Smart Sign / Flickr/CC

The Obama administration's recent directive addressing the use of school bathrooms and other facilities by transgender students heightened a debate playing out in several states over so-called bathroom bills and transgender rights.  We'll look at how New Hampshire schools and communities are responding.

School nurses in New Hampshire are getting more help to do their jobs.

The Department of Education recently announced it is increasing efforts to provide school nurses with more training, technical assistance and other resources.

The initiative is being coordinated by Nancy Wells, a nationally certified school nurse and former clinical assistant professor at the University of New Hampshire. The focus will include areas such as student wellness, mental health, alcohol and substance abuse, parental education, school health policy and staff development.


NHPR / Michael Brindley

Research is clear that parental involvement is critical to a child's success in school. But for a number of factors, that can be difficult for families in low-income households.

Maria Barry is the home and school coordinator for Ledge Street Elementary in Nashua, where 8 out of 10 students qualify for free or reduced lunch.

Rick Ganley visited Maria in her office at the school to talk about some of the challenges she faces in her job, as well as some of the success stories she's seen.

After being among more than 7,000 teachers nationwide nominated for a music educator Grammy earlier this year, Jared Cassedy, director of fine arts for the Windham School District, is now one of 10 finalists for the award.

This is the second year the Grammys has handed out that award, which is meant to honor music teachers who’ve made an impact on students’ lives.

Cassedy spoke with Rick Ganley on Morning Edition.

What’s your reaction to being one of the ten finalists for this honor? Were you surprised?

Sara Plourde / NHPR

After last December's school shooting in Newtown, Conn., the Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management conducted a survey and determined that N.H.’s school buildings are at widely varied levels of security. In response, they developed the following recommendations based on three core standards: Surveillance, Access Control, & Emergency Alerting. Each school will have to take into account their budgetary constraints & environmental factors when considering how to implement the guidelines.

Many in New Hampshire have become concerned over the rise of expulsions and suspensions. Not only are the reason for these suspensions expanding, they say, but taking a kid out of school may not be the most effective punishment. We’ll look at this and alternate ways some are suggesting to steer bad students back on the straight and narrow.


If there is one thing that the mobile-computing era has made clear, it's that kids love touch screens. Because those touch screens — smartphones, iPads, Kindles and the like — are an inevitable added distraction to the classroom, schools across the country are struggling to deal with the growing prevalence of the technology.

But a growing number of schools are embracing these hand-held, Internet-ready devices by creating policies that put them to use in the classroom.

the_exploratorium via Flickr Creative Commons

Produced with Phoebe Axtman and Zach Nugent

Mounting research has shown that the most important factor in a child’s successful education is not his or her socioeconomic status, class size, or even the design of the curriculum…. it’s the teacher.  But teacher dropout rate is high and the highly talented teachers are too few, especially in Science and Math.