Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Breakthrough Manchester chooses high school student teachers


Eighteen outstanding high school juniors and seniors have been selected to teach in the school-year Super Saturday program at Breakthrough Manchester. Seven of those students are from Central and West high schools! Applicants were chosen after a review of their written application, a teacher recommendation, their transcript, a group collaborative exercise, and a mock teaching trial.

Congratulations to Andy Vo, Monericka Semeran, Lejla Hodzic, Arielys Liriano, Haley Nalen, Emma Nyngwara, and Carolina Patino.

The mission of Breakthrough Manchester is to launch promising Manchester middle school students, particularly those with limited opportunities, on the path to college while inspiring high school and college students to pursue careers in education. Sixth graders from Manchester middle schools apply and are selected for a tuition-free, three-year program that academic summers and school year supports.
All Breakthrough programming, including transportation and meals, is provided tuition-free to students and families, and is funded by foundations, businesses, and individuals.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

New technology collaboration lab unveiled at Parkside



The Boston Celtics​ and Southern New Hampshire University​ have done it again! For the third time since 2014, the two organizations have partnered to create a new space dedicated to enhanced learning through technology in a Manchester school. Like the labs at McLaughlin and Hillside middle schools, the classroom at Parkside was transformed with Celtics green paint and graphics on the walls, new furniture, 30 Chromebooks, and a wall-mounted TV monitor. The room is adjacent to the school's media center to make collaboration of special projects easy.

Joining Parkside students, administrators and teachers at today's unveiling were Dr. Vargas, Mayor Gatsas, as well as school board members Erika Connors and Rich Girard. Representing SNHU was Dr. Gwen Britton, executive director of online STEM programs for the university. She help facilitate a computer coding activity for the students who took part in the lab dedication event.

Boston Celtics forward Jonas Jerebko and former player Leon Powe were the athlete VIPs. They took the time to speak to the Parkside students about future career goals and the dedication it takes to follow your dreams, even when they seem out of reach.
Manchester School District is fortunate to have community partners like SNHU and the Celtics, who understand that enhancing access to technology is critical to education in the 21st century. We are looking forward to seeing how our students and teachers will harness the power of the technology collaboration lab every day and for years to come!

Schools support Bhutanese community after fire


When students and staff at Gossler Park Elementary School heard that an apartment fire affected some of the school district’s Bhutanese families, they wanted to help. The fire on Spruce Street in Manchester back in August forced about 20 people from their homes in the building, and they lost nearly everything. Most of the people who lived there are refugees from Bhutan, a country in South Asia.

The effort to help victims of the fire started with a class of second graders, who offered to save their popcorn money to donate. Then the Gossler Park parent-teacher group which sells the popcorn as a school fundraiser decided to donate two weeks’ worth of sales. The school also accepted contributions from parents who attended Gossler Park’s Harvest Fest this fall.

Word spread throughout the school district, and additional schools stepped up to make donations to the cause through their own fundraisers. Among them are Bakersville, Hallsville, Wilson, Parker-Varney, Weston, and McDonough elementary schools, as well as the school district central office.  Gossler Park students collected all the money and presented the total -- $1,722! -- to leaders of the local Bhutanese community at a school assembly.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Fumes cause evacuation at West High SChool

Students were evacuated from West High School when a cleaner being used on the gymnasium floor caused strong fumes.  The floor was being prepped for the basketball season set to start next week. Even though the gym was closed to students during the process, the odor grew stronger and reached other parts of the building.

Principal Rick Dichard consulted with the Manchester Fire Department and Manchester Health Department and determined that the school should be evacuated. Students were brought to the football field at about 11:30 am.

“The safety plan worked exactly as it is intended to, and I’m very pleased with the way the staff and our city partners worked together to keep students safe,” said superintendent Dr. Bolgen Vargas.  “We’re thankful that no one was seriously injured.”

Approximately 30 students and teachers who reported having a mild headache or feeling dizzy were evaluated. One teacher and one student were transported to the hospital; they were treated and released.

The fire department ventilated the gym to eliminate any chemical irritants. Students and staff returned to the building at about 1:00 pm. Lunch was served and then school was dismissed for the day.



Youth community basketball program starts December 3


West Side schools combine efforts to benefit NH Food Bank

All five public schools on the West Side of Manchester -- West High School, Middle School at Parkside, and Gossler Park, Parker-Varney and Northwest elementary schools -- joined forces with St. Benedict Academy and Manchester School of Tae Kwon Do to collect non-perishable goods for the NH Food Bank.  

NH Food Bank thanks food drive participants for the donation
Together, they collected more than 6,000 items!

Teachers, principals, and students presented them to representatives from the food bank at a celebration held at Parkside.

Gossler Park first graders share how they worked to collect donations

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Special Showing of "Screenagers" on Monday, 11/28 - Parents: RSVP for this Free Event!

screenagers

The 2016 Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference invites parents and teenagers to join them for a FREE showing of the award-winning documentary Screenagers, followed by questions and answers with a panel of educators and administrators.

Screenagers is an hour-long documentary by physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston, who probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including her own, to explore struggles over social media, video games, academics, and internet addiction. The average kid spends 6.5 hours a day looking at screens. She wondered about the impact of all this time and about the friction occurring in homes and schools around negotiating screen time—friction she knew all too well.

Are you watching kids scroll through life, with their rapid-fire thumbs and a six-second attention span? Through poignant, and unexpectedly funny stories, along with surprising insights from authors, psychologists, and brain scientists, Screenagers reveals how tech time impacts kids’ development and offers solutions on how adults can empower kids to best navigate the digital world and find balance.

Light refreshments will be served. Screenagers is appropriate for adults and teens.

Date: Monday, November 28, 2016
Time: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Location: Salon A, Radisson Hotel, Manchester, NH

RSVP Direct Link: http://tinyurl.com/CMTC16-RSVP


Parents may also RSVP for this FREE event from the conference website at www.nhcmtc.org, responses are requested by Wednesday, November 23rd.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Superintendent schedules "coffee & conversation" dates

Please join Manchester School District superintendent Dr. Bolgen Vargas for a series of informal gatherings to talk about education in our city. 

A morning and afternoon session will be hosted each month at a different school. All are welcome, no matter where in Manchester you live, which school you work in, or where your children go to school. Choose the date, time, and location that is most convenient for you, or feel free to attend more than one session before the end of the school year. 

Dr. Vargas is eager to hear from faculty and staff, parents, and other members of the community who have questions or wish to offer thoughts on how to best meet the educational needs of all of our children.




Wednesday, November 2, 2016

DEA partners with schools for dance program


There's a new effort in Manchester to fight against drug use. Fifth graders at Green Acres and Parker-Varney elementary schools will participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration's Youth Dance Program after school. It's a national project designed to educate students about drug prevention through the arts at no cost to the kids or their schools. The youth Dance Program is one more way community organizations can partner to promote a healthy lifestyle message to our children.

Classroom goals include incorporating positive themes such as:


  • Participating in positive alternatives to drugs and gang violence
  • Building of self-esteem, teamwork
  • Resisting negative peer pressure
  • Focusing on positive health and attitude


The professional dance team that will be teaching the weekly classes at each school for 18 weeks gave the students an entertaining preview of what the Youth Dance Program is all about. Since 2012, the DEA Youth Dance Program has been serving thousands of students in cities around the country.