Two elementary schools, one middle school and one high school serve the children of Lebanon, West Lebanon, Grantham (7-12 only) and Plainfield (9-12 only), with a current enrollment of 1,817 students. Under the leadership of School Administrative Union (SAU) 88, student performance is measured in a variety of ways: the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) at grades 3 through 8 and grade 11; SATs (Scholastic Aptitude Test) and AP (Advanced Placement) tests for college-bound high school students; and ongoing district-wide assessment measuring a variety of outcomes at various grade levels. While Lebanon students generally score at or above state and national averages on standardized assessments, increasing achievement is a constant goal of SAU 88.
The total budget for the public schools of Lebanon is approximately $32.5 million, with 29 percent provided by the state and federal governments, leaving 71 percent provided by local resources. With over 130 classroom teachers employed, the student-to-classroom teacher ratio is one teacher for every 15.7 students. Of the high school graduating class of 2009, 70 percent continued on to college. Home schooling is prevalent in the Upper Valley, and schools work in concert with families of home-schooled children to include them in sports and other extracurricular activities.
Private schooling is also an option, with Crossroads Academy (Lyme), Cardigan Mountain School (Canaan), and Kimball Union Academy (Meriden) among the choices.
Crossroads Academy is an independent elementary and middle school that combines a rich academic curriculum with a broad concern for character formation. Cardigan Mountain School is a junior boarding and day school for boys in grades 6-9, and Kimball Union Academy (KUA) is a private high school offering more than 100 courses, including an AP program. Other smaller private schools may be found throughout Lebanon and the surrounding communities, gearing their curricula around religious beliefs or featuring particular teaching techniques, such as the Montessori method.
Dartmouth College, the world-renowned Ivy League institution, is just 10 minutes away in Hanover. Colby- Sawyer College, a four-year liberal arts college for men and women, is 30 minutes south in New London.
Granite State College, one of the four institutions in New Hampshire’s public university system, has served adult learners since 1972. Located in Lebanon, it offers bachelor’s and associate degrees, as well as local access to Plymouth State University’s MBA and M.Ed. programs. Students can tailor their degree programs to their own personal and professional interests. Granite State College also offers accredited courses through the University of New Hampshire.
Franklin Pierce University, located conveniently in the Trade Center Building on Airport Road in West Lebanon, offers a full range of education options to community members, including certificates, associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. Degree programs start at several points throughout the year, and financial aid is available to qualified individuals. Courses are available evenings, weekends and online for maximum flexibility. Franklin Pierce faculty and staff are always accessible and dedicated to working in partnership with Upper Valley employers and the community.
River Valley Community College is a fully accredited two-year college providing comprehensive programs of higher education in a student-centered environment. The college offers 37 diverse associate degree, diploma and certificate programs, as well as transfer pathways to four-year colleges and universities. Continuing education opportunities are also available responding to individual business and community needs. The main campus is in Claremont, with the academic center in Keene.
The New England School of Hair Design (NESHD), located in West Lebanon, has been educating the area’s top stylists since 1976. NESHD features a 42-station hairstyling salon and offers a full range of hair, skin and nail services to the public at reduced prices. Services are performed by well-trained students under professional supervision. NESHD is accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences and offers federal financial aid to eligible students.
Granite Air Center’s flight school is a great place to learn how to fly and earn your pilot’s license. The school operates a Cessna Pilot Center and offers FAA-approved private pilot and instrument training courses with a focus on safety, efficiency of training, and service. Granite Air offers students the best instruction available with FAA-certified professional flight instructors utilizing late-model Cessna 172 SkyHawks — the industry standard in training aircraft.
In 1992, the Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce established a fund (with money raised by gifts and fundraising events) to support scholarships for adult learners in the Upper Valley. Since then, the Chamber has awarded nearly $60,000. For more information about the scholarships, contact the Chamber office.
The Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce will be accepting applications for the Spring. Keep checking for updates.