Sarah Gibson | New Hampshire Public Radio

Sarah Gibson

Reporter, Education & Demographics

Sarah Gibson joined NHPR's newsroom in 2018. She reports on New Hampshire's demographics and education.

Sarah came to New Hampshire from New York City, where she was a producer at WNYC. A graduate of Columbia Journalism School, her stories have appeared on WBAI, Alaska Public Media, and in The Village Voice. Prior to journalism, Sarah worked with non-profits in North Carolina and studied History at Brown University. She grew up in rural Vermont.

Ways to Connect

Courtesy of Demetrios Tsaros

New Hampshire schools are trying to keep track of kids learning remotely. And if students are chronically absent, the school has a few options: Call the parents. Send a school employee to knock on their door.

Or, call the state’s Child Protection Services.

That option is becoming more popular as the pandemic drags on.

Image of an elementary school classroom with a chair up on every other desk
Sarah Gibson / NHPR

It’s school budget season in New Hampshire - and this year, the numbers are more convoluted than usual.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

Lawmakers are looking for ways to help school districts address anticipated budget shortfalls resulting from declines in enrollment during the pandemic.

City hall in Lebanon
Dan Tuohy / NHPR

A group of New Hampshire communities is organizing against potential efforts by lawmakers to resurrect a model of funding public education that redistributes money from “donor towns” to poorer school districts.

State lawmakers heard hours of testimony Tuesday on a bill that would significantly expand access and funding for school choice in New Hampshire.

Courtesy of Deanna Anthony

A judge in Rockingham County has ordered one of New Hampshire's largest privately-owned water utility companies to temporarily limit how much water it pumps from a commercial well, citing major water quality and shortage issues in nearby residential wells.

Courtesy of Julie Turner

The state's largest school district is resuming in-person learning for the majority of grades on Monday.

The Manchester school board modified its reopening metrics earlier this month, allowing schools to reopen with a hybrid model in spite of substantial community transmission of COVID-19.

Photo Credit woodleywonderworks via Flickr Creative Commons

A bill to significantly expand access to school vouchers in New Hampshire is gathering momentum in the Republican-controlled State House.

HB 20 would establish an “education freedom account program,” allowing families whose children have left their local public school to redirect state aid to the educational program of that family’s choice.

Picture of vaccine vial
Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Chris Sununu said New Hampshire schools should reopen, whether fully or in a hybrid system, regardless of whether teachers have been vaccinated.

Dan Tuohy for NHPR

A group of mayors and school board chairmen from across New Hampshire are calling on Governor Chris Sununu, Department of Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut, and Republican leaders in the State House to help address budget shortfalls for public schools.

Zoey Knox for NHPR

The majority of inmates who tested positive for COVID-19 at Valley Street Jail in Manchester are no longer considered infectious and have been cleared from quarantine status.

Courtesy of Sarah Wong

In the two weeks since a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol, many people in New Hampshire have been trying to make sense of the news. That includes kids, who are still learning the basics of government and politics. And it also includes many families and teachers, who say with the right approach, the events of this month can become teaching opportunities.

Dan Tuohy for NHPR

The New Hampshire Department of Education is partnering with a new online program to offer free tutoring to high school students.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

 Escrito por Annie Ropeik y Sarah Gibson. Traducción de María Aguirre 

 

Activistas de justicia racial de New Hampshire dicen que la respuesta policial a la manifestación pro-Trump que se dio en el Capitolio nacional el pasado miércoles 6 de enero demostró un claro contraste a su propia experiencia con la policía durante sus protestas. 

Los grupos dijeron que habían más policías presentes en las protestas pacíficas que se dieron en New Hampshire el verano pasado como respuesta a los fallecimientos de personas Afro-americanas en manos de la policía. 

Zoey Knox / NHPR

Rey DeJesus has been at Valley Street Jail since February, awaiting a trial for felony charges. He and his wife Krystal DeJesus talk on the phone every day, and a few weeks ago, he called to say people in the jail were getting sick.

The select board for the town of Troy says it's gotten dozens of threats, after reports that the town police chief attended last week's rally for President Trump at the U.S. Capitol.

Troy select board chairman Dick Thackston has defended the chief, David Ellis, who says he left the protest before it turned violent and mobs overran the U.S. Capitol.

Dan Tuohy for NHPR

Students, teachers and school staff in New Hampshire now have prioritized access to COVID-19 testing. The state says close to two dozen hospitals and outpatient practices across the state will give priority appointments within 24 hours to members of school communities who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

Todd Bookman / NHPR file

Racial justice activists in New Hampshire say the police response to Wednesday's insurrection by a pro-Trump mob at the U.S. Capitol was a stark contrast to their own experience with law enforcement at protests.

They said they saw more police presence at New Hampshire's peaceful protests this past summer in response to police killings of Black people.

A group of child advocacy groups is suing the state of Maine over its use of psychotropic drugs for children in foster care.

The lawsuit comes a day after one of the groups, Children's Rights, Inc., filed a lawsuit against the state of New Hampshire over its treatment of older foster children living in group homes.

Zoey Knox

At least 102 inmates at the Valley Street Jail in Manchester have tested positive for COVID-19, over half of the jail's entire inmate population. Twenty-seven staff are also now positive with the virus, and more will be tested later this week.

The facility has faced criticism for its handling of COVID-19 protocols – including mask-wearing, test availability, and quarantine procedures.

Flickr/Ivan Radic

Far fewer young children are attending public kindergarten and preschool programs this year, according to recently released data from the New Hampshire Department of Education. The decline is part of a state-wide trend of decreased public school enrollment during the pandemic that is most dramatic among younger grades.

Emily Corwin for NHPR

A judge is considering whether an inmate at Valley Street Jail who has COVID-19 should be released on bail, in light of concerns about the facility's management of health and safety during the pandemic.

On Wednesday, Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Charles Temple heard over three hours of arguments and testimony on the Manchester jail's COVID-19 protocols. Attorney Elliot Friedman argued those protocols endanger the health and life of his client, William Jones.

Wikimedia Commons

An estimated $2 billion is headed to New Hampshire for COVID-related relief efforts. The money comes from the emergency coronavirus relief package that President Trump signed into law Sunday. 

Here’s how some of that money will be spent:

UNH

Estimates from the U.S. Census suggest much of Northeast is losing population, but New Hampshire is seeing a slight increase. 

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Attorneys say the state's largest jail is keeping them in the dark on how it is managing COVID-19 risk and potential cases among its inmates and staff. 

Courtesy of First Congregational Church

The Concord Coalition to End Homelessness is repurposing a historic church on Main Street into an emergency winter shelter and resource center.

The expansion comes as shelters across the state struggle to balance demand with strict social distancing and other COVID-19 protocols.

“Our existing shelter was built with the idea of efficiently serving as many people as possible: one big room with wall to wall beds,” says Ellen Groh, the director of the coalition. “It was the opposite of social distancing.”

Dan Tuohy for NHPR

Most of New Hampshire's biggest school districts have gone largely remote, as coronavirus cases continue to rise.

Of the state's fifteen largest districts, the majority were in virtual instruction at some point this December.

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

Snow is on its way to New Hampshire, but some schools say students and parents shouldn’t expect a snow day to come with it.

With tens of thousands of Granite State students now learning at home, superintendents now have to decide if a snow day is warranted. Some say it isn't.

File

Inmates and staff at the Strafford County Jail in Dover are undergoing mandatory COVID-19 testing, after cases were identified there late last week.

Three staff members at the jail are confirmed positive with COVID-19.

Two inmates have tested positive with the PCR test, while 17 more are presumed positive after rapid antigen tests. The jail is awaiting results from the more reliable PCR test to confirm these numbers.

Courtesy of Manchester School District

The Manchester school district has released new data that shows middle and high school students are struggling during the pandemic, especially students of color.

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