Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A letter to high school parents about the SAT on March 2

As you know, juniors in the Manchester School District are scheduled to participate in the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) on Wednesday, March 2, 2016, as part of the statewide assessment system under New Hampshire RSA 193:C.

The testing duration, including required breaks, lunch for students taking the optional essay portion, transition time to the optional essay portion, and the essay portion itself, is approximately 5 hours and 30 minutes in total. The test will begin at 8:00 AM, the non-essay portion will end around 11 :30 AM, and the essay portion will end no later than 1 :30 PM. Of course, these times are approximate and do not account for students with approved extended time.

We want to provide a testing environment free from distraction with appropriate testing measures. In order for us to achieve this goal, we believe that no other high school students should participate in the school day on campus. Therefore, students in grades 9, 10, and 12 will not report to school on March 2, 2016; all middle and elementary school students will attend school as normal, and instruction will continue without any interruption to the hours required for school operations.

We believe this plan addresses our goal for our students and will provide the maximum opportunity for student success on this important test. We believe our students will perform well based on their past performances on the PSAT, and we look forward to their results, having been afforded the best testing environment available.

Sincerely,
Debra Livingston, Ed.D
Superintendent of Schools

Middle school geography bee set for March 1

Hillside, McLaughlin, Parkside and Southside middle schools in Manchester have hosted their own geography bees for grades 6-8. On March 1, the top three geography bee finishers from each of the four middle schools will compete for the city title.

WHAT: Manchester middle school geography bee championship

WHERE: Hillside Middle School
                    112 Reservoir Ave., Manchester

WHEN: Tuesday, March 1
                  6:30 p.m.

Monday, February 22, 2016

January/February newsletter available

Check out what's been happening in our schools the past couple of months! Click below or download the latest newsletter HERE.

Winterfest events

Click HERE for a list of vacation week activities and offers compiled by the Office of Youth Services. Have fun!

Friday, February 19, 2016

SchoolMessenger Emergency Notification System

The Manchester School District is rolling out a new emergency notification system called SchoolMessenger. This is part of our ongoing efforts to improve safety and communication.

Five schools participated in an initial test call on Friday, February 19. Test messages were sent to prioritized emergency phone and email contacts for students at Gossler Park Elementary School, Manchester High School West, Manchester Memorial High School, Middle School at Parkside and Parker-Varney Elementary School. 

The Manchester School District will continue rolling out this important communication tool to all schools in the coming months. 

If your emergency contact information has changed please contact your child's school so that our information systems can be updated.

West High School goes to great lengths for charity


More than 25 students and staff members at West High School agreed to donate their hair to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths  initiative, which uses real hair to create wigs for women battling cancer.

The Class of 2016 planned the event and recruited participants who sat in front of the student body to allow their hair to be cut by a friend or family member.

Each donation of hair was required to be at least eight inches -- for some girls, that was an entire pony tail; for others, their hair was so long, they had more inches to spare.

Pantene professionals were on hand to shape and style all of the new short 'dos.


Principal Motika got in on the action as well, letting the senior class president Alea Dolman shave his head. We think he looks great!
Pantene Beautiful Lengths at West High School from Communications Coordinator on Vimeo.





USDA adds another Manchester school to its healthy ranks

Beech Street Elementary School is the second school in Manchester this year to be recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture with a HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms award. With its silver award designation, Beech Street joins the ranks of an elite group of schools across the country recognized for excellence in their integration of health, nutrition and fitness education. Only about 7% of the nation’s schools -- and 31 in New Hampshire! -- have achieved bronze, silver, gold, or gold of distinction HealthierUS status.

The HealthierUS challenge is a key component of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to end childhood obesity within a generation. Schools participating in the challenge voluntarily adopt USDA standards for food they serve at their schools, agree to provide nutrition education, and provide opportunities for physical activity.

To celebrate Beech Street School's accomplishment, a representative from the USDA presented Manchester School District Food Services and school staff with a banner and plaque.  The school's emphasis on healthy eating choices, its elementary health curriculum, and encouraging activity through physical education and games were mentioned as key factors in the school's success.

Beech Street also gives credit to community partners, such as the Manchester Health Department and Elliot Health System, for funding a brand new campus playground for the children. At the award assembly, children demonstrated some of their favorite recess games and invited their special guests to play along. Members of the Board of School Committee, school district administration, and USDA staff played Four Square and Switch, and were great sports when the kids clearly outplayed them!


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Middle schools crown first spelling bee city champion

The top spellers from Hillside, McLaughlin, Parkside and Southside middle schools in Manchester -- Aashaya Rajbhandri, Amir Melkic, Scott Ogden, and Dennis Kotee -- will compete in the state competition in Concord on February 27.

In the meantime, just for fun and practice, the top three spelling bee finishers from each of the four middle schools were invited to take the stage at Central High School for the Manchester city title.

The ten spellers with their middle school principals
Representing Hillside Middle School:
Logan Gokey
McKenzie McFee-Frechette (absent)
Aashaya Rajbhandri

Representing McLaughlin Middle School:
Kevin Lopez
Amir Melkic
Anxhela Zguri

Representing Middle School at Parkside:
Jose Mireles-Sparks
Scott Ogden
Ethan Walls

Representing Southside Middle School:
Dennis Kotee
Jaden Moore (absent)
Vaelen Murphy

Mr. Ransdell presents Aashaya Rajbhandri with the first place trophy
Director of Manchester Historic association John Clayton served as Master of Ceremonies, providing each speller with a word as his or her turn came up.

As spellers were eliminated one by one, the final elimination came down to the word "anorak," which McLaughlin's Amir Melkic misspelled. Hillside 8th grader Aashaya Rajbhandri correctly spelled that one and the next word, "badger," to capture the city title.

Middle School at Parkside principal Forrest Ransdell organized the contest, which he hopes will be an annual event.

Congratulations to all of this year's contestants, and good luck to our state spelling bee finalists!





Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Parker-Varney holds official cafeteria kitchen ribbon-cutting

Elementary school lunches in Manchester are cooked in the commissary of Beech Street School and delivered every day to the other 13 elementary schools in the city. This school year, Parker-Varney Elementary School has been cooking and serving school lunches from its newly renovated kitchen. 

The school hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on February 16 for the kitchen, which is the result of last year's third grade research project to improve school lunch. Students surveyed all elementary schools in Manchester to find out students' likes, dislikes and suggestions. 

After collecting and analyzing the survey data, Parker-Varney's third graders proposed some solutions, which led to the approval of an on-site kitchen catered by Cafe Services. Students say lunch menus now offer new and different options more aligned with their tastes.

The school-wide assembly and ribbon-cutting celebrated the students' hard work and gave community members -- including Mayor Gatsas, several school board representatives, and school district administration -- the chance to see how students' voices can make a difference. Students leaders provided a tour of the kitchen facilities after the assembly program.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tue., Feb. 16: TWO HOUR DELAY, No Morning Preschool

Inclement Weather Alert: On Tuesday, February 16 there will be a two hour delay and no morning preschool.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Principals take the plunge for a good cause


All four of Manchester's middle school principals -- Mr. McCafferty of Hillside, Mr. Krantz of McLaughlin, Mrs. Gillis of Southside, and Mr. Ransdell of Parkside -- braved the ice cold Atlantic Ocean on February 7 and raised money for Special Olympics New Hampshire.

The 17th Annual Penguin Plunge fundraiser was to benefit Special Olympics New Hampshire. Hundreds of participants run into the water at Hampton Beach every year as individuals or teams.

Our middle school principals raised $1,855! They say they are ready to do it again and bring along the assistant principals in 2017!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Green Acres gives back


Congratulations to Green Acres Elementary School for reaching its food drive goal! The fifth grade student council coordinated the school-wide effort that collected 1,560 items for New Horizons for New Hampshire.