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Just a few days left to vote and help the Pittsfield School District get a $100,000 Nellie Mae grant!

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You can vote here to help Pittsfield, a great New Hampshire school district, win a $100,000 Nellie Mae Foundation grant.  A friend wrote today to say, “There is no public school in NH who deserves the recognition more for a job well done than Pittsfield. They are so property poor it is a struggle but they wanted their children to have better schools—so with a trusted leader and strong community will and support, the faculty and students really have shown how schools can personalize education and improve outcomes for the students.”

Please vote for Pittsfield – and pass it on!

Here is the writeup about Pittsfield on the Nellie Mae site:

About the Pittsfield School Board

The Pittsfield School Board, an elected body, provides citizen-leadership for learning in Pittsfield, New Hampshire – a town of 4,300.  Through collaboration with students, faculty and staff, and community, the School Board has been instrumental in helping to personalize student learning while increasing achievement.

The School Board has guided the district’s shift to a student-centered system. In the Pittsfield School District, student voice is amplified through a range of practices, including personal learning plans for each student, student-led conferences, a competency-based curriculum, extended learning opportunities, dual enrollment, online learning, and Pittsfield’s site council, a student-majority school governing body.

The school district has reorganized itself into teams and reorganized schedules to allocate weekly time for professional development to provide a consistent focus on student-centered priorities, including student advisory development, inquiry-based learning strategies, student engagement, and data driven dialogues.

The School Board counts on community members as full partners in our school’s transformation, benefiting from active participation in real decision-making through community forums, role analysis and redefinition, and long-term planning through our continuous improvement team and long-term school development planning team.

What Winning Would Mean

Being a small school district (575 students) with limited financial resources (56% qualify for free or reduced price meals), the O’Toole Award would help Pittsfield to further it’s district’s student-centered values and support other schools with their implementation of student-centered learning principles and practices. The Pittsfield School Board explains how winning the Larry O’Toole Award would benefit their district:

“As we look ahead, we can foresee further opportunities to engage students and strengthen their voices. Continuing professional learning for our faculty and staff (such as inquiry learning and performance assessment), visits to other successful schools and research of promising practices (such as the evolving promise of technology and off-site learning opportunities), and enhancement of fledgling strategies (such as student leadership opportunities and expansion student-centered practices to lower grade levels) all hold exciting potential for development.

“Additionally, we are finding a hunger for support of student-centered practices from schools and districts around the region and nation. We have been visited by many educators from such schools and have been invited to share our work in a range of settings, including having our students present at national conferences. This award holds the potential not only for furthering our work in Pittsfield, but for influencing schools nationwide.”


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