5th and 6th Grade Dance is “Awesome”

by Tom Tollefson

It’s unanimous.  All the children at the most recent 5th and 6th grade dance, held at the Hudson Community Center, agreed it was “awesome.”  

Snacks and drinks were provided by the Hills Garrison PTO, a DJ played the top 40 format, and the middle of the floor was cleared for the dozens of screaming and dancing middle schoolers.  

“I get to be with all my friends and dance and sing,” Nathan Whitehead shouted over the music and commotion of all the fully energized youngsters as they danced last Friday night away.

Olivia Gitscher and Brittany Bielawski agreed that they both liked “everything” about the dance.  

“It introduces the 5th graders to get to know the 6th graders outside of school,” Kendra Burton, a chaperone and 3rd and 4th grade Hudson basketball coach.  

The dance also passed the parent test as words such as “comfortable,” “safe,” and “fun” commonly were uttered as the mothers dropped their children off, pleased to see the presence of 28 chaperones.  A few mothers even stayed for a while to be sure their children were having a good time. 

“I think it’s really good for the kids.  It’s well monitored and safe,” Lynn Doughty-Bielawski said her daughter’s experience at the dance. 

Loiuse Dillon stated that she was at ease at what she thought were stricter rules this year.  “Since the rec center sent out a flyer explaining more strict rules, I feel more at ease about letting my daughter go to the dance,” she said.

According to Recreation Committee member Jeremy Griffus, the rules have always been quite strict as children are not allowed outside the building, there is to be no contact during dancing, and parents must pick up the children by 9:00 p.m.  

“The Rules haven’t changed, but we’re just enforcing them more as the numbers have gone up,” Griffus explained.  

He also went on to say that the dress code at the dance is more tightly enforced as being “school appropriate clothing.”  Both short skirts and spaghetti string straps are banned from the dance.  “We just want to make sure that everyone comes dressed appropriately,” Griffus said.  

In addition to the dancing and music, the children enjoyed pizza, chips, water, and candy sold by the Hills Garrison PTO.  All proceeds from the concession stand go to the PTO group, which received the refreshments from parents and Professor’s Pizza donated ten pizzas.  

“The water and Gatorades fly faster out of here than anything,” Elizabeth Kovalcin, Hills Garrison PTO President, commented.   

Kaili Awalt, Mary Donovan, and Alexis Scatoro 

These middle schoolers show “attitude” at their fifth and sixth grade dance.

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31st Annual Craft Fair Another Success!

Alvirne Drama Student “Hold the Pose” at the craft fair.

You know that Christmas is approaching when it's time for the GFWC Hudson Junior Woman's Club's annual craft fair held at Hudson Memorial School.  This was the 31st year for this well-attended fair and, as always, the halls were bustling with crafts and crafters.  "It's a great place to Christmas shop," said one fairgoer, Joyce.

Pelham School Board member Eleanor Burton and her daughter agreed.  "I bought this adorable bear," said Eleanor.  "I'm giving it to my church.  We provide little animals to children who have to be transported in a hospital and this bear is dressed in blue and white which are Pelham High School colors."

With the weather bright, but chilly people were looking for a place to go and the craft fair turned out to be a dream destination with attendees eagerly looking at the wares.

Alvirne High School Drama Club members were positioned at the end of one display wing.  The students were dressed for the Nutcracker and held a position until a donation was made.  When a donation was made, sleigh bells were rung and the students could change position.  "They'll be very sore tonight," said Drama Club Advisor Mrs. LaFrance.  "Standing still and holding a position is a lot harder than it looks."

The Hudson Junior Woman's Club use proceeds from the successful craft fair to support programs held in the community throughout the year.

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Threatening Note Found at Campbell High School

by Lynne Ober

Last Friday a threatening note was found in a Campbell High School classroom as students’ switched periods.  According to a letter sent home to parents the note was found late in the morning.  After consultation with Litchfield Police Department, a lockdown was initiated at 11:50 a.m. according to Litchfield Superintendent Dr. Elaine Cutler.  Police and school administrative staff used threat assessment procedures in determining the best response.

“We actually call it Shelter in Place,” said Cutler, who acknowledged that to the world it is a lockdown.  “Litchfield Police responded in a very appropriate manner and handled the situation very professionally.”  Cutler noted that students were held in place while the investigation narrowed focus and it was determined that it was safe for students and staff to resume a normal schedule.  “This was at approximately 12:50,” said Cutler.  

Students who had not had lunch were allowed to eat once the Shelter in Place ended.

“The safety of our students and staff is of utmost importance,” said Cutler.  “All incidents are thoroughly investigated.”

The investigation into the note continues.  The superintendent noted that with no school on Monday, there was little progress, but indicated that students are being interviewed.

Reportedly Litchfield Police had been investigating three incidents in which ammunition cartridges were found in the school.  According to Cutler, a single ammunition cartridge was found on 2 separate occasions.  One was found by the cleaning crew; one was found by a student.  On another occasion, 2 were found by the cleaning crew.  No weapons have been found.  As it is hunting season, it is possible that a student or a staff member had it accidentally in their possession.

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Breakfast Program for Hudson Schools Could Improve Student Performance

by Lauren Danzi

The School Food Services in Hudson is trying to get School Board approval to implement a breakfast program at the elementary and middle schools.  Alvirne High School has already implemented the program and last year Hudson Memorial School offered the program on a trial basis.  During the school year an average of 57 students took advantage of the breakfast program.  Normand Sandborn, Business Administrator sent a memo to the Hudson School Board which listed five reasons children should eat breakfast in the morning before school.  He wrote that “numerous studies confirmed how important breakfast is for students,” and the listed off his reasons. 

The first reason he gave was students that eat breakfast show improvement in memory, verbal fluency and problem solving capabilities.  The other 4 reasons for eating breakfast were better school attendance, more energy, better concentration, and better health.  According to the School Nutrition Association ¼ of a growing child’s nutrients comes from breakfast.  In an article on the School Nutrition Website states that both Harvard University and the University of Minnesota have conducted research which concludes that students who eat breakfast are more alert, have improved memory, solve problems more easily and perform better on standardized tests. 

There are many reasons why children do not eat breakfast at home some students simply do not have time in the morning, due to parents long commutes, or non traditional work schedules.  Kids might over sleep after a busy day of sports or extra curricular activities followed by homework.  Still other families struggling financially and can not always provide a nutritious breakfast.  This program would be open to all students costing $1.25 or $.30 for those eligible for the reduced lunch program.  The schools will offer things like bagels, cold cereal, wheat breakfast buns, toast, fruit, yogurt, juice and milk.  If the program is approved it could later be expanded to include other things like hot cereal.  The process for getting free or reduced breakfast would be similar to getting reduced lunch.  Parents can contact the SAU and pick up a form with detailed instructions for how to fill out the paper work depending on what kind of aid the family receives.   

The school board supports the idea of having breakfast in the school but has some concerns that the program would cost additional money.  School Food Services are self funded meaning that there are no tax dollars that currently support it.  Carla Anger, the Food Service Director and Normand Sandborn felt that the program would not cost the school district any additional money because they believed it would not cost any additional hours or cafeteria staff and they expected the food cost to break even.   

The process would be simple, each school would designate a time before classes start that the cafeteria would be open for students to quickly grab something to eat and go.  They would have from the time they got off the bus until class started to get breakfast.  The program is designed to be simple that way students could grab what they wanted and still have time in the morning to get ready for the school day and socialize with there friends. 

School Food Services was scheduled to go before the school board on December 3 but the meeting was canceled due to bad weather so they are still awaiting a decision. 

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Board Sends Library Warrant Article to the Ballot

by Tom Tollefson

The Hudson Board of Selectmen unanimously approved of sending a warrant article to ballot that would approve of selling town owned properties at 47 and 49 Ferry Street and using the estimated $450,000 to fund the moving expenses, fit-up, equipment, and furnishings of the new library. 

Any extra money not used for the new library’s expenses would then be transferred to the General Fund.  

“I think it’s clear that the intention is that this will not be used for any construction cost associated with the facility nor any design and engineering consulting services, and equally important if this, for whatever reason, fails to pass; then there would be no ability to use any town monies for the purposes of fit-up, equipment and furnishing costs,” Selectman Ken Massey said.  

The Warrant Article reads the following: “Shall the Town of Hudson raise and appropriate the sum of up to $450,000 for moving expenses, fit-up, equipment and furnishing costs of the new town library; and to authorize the Board of Selectmen to raise the full amount of up to $450,000 from the sale of two town owned parcels of real estate, identified as 47 and 49 Ferry Street.  Said sale of real estate to be upon such reasonably commercial terms and condition as shall be determined by the Board of Selectmen.  Any excess funds produced by the sale of said real estate shall be paid over the town’s general fund.  This is a non-lapsing appropriation per RSA 32:7 (VI) and will not lapse until the purposes of this article are completed or June 30, 2014, whichever is soonest.” 

Selectman Doug Robinson asked if this warrant is approved, and the sale of both houses do not equal $450,000, will the town be liable for the difference.  According to Chairman Jasper, the answer is no, which is why it says, “up to $450,000.” 

Robinson also asked for a definition of non-lapsing.  Town Administrator Steve Malizia said there was a date on this one — 2014.  The library may be delayed being built, for some reason.  They wouldn’t want this article to expire before they got a chance to use it.  It’s basically a five year period. 

Selectman Rick Maddox said they heard from the Library Trustees that if this money was not all spent for these purposes that would also be returned to the general fund.

Chairman Jasper said that was correct. 

Malizia said by law, when it’s raised in a warrant article, it can only be spent for the purpose for which it’s mentioned.  It doesn’t go into the library’s fund.

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