Londonderry School District Summer Updates

Dear Londonderry School District Families,

I wanted to take this opportunity to say a quick summer hello to you and share some important updates.  Over the past few weeks as I stepped into the role of Interim Superintendent and several others began their new administrative roles,  I am pleased to share that the transition has been smooth. I am excited about and proud of the summer work that has been going on in our District, thanks to the collective hard work of so many.

Even though the traditional school year is done, we have had a very busy summer and that will continue into the upcoming school year. Between Summer Enrichment, Summer Math Academy, our Summer Literacy programs, Summer School, and our Extended School Year (ESY), hundreds of our students have been in and out of our buildings for the last few weeks, and all our programs look great! If these summer opportunities are not keeping our wonderful staff busy, most of them are engaging in one of the many professional development opportunities we are hosting. Of course, our Buildings and Grounds Department spends long hours preparing our buildings for the upcoming school year. You are always welcome to see the state of our schools when we host building tours on the evenings of August 24th and 25th.

Also, we have two important initiatives underway regarding communication and school safety. First, our Communications Committee is revamping our websites and reviewing and improving many of our communication practices. Please be on the lookout for these updates when they are shared at the start of the school year. Also, all of our staff have begun ALICE Training to be better prepared for a “violent critical incident” should one ever occur. Our staff will be fully ALICE trained by the end of August. Soon after the school year opens, we will host an event for all parents to learn more about these safety practices; we hope you will join us to better understand how safe and prepared our schools are.

Finally, I am reaching out to you for some help; we know we will need a lot of support in some areas with staffing to start this school year. Over the last couple of years, it has become clear that we are not able to compete in the rapidly-changing labor market when it comes to our hourly staff positions. In time, we will use the collective bargaining process with our Support Staff Union to adjust to the labor market around us, but that will not happen by the first day of school. If you are able to work in our schools, even a couple hours a week, that would be hugely beneficial to our students and our schools. If you like working with kids and want to be more involved with our schools, please reach out to Melissa Thomson – mthomson@londonderry.org to discuss the openings we have and if they fit into your schedule, skill sets, and interests. We intend to bring this “call for help” to the community at large as well  so please share this need with family members and others in our community who might be interested.  Working together with our families and community, we hope to bridge this gap for our schools.

Thanks again for all your support and continue to have a wonderful summer,

Dan Black

Interim Superintendent of Schools

Londonderry School District Public Hearing Notice

LONDONDERRY SCHOOL DISTRICT

LEGAL NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

The Londonderry School District will conduct a public hearing regarding the use of General Fund Unassigned Fund Balance in accordance with RSA198:4-b II.  Such funds will be used to fund a one-time retention payment for Support Staff AFSCME Local 1801 and Dining Services staff.  The public hearing will take place at the Londonderry High School, 295 Mammoth Road, Londonderry, New Hampshire in the Cafeteria on Tuesday, August 2, 2022, at 7:00 pm.  The public is invited to attend.

Contacting the Londonderry School Board

Emails sent to schoolboard@londonderry.org will be delivered to all school board members, but it is the practice of the Londonderry School Board to have only the Chairperson respond to those emails.  If you would like to reach out to other board members for a response you can email them directly with the addresses listed below.

Emails sent to schoolboard@londonderry.org, or individual board members, become ‘public record’ and are subject to New Hampshire Right To Know requests.  They can become part of the meeting minutes when addressing an agenda item on the School Board agenda.  Personal emails will be redacted, emails without identifying information (real name and address) will not be added to that record.

Amy Finamore, Chair
afinamore@londonderry.org

Sara Loughlin, Vice Chair
sloughlin@londonderry.org

Bob Slater
bslater@londonderry.org

Amanda Butcher
abutcher@londonderry.org

Kevin Gray
kgray@londonderry.org

Londonderry School District Safety Update

The Londonderry School District is dedicated to the safety of our students and staff. Details of our emergency plans are confidential for security reasons, but we wanted to answer some FAQs in response to the latest act of school violence.

What is EOP?

Several years ago, we formed our Emergency Operations and Planning Committee (EOP). At that time school administrators were trained through FEMAs NIMS training and adopted the NH7 response system. That system created actionable plans and concise language for school emergencies including an active shooter, fire or other evacuation needs, secure campus for outside threats and medical situations, natural disasters and other hazardous events. Both representatives from LPD and LFD have been on our EOP.

What Training/Response Methods have been completed by the District since EOP’s creation?

In 2018, the District provided training for all staff from Londonderry Police Department on ADD – Avoid, Deny, Defend in the case of any active threat inside the school. In the fall of 2019, the District provided gunshot awareness training, again led by LPD.

During this time, with support from the Londonderry community we enhanced the safety of our building facilities by creating a single point of entry vestibule at each building, increasing camera systems, and numbering all doors and fields. We added flashing lights outside the building to inform visitors of a lockdown in the building.

We reviewed the report and recommendations from the 2018 NH School Safety Preparedness Task Force with our SRO and made adjustments based on feedback.

We added a security technician to the staff in July 2019.

How do we stay current with our District Emergency Planning?

We always look at the latest information, technology, and recommendations available on school safety to ensure we are creating the best possible preparedness plans. To that end, in collaboration with Londonderry PD, we are moving from ADD to the ALICE model as our response to violent critical incidents. A violent critical incident is any event when a person or persons attempt to harm innocent people by any means.

We have a safety committee made up of teachers, support staff, administrator and DO staff that walk each building monthly to ensure buildings are meeting all safety standards.

What is ALICE?

ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. The program is broken down into two components: communication /situational awareness and response. The ALICE strategies prepare an individual to be empowered to participate in their own survival.

Alert and Inform are the critical components of communication; having the technology to receive and send this communication is critical, when seconds matter most. Alert is a person’s first notification of a critical incident. Training explains that it is essential for individuals to recognize an alert. Inform is using real time clear language about the violent intruder.

The LCE components are the strategies for response. The ALICE model allows for individual staff and students to make informed choices based on the current situation and provides training on when to make those choices and how to carry out the ALICE strategies. ALICE strategies are not sequential but are based on an individual’s proximity to a violent critical incident.

A key differential of ALICE is the concept of lockdown. In the ALICE model, the strategy calls for an enhanced lockdown when evacuation is not an option. In enhanced lockdown, while doors are locked, they are also barricaded and individuals prepare to counter or evacuate if needed. Counter is NOT fighting, but preparing to distract and control through noise, movement, and distance.

At each of the school levels (elementary, middle and high) the students are taught developmentally appropriate pieces of the ALICE model.

You can learn more about ALICE by clicking this link  https://www.alicetraining.com/our-program/alice-training/k12-education/

How are students with special needs accounted for?

All special education staff will be trained in the extra component through ALICE for students with disabilities. This component is also available to all staff.  We recognize that, for students with any communication, regulatory, sensory and mobility needs, performing enhanced lockdowns and evacuations are more challenging, and while we hope we never have to employ ALICE in a real situation, we are prepared for that scenario.

There will also be additional modules for school bus drivers, coaches and to train all new staff.

How will ALICE Training roll out in the District?

Throughout the 21-22 school year the school district has been training in the ALICE model. Nineteen of our school administrators, and three SROs have gone through the initial ALICE training and have become certified ALICE instructors.

We have now rolled out the hybrid training to all staff with the goal of becoming a certified ALICE trained school district. All staff, including teachers, support staff, dining services, building and grounds and bus drivers will be trained in ALICE. There is an online e-learning classroom component that teachers are completing now and an in-person classroom and scenario component that will be completed over the summer.

An ALICE certified organization requires organization certification through the e-learning, on-site training, and policy documentation that complies with Federal guidelines. We are eager to complete this school wide initiative in keeping students and staff safe in school.

What are SROs and how are they utilized in schools?

We have three SROs through LPD, and the elementary campuses share one who rotates through each of them. They are a part of our emergency operations team, they know our protocols, and they are the law enforcement professionals training our staff in ALICE, along with certified district instructors.  We have a great relationship with them. In addition to these three assignments, Londonderry Police Officers are often seen walking our buildings during their shifts to become familiar with our buildings, students and staff.

How can parents receive more information?

We will be scheduling a parent/community evening to discuss ALICE in our schools at the beginning of the new school year.