nearly 20 years ago — answered.

“You should have seen him light up when I started talking to him about the clock,” Totty said as he recalled their discussion about the clock tower that first came to life when Spaulding High opened in 1939.

Dumont, who worked with the class of 1999 to restore the clock after it had been frozen for approximately a dozen years, returned to the high school and got to work on an updated timing mechanism that could do what Totty’s digital timer could not — appropriately distribute power to the clock, giving its hands the power they needed to circle the 78-year-old dial.

“I enjoyed working on it, and I enjoyed it for a simple reason,” said Dumont, who continues to tinker with and fix items in an alcove in his home. “It’s a great clock. It’s old, but it’s a very well designed clock.”

The tower, which Totty said is believed to be one of only two like it in existence, came back to life last last month after Dumont completed his work. He also left behind a detailed set of instructions that will allow future generations to maintain the clock tower and help it maintain its place a source of pride for the city.

“The first time I climbed up in that tower I fell in love with the clock,” Totty said. “As the director of facilities, I’m very proud of it and I’m happy to see it running again.”

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Rochester Middle School Community to Pay Tribute to Veterans https://rochesternhnews.com/2017/11/07/rochester-middle-school-community-pay-tribute-veterans/ https://rochesternhnews.com/2017/11/07/rochester-middle-school-community-pay-tribute-veterans/#respond Tue, 07 Nov 2017 15:25:55 +0000 https://rochesternhnews.com/?p=801 Superintendent of Schools Michael L. Hopkins is pleased to announce that Rochester Middle School will welcome and pay tribute to veterans in the community this week at its annual Veterans Day celebration. WHO: Rochester student performers Sgt. Major David Stevens (U.S. Army, retired) Lt. Paul Lewis (U.S. Navy, retired) Local veterans Rochester Middle School students …

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Superintendent of Schools Michael L. Hopkins is pleased to announce that Rochester Middle School will welcome and pay tribute to veterans in the community this week at its annual Veterans Day celebration.

WHO:

  • Rochester student performers
  • Sgt. Major David Stevens (U.S. Army, retired)
  • Lt. Paul Lewis (U.S. Navy, retired)
  • Local veterans
  • Rochester Middle School students

WHERE:

Rochester Middle School

WHEN:

Wednesday, Nov. 8, at 12:45 p.m.

WHAT:

In celebration of Veterans Day, Rochester Middle School students will welcome two distinguished veterans who will offer keynote speeches based on their personal experiences serving in the U.S. armed forces.

Retired U.S. Army Sgt. Major David Stevens will speak about his experience building schools for children in Afghanistan, enabling them to have a safe place to further their education, while Retired Navy Lt. Paul Lewis will speak about achievement and success using the lens of his Naval service to provide practical examples for students and to honor the veterans in attendance.

“Our entire community is grateful for the service and sacrifice our veterans have made while defending our way of life,” Superintendent Hopkins said. “This program is an excellent chance for our students to both thank them for their service and learn lifelong lessons based on their experiences.”

The event will also include participation and performances from numerous RMS and Spaulding High School students, including the eighth grade band, seventh and eighth grade chorus, the Spaulding High Junior Air Force ROTC and the RMS Video Club.

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Local Gym Collects 70 Bags of Donated Food for Spaulding High School Food Pantry https://rochesternhnews.com/2017/10/31/local-gym-collects-70-bags-donated-food-spaulding-high-school-food-pantry/ https://rochesternhnews.com/2017/10/31/local-gym-collects-70-bags-donated-food-spaulding-high-school-food-pantry/#respond Tue, 31 Oct 2017 19:42:50 +0000 https://rochesternhnews.com/?p=796 ROCHESTER -- Spaulding High School Principal Justin Roy is pleased to announce that the Spaulding High School Raider Station student food pantry received a large donation of nutrient-rich foods through a drive at Athletic Instinct last weekend.

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Rochester Public Schools
Michael L. Hopkins, Superintendent
31 Wakefield St.
Rochester, NH 03867

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017

Media Contact: John Guilfoil (City of Rochester)
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: john@jgpr.net

Local Gym Collects 70 Bags of Donated Food for Spaulding High School Food Pantry

ROCHESTER — Spaulding High School Principal Justin Roy is pleased to announce that the Spaulding High School Raider Station student food pantry received a large donation of nutrient-rich foods through a drive at Athletic Instinct last weekend.

Left to right: Athletic Instinct Trainer Heather Bollinger, Spaulding High School Principal Justin Roy, Athletic Instinct Owner Ben Higgins and Athletic Instinct Trainer and Optimal Nutritionist Evan Cook. (Courtesy Photo)

Athletic Instinct, a local gym and training facility, hosted the food drive on Saturday, Oct. 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at their headquarters, 27 Hancock St. Gym members and residents donated enough items to fill 70 large grocery bags, which were given to the Spaulding High School Raider Station student food pantry.

“We are fortunate to have our community support the Raider Station,” said Principal Roy. “The overwhelming response from Athletic Instinct is heartfelt and greatly appreciated. Our students will greatly benefit from this partnership.”

Members from the Rochester City Council, school board and Spaulding administration were in attendance to accept donations in exchange for Athletic Instinct branded apparel. The gym partnered with the Rochester Hannaford supermarket so that community members could fill special bags in the store and purchase items the pantry needs most. Bags were available in three different sizes — small, medium and large — each corresponding with a type of clothing. A small bag equaled a tank top, a medium bag equaled a t-shirt and a large bag equaled a hooded sweatshirt.

“I truly believe that a core value of our community is the amount of support and care that we collectively are willing to give to our school system. I have a great deal of passion and want to help or assist in a major shift in the culture of Rochester,” said Ben Higgins, Owner of Athletic Instinct. “I am glad to have been part of something that directly impacts the students of Rochester. The members of Athletic Instinct all seem to want to do the same thing and was a group effort to collect everything we have to give to Raider Station.”

The pantry, which opened in Spaulding’s basement in 2014, assists approximately 100 students at the high school during the year.

“Each and every day we are honored to be surrounded by some of the most dedicated. compassionate and generous people I have ever met,” said Evan Cook, a trainer and optimal nutrition coach at Athletic Instinct. “To every AI member and the entire community of Rochester, we love you. Thank you for your selfless generosity for those who need it most.”

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Rochester to Host 10th Annual Meeting Between Local and Irish Students https://rochesternhnews.com/2017/10/19/rochester-host-10th-annual-meeting-local-irish-students/ https://rochesternhnews.com/2017/10/19/rochester-host-10th-annual-meeting-local-irish-students/#respond Thu, 19 Oct 2017 15:52:01 +0000 https://rochesternhnews.com/?p=760 ROCHESTER — City Manager Daniel Fitzpatrick is pleased to announce that a group of students visiting the United States from Northern Ireland will spend the day in Rochester next week, interacting with students and residents while enjoying all the city has to offer. The trip will conclude with a dinner at one of Rochester’s Irish …

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ROCHESTER — City Manager Daniel Fitzpatrick is pleased to announce that a group of students visiting the United States from Northern Ireland will spend the day in Rochester next week, interacting with students and residents while enjoying all the city has to offer. The trip will conclude with a dinner at one of Rochester’s Irish restaurants.

WHEN:

Tuesday, Oct. 24, at 5 p.m.

WHERE:

Mel Flanagan’s Irish Pub and Cafe, 50 N. Main St., Rochester

WHO:

  • Catholic and Protestant students visiting from Northern Ireland
  • Friends Forever International
  • Rochester students
  • Local band Bradagan

WHAT:

Students from Northern Ireland are visiting New Hampshire as part of Friends Forever International’s yearlong peace-building program, which aims to ease tensions between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland. Mel Flanagan’s has hosted the group in Rochester for each of the last 10 years.

Part of the FFI program includes a two-week visit to the United States, which gives the students a chance to participate in a cultural exchange while building lasting relationships that they can maintain and build upon once they return to Belfast.

“It’s baby steps to peace, but I can see this is a pathway to an end to the conflict some day,” Mel Flanagan’s co-owner Melanie Belville said. “These kids are considered future leaders, and they’re making a huge difference over there.”

One former FFI participant is now a city councilor in Belfast, Belville added.

The evening will feature an open and informal discussion between local students and the Irish visitors, followed by a buffet and performances of Irish music by local band Bradagan.

“This is an amazing opportunity for Rochester’s residents to learn about a different culture and get to know people they may otherwise never have the chance to meet,” City Manager Daniel Fitzpatrick said. “I hope high school students especially will capitalize on this chance to broaden their horizons in a fun and engaging setting.”

The event is free and open to the public, though a $5 donation is requested of those who wish to enjoy the buffet dinner.

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Rochester Middle School Named #1 in New Hampshire for Summer Reading https://rochesternhnews.com/2017/09/29/rochester-middle-school-named-1-new-hampshire-summer-reading/ https://rochesternhnews.com/2017/09/29/rochester-middle-school-named-1-new-hampshire-summer-reading/#respond Fri, 29 Sep 2017 17:36:09 +0000 https://rochesternhnews.com/?p=594 Rochester Middle School students read for more than 300,000 minutes this summer, earning “Best in State” in the 2017 Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge.

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ROCHESTER — Superintendent Michael Hopkins is exceptionally pleased to announce that students in the Rochester Public Schools are “top of the class” in New Hampshire when it comes to reading!

Rochester Middle School students read for more than 300,000 minutes this summer, earning them the title of “Best in State” for New Hampshire in the 2017 Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge. The school will be featured in 2018 Scholastic Book of World Records and will receive a commemorative plaque and a celebration kit to commemorate the students’ summer reading achievements.

“I am incredibly proud of our Middle School students and faculty for becoming statewide reading leaders,” Superintendent Hopkins said. “The Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge is a vital program that keeps learning going all year and prevents regression between school years.”

This summer, children all 50 states, Washington, D.C., two U.S. territories and 14 countries read 138,399,392 million minutes in the 2017 Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge.

The complete list of “Best in State” schools is available at www.scholastic.com/summer.

School administrators credit the work of teachers and specialists during the year, for making reading fun and motivating students during the school year to read all summer.

“Students at Rochester Middle School were introduced to the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge in May 2017 and were encouraged by their teachers to log in minutes almost as soon as the program started,” said Chris Evans, Reading Specialist at Rochester Middle School. “Getting students logged in and using the program before they left school for the summer and incentives such as pizza parties for the winning classes at each grade level contributed to our program’s success.”

The Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge is designed to help kids turn the “summer slide”—the learning loss which can occur over the summer months—into a “summer leap” by discovering the power and joy of reading for fun. This year’s theme, “Happy Camper: Take a Reading Adventure,” came to life featuring beloved Scholastic characters, including custom Dog Man illustrations from Dav Pilkey, bestselling author and illustrator of the Captain Underpants and Dog Man series and our Scholastic Summer Reading Global Ambassador. The program offered kids the chance to log their reading minutes to earn digital prizes as they completed weekly reading challenges, gaining access to 18 reading activities, including games, quizzes and videos based on popular children’s books. Parents and families also had access to free summer reading resources, including book lists across all age groups in both English and Spanish.

Rochester Middle School students read for more than 300,000 minutes this summer, earning them the title of “Best in State” for New Hampshire in the 2017 Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge. (Courtesy Photo)
Rochester Middle School students read for more than 300,000 minutes this summer, earning them the title of “Best in State” for New Hampshire in the 2017 Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge. (Courtesy Photo)

“Scholastic is immensely proud of the students who joined the 2017 Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge and read all summer long, taking their own reading adventures and logging more than 138 million minutes,” said Michael Haggen, Chief Academic Officer, Scholastic Education. “Thanks to the encouragement and support of their families, educators, public libraries and community organizations, these students have returned to school ready to learn and prepared for the current school year.”

2017 Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge highlights:

  • Nearly 4,000 schools, libraries and community partners participated in this year’s Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge.
  • Students from the U.S. and around the world read a whopping total of 138,399,392 minutes! That’s the fifth year in a row kids logged more than 100 million minutes.
  • The top five U.S. states with the most summer reading minutes read by children are: Texas (28,468,135 reading minutes), Florida (10,243,733 reading minutes), Pennsylvania (7,967,560 reading minutes), Louisiana (7,782,666 minutes) and Massachusetts (7,275,762 reading minutes).
  • For the second year in a row, Scholastic sent two traveling Summer Reading Road Trip RVs across the U.S. to highlight the importance of summer reading and host reading festivals for kids and families in 50 cities. The RVs journeyed more than 10,000 miles from May through July and featured bestselling Scholastic authors and reading activities.
  • Three U.S. Governors and 42 Gubernatorial Spouses and 1 Lt. Governor signed on as Reading Ambassadors to help spread the message to kids in their respective states and territories about the importance of reading during the summer months. Scholastic donated 500 books to the school of each Reading Ambassador’s choice (for a total of 23,000 books), and many of the Ambassadors hosted reading events at these schools.  

For more information about Scholastic and the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge, please visit mediaroom.scholastic.com/SummerReadingChallenge.

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Rochester Schools and Businesses Partner to Increase Student Attendance https://rochesternhnews.com/2017/09/21/rochester-schools-businesses-partner-increase-student-attendance/ https://rochesternhnews.com/2017/09/21/rochester-schools-businesses-partner-increase-student-attendance/#respond Thu, 21 Sep 2017 22:36:08 +0000 https://rochesternhnews.com/?p=583 The Rochester School District has partnered with city businesses in an effort to dramatically reduce the number of student absences.

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Students Challenged to Miss Fewer Than Five School Days Per Year
Signs throughout the city will feature advertisements for the Rochester Schools attendance initiative. (Courtesy Photo)

ROCHESTER — Superintendent Michael Hopkins is pleased to announce that the Rochester School District has partnered with city businesses in an effort to dramatically reduce the number of student absences.

This year, the Rochester School District is placing a renewed emphasis on ensuring that students make it to class by challenging them to miss fewer than five days over the course of the academic calendar. The district has partnered with the Believe 2 Become Foundation and joined its initiative, “Challenge Five: Strive for Less Than Five Days Absent.”

Though often overlooked, chronic absenteeism is a critical issue for educators because students who miss even two or three school days in a month are at risk to suffer tangible and lasting setbacks. Third graders could find themselves unable to master reading, sixth graders fail courses at a higher rate and high school students wind up more likely to drop out. Additionally, students from low-income backgrounds are significantly impacted by excessive absences, as missing school days severely limits their learning opportunities.

To decrease absences, school leaders have enlisted the help of local businesses to build a stronger culture of attendance, and businesses have responded by offering to promote the effort and have committed to providing incentives to students who have strong attendance records.

Over 40 area businesses have contributed to the Challenge 5 program. Those donations will be distributed to individual schools and used to fund monthly or quarterly raffle prizes for students who have maintained strong attendance over the course of the school year.

Frisbie Memorial Hospital is sponsoring a touch-a-truck event in June, where students who have successfully met the Challenge 5 criteria will have a chance to win a variety of prizes, including a ride home in a truck of their choosing.

“We are happy to support the Rochester schools with their innovative initiative to improve student attendance,” Frisbie Memorial Hospital President and CEO John Mariznik said. “It is so important to a child’s educational development to have a consistent presence in the classroom throughout the school year, and we are thrilled to be a part of helping that happen.”

The Napoli Group, a McDonald’s franchisee, contributed enough sundae coupons for every student in the district, and looks forward to congratulating Challenge 5 qualifiers when they present their coupons at Rochester stores. In addition, COAST Public Transit has donated bus tickets to the district so students can get free rides around the city to a destination of their choice.

“We’re thrilled by the strong community support we’ve received as we work at the local level to overcome one of the biggest challenges school districts face nationwide,” Superintendent Hopkins said. “The data both in our district and nationally are alarming, and we’re committed to reducing absences across the board this year and beyond.”

During the 2015-16 school year, two-thirds of Rochester students had five or more absences, while 42 percent had 10 or more. Though the number of students with 10-plus absences declined slightly during the last academic year, the amount of students who missed five or more days increased in 2016-17, from 67 percent the prior year, to 73 percent.

As a result, the district and its community partners will also work to identify what challenges keep students from making it to class, as well as working with area businesses to develop advertising for the program to display on signs throughout the city.

“The attendance team at each school is actively reviewing relevant data and working with families to eliminate any circumstances that may make it difficult for kids to make it to school,” Assistant Superintendent Kyle Repucci said. “Principals go above and beyond to assist families whenever transportation is identified as a difficulty by working with the attendance team to align transportation options to better serve students.”

Area businesses who are interested in providing signage to advertise the Challenge 5 program are encouraged to contact Repucci by calling 603-332-3678 or emailing him by clicking here.

Left to right: Rochester Schools Assistant Superintendent Kyle Repucci, Napoli Group General Manager Darrell Nalli and Brand Ambassador Larry Johnston. (Courtesy Photo)

The post Rochester Schools and Businesses Partner to Increase Student Attendance appeared first on Rochester New Hampshire News.

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