Tuesday, 5/5/2020 - SAU29 COVID-19 Update

Good Afternoon,

The meeting with the candidate for the Keene High School Principal position and the high school staff went on as planned yesterday.  The meeting was recorded and we have posted it for those that would like to view it and provide their input to the Search Committee.  Details on how to access the video and the feedback form are posted below in the update.  Please know that the video will only be accessible until 8:00AM on Thursday, May 7th as both the committee and the candidate need finalization.  Under normal circumstances, we would host an in person public session and collect all input at that time, but given the current situation, that was not realistic in order to collect community feedback.  

While there typically are more than one candidate to weigh in on, the committee as a whole felt that only this particular candidate met the expectations of our community to merit moving her to this phase.  They based that work on the results of the stakeholder survey regarding the Principal position that was shared in February.  With student, parent, teacher, administrator and Board representation on the committee, I trust that they gave their diligence to all twenty-seven (27) applicants and moved forward in the best interest of our high school and our students. 

Earlier this morning, we were alerted by a concerned parent about a scheduled power outage for one of the service providers impacting some of our residential areas.  I want to firstly say thank you to that parent for letting us know about this as we did not receive any notification from the power company that this was happening.  We were able to notify schools that may have been impacted by students not having the ability to join remote classrooms as a result of the outage.  We also reached out to the power company to ask that they let us know in advance of any scheduled outages so that we can best advise both our families and our staff that this is going to take place.  With the entire state under stay-at-home orders from the Governor and facilitating remote learning, I don’t believe it is too much to ask for.  If, however, you are contacted by your power supply provider about any scheduled outages, please let your child(ren)’s teachers and principals know in advance so they can accommodate that as well.

Yesterday, I shared a video from Chief Justice Broderick talking about the importance of mental health awareness and knowing the five (5) signs that somebody may be struggling.  I hope that you found that video helpful as we continue to prepare for the release of the three films we are making available this month.  Today, I’m including a message from the creator of the films to help provide some insights on some of the content that will be included in the videos.  The embedded video by Scilla Andreen is about five (5) minutes long and may help you decide on what films you want to specifically be on the lookout for.

While I have been promoting Teacher Appreciation Week, I would undoubtedly be remiss if I didn’t give a HUGE shoutout to our School Nurses as tomorrow is National School Nurses’ Day!  This year’s theme is fittingly “Supporting Students in Times of Crisis.”  Our School Nurses are there for our students throughout the school year, and in many cases, beyond.  Please join me in sharing a BIG Thank You to all of our hard working and dedicated nurses in our schools, they most certainly deserve and have earned our appreciation.  Thank You for all that you do!

Be Well,


Keene High School Principal SearchAs reported above, the KHS principal candidate presented to the high school faculty and district administrators yesterday.  She shared her experiences as an educator, discussed her beliefs around teaching and learning, provided her perspective on building a strong culture and school community, and highlighted the enjoyment she receives when working with students.  After her presentation, the candidate answered questions from the staff.  Time did not allow for her to answer every question, but she answered a broad array of questions related to education and KHS.  To view the full presentation please go to the embedded KHS Principal Candidate link.

The search committee welcomes your feedback on the candidate. Your feedback is an important piece of the process that will guide us in making the best decision for KHS.  Please use this Principal Candidate Community Feedback Form to ensure your input is included.

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

TechnologyHelp 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

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 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: