October 8th Update
We are finishing our fourth full week of school and there are many exciting things happening in classrooms across the school district. I’ve included a number of pictures in this post so that you can see a small sampling of the work that students are doing of an academic nature along with building a kind, caring school culture where teamwork permeates. As one of the photos depicts, a very positive, supportive school culture involves caring, connecting, creating and working with each other to build a positive school experience for all students and staff.
Listening Sessions With Staff and Community
The central office administration has begun meeting with the staff of each school to develop an understanding of what programs and services are working well for students, along with where and how we need to improve as a school system. These listening sessions are vitally important to our understanding of the effectiveness of programs, services for our students. I want all staff to know that their ideas and perspectives are valued and respected. Information from these meetings will be used in developing our budget request for Fiscal 2023, and beyond.
Our central office team will also be facilitating some listening sessions with you…..parents, and taxpayers in an effort to continue to provide a school system that you are proud of.
Meeting with Rotary Members
On Thursday, September 30th, I had the privilege of speaking with members of the Merrimack Rotary Club. Rotary’s mission is to provide service to others and is a world-wide highly respected organization involving business, professional and community leaders. I was asked if my college undergraduate degree in Management/Industrial Engineering, along with an MBA from Babson College were helpful in public school administration. I expressed that these degrees have been very helpful. In speaking to a question about what makes a quality school system, I responded first and foremost, it’s the quality of people. Over the last 16 years of being a school superintendent I have looked for people who demonstrate great strength in the following areas that I refer to as my “8 P’s” of effective educators. They are, preparation, pride, professionalism, passion, patience, persistence, personality and performance!
Administrative Training on the New Student Discipline Law
Our entire Leadership Team recently participated in a comprehensive training on the changes to New Hampshire’s student discipline law. Attorney Dean Eggert, of Wadleigh, Starr and Peters, P.L.L.C. conducted this very informative training for our team. Attorney Eggert stressed the importance of a progressive approach to student discipline.
High School’s Photography and Woodshop Display Wins Award
Last weekend, Merrimack High School students participated in a competition at the 2021 Deerfield Fair. Our students won First Place (High School Division) with their photography and woodshop display! Congratulations to our very talented students and teachers!
Please enjoy this small sampling of student and staff work addressing a variety of themes such as learning about endangered animals, the process of creating art, circuit building, reaching goals in life, individual “islands of competence”…..each student has unique strengths and it’s important that we believe in every child!!
I wish you and your family an enjoyable Columbus Day weekend!
Bill Olsen, Chief Education Officer