Education | New Hampshire Public Radio

Education

Joe Gratz / flickr, creative commons: https://www.flickr.com/photos/63126465@N00/117048243

A decision by the New Hampshire Supreme Court on how the state funds public education is expected by the end of the year. The court’s decision will be the latest chapter in the decades-long battle over how the state funds its schools.

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Flickr/Ivan Radic

The N.H. Department of Education says districts need to prepare for a hybrid model of remote and in-person learning for the next school year as the pandemic continues.

The hybrid model is one of a list of draft recommendations a state task force is working on to deliver to Gov. Chris Sununu next week.

Needpix

Now that the school year has largely concluded for New Hampshire districts across the state, we turn our attention to what education might look like this fall.

We reflect on how remote learning went, review what we've learned, and discuss what options are available for the upcoming academic year, whether that is more remote learning, a transition back to in-person learning, or a hybrid model of both methods. 

Courtesy Karena Czzowitz

Karena Czzowitz, a junior at Manchester School of Technology, is studying to be a Licensed Nursing Assistant. LNA’s are in high demand across New Hampshire, especially in nursing homes.

But with school closures during the coronavirus pandemic, Karena is missing a big part of her education. 

Courtesy of Sandie MacDonald

The New Hampshire Department of Education estimates about a dozen school districts are ending the school year early, due to challenges of remote learning.

Earlier this week, the Monadnock and ConVal school districts became the latest to announce a truncated school year. Rochester, Milford, and the Groveton, Stark and Stratford district are also ending in May.

Some districts eliminated part or all of April break in order to accrue enough class instructional hours to meet state requirements in less time.

Courtesy Gabby Bradt

Before school closure, Dr. Susan Pike’s classrooms were loud, and she prided herself on it.

Students in her high school science classes at the private school St. Thomas Aquinas High School, in Dover, would do calculations together on the white board, bounce between group experiments, and crowd over microscopes to inspect pond scum.

“One of the favorites is the pond water [lessons], where we're looking at different species and then doing things with food webs, and they're all looking at microscopes and finding these disgusting worms,” she says. “And people are talking to each other and sharing their ideas.”

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

School districts in the Monadnock region are continuing to press New Hampshire's highest court to force the state to reevaluate its approach to public education funding.

Remote Learning: How Are Grades K-12 Faring?

Apr 17, 2020
Needpix

It’s been one month since schools in New Hampshire were shuttered to stem the spread of coronavirus, and now, they'll be closed for the remainder of the academic year.

Since then, teachers, parents, and administrators have been working to implement remote learning for students in kindergarten through high school. Teachers have had to re-work their curricula while coordinating with parents about students' academic needs.

Meanwhile, students are feeling the pressure, and many are already weeks behind on their schoolwork. In the first hour of our special on how N.H. students are adjusting to remote learning during stay-at-home orders, we'll talk with teachers, parents, and administrators about how it has been going for them and what changes might be made in the future.

Air date: Monday, April 20, 2020, from 9-10 a.m.

Courtesy of Facebook/Nashua Children's Home

The state’s residential facilities and detention center for youth are modifying operations in response to the coronavirus pandemic, but some advocates say change isn’t coming fast enough.

As of April 1, about 350 young people were in residential facilities operated by 13 different providers across the state. About half of the youth are involved in the juvenile justice system; the rest were placed by child protective services.

With most schools closed nationwide because of the coronavirus pandemic, a national poll of young people ages 13 to 17 suggests distance learning has been far from a universal substitute.

The poll of 849 teenagers, by Common Sense Media, conducted with SurveyMonkey, found that as schools across the country transition to some form of online learning, 41% of teenagers overall, including 47% of public school students, say they haven't attended a single online or virtual class.

Courtesy of Liz Kirwan

New Hampshire school districts began another week of remote learning with a new timeline: school closures until at least May, if not the rest of the semester.

Schools are figuring out how to deliver the essentials to students at home, but a lot of teachers and families say that even those basics are overwhelming. 

Courtesy of Timberlane Regional School District

Families in the Timberlane Regional School District are awaiting a school board vote Tuesday night that will determine whether to allow videoconferencing for remote learning.

The board will vote on a memorandum of understanding between the Timberlane Teachers’ Association and the district, outlining the implementation of videoconferencing and giving staff the option to use it.

As of now, there is no video conferencing in the district, making it an outlier in the statewide shift to online remote learning.

US Army Corp of Engineers / Flickr CC

A coalition of administrative and teacher associations is issuing recommendations for remote learning in New Hampshire. The guidance comes as districts face long-term school closure until at least May, if not for the rest of the semester.

Click here to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest updates on coronavirus in New Hampshire delivered to your inbox.

Courtesy of Gabby Oja

Schools are wrapping up their first full week of remote learning - and for many students and teachers, that’s meant a lot of time online. But this transition has been particularly difficult for families without reliable internet at home.

biologycorner / Flickr Creative Commons

 

Groups representing public school administrators and teachers are calling for the state to postpone student assessments this spring, in light of emergency school closures.

U.S. Department of Education told states they could apply for a waiver to defer tests required by federal law until the end of the national emergency. The DOE is streamlining the application process for states applying for the waiver; nearly all have applied, with the exception of New Hampshire.

As remote learning ramps up this week, for students who recieve additional services from their school, including special education, the transition to remote learning is complex. We hear how educators, families, and students are navigating the transition. 

Air date: Tues, March 24, 2020. 

Courtesy of Jordan Travers

It was just a week before the opening night of Pinkerton Academy's production of Children of Eden, and the cast was hard at work in the chorus room, running through the entire musical from start to finish for the first time.

Senior Emma Cahoon was Eve, her first lead role ever in the school’s spring musical, and she remembers the exact moment in the rehearsal when things went wrong.

NHPR Photo

It’s a big transition week for school districts in New Hampshire. By next Monday, they’re expected to begin remote learning for students until at least April 3, as part of the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Districts are communicating with families and teachers about how this will all work, but many questions remain. 

Courtesy of Martha Dalrymple

 

With New Hampshire schools now closed, teachers are facing an unprecedented challenge: how to teach their students remotely for at least three weeks. Schools are figuring out how to get meals and computers to students in need, and teachers are trying to figure out how to keep students engaged while isolated at home. NHPR’s Sarah Gibson has more.

File Photo, NHPR

As states across the country announce school closures in response to COVID-19, an increasing number of districts in New Hampshire are following suit, as they assess their ability to offer remote learning in the event of long-term shutdowns.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: March 13, 2020

Mar 13, 2020

The growing number of COVID-19 cases has prompted governments to encourage behaviors that will slow or stop the spread of coronavirus, and in some cases, that has meant closing schools. Some large gatherings of people have been canceled, but lawmakers still gathered in Concord this week to debate legislation. 

Manchester has passed a major hurdle in getting a new contract for its teachers. On Thursday, the school district announced that after 621 days without a contract, the city and the Manchester Education Association have reached a tentative agreement on a contract for teachers.

The Manchester Education Association is the largest of the district's six unions, with approximately 1,200 members.

USDA / Flickr CC

The New Hampshire Department of Education is asking the USDA for waivers so that schools can continue offering meals to students even if buildings close in response to COVID-19.

Other states are making similar requests, as schools prepare for the possibility of having to close buildings and shift to long-term remote instruction.

Click here for our live blog for the latest updates on coronavirus in New Hampshire.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

The Manchester school board approved a strategic plan Thursday night designed to improve equity and student outcomes throughout the district. 

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

Lawmakers heard testimony today on two bipartisan bills aimed at preventing sexual assault and helping survivors seek medical and legal services. 

SB 508 would remove the time limit for an alleged victim of sexual abuse to file a civil lawsuit. Right now, those abused as children have to file claims before they turn 30, and, if abused as an adult, they have to file within three years of the incident. 

You Asked, We Answered: Are Teenagers in N.H. Learning About Consent in Sex Ed?

Feb 19, 2020
Jimmy Gutierrez

Regardless of their formal sex education, teenagers at the beginning of their social and romantic lives often turn to each other for information. In the second episode of The Second Greatest Show on Earth’s series on sex ed in New Hampshire, we hear directly from teens about how they are navigating consent, porn, masculinity, and femininity.  

This is the second episode in our two-part series on sex education. Listen to the first installment here.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

Lawmakers, education advocates, and state officials are entering the third month of a high-profile battle over whether to accept a large federal grant to double the number of public charter schools in New Hampshire. 

Despite the grant’s likely demise, the debate surrounding it has reignited long-held tensions over charter schools, who they serve, and what they could mean for the future of public education in New Hampshire.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Lawmakers on the fiscal committee voted today against accepting a $10 million federal grant for charter school expansion.

This was the fourth vote in two months against the grant, which aims to double the number of charter schools in New Hampshire over the next five years.

Democrats say it would undermine traditional public schools and cost the state millions of dollars down the road.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

As the country engages in conversations around sex, consent, and masculinity, The Second Greatest Show on Earth investigates questions about sex education in New Hampshire.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

All eyes are now on the New Hampshire primary, and some elementary school teachers are trying to explain the process to students without getting caught up in partisan politics. This year, they have help from a new social studies curriculum, designed by the New Hampshire Historical Society.

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