School Board Town Meetings

RCL School Board March 16, 2016 Notes and Time stamps

File for the Civic News:  RyeSchBdRclNotes031616revBfinal


Final Revision B – Provided by the Rye Civic League

Editor’s note:  For ease in finding particular sections using the archived video and audio on Vimeo, the elapsed time is indicated.  Use the slider and the elapsed time indicated at the bottom of the video window to fast forward to the desired section. You may also click on the bold times in the video description to step directly to a section.  The video is available at

Present:  Marion (Chairman), Brandon (Vice Chairman), Moynahan, Hillman, Honda


  1. Scott Marion elected Chairman, Kevin Brandon Vice-Chairman and Kate Hillman Secretary.
  2. Three models for Middle School structure were presented.
  3. The public engaged in vigorous discussion of the models.
  4. The Board tentatively selected Model Two, which provides for Social Studies taught by each of the three core teachers as a separate course.

Summary with time stamps (HH:MM:SS from beginning of video)

00:00:00 In a break with tradition (normally a member in the person’s final year of service is Chairman), Dr. Marion was renominated and approved as Chairman. Other positions negotiated.

00:12:00 NEA Teacher Sparks represents Rye to Nat. Ed. Assoc. – no mention of topics.

00:13:49 Reference to the film ‘Most Likely to Succeed’ –supports project based learning (PBL). Editor’s Note:  Feature school High Tech High founder John Shea was a RJH finalist 9 years ago.

00:17:00 RES – one of our girls a good swimmer.

00:18:00 80 pajamas change hands, donated?

00:20:00 RJH 6th grade portfolios, Natl. French Competition – ‘our kids do well’.

00:21:00 Our kids, PHS, writing skills. Hard to assess how our kids doing at PHS since they are treated as PHS kids now.

00:24:00 Manifests – bill paying.

00:30:00 School Treasurer.

00:32:00 New article on Wedgewood

00:35:00 Rye Recreation, Committee assignments – later?

00:37:00 Assistant Superintendent Killen.

00:41:00 PTA

00:45:00 Boiler, Budget, Technology Student and Teacher surveys.

00:51:00 Enrollment dropping. 23 Full Time Equivalents (FTE) teachers in 2012, 21ish now. Kids drop from 220 to 160 in same period. State Cost per Pupil (CPP) $14,000 vs. Rye $22,000.

00:54:00 Response: Have more babies or affordable housing?

00:58:00 Vision Statement -> after developed turn over to Administration. Goals: Sustainability, Curriculum integration, deeper learning.

00:59:36 We don’t care/we care if the kids are learning more. (vs. deeper?)

01:01:00 Talk by RJH principal (since announced June 30 resignation). Core subject time 3 hrs. 20 min. to 4 hrs. 10 min.

01:12:00 Display of three model options and details. Portability.

01:15:00 Ground rules for comments- stick to facts, evidence.

01:16:00 Minutes across all models ~240 minutes. Vice Chair.

01:36:00 Superintendent:  Role of School Board is Budget Policy Hire/Fire Superintendent.  Editor’s note:  This is incorrect.  Per N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. (“RSA”) 189:1-a, II “Elected school boards shall be responsible for establishing the structure, accountability, advocacy, and delivery of instruction in each school operated and governed in its district.  To accomplish this end, and to support flexibility in implementing diverse educational approaches, school boards shall establish, in each school operated and governed in its district, instructional policies that establish instructional goals based upon available information about the knowledge and skills pupils will need in the future.”

Time of essence 4/15 staffing deadline.

Model choice is on Administration (not SB) decision.

“We listened to teachers, parents and have responded.  Model 3 would possibly require the addition of another staff

Person possibly.”

01:40:00 Kelli Killen: started with eight models.

01:43:00 New SB member, Moynahan:  Unified Arts, Language Arts integrated is fantastic.

01:51:00 Parents/Teachers

01:52:00 Model 1/Model 2 two teachers impacted.  Certification issues.  Sadness about a certain good teacher impacted.

01:54:00 RTI “here today gone tomorrow” instability Fifth grade model.  “Best possible model” then lasts just two years.

01:55:00 Social Studies poorly thought of.  In RJH, RES.  Content disappears vs. PHS strong support.

01:57:00 Chairman states RTI is not just following fads.

02:01:00 Detailed examples of SS integration into core subjects.

02:04:11 Mike Schwartz former School Board Chairman:  “Why did staff drop come from all core subjects?”

ELA, writing concerns.  Consider hybrid of Model 1 and Model 2.  Why take away only from ELA

To teach SS.  Schwartz corrects:  Per policies School Board makes decision, not administration.

02:07:00 Chair responds.

02:10:00 Student likes Model 1.  Star Girl? Likes persuasion and argumentation instruction, practice.

02:13:00 Teacher speaks, cautions about Model 1, outside resources.

02:15:00 Rubric questions about projects – how is grade allocated across projects.

02:16:00 Chair: If kids learn deeply – they can transfer skills to new environments.

02:20:00 C3, SS framework.

“Not a lot about facts and figures”  Geography, economics, history, big ideas.  I can make cause/effect connections, I can research.

02:23:00 Teacher/Parent model 3. Always supported schools, but tonight question the models ELA

Compromises.  Loves integration, but doesn’t see emphasis about reading and writing.

Likes Model 3.  ELA is being compromised in first 2 Model.

02:29:00 Chairman.  Teachers were surveyed Model 3 only 25% support.  Model 2 is favorite.

02:35:00 Question about per pupil costs with new model.

02:39:00 Questions about surveying.

02:40:00 Reading/Writing pushed aside.  Strongly held view.

02:42:00 Why choose a model that is opposite PHS.

02:44:00 Vice Chair ELA is hard if taught well.

02:50:00 SB conversation.

02:54:00 Thank you about this process.

02:55:00 PBL is the wave of future about thinking.

03:01:00 Impressed

03:02:00 RES principal not hard transition.

03:12:00 Teachers, made a difference (SB)

03:19:00 Public input done.  SB and Administration discussion. “Lot of Model 1 supporters but Model 2 responds to parent concerns.

03:36:00 Decision about 4/4 (now moved to 4/13 regular mtg.)

03:56:00 Accelerated math preserved (tiering by skill)