During the April 18th Londonderry School Board meeting, one of the more pertinent discussions came from Londonderry High School’s Adult Education department.
As the first topic of deliberation during the school board meeting, Amity Small, who is the Director of Alternative Education and Assistant Principal at Londonderry High School, brought forth a proposal for an Adult Education Grant that would lend funds to Londonderry’s Adult Education program. This proposal would then be submitted to the New Hampshire Department of Adult Education for approval if the proposal was first approved by the Londonderry school board.
The program works relatively similar to normal high schools, in that students meet with counselors in order to discuss transcripts and the courses necessary to receive their diploma. The programs will feature the same types of courses that it usually does, but also likes to place an emphasis on developing 21st century skills and being ready for higher education and future careers. Department officials are also hoping to update the graphic art on advertising forms, provide books and supplies to the students and help to provide snacks to students who struggle with poverty.
One of the biggest elements of the proposed budget, however, comes from purchasing 15 year long licenses for ODYSSEYWARE. This program allows students to take day and evening programs via online courses both in and out of the classroom. The budget also requests a number of IPads and laptops for the students to use in conjunction with the various classes. Finally, the budget also requires a large sum to cover the costs of paying the teachers and guidance counselor for the program, as well as covering benefits. In all, the proposal comes out to $64,355.
The board was essentially on board with the budget from the get-go, but there was some discussion over how effective the Adult Education program was, with board member Leitha Reilly asking for the latest statistics on how the program has managed so far. Small mentioned that the latest stats would be released May 20th.
Beyond this, however, the board spent their time emphasizing the importance of the program. Reilly saw nothing wrong with what the budget requested, as it fell within the average amount that past grants have come to, stating that “there is no reason they should deny it”.
Board member Steve Young was more adamant about his support for the program. He recollected that the Adult Education program from decades ago featured far more rigorous studies that caused issues for certain students who had other engagements, but the current program is more lenient, while still providing a strong education for its students. He also mentioned that the program started as an unfunded mandate and was fearful of the idea that it could return to this if the state were to deny the grant, stating that if the grant was not approved, “Londonderry will pay for it”.
Needless to say, the proposal was approved unanimously and will now be put before the state department.