I spoke to the GWRSD Curriculum Coordinator, Katey Hills in both October and November of 2021 to go over the most recent state assessment and to voice my concerns over some of the information I was seeing. In particular, I was concerned about the high number of students scoring below proficiency level for the core curriculum (Math, Science, Reading). Ms. Hills was most helpful and also shared my concerns, which she presented to the School Board in December, if I remember correctly. During that meeting, I felt a deep pang of disappointment to hear Ms. Hills refer to "learning loss" as "unfinished learning". Now, perhaps her definition is also true, but it seemed to me, to remove a bit of the negative connotation regarding what our children have suffered through over the last two years. It was even more disappointing to watch our school board of nine community members spent more time discussing snow days, debating whether or not New Durham should use the school building for voting, and changing Columbus Day to Indigenous People's Day than discussing the fact that our children's state assessments continue to show a trend in worsening proficiency regarding the fundamentals of a public education.
In my efforts to try to better understand if COVID protocols and remote learning was the culprit, I discovered that our student assessment scores have been quite low for years. I am still in the process of sifting through, normalizing, and graphing this data to share with you, but for now, the NH Department of Education has a pretty nifty portal that does a lot of this for you. It's called iPlatform and it's AWESOME! There are several webinars coming up that will go over how to use these resources. I signed up for the Parent Class, but there are classes for the public, K-8 educators, 9-12 educators, school board members, etc. I think you should sign up! Let me know if you do and maybe we can meeting up to chat about it before April vacation.