WMRHS Design for Learning - Administrative Structure
Posted on 06/08/2020

            WMRHS Design for Learning

           Administrative Structure 

As remote learning comes to a close for the 2019-2020 school year for students, parents, and educators; White Mountains Regional High School is excited to announce some changes for the 2020-2021 school year.  The administration is taking on a new look with some familiar faces. The administrative team is being restructured to capitalize on the expertise and experiences of current staff members. Taking the helm as Interim Principal will be Jacob Hess.  Jacob has been the Assistant Principal for the last three years and prior to that, he has ten years of experience teaching high school English. Moving into the newly defined role as Dean of Students and Instruction is Patricia (Patsy) Ainsworth.  Patsy has been at WMRHS for over twenty-five years as a classroom teacher and recently as the Teacher Leader.

Michael (Mike) Curtis remains in his role as the Director of the Futures Program and will split Assistant Principal duties with Robert (Rob) Scott, CTE Director.  Both men have been in education well over a decade with many of their years in SAU#36. This team is excited to work together and focus on three major areas at WMRHS: 1.) Everyone is a learner;  2.)Intentional reflection; 3.) and, Creating a healthy and safe building.

The team has identified  these areas of focus as their  goals for continuing to move learning and teaching  forward. The first area of focus is around the notion that everyone is a learner. It seems obvious that everyone in a school should be a learner and it has been a part of  the WMRHS culture.   It is the aim of the new administrative team to support learners who are accountable for their learning and become more independent and successful in the 21st Century.    

The second area of focus is intentional reflection. Students and staff are asked to be reflective in their learning and, this coming year, time will be set aside for that reflection. The implementation of a digital portfolio will assist students in being reflective in their academic work along with the goals they’ve established for themselves surrounding the Image of a Graduate. Staff reflection will take on a different look and include modeling for students. Staff will establish goals and reflect on their journey to achieve those goals regularly. The purpose of this focus is to bring about connections and validity of what students desire to achieve in their time at WMRHS and for staff to improve their craft.

The third area to be highlighted is creating a healthy and safe building. Again, this is not new, but the deliberate focus and allocation of human resources to this will be impactful. Social and emotional supports are not new at the high school and next school year will be no different. An expansion on the framing of the content, delivery and a focus on the well being of every student will guide the Spartan 101 themes and interactions between students and staff. With such a long break from in person education, research indicates that adolescents will need more SEL support as they re-enter schools in the fall and/or continue with some form of remote learning. Supporting the work needed to make WMRHS students and staff healthy and well after almost six months apart is paramount to growing healthy and well adults.

In his new role as Interim Principal, Mr. Hess looks to build off of the work that has been taking place at the Regional over the past 4-5 years. Helping to develop and foster opportunities for teachers to collaborate and reflect will help improve their craft which then allows for a better learning environment for the students. Helping to guide the building in the direction of being “healthy and well” for everyone is a priority for Mr. Hess. This will create a building where everyone is in a good place to pursue an education, know the resources available for their needs, and achieve their goals.

In her role as Dean of Students and Instruction, Mrs. Ainsworth will be taking on a proactive approach to behavior management. The desired outcome is to identify students’ needs and coach them through difficulties in order to avoid the negative behaviors which result in discipline. On the instruction side, Mrs. Ainsworth will work with the Teacher Leader to identify and deliver needed professional development to  improve each teacher's craft. Continued focus on Newmann’s Authentic Standards will be in the forefront of improving instruction.

As Futures Director/Assistant Principal, Mr Curtis  will work with students grades 9-12 in various educational platforms and work- based learning threads to deliver meaningful learning opportunities to our student population.  Through various grant and district funding sources, Mr. Curtis will continue to provide competency and inquiry based learning opportunities for the 2020-2021 school year. Mr. Curtis, using the “restorative practice” model, will work with seniors to improve and enhance relationships between the students, staff and the community as a whole.  With the goal of creating a positive school environment and healthy community.  White Mountains Regional High School believes placing social, emotional, and cognitive structures in place, will in turn, assist in the positive development of the “whole child”. Mr.Curtis will also continue his work with GEARUP NH.

            As CTE Director/Assistant Principal, Mr. Scott is planning to use the results of a recently completed comprehensive needs assessment to increase the amount of writing, reading, and math skills that will be embedded in each of the CTE programs.  Furthermore, students and teachers will begin working on program competencies defense portfolios that students will need to present to each program advisory committee at the end of their second year in the program, highlighting the skills they learned and how they plan to use them after high school.  In the AP role, Mr. Scott will work with all administrators to become more proactive in behavior management and will work primarily with Juniors and CTE students from other schools.

            The design for learning at WMRHS includes the professional experiences of four quality educators. As the 2020-2021 school year unfolds they look forward to  meeting the demands of the “new normal” with a thoughtful, creativite, and systematic approach.

Written in collaboration with:

 Mr. Hess, Mr. Scott, Mr, Curtis, Mrs. Ainsworth, and Dr. Anastasia