Shaker School Board considers tracking graduates’ success after high school

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

BELMONT — If you could go back to high school, what would you change? That's the question before Shaker School Board members, who are considering tracking how graduates fare in the work world, and determine whether changes to the high school curriculum ought to be made.

As an example, one board member said her children told her that while in college they were expected to make oral presentations and wished they had had some public speaking experience in high school.

Board member Gretta Olsen-Wilder brought up the topic Tuesday night by telling the board that a development plan sent from Shaker Regional School District to the State Department of Education says the school is already tracking graduates.

"I though we had started it more formally in 2014 but there is no evidence of it," Wilder said.

Not all of the board members were supportive of tracking alumni because of privacy concerns. Others, like Chairman Sean Embree and Vice Chairman Bob Reed, wanted to know what kind of information the school would gather and how it would use the information.

Olsen-Wilder said typically the information relates to the kind of jobs graduates have, whether or not they are in college or the military and how the school district helped or didn't help them as they move through early adulthood.

Member Heidi Cheney and Superintendent Michael Tursi said there are things that can be learned about current curriculum from recent graduates, but both insisted that each student should be allowed to opt out of tracking.

Business Administrator Debbie Thompson said companies typically charge between $3.50 to $15 per student, depending on how long the school district wants to track them, and the school district determines the context of the questionnaire. She said a former student can opt not to complete the survey.

Olsen said any tracking could be done internally by the school counselors because there are only 90 to 100 graduates per year and most of them maintain close links to their home communities.

Tursi said his suggestion would be that if some kind of post-high-school tracking was to be used he would first like all of the students to be told about tracking during their senior year so they are "not blindsided."

He added that he would like to see what burdens would be placed on staff if the district decides to evaluate internally. If the district decides it should go to an outside company, he said the staff should be clear on the specific questions.

No decisions were made Tuesday night, but staff will be reporting back to the board at a later date.

Man arrested in Gilford after being found asleep in former friend’s apartment

GILFORD — A Laconia man who entered into an apartment on Woodlawn Drive Tuesday night and passed out on the living room floor has been charged with resisting arrest and simple assault.

Police said they were called to the home by a former friend of Jeffrey Goodale, 33, who found Goodale at her apartment. Once police arrived, they found him sleeping in a different apartment's living room and woke him.

Police said he was quite intoxicated and fought with police before trying to run. He was zapped with a Taser and arrested without further incident.

Goodale was evaluated by ambulance personnel from Laconia and then taken to Belknap County Corrections.

He was held overnight for protective custody and released Wednesday just after 11 a.m.

Gilford Police were assisted at the scene by Laconia Police.

Lt. Kris Kelley said this is not the first time they have arrested Goodale at this location.

– Gail Ober

Man who allegedly stole car and hit tree held on $7,000 cash bail

LACONIA — A Belmont man who allegedly stole a woman's car on Lyford Street Tuesday after telling her he had a gun is being held on $7,000 cash bail.

Attorneys for Ronald P. Johnson, 31, have also asked for a competency hearing.

Affidavits said Johnson told the victim he had a gun and wanted her car. After he got into the car, he allegedly threw her pocketbook at her. He is charged with one count of robbery and one count of criminal threatening.

She told police that it appeared he was having a hard time getting the car out of gear but when he began driving, he crashed the Jeep Liberty into a tree.

Police said he was not driving very fast.

Johnson is also charged with driving without a proper license, which is a violation.

– Gail Ober

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