Manchester has two fewer Schools in Need of Improvement. The New Hampshire Department of Education has announced that Gossler Park Elementary School and Southside Middle School have successfully met criteria to exit that federal status. Both schools have worked for several years on efforts to turn around their designation as low performing schools in the district based on assessment scores.
Funds from the state and U.S. departments of education in the form of School Improvement Grants (SIG) provided resources and professional development opportunities for faculty and staff to implement strategies in various areas of improvement.
“The hard work, determination and dedication from every member of the Gossler Park and Southside communities have made those schools exemplary models for other schools in Manchester working to reach the same goals,” said Mayor Ted Gatsas.
Many activities and guidelines for SIG Schools require hours of professional development, meetings, and data collection and analysis. Gossler Park and Southside set the bar for high expectations and continued their pursuit of excellence in academics throughout a transformation process. The strategies are now embedded in the way those schools help children learn.
“The process taught us a lot about the ways we can be more effective educators,” said Lori Upham, principal of Gossler Park. “I’ve been able spend more time in the classroom being an instructional leader and giving timely feedback on teaching practices.”
District-wide sharing of ideas and experiences also was a key component of success, establishing the foundation for student excellence that will allow Gossler Park and Southside to reach exemplary status.
“School improvement grants are about the ability to lead and build capacity to continue the work after the grant expires,” said Pat Snow, executive director of Manchester’s Innovation Zone, which oversees the progress of SIG schools. “I am confident that we can and will continue the excellent work and practices that lead to student achievement.”