Friday, February 21, 2014

Committee making progress on academic standards

Manchester Academic Standards workgroup
Several work groups are hard at work developing various portions of Manchester's academic standards. Today, educators are tackling the next steps for shaping the standards for elementary grades. Watch this site for ongoing updates!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Interim principal of Central High School named

Former Manchester Central High School principal John Rist is returning to the post on a temporary basis. Superintendent of Schools Debra Livingston named Rist interim principal of Central, effective immediately, until a permanent principal is hired.

“John Rist is Central Pride, through and through,” Dr. Livingston said. “We are very pleased he is available to help our students and faculty in this transition.”

Rist served as Central’s principal from 2002 to 2012, and is credited with steering the school toward much of its academic success and strong morale. When he heard Central needed help, he didn’t hesitate to come out of retirement.

“Anything I can do for these kids and teachers, I’m willing to do it,” Rist said. “I’m looking forward to getting back in the saddle at Central, renewing old friendships and making new ones.” 

Last year, Rist took on a similar interim role at West High School before its current principal filled the position. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Safe Sports Network offers free physicals for students ages 11-18


Athletes ages 11 - 18 are eligible for FREE SPORTS PHYSICALS on March 20th from 5:30-7:30pm at 9 Washington Place, Bedford. The NH Orthopaedic Center is the Title Sponsor of this year’s event. The practice is donating their clinic space for the evening physicals. These physicals meet the requirements of school athletic programs. Athletes are encouraged to pre-register. Complete and submit a form before Thursday, March 13th to be pre-registered. Pre-registered athletes will be moved ahead in line. The form is available at www.nhmi.net/free_physicals.php and at area high schools.


The form can also be found on the Manchester School District web site: http://athletics.mansd.org/athletic-forms

More than 7,000 athletes have received a FREE physical offered by the Safe Sports Network, since 1989. Safe Sports founder Nick Vailas started this program after meeting an athletic-looking young man watching a Central football practice from outside the fence. He asked the young man why he wasn't playing. The response, "Because my family can't afford the physical," moved him to create the Safe Sports Network. Free physicals, free onsite sports medicine care at Manchester city high schools and a free drop-in injury clinic are available to local youth athletes. Safe Sports believes that young athletes deserve professional sports medicine care. They continue to partner with local youth leagues to provide education, injury evaluation and concussion management.


Safe Sports Network is the largest program of the non-profit NH Musculoskeletal Institute, which recently welcomed Jeff Seifert to its Board of Directors.

For more information visit the Safe Sports Network web page (http://www.nhmi.net/free_physicals.php) or call 627-9728.

Maggie Philbrook Day postponed

Maggie Philbrook
Our school district's observance of Maggie Philbrook Day has been postponed until Friday, February 21. That's when all district staff and faculty can make a $5 donation in exchange for wearing jeans to school and work. All money collected across the district will go toward a charitable fund chosen by Maggie's family.
Want to go a step further in honoring Maggie's memory? Her favorite color was purple. Wear purple shirts along with your jeans on February 21! 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Concert to benefit New Horizons for New Hampshire

Manchester Central High School's music honor society, "Tri-M," is holding a benefit concert on Tuesday, February 18. The admission fee is non-perishable food or a donation of money that will go directly to New Horizons.

Please support our student musicians and a community organization that does so much good for those who need a helping hand!

DATE: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 
TIME: 6:30 p.m.
PLACE: Grace Episcopal Church (Corner of Lowell & Pine Streets)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Hillside Middle School breaks state record with Pennies for Patients

Hillside Middle School raised more than $5,000 in three weeks for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Pennies for Patients campaign. 

The Patients for Pennies campaign was run through the school’s enrichment classes, grades 6-8.  Students contributed spare change, and teachers collected it daily.  Hillside Middle School raised more money than any school this year, according to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and broke the New Hampshire school state record of $4,700. 

“This was our first year running the Patients for Pennies campaign.  We felt it was another great opportunity to have our kids and teachers working together to help others.  We couldn't be more pleased," said Sara Loughlin, school coordinator of the project and teacher at Hillside.  

Money raised will help thousands of children and adults in the fight against blood cancers like leukemia.  

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to the funding of cutting edge treatments for blood cancers. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

Former Patriots player shares life lessons

Tony Collins
 The sixth, seventh and eighth graders who heard Tony Collins speak at McLaughlin Middle School were born well after his career with the New England Patriots ended. But 30 years ago, Collins was a powerful running back for the Pats, and helped the team make its first Super Bowl appearance in 1986. Not long after that, drug use cut short Collins’ time in the NFL.

Now Collins wants the students and athletes in Manchester to know how the decisions he made back then affected every aspect of his life – from career to personal relationships. He’s educating kids across the country on the importance of making positive choices. McLaughlin brought all of its students together on Tuesday morning for a school-wide assembly to hear Collins’ story.

Collins talked about growing up wanting to be in the NFL. . .how excited he was when his dream became reality while he was in college. . .and the spiral into despair he fell into because of his choices to abuse drugs. He told the students about the importance of positive thinking and respecting parents and teachers who often know how to best guide kids toward good decisions.

His was a powerful story for the middle schoolers to hear. We're glad he took the time to visit!

2013 NECAP results released

The fall 2013 New England Common Assessment Program results show improvements in several areas across Manchester’s public schools, according to the data released today by the New Hampshire Department of Education. The most dramatic increases are found in the writing section of the standardized assessment, where in one instance, fifth graders at Parker-Varney Elementary School increased writing proficiency by 31% over last year.

“Our teachers have worked hard to shore up the weaknesses in classroom writing instruction and improve the elements that needed to be stronger,” said Christine Martin, principal of Webster Elementary School, where fifth grade students increased scores in writing proficiency by 16% this year and nearly 30% since 2011. “We are always examining what the learning looks like, and assessments like the NECAP are one tool we can use to measure achievement.”

The NECAP is administered annually to students in grades 3 through 8 and to high school juniors. The assessment is a collaborative partnership among New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Maine established in response to the No Child Left Behind Act.

“Assessment tools such as the NECAP can be valuable for providing a very general overview of how our district and individual schools are doing,” said Manchester School District superintendent Debra Livingston. “But equally important are the tools teachers use every day to determine how students are learning.”

Additional data provided by the Department of Education indicates that Manchester’s students are achieving set learning objectives over time.   

“Students’ growth should be celebrated,” said Dr. Livingston. “And progress from year to year can also confirm that classroom instruction is heading in the right direction.”

Statewide, performances in mathematics, reading and writing have remained statistically the same compared to last year. 
In reading, 77 percent of students tested were proficient and above proficient, compared to 79 percent the year before. Manchester’s reading proficiency this year is at 59%. 
In math, 65 percent of students scored proficient and above proficient, to last year’s 68 percent. Manchester students are 46% proficient.
In writing, 58 percent of students tested were proficient and above proficient, compared to 55 percent the year before. Students in Manchester are 41% proficient. 

Manchester administrators and teachers will spend time looking more closely at their own data and analyze the performance of individual students as well as groups of students and whole grades.