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Three schools represented New Hampshire at high school redesign conference

Three New Hampshire high schools; Goffstown High School, Timberlane Regional High School, and the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School, represented NH at a regional conference held in Nashua April 7th and 8th.

The conference, High School Redesign in Action, explored effective strategies for improving teaching and learning in the 21st century. These three schools were selected for educational accomplishments includiing making significant progress raising student achievemeent, graduation rates, or college-enrollment numbers.

“While we face many challenges in public education for students in schools today, there are great things happening. I am thrilled that at our High School Redesign in Action conference we will be showcasing examples of innovative, twenty-first century approaches to learning, where students are being prepared to meet the challenges of college and careers. I am proud and excited about the hard work going on in New Hampshire public schools. It’s inspiring,” said Virginia Barry, Commissioner, Department of Education.

“These remarkable high schools are setting an example for all of New England,” said David Ruff, executive director of the Great Schools Partnership, the New England Secondary School Consortium’s coordinating organization. “The programs they’re creating and pioneering reflect what we know works for today's students. And their unwavering commitment to their students, teachers, and larger community is nothing short of inspiring.”

The reasons for each high school's invitation to participate in the conference are listed below:

Goffstown High School never underestimates the value of healthy relationships. Its values—care, reflection, encouragement, and an unwavering focus on learning—shape the community dialogue at every level. Leadership principles, institutional practices and faculty and student dispositions promote a positive culture and improve achievement.

In 2007, the Department of Education mandated that high schools award academic credit based on the achievement of course competencies, not seat time. To meet these new expectations, Timberlane Regional High School teachers redesigned the curriculum, adopted new instructional techniques, and integrated authentic performance assessments into virtually all courses. These changes have also allowed Timberlane to expand its Evening Division Program, which students of all abilities attend. Regardless of which pathway a student selects, graduation from Timberlane requires the same comprehensive demonstration of knowledge.

The Virtual Learning Academy Charter School—a virtual high school based in New Hampshire—offers more than eighty courses, including college courses, to students across New Hampshire and New England. The school’s anytime-anywhere learning environment provides flexible, personalized instruction that includes consistent one-to-one relatioships with 110 teachers from eight different states. Approximately two-thirds of the 8,600 course enrollments come from traditional public schools.

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