John Powers School News

Spotlight on Brian Collopy


We would like to welcome one of our newest teachers, Brian Collopy, to Strafford Learning Center. Brian joined our John Powers School staff in January, teaching Science and Mathematics to our middle school students. He was attracted to working at Strafford Learning Center due to our flexibility with students and our Open Door Policy to all visitors.

You might say that this is a far cry from his original plans. Brian was born and raised in Durham, NH attending the Oyster River Cooperative School District for 12 years. He went off to college hoping to gain the skills to land him a job in which "every day was different." He graduated from college with a Bachelor's degree in Sports Administration and Economics. After sitting at a desk on the phone for a while in his original career choice, Brian realized that this was not his dream job. Thus, he went searching for a new one.

Brian took a position as a paraprofessional working in the Oyster River Cooperative School District, working in the elementary, middle and high schools. He worked there for four years and completed his student teaching there as well. He is now pursuing his Masters' Degree in Special Education at Franklin Pierce University.

He didn't leave his love of sports behind however as he is still playing floor hockey and softball. In fact, he has organized an engaging math unit for students regarding the Olympics in which students must graph, analyze and synthesize information about countries' performances.

Since Brian loves teaching middle school students, he feels he has found his job that is "different every day". We feel very lucky to have Brian join us and thank him for his efforts in our program approval process. Welcome Brian!

John Powers School and the Browne Center

ropes2011bThe John Powers School and the Browne Center have been developing a partnership over the last two years.  This year, the Browne Center’s staff came to work with the JPS students on group problem solving initiatives, as well as developing social and behavioral expectations.  From this experience, students and Browne Center staff developed a Full Value Contract, which was further reinforced weeks later at the JPS Community Service Day. 

During the Community Service Day, students worked cooperatively on a variety of projects at the Browne Center, including mulching trails throughout the woods and moving and storing supplies.   From their service, they learned valuable lessons in outreach, ecology and stewardship.  Because of their hard and thoughtful work, the Browne Center generously donated their time to the students and invited them back to the Browne Center to continue work on their Full Value Contract. 

Students participated in activities designed to strengthen their teamwork and leadership skills.  Staff and students alike had a wonderful time cooperating on puzzle solving challenges and working on low ropes courses. 

Current Happenings, March 2011

Primary Class:

This quarter, we have been learning about the solar system.  Each student has researched one planet and presented the information to the class.  They have learned the position, characteristics and atmosphere of the planets. 

During Language Arts, the students are writing short stories, “If I were an Alien.”  The focus is on expanding sentences, using descriptive words, and creating an interesting piece with a beginning, middle and an end.  We continue to work on reading skills, such as reading independently, comprehension, and making connections to other text they have read or to their own experiences. During the next term, we will be learning about nutrition and healthy eating habits.  In the coming weeks, we will be reading Flat Stanley, and talk about the places he could go.  The students will be encouraged to read more and log the information into their reading logs.


Dos Amigos Community Night

Dos Amigos Burritos IconOn November 10th, the John Powers School held its first ever Community Night at Dos Amigos Burritos in Dover, New Hampshire.  Staff, families and members of the local community banded together to help raise money for the John Power’s School’s adventure based learning initiative.  The amount of support was overwhelming; with the combination of raffle ticket sales and Dos Amigos’ generous contribution, we raised nearly $1,200.  To all those families who purchased raffle tickets, to those staff members who donated prizes for the raffle and to Dos Amigos contributing their proceeds, we would like to express our overwhelming gratitude.  With this funding, we will be able to develop an adventure based curriculum which will boost self confidence, develop leadership skills, increase self worth and improve academic performance for all of our students. 


Special Thanks to our Sponsors

John Powers School Summer

John Powers School recently finished up another successful extended school year program.  This summer's learning theme was animals.  Each week, students went on fields trips associated with a specific animal group, and throughout the week, JPS staff incorporated lessons and projects about that animal group into the academic curriculum.