Jesse Remington High School Annual Report | June 2017

Jesse Remington High School Annual Report to the Candia Congregational Church, June 2017
Prepared by Jeff Philbrick, Headmaster

Jesse Remington High School is a 25 year story with hundreds of pages left to write! This June we celebrate our Silver Anniversary, yet we know the story began long ago during the life of Pastor Jesse Remington, our namesake. Remington served at Candia from 1795-1815, and created the bridge between the Colonial era and the next century.

This 25th year has been remarkable in so many ways, and this Annual Report will capture six indicators of profound growth that should cause us to “pause and praise”, as well as two realities of significant challenge that cause us to “pause and pray” possibly like never before.

Six Indicators of Profound Growth – Pause and Praise

  1. Governance – In the past 2 years, JRHS has make noteworthy steps in the governance of the school. Today, we rightfully boast a Board of Directors eight members strong, but more than just a number, this team has tirelessly worked to improve the governance function of JRHS in diverse areas. Some accomplishments include the completion of a Board Policy Manual, careful investing of finances, attentiveness to compensation of the servants, and navigating the school through tough financial times. More, the Board has taken big steps towards personal development and evaluation, as well as the same for the Headmaster.
  1. Faculty – although one of the smaller teams in recent years, JRHS has the strongest, most capable, most unified faculty in our Silver history. These servants of God have delivered a remarkable slate of courses and projects for the JRHS students this year. More, we are working towards a better documented curriculum through a framework called “Understanding by Design.” This is an effort to organize the various curricula around common ideas called Essentials and Outcomes; it has been a worthwhile endeavor, and we anticipate approaching the half-way mark this June, with targeted completion date of June 2018.

This year we welcomed a new, younger full time faculty member to the team, Mr. Jacob Samuelson, and we are praying in an additional member for next year.

  1. Administration Team – This year I have been so blessed to have an “A Team” of gifted and directed helpers on the administration. This includes office and event administrators, business and finance people and new strength and direction in marketing and development. The value that Scott Shillaber has brought to our school cannot be over stated. Although his title this year has been “Business Manager”, Scott has served in a wide array of capacities, increasing the strength of JRHS on the inside.
  1. Resourcing and Advancement – Thank you to those who supported JRHS this fiscal year, which ends on June 30, 2017. To date, more than $110,000 has been given to further the mission in areas of Campus Development, Mission trips, Scholarship giving and to our Annual Fund.   The largest area of giving was to our Annual Fund, which is an investment in our programs and faculty. With about a month to go, gifts totaling $88,000 have been directed to the Annual Fund!  These gifts are an investment in the lives of the students and help JRHS prepare them for life service in the Kingdom of God.

A very important component of the gifts to the Annual Fund giving comes from our Sentinel Society members, those who pledge to support the school on a regular basis. Members give as they are able ranging from a few dollars to several thousand per year. Sentinel Society support provides sustainability, encouragement and development of the JRHS Mission and School. This year Sentinel Society members have provided more than $29,000 of consistent, faithful support we can count on.

  1. Strategic Plan – we conclude year one of the 2016-2020 Strategic Plan. Praise God, several initiatives have been met, and others show progress. This document, which was the culmination of thought and prayer by the faculty, staff and board, has proven to be both a target and a compass for our our limited time and resources. I am eager to be part of the new and improved school of 2020. God continues to call us forward, and we daily seek His path and plan.
  1. Accreditation – We are moving forward in the accreditation process with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Accreditation is a statement of our commitment to pursue excellence and continuous improvement.  The process typically takes 18 months and includes a self-study, which is a review of our school against 13 standards.  Forty people were involved in the process and were formed into committees to review JRHS.  Those involved in the committees included a broad range of stakeholders including current and former board members, faculty and staff, former faculty members, parents of students, alumni and friends.

The process identified strengths of the school as well as recommendations where improvements can be made.  We intend to present the Final Report to the board, faculty, staff and interested stakeholders in late summer and then provide the document to NEASC.  In May 2018, we will host a visiting committee who will conduct interviews, visit classes and provide a report back to NEASC with their findings and recommendations regarding accreditation. We are very grateful for the hard work and hours put in to get to this point and are committed to making progress to address the recommendations identified through the process.

Two Realities of Significant Challenge – Pause and Pray

  1. Resources for Excellence – The price tag of Excellence in a private school is far greater than commonly understood. Next year, the tuition to families will be nearing $10,000, whereas the actual cost to educate will approach $15,000. For JRHS to continue to offer the diverse and excellent programming, as well as raise money for annual, capital, mission trip, financial aid, athletics and more, we will need to increase our ability to resource the mission.
  1. Enrollment – For too long, JRHS has been a well-kept secret to the families who want a Christian education. The number and intensity of variables competing with JRHS seems to only grow by the year. Leading the charge is the aging home school movement, increased charter options, and general satisfaction with area public schools. How JRHS carves out a niche population of evangelical southern NH, demonstrating the short and long term value of Christian schooling is the single most significant challenge facing our school today.

In sum, the scales right now are 6 for and 2 against; as much as the 2 against are significant, we move forward with the confidence that God is working for the good of his faithful ones at Jesse Remington High School. I am reminded of our school verse, claimed some 25 years ago: “In all these things, we are more than Conquerors through Him who loved us,” Romans 8:37.

 

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