Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Community forums on redistricting proposal set

Members of the community will have several opportunities in the coming weeks to ask questions and make comments on the Manchester School District superintendent’s draft proposal for the next phases of redistricting. Nine forums have been scheduled across the city, beginning on February 21 and ending on March 28. All parents, guardians, school employees, students, and other interested community members are welcome to attend any and all sessions. The full list of dates, times and locations is below.

Dr. Bolgen Vargas introduced six draft recommendations to the Board of School Committee:
·         Replicate Parker-Varney personalized learning opportunities through an innovative network of the West Side schools
·         Establish grades 5-8 middle school model
·         Reduce class sizes
·         Adjust the school feeder pattern to send Beech Street and Wilson elementary students to McLaughlin and Central
·         Create preschool center at Memorial High School
·         Repurpose surplus space at high school level

The draft proposal is based on preliminary results from a comprehensive facilities study conducted by a local firm, CMK Architects. Among the early findings, there is enough space in the four middle schools to accommodate grades 5 through 8.

“A grades five to eight middle school education model has proven to work in other districts, including our neighbor, Goffstown,” said Dr. Vargas. “One of the benefits of establishing this in Manchester is that it will free up much needed classroom space our elementary school buildings.”  

The additional space created when the fifth grade moves to middle school will allow for smaller class sizes in kindergarten through fourth grades.

Another highlight of the superintendent’s draft plan is to create a preschool center at Memorial High School, which has surplus space. Currently, preschool students attend five elementary schools and the Bishop O’Neil Community Center. Centralizing the pre-k programs would help teachers collaborate more and allow therapists to use their time with students more efficiently. In addition, preschool transportation services could be streamlined and cost less. Under the draft proposal, the O’Neil Center would remain open for preschool.

Dr. Vargas will present detailed elements of his draft recommendations at every forum and take feedback.   

“Involving the community and addressing concerns during this process is critical for success of any plan,” said Dr. Vargas. “The feedback we receive will help shape the final recommendations.”

The superintendent will present his final proposal to the Board of School Committee by early April.

Community Forum Schedule
February 21, 6-7 pm – Middle School at Parkside

March 7, 7:30 am – Webster Elementary School

March 7, 6-7 pm – Northwest Elementary School

March 8, 4:30 pm – McLaughlin Middle School

March 14, 6-7 pm – Beech Street Elementary School

March 15, 6-7 pm – Memorial High School

March 20, 6-7 pm – Hillside Middle School

March 22, 6-7 pm – Wilson Elementary School

March 28, 6-7 pm – Parker-Varney Elementary School

Friday, February 9, 2018

Spring sports coaching openings

We're thinking spring!

Check out the available coaching positions we have, including:
  • Central High School boys & girls track and field
  • Central High School girls tennis 
  • Assistant coach for West High School boys track and field.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

New athletic director named

Superintendent Bolgen Vargas has named Christine Pariseau Telge director of athletics for the district.  In this part-time role, Telge will oversee the middle and high school athletic programs across the district. Responsibilities include hiring coaches, arranging game schedules, and supervising the high school athletic coordinators.

Telge currently works as program coordinator for Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center’s Friends of Norris Cotton Cancer Center and will continue in that position. She also holds a law degree and has experience working in human resources.

Telge is a lifelong resident of Manchester and a product of the city’s schools. 

“My love for the student-athletes and the city of Manchester will drive me to strengthen our programs and represent our community in the best way possible,” said Telge.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Donation update: McLaughlin embraces new STEAM technology

McLaughlin Middle School students have been busy learning and using the Makerbot Replicator+ 3D printer provided by People's United Bank last year.
The tech ed and wood shop classes, where the curriculum is designed to integrate elements of engineering, was a natural fit for using this new technology.
Among the students' projects -- design bubble wands for blowing bubbles. First, the students learned all about bubbles and what designs would work to best to make a good bubble blowing wand. Then, the students printed their bubble wands using the MakerBot 3D printer. The next steps in the project were to design and build a storage rack or stand, to store their jar of bubbles and wand.
The engineering process gave students the opportunity to ask questions, research, imagine, plan, create, test, and make improvements.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Special meeting of the Building & Sites Committee

The public is invited to a Building and Sites Committee special meeting at West High School on Tuesday, February 20 at 5:30 pm. The purpose of the meeting is for the community to listen to a presentation of the design of the school district central office move to the third floor of West High School. After the presentation, a town hall-style discussion will allow anyone to ask questions, make comments, and/or express concerns.

Prior to the formal meeting, West High School principal Rick Dichard will give a tour of the affected areas of the school at 5:15 for those who are interested. You can see a sketch of the preliminary proposal HERE

Southside in the spotlight

Southside Middle School science teacher Amanda Lotz wrote an article featured in EdSurge, a resource for educators that focuses on sharing information about using technology to support teaching and learning.

Ms. Lotz shared her experience with developing personalized learning opportunities for her students that transformed her classroom.