Thursday, March 31, 2016

Walking Works: Cross Country, Foot by Foot!

Wellness Matters Walking Works
This year we are challenging ALL Manchester School District Employees to work together to beat last year's "Walking Works" steps while trekking to fun destinations throughout the country. 

Join up and start stepping!

Register online at www.walkingworks.com
  • All employees need to register for the current challenge, even if you have participated in past "Walking Works" programs.
  • Participants will collectively accumulate steps/miles over six weeks to virtually tour the country by foot.
  • Highlighted locations (for example the Grand Canyon) will serve as virtual gains as distances are reached.
  • PRIZES will be awarded weekly for those who log regularly.
Don't have a FitBit? Want one to Help you track steps?
The first 25 employees to email wellnessmatters@mansd.org requesting a FitBit will receive one!
**Please only email us if you plan to participate and don't currently own a FitBit**





MSD Messages

Information and updates from March are now available in this month's newsletter!


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Central title caps tremendous Manchester's tremendous tournament run

It was another memorable season for boys' basketball in Manchester, as the district saw all three high school teams advance to the semi-final and final rounds of the NHIAA State Tournament.  With Memorial and West’s title aspirations falling short in the semis, all hopes for a Manchester state title fell on Central, and its head coach David “Doc” Wheeler, whose team came through with a thrilling 60-58 overtime victory against Merrimack, claiming its second state title in three years.
For Division 1 Basketball in New Hampshire, many pundits will tell you it was a year like no other, as the parity across the state contributed to a wide-open tournament.

“I have never seen a tournament where as many as 14 teams had a legitimate chance to win it all,” said Wheeler, who claimed his fifth state championship at the helm of Central Basketball. “We certainly didn’t put the fear in anybody this season, but we certainly didn’t fear anyone either.”

Two of the four Central victories went to OT, and the team's semi-final victory saw them go on miraculous 27-4 run in the final 5 minutes of the game to erase an 11 point deficit to Winnacunnet.

“Quarter and semi-final games are always hard fought victories, and the finals are just simply brutal,” claims Wheeler.  The coach was also quick to credit the performance of his players, specifically his seniors. “They were tough enough to make plays when it counted; they certainly had courage to make plays at critical junctures in a game. You simply can’t teach those intangibles. ”

If there was one school which earned the label of “spoiler” it would be Memorial, which finished the season at 11-7, and advanced to the semi-finals at UNH as the #9 seed in the tournament.  The Crusaders raised eyebrows across the basketball community by beating both Nashua schools, and doing so in dramatic fashion.  Down by as many as 20 points in the third quarter, the Crusaders went on a 38-18 run to defeat the #8 seed Panthers of Nashua South, 75-72, for a first round win.  The dramatics continued in their quarter-final match, as Memorial erased a 12 point deficit midway through the 3rd quarter, and went on to win 81-79, and defeat the #1 seed Nashua North Titans.

“We had a lot of players make contributions in both games, it wasn’t just one person,” said Memorial coach Jack Quirk.

For Division II West High School, which came off a 17-1 season a year prior, the expectations were a little higher going into the 2015-2016 campaign.

“We had made steady progress over the last few years to get to a place where we thought West could be mentioned in the conversation of front-runners in D2 basketball,” said Danny Bryson, head coach of the Knights since 2010.

The program’s steady progress includes a 35-5 record over the last two years, which was highlighted by this season’s spectacular quarter final contest verse Hollis-Brookline. West center  Akok Akok put in a rebound with less than one second in the game to secure 43-42 victory, and send West to its first semi-final match in 13 years.  Bryson uses his program’s experiences to serve as building blocks for success.

“Last year it was the first time we hosted a tournament game in 14 or 15 years, and our players were simply too relaxed for the experience, thus we were upset by the 15th seed St. Thomas.  This year we preached to our kids to play like this your last game of your career, and without that mental fortitude we don’t pull out the victory versus Hollis-Brookline.”

According to Coach Bryson, it’s all about progress, and the UNH experience served as another stepping stone for the program.

"If you look at Lebanon, it took them the fourth time around to finally get to the final. It’s a progression, and with each year we set the table higher from the year before.”

The coaches also recognized that there were teaching moments through the course of the season.  After a double-digit defeat to Londonderry in January, Coach Wheeler decided it was time to circle the wagons.

“We made adjustments, both coaches and players. Our players realized they needed to place more emphasis on teamwork, and we as a staff decided to put players in situations they could handle. It certainly helped their self-confidence coming down the stretch.”

Having an experienced team, Coach Bryson’s players were well aware of both his on-court and off-court expectations.

“On the court, it’s about being coachable, and trusting your teammates. Off the court, it’s about being good students and outstanding citizens.  We’re family. What they do off the court certainly affects what they do on the court.”

Moving forward, Coach Quirk is not only optimistic about his team next year, which returns 10 sophomores and 3 juniors, but is also extremely optimistic about the future of basketball in the city.

“To win a state title in New Hampshire, you are simply going to have to go through Manchester,” he said.

Monday, March 28, 2016

MSD on the air

Manchester School District has been on the radio airwaves since February, bringing the community news and updates about schools.  Affiliated with Manchester Public Television Service, WMNH 93.5 FM provides an opportunity for organizations to promote its programs, events and information.

Dr. Livingston hosts bi-monthly editions of "All Hands Up for Education." Students, faculty, staff and community members have shared their perspectives on several topics, including extended learning opportunities, 21st Century Community Learning Centers afterschool program, and English learners in Manchester.

"All Hands Up for Education" airs multiple times during the week, between the hours of 3 and 6 pm. You can also listen to the podcasts online.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Summer camp opportunities available

Manchester Community College has announced its schedule of 2016 summer camps for youth ages 6-13. There are various options for different age levels, including full- and half-day sessions.
Click HERE for details and registration information.

2016 kindergarten registration dates

Manchester's elementary schools will be accepting registrations for kindergarten and new first grade students in April. Students currently attending MSD's pre-school programs do not have to register for kindergarten at their neighborhood school; those records will be transferred.

The dates and times for children and parents to register in person at each school are listed online and the required forms are available for download to be filled out ahead of time.

Teachers will be on hand during daytime hours to give your child a literacy screening, which is a simple tool that asks your child to complete some kindergarten and first grade level tasks. No appointment is necessary.

MMHS hosts victory celebration for Cruisin' Crusaders

The Manchester Memorial High School FIRST Robotics team brought home its first-ever champion banner after competing in the North Carolina District contest last weekend. Memorial’s Cruisin’ Crusaders topped 23 other teams from North Carolina and Virginia in the two-day event March 19-20.

Under strict rules, limited resources and an intense six-week time limit, student teams were challenged to build and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game. At the University of North Carolina Asheville, the game was Stonghold, during which teams used their robots to weaken, attack, and capture the other team's tower.

During several rounds of competition, the Cruisin’ Crusaders finished day one in second place, fell to third during play on day two, but advanced into the quarter- and semi-final rounds before capturing the title.

Memorial High School, with the help of FIRST Robotics, hosted an assembly to celebrate the Cruisin’ Crusaders’ victory.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Adult & Community Learning Open House: March 23


Foundation grant to enhance learning opportunities

Manchester School District has received a grant from the Norwin S. and Elizabeth N. Bean Foundation to support expansion of extended learning opportunities for high school students. The funding, which totals $12,472, will be used in the form of stipends for teachers who go above and beyond their contracted school day to work with students participating in ELOs for academic credit.

ELOs connect students with members of the community in an area of interest they can learn about outside the traditional classroom. Because an ELO must be aligned with the school district’s educational objectives, students are required to demonstrate mastery of concepts and skills that are clearly defined when designing individual ELO experiences.

High school teachers play an important role in extended learning opportunities, from helping students to develop a project plan, talking to students about the connection between in-school academics and out-of-school work experiences, and assessing successful completion of the ELO. Teachers grant academic credit based on students’ competencies in the chosen subject area.

“We know that engaging students and challenging them in new ways prepares them to be bright, confident leaders,” said Superintendent Debra Livingston. “ELOs do just that, and involving our high school teachers in the process strengthens the learning experience.”

Dr. Livingston has made expanding ELOs a priority for Manchester. She hopes that supporting teacher participation will increase the number of students who can take advantage of the opportunities available.

Financial support from the Norwin S. and Elizabeth N. Bean Foundation will pay for 400 hours of faculty ELO support. A maximum of $250 plus benefits will be paid to any one teacher, whether he or she is working with an individual student or several who are doing a group ELO.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Invitation for professionals to participate in career fair

Central High School is planning a daytime career fair for students on April 19. Professionals from the business community are welcome to participate and offer students the opportunity to learn about various professions and career opportunities that might await them. 

Interested professionals should contact: 
Bill Cannon, Director of Guidance
603-624-6363 x1113
wcannon@mansd.org

Thursday, March 10, 2016

"I am College Bound" scholarship available to Manchester seniors

Manchester School District is proud to offer this scholarship opportunity to its graduating seniors who are first ­generation college bound students next fall.

Known as the “I Am College Bound” Scholarship, this needs­-based cash award is funded through the generosity of Manchester School District employees who participated in an “I Am College Bound” Scholarship fundraiser on November 20, 2015.

The spirit of the scholarship is solely intended to promote the college­-going culture of the school district and to help all students believe in their choice to attend college if they so desire. The scholarship will be used to help a student defray the cost of attending a two- or four-year institution.

ELIGIBILITY​: Students who are graduating from one of the four public high schools in the Manchester School District, are accepted and enrolled in a recognized two or four year college or university, and will be the first member of their immediate family (mother, father, siblings) to attend any post­secondary academic institution of higher learning.

AMOUNT/RESTRICTION OF USE:​​This is a restricted one­-time $2,000 award and not renewable
over the student’s college career. The scholarship will be made payable in check form directly to the
institution of the selected student.

NOTIFICATIONS AND DEADLINES:​​The deadline for filing the application is April 21, 2016​. The selected recipient will be chosen by a panel of Manchester School District educators and community members. S/he will be notified by mail on or before May 13, 2016.

Click HERE for the full application packet. The application also is available from guidance counselors at each high school.

Manchester schools benefit from DonorsChoose.org campaign

Dozens of projects submitted by Manchester teachers to a popular crowdfunding site for educational needs were fulfilled by one man yesterday in an amazing show of generosity. According to a notification emailed to teachers by DonorsChoose.org:

"Tim Ferriss completed your project in honor of #BestSchoolDay.
'I'm funding all classroom projects in Long Island, New Hampshire, and Sacramento because NY, NH, and CA are my three educational homes. If it weren't for incredible teachers and mentors in all three places, I wouldn't be where I am today. I'm thrilled to support the next generations of teachers, who are my heroes.'"

Tim Ferriss is an author who joined athletes, actors, founders, and philanthropists in a national surprise “flash funding” of DonorsChoose.org projects in communities across America.

READ MORE the national effort and Tim Ferriss. We thank him for his support of Manchester schools!

Monday, March 7, 2016

2016-17 academic calendar now available

The academic calendar for the next school year has been published and is now available. You can find it HERE.

Please note that the current school day times and bell schedules remain the same.

Highlights:

  • First day of school for students - Tuesday, September 6, 2016
  • First day of school for preschool and kindergarten - Wednesday, September 14, 2016.
  • Last day of school for students - Tuesday, June 13, 2017
  • Thanksgiving holiday break includes Wednesday, November 23, 2016
  • Presidents' Day, February 20, 2017, is a day off
  • Five snow days are built in.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

69th "Granite Boys State" to be held at Rivier University

The NH American Legion will hold its 68th annual Boys State program from June 26 to July 1, 2016. Boys State is a six-day “learn-by-doing” experience in the American way of government.

One hundred and fifty public and private high schools throughout the state are invited to select qualified students to participate in the program. Home school students of “junior equivalence” are also eligible. The delegates to Boys State will convene at Rivier University in Nashua to apply the principles of democracy in the mythical fifty-first state -- “Granite Boys State.”

Boys State is an opportunity made available to high school juniors annually by the American Legion. When the students arrive on campus for registration, they are assigned to a city or to a town, to the House of Representatives or to the Senate, to an Executive Council District, and to a mythical political party. During the week, the students establish their mock city, town and state governments through caucuses and debates, develop party platforms, elect candidates for primary and general elections, and debate legislation. The program provides students with a practical application of democracy, encourages leadership both in their schools and in their communities, and emphasizes the importance of being responsible citizens and making their votes count.

In addition, the students have the opportunity to spend six days on a college campus, meet other students from throughout the state, compete for scholarships, and even earn three college credits for successful completion of the program.          

Applications are available from high school guidance counselors or local American Legion Posts, or on the N.H. American Legion Boys State website at www.nhboysstate.org.  The application deadline is June 3, 2016. For more information, please contact:
Bill Roy
Boys State Coordinator
Henry J Sweeney Post 2
The American Legion
251 Maples St
Manchester NH 03103
603-315-5829

The American Legion Auxiliary similarly sponsors Granite Girls State. The 2016 dates for that program have not yet been announced.

Vote for Parker-Varney's video!

Parker-Varney has entered a video contest hosted by Collaboration Nation, an organization dedicated to celebrating successful education technology initiatives. The prize is $15,000!

Schools across the country were encouraged to submit videos that demonstrated an "exemplary educational technology collaboration and the measurable impact it’s had on learning and teaching."

Parker-Varney's video features its Innovation Lab, in which students in all grades receive daily reading and math enrichment every day. There are 85 computers, a projector and screen. Students also learn computer coding, build their own computers, and work on projects with a 3D printer.

Supports can VOTE FOR PARK-VARNEY once a day until March 15!



Hillside student victorious in middle school city geography bee


A Hillside Middle School eighth grader is the 2016 Manchester geography champion. The city's four middle schools hosted the first-ever geography bee city championship on March 1. The top three finishers in each school bee qualified for the all-city event at Hillside.

The geography bee works a little differently than the traditional spelling bee. Instead of questions being posed to one student at a time, all of the students answer each question at the same time; they have 30 seconds to write down their responses. Those who answer incorrectly are eliminated, while the rest of the group goes on to answer the next question.

On Tuesday, the final two participants were Cooper Hamel, grade 8, and Kellen Barbee, grade 6, both of them representing Hillside. In the championship round, both boys answered the same three questions, and the winner was determined by who got the most correct. That was Cooper, with two correct responses.

Congratulations to Cooper and Kellen, as well as to the second runner up, sixth grader David Waltonof Middle School at Parkside, and to all the participants!