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NPSAC Meeting Mintues - January 2008

Nonpublic School Advisory Council
January 25, 2008
Meeting Minutes
(approved 5.16.08)

Present: Kevin Moody, Randy Richardson, Mary Moran, Deb Connell, Trudy Wright, Bob Doty, Leander Corman, David Parker, Ed Murdough, Kent Bicknell, Ann McLane Kuster, Cathy Chesley, Leslie Higgins, Ellie Riel

Approval of Minutes and Brief Report from the Chair

Minutes from the September 21, 2007 meeting were approved as presented. Randy mentioned the Risk Management workshop and encouraged people to attend.

Educational Issues and Hot Topics

A. A Risk Management workshop will be held on February 7, 2008 (changed to March 13 due to snow). The cost is $225 per person. The focus will be on Emergency Training and Emergency Planning. Ed indicated that Greg Champlin from the Department of Safety would be speaking at the workshop.

Ed noted that next year, Emergency Plans will be added to the school approval process. Schools can contact Greg Champlin's office ((603) 271-2231) for assistance with emergency planning. Ed will check with Mr. Champlin to find out how many schools he has worked with thus far.

B. Emergency Training & Planning - E-mails were forwarded to nonpublic schools regarding requirements & online resources.

C. Topic Focus - Randy asked for input on topics for meetings. Randy spoke about Institutions of High Education in the news who are offering free tuition to students. He thought it was interesting considering Federal Legislature recently announced an investigation into endowments. Cathy Chesley would like to discuss how nonpublic schools could have shared professional development (share the cost).

Department of Education News

A. Report from Ed Murdough

  • Ed introduced Leander Corman, Education Consultant, Bureau of Special Education, and Deborah Connell, Administrator, Bureau of Integrated Programs. All members introduced themselves.
  • The Department of Education will be having an internal meeting regarding school safety.
  • Performance Pathways - Leslie shared information about Performance Pathways Performance Tracker. The NH focus is on the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP),, and the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) data

Performance Tracker

  • is provided to all public schools in NH
  • enables all districts and schools to access and analyze data necessary for making data-informed decisions.
  • allows teachers to identify strategies that are working for improved instruction
  • helps teachers and schools discover gaps in the curriculum
  • may be purchased by nonpublic schools

In addition to the state funded Performance Tracker, districts/schools may also purchase additional software and services at special negotiated pricing. Schools may purchase Assessment Builder to facilitate local assessment initiatives, and TechPaths to facilitate curriculum mapping and development efforts. For more information, please contact Paul Goldstein, VP of Sales and Marketing at

Cathy noted that Hopkinton Independent School administers the NECAP, and each child has a State Assigned Student Identification (SASID) Number.

Cathy also would like more information (i.e. What Study? Who put out the study?) regarding an article highlighting several NH high schools. (The article is in U.S. News and World Report, entitled Best High Schools 2008. Ellie mentioned that a similar article was in the local newspapers.

Much discussion ensued bringing up the following questions and/or areas of interest

  • What criteria is used to identify highly successful schools? Mary Moran added that Holy Family Academy was evaluated on three criteria and only met one
  • How do independent schools run a successful business?
    • What organizational Best Practices feed into this success?
  • How do we link the administrative structure to instruction to student success?
    • Data that proves success and positive student performance

Mary Moran spoke about "Federal Education Programs Serving Catholic School Students and Staff in NH," that took place on January 9, 2008 at St. Pius in Manchester. Marie Morgan and Leslie Higgins attended the workshop. Leslie spoke briefly about how this information would be helpful to other nonpublic schools. She will send out a copy of the power point presentation to the council.

The presenter of this workshop was Dale McDonald, PBVM, PhD, who is the NCEA Director of Public Policy. Her e-mail is policy.

There was much discussion about having meetings and/or information sessions for nonpublic schools in a variety of areas:

  • Federal Funding and Nonpublic Schools (NPS)
  • Special Education Changes that may affect the NPS
  • Others?

Membership Update

Randy requested support from the group in recommending three new members to the Commissioner - Cathy Chesley, Hopkinton Independent School; David McCusker, Cardigan Mountain School; Mike Henriques, Proctor Academy. He is still waiting confirmation from David McCusker and Mike Henriques. He will follow-up with them and present the slate to the Commissioner. He encouraged members to continue to make recommendations to him for additional prospective members.

Legislative Updates

Randy shared the Home Education Council's approach to looking at legislation. Ed noted that the "CA - Conditionally Approved" category for nonpublic schools was presented to the State Board. It was then sent to the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (JLCAR). Comments from the JLCAR were sent back to the Department. It is presently undergoing revision. Ed also noted the compulsatory education requirement. Ann sent a list around to the group. In addition to this list, the following may be of interest:

  • LSR 2177, HB 1161 relative to the definition of truancy
  • HB 916 relative to nonpublic or private schools receiving public funds
  • HB 1169 relative to parental approval of a student's participation in human sexuality instruction in public schools
  • HB 1179 including certain nonprofit organizations under the right-to-know law
  • HB 1382 adopting the uniform prudent management of institutional funds

Current Council Projects (Old Business)

Bylaws - Should there be time limits for council members? Many agreed that they would like to designate a person to attend the meeting if the council member could not. The designee would not have voting rights.

Additional recommendations for changes should be sent to Randy as soon as possible. A draft will then be presented to the group for vote.

Kent Bicknell has been on the council for over 30 years. He shared the history of the council and the reason it was formed. He further questioned the current role and believes we perhaps need to re-visit the NPSAC mission.

Kent would like to have statistics regarding the schools that have started up in the last ten years; stats on religious denominations.

It was decided that the group would review the original mission of the council and develop a current mission. After the mission is developed, the council would invite the Commissioner to a meeting to share the mission and get his input.

Meeting adjourned.

The next meeting is scheduled for Friday, March 21 (Good Friday).

Respectfully submitted,

Leslie Higgins, Education Consultant
Bureau of School Approval & Facility Management

Ellie Riel, Program Assistant
Bureau of School Approval & Facility Management



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Telephone: (603) 271-3494 | TDD Access: Relay NH 711