Monday, 5/4/2020 - SAU29 COVID-19 Update

Good Afternoon,

First and foremost, a big shoutout to all of our teachers as today kicks off National Teacher Appreciation Week.  Our teachers bring out the best in our students over 180 days year after year and are continuing that effort with the unusual circumstances we are all dealing with today.  Whether it is in the classrooms, on the stages, on the playing fields, in the labs, in the buildings, out in the community or even at home, our students continue to shine thanks in large part to the efforts of our teachers.  As your Superintendent, and as a father, I say THANK YOU to all of our amazing teachers for the outstanding work that you have done and continue to do!  Our students and our children are fortunate to have such dedicated and caring educators looking out for their best interest.

Today we begin recognizing that it is Mental Health Awareness Month.  Knowing the signs that somebody may be struggling with their mental well-being and breaking down the stigma that has been associated with someone struggling is a great way to build stronger communities.  Many of you may be aware that former NH Chief Justice of the NH Supreme Court, Justice John Broderick, has become the leading champion of these efforts.  You’ll hear from Justice Broderick (and others) more intimately in a future update, but for now, this seven (7) minute video is a wonderful table setter on the importance of this particular topic. I hope that you are able to take a brief moment to watch John Broderick: From Chief Justice to Mental Health Crusader as he (and his family) share their story for others to learn from.

I am excited to announce that we will be bringing three (3) films for our families and staff to have access to throughout the month.  The films that we are bringing, “Like,” “Angst,” and “The Upstanders” speak to some of the issues that impact our student’s social, emotional and mental well-being.  As we move through the month, we will be releasing one film per week starting with “Like” on Monday, May 11th.  We have secured 500 viewings for each film and ask that households only use one viewing for everyone in the home to watch.  This will enable others to have access in their homes as well.  Details on how to access these videos will be released in the coming days, so please be on the lookout for them.

By the end of the day today, you should have heard from your school’s Principal regarding grading for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.  If you haven’t yet heard, or if you have any questions or concerns, I encourage you to reach out to your Principal as soon as possible.  

Back on February 27th, we asked families and staff to weigh in on the qualities and characteristics they would be looking for in the next Principal of Keene High School.  I am certain that many would agree with me in that we are sad to see Mr. Logan will be leaving KHS at the end of this school year.  I am also confident that we would all like to wish him well on his next journey and hope for nothing but the best for him and his family.  Thank you Mr. Logan!  

However, despite the remote world that we are currently living in, the search for Mr. Logan’s successor has continued.  The Search Committee that is composed of a student, two (2) parents, three (3) KHS teachers, two (2) KHS Administrators, a Keene Board of Education Member, a Board Member from one of the sending towns and facilitated by two (2) Central Office Administrators has done a huge job of narrowing down the field.  They have reviewed twenty-seven (27) applicants, phone screened ten (10) and conducted six (6) interviews.  At this point, they have narrowed the field down to one (1) that will be advanced to the public round.  A question and answer session is being held with the staff at KHS today with the candidate and is also being recorded.  That session will be made available for folks in the public to view and a feedback form will be made available for input to be shared with the Search Committee.  Please be on the lookout for those details in tomorrow’s update.

That pretty much wraps it up for today. I hope that everyone enjoyed the beautiful weather we had over the weekend by getting outside as much as possible.  My sunburn told me that I was out quite a bit and reminded me to be a little smarter when I am outside.  Lesson learned!

Be Well,


Remote Learning: If you are experiencing any difficulties or concerns with your child’s remote learning or have questions regarding what is expected, please start by asking your child’s teacher.  Our teachers are doing a GREAT job of continuing the teaching and learning process through these adverse circumstances and can provide immediate answers or direct your questions accordingly.

School Boards:  Please use the links below to access the most recent school board meetings for your respective school district.

Chesterfield -  CSB Meeting Video

Harrisville -  HSB Meeting Video

Keene - KBE Meeting Video

Marlborough - MbSB Meeting Video

Marlow - MwSB Meeting Video

Nelson - NSB Meeting Video

Westmoreland - WSB Meeting Video

National Teacher Appreciation Week ChallengeThis is an open challenge to students and parents and quite honestly, the entire community.  As May 4-8 is National Teacher Appreciation Week, I would like to challenge everyone to reach out to the teachers that have gone above and beyond the call of duty to continue to provide the best possible education for all of our students to let them know how much you appreciate their efforts.  Although it is National Teacher Appreciation, I would also challenge you to reach out to others in our school systems that have also been working hard to make things work the best that we all can.  This is not to diminish the roles that our outstanding teachers have been able to navigate given the uncertainties we are faced with, but a recognition of the efforts that everyone has put in during this truly unusual time.

Special EducationThe special education and related services staff continue to provide specialized instruction and related therapies from a distance.  Moreover, our paraprofessionals and tutors are providing important assistance and support with remote instruction. In addition, the special education department is moving forward with the daily business of Individualized Education Plan Meetings (IEP), transition meetings and Extended School Year Services meeting (ESY) for those students that qualify.  As always, please reach out to the Student Services Offices at 357-9001 extension 230 or email [email protected].  Our hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 3:00.  Thank you!

Meals: The order form for meal pick up in the town districts is now open for Monday May 11th and Wednesday May 13th. Orders must be submitted no later than this Thursday, May 7th at 5pm.  Ordered meals will be available  at noon on Monday and Wednesday at the school you selected. The order form for meals on Monday May 11th and Wednesday May 13th will open on Monday May 4th. Please use this meal order form link to place your order.


Meal pick up for Keene is behind Franklin School and Keene High School on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7:30-11:30am.  Preordering is not required.


Mondays you will receive 2 days' worth of meals. Wednesdays you will receive 3  days' worth of meals. 


Menus and offerings will vary based on availability

Technology: Help desk number, (603) 352-0640 ext 3871. For help with the Home user and remote learning click here

Thank you Keene High parents we are almost there.

KEENE HIGH Parents: Please take the time to fill out this permission slip to allow us to add Youtube to the list of tools for the teachers. Thank You. Click here

**** New ****

Keene Middle school parents:

Please take the time to fill out this permission slip to allow us to add Youtube to the list of tools for the teachers. Thank You.  Click here for KMS 

We now have Kami as a part of the Google classroom for Teachers and students. Click here for the 1st time login instructions. Click here for the help with getting started with Kami.  

Vetted APPs and Websites:  You can check the online vetted site here: SDPC. Look up the App and website by company. We have added more to the list as we get them back from the Vetting team. 

Mental HealthAs always, please reach out to your child’s team of school counselors or school nurses if you need support or assistance during this challenging time. If you are not sure who to contact, please call or email your child's building principal.  If you are unable to reach someone, please contact the Student Services Offices at 357-9001 extension 230 or email [email protected].  


  • The 5 Signs to help you identify and support  others may be struggling more than usual at this challenging time, or at any time.

  • A Mom's Retreat - A podcast on managing anxiety.

Reporting AbuseIf you see something, please say something.  You can find guidance on the NH Department of Health and Human Services website.  

Additional Resources:

School Calendars: You can use this link to view your district’s calendar:  SAU 29 School District Calendars.  The 2020-2021 school year calendars can also be found using this link.

School Buildings: Building hours are 7:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday for staff only.  All buildings are closed on the weekend.

School GroundsAll school playgrounds, fields, and other outdoor facilities are closed until further notice.  

Social Distancing:  Please refer to Governor Sununu’s Emergency Order 17 for additional guidance.

Contact Information: Dr. Rick Matte is the lead contact person for all COVID-19 inquiries and concerns at all SAU 29 schools and districts.  He can be reached at [email protected]

Governor Sununu has also activated a 24 hour COVID-19 hotline for all related needs and supports. The hotline can be reached by dialing 211.

COVID-19 and Remote Learning Resources: