Small N.H. district sets big goals

Sanborn Regional School District in New Hampshire serves nearly 2,000 students in Kingston, Newton and Fremont. Administrators recently set an ambitious goal - to become a top 10 percent school district in achievement, enrichment, test scores and more.

The district had been using a variety of assessment programs and tools, requiring administrators and educators to access data through multiple channels. In pursuit of top-ten status, Sanborn began investigating technology that would allow them to better assess students and use that data to inform instructional decisions. The district chose an online solution, Pinnacle Suite.

In June, Sanborn began implementing three elements of the Pinnacle Suite - the student information system (Pinnacle SIS), the standards-based gradebook (Pinnacle Grade), and a curriculum and assessment management system (Pinnacle Instruction) - by training a select group of faculty and staff who will support peers later in the summer. The district also will incorporate professional development through Pinnacle PD throughout the 2010-2011 school year.

"We chose to work with GlobalScholar because the company and the product are flexible enough to meet the needs of our district now, while also being adaptable enough to meet the future needs of our district as well," said Brian Stack, principal of Sanborn Regional High School.

The Pinnacle Suite allows Sanborn to move toward a standards-based grading system and helps to streamline processes traditionally conducted without technology. Previously, the district used pencil and paper to provide course recommendations and schedules for high school students, which required a significant amount of time, resources and data entry. Pinnacle Grade permits teachers to recommend classes for students and allows students to register online for classes already approved by faculty. Most important, Pinnacle Grade helps Sanborn faculty assess students based on how well they have met certain standards or criteria, allowing educators to inform students, parents and each other exactly which skills the students are proficient in, and where remediation is needed.

"We're well on our way to achieving our goals, and we know the Pinnacle Suite will help us reach them in a more efficient way," Stack concluded.