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Showing posts from April, 2015

Beech Street School recognized for superior energy efficiency

Beech Street Elementary School has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) ENERGY STAR certification, which signifies that the building performs in the top 25 percent of similar buildings nationwide for energy efficiency and meets strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA. "We are pleased to accept EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification in recognition of our energy efficiency efforts,” said Kevin O’Maley, chief facilities manager for the City of Manchester. "Through this achievement, we have demonstrated our commitment to environmental stewardship while also lowering our energy costs.” Manchester School District currently has 9 energy star certified schools, and that number is expected to grow to 14 by the end of this school year. Buildings that earn EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Beech Street School improved its …

More students are staying in city high schools

The New Hampshire Department of Education’s 2013-2014 high school dropout statistics show the Manchester School District rate fell from 4.22% annually to 2.34%, compared to the statewide rate decreasing from 1.29% to 1.05%. The four-year rate in Manchester decreased from 15.84% to 9.05%, while the four-year state average dropped from 5.06% to 4.13%.
“These are very encouraging numbers that are the result of a lot of hard work by teachers, counselors, administrators and families,” said Superintendent Debra Livingston. “There are many people and programs to thank for re-engaging students who might have given up on learning.”
The percentage decrease in Manchester means 211 students left school during the 2012-13 academic year and 114 students left during the 2013-14 school year. Cutting the number nearly in half was accomplished through a concentrated effort in personalizing education programs for students who encountered obstacles to attending school regularly or preparing for it success…

Nancy Tessier, school board member at-large

We welcome the newest at-large member of Manchester's Board of School Committee, Nancy Tessier.

She is a familiar face to many in our district, having served previously as principal of Beech Street Elementary School and interim assistant superintendent.

Nancy's contact information, along with all the other BOSC members, is available on our web site:

Last day of school adjusted to June 18

The Commissioner of Education has approved a waiver request for three of the five snow days this winter.  The last day of school for students will be Thursday, June 18, 2015.  
The schedule for the last days for teachers:
Friday, June 19 will be a work day. Monday, June 22 will be a professional development day. Tuesday, June 23 will be a professional development day. Wednesday, June 24 will be a District professional development half-day.

Central senior helps kids PLAY

What began as an extracurricular community service project has grown into a non-profit organization run by a Central High School student and her partners to sponsor underprivileged children who want to play organized sports. Project PLAY pays for team registration fees and equipment when children’s families can’t afford those costs.

“We realize that not every child has the same opportunities to play recreational sports because it can be expensive,” said Project PLAY cofounder and Central senior Kate Aiken. “We thought we could come up with a way to ease that financial burden for the families who need help.”
Project PLAY was created in June 2013 by Aiken, Luke Testa of Trinity High School, and Courtney Pederson of Bedford High School when they met as sophomores at a Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) conference.  HOBY provides students selected by their schools with leadership training, service-learning and motivation-building experiences. As HOBY ambassadors inspired to make a positi…

Gossler Park Elementary School goes wild for learning

More than 60 animals in various habitats were on display at Gossler Park Elementary School this week. The Gator Zoo – named for Gossler Park’s mascot – included exhibits, a kids’ activity area, a snack shack and a gift shop, just like any other zoo.  The biggest difference, besides the fact that no live animals were involved, is that the Gator Zoo was entirely created, designed, researched and managed by eight- and nine-years-olds as part of an innovative learning project.
The third grade teachers at Gossler Park collaborated on the zoo idea with the goal of engaging their students and making research more fun.
“Most children learn informational writing in the traditional ways – they read a book about a topic, identify the relevant text, and paraphrase the ideas in a report,” said teacher Linda Whitmore. “Our students took ownership of this project from the beginning and got excited about showing off what they learned.”
To get started, each of the students in the three classes chose an a…

Key Club honored at District conference

Central High School continues to uphold its reputation as one of the finest Key Clubs in New England! At the 66th Annual District Educational Conference held in Springfield, MA, 19 club members representing Central were among the 1,000 from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and Bermuda. 
Central's club and its members received several awards: 
* Sophomore Kaitlyn Martin received the Sandy Nininger Award, the most prestigious award for outstanding service to club, community and school.
* Senior Alexander Kivikoski received the Outstanding Key Club Officer Award
* Faculty Advisor Shelli Cook received the Key Club Advisor of the Year Award.
* The Annual Achievement Report Award and the Distinguished Club Award, which gives recognition to individual Key Clubs for their overall performance in the combined areas of club administration, membership & leadership development, Kiwanis Family involvement, service, and fundraising.
* Special Congratulations …

Manchester Schools Day with the Fisher Cats

More than 4,300 students from across Manchester enjoyed sunshine and blue skies for a morning New Hampshire Fisher Cats baseball game against the Reading Fightin' Phils.

We are grateful to the team and stadium staff for being wonderful hosts, and to Youk's Kids, the organization founded by former Red Sox player Kevin Youkilis, which provided the game tickets and buses so our students could attend. Thank you!

Internet safety presentation offered on April 21

2015-16 school calendar approved

The Board of School Committee approved the 2015-16 school year calendar on April 13. It is available for download.

A few notes to mention:
A day off will be added in January when the date of the NH Presidential Primary is determined.Snow days will have to be made up in June.Like this year, Presidents' Day will be a school day.
The official first day of school for pre-k and kindergarten is on September 8. Among the benefits, schools will be able to offer a kindergarten orientation prior to the first day, process new registrations, and take more time to thoughtfully create classroom assignments. Overall, our goal is to provide a smoother transition for our youngest students arriving at school for the first time. More information will become available during the summer to tell families what they need to know about their school's plan.

Partnership for a Drug-Free NH: Parents have a big influence on prevention

In an effort to address youth drug use in the Granite State, parents are being asked to make a very important pledge in 2015 – a promise to talk to their children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

Resolution 2015, created by the Partnership for a Drug-Free NH (PDFNH), along with Life of an Athlete (LOA), is part of PDFNH’s Check the Stats NH initiative. The initiative is part of the group’s statewide effort to engage parents and caregivers of children ages 9-17, with a goal of increasing awareness of the prevalence of drug and alcohol use/misuse by New Hampshire youth. Parents are asked to go online and electronically sign the pledge or download the pledge to print.

“Parenting is the most important and effective aspect of prevention,” said Jennifer Cusato, Executive Director of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Hampshire. “Parents need to have an active role in their children’s lives when it comes to discussing substance use – and they need to start having these conversations…

Good luck to Manchester's NH Teacher of the Year nominees

Manchester has two nominees for the 2016 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year! Good luck to Ashley Preston of Parker-Varney Elementary School and Karen Ricciardi of Hillside Middle School, who are in the running with 22 other New Hampshire teachers. Tomorrow they take the next step toward becoming semi-finalists at the Department of Education's celebration to honor all of the state's nominees.

A McLaughlin student's thank you letter to his favorite teacher wins contest

Back in February, students from McLaughlin Middle School submitted essays to Barnes & Noble's My Favorite Teacher contest. Below is the winning essay, written by sixth grader Aaron Triehy to honor his math teacher, Mary Wade. 
For their local prizes, the Manchester Barnes & Noble store allowed Aaron to choose a item of his choice -- a copy of The Hobbit -- and Mrs. Wade will receive a gift card. The essay now moves on to a regional Barnes & Noble competition. 
Aaron and Mrs. Wade also were recognized during an assembly at McLaughlin.

Dear Mrs. Wade,

I'd like to say, "Thank you." You haven't known me for a very long time, but you treat me like I've been your student for years. I have only been in your classes for 5 months. It seems longer. Not because it's a chore. You make math feel fun. You also make it feel easier because of the notes and the foldables. You even helped me organize my math book so I didn't lose track of stuff in my note book.…

How to become a ball boy at a Celtics game

Fifth graders at Beech Street Elementary School recently had a chance to win the unique experience of being a ball girl or boy at a Boston Celtics game. All they had to do was enter an essay contest, answering the questions:

"What makes a person a good role model? How does this relate to good sportsmanship? Include a personal example of sportsmanship you've seen or experienced in your own life or from the media."

The essay by Christian Vazquez, in Mrs. Bouchard's class, stood out. As the winner, who also demonstrated good behavior and good attendance, he received the opportunity to go with his parents to the April 3 Celtics game, where he helped out during warm-ups by being the team's ball boy. His full essay is transcribed below.

A good role model is someone you look up to for either advice or positive choice-making. Positive choice-making is a fact of being a good role model. To be an example for someone looking up to their favorite basketball player, the basketb…

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Everyone in NH is a mandated reporter if one even suspects that there is abuse/neglect of a child. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time to recognize that we each play a part in promoting the social and emotional well-being of children and families in our communities. To report child abuse or neglect, call 1-800-894-5533 or 603-271-6556. Learn more from the Division for Children, Youth and Families at the NH Department of Health and Human Services.

Group music lessons now offered to Manchester students by the community music school

The Manchester Community Music School is proud to partner with the Manchester School District to offer after school group music lessons for middle and high school students.
Students must have their own instrument to participate. Group lessons will run for 30 minutes after school between 3:00 and 6:00 pm.Lessons will last in 8-weeks sessions. Instrumental offerings and locations can be found below; additional instrumental lessons will be added as teachers become available.
To register, please fill out the registration form and return it to your music teacher along with the deposit by Wednesday, April 8, 2015.
A confirmation of your start date will be provided once your registration is received. The cost for 8 weeks of after school group lessons is $120.00.  Please make checks payable to MCMS.
Instrument                                   Day                                 Location                                Time Oboe Tuesday Central High School 3:00-4:00
Tuesday Memorial High School 4:00-5:00 …

Spring concert rehearsals begin

Get ready for something special during this year's spring concert season!

Salon-A-Thon fundraiser night at MST!

You can support Manchester School of Technology students who have qualified for the national Skills USA competition, the showcase for the best career and technical students in the country.

Twelve students are working to raise money to take the trip to Louisville in June:
6 cosmetology students
2 video production students
4 health occupation students

Come to the Salon-A-Thon at MST on April 13 from 2:30 to 7:30 pm.
Get your haircut by a licensed stylist and a manicure or brow wax! All services are $10.

Video Production students will be on hand taking orders for video and photo conversion:

VHS to DVD - $10 per tape ($5 extra for adding chapter markers)CD or DVD Duplication - $3 per discVHS to Digital (shared on Google Drive) - $15 per tapePhotos to Digital (shared on Google Drive) - $1 per photo (volume discount available)Slides to Digital (shared on Google Drive) - $1 per slide (volume discount available)
Health Occupation students will be selling baked goods, coffee/hot chocolate and d…

Educator Appreciation Week events at Barnes & Noble

As it has every year, Barnes & Noble on South Willow Street is hosting several events to celebrate Educator Appreciation Week, April 11-19. The schedule includes a couple of special events involving two of our Manchester schools.
All faculty, staff and families are welcome to participate -- and don't forget to take advantage of your 25% educator discount on purchases all week long! 
Monday, April 13, 5pm - Marcia Amidon Lusted“Roaring Twenties: Discover the Era of Prohibition, Flappers, and Jazz”
“The Roaring Twenties” belongs in your classroom library, student bookshelf or media center for its treatment of major trends and issues.  History done well for today’s student.
Tuesday April 14, 5pm – To Kill A Mockingbird Open House Round Table
Join others for a discussion about how you use this classic in the classroom. One attendee will be chosen to win a copy of “Go Set A Watchman,” Harper Lee’s surprise sequel to this foundation of modern American Literature.
Wednesday, April 15,…

STEAM Ahead NH inspires learning and new ideas

It started with an English class book assignment. Freshmen students enrolled in the STEAM Ahead NH program at West High School were reading “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie. The novel is a semi-autobiographical account of a teenager’s life on an Indian reservation. Poverty and daily struggles are major themes in the book. With that in mind, STEAM engineering teacher Dan Colburn had an idea for his own assignment.

“All of the STEAM teachers collaborate often, and we try to come up with projects that link disciplines together,” said Colburn. “This project gives the students a look into life in other parts of the country and prompts them to think about how they might be able to create something that would help people.”
Colburn asked his engineering students, “If there were one technological advance you could bring to a reservation to make life better, what would it be?” 
Their knowledge from the book and additional research on Native American reservations …