Rationale: The Windham Central Supervisory Union and its operational member districts recognize that motor vehicle idling poses a risk to people in the vicinity and to the environment. Exhaust from motor vehicle emissions may contribute to human health problems, air pollution, and global climate change. In addition, the EPA states monitoring at schools has shown elevated levels of air toxics during the afternoon hour coinciding with parents picking up their children. Children’s lungs are still developing, and when they are exposed to elevated levels of these pollutants, children have an increased risk of developing asthma, respiratory problems and other adverse health effects. Limiting a vehicle’s idling time can dramatically reduce these pollutants and children’s exposure to them. State law limits the idling of school buses while waiting to board or exit students at a school, and prohibits the idling of all motor vehicles to five minutes in any 60 minute period (with exceptions). It is the intent of the schools’ administration to further limit the idling of motor vehicles other than school buses on school grounds.
Over the past two years, L&G’s School Board and administration have regularly updated the community with the alternative evaluation plan since withdrawing from the New England Association of Secondary Schools of Colleges (NEASC). The Collaborative Peer Review (CPR) design was borne out of the need to involve all constituents, with student voice at the center, in school reflection and improvement efforts. With Otter Valley and Mill River Union High Schools and in consultation with Unleashing the Power of Partnerships for Learning, we successfully piloted an innovative design that resulted in evidence-based findings. With the report completed this month, four presentations to various groups featured our CPR team: seniors Madison Cannella, Erica Cutts, and Alexa Litchfield, sophomore Jake Wilkins, community member/parent Beth McDonald, teachers Dr. Ruth Ann Dunn and Ann Landenberger, and myself. In May and June, student leaders will facilitate focus groups to bring a diverse representation of students together in order to grapple with the findings and discuss possibilities for school improvement.
The five areas identified in the report demonstrate that Leland and Gray’s strengths are also our greatest challenges to school improvement. Our eight-person CPR team met often to understand the deeper meaning of the results, dogged by the question, “What can account for the vast differences in students’ and teachers’ perceptions?” We wrestled with opposing ideals, such as trusting teachers’ expertise to select valuable topics and books versus students making their own choices based on readiness and interest.
By Shane Covey
@ShaneCovey on Twitter
BRATTLEBORO >> It often seemed like Ashley Goddard had an “S” on her chest when she was smashing home runs, booting soccer balls long distances and draining 3-pointers while playing for varsity teams at Leland & Gray.
This summer, fans will be able to see the letters “USA” across the front of her jersey.
Goddard, of Jamaica, recently accepted an invitation to be part of the American Council for International Study’s American Basketball Team and to represent the red, white and blue in Italy for one week this summer.
Aside from playing doubleheaders against teams from Milan and Florence, Goddard’s group will visit Lake Maggiore, tour the Colosseum in Rome and explore the Trevi Fountain. The experience will go from July 13-21.
“We are very proud of Ashley and for all her hard work,” said Ashley’s mother, Duffy Chapin.