Principal's Messages

Messages from Mr. Dangora

Our mission:  “We are committed to fostering a positive climate that is dedicated to putting students first and building pride in our schools and community.


June Message

June is knocking at our door. We are prepping for summer with a sense of joy and liberation. It is important for staff and students to rest and breathe during the summer. Life is hectic with afterschool activities, games, practices, homework, etc. Staff must balance family and work, taking classes, grading papers and developing lesson plans. Summer is the perfect time to slow down and reflect.

In this, my final newsletter article, I wish to express my gratitude to all the ARD students, staff members, the school board and Allenstown parents for making my four years a memorable experience. Personally, it has been a pleasure serving Allenstown as your middle school assistant principal and principal. I have proudly watched over 600 students come through the ARD doors.

I am proud of the work our staff has accomplished in the past four years. Being a teacher and working in a school community is a most difficult career. Our teachers should be commended for their daily efforts to foster the growth and potential of the next generation of learners.

I wish Allenstown all the best in all of its future endeavors. I hope for a smooth transition into competencies, another successful year of PBIS, and a positive start to the new year in the fall.
On a final note, a special thank you goes out to Phyllis    Irzyk, Jane Shaban, Janis Campbell, and Lisa Rounds. These four staff members are retiring after many years of dedication and service in Allenstown. Throughout their tenure they have taught thousands of our students and have made a difference in their lives. Collectively they will be missed and we wish them much rest and relaxation throughout their retirement years. 

The next few weeks will prove to be very busy at the middle school.  Attached, are a couple of useful articles to help you close out the year.



Please have a restful, safe, and pleasant summer.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions. I can be reached at 485-4474.

Sincerely,
Mark Paul Dangora
Principal, ARD



IMPORTANT: Grades

Dear ARD Parents, 

Due to the many snow days and delays we will be pushing progress reports out this trimester by one week to May 12. 

Also, please note that report card grades for the final trimester will close on June 16, and report cards will be distributed on the last day of school which will take place on Wednesday June 21.

Thank you,

Mark Paul Dangora 
ARD Principal



May Message

Dear Allenstown Families,

Students at ARD have been very busy SBAC testing. The fifth and sixth grade students have completed testing and, when we come back from spring break, our seventh and eighth-grade students will have their turn. 
 
A lot of responsibility rests on the backs of each middle school student here at ARD. Our students work hard to balance state standardized testing, classroom and social demands, after school activities, etc. I remember a colleague of mine telling me once that one of the most difficult period of childhood is the middle school years. ARD staff members do a great job helping our students navigate the many demands of adolescence and I applaud them for the support and care they show our students. 
 
In the spirit of Teacher Appreciation Week, I would like all of our community to thank and recognize the dedication of our staff at ARD. They make a difference in our students’ lives! 
 
I hope that May brings us warmer weather and I hope to see you at our school spring Glee Club performance that will take place at the end May. We will send that date along to families very soon.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions. I can be reached at 485-4474.

Sincerely,
Mark Paul Dangora
Principal, ARD



PBIS

Hello ARD Families:

We have an exciting and busy week ahead. With two weeks before spring vacation we look forward to the warmer weather.

Last week, we introduced our fifth PBIS roll-out. For this roll out, we are focusing on the expectations for arrival and dismissal procedures. Students will receive eagle bucks for adhering to the following:

Core Values

 Expectations

 

 

Respect

*Follow all staff directions the first time during arrival and dismissal

 *Use kind words, actions, and manners

 *Walking in the assigned path arriving on and leaving school   grounds

Responsibility

 * Hats and Hoods off during arrival

 * Go directly to assigned area:

Arrival

   Playground or gym/cafe/Check in/Mr. Raymond’s Room

 *Pick and stick to morning destination

 *Board and leave the bus in an orderly and timely fashion

                  (Last call for busses at 2:25)

Collaborate

 *Work/Play cooperatively with others

 *Enter/Exit the school at voice level 2

Advocate for Self/Others

*Report problems/poor behavior on the bus or playground to staff

 Don’t be part of the crowd, be part of the solution


The next PBIS activity day will take place on Friday, April 21 from 12:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.

Our fifth and sixth graders are heading into the second week of Smarter Balanced testing. Please encourage your child to get plenty of rest this week. Good luck to our students! 

ARD will be hosting the New Hampshire Department of Education for a Title 1 site visit this week. This visit will evaluate our Title 1 services and will provide feedback on current programing. 

The student council will be hosting an after school activity at the Space Center in Hooksett on Wednesday.  The bus will leave right after school and be back at 6:00 p.m.

Enjoy the super weather this week! 

Respectfully yours,
Mark 


April Message

Dear Allenstown Families,

It is hard to believe that it is Spring with all of the snow on the ground. April promises to be a busy month for the middle school.

Beginning on April 3, 2017 our students in grades five through eight will be participating in the Smarter Balanced test for the second year in a row. 

The Smarter Balanced test focuses on real world skills, including critical thinking, writing, and problem solving. It has a variety of questions ranging from traditional multiple  choice questions to ones that require students to explain their answers, show their work, and compose well organized essays.  As you may remember from last year’s report, each subject will be broken down into categories of skills to show where a student’s academic strengths and areas for improvement lie. Teachers can use this information to provide more targeted supports or additional challenges depending on the student’s needs. I am hoping you will help us encourage students to give this test their very best effort. 
   
In every test, scores are only as meaningful as the effort students put into the tests. The most important thing that you can do for your child during the Smarter Balance testing is make sure that he/she comes to school on the days they have testing.  Making up a missed test means time out of the classroom and losing important learning time that cannot be made up.

In addition to attendance, please encourage your child to do each of the following:
Take the tests seriously and to give his or her very best effort.  
Go to bed early the night before in order to be well-rested on the day of the test.
Eat a good breakfast on the morning of the test.  Breakfast is critical for your child’s performance.
Arrive at school on time so that they can relax and focus on the task ahead.

Your support of your child very important and we appreciate it. 

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions. I can be reached at 485-4474.
Sincerely,
Mark Paul Dangora
Principal, ARD




February Message



PBIS Roll Out: February 2, 2017

Good evening ARD Families,

We are excited to kick off another PBIS roll out! 

The PBIS assembly took place on Thursday February 2, in the Gym. Students will be rewarded with Green Eagle Bucks for meeting expected behaviors displayed in the hallway. This roll out will last until February 24.

Below, you will find the Hallway expectations for this roll out.

This month we will focus on Hallway Expectations:

Behavior Expectations Matrix:

Respect:

  • Stay in your locker space.
  • Use hallway and lockers at appropriate times.

Responsibility:

  • Walk on the right side of the hallway.
  • Use a Voice Level 3 or lower while in the hallway.

Voice Levels:

0 - Silence
1 - Partner Voice
2 - Small Group Voice
3 - Whole Group Voice
4 - Outside Voice

Collaboration:

  • Pick up items on the floor of hallways.

Advocate for yourself and others:

  • Bring all necessary materials to class.


 
Thank you,
Mark Paul Dangora


Important Student Information: January 23, 2017

Our friends at the elementary school have lost kindergartener Noah. The community is deeply affected by this loss. 

Our middle school students will be grieving and asking questions over the coming week. In order for us to help them process, grieve and ask questions, we have attached a document that will help you walk your children through this time. 

 
Thank you, 

Mark


Message From Mr. Dangora: January 2017

We want to wish all of you Happy New Year and a Healthy 2017. We are over 46% into the school year, and we are thrilled to be seeing students display academic growth in every classroom.  

Also, we have chosen three students so far to be our Student of the Month. One student each month, who is chosen by his or her teachers, is celebrated and recognized in front of the School Board as a student who has exhibited our four core values: Respect, Responsibility, Collaboration, and Advocating for one’s self. The Glee Club is also in full swing and are excited to display their talents as the year progresses. Their holiday concert was well attended, and they put on a cheerful show for their families, fellow students, and members of our community. 

Upon reflection in the New Year, we will be focusing on Mindfulness and Growth Mindset. This winter/spring our students and staff will be exposed to the benefits of these philosophies. Below you will find an article about the benefits on Mindfulness and Growth Mindset. We believe that every student has the potential to do great things on a daily basis. Please take a few minutes to read the article below explaining the meaning and value of Mindfulness and Growth Mindset. 


“No matter what subject we teach, all teachers share a common desire for more cohesiveness in the classroom. We know that when our students feel a sense of safety and belonging, trust their classmates, and know how to manage stress, learning is amplified. How can we help foster grounded confidence in our students among all of the many other tasks and responsibilities on our agendas?  One way is by giving students opportunities to connect mindfully with each other. The profundity of peer partnering is well known and extends far beyond the academic implications into the realm of social and emotional learning. Applying mindfulness to the equation allows students the possibility of developing peer relationships based on mutuality and social awareness.”



Finally, a gentle reminder to parents, please continue to reinforce good attendance habits with your children. Showing up to school consistently and on time is extremely important to assure your student’s success in school. Excessive absences may result in missing work (which is difficult to make up), loss of engagement in school work, lack of participation in daily obligations, and failure in school.

We look forward to continuing to work with the ARD students in 2017 to help them become great students and citizens of our community and the world. Please feel free to call my office with any questions.

Happy New Year!
Mark Paul Dangora, Principal


Message From Mr. Dangora: December 2016

Dear Allenstown Families,

It is hard to believe that we have almost completed the first trimester of this school year. 
It is very important for our students to develop effective work habits and strategies to help them succeed in the classroom. Effective studying can set your middle grader up to succeed and create good work habits that they’ll be able to rely on in college and in their career. These tips will help your student find a study routine that works best for them:
  • Research shows that spreading out study time is more effective than cramming. Have your student choose a block of time to study everyday so they can review information more than once. Their notes and textbook material will stick in their long-term memory, and they’ll be better able to write an essay or participate in class.
  • Focus on the joy of learning. Let your student know that you want them to get good grades, but also ask what they are learning in math or which song they liked best in band. You’ll give them an opportunity to talk about the fun parts of school.
  • Keep an eye out for signs of stress, like headaches, stomachaches, or trouble sleeping. If you notice anything or if they seem too hard on themselves, ask whether they are feeling too much pressure. If you’re concerned, please talk to Mrs. Hazard, Mrs. Schmidt, myself, or your pediatrician.
On November 22, our middle school students enjoyed a great, fun filled PBIS activity day. There were nine activities in total including movies, dodgeball, a reading room and a dance, to name a few. During this PBIS roll-out students received almost 1,900 eagle bucks.  So far, this is the largest amount of eagle bucks distributed to our students

As the winter months move in, please remind your child to continue to use their agenda book planners to help track daily assignments. Please continue to use the MMS parent portal to keep up with your child’s progress.
The following article is a collection of resources intended for middle school families.  You can find the article at https://www.edutopia.org/blog/transition-resources-teachers-matt-davis.
Lockers, Bell Schedules, and New Friends: Transitioning Into Middle School
  • Tips for Parents on a Successful Transition to Middle School: Middle school is a time of incredible growth for adolescent students, and these years have an impact on helping students gain and develop their sense of independence. This article from GoodTherapy.org offers four comprehensive tips for helping middle schoolers grow socially and emotionally.
  • Transition to Middle School From the NEA: Retired teacher Peter Lorain wrote this for the National Education Association, offering ideas for schools that can help elementary students transition successfully into middle school. Lorain also provides strategies that involve all stakeholders in the transition process.
  • Making the Transition to Middle School -- How Mentoring Can Help: From the Department of Education, this guide provides plenty of tips and ideas for using mentoring to help students transition from elementary to middle school. The PDF guide includes links to helpful outside sources, as well as summaries of the best research on the subject.
  • Smooth Sailing to Middle School: Author Joy Jameson Lea of the Association for Middle Level Education provides practical tips and advice for incoming middle school students and their parents, in this article. Another useful source from AMLE for teachers: "Welcoming Students to Middle School."
  • Helping Your Child Transition From Elementary to Middle School: Marie Hartwell-Walker highlights strategies for parents.
Wishing you a safe and relaxing winter break! Please let us know if we can assist you or your child in any way at 485-4474 or mdangora@sau53.org.

Kindly,
Mark Dangora, ARD Principal 


Message From Mr. Dangora: November 2016

Dear Allenstown Families,

As the month of November quickly comes upon us, the cool air pushes forward, and the leaves begin to fall off the trees, it warms my heart to know that the holidays are just around the corner. This time of year the middle school is buzzing with activities! The basketball season begins and school wide dances and socials are on the school calendar. 

A reminder to families that there will be no school on Thursday November 3, due to parent-teacher conferences, which will take place from 12 PM to 7 PM. We are looking forward to seeing all of you there. Please be sure to contact staff to schedule your conference. As the weather cools down, we would like to also gently remind families that beginning on Monday, November 6, and students will be prohibited from wearing shorts to school, unless they are participating in physical education class. ARD will host the annual Veterans Day Assembly that will take place in the Gymnasium on November 10, at 10:15 AM. All are welcome as we celebrate our veterans who have served our country. 

November will be a very busy and exciting month for both students and staff at the Armand R Dupont School. One of our major goals this year at the middle school will be to help foster the skills needed for students to become independent learners. Student self-advocacy is an important skill for our students to learn as we prepare them to advance to Pembroke Academy, and to become lifelong learners and successful adults. 

I urge you to stay up to date on our school happenings and events by visiting the ARD website at

Also, see how your student is doing in their classes by logging onto the MMS Parent Portal Login

Please feel free to give us a call if there is a problem logging in.

Finally, are you an ARD family member or parent who has extra time on their hands? Then please consider getting involved. We are currently looking for volunteer assistance to help keep our Library open during all hours of our school day. Please call the main office if you are interested in volunteering to help in the library during morning hours.  We can be reached at 603-485-4474.

Attached, please find our PBIS letter to parents. We are currently on our second roll out which is focused on Responsibility: PBIS Letter 

We wish you a peaceful and restful Thanksgiving.

Thank you,
Mark Paul Dangora


Parent / Teacher Conferences

Student Conferences will be held on Thursday, November 3rd . There will be no school that day but students are encouraged to attend conferences.  This is a valuable experience as the teacher/team talks about their education. Who better to contribute and participate in this conversation than the students themselves?  This helps instill a sense of ownership and responsibility for their learning.  

Conference sign-ups are from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 PM on Thursday, November 3rd .   

If you do not have Internet access, please call 485-4474 to schedule an appointment.

If you are unable to schedule a conference with a team, please contact the main office directly and you will be added to a Conference Wait List.  After November 3rd, you will be contacted with a date and time for your conference.  All conference requests will be met.

If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to call the ARD main office at (603) 485-4474.


Message October 21, 2016

Dear ARD Families:

We had our second PBIS roll-out assembly this morning. Our focused behavior expectation will be on Responsibility.  Students will receive Gold Eagle Bucks for being recognized for displaying Responsible behaviors. The last day for the PBIS roll-out will be on Monday November 21. Students will be able to cash in their Gold Eagle Bucks during an activity day on Tuesday November 22.

Responsibility
Arrive on time with all necessary materials and work
Match voice level to activity
Be accountable and accept consequences for your actions

We are excited to let you know that on Friday October 28, there will be a 5th and 6th grade social from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM and a 7th and 8th grade Halloween Dance from 6:30 – 8:00 PM. The cost of the social will be three dollars and students will be fed pizza and play Halloween trivia and other games. The dance will cost five dollars and students are allowed to wear school appropriate costumes. These two activities are put on by our Student Council.

We will have a Pumpkin Roll activity that will take place in the afternoon after the annual Halloween parade on October 31.  Please be reminded that students will not be allowed to wear Halloween costumes during the school day on October 31.

Families, please remember to sign up for Parent Teacher Conferences that will take place on Thursday November 3.  There will be no school for students on November 3.

We are happy to announce that we will be inviting various Allenstown Veterans and their families to our third annual Veterans Day Assembly on Thursday November 10, at
10:15 AM in the ARD Gymnasium. This assembly will be hosted by our student council and will include a tribute to those who have served.   

Our students and staff will also be participating in the annual "Walk to School Day".  This will take place on Thursday November 10, in the Rite Aid parking lot at 7:45 AM. All are welcome to attend both the walk and the Assembly!!  
 
Please note some important dates: Our Mural Painting club will begin on Monday October 24. The Glee club will begin on Tuesday October 25. Soccer awards assembly will take place on November 1. Basketball tryouts will begin on November 7, Girls – 3:30-5:00. Boys 5:00-7:00.
 
Also, please note that there has been a slight change to our Dress Code this year.

Dress Code
A student will be required to call home for a change of clothing or given an appropriate piece of
clothing from the “clothing bag”, if s/he wears any of the following to school:
  •   Any clothing considered distracting to the educational process.
  • Any items advertising drugs, alcohol and/or tobacco use.
  • Any item advertising violence, violent actions, or inappropriate sexual innuendo.
  • Short shorts or very short skirts (use longer than extended fingertip length as a general guide)
  • Girl’s and boy’s pants/shorts are to be worn at the waist.
  • Midriff shirts (or a top that does not meet the student’s skirt or pants).
  • Tank tops with large armholes.
  • Shoulder straps less than 2 inches wide.
  • Girls must wear shirts or blouses resting against the skin of the chest all the way around the neckline.
  • Exposed underwear.
  • Long shirt/dress must be worn over leggings, yoga pants, skinny jeans, and jeggings.
  • Footwear that may not be safe in the event of an emergency.
*Please note: Shorts may be worn until the time change in the fall to Daylight Saving Time and may be worn again when announced by administration. Girls are to wear stockings during regular Eastern Standard Time.
*All decision on dress code violations are to be made by building administration.


Please visit the ARD Website for more parent information and for daily updates.



Message From Mr. Dangora: October 2016

Dear Allenstown Families,

We are off to a great start of the year! It’s another beautiful October in Allenstown. The leaves are changing and the crisp, cool days are filled with the sounds of our students! It was great to see so many families earlier in September during our Open House Family BBQ. Families were able to visit with classroom teachers and see what engages our students.

Getting information from your child about their school day can be a challenge for parents. I sometimes have difficulty getting information from my own children. One word answers such as boring, ok, or good seem to be typical responses. It is important to consistently engage in conversation on a daily basis about your children’s school experience. 

Here are some great tips for increasing the conversation and information that your children bring home from school. They are all from “Home & School Connection” published by Resources for Educators (2016).

  1. Eat meals as regularly as possible with your children and family. Breakfast, dinner, whatever works in your schedule. Not only will there be more opportunities for conversation, but there is also evidence that children who regularly eat meals together with their family do better in school and avoid risky behavior.
  2. Create a paper reminder for each thing your youngster has accomplished on any given day. Place each in a jar or box labeled, “I Did It!” Anytime you need to give him a pick me up, pull a slip out of the box and talk about that time. You can pull them out any time you want to spark up a fun conversation.
  3. Check out your child’s backpack at the end of the day. See what she brought home. Make comments on her social studies project, ask about the notes on the work made by the teacher, or ask about how she records her daily agenda.
  4. Ask your child to describe a book he read today. This gives you an idea of what he prefers to read. Follow up by asking what he’d like to read (together or independently) before bed. Trade reading pages to practice reading and listening skills.
  5. Ask what she’d like to learn more about. Use her interests as a jumping-off point for future activities. If she is interested in the art, make a point to visit the Currier Museum in Manchester.
  6. Ask, “What’s the coolest thing that happened to you today? What wasn’t cool?
  7. Ask how your child would describe the day if he were the teacher.
  8. Ask, “What made you laugh today?”
  9. Ask, “What was the most creative thing you did today?”
  10. Ask, “What was the kindest action you did today?” or “Was anyone kind or helpful to you?”

Please take some time to check the calendar and attend a student event. You will experience the pride we witness every day and our students will be pleased to have the important adults in their lives share some of what makes ARD the best middle school around! If we can help support your student or family, please do not hesitate to contact the school office (603- 485-4474).

Happy autumn and see you soon!

Mr. Dangora, ARD Principal 


Fire Drill: September 1, 2016

Good afternoon  Armand R. Dupont Families :
 
This is Mark Dangora the middle school principal-
 
With the help of the Allenstown Fire Department, we conducted a fire drill at 10:30 this morning. I am proud to say that our students did a great job evacuating the building in a timely manner.
 
The safety and welfare of our students and staff are our highest priority. In order to maintain a safe environment for our students to study and learn, it is necessary that we practice our fire, emergency and crisis response plans routinely.
 
Emergency and fire drills are conducted with our students to exercise our Procedures.
 
If you should have any questions, always feel free to call me at 485-4474

Thank you and have a great evening?


Message From Mr. Dangora: September 1, 2016 Welcome Back!

Our first days of school were met with success! It was great to see our students engage in lessons, move throughout the hallways, begin to learn classroom expectations, and reconnect with old friends. On the first day of school, we introduced our students our new core values: Respect, Responsibility, Collaborate and Advocate for self and others. These values were born from the hard work from our PBIS Universal Team of teachers. The staff members on the Universal Team worked over the summer to design our core values to help improve and reinforce positive behavior at our school. We also talked to the students about building a nest for future success. I truly believe that this mantra will resonate with our students this year. These core values bring a common language for our middle school community of teachers and students.

We have emphasized to our 5th and 6th grade students that they are part of our school community. We are the ARD Eagles, and we encourage them to get involved and participate in the various activities that we offer. To our 7th grade students, we stressed that their leadership matters. We have asked them to
make a mark as an ARD Eagle in our greater school community. As for our 8th grade students, we shared that as the leaders of the school, their presence matters. We challenged them to begin the school year thinking about what they want their legacy to be. We look forward to an exciting year working with our ARD students. We hope to see many of our students become involved in our school community, clubs, and extracurricular activities offered at ARD. As always, we appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you at our ARD middle school barbeque that will take place on Wednesday, September 21st at 5:00 PM.

With Respect,
Mark Dangora, ARD Principal



Message From Mr. Dangora: June 2016

June is knocking at our door. That means we will be preparing for the summer at the middle school. The summer always brings a sense of joy and liberation within the academic community. I feel that it is very important for both staff and students to take time for themselves to rest and to breathe a little bit, especially during the summer. Our lives, in general, is very hectic and fast-paced. Students are being escorted to afterschool activities, games, practices, homework, etc. Our staff is no different with varied responsibilities such as balancing family and work, some of us are taking classes, grading papers, developing lesson plans, etc. Summer, I believe is always a good time to breathe and reflect upon the past school year.

When I reflect upon this past year, I see nothing but positive growth and movement throughout our school district. At ARD, building a strong and safe community has been a number one priority. Staff and students at the middle school are able to articulate constructive feedback and varied concerns in a very open and respectful manner. With such communication, we are able to open the doors to moving our school community in positive direction. I truly believe that the school will be able to move and progress forward with a solid foundation of continuous open dialogue.

I am really proud of the hard work that our staff has put in this school year. Being a teacher and working in a school community is one of the most difficult careers anybody could get into. Our teachers should be commended for their efforts and hard work that they put in on a daily basis to foster growth and potential into our next generation of learners.

It has been a complete pleasure to serve the Allenstown community this past school year as your middle school principal. I look forward to the summer, to not only breathe, but to work hard and get our next school year underway. As we look to the summer in early August, I will be visiting our incoming fifth grade student homes with a welcome and introduction letter explaining what to expect for the upcoming school year. I hope to see you around town and look forward to serving you and your children in September.  

Please visit our website for school updates on our principal’s page at https://sites.google.com/a/sau53.org/ard/principalcorner 

Please have a restful, safe and pleasant summer. 

Mr. Dangora
ARD Principal


Message From Mr. Dangora: May 2016

Over the course of this school year, the Armand R. Dupont School has been involved in the educational practice of Instructional Rounds. ARD has assembled a team of two administrators and two teachers along with the guidance of the superintendent. Along with ARD team, we have partnered up with a cohort of teachers and administrators from Laconia. 

Instructional Rounds help educators look closely at what is happening in classrooms in a systematic, purposeful, and focused way. During these observations, we are able to identify various areas that will foster sound instructional practices within the classroom. This year our Instructional Rounds team has been focusing on the ability of an independent learner at ARD. Our teachers have found that students sometimes are unable to sustain an independent level of learning in their classrooms and have identified this as a problem of practice. By focusing on this problem of practice, we hope to incorporate strategies to help foster student independence with the classroom. 

The Instructional Rounds observations process has been both eye-opening and informative. This data collected from the cohort will enable the middle school to obtain a better understanding of what is going on in our classrooms and to take the next step forward to improving our practice. I am very proud of the middle school for allowing our own colleagues and other professionals from another district to observe their daily practice. The feedback from the cohort will help us move toward our goal of engaging and challenging our students on a daily basis.  With 30 days left in the school year, the ARD staff continue to work hard every day to help support our students. Teaching middle school is a complex job with unique situations arising every day. We appreciate our teachers working to educate the next generation and meeting the needs of our middle school children day in and day out. We are in the home stretch of our school year and want the staff to know that they are appreciated for their continued dedication to our students. Please keep up the hard work. Let's make it a strong finish!

I also want to thank the Allenstown PTO for helping us celebrate our staff by decorating our building and providing delicious food and treats all week long during Staff Appreciation Week. A great appreciation to the parents who supported with donations.

SAVE THE DATES
Step up Parent Night: Our annual Step Up Night for the incoming 5th Graders will take place on Wednesday, June 8, at 6:00 PM.
Eighth Grade Graduation will take place on Monday, June 13th, at 6:00 PM in the ARD gym.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions at 485-4474 or mdangora@sau53.org.

Sincerely,
Mark Dangora, Principal


Message From Mr. Dangora: April 2016

Beginning on April 4, 2016 our students in grades five through eight will be participating in the Smarter Balanced test for the second year in a row. 

The Smarter Balanced test focuses on real world skills, including critical thinking, writing, and problem solving. It has a variety of questions ranging from traditional multiple-choice questions to ones that require students to explain their answers, show their work, and compose well-organized essays.  As you may remember from last year’s report, each subject will be broken down into categories of skills to show where a student’s academic strengths and weaknesses lie. Teachers can use this information to provide more targeted supports or additional challenges depending on the student’s needs. 

I am hoping you will help us encourage students to give this test their very best effort.    

In every test, scores are only as meaningful as the effort students put into the tests. The most important thing that you can do for your child during the Smarter Balance testing is make sure that he/she comes to school on the days they have testing.  Making up a missed test means time out of the classroom and losing important learning time that cannot be made up.  In addition to attendance, please encourage your child to do each of the following:
  • Take the tests seriously and to give his or her very best effort.
  • Go to bed early the night before in order to be well-rested on the day of the test.
  • Eat a good breakfast on the morning of the test.  Breakfast is critical for your child’s performance.
Arrive at school on time so that they can relax and focus on the task ahead. Your support of your child very important and we appreciate it. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions. I can be reached at 485-4474.

Sincerely,
Mark Paul Dangora


Message From Mr. Dangora: March 2016

This is a very exciting month and time of year for the middle school. As we transition into spring our students will be preparing for the Smarter Balanced Assessment that will be administered at the end of March and into April.

Transitions are a challenge for all who are involved. Our students are always experiencing many different transitions on a daily basis. Not only are they middle school aged children who have many personal transitions of their own, but there are also the seasonal transitions. We're headed into spring!

Our eighth grade students will soon be headed to Pembroke Academy. On the other side of middle school our AES fourth grade friends are preparing for the transition to ARD. As adults, teachers, parents and staff we are finding ways to support our students through these various life changing transitions.     

With the challenges of transitional times also comes the excitement of new experiences and things to look forward to on a daily academic basis. It is important that we offer support for all of our students and staff. It is helpful to check in with our children.  This will provide a consistent avenue for communication. 

We are excited for the spring and the new adventures that will bring us closer to the end of the school year. Please look out for your child’s report card this month, as we transition into the final trimester of the 2015-16 school year. 

Please know that my door is always open. 

Thank you,
Mark Dangora 


Message From Mr. Dangora: February 2016

For the first time in memory I am writing this February newsletter with very little snow on the ground,  temperatures soaring into the 50’s and no snow days as of yet. You would never believe that we are in the middle of winter. Even though the weather outside does not reflect winter our school calendar lets us know that we are very busy with many activities that reflect the season. 

The middle school has just completed another round of STAR winter benchmark testing for both math and reading. In looking at our data I am proud to say that we have many students who have greatly improved in both of these assessments. Some of our middle school students improved by one hundred points or more. These assessments are important tools that help gauge student’s abilities, strengths, and areas for improvement. These indicators let teachers know where to focus when given daily classroom instruction. Our teachers continue to work hard to deliver high quality instruction on a daily basis throughout all of the content areas. 

Even though these assessments are important they are not a representation of the whole child. There are many other areas teachers focus on daily. The social and emotional needs of the middle school child are another piece of our student puzzle. ARD has added two more afterschool clubs to help promote student interaction and pride within their school. In January, ARD began the newspaper club that meets every Tuesday from 2:30 PM to 3:20 PM. Students are currently working on putting out there first newspaper that hopes to come out by the end of the month. This newspaper will include various interviews from students, surveys and a suggestion box.  We have also added an art club that meets every week on Thursdays from 2:30 PM to 3:20 PM. Our students will begin painting a Mural in the cafeteria next week. Please stay tuned.

I am very proud to serve as the principal of the Armand R. Dupont School. I’m proud of our students and our hard-working staff who continue to help shape the children of our future to be great young women and men.

Please be reminded that my door is open for feedback and conversation.

Thank you, 

Mark Dangora


Message From Mr. Dangora: January 2016

We want to wish all of you Happy New Year and a Healthy 2016. We are over 45% into the school year and we are thrilled to be seeing students display academic growth in every classroom.  At ARD, the Merit Club is in full swing. We have had three exciting activities for students so far and look forward to more fun as the year unfolds. There are 50 students enrolled in the Merit Club this year, a new record! 

Also, we have chosen three students so far to be our Student of the Month. One student each month, who is chosen by his or her teachers, is celebrated and recognized in front of the School Board. Congratulations to Emily Polsin for October, Mya Trujillo for November, and to our December student of the month, Sophia Nelson.

A gentle reminder to parents, please continue to reinforce good attendance habits with your children. Showing up to school consistently and on time is extremely important to assure your student’s success in school. Excessive absences may result in missing work (which is difficult to make up), loss of engagement in school work, an irresponsible attitude toward daily obligations, and failure in school.

We look forward to continuing to work with the ARD students in 2016 to help them become great students and citizens of our community and the world. 

Please feel free to call my office with any questions.

Happy New Year!

Mark Paul Dangora, ARD Principal


Candy Donation To Our Troops: November 3, 2015

We are asking for donations of any your excess candy that you may have. Each year, we collect excess Halloween candy and donate it to our troops overseas.
 
This year, we will be handing out candy for our troops at Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth.  I will hand deliver the candy to the Pease Greeters at Pease airport as our troops get off the planes in Portsmouth. 
 
Candy can be dropped off at the main office  by Friday, November 20.  I will deliver the candy on Saturday, November 21.
 
Thank you for your consideration and help.
Mark Dangora, ARD Principal


Allenstown School District October Newsletter: October 1, 2015

Our Allesnstown Newsletter for October has been posted online.  Please click here to read the latest updates about our schools and principal messages.


ARD Drop-off and Pick-up: September 8, 2015

Hello ARD Families, 

Just a friendly reminder

ARD drop off and pick up.

In order to ensure school community safety students are to be dropped off on the side walk area on School Street by the senior citizens center. Please do not drive through the parking lot area between the hours of 7:40 AM and 8:00 AM while buses are dropping students off.

When picking up students parents are encouraged to pick up their child on the sidewalk area on School Street by the senior citizen center. Dismissal of all students will occur at 2:22 PM on a daily basis. Cars will not be permitted to cut through the parking lot area until all buses have left the school parking lot.

Thank you for being mindful during the drop off and pick up time period. 

Mark Dangora


Principal Message: August 31, 2015

Welcome to ARD - Home of the Eagles:  Respect - Responsibility - Integrity


I would like to welcome back all of our students and staff members to another great school year at the Armand R. Dupont Middle School.   I’m excited to get the academic year underway.

We are a small New Hampshire middle school that houses grades five through eight with 169 students in all. ARD offers many athletic teams and enrichment activities such as the Merit Club and Drama Club, as well as various other intramurals throughout the school year.

The summer has been very busy and the school has seen various projects get underway and be completed to help ensure safety and to help improve instructional practice for the upcoming school year. 

I am most excited to to work with our staff and students this year in order to move toward Competency-Based Learning.  Competency-Based Learning refers to systems of instruction, assessment, grading, and academic reporting that are based on students demonstrating that they have learned the knowledge and skills they are expected to learn as they progress through their education. In public schools, competency-based systems use state learning standards to determine academic expectations and define “competency” or “proficiency” in a given course, subject area, or grade level (although other sets of standards may also be used, including standards developed by districts and schools or by subject-area organizations). The general goal of competency-based learning is to ensure that students are acquiring the knowledge and skills that are deemed to be essential to success in school, higher education, careers, and adult life. If students fail to meet expected learning standards, they typically receive additional instruction, practice time, and academic support to help them achieve competency or meet the expected standards.

I know that all students learn differently and truly believe that this new initiative of competency-based learning will help all of our students unlock the way they learn and improve their ability to take in information.  As the year progresses, the middle school staff will be introduced to and trained on the competency-based learning system. I look forward to working with our staff this year and continuing to help grow the young minds we teach on a daily basis.

Have a fantastic 2015-2016 school year, there ARE great days ahead!


Upcoming Dates:

No School- Monday, September 7
PTO Meeting- Tuesday, September 8 (6:00pm) @ AES
Family BBQ and Open House: Wednesday, September 16 (5:00 - 7:00 pm)
School Board Meeting- Monday, September 14, (6:00 pm) @ ARD
Picture Day- Wednesday, September 23, All Day


Our mission:

“We are committed to fostering a positive climate that is dedicated to putting students first and building pride in our schools and community.”