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Narrative History and Related Documents

The New Hampshire High School Redesign effort has spanned a number of years, beginning with an extensive review of current practice and hoped-for reform in 2004, and even before that with the development and implementation of New Hampshire's Competency Based Assessment System Microsoft Word Symbol in 1997-2003.

In early 2004, after some months of planning on the state and national level, and supported with small grant resources from the U.S. DOE Office of Vocational and Adult Education, the New Hampshire Department of Education formed a HS Reform Leadership group to begin planning implementation for statewide efforts. This ad-hoc group, comprised of educational leaders, school administrators, district administrators, educators, and community members, resulted in a planning outline.

The committee planned an education summit, which the DOE organized and conducted, to collect data and input on several aspects of high school redesign, including personalization, rigor, and relevance. The report on this input can be found in detail in the Preliminary Report on High School Redesign Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol.

The commitment and enthusiasm for reform in New Hampshire's secondary schools expressed by the participants spurred the department to both initiate substantive changes and to vigorously seek further funding for the efforts. The state's effort continued in three concurrent avenues

  • Collaboration with the New Hampshire Association of School principals in providing training on Breaking Ranks II, both by supporting 6 principal leaders to receive national training and by funding state-wide high school conferences that continued this training instate for all high schools. In addition, the Department contracted with NHASP to begin a series of regional Principal's Network meetings, at which high school leaders could talk with each other about reform, challenges, and solutions, and could bring in topic speakers to assist them.
  • The writing and dissemination of New Hampshire's Vision for Redesign Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol based on statewide input, to help individual schools organize and implement their own reform efforts.
  • A series of small start-up and implementation grants for schools and collaboratives of schools to begin their professional development on high school redesign issues, including the implementation of those aspects of the Minimum Standards for School Approval that most impact high school redesign.

Some of the Minimum Standards for School Approval that influence redesign in high schools are included in a series of Technical Advisories, put out by the department:

Advisory # Description
Advisory #6 Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol Required Subjects and Credits for High School Graduation (Algebra Credit ) (Issued March 30, 2006)
Advisory #7 (Ed 306.21 has been changed and now includes the information in this advisory) Off-Site Programs (Issued April 6, 2006) Revised August 10, 2007
Advisory #8 Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol Social Studies (Table 306-2) what students need to take in order to graduate (Issued April 6, 2006)
Advisory #12 Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol Competency Assessment of Student Mastery (Issued May 2, 2006)
Advisory #16 Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol Alternative Pathways to Graduation (Issued August 10, 2007)
Advisory #17 Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol Student Accounting (Issued August 10, 2007)

Some significant policy-level changes are included in the Minimum Standards for School Approval, including the requirement that high school course credit be awarded as a result of assessment of each student's mastery of course-level competencies for the course. The department, from the time of the rules' adoption in July 2005 through the rules' implementation starting in the beginning of the school year 2008/2009, and beyond, has provided and will continue to provide technical assistance and support both directly and through other professionals and organizations such as the New Hampshire Association of School Principals (NHASP) and the Concord Area Center for Educational Support (CACES) for the implementation of these rules.

The department has been working closely with CACES on training and development for schools on the required high school course level competencies. Examples, samples, work groups, collaboratives, trainings and other resources are available in a variety of ways from CACES.

In addtion to the work on course level competencies, many schools are engaged in developing or enhancing their Extended Learning Opportunities (ELO) for students. More information can be found in the ELO Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document.

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