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Goffstown middle school report released

GOFFSTOWN - Don't overlook "the wisdom of children," a newly released report on Mountain View Middle School urges.

"Throughout this study we were continuously impressed with the insight, hope and passion of the students," the consultant Learning Innovations at WestEd's report read. "What is also important to point out is that out of all the groups, the students were the most positive. They were the quickest to forgive. And interestingly, they focused on identifying practices or situations where they hoped for change or improvement."

The study - done to address concerns about academics, climate and culture at the school of 890 students from Goffstown, Dunbarton and New Boston - was released to the School Board Monday and is expected to be posted on the district's website today.

Teachers, parents, staffers and students weighed in. Students expressed concern over misbehavior by other students, including bullying, inconsistency in enforcing rules, a lack of activities that encourage school pride, and lunch.

Other student concerns surrounded instruction and rigor, and the school building, notably dirty bathrooms with broken fixtures and graffiti.

The 116-page report cost $35,500. The Woburn, Mass., consultant was hired last September after Mountain View came under fire for allegations of a poor culture and climate, teacher dissatisfaction and lack of academic rigor.

The report highlighted four key recommendations:

. Continue investing and supporting the school's Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) plan;

. Create a visioning committee to explore and clarify the school's mission;

. Consider researching and conducting more classroom observations to determine future areas for professional development;

. Develop a plan for celebrating student and staff success and publish that information for parents and the community.

SAU 19 Superintendent Stacy Buckley said Monday night she had not yet read the entire report, but asked the board to look at it and decide what the next steps for the district should be.

Buckley said WestEd representatives offered to meet with the board to answer any questions they may have.

The study included data collection of student test scores from 2010 to 2012, which showed that students performed above national averages in math, reading and language use.

Parent, student, teacher and staff surveys and focus groups and individual interviews with administration were also included in the study, as well as classroom observations.

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