Dr. H. O. Smith School Gets Beautified with Modern Mural


Dr. H.O. Smith School students admire Alvirne High School students' artwork.
From left are Stephen Berry, Bryanna Mastroelli, Julia Roche, Albert Vermrtte, and Hanzla Sheikh.

Art students from Alvirne High School chose to do panels to beautify the hallways of Dr. H. O. Smith School.  Students took panels home and added their creative touch.  Alvirne High School teacher Deb Ballock and Dr. H. O. Smith and Library Street Schools art teacher, Nancy Burnett, conceived the project and coordinated with each other to complete this project.  Alvirne High School student artists are:  Natasha Cole, Kelly Grogan, Chelsea McCoy, Alyssa Sullivan, Kim Francis, and Alyssa McDonald.

Colorful panels were done in a variety of shades and textures that, when combined, create a splash of color and design.  Custodians Keith Pierce and Don McAlman hung the panels this week under the supervision of Principal Scott Baker.

One of the Alvirne High School artists had gone to Dr. H. O. Smith School and was one of the first to volunteer.  “It will be nice to see some color there,” she said.


The Birth of Alvirne High School and the Key Woman Behind It

by Maureen Gillum

Beloved Hudson resident, Maude French (1904 - 1994) was very instrumental in the birth of Alvirne High School.  At the prompting of Alvirne’s Principal Chester Steckevicz in the 1970s, Maude documented the school’s fascinating beginnings in her “unofficial account” of the summer of 1948, which is highlighted in this article.  

Born Maude Sargent, the fourth of six children on a family farm in Henniker, New Hampshire, she lived in Hudson about 70 years and brought national honors to Hudson as the ‘Best 4-H Club’ in the country (1936; via Chicago, New York and D.C.); took the Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year award in 1971 and was a staunch supporter of Hills Memorial Library.  By all accounts, she was tireless in her lifetime dedication to Hudson’s schools, children, and community.  As her 79-year-old son, Gordon French, aptly described, “she was quite a lady way ahead of her time.”  A bit of Hudson history follows, primarily regarding the tenuous launch of AHS, and a tribute to the key woman behind it – the civic-minded 4-H leader, Mrs. Harold French.


Maude French

Dr. Alfred K. Hills, a wealthy New York surgeon and Hudson summer resident with ties to the earliest Hills settlers, made many significant contributions to Hudson.  Hills’ lovely summer estate, the Alvirne (contraction of Alfred and Virginia, his second wife) House, was built in 1890; the 14-room Victorian is now home for the Hudson Historical Society and site for Hudson’s annual Old Home Days and Harvest Fest.  Dr. Hills also sponsored the stone and mortar Hills Memorial Library (1908), one of the oldest lending libraries in the state, established Library Park, and built the Alvirne Chapel (1908).  When Hills died, he generously donated nearly $1 million to the town of Hudson to build an “industrial school.”  The catch in the probation of his will on June 8, 1928, was Dr. Hills gave the town 20 years to establish the school; otherwise the inheritance would revert back to his heirs, which almost happened. 

After several failed attempts to jumpstart the project over nearly two decades, the future of the school looked dim even as late as 1947.  At a meeting of Hudson Grange #11 in March 1947, a committee, including Attorney Alphonse Raudonis, Harold French, and Leslie Shunaman, was appointed to see why the money left by Dr. Hills had not been used yet.  The committee contacted the school board, which involved Attorney Mayland Morse.  “No car ever starts until the key is turned – perhaps this committee turned the key in time to save the bequest,” assessed Maude French in her recollections.  “This was just the beginning and many others worked endless hours before the school was born.”

Attorney Robert Hamblett called French around the middle of May 1948 asking if a group of her 4-H girls would be “willing to attend school for a few days in early June” and if she would be their teacher.  He went on to explain plans were formulating to organize and establish a school, to be known as Alvirne High School, and it was essential that students be registered with classes to commence before June 8.  “Although I was well aware that few young people are eager to start school in early June,” shared Maude, “I was also aware there was a most important deadline to meet.”

On June 7 at 4:00 p.m. – just eight hours before the 20 year deadline – the first class session of Alvirne High School began at the Alvirne House.  Mrs. French taught sewing to 22 of her 4-H girls, while Principal Kenneth Gibbs taught forestry, soil testing, and some basics on barn, dairy and poultry to about a dozen boys.  Despite lawyers encircling the building, representing some of Dr. Hill’s heirs who refuted the school, classes carried on and the six -week school term ended with a formal graduation on July 15, 1948.  This was Alvirne’s first “official” class and placeholder for AHS’ first high school graduating class of 1951.


Original Alvirne High School building.

“I remember making a workbook containing items like a neatly darned sock, a sample of various seams, different kinds of button holes and other sewing projects,” detailed 1948 summer student, Audrey Oliver Allen.  Audrey’s father, Carl Oliver, realizing how important this opportunity was for the town, gladly donated his bus service for the summer.  While many people made AHS possible, Audrey attributes Maude French as “the person that saved Alvirne High School for Hudson.”

Even after the 1948 graduation, many people were summoned to testify in lengthy dispositions in Manchester courts as to the legal validity of the school, including Mrs. Hills (his third wife, Jessie Norwell, who supported the school), Superintendent Herbert Canfield, School Board member Dorothea Crabtree, Principal Kenneth Gibbs, and Maude French.  French called her two-hour testimony before six lawyers (four in favor of the heirs, two representing AHS) a “very trying experience” and uncertainly reflected, “they kept me so late all the others had left and I came home alone on the bus still wondering if I had helped to save or lose the school for Hudson.”

Audrey Allen, who now resides in Goffstown, also fondly recalled Maude French as a “strict but kind teacher.”  She also remembers that Maude’s husband, Harold, would “run for cover” every Thursday and Saturday afternoons from as many as 50 or more 4-H girls who “infiltrated every room of their Derry Street home” when the ‘Stick-To-It’ and ‘Neighborly’ 4-H clubs gathered.  “The French home was often like grand central station, with everyone coming and going,” laughed Allen, “but, remarkably, Mrs. French never raised her voice to any of us; but she had that ‘teacher look’ that meant business.”

One of Audrey’s best friends and Maude’s daughter, Patricia French Rogers, warmly disputes the claim that her mother never “raised her voice.”  The third and youngest child of Maude and Harold French, after brothers Gordon and Richard, Pat is now a resident of Camillus, New York.  “Mother was a firm believer that an education was just as important for girls as boys to have,” shared Pat admiringly, “She was a semi-feminist before her time.”

Beyond teaching home economics basics, like darning socks and cooking, Maude instilled a sense of self-respect and independence in the many hundreds of Hudson girls (age 10 - 18) she encountered over several decades.  “Those of us who had the leadership and supervision of Mrs. French over the years have been most fortunate,” appreciatively wrote a former 4-H student, Anne Christopher, R.N., in 1986, “what a wonderful role model she has been for us.”

Patricia also proudly shared that her mother was the president of NH’s General Federation of Women’s Club and helped to establish the Saint Paul School’s summer program for girls around 1960, which was previously open to boys only.  “She always valued three important things – family, church, and community,” shared Pat, “while not fanatical about any one, she was deeply committed to all throughout her life.”

Granddaughter Roberta or “Bobbie” French considered Maude her “closest idol” and fondly recalls how she “loved hanging out with her” even as a teenager.  “Maude was a natural leader; she was so full of life and fun,” shared Bobbie exuberantly.  “She just loved her grandchildren and family and always gave so much to Hudson.” 

A dozen years after her death at age 90, this beloved Hudson citizen is sorely missed and fondly remembered by those she forever influenced.  “You’d really be hard pressed to find someone in Hudson in the last half of the 20th century who didn’t like her or who wasn’t touched by her,” proudly concluded her daughter, Patricia.


Is There Such a Thing as the Selectmen’s Scorecard?

by Doug Robinson

Every year residents go to the voting polls to vote for their candidate of choice, basing their choice on what the candidates have said, done, and promise to do in the future.  Voting decisions are based on economic, educational, and often times very personal decisions by the residents.

Often times, our elected officials are re-elected, while other times, as demonstrated by the recent elections in Hudson, residents decide to completely change the make-up of their own government.  However, as these newly elected officials blend with the residing body of town government, what is their job description? 

In questioning Selectman Kathleen MacLean, she responded, “A selectman is assigned the duty of carrying out the wishes of the voters at town meetings.  A selectman oversees the operation of the town on behalf of the taxpayers and citizens.  A selectman should consider him/her to be the eyes, ears, voice, and heart of the taxpayer and citizen.” 

Selectman Shawn Jasper commented that the job “is constantly changing as new laws are passed and new responsibilities are required.” 

Selectman Richard Maddox is often quoted as saying “Government is glacial.  It takes time to get things done.”

Towns, such as Derry, have a different type of town government than Hudson.  Derry’s town government is based on a town manger concept, where decisions for the town are the responsibility of an individual.  The town manager is hired by the selectmen and acts as the administrative head of all town departments and is responsible for the efficient administration of those departments.  Unlike Hudson, the town manager has the power to hire, fire, as well as present the town budget to the selectmen for their review.

The Town of Hudson chose to replace that type of governing body in 1992, with the current type of government.  The Town of Hudson has a Town of Hudson Code, and it is the responsibility of the selectmen to perform the duties for the Town of Hudson as outlined within the code. 

Hudson has a town administrator rather than the town manager concept.  Hudson’s town administrator carries out the instructions for the Board of Selectman and works for the Board of Selectmen.  “I carry out their decisions,” stated Steve Malizia, Town Administrator.  “The position of town manager has more authority” based on New Hampshire State Statute.

“The Board of Selectmen is composed of either three or five members, as provided for in RSA: 41:8-b.  The board functions as the town’s executive branch and as the agent to carry out the actions of the town’s legislative branch, the town meeting.  The RSA … provide that the selectmen manage the prudential affairs of the town.  This ‘prudential affairs’ role should be thought of as filling in the details to carry out the town meeting’s votes.  For example, if the town meeting appropriates money; the selectmen spend it under the authority of RSA 41:19.  Or, if the town meeting votes to sell land, it is the selectmen who sign the deed,” according to the handbook for local officials, dated June 2001.

Individual selectmen must act as a “collegial body” in the conduct of their official duties.  One selectman has no authority at all.  One action by one selectman has no legal merit and no authority.  In fact, all official and legal actions of selectmen must be held in public during an open meeting.  The only time selectmen may enter into non-public session, is when the material to be reviewed is pursuant to RSA:91-A:3.

Unanimous decisions are not required for board actions.  As municipal executives, “selectmen can exercise only those power specifically enumerated by statute, ordinance, or bylaw or those powers that are within the authority of their office to exercise.  The Board of Selectmen must also share municipal executive authority with the officers of any other boards, commissions, districts or precincts that function within the community, to the extent that those other officials are specifically granted duties under the law,” continued the June 2001 handbook for local officials.

The town clerk for Hudson maintains a copy of the Town of Hudson Code book for any resident to review.  Questions to specific requirements and specific town rule and requirements may be found within this book.  This code book lays the groundwork from which the selectmen are required to formulate their decisions and actions. 

Selectmen do not have control over specific town officers.  These town officers would include the elected positions of town clerk, tax collector, and treasurer.  As the relationships among the town clerk, tax collector, or police chief is often the center of many disputes and uncertainty guidelines have been established between these governing bodies:

  • The selectmen cannot interfere with the exercise of functions which, by statute, are delegated to these officials;
  • “The selectmen, in the exercise of their budgeting, spending and safeguarding authority have the right to obtain information from these other officials, to hire personnel and set salaries, to approve purchasing of supplies and equipment and to set rules governing the safeguarding of all municipal property and financial assets.” (Officials Handbook, 2001); and
  • While the position of road agent is an elected position in many towns, Hudson’s road agent is an appointed position and this position is directly supervised by the selectmen.  However, the “selectmen shouldn’t insert themselves into the road agent’s daily work, but instead should set general policies, preferably in writing.”

The selectmen are responsible for appointing one selectman (or someone else) as the local director of emergency management.  Chairman Ken Massey is Hudson’s current director of emergency management.  His duties not only involvement of the police and fire chiefs, he is also required to carry an emergency cell phone 24/7 which uses a specific frequency other than the normal frequencies used by the normal cell phone user. 

The selectmen are ultimately responsible for the functioning, efficiency, and level of professionalism of the town departments.  All departments within Town Hall ultimately answer to the selectmen.  “A selectman also acts as a liaison between the taxpayers and the department heads,” stated MacLean.  “When the department heads have specific needs they come to the selectmen and, in turn, the selectmen turn to the voters armed with the information the voters need to make an informed choice on whether or not they want to go ahead with any project.

Each department manager, essentially, has five different bosses to whom they must answer and to whom they must provide answers, advice, and their professional opinion with regards to their specific expertise within the town.  One could say that the department heads within the Town of Hudson are consultants to selectmen, having their own budgets, personnel, and expenses.  “Even though the selectmen sign the payroll and approve the purchase orders, a selectman does not run the town,” stated MacLean.  “The department heads are hired (albeit by the selectmen … on behalf of the citizens and taxpayers) to run the town.  Hudson is blessed to have excellent department heads and a fine town administrator and assistant.” 

Each selectman is assigned to a specific board within town government, in efforts to keep the lines of communication lines open between all governing boards:  Planning, Police, Fire, Recreation, Highway, Water, and Budget committees. 

Selectmen may only be removed from office for violating the oath of office.  “I (name) do solemnly and sincerely swear and affirm that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform the entire duties incumbent on me as selectman according to the best of my abilities, agreeably to the rules and regulations of this constitution and the laws of the state of New Hampshire.  So help me God.” 

Many selectmen fill multiple seats on multiple boards within town government as well as state government.  Local residents are protected under RSA 28 which states that the passing down of expenses to local municipalities as a result of state legislation is prohibited by the New Hampshire constitution.  This law eliminates the issue of conflict of interest and ethical concerns as elected officials oftentimes sit on various governing boards.  This law also allows local officials to serve their constituents first, and then the concerns of the state second, further eliminating any conflict of interest concerns for the resident.

The code for the Town of Hudson also requires that all elected officials provide full “financial disclosure” in efforts to eliminate any conflicts of interest regarding town business.


School Board Addresses Public Input,

Re-elects Board and Approves Exchange City Pilot

by Maureen Gillum

It was a busy, long and productive Hudson School Board meeting on March 20, which included the re-election and congratulations to the board’s current Chair, David Alukonis, and Vice Chair,Gary Rodgers.

Public input outlined concerns from drivers and parents regarding the deteriorating Hudson school bus situation.  Hudson Memorial’s Assistant Principal, Jane Weber, presented a pilot program, called Exchange City, to teach sixth graders economic concepts.  Discussion on sending three Hudson reading specialists to a conference in Chicago ended with the board approval to send just one.  Alvirne High School’s Bill Hughen discussed PSATs and SATs and presented Hudson’s “dipstick” reports from the University of New Hampshire, which showed AHS graduates achieving an “overall B average” their freshmen year.

Within his superintendent report, Randy Bell announced that NECAP test results are still under embargo but would be available as of March 21 (www.ed.state.nh.us/education/; stay tuned for result highlights).  He also reviewed the recent success of the SAU 81 job fair (143 applicants attended for nine open district positions), announced the serious illness of former Hudson Principal Ed Callahan, and addressed the public input of a concerned Hudson Memorial School parent at the March 6 meeting (see accompanying article on HMS issues).  An update on ongoing SAU 81 studies and the commissioning of an overall master plan for AHS were also discussed.  Meeting highlights follow.  Upcoming Hudson School Board meetings are scheduled for Mondays, April 3, 10, and 17 starting at 6:30 p.m. (basement of Town Hall) and should be televised on HCTV (channel 21).

   Public Input regarding Concerns with Hudson School Buses:

As Hudson school bus drivers, taxpayers and parents, Candy Paradise and Connie Liles, shared primary driver grievances, such as the “revolving door of management” at First Student of Hudson; current contract violations; and the increasing shortage of drivers; hoping for some help from the School Board and public to help resolve some of the critical issues.  They also voiced concerns about their future employment and transition into the new contracts with Goffstown Trucking (regular buses) and Provider (SPED buses) and sought help from SAU 81 on this.

In the School Board’s response, member Lars Christiansen expressed First Student should be held accountable to fulfill their contract obligations or Hudson should withhold their payment.  Bell acknowledged the concerns and said he’s met with the bus drivers twice recently and also met with First Student’s new manager and believed that “things were starting to settle down.”  He also promised, in the absence of First Student stepping up, SAU 81 will help the drivers and facilitate meetings with both of the new bus companies soon.  Chairman Alukonis expressed interest in School Board members to potentially attend those meetings in support of the drivers.

Reiterating the issues, Hudson elementary school parents Laura Bisson and Jill Rosier shared their growing parental concerns regarding multiple drivers inexperienced with the route, bus safety issues, and frequent breakdowns.  Rosier concluded, “as a town and school district we need to put the safety of our children’s transport first and need to resolve these issues quickly for the three remaining months of this school year.”  Bell again acknowledged bus driver and management turnover, and resulting problems like drivers not knowing routes, but he also reassured parents that all bus drivers must attend proper training and safety screenings before driving school buses. 

   Exchange City” Pilot Program Approved for HMS Sixth Graders this Spring:

HMS Assistant Principal of Academics, Jane Weber, introduced an exciting national program; called Exchange City before the board for approval as a potential pilot for every sixth grader at Hudson Memorial.  Exchange City (www.exchangecity.org) was developed nearly 30 years ago in Kansas City and has since been replicated around the U. S., including a site in Portsmouth as of December 2003.  Weber explained, this program, in concert with four weeks of classroom instruction, allows the students to enter a “mini city” to operate 14 mock businesses including a bank, store, newspaper, broadcast studio, post office, restaurant and more.  Students interactively explore real business challenges as creating a business plan and resume; using a check book; designing their business logos and signs, rules, and need to balance their accounts and loans at the end of the day.

“Exchange City truly teaches the required grade six curriculum concepts of economics, like supply and demand, opportunity costs, in a truly engaging and exciting way,” surmised Weber.  Due to Weber’s early advocacy, Exchange City is being offered to Hudson Memorial as a free pilot program, where the standard fee of $30 per student is waived in this first year.  Weber shared that HMS’s sixth grade is slated to attend Exchange City the extended one-day session on May 31, June 2, and June 6 and are seeking more than a dozen staff and parent volunteers to train and attend each session.  Viewed, as Rich Nolan commented, on as a “right-on, real-life application study of economics,” the board unanimously approved to accept the one-year HMS trial pilot of the Exchange City program.

   Commission of an Overall AHS Master Plan Approved:

Toward the end of evening, Superintendent Bell suggested the board commission an outside contractor to develop and overall master plan for Alvirne’s buildings and grounds, including the approximate 300 acre parcel currently surrounding the school.  Both Chairman Alukonis and Principal Bryan Lane spoke in strong support of an overall master plan to be developed as an “invaluable planning tool” to address Alvirne’s future needs and potential for such things as a future auditorium, garage or field house.  With the board’s consensus, Superintendent Bell was given approval to move forward to develop an AHS master plan.


A Parent’s Input and Superintendent Bell’s Response to ‘Distressing HMS issues’

by Maureen Gillum

Michelle Bolton of 60 Central Street, currently the Co-Director of Religious Education at St. Kathryn’s and a former kindergarten and high school teacher, shared her concerns as a parent about several “distressing issues” she has encountered at Hudson Memorial School at the March 6 School Board meeting.  

Her first concerns had to do with the “lewd behavior,” “loud swearing,” “mayhem,” and even “sexual harassment” (e.g. sandwiching) that she alleges is going on at HMS dances.  She cited dance incidents where “a knife was pulled,” a “stolen albuterol inhaler” was sprayed in her seventh grade son’s face and others, and the “inhaler container was used to hide an illegal drug brought in by another student who shouldn’t have been there.”

Bolton also voiced concerns about incidents of HMS bullying; “boys and girls exposing themselves during school” and being told “not to discuss this with anyone,” and questioned if HMS’ motto is, “what goes on at Memorial stays at Memorial.”  For example, in one instance, a student was beaten up, thrown in a bathroom trash can, treated for injuries by the school nurse in the morning, and his parents were not notified of the incident from the administration.

Last, Bolton cited the “questionable behavior” of a certain HMS teacher who “swears in class,” “demeans students,” and “belittles” students in front of their peers.  In closing, Bolton specifically made three requests:  1) change the policy to allow parents to chaperone school functions (especially dances), in addition to HMS staff (she shared most New Hampshire and Massachusetts schools allow and even encourage parent chaperones); 2) establish a procedure where students can safely voice their concerns regarding unprofessional and demeaning tactics from staff; and 3) for parents to “get involved,” “speak up,” and insist on a “higher level of standards” from our schools.

After hearing the March 6 input, following SAU protocol, SAU 81 Superintendent Randy Bell met with the Hudson Memorial School administration extensively and prepared, submitted and highlighted his response to Bolton’s allegations at the March 20 meeting.

Superintendent Bell began, “with the initial parent concern, the inhaler was not anything but an inhaler,” and “it was unfortunate to imply that there were drugs included the inhaler,” such rumors often spread but this was “frankly, quite inaccurate.”  He acknowledged an inhaler was dropped, picked up by another student who sprayed people in the face with albuterol.  It was stopped and “consequences were issued.”  He also reminded the board of his earlier report of an incident this year when a student “brought a pocket knife to a dance” and “drew it when he felt bullied”; all involved were “disciplined appropriately.”  Furthermore, since one of the students in this incident was an outside guest, the policy of allowing guests into HMS functions is now under reevaluation.

Bell further reported that typically, “six staff members and a police officer attend every HMS dance” and “in our belief, those dances and students are not out of control.”  Bell suggested contacting the Hudson Police for an “objective viewpoint” of dances.  He admitted that “dances are loud,” “inappropriate language is used at times, which we don’t approve of” and “when we observe inappropriate behavior, we deal with it.”  Defending HMS’ position on not allowing parents to chaperone dances, Bell stated, “Students don’t respect the authority of other parents and we need to have people of authority (HMS staff) who know the students and special issues.”  He also cited that a recent HMS PTO poll suggested most parents wouldn’t be willing to chaperone dances nor would their students want them there.

Bell directly acknowledged incidents that occurred at HMS, including the bullying in the bathroom and an incident of exposure on a late bus last fall.  In most cases, Bell had already reported such incidents to the School Board; “all such incidents were investigated and we believe appropriate consequences were issued.”  We do not tell students “to keep their mouths shut,” but rather we try “to protect the appropriate privacy of students” and minimize harmful rumors, especially while things are being investigated.

Bell also said HMS and the SAU want to involve parents in many ways and “welcomes appropriate parental involvement from every parent.”  He specifically cited such things as the monthly PTO forums which have focused on such topics as Internet safety and concerns regarding my.space.com.

Finally, Bell addressed allegations of inappropriate language and behavior of an HMS teacher.  While he couldn’t “confirm or deny the allegation,” in part because they weren’t certain of the teacher’s identity or the specific event months later, but insisted that “inappropriate language or behavior will absolutely not be condoned” and teachers breakings such rules “would be appropriately and effectively disciplined.”  He also said professional language and conduct were again re-emphasized at recent staff meetings.

Bell concluded, “We’ve made no denial of many specific incidents,” but that “it’s very hard to respond” to such allegations “without appearing defensive.”  He also acknowledged that “with more than 1,000 grade 6 - 8 adolescent students, going through all their changes and rages, incidents are going to happen” and “its our duty to deal with them as efficiently and as best we can.”  Bell also emphasized, such negative and unfortunate incidents are “not common place” and does not “represent the 95 percent to 97 percent of HMS students.”  

In light of recent parent concerns, School Board member, Gary Rodgers, attended last Friday’s HMS dance on March 17.  While loud, he reported appropriate door checks and no specific inappropriate behaviors.  He found “chaperones constantly were walking through the students” and commended the HMS staff for “their continued attentiveness and commitment to their students for a well-run dance.”  Rodgers also mentioned that profits from school dances help offset the cost such things as the HMS trip to D. C.


Project Running Start Allows High School Students to Earn College Credits

by Lynne Ober

College bound-high school students throughout New Hampshire can earn both high school graduation credit and college credit for some approved courses under the auspices of Project Running Start.

Project Running Start began in 1999 in seven New Hampshire high schools.  Currently, almost 70 high schools offer New Hampshire Community Technical College courses through Project Running Start.  Project Running Start is intended to recognize excellence in instruction and student performance.

For students this excellent program provides a way to get a jump start on college at an extremely reasonable fee.  The credits that are earned are recorded on a NHCTC college transcript if the grade earned is C or better and can be transferred just like any other college credit can be transferred.

Students must register through the college prior to the beginning of a semester in an approved class and not all classes are approved for credit.  Students pay $100 per course which covers the cost of processing the registration, setting up the student’s file, and managing the transcript.  This cost has not risen in over six years and is much less than the cost students will pay for tuition under any other program.  It is currently less than 85 percent of regular NHCTC tuition.

Some students graduate from highschool with their freshman year at college completed.  Others receive from three to 30 credit hours that can be used at NHCTC or transferred to their college.

Project Running Start is a win–win program for everyone.  High school educators report that they are able to raise the expectations of student performance in dual enrollment courses.  Educators also use dual enrollment courses as opportunities to prepare students for the college experience, where they will have more responsibility for their own learning. 

For students the opportunity to experience college-level course work while still in high school and the chance to get a head start on their post-secondary courses at reduced tuition is a great bonus.

Project Running Start is effective because there is a strong partnership between participating high schools and the community college system.  High school faculty work hand in hand with NHCTC faculty – including department chairpeople.

Before a class can become part of the program, the materials, and syllabus are reviewed by the college partner.  In many cases, students at the high school use the same textbooks and complete the same syllabus as their peers taking the course on the college campus, but where the books are different the high school instructor and college instructor must work together to ensure that the equivalent of the college curriculum is delivered to the high school student.

“The teacher's resume and transcripts must also be submitted.  The teacher must have a master’s degree in the area being taught,” stated Assistant Superintendent Mary Ellen Ormond.  “If everything is accepted then the course is approved.”

At Alvirne High School, there are six courses approved and listed for credit on the NHCTC website.  These are Anatomy and Physiology, Growth and Development of the Young Child, Human Relations, Introduction to Veterinary Technology, Psychology and Medical Terminology, part of the Health Occupations program in the Vocational Center.

Campbell High School has two approved courses, C++ and Growth and Development of the Young Child, listed on the NHCTC website.

According to Ormond, 14 students earned credit for Introduction to Veterinary Technology; 23 students for Child Development; 15 students for Human Relations and 10 students for Medical Terminology (Health Occ) in this school year.

That’s 186 college credit hours that have been earned by Alvirne High School students.

“It’s a wonderful program,” said Superintendent Randy Bell.  “We think it offers wonderful opportunities for our students.”


New England Common Assessment Program Results for Litchfield

The Litchfield School District has been notified of the reading and math scores for students in grades 3 - 8 on the New England Common Assessment Program which was administered to all students in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Rhode Island in October 2005.  Students in grades five and eight were also assessed in writing on the NECAP.  

This test replaces the NHEIAP which had been administered for the past nine years to students in grades three, six, and nine only.  The NHEIAP provided schools with program information, but was not designed to follow a child’s progress over time. 

Because it is administered to all students in the fall, the NECAP will allow teachers, administrators and parents to more precisely follow the progress of each child from grade to grade, and will provide greater opportunity for timely interventions for students needing extra support on material that should have been mastered in the previous school year.

Litchfield students demonstrated overall proficiency in both reading and math at all grade levels and generally at or above the state averages.  Writing scores were also generally in the proficient range and met the state averages.  The district will continue to focus attention on those students who scored partially proficient and substantially below proficient in reading and/or math at each grade level.  Some programs and interventions have already been initiated, and others are planned to assist these students in achieving proficiency.

Parents will receive the NECAP scores for their child as well as an interpretation of the score achieved.  Individual scores for students at Griffin Memorial School and Litchfield Middle School will be mailed with third quarter report cards in early April.


Governor Announces 2006 National Youth Science Camp Delegates

Governor John Lynch recently announced New Hampshire's delegates to the 2006 National Youth Science Camp in West Virginia.

Governor Lynch named Jack Bouchard of Alvirne High School in Hudson to represent New Hampshire at this year's camp.  Selected as an alternate was Rachel Gallagher of Salem High School in Salem.

"Encouraging more students to pursue careers in math and science is critical to our state's future economy.  The National Youth Science Camp offers our students a tremendous opportunity to explore potential careers and to foster their interest in the sciences," Governor Lynch said.  "I want to congratulate this year's delegates and alternates for all their hard work and for earning this special distinction."

The National Youth Science Camp is a three-week summer program that honors excellence in science and promotes scientific leadership through lectures, hands-on research opportunities and an outdoor recreation program.  The delegates were chosen through a competitive statewide nomination process.

The camp is sponsored by the National Youth Science Foundation through support from the state of West Virginia, foundations, individuals, and corporations who cover the cost of all expenses relating to the students' participation.

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