Friday, October 31, 2014

REMINDER: No school on Election Day

There's no school on Tuesday, November 4. Get out the vote!

UNH Manchester and Comcast partner for STEM education in the district

Central and Memorial high schools are part of a new program for sophomore English Language Learners. Fifty students in Manchester have been named STEM Ambassadors as part of the UNH STEM Discovery Lab, which has partnered with Comcast's Internet Essentials program.The program builds and supports science, technology, engineering and math pathways for talent currently underrepresented in the STEM fields. Senator Jeanne Shaheen was at the program's kick-off.
Read more!

Educator Leadership open for additional participants

The Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce is still accepting applications for this year's EducatorLeadership program. Now in its second year, Educator Leadership seeks to create closer alignment between business and education by providing educators with personal access to business leaders, entrepreneurs, and community leaders. Armed with a stronger understanding of business and workforce trends through this program, educators will be able to apply this knowledge in the classroom and help prepare and inform students for careers in high growth industries.

Sessions are held from 3:30-5:45 p.m. once a month (third Wednesday of each month) until May. Each session focuses on a new industry with presentations by business leaders through lectures and discussions at on-site visits at some of the most innovating and exciting businesses in Manchester. The 2014 curriculum includes the following learning modules:

·         Creative Economy (marketing, arts, etc.)
·         Construction, Infrastructure and Energy
·         Financial Services and Engineering Technology
·         Public Safety and Government
·         Technology and Advanced Manufacturing
·         Hospitality, Tourism, Retail and Automotive

All educators from the Manchester School District (teachers, guidance counselors, reading and math specialists, etc.) are encouraged to apply. The normal tuition for this program is $250 and is reimbursable by the Manchester School District upon completion of the program through professional development funds.

This year, thanks to the generosity of Chamber members offering to sponsor educators and additional corporate support for this program, the tuition for this year has been lowered to only $50 and is reimbursable upon completion of the program.


To apply, simply email leadership@manchester-chamber.org or call Program Manager Tammy Boucher at (603) 792-4110 at the Chamber.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Invitation to Participate: Speak Up 2014 Technology Survey


Invitation to Participate: Speak Up 2014

Calling all K-12 Students, Staff, Administrators & Parents
to share their ideas about the use of technology for learning


Speak Up is facilitated by Project Tomorrow a national education non-profit organization.

Visit trc.mansd.org/speakup2014 to get started and
preview student surveys

About Speak Up 2014:
  • Online surveys are now open through December 19th, 2014.
  • Surveys are available this year for: K-12 students, teachers, librarians, principals, district administrators, technology leaders, parents, business partners and community members.  The parent survey is also available in Spanish!
  • Elementary teachers have the option of administering a group survey.
  • All information is 100% confidential.
  • Project Tomorrow annually shares the nationally aggregated data with Congress, the US Department of Education, research organizations and many state governments.
  • Survey question topics include:  
learning and teaching with technology, 21st century skills, science/math instruction, STEM career exploration, online and blended learning, mobile devices, e-textbooks, flipped classrooms, professional development, school-to-home communications, digital citizenship and investment recommendations for 21st century schools.  


INSTRUCTIONS:
Choose a survey
Look up your school by state and then school
Inline image 1The secret word for students is: speaknow

Contact Liane St. Laurent at lstlaurent@mansd.org if you are not able to locate your school.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Friday, October 24, 2014

MyLunchMoney Back Online!



We are pleased to announce that MyLunchMoney, the on-line payment system to fund Food Service student accounts, will be accepting payments on Friday, October 24, 2014 at 12 noon.  We thank you for your patience during its inoperative time.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Informational Meeting for Upcoming Request for Proposals for Delivered Fresh Cooked Pizza

fresh pizza
The Manchester School District School Food & Nutrition Services Department will be holding an informational meeting to discuss the details and layout of the upcoming Request for Proposals (RFP) for Delivered Fresh Cooked Pizza.

Vendors who are interested in responding to this RFP are encouraged to attend.

The meeting will be held on Monday, October 27, 2014 at 2:00 PM at the Manchester School District offices at 195 McGregor Street, Suite 201, Manchester, NH 03102.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Driver's Education session canceled

The second session of the Manchester School District Driver's Education program has been suspended and will not operate as originally scheduled. All students who registered and applied a deposit will be receiving a full refund during the week of October 20, 2014.
The district is very sorry for the inconvenience this has caused for students and their families and is working as hard as it can to offer a new session as quickly as possible. Information about when that will happen will appear here.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Assessment bulletin for Manchester's families

Information about Manchester School District's local assessment program
The Manchester School District is working very hard to improve teaching and learning in our schools. To reach this goal we have implemented a robust district-wide assessment program that will assist us in helping all children succeed because it ties together standards, curriculum and student achievement.
The 21st century educational system is a real-time learning cycle in which students are constantly practicing the 21st Century super skills - communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity. School districts must have an effective assessment plan so that the cycle of teaching and learning, for both the teacher and the student, move in a positive direction. Assessment has evolved from the days of 50 multiple choice questions and those always tricky true/false statements, to real life connected applications of content and skills practiced daily in the classroom and beyond. When students participate in relevant and ongoing performance tasks, the teacher, student and parent team can get ongoing information about what growth a student has made and what barriers may exist. The assessment program now shifts from a "gotcha" one-time test, to a critical tool for measuring ongoing student learning and achievement.


Nuts and Bolts
The Manchester School District Assessment Program currently consists of locally-developed assessments in reading, writing and mathematics (“locally-developed” means they were created by our classroom teachers from across the school district) in accordance with the Manchester Academic Standards and the aligned curriculum. They are intended to provide ongoing information for parents, teachers and students about how students are progressing toward achieving the standards, as well as how teachers can shift their instruction to meet student needs. They are not tests with a finite end, and they do not count against a student’s grade. But they are a tool to inform instruction and learning opportunities for both teacher and student, and that is a critical component of improving education in our city.


Think of assessment as a compass. To a pilot or sailor, the compass gives direction and provides information about where they currently are in the air or sea. To a teacher and student, the assessment program gives information about where the student is in his/her learning and direction on which way he/she needs to go. The information taken from the assessment provides the teacher with a map to ensure delivery and mastery of the intended curriculum, or what students are supposed to know and be able to do.


Assessment is not the same as testing. Testing is a part of an overall assessment program and is used to assign a grade to a student record of achievement. Testing can take the shape of a performance task, project, investigation, or objective battery of questions (multiple choice, etc. as mentioned above). It is usually summative only after the student has demonstrated progress toward a desired learning objective. The test permits the student to demonstrate how well he/she has mastered the learning objective.


The information from the assessments, are stored in our data warehouse called Performance Plus (P+). Teachers and principals are able to generate reports that help them identify which standards are not being met at each of the schools, classrooms and even among students. Teachers use this information to discuss teaching strategies and compare lesson plans so they can offer the same high level learning opportunities to all students regardless of the school in which they are enrolled. This model of collaborative work is called Professional Learning Communities and has been proven through research and experience to raise student achievement in school districts everywhere.


Frequency of Assessment
Students in K - 8 will be assessed each month in math facts, math computation, writing, reading, and unit assessments. Most of the assessments range in duration from 2 minutes to 20 minutes and do not detract from the learning in the classroom. Performance assessments at the end of an academic term or trimester may require more time, and schedules will be adjusted accordingly. Instruction will not be interrupted by the assessment program, and we believe instruction will actually be enhanced because of it. Teachers will have a better sense of where students need additional support and be able to apply the necessary interventions before it is too late. “Too late” is defined as the day of the big test.


Summary
Manchester School District wants to become data rich so that decisions about individual students as well as entire schools are supported by factual information that makes sense. Our vision is to “be a dynamic system focused on the realization of student aspirations.” With sound practice in common assessment supported by effective instruction and a rigorous curriculum, we believe you will see success in a short time.

Always feel free to contact the Superintendent’s Office with any questions you may have about this or any other programs in the Manchester School District. You may call 603-624-6300 x122 or email superintendent@mansd.org.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

REMINDER: Information for parents about Enterovirus-D68

See this infographic in Spanish
Enteroviruses are a group of viruses that commonly cause illness, including upper respiratory infections. Symptoms can include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body and muscle aches. The vast majority of people infected with an enterovirus, however, will have only mild symptoms and recover quickly.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has provided some important information for parents to keep in mind.

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer many resources with information for parents and families:


·        Web Feature, “What Parents Need to Know About Enterovirus D68”

·        Fact sheet for parents, “What Parents Need to Know about Enterovirus D68”

Bakersville, MST honored by NH Department of Education

          Bakersville principal Judy Adams, far right,
            and her staff received a Circle of Excellence
award from the NH DOE



Congratulations to Bakersville Elementary School and Manchester School of Technology for receiving two of the New Hampshire Department of Education's awards for excellence.

Bakersville was included in education commissioner Virginia Barry's Circle of Excellence, which recognizes schools and districts that aspire to excellence by being bold and innovative in order to provide the best educational opportunities possible for our children.
MST High School principal Karen White, second from right,
was in Concord to receive the DOE's recognition 

MST High School is one of the state's six League of Innovative Schools. They were honored for working together to deliver the best possible learning experiences and graduate every student prepared for adult life.

The Department of Education recognized 24 schools and districts in New Hampshire.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Schools receive science and technology boost from one-of-a-kind collaboration

An international not-for-profit public charity that motivates young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) has committed to help enhance those subjects for every fourth grade student in Manchester. FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) has been encouraging young people's interest and participation in science and technology for more than 25 years. The organization was founded by inventor Dean Kamen in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. The city’s elementary schools now have a unique opportunity to bring the popular FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) program into their classrooms.

FIRST is the expert in project-based learning, and it’s in our own backyard,” said Mayor Ted Gatsas. “This collaboration will give all of our young fourth graders across the city the confidence to participate, learn and compete.”  

The school district is calling the collaboration “Junior STEAM Ahead,” a reference to “STEAM Ahead,” a secondary-level program at West High School which focuses on science, technology, engineering, arts and math curriculum through similar business and higher education partnerships.
The implementation plan for Junior STEAM Ahead will begin with three schools, Beech Street, Green Acres and Jewett Street. In 2015, four more schools will be added, and the remaining elementary schools in the city will participate starting in the 2016-17 school year.

“We asked every elementary school to submit a proposal and apply to the program for this pilot year,” said Dr. Debra Livingston, superintendent of schools. “We chose three schools this round, but all of our fourth grade teachers and principals are eager to explore the learning opportunities the program will provide.”

As part of the Junior STEAM Ahead program, each fourth grade classroom will participate in FIRST LEGO League with teams of six students. They will design, build, and program robots using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® and other LEGO® elements. The lessons involve applying math and science concepts, as well as learning critical thinking, team-building and presentation skills.

The 2014/2015 
FIRST® LEGO®League (FLL®) season will task students with exploring the future of learning as part of a new Challenge called FLL WORLD CLASSSM. More than 260,000 children in nearly 80 countries will teach adults about the ways that kids need and want to learn in the 21st century, and will develop their own innovative tools to help others gather knowledge as part of the FLL season Challenge.

“This is project-based learning at its best,” said Donald E. Bossi, President of FIRST. “What separates us from traditional science fairs and textbook learning is that the kids who participate attack real-world challenges and invent the solutions.” 

Another aspect of the program collaboration is a visit to the SEE Science Center in Manchester. Every year, all 14 elementary schools will bring their fourth grade students on a field trip, at no cost to the school district. FIRST is paying for the transportation, and SEE Science Center is waiving the admission fees.

“SEE Science Center is a wonderful resource to introduce children to the idea that science and technology are relevant in the real world and everyday life,” said Dr. Livingston. “We are grateful to FIRST for the opportunity to give our students that experience and ignite the excitement they can bring back to the classroom.”  


Fourth grade teachers in Manchester also will receive FIRST LEGO League training and learn how to implement the program into the school day. A full day workshop was hosted by FIRST in September at SEE Science Center; additional training for Manchester teachers will be scheduled later this fall.

Monday, October 13, 2014

High school students invited to "Make the Grade" -- and win a car!

A successful community partnership continues with the announcement of the 2014-15 “Make the Grade” program. Together, the Office of the Mayor, the Manchester School District and AutoFair unveiled at city high schools the initiative that recognizes academic achievements. “Make the Grade,” a public-private partnership between the City of Manchester, AutoFair, Manchester School District and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, also enhances the spirit of community commitment.

This is the fourth year “Make the Grade” will award a brand new car to a junior or senior high school student who earns Honor Roll status the first, second and third quarters of the academic year. Next spring, the winning student will receive a 2015 Hyundai Velostar. AutoFair brought it to each school today so that students could see for themselves the car that could be theirs.

“The Manchester School District and the City are excited to continue the partnership with Autofair to recognize the accomplishments of our local high school students,” said Mayor Gatsas.  “It is our hope that once again ‘Make the Grade’ will add a spark of excitement to the school year and drive students to work even harder to excel.”

Students enrolled at Manchester High School Central, Manchester High School West and Manchester Memorial High School are eligible for a chance to win the 2015 Hyundai Velostar donated by AutoFair. The car will be given away to the lucky student at a New Hampshire Fisher Cats game on June 5, 2015.
 
“The ‘Make the Grade’ program has been a huge success, and we are proud to help set the bar that motivates students to strive for better grades,” said Andy Crews, CEO of AutoFair Dealerships. “The best part is seeing the joy on the face of the student who holds the key that starts the car.”

“Every student who achieves excellence deserves recognition for a job well done, and ‘Make the Grade’ is a fun way to do that,” said Dr. Debra Livingston, Superintendent of Schools. “We thank AutoFair for its generous investment in our students.”

For complete details and contest rules go to www.AutoFair.com or www.mansd.org and click on the “Make the Grade” logo.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Seeking substitutes: You might qualify!

We are looking to enhance our pool of substitutes! People who have earned at least an associate degree OR 48 college credits may qualify to be substitute teachers in the Manchester School District.
Please call 624-6300 and dial 0 to talk to Pam for an application packet.  
We seek substitutes for classroom teachers, paraprofessionals and administrative assistants. An interview is required.
We draw from our list of substitutes when there are unexpected teacher and staff absences.  Spread the word or call Pam today!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Support a Classroom Project at AdoptAClassroom.org

AdoptAClassroom.org pairs donors with teachers to provide resources and materials to meet the unique needs of their students. You can directly support a classroom in the Manchester School District! Visit AdoptAClassroom to search for a school in Manchester. 

When a classroom receives a donation, 100 percent of the funds are immediately made available to the teacher through an online credit. Teachers can use those funds to shop online for classroom supplies from a network of more than 40 vendors on AdoptAClassroom.org; the supplies they choose are delivered directly to the teacher’s school. Donors receive personal feedback from the teacher about the impact of their donation, including an impact report that details how their contributions were used, item-by-item, dollar-for-dollar.


Friday, October 10, 2014

School is in session on Columbus Day

A reminder to our students and families that this year's school calendar includes Columbus Day as a school day. School will be in session on Monday, October 13.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

MST High School Student Salon and Spa opening on October 23

The community is invited to support Manchester School of Technology's salon and spa. Make an appointment and be part of the cosmetology students' training while helping the economy grow!
The grand opening is on October 23.

Student Salon & Spa
Appointments available: Thursdays, 8:15am, 10:15am & 1pm to 5pm.(close @ 6pm)
Now offering the following services:
Spa
Plain Manicure                                    $5.00

Spa Manicure                                     $10.00
Gel Polish Manicure                           $10.00
Gel Polish removal                             $10.00
Pedicure                                              $10.00
Hair
Wash/blow dry                                    $5.00
Hair Cut                                               $5.00
Braid style                                           $5.00
Irons set or flat iron                             $5.00
Iron Curls (long hair)                           $10.00
Up Do                                                  $10-$20
Hair Color, retouch only                      $15.00

Email for appointments: mstsalon@mansd.org


Important Announcement Regarding MyLunchMoney Payment System

Update as of October 8:MYLUNCHMONEY IS CURRENTLY NOT ACCEPTING PAYMENTS

A programming issue has been identified and is in the process of being resolved.  We appreciate your patience during this time.  In the meantime, deposits are always accepted in the form of cash or check at any of the District Schools.  We will update this message board as we move forward with progress.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Spotlight on Parkside

The Middle School at Parkside will be featured in a Spotlight Session at the 2014 Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference on Tuesday, December 2, 2014.

Principal Forrest Ransdell and teachers from Parkside will lead a panel discussion on how their school has focused on the use of technology as a tool to change both teacher and student experiences in the classroom.

Hear about what they discovered and how they made the transition from "device-based" planning with a focus on how to use specific devices in instruction to technology planning that is driven by learner and teacher needs to create efficiency, improve access to technology, and expand outcomes. They will also focus on Google Apps for Education and will share a variety of useful resources. Parkside Middle School is also a participating school in the Manchester School District T21 Teaching for the 21st Century program.

Students prepare a cart of Chromebooks for classroom use at Parkside
Students prepare a cart of Chromebooks for classroom use at Parkside

A student library assistant prepares Chromebooks

A student library assistant with library media specialist Robin Tafe and Principal Forrest Ransdell
A student library assistant with library media specialist Robin Tafe and principal Forrest Ransdell

Beech Street School to host "Light On Afterschool!"

On Thursday, October 23, 2014, from 6:30 to 7:30 PM, Manchester School District’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) will join more than 2,500 other programs and a projected one million people nationwide by hosting their annual “Lights On Afterschool!” celebration. The event at Beech Street Elementary School, 333 Beech Street, is free and open to the public.

Children and their families are invited to participate in interactive enrichment activities that are engaging for all ages. There will be a variety of art projects, a photo booth, and face painting. Families also will have a chance to learn about some of our program offerings, and chat with the staff members and community partners that work with the 21st CCLC.

About one out of every four children in New Hampshire goes home alone after school. Join us in raising awareness for Manchester’s 21st CCLC afterschool program as it inspires over 2,000 students annually to reach their full potential academically, socially and personally through the support of the program, families and the community.

Read more about the 21st CCLC program.

Community Survey: Core Values of the Manchester School District

Staff, students, parents, and the greater Manchester community are invited to help define core values for the Manchester School District. Click here to add your voice!

Monday, October 6, 2014

In Case You Missed It: Last week's most talked about Facebook post

The story that went with the picture seen here has generated a reaction bigger than any of our other Facebook posts have, ever. It was a story about sportsmanship in Manchester, and proof that even among rivals, compassion and support mean more than being first.

So far, nearly 500 of our followers have "liked" the post, and more than 80 people have shared it. That means we've reached more than 16,500 people with a positive story they might otherwise have heard nothing about!

If you don't already follow Manchester School District's Facebook page, check it out.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

STEAM Ahead NH featured in national publication

STEAM Ahead NH caught the attention of the Wall Street Journal. The article features the benefits of the partnership we have built with Dyn, SilverTech, the University System of NH and Manchester Community College. Together, we're giving students learning opportunities never before available!