Atkinson Town Hall

Atkinson Town Hall
The Norman Rockwellian picture of Atkinson

There is a NEW POLL at Right--------------------->

Don't forget to VOTE!
Make your voice heard!

Welcome Message and Mission Statement

Welcome to the NEW Atkinson Reporter! Under new management, with new resolve.

The purpose of this Blog is to pick up where the Atkinson Reporter has left off. "The King is dead, Long live the King!" This Blog is a forum for the discussion of predominantly Atkinson; Officials, People, Ideas, and Events. You may give opinion, fact, or evaluation, but ad hominem personal attacks will not be tolerated, or published. The conversation begun on the Atkinson Reporter MUST be continued!

This Blog will not fall to outside hacks from anyone, especially insecure public officials afraid of their constituents criticism.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

TImberlane reports fewer dropouts

From the Eagle Tribune;

January 25, 2011
TImberlane reports fewer dropouts

By Cara Hogan The Eagle Tribune Tue Jan 25, 2011, 12:12 AM EST

PLAISTOW — Fewer Timberlane students are dropping out of high school.

The dropout rate fell from 2.7 percent to 0.7 percent in the past five years, according to Superintendant Richard La Salle.

The data is part of the district's annual report to the School Board, comparing information from the 2005-2006 school year to 2009-2010 school year to track progress.

"The dropout rate is the number we're most proud of," La Salle said at a recent School Board meeting.

He laid out the numbers as an example of the success of new programs at the district's schools.

Assistant Superintendant Winfried Feneberg said the change in the dropout rate can be traced back to programs specifically for kids with lower grades.

"The high school has really worked extremely hard to provide alternatives for children that struggle in school," Feneberg said. "We provide evening divisions and GED options, a lot of alternatives apart from and in addition to the standard diploma."

Feneberg said these options are preventing students from dropping out, but they still can't graduate without the necessary knowledge.

"The standards of the school have not gone down, it's actually increased," he said.

La Salle said the number of college-bound students also increased over those years, going from 74 percent to 86 percent.

"We have more kids going to two-year colleges than four, but that's a good option for some students," La Salle said.

Feneberg said two-year colleges have become a trend in the district.

"The ability to transfer from a two-year college into a four-year college is, in part, an economic decision parents and kids make," he said.

The data on the report also included ups and downs in New England Common Assessments Program scores, with a trend toward the positive.

"It's a whole lot of positive indicators that we feel came with hard work," Feneberg said. "There's certainly more that can be done and will be done. It's our goal to make everyone successful in high school.


Anonymous said...

The school is under performing so why should they drop out when they can slide by and get a diploma that means little. It's the knowledge that matters, not the paper!

Anonymous said...

To Jan. 25 at 9:55AM:

While the administration is to blame for many things, I wouldn't blame the underperformance issue completely on the admin. Many parents are to blame too.

Many parents complain to the admin when little Johnny or Suzie gets an unacceptable grade. Their kid may not be able to play sports or get into a good college if they get an unacceptable grade, blah, blah. Rather than deal with the wrath of some of these parents and fearing a lawsuit for unfairness, the admins cave in. This is not in anyone's best interest. It's not just Timberlane; it happens everywhere in the US. Kids get the inflated grades but then don't do very well on the standardized tests. Some districts don't give out F's anymore because it might hurt someone's feelings if they receive F for "Fail" on their report card. We reap what we sow....

Perhaps if such parents accepted the fact that their kid received a deserving grade and pushed them to work harder and smarter, we wouldn't have to deal with such issues. Teachers could then give out grades deserved, not allow test corrections for credit, and consistently take points off for late homework without exception.

Again, don't get me wrong. There are a lot of things the admin could be doing better to increase performance. But they are not entirely to blame.

MAcciard said...

I would say that in that situation it is up to the administration to tell the parents, all little Johnny needs to do to get a good grade is to do the work, maybe you should help him with his homework.

Anonymous said...

I did not blame it on the admin or the parents. I merely made a general comment about the under performance.

I did notice you did not blame anything on the kids.

Anonymous said...

Mark, a lot of parents want to leave the teaching up to the school and not get involved at all. It's amazing how many parents don't show up at parent/teacher night to talk to the teachers about their child's progress and what steps can be taken to improve. Yes, there are some that care but there are many that don't want to make the time to get involved. They want the schools to fix the problems.

I'm not a teacher but I hear a lot of complaints from teachers who receive the wrath of parents and the admin wants to be non-confrontational.

@3:37: I didn't mean to say that you were placing blame on anyone. I was commenting on a problem you mentioned about kids doing very little to get a diploma. You are 100% right that it's the knowledge that matters and not the paper. And, as you mentioned, the kids
are also part of the problem as well. There needs to be more personal responsibility.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

When someone presents a statistic like this, you should always ask for context. What TRSD has done is integrate GED into its curriculum. Kids that would drop out are allowed to 'transfer' to night school so they can attain a diploma without enduring a 'rigorous' curriculum.

I think one could look at the high school's seven consecutive years of SINI status and reasonably conclude that TRSD has a 100% dropout rate -- including staff.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
When someone presents a statistic like this, you should always ask for context. What TRSD has done is integrate GED into its curriculum. Kids that would drop out are allowed to 'transfer' to night school so they can attain a diploma without enduring a 'rigorous' curriculum

You my friend are nuts! Do you realize 40% of high school seniors cannot pass a G.E.D. test?
Before you look down your nose at people with a G.E.D. you should do some research first.
There are many people with a G.E.D. that have gone onto very successful jobs and have received many advanced degrees.

Look it up you will be amazed.

Anonymous said...

No one is decrying the GED, they are saying that is not the mandate of the school, it is a fallback position at best. And being used to mask greater failures.

Anonymous said...

actually, what i was saying is that the school is using the night school program to improve the dropout statistic without improving the dropout situation.

they simply no longer count some people who stop going to school days as dropouts.

Anon 9:22, unless you participate in a GED program or teach one, I'm confident I know more about GED than you do as I have prepared a curriculum for one. That 40% of high schoolers cannot pass the test speaks more to the fact that the GED program is designed to prepare students to pass the test.

To summarize, the dropout rate is down because potential dropouts are allowed to GED without dropping out.

Anonymous said...

So they are fudging the numbers to make the school look more effective?

Anonymous said...

That's what admin does best, fudge numbers.

Anonymous said...

It is called a GED for a reason. General Equivalency Diploma. Meaning general knowledge in all subjects. So with that being said all high school graduates should be able to pass the GED test without any problems. We, as a country should strive for perfection not 60%.

Last if you have prepared one than you must be a teacher in some form. Hopefully you are not in a classroom with students. And it is sad that you don’t see a problem with 40% of seniors cannot pass a GED test. Maybe before hiring a teacher they must pass a GED test.

Anonymous said...

You may want to blame the federal government for the fudging of numbers not your local school board. Learn before you speak.

Anonymous said...

Anon Jan 27 @ 9:39

Learn to read. School Administration (SAU) is great at fudging numbers. No one mentioned the SB.

Anonymous said...

The school board has control over SAU. So in fact its the school board responsibility.

Anonymous said...

"The school board has control over SAU. So in fact its the school board responsibility."

I've watched SB meetings for the past 3 years and I've yet to see any SB member DIRECT the SAU. Must be an activity that happens off camera. I stand by my statement that the SAU/administration is great at fudging numbers and SB members believes and supports whatever the SAU/administration says.

mAcciard said...

In reality the SAU is answerable to trsb and hampstead sb. The two boards vote upon the SAU budget, and that is why it is presented as a single budget item.

Anonymous said...

The school only wants the parents involved when they are not involved. I've been told I'm too involved in my child's education by the school. When your child does no homework at home, aren't you supposed to ask if they are doing it? If powerschool does not show grades for up to a month aren't you supposed to ask?

Anonymous said...

I think you mean 'in theory' -- in reality, la salle hands a budget to hapless pta refugees and policy to accomplished pta refugees...both of whom are happy to rubberstamp his proposals.

Anonymous said...

Education in this country is joke. If some you great educators could tell me why do we need the US Department of education, a State department of education and local school boards?

Why not just have a state department setting all budgets hiring and firing of school employees. This would create an equal funding in all schools. Curriculum would be equal throughout the state. Parents would be able have a choice in schools not limited to their city or town.

City and towns could pay a set rate base on population of students. School designs could be all the same.

Peter B said...

So where did 2010 TRHS graduates apply to for college? Where did they accepted, where rejected and where did they ultimately go???

Go to

Bottom two lines on page and find out.

Peter B.