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Hudson - Litchfield News 10 - June 3, 2011

Taking Pictures with Your Cell Phone May Pose Danger

Learning in Litchfield Homework in the Litchfield School District

by Elaine F. Cutler, Ed. D., Superintendent of Schools, SAU 27, Litchfield School District

by Elaine F. Cutler, Ed.D. The subject of homework and how it is assessed has recently been a topic of conversation for the Litchfield School Board. Principals have reported the practices of each of their schools, and School Board members have weighed in with their opinions and have researched the topic. Because it is a topic that is important to parents and affects the educational process, this article presents current practices at each school and strives to clarify any misconceptions that may exist in the community.

At Griffin Memorial School, homework is recognized as an important practice for student review, make-up work, practice, and project work. All homework is corrected and checked by the teacher and the child is given credit for completing this work. The student’s homework completion is recognized on the quarterly report card sent home to parents. We also follow a 10-minute rule for the amount of homework that we assign. (10 minutes at grade one and an additional 10 minutes as the child progresses through each grade level.) The nature of homework at Litchfield Middle

School varies by subject and nature. Homework is an extension of the learning that happens during instruction in class. It reinforces and extends the concepts that are being taught. If an assignment, project, or special activity is given for homework that will be assessed for accuracy, students will be made aware of the specific criteria they will be assessed on. On many occasions,

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homework is assigned for students to refine those skills and concepts they learned in class that day with teacher guidance. Parents are welcomed and encouraged to assist their children with homework. Homework is one category in a student’s weighted average for the class, which includes formative and summative assessments. Homework is always graded for completion and, at times, for accuracy. Regardless, feedback or follow-up is always provided by the teacher on homework assigned. The faculty and administration at Campbell High School use homework as a constructive tool in the teaching and learning process. Routine and timely feedback provides students with an accurate assessment of their progress in obtaining competency related to course objectives. This data also provides teachers with valuable information for planning future instruction. Homework assignments are varied according to the curriculum and students’ needs. Some forms of homework are summative in nature and receive a quantitative grade, while other homework is formative in scope and designed for practice. Formative assessments are often without a designated point value, and never account for more than 20 percent of a student’s overall grade. Formative instruction is an important tool that gives students opportunities to process, practice, refine, and extend their knowledge beyond the classroom in a clear, purposeful, and engaging manner. “Effective formative assessment should encourage students to improve,” Marzano, 2006. If parents have concerns or questions regarding homework, I would invite them to contact their child’s teacher. If further assistance is needed, the guidance counselors and administrators stand ready to partner with parents to help all children have a positive learning experience. The Litchfield School Board takes great pride in our schools and welcomes your comments and

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suggestions. You may contact any Board member or professional staff member using the directory available at www. litchfieldsd. org.

by Doug Robinson “If you have children or grandchildren, you need to watch this,” stated the e-mail from Selectman Roger Coutu. Like most of those who own smartphones and Blackberries, and those who send pictures to the Internet, “I had no idea this could happen from taking pictures on the Blackberry or cell phone.” As reported by NBC News, new technology can

track down the person, the child, and the location right down to the bedroom from where a picture was posted. Hackers can cherry-pick the Web and then find out where that person plays and shops, find their friends, and even find out the specific area of a park where a parent might take a child.

NBC News tested the process by taking a picture of a child and then posting that picture on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media Websites. They then right-clicked on the photo and a box popped up. Within that box was a “data” bar. Once hitting that data bar, all the pertinent information regarding who sent that picture was available.

Furthermore, GPS or other mapping software,

which is now available on smartphones and Blackberries, has the capability to integrate with the data, thus producing a map to direct the hacker directly to the location of that picture. The report continued to state that owners of the phones do have the ability to shut off all settings, which would prohibit a hacker from attaining access to your personal information. The phone owner would need to set the online settings to private, turn off GPS pictures, and set the locations off. Or the owner could go to the camera functions and set picture controls to private. To be completely sure that you have done it correctly, consult your owner’s manual or visit

your specific phone carrier. “I want every one of you to watch this and then be sure to share with all your family and friends. It’s really important information about what your posting things on your cell phones can do to you! Too much technology out there these days, so beware,” wrote Selectman Coutu. The Website to visit is: com/watch?v=N2vARzvWxwY.

NH Scholar Renatta Landrau Chosen to Speak at NH State House

by Doug Robinson As a high

Renatta Landrau

school senior, Renatta Landrau’s life experiences, challenges, and opportunities have set this NH State Scholar above all other NH State Scholars. Bubbly, friendly, and cheerful, Renatta is full of

life and hope, and realizes that the fundamentals of life begin with the service to others. Blending her schoolwork with her personal commitment to the giving to others has earned her the respect of her peers, the school administration, the School Board, and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The academic requirements to earn the distinction of NH Scholar are rigorous and demanding. “The New Hampshire Scholars Initiative builds the capacity of school districts to enhance personalized learning, individualized progress and encourages students to take more rigorous course work. This happens through various strategies, but most specifically by strengthening

school/community partnerships,” according to the NH Scholars Program. “New Hampshire Scholars Program recommends a Core Course of Study to high scholars that give every participating student the advantage of well- rounded, more challenging coursework in English, math, science, social studies and foreign language. Students who undertake this rigorous Core Course of Study will challenge themselves to do their best work during their high school career and will enjoy a wider range of postsecondary options upon graduation. “The New Hampshire Scholars Program is unique in that it enlists the help of business leaders and postsecondary personnel in encouraging students to select curriculum that will adequately prepare them for the challenges they will face in postsecondary pursuits be it two or four year college, certificate programs, the military, or the workplace.” As a NH Scholar, Renatta acquired advanced academic skills, developed sound decision-making and critical-thinking skills, became more prepared for college and became less likely to need costly remedial courses, became a stronger candidate for certain types of financial aid and scholarships, and enhanced her opportunities for placement and future advancement with local and international employers.

Outside the classroom, Renatta was chosen to be captain of the women’s varsity volleyball team and women’s varsity basketball team. She also served as the vice president of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) chapter at Campbell High School. She also participates on the Campbell High School track team. Within her hometown community of Litchfield, Renatta works with youth and has been the president of youth ministries through her church and in national organizations.

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Pelham: We are located diagonally across from St. Pat’s School Windham: S. Lowell Rd into Pelham. At Yellow-blinking light, take left on Main St. We are 300 yards on left. Hudson: Rt 111E to 128S. Left on Nashua Rd. Stop-straight. 300 yds on left.

During the summer months, Renatta works with the City Year Young Heroes program and is now volunteering at Girls Inc. in an effort to help minister to young underprivileged women. In recognition of Renatta’s contributions to herself, school, community, and to mankind, she was honored by the NH Scholars Organization as one of only two NH Scholars to speak during the NH Scholars Convention held at the State House Capitol. She was selected from a pool of 1,500 NH Scholars, representing 43 New Hampshire schools. The selection process involved choosing only one male and one female to speak from the 1,500 NH Scholars at the Scholars ceremony Campbell Principal Robert Manseau writes, “In life there are ‘givers and takers.’ Renatta has chosen to be a ‘giver.’ Adjectives to describe Renatta would include outgoing, enthusiastic, confident, athletic,

responsible, and intellectual.” In her spare time, Renatta enjoys photography,

computers, and time with her family.

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