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National School Board Magna Awards—Advancing Student Learning through School Board Best Practices

The National School Board Association awarded the Magna Award to Sanborn Regional School District in Kingston New Hampshire for its new freshman learning community (FLC). Under the leadership of Assistant Principal Ann Hadwen, Sanborn Regional High School created a learning community within the high school for freshman students to be together with a core group of teachers to include English language arts, social studies, science, mathematics, technology, information literacy, and wellness instructors. This community operates on a rotating schedule within the block schedule of Sanborn Regional High School. Embedded in this rotation is flexible grouping time to provide students with a weekly re-teach and enrichment period to intervene and support students and monitor progress. All students take math at the same time during the day, in an uninterrupted ninety minute block. The entire math department is involved in math instruction for freshman during this time.

Following the Professional Learning Community model, the FLC teachers have developed common team norms, goals, common grading practices for class work and homework, grading policies, integrated units, performance-based assessments, and communication to parents. Early data shows that course failures have dropped dramatically in courses that are associated with the team. Discipline issues are sharply reduced from the 2008-2009 school year. Instruction, designed to meet individual student needs, is showing promise of meeting the challenge set forth by the Sanborn Regional School Board when they adopted a single goal for the school district - to become a top 10 percent school district, based on a variety of indicators.

The Magna Award recognizes the strength of a strong School Board working with school administrators to create a learning community designed to meet the needs of students. For more information about the National School Board Magna Awards please go to

New Hampshire Department of Education
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Telephone: (603) 271-3494 | TDD Access: Relay NH 711