Londonderry High School Assistant Principal Katie Sullivan and Londonderry Middle School Assistant Principal Donna Dyer gave the school board the first semester discipline reports for their respective schools, and while discipline instances were down at the high school, the middle school numbers were up.
“On a very positive note, 90 percent of our students at LMS did not have a disciplinary incident during semester one,” Dyer said. “This means 972 of our 1,086 students. We only saw 114 students for a disciplinary concern. We had a total of 233 incidents for semester one, (compared to) 185 incidents last year for the same time frame.”
Dyer said the school had 10 “frequent flyers” – students with five or more infractions. They were responsible for 23 percent of the discipline.
“We have 22 students who are currently enrolled in our ‘big buddy’ program, where 22 volunteer staff members meet with these students at least once per month, usually once a week,” she said. “These are students whom our staff feel are in need of a connection with an adult in the building to help ensure their success. We have trained 62 seventh and eighth grade peer mentors who work with over 29 of our sixth grade students. This program was established to help our new students make social connections at LMS as well as help them become better acclimated to middle school expectations.”
Dyer recorded nine cases of bullying or harassment; of the nine, two required an official bullying report. She said that after investigation by guidance counselors, it was determined that both cases were not substantiated.
Board member John Robinson asked about the bullying and Dyer said a lot of the bullying indents were out of school on social media.
“If a child feels that they are being harassed on Facebook and they bring it to us, we do have to address it,” Dyer said.
Robinson asked what happens if the incident doesn’t rise to the level of a bullying report and Dyer said the student’s parents are notified.
Dyer said the numbers of roughhousing and pushing rose, but said staff are more visible this year.
“There were no cases of alcohol, tobacco or drugs reported during the first semester, and we had no weapon incidents,” she added.
She said the misuse of electronic devices rose in numbers, but attributed that to the added visibility of staff.
Four parents were contacted for disciplinary issues with their children.
Dyer also noted the school’s merit system, with over 41 students receiving merits for an act of kindness or positive role modeling.
Board member John Laferriere asked about the five cases of vandalism in the report, and Dyer said that those were incidents of bathroom vandalism involving two students.
Laferriere asked about 33 incidents listed under bus misconduct, and Dyer said that involves bus drivers writing up a report.
Sullivan said that at Londonderry High School, the incidents requiring discipline totaled 190, compared to over 300 last year at the same time.
“We had a total of 190 incidents for semester one,” she said. “This compares to 359 incidents last year for the same time frame. The Breathalyzer was not used and there were five frequent flyers with five or more infractions, who were responsible for 21 percent of the discipline totals.”
According to Sullivan, 93 percent of students at LHS did not have a disciplinary incident first semester.
“The total number of E’s or attendance failure given out this semester was 89 for quarter one and 92 for quarter two,” she added. “The average daily attendance rate was 96 percent, and 1,514 out of 1,640 students did not have any discipline issues during semester one.”
Sullivan said LHS has been fortunate to have had the same four assistant principals for the past six years.
“Our numbers this semester are the best we’ve had in six years,” she added.
Laferriere asked if the numbers were down because of what the incoming students had learned in middle school.
Sullivan responded that she thought it was a credit to the whole school district.
Board member Steve Young said that there were a number of parents that were concerned with who Hooksett students coming into the district, but it looked like there were no issues with them.
“Not one,” Sullivan said. “When they come here they become part of Lancer Nation, and you can’t tell (which are from Hooksett or Londonderry).”
Board Chairman Nancy Hendricks said that she had heard wonderful things from parents about the Hooksett students.
Board member Leitha Reilly asked about students leaving campus, and Sullivan said the parking lot monitor was good at alerting staff. Sullivan said 99 percent of the time the students left to eat because they were hungry.