Sununu: Pleased with progress

Governor Chris Sununu is hailing a report showing that the New Hampshire School Connectivity Initiative made important progress expanding high-speed Internet to schools and students across the state.  According to the State of the States report done by Education Super Highway, 25,583 students gained access to high-speed Internet last year.  Education Super Highway claims its the leading national non-profit focused on upgrading Internet access in every public school classroom in America.

This year’s report found that 8 5 percent of New Hampshire school districts meet the minimum connectivity goal per student, up from 66 percent at this time last year.  Despite that progress, the report said over forty six thousand Granite State students still do not have minimum connectivity.  In praising the state’s progress, Sununu said he looked forward to working with parents and communities to help ensure that students have the tools they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond.  We’ve linked to the full State of the States report in case you’re interested.

Parents exercising options in Manchester

The number of Manchester parents home schooling or sending their children to charter schools is on the rise.  According to a report sent to members of the Board of School Committee last week, the district said the number of children being home schooled has risen from four hundred ninety one in the two thousand fourteen-fifteen school year to five hundred ninety two in the current sixteen-seventeen school year.  That’s an increase of more than twenty percent.

In charter schools, the number of city students has swelled from two hundred forty one in the thirteen fourteen school year to five hundred fourteen in the fifteen-sixteen school year.  That’s an increase of one hundred thirteen percent.  Numbers were not provided for the current school year.

Girard: Questions lead to data discovery

The numbers were sent in response to questions asked by at-Large Committee Member Rich Girard during a discussion of the district’s declining enrollment at a recent meeting.  Girard said it would be useful to know if people were leaving the city or simply pulling their kids from school.  Girard also asked about the numbers of city students attending parochial and other private schools.  The district has yet to provide that information.  Just thought we’d mention it since its National School Choice Week.

Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day.  Let’s contemplate that carefully as we evaluate the very real modern day threats to Israel’s existence.

News from our own backyard continues after this.

Gannon:  Not happy 

The Auburn Board of Selectmen will meet Monday night.  On the agenda is an item regarding parking on Rockingham Road that my raise the ire of some town folk.  It seems that Fire Chief Ed Gannon is unhappy with an event known as the “Burning of the Greens” at the Auburn Pitts.  According to documents on the agenda, he called the January fourteenth event quote “a significant life safety hazard.” 

The event attracted a big crowd and vehicles parked on both sides of Rockingham Road, potentially restricting the ability of fire apparatus or an ambulance to get through.  Gannon also complained that the flames from the burning of the trees were as high as 30-feet and he apparently also didn’t like that a “secondary grill” was being used on the wooden deck attached to the building.  The chief said the Fire Department will be meeting with the owner of the Auburn Pitts to ensure fire standards and local ordinances for Fire Watches are met in the future.  But to address the issue of vehicles on Rockingham Road, he felt it would be appropriate to post the road for “no parking” on the north side between Champagne Lane and Shea’s Drive.  The meeting starts at seven o’clock in Town Hall.

Ball: Register now

Goffstown Town Clerk Cathy Ball is encouraging residents with motor vehicle registrations due in February to complete their transactions by Thursday, February 16th to avoid processing delays and inconvenience.  Ball said the State Division of Motor Vehicles has announced it is installing a new driver licensing system, known as VISION, and that, as a result, there will be a period of time when the D M V’s computer system will be unavailable statewide.  An implementation schedule has been planned around the President’s Day holiday weekend.

In a statement released yesterday, Ball said that beginning on Friday, February 17th, the Town Clerk’s Office’s access to the D M V’s system will be subject to availability, meaning that completion of the state’s portion of registration renewal will not be available without traveling to a  D M V facility to purchase license plates or plate decals.  Ball also announced that the office will be closed along with the D M V offices on Tuesday, February 21st, as a result of the system’s implementation.  She said her office will reopen on Wednesday, the 22nd and that their ability to process both the town and state portions of motor vehicle transactions will be determined at that time.  Ball asked residents to plan ahead and remember that February 28th is the last day to renew registrations expiring during February.

We’re assuming every city and town in our listening area will be affected by the new system and recommend, if you have a vehicle to register, that you keep this item in mind.  You might want to think about contacting your town clerk’s office, or, in Manchester, the Office of the Tax Collector, to see what, if any, accommodations they’ve arranged for the system’s converstion.

MPD: Test prep

The Manchester Police Department has sent out several reminders that it will be holding a police exam and hosting a free seminar to prep interested parties for that exam.  The seminar will be held on the evening of Monday, February 27th from six to nine in the Walker Auditorium of Robert Frost Hall at Southern New Hampshire University.  They will discuss the requirements for the test, the testing process and how to prepare for the upcoming exam.  Any questions should be directed to Officer Carl Accorto at 7 9 2 5 4 5 2.  Applications and additional information are available at manchester p d dot com.

That’s NEWS from our own backyard!  Girard at Large hour ___ is next!