School Board Approve Change to LHS Graduation Requirements

By Alex Malm

The Londonderry School Board had a final reading of a proposed policy change for high school graduation requirements during its Feb.14 meeting.
Londonderry High School Principal, Jason Parent, explained previously how the requirement currently is for students to complete two science courses in order to graduate, earth space science and biology.
Currently the district offers over 20 science courses.
As part of their research, Curriculum Coordinator, Shawn Flynn, said they looked at what other area schools have for requirements.
He stated that Alvirne High School, Bedford High School, Pinkerton Academy, Salem High School, and Windham High School all require three years of science.
It was also noted that most state colleges require either three years of science in high school or strongly recommend it.
For the University of New Hampshire and Plymouth State University, three years is required, and at Keene State College, two years are required and three years are recommended.
“As we look ahead at the collegiate level our own flagship institution UNH requires three years of science courses,” said Flynn.
The changes as part of the policy would go into effect for the Class of 2027.
Superintendent, Dan Black, said the policy was ready to be approved.
“We would put it into motion for next year’s freshmen,” said Black.
One member of the community, Ken Samoisette, said he was opposed to it, saying he felt there wasn’t any good reason to move forward with the changes.
“I didn’t hear one good reason why,” Samoisette said.
He also asked if it was coming from the Department of Education.
“Is there some type of incentive you get,” Samoisette asked.
Parent said the flagship state universities require it for acceptance into their schools. He added that they felt it was a good time to expand the science courses as a district.
“It’s consistent with what other progressive highschools are doing. The majority of our students, close to 90% of them, are already taking three science classes or more,” Parent said.
He explained that the Department of Education has a minimum number of requirements and from there school districts can increase it locally.
The School Board approved the policy changes.
Also during the meeting, the School Board approved a number of retirements, however, before that School Board Chair, Amy Finamore, said there isn’t a precedent on whether or not they should clap for the different retirees.
“Every single retiree has given years of service to the school district and I’d like to ask the board if for every retiree now moving forward we read the letter and then we clap for that individual and then we read the next letter,” said Finamore.
No members of the School Board objected.
The retirements approved were Kathleen Gagnon a support staff member at Moose Hill, Lori Jabar a teacher at Londonderry High School, Sharon Rice a teacher at Moose Hill, and Kelly Sarbaugh a teacher at Matthew Thornton.

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