GILFORD — The School Board will meet next week to decide how the leadership of the Middle School will be handled in light of the sudden resignation of Sydney Leggett, the school's first-year principal.
The board, last evening, scheduled a special meeting for Thursday, March 19, at 6 p.m. when it will consider recommendations from Superintendent Kent Hemmingway on how to deal with the vacancy.
Hemmingway told the board that he and other members of the School District's leadership team have been discussing changes to the district's "leadership structure." He provided no details, but said discussion of those potential changes were taking into account staffing levels and the district's declining enrollment. Hemmingway said that he and the leadership team planned to meet again today to further consider the matter. He said he planned to have recommendations to bring to the board in time for next week's special meeting.
Leggett, who became Middle School principal last fall, announced last month that she would resign at the end of the current school year. Leggett is joining YET — a newly formed education consulting firm — headed by William Lander, who is stepping down as part-time superintendent in Alton. Prior to becoming Gilford Middle School principal, Leggett served as curriculum coordinator in Alton.
In early February, Alton School Board voted to pay YET $125,000 for one year of services for a superintendent and a curriculum director. But the board rescinded the decision after protests against the action.
In other business, Hemmingway told the board that the district is preparing for the coming Smarter Balanced Assessment tests which will be given to students in grades three through eight and to high school juniors to determine their knowledge in English language arts and mathematics. Students will take the tests on computer.
Hemmingway said one option in the future would be to have the Scholastic Aptitude Test replace the Smarter Balanced test for high school juniors. But he said such a move would require approval at the state level. He said that if the SATs became the standardized test for high school juniors the fee for the test would be covered by federal funds.
NOTES: The board heard a presentation by the Gilford High Schools robotics team which placed fourth among 40 schools in a state-level competition on Saturday. The team now goes on another competition on March 20-22 at the University of New Hampshire. About 25 Gilford High students are members of the team. . . . . . The board gave its blessing to a plan by the Thompson-Ames Historical Society to sponsor a farmers market on the grounds of the Benjamin Rowe House. The market would take place on Saturdays starting in June and continue through September or October. The society asked for the board's endorsement because the Rowe House sits on School District land. However, the building, built in the 1830s, is owed by the town, and the Historical Society leases it for $1 a year and maintains the single-story Cape-style house, and opens it for public tours and other events. . . . . . The board heard a presentation by the Gilford High School business and wood-shop classes on a project to make shadow boxes used to display the American flags used at the funeral or burial ceremonies of deceased residents of the New Hampshire Veterans Home in Tilton. Sean Walsh, the school woodshop teacher is hoping the students will be able to make 65 boxes a year. Funds for the project were raised by students in the business program who sold their own make of brownie mix.
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