District News

District Newsletter

The May School District Newsletter is available here. This month’s highlights include details on Exhibition Night, the Empty Soup Bowls and Community Talent Show Event, and the School Safety Forum. Additionally, it also outlines important dates, times, and locations for end of year events, which are detailed below.

  • Family Information Night for Rising Sixth Graders – May 30 at 6:00 p.m. (PMHS lecture hall)
  • Senior Awards Night – June 14 at 6:30 p.m. (PMHS gym)
  • Commencement Ceremony – June 15 at 10:00 a.m. (PMHS gym)
  • Kindergarten Celebration – June 17 at 6:00 p.m. (PES gym)
  • Sixth Grade Promotion Ceremony – June 18 at 6:00 p.m. (PES gym)
  • Eighth Grade Promotion Ceremony – June 20 at 6:30 p.m. (PMHS gym)
  • Last Day of School – Friday, June 21 (PES students released at 12:30 p.m. and PMHS released at 12:45 p.m.)

Superintendent

School Funding

Our New Hampshire Senate Finance Committee is finalizing their work on the state’s budget for the upcoming two years.  This Committee will then make recommendations to the full Senate for action.

One issue that has been raised many times in the budget development process since the early part of the year is school funding.  Our New Hampshire Supreme Court has ruled that our New Hampshire Constitution places the responsibility for public education on the state, not on local communities.  However, the legislature has not addressed this critical issue.

A three-pronged solution is under consideration:

  • Stabilization Grants: Stabilization grants were put in a number of years ago to support property-poor school districts like Pittsfield.  However, in 2016, the state legislature voted to reduce the stabilization grants by 4% each year for 25 years.  This has resulted in less state support for property-poor districts with no reduction for property-wealthy districts.  The reinstatement of Stabilization Grants to the 2016 level is important.
  • Adequacy Grants:  The state has determined a cost of an “adequate” education; the state’s calculation actually pegs “adequacy” at about 25% of the actual average per pupil cost in the state. The increase of adequacy to a realistic amount is essential.
  • Independent Commission:  Despite the conclusion of the New Hampshire Supreme Court, our state legislature has ignored their responsibility to pay for public education. The legislature has made feeble attempts to adjust funding for years, but has consistently fallen short.  The funding of an independent – not political – commission to figure out a fair plan is critical in the long term.

Pittsfield’s ten-year budget history:

  • Fewer than 600 students
  • Average loss of less than 3 students/year
  • Flat budget:  increase of 3.5% over 10 years (v. 14% inflation rate)
  • Net average loss of one teacher per year
  • Loss of programs for student support:  ELO’s, support for struggling students, foreign language, wood shop, class size increases
  • Decline of local property valuation
    • Valuation per student at less than $500,000/student, one of state’s lowest
    • Was at 60% of state average; now 45% of state average
    • Decline of overall valuation of all Pittsfield properties
  • Over the ten years, local education property tax rate increase by 48%

A bad and worsening situation for both students and taxpayers:

  • For students, less support, fewer options, watering down of academic programs
  • For taxpayers, pay more and get less

(more…)

Middle High School Calendar

Current Events

2017 – 2018 Annual Report

2017 – 2018 Annual Report

2019 – 2020 Budget Information

The first deliberative session is scheduled to be held on:
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Pittsfield Elementary School – Gymnasium
7:00 p.m.

Please plan to attend to hear important information and to ask any questions you may have.  We look forward to seeing you.

FINAL 19-20 PROPOSED BUDGET

REVENUE PROJ 19-20 WITH FINAL DEFAULT BUDGET

REVENUE PROJ 19-20 WITH FINAL PROPOSED BUDGET

REVISED DEFAULT BUDGET 1-4-19

2019 School District Warrant

2019 School District MS-27

2019 Budget Insert

Understanding Bullying

Pittsfield School Board Policy JICK defines bullying consistently with state law as follows:

Bullying is hereby defined as a single significant incident or a pattern of incidents involving a written, verbal, or electronic communication, or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at another pupil which:

  • Physically harms a pupil or damages the pupil’s property,
  • Causes emotional distress to a pupil,
  • Interferes with a pupil’s educational opportunities,
  • Creates a hostile educational environment, or
  • Substantially disrupts the orderly operation of the school.

Bullying shall also include actions motivated by an imbalance of power based on a pupil’s actual or perceived personal characteristics, behaviors, or beliefs, or motivated by the pupil’s association with another person and based on the other person’s characteristics, behaviors, or beliefs.

The University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension’s Understanding Bullying (https://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource001364_Rep1823.pdf) provides us with very helpful information and suggestions on addressing bullying among our children. (more…)