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December 2016
Director's Notes
As fall wraps up on December 20th, I thought I would share a few more education related highlights from the past couple of months that have not been featured yet in our newsletter.
Earn a Master's Degree as a Math or Science Educator in the North Country via UNH Residency Program
This first one should be a real boon the region's supply of mathematics and science educators. The UNH Education Department was recently awarded a four million dollar grant in partnership with the NHDOE, NCES, and several rural NH school districts through the USDOE Office of Innovation and Improvement. The project aims to prepare 60 master's level math and science educators to serve rural schools.  Over the course of the next 5 years, cohorts will be enrolled through the UNH M.Ed program. The project is called Teacher Residency for Rural Education. Learn more about TRRE here or contact the program director, Dr. Leslie Couse at
Teachers Prepare for Outer-Space Mission
The theme of this year's STEM PD project is Human Exploration of Space and the Search for Life in the Universe. An outer-space mission may not be as far fetched as it may sound. As a matter of fact, Profile High School's STEAM class just had a successful launch and recovery of a payload that made it into the stratosphere. At 100,000 feet above Earth, this is considered "near space". You can read more about that project on the WMSI blog. We are proud to say that project has ties back to professional development at NCES.
Back to our part of the experiences of this year's STEM Resource Partners, in October, the group used a Raspberry Pi (tiny, affordable computer platform) with receiver to test antennas they had constructed in September. Their mission was to find a "payload" that had landed in the vicinity of given last known coordinates.  Using a Pi in the Sky circuit board connected to Raspberry Pi, the payload emitted radio signals for them to track. All three teams were successful in retrieving payloads. Despite instructions that no bushwhacking would be necessary, we are happy to report no teachers were lost when seeking out the most direct route!
North Country Educators Featured in Summit Focused on the Impact of Opiate Use on Student Learning

In November, for statewide coverage, two summits took place on the topic of opiate use and its impact on student learning. Dr. Kevin Sabet keynoted the event, highlighting issues with brain development and learning that results from substance abuse. Tym Rourke of NH Charitable Foundation and Mary Steady from the NHDOE Office of Student Wellness closed out the day. 

Representing the North Country as speakers were Superintendent Corinne Cascadden, Brown School Principal Amy Huter, and Project Aware Coordinator Bob Thompson to speak on the strategies Berlin schools are putting into place in response to social emotional needs of students; Erik Becker, Groveton SAP spoke on building protective factors; and serving on the panel were Valerie Rella, SAU 7 SAP and Jennifer Noyes, SAU 7 Project Aware Coordinator and from Woodsville High School, Athletic Director Mike Ackerman. From the North Country Health Consortium, Drew Brown and Laura Hosley helped facilitate breakout discussions. Approximately 1/3 of participants at the Lakes/NC summit were from schools served by NCES.
Launch Day for CS4NH
We were pleased to see White Mountains Regional High School educator, Ron Danault, presenting one of the breakout sessions at the Computer Science for New Hampshire (CS4NH) inaugural summit held at UNH Manchester on November 5th. The day started out with keynote Pat Youngpradit of and followed with hands-on workshops like the one on Project Lead the Way Computer Science led by Ron Danault.
NCES is working to bring a similar event to the North Country this spring. Stay tuned! To learn more about CS4NH, visit
All North Country High Schools Participate in Leadership Conference

Hosted at Camp Merrovista, 114 students from Lin-Wood, Profile, Woodsville, Littlteton, White Mountains Regional, Groveton, Pittsburg, Colebrook, Berlin, Gorham, and the Enriched Learning Center participated in a three day, two night conference.  At the conference, student came together to train, share ideas, plan, increase leadership skills, build knowledge and bond as a regional group.
The conference is a combined effort of ADAPT and the North Country Health Consortium and is funded by the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund. We, at NCES, are thrilled to see these youth conferences thriving as they are an outgrowth of the North Country Prevention Youth Council that Sean O'Brien spearheaded back in 2010 through a federal grant project coordinated by NCES! 
10th Coos County Child Care Summit

Congratulations to the Coos County Director Network for drawing a full house to their 10th annual summit for early childhood educators this fall. The theme was Taking Initiative: The Tools for Change

NCES began serving as the fiscal sponsor for CCDN in July. This early childhood initiative is funded by the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund with the goal of improving the quality of early childhood care in Coos County. Child care centers in the network are committed to creating and sustaining a system of highly trained professionals working with partner organizations to support all children ages 0-8 and their families. 
WMSI Mobile STEM Lab
WMSI BlogFor our last highlight this month, I wanted to share the exciting news about the launch of WMSI Mobile STEM Lab. Though this is not a NCES project, we work closely with WMSI on all of our STEM related teacher professional development. It's great to see WMSI is out and about working in after-school programs with STEM Explorers! Check out the WMSI Blog for more photos and details on what students are working on with WMSI.
In closing, as we head into the holiday season, if your shopping will lead you to purchasing through Amazon, please consider initiating that purchasing experience though this link tied to NCES' charitable donation account: NCES AmazonSmile. Amazon will donate .5% of the price of eligible purchases to NCES. It is a pain-free way to contribute to this non-profit organization. Of course, a tax-deductible donation is always welcome too!
Have a great December!
Lori Langlois
Executive Director

North Country Code Leaders Project
NCES and WMSI are excited to announce our latest professional development opportunity that will kick-off for the next school year. We are announcing it now to give schools ample time to strategize who to involve. 
Many of you may already be engaging with the "Hour of Code" activity through The intent of this PD opportunity is to give North Country Code Leaders the skills and curriculum ideas to bring back and teach to their colleagues in order to take the school to the next steps beyond the "hour of code".
The purpose of this professional development series is to begin integrating coding literacy in the elementary grades as a key element of developing robust computer science programs K-12. The PD is a "train the code leader" model and focus on curriculum for K-8. Depending on the structure of your school(s)/district, this could involve a high school educator if there is a means for to work on implementation in the earlier grades.
Ideally we are seeking two person teams per school to participate. The commitment would be 8 evenings, one a month at NCES beginning in the fall of 2017.
Principals should contact NCES to reserve seats for their school participant(s). Registration is first-come, first serve.
Learn more

North Country Middle School Film Festival

NCES is excited to announce the eighth annual North Country Student Film Festival.The premier sponsor for this event is North of the 44th with additional support provided by the TransCanada Corporation.  

Entry into the film festival is free and it is open to students in grades 4-8 (two levels of competition). Eligible schools are New Hampshire SAUs 3, 7, 9, 20, 23, 35, 36, 58, 68, 77 & 84, as well as bordering schools in Vermont and Maine. Charter and private schools and homeschoolers from the North Country region are invited to participate as well. Other schools willing to travel to the festival may contact NCES about the possibility of being included.
New this year, there will be two levels of participation, a grades 4-5-6 competition and a grades 7 & 8 competition (can include 6th grade if a 6-8 school).
A modest stipend will be provided for the local school coordinator. This must be a person on staff at the school, but does not have to be a teacher. For films that will be created as in-class projects, there is a $150 stipend for the coordinator. For those who will supervise teams outside of the normal school day, the stipend will be $350. 
This year's theme is Through Our Eyes with the following category options:
Innovation North of the 44th
  • A clever solution to a problem tied either to a problem found North of the 44th or highlighting a solution of an inventor/business person/entrepreneur who lives or hails from the region.
  • A story about innovation in the region (renewable energy projects, local foods movement, economic or community development strategies, and much more).
Life North of the 44th
  • People: The story of someone who has made a positive difference, overcome adversity, or excelled in some way.
  • Places: Special natural or man-made places in the North Country.
  • Pastimes & Passions: From hobbies, to sports, to special events, this category could include stories about local festivals to indoor and outdoor activities people enjoy in the region. Activities unique to this region are a plus.
The Future We Envision North of the 44th
We face many challenges in the modern world.  These include inequality, racism, poverty, substance misuse, bullying, affordable health care, and climate change, to name a few. Films in this category should highlight the importance of addressing the issue and ideally tie into one of the following:
  • Communities coming together to work towards solutions
  • School groups or activities that address issues
  • A new idea you have to address an issue
For rules, guidelines and the school registration form, please visit:


Professional Development for Para-Educators
Thanks to support from Jane's Trust, NCES will be offering a series of free professional development sessions one evening a month from October through May from 4:00 to 8:00 PM. The presenter will be live at NCES in Gorham with video conference locations in Madison, Colebrook, and Lisbon.
Cost: FREE and $35 stipend for the first 40 registered paras (must be employed by a NH school and for fairness sake, no shows and cancellations will be bumped to the bottom of the list for the following month)
Monthly topics and presenters:
  • Thursday, December 15, 2016 with Pat Eddy
    • Accommodations vs Modifications
Registration: Click here, call Lisa at 603-466-5437 or email

  • Thursday, January 26, 2017 with Chelsea Hunnewell
    • Community Communication  

  • Thursday, February 16, 2017 with Deborah Stewart
    • Zones Regulation: Part I

  • Thursday, March 9, 2017 with Chelsea Hunnewell
    • Zones Regulation: Part II

  • Thursday, April 6, 2017 with David Freschi
    • The Role of the Para in Working with Autistic Students

  • Thursday, May 11, 2017 with Deborah Stuart (not the same as above)
    • The Paraprofessional's Role in Promoting Success in Arts Classrooms
Registration for the next workshop will open at the conclusion of the prior month's session.

NH SAT School Day Users Group 
In advance of the 2017 NH Statewide SAT School Day, Dave Backler, the User Group Regional Representative will lead a workshop for those involved with SAT implementation. 
Date: Friday, December 16, 2016
Time: 1:00 to 3:00
Location: NCES
Cost: Free
RSVP: or call NCES, 466-5437.

Has your school registered to improve your school's mental health system?
“Over the past several years, we have seen the role of the public school system expand to meet the needs of the students who come through the door each day,” commented Mary Steady, Administrator of the Office of Student Wellness at the NH Department of Education. “These needs are often fundamental to the student’s ability to succeed and yet, our system is not always prepared to handle them. In an environment of limited resources, the SHAPE system has been an invaluable tool; supporting districts as they assess their current approach to comprehensive school mental health and to develop plans for strengthening and sustaining these efforts.” 
Learn more at

Computer Science Education Week is in December!
December 5-11, 2016 is CS Education Week. It's a week for anyone who wants to help prepare the next generation for the profound social and economic impacts of computing.
Ideas for participation:
Register your Hour of Code here:
Make a school or district pledge via the CSforAll consortium:
Promote CS Education in NH in social media with #CS4NH and #CSforALL
Whatever you are doing for CS Education Week, David Benedetto, the STEM Director at the NHDOE is interested in hearing about it via this survey:
For those interested in becoming "Code Leaders" for K-8 implementation, check out the professional development that NCES and WMSI have planned for next year.
NC Code Leader Flyer Image

Aware of NH's Strategy for Reducing the Misuse of Alcohol and Other Drugs and Promoting Recovery?
Check out Collective Action > Collective Impact, an extensive document published by the Governor's Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Intervention, and Treatment.  There's a section specifically devoted to Education.
Collective Action, Collective Impact Doc

What is Energy?
The Flame Challenge


The annual Flame Challenge contest is part of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science’s mission of helping scientists communicate more effectively with the public. This international contest, judged by 11 year olds, challenges scientists to answer complex scientific concepts in a way that is understandable and engaging. Launched in 2012, The Flame Challenge began with Alan Alda's own childhood query, "What is a flame?". The question issued to scientists for The Flame Challenge 2017 is 'What is Energy?'. “As far as I know, nothing happens without energy,” says Alan Alda,actor, writer, and science advocate. “Night and day, we’re surrounded by it, moved by it — we live and breathe by it. But what is it?"
Teachers, learn how you can engage your class as judges in a real-life science contest!

The 22nd Annual Integrated Arts Conference
Image link to annual conference
Plymouth State University and the New Hampshire Department of Education in partnership with the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire and with support from the NH State Council on the Arts and the New Hampshire Arts Learning Network are presenting an exciting day-long Conference exploring the power of the arts for all learners on January 20, 2017.
Learn more

NH State Board of Education Adopts Next Generation Science Standards
On November 3, 2016 the NH State Board of Education adopted NH's College-and Career Ready Science Standards.
Learn more

The annual reading/writing conference for educators dedicated to the memory and legacy of Donald Graves will be held on Saturday, April 8, 2017, 8:30 to 2:00 at Kennett High School. Presented in partnership by the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire and Conway School District, the 2017 conference features Katie Muhtaris & Kristin Ziemke, authors of Amplify: Digital Teaching and Learning in the K-6 Classroom, published by Heinemann.
Learn more

How are you incorporating
NH's Work - Study Practices?

Use various media to interpret, question, and express knowledge, information, ideas, feelings, and reasoning to create mutual understanding.
Use original and flexible thinking to communicate my ideas or construct a unique product or solution.

Work in diverse groups to achieve a common goal.
Initiate and manage my learning, and demonstrate a “growth” mindset, through self-awareness, self motivation, self-control, self-advocacy and adaptability as a reflective learner.
Learn more

Are you North of the 44th Placemaker?
North of the 44th placemakers pledge to...
Share resources and passion to strengthen the region.
Highlight what is inspiring and right in the region while recognizing that challenges exist.
Attend to relationships and networks to build trust, optimism and a common sense of purpose across the region.
Practice Asset-Based Thinking and building from strength in daily work and life.
Emphasize inclusion, reaching beyond traditional barriers of age, class and education.

Support NCES with a tax deductible donation
Your tax deductible gift helps support the work of the organization in being a leader in providing professional development and educational services, facilitating partnerships and fostering collaborations that benefit member schools, advocating for resources for teachers and students, and continuously creating opportunities that enhance education in the North Country.

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Contact Information
North Country Education Services
300 Gorham Hill Road
Gorham, NH 03581 
NCES  is an equal opportunity employer and provider. 
North Country Education Services  |  300 Gorham Hill Road  |  Gorham, NH 03581  |
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