Monday, April 24, 2017

Manchester kindergarten teacher in the running for NH Teacher of the Year

Shauna Webber with Dept of Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut
at the Teacher of the Year nomination ceremony
The 2018 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year won't be announced until September, but the selection process is underway.

Congratulations to Manchester's semi-finalist, Smyth Road Elementary School kindergarten teacher Shauna Webber!

The selection process is a rigorous one.  Representatives from the state Teacher of the Year Committee will visit Smyth Road next month to observe Mrs. Webber in class, and interview her, her colleagues, students, parents and supervisors. She will find out in June if she's a finalist.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Registration is Open for MSD Summer School 2017

Summer Academy
Manchester Academy’s summer school program is encouraged for students of all abilities in grades 6-12. It helps those who are interested in further enriching themselves academically, and benefits those in need of credit recovery or additional support.

Manchester School District Summer School runs Monday through Friday, 8 to 10:40 for block one and 11 to 1:40 for block two. The program will take place at Manchester high School West.

Dates: June 20 to July14 and there is no school on Monday, July3rd or Tuesday, July 4th.
with the holiday.

QUESTIONS? Contact the director: Ms. Hansen-Proulx at aproulx@mansd.org or 624-6356 x1211. Visit http://www.mansd.org/summer-school-2017 for registration forms and more information.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

New school feeder pattern approved

The Board of School Committee last night voted to approve Dr. Vargas's recommendation for a
a revised feeder pattern among Manchester’s schools. The new plan determines which middle and high schools a student will attend based on his or her elementary school. It will be implemented for the next school year, starting in September 2017.

While the current feeder pattern splits groups of students from some single elementary schools between multiple secondary schools, the changes streamline neighborhood school assignments so that all graduating students from one elementary school move on to the same middle and high schools. Not all elementary schools are impacted by the new feeder pattern, which is illustrated below.


The exception to the single feeder school system is Beech Street School, where half the students will attend Southside Middle School and the other half McLaughlin, as they do now. Under the new plan, all former Beech Street students from both of those middle schools will reunite at Central High School.    

Another approved change affects a small group of students who currently attend McDonough Elementary School but live on and around the north end of Mammoth Road closer to Smyth Road Elementary School.  Assigning those children to Smyth Road eventually will eliminate a bus route and allow class sizes to be more evenly distributed.
What families need to know right now:
  • Current 5th grade students will attend their assigned feeder middle schools in September.
  • All students currently attending a middle school may stay where they are unless they choose to change to the new feeder pattern middle school. The process for making that request will be announced soon.
  • Any students with older siblings at a non-feeder pattern middle school may attend that school with the older siblings and will receive transportation through the 2019/20 school year. The process for making that request will be announced soon.
  • McDonough students in grades K-1 and new students of all grades who live in the affected Mammoth Road area will walk to Smyth Road Elementary School.
  • A crossing guard will be assigned at Kennard Rd. and Mammoth Rd.
  • Older siblings at McDonough may choose to attend Smyth Road. The process for making that request will be announced soon.
  • Students in grades 2-5 will continue to be bused to McDonough unless they choose to go to Smyth Road. The process for making that request will be announced soon.
  • The bus to McDonough will continue to run through the 2020/21 school year.


Friday, April 14, 2017

MST FIRST Robotics Team 6763 announces SilverTech $2,500 grant matching challenge

SilverTech, a digital marketing and technology company based in Manchester, NH, has offered a $2,500 grant matching challenge to the students of MST's FIRST Robotics Team 6763. SilverTech will match any gifts, donations, grants and fundraising initiatives that the students secure between April 10 and the end of business day on April 17.

“We were very impressed with the students who came to the SilverTech office to present their corporate sponsorship request,” said Nick Soggu, President & CEO of SilverTech. “Through the FIRST robotic competitions, these students are not only learning about applied STEAM programs, they are also developing valuable business skills. Skills like marketing, branding, communicating effectively, and developing a business plan.”

“We’ve never had a sponsor put a grant matching challenge in front of us,” said fundraising team lead Alycia Ashby. “But we’ve overcome so many other hurdles this year, I’m confident the team will rise to this challenge, too! We got this.”

All money will be used to fund the team’s travel and hotel costs to the FIRST World Championship robotics competition held in St. Louis, MO, later this month. The team qualified for the World Championship this past weekend, at the New England Regionals, where they came in 20th place out of 64 teams. The top 32 teams were eligible to advance to the World Competition, along with teams from Central and West high schools.

Other MST FIRST Team 6763 corporate sponsors include Rotary Club of Manchester NH, Brady-Sullivan, Corfin LLC, Ben & Jerry’s, Sousa Signs, PAR Electronics, Force Monkey Labs, and St. Mary’s Bank.

Please consider sponsoring FIRST Team 6763 now -- your contributions will go twice as far! For more information, please contact 6763 Fundraising Mentor Shannon Larson by email (slarson@mansd.org) or call 603-624-6490.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Donation from local bank enhances learning


People’s United Bank has donated one 3D printer to each of three Manchester schools to enhance STEAM education. Webster Elementary School, the Middle School at Parkside, and McLaughlin Middle School will use the printers, together worth $10,000, as valuable tools for more projects that integrate science, technology, engineering, arts and math into everyday learning.

“We attended a summit hosted by the New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership a couple of years ago and were very impressed with the industries represented and the work they do,” said Dianne Mercier, president of People’s United Bank in New Hampshire. “That experience inspired us to think about how we could contribute to education in those fields and, ultimately, a skilled workforce.”

To introduce the printer and its capabilities to students, the Middle School at Parkside is hosting an innovation and design contest. Students are invited to submit ideas for a new product or improvement upon an existing object that could be created with the brand new MakerBot Replicator+. Contest entries so far range from a medical alert bracelet to a cup holder extender to a car with peddles. The contest ends on April 17.

In the meantime, some of Parkside’s sixth and eighth grade art students are working on projects that use different mediums for the same design. First, they sculpted clay into their chosen figures, including a turtle and a cupcake.  The students then used the 3D design software to replicate those objects and print them.

Almost every student experienced false starts, errors and design breakthroughs – all part of the learning process.  They will share what they’ve learned with Mercier and others during a showcase of their work to officially thank People’s United Bank for its generous donation on behalf of all three recipient schools.

“We welcome every opportunity to partner with the business community,” said Manchester School District superintendent Bolgen Vargas. “We very much appreciate People’s United Bank’s contribution to education because we can do so much more by working together.”



Central teacher named national science advocate

A Central High School science teacher is on a list of 45 Advocates named by The Society for Science & the Public. As an Advocate, Ellen Tourigny will work to expand opportunities for underserved students to compete and succeed in science research competition. A $100,000 grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and a $150,000 grant from Arconic Foundation will help to fund the Advocate program.

The Advocate Grant Program seeks to open the door to scientific research for underserved students, many of whom are unaware of or unable to take advantage of science fair competitions. The Society’s Advocates help their students navigate the sometimes complicated processes involved in entering science research competitions.

“Science competitions support and nurture a pipeline of talented, science-minded young people. Through the Society for Science & the Public’s Advocate Grant Program we are increasing the diversity of ideas and backgrounds that compose that critical pipeline,” said Maya Ajmera, President and CEO of the Society for Science & the Public and Publisher of Science News.

Students who compete in science competitions come away with important life skills, including learning how to write a research paper and how to present that work to peers and judges. These competitions provide students with presentation and oratory skills, inspire confidence, lead them to a potential career in science and boost the chances of admission to college and scholarships.

In addition to a $3,000 stipend, Advocates receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the Advocate Training Institute where they receive additional training and support from Society staff. Throughout their term, Advocates continue to connect with one another and with Society staff through regular conference calls as well as through an online community.

Tourigny is the only teacher Advocate from New Hampshire.

Society for Science & the Public is dedicated to the achievement of young scientists in independent research and to public engagement in science. Established in 1921, Society is a nonprofit whose vision is to promote the understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in human advancement. Through its world-class competitions, including the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, and the Broadcom MASTERS, and its award-winning magazine, Science News and Science News for Students, Society for Science & the Public is committed to inform, educate, and inspire. Learn more at www.societyforscience.org.

Kids Caring for Kids impacts 200 children in need

The Kids Caring for Kids student group at Saint Catherine of Siena School brainstormed, planned, created, and facilitated the distribution of 200 drawstring backpacks filled with goodies to support children in the Manchester School District who are identified as displaced or homeless.

Kids Caring for Kids is a project that was suggested by a student to the principal in 2015. John “JJ” Thomas had a dream to give back after the community supported his family when his mother fought and beat breast cancer. John knew that the students at St. Catherine of Siena School would help him to realize the desire to serve others.

With the support of a generous grant from the Diocesan Rice Bowl Grant, a donation from Mayor Gatsas, and private donations, the students assembled 200 drawstring backpacks filled with snacks, water bottle, toothbrush and tooth paste, small toys, a book, a craft, and a teddy bear. The packages include a penguin gift tag that was individually colored and designed by the children. Each tag expresses a note of encouragement for the receiver.

The Kids Caring for Kids effort has grown every year. The children donated 100 packages in 2015, 144 packages in 2016, and 200 in 2017.