Friday, April 21, 2017

Registration is Open for MSD Summer School 2017

Summer Academy
Manchester Academy’s summer school program is encouraged for students of all abilities in grades 6-12. It helps those who are interested in further enriching themselves academically, and benefits those in need of credit recovery or additional support.

Manchester School District Summer School runs Monday through Friday, 8 to 10:40 for block one and 11 to 1:40 for block two. The program will take place at Manchester high School West.

Dates: June 20 to July14 and there is no school on Monday, July3rd or Tuesday, July 4th.
with the holiday.

QUESTIONS? Contact the director: Ms. Hansen-Proulx at or 624-6356 x1211. Visit for registration forms and more information.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

New school feeder pattern approved

The Board of School Committee last night voted to approve Dr. Vargas's recommendation for a
a revised feeder pattern among Manchester’s schools. The new plan determines which middle and high schools a student will attend based on his or her elementary school. It will be implemented for the next school year, starting in September 2017.

While the current feeder pattern splits groups of students from some single elementary schools between multiple secondary schools, the changes streamline neighborhood school assignments so that all graduating students from one elementary school move on to the same middle and high schools. Not all elementary schools are impacted by the new feeder pattern, which is illustrated below.

The exception to the single feeder school system is Beech Street School, where half the students will attend Southside Middle School and the other half McLaughlin, as they do now. Under the new plan, all former Beech Street students from both of those middle schools will reunite at Central High School.    

Another approved change affects a small group of students who currently attend McDonough Elementary School but live on and around the north end of Mammoth Road closer to Smyth Road Elementary School.  Assigning those children to Smyth Road eventually will eliminate a bus route and allow class sizes to be more evenly distributed.
What families need to know right now:
  • Current 5th grade students will attend their assigned feeder middle schools in September.
  • All students currently attending a middle school may stay where they are unless they choose to change to the new feeder pattern middle school. The process for making that request will be announced soon.
  • Any students with older siblings at a non-feeder pattern middle school may attend that school with the older siblings and will receive transportation through the 2019/20 school year. The process for making that request will be announced soon.
  • McDonough students in grades K-1 and new students of all grades who live in the affected Mammoth Road area will walk to Smyth Road Elementary School.
  • A crossing guard will be assigned at Kennard Rd. and Mammoth Rd.
  • Older siblings at McDonough may choose to attend Smyth Road. The process for making that request will be announced soon.
  • Students in grades 2-5 will continue to be bused to McDonough unless they choose to go to Smyth Road. The process for making that request will be announced soon.
  • The bus to McDonough will continue to run through the 2020/21 school year.

Friday, April 14, 2017

MST FIRST Robotics Team 6763 announces SilverTech $2,500 grant matching challenge

SilverTech, a digital marketing and technology company based in Manchester, NH, has offered a $2,500 grant matching challenge to the students of MST's FIRST Robotics Team 6763. SilverTech will match any gifts, donations, grants and fundraising initiatives that the students secure between April 10 and the end of business day on April 17.

“We were very impressed with the students who came to the SilverTech office to present their corporate sponsorship request,” said Nick Soggu, President & CEO of SilverTech. “Through the FIRST robotic competitions, these students are not only learning about applied STEAM programs, they are also developing valuable business skills. Skills like marketing, branding, communicating effectively, and developing a business plan.”

“We’ve never had a sponsor put a grant matching challenge in front of us,” said fundraising team lead Alycia Ashby. “But we’ve overcome so many other hurdles this year, I’m confident the team will rise to this challenge, too! We got this.”

All money will be used to fund the team’s travel and hotel costs to the FIRST World Championship robotics competition held in St. Louis, MO, later this month. The team qualified for the World Championship this past weekend, at the New England Regionals, where they came in 20th place out of 64 teams. The top 32 teams were eligible to advance to the World Competition, along with teams from Central and West high schools.

Other MST FIRST Team 6763 corporate sponsors include Rotary Club of Manchester NH, Brady-Sullivan, Corfin LLC, Ben & Jerry’s, Sousa Signs, PAR Electronics, Force Monkey Labs, and St. Mary’s Bank.

Please consider sponsoring FIRST Team 6763 now -- your contributions will go twice as far! For more information, please contact 6763 Fundraising Mentor Shannon Larson by email ( or call 603-624-6490.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Donation from local bank enhances learning

People’s United Bank has donated one 3D printer to each of three Manchester schools to enhance STEAM education. Webster Elementary School, the Middle School at Parkside, and McLaughlin Middle School will use the printers, together worth $10,000, as valuable tools for more projects that integrate science, technology, engineering, arts and math into everyday learning.

“We attended a summit hosted by the New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership a couple of years ago and were very impressed with the industries represented and the work they do,” said Dianne Mercier, president of People’s United Bank in New Hampshire. “That experience inspired us to think about how we could contribute to education in those fields and, ultimately, a skilled workforce.”

To introduce the printer and its capabilities to students, the Middle School at Parkside is hosting an innovation and design contest. Students are invited to submit ideas for a new product or improvement upon an existing object that could be created with the brand new MakerBot Replicator+. Contest entries so far range from a medical alert bracelet to a cup holder extender to a car with peddles. The contest ends on April 17.

In the meantime, some of Parkside’s sixth and eighth grade art students are working on projects that use different mediums for the same design. First, they sculpted clay into their chosen figures, including a turtle and a cupcake.  The students then used the 3D design software to replicate those objects and print them.

Almost every student experienced false starts, errors and design breakthroughs – all part of the learning process.  They will share what they’ve learned with Mercier and others during a showcase of their work to officially thank People’s United Bank for its generous donation on behalf of all three recipient schools.

“We welcome every opportunity to partner with the business community,” said Manchester School District superintendent Bolgen Vargas. “We very much appreciate People’s United Bank’s contribution to education because we can do so much more by working together.”

Central teacher named national science advocate

A Central High School science teacher is on a list of 45 Advocates named by The Society for Science & the Public. As an Advocate, Ellen Tourigny will work to expand opportunities for underserved students to compete and succeed in science research competition. A $100,000 grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and a $150,000 grant from Arconic Foundation will help to fund the Advocate program.

The Advocate Grant Program seeks to open the door to scientific research for underserved students, many of whom are unaware of or unable to take advantage of science fair competitions. The Society’s Advocates help their students navigate the sometimes complicated processes involved in entering science research competitions.

“Science competitions support and nurture a pipeline of talented, science-minded young people. Through the Society for Science & the Public’s Advocate Grant Program we are increasing the diversity of ideas and backgrounds that compose that critical pipeline,” said Maya Ajmera, President and CEO of the Society for Science & the Public and Publisher of Science News.

Students who compete in science competitions come away with important life skills, including learning how to write a research paper and how to present that work to peers and judges. These competitions provide students with presentation and oratory skills, inspire confidence, lead them to a potential career in science and boost the chances of admission to college and scholarships.

In addition to a $3,000 stipend, Advocates receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the Advocate Training Institute where they receive additional training and support from Society staff. Throughout their term, Advocates continue to connect with one another and with Society staff through regular conference calls as well as through an online community.

Tourigny is the only teacher Advocate from New Hampshire.

Society for Science & the Public is dedicated to the achievement of young scientists in independent research and to public engagement in science. Established in 1921, Society is a nonprofit whose vision is to promote the understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in human advancement. Through its world-class competitions, including the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, and the Broadcom MASTERS, and its award-winning magazine, Science News and Science News for Students, Society for Science & the Public is committed to inform, educate, and inspire. Learn more at

Kids Caring for Kids impacts 200 children in need

The Kids Caring for Kids student group at Saint Catherine of Siena School brainstormed, planned, created, and facilitated the distribution of 200 drawstring backpacks filled with goodies to support children in the Manchester School District who are identified as displaced or homeless.

Kids Caring for Kids is a project that was suggested by a student to the principal in 2015. John “JJ” Thomas had a dream to give back after the community supported his family when his mother fought and beat breast cancer. John knew that the students at St. Catherine of Siena School would help him to realize the desire to serve others.

With the support of a generous grant from the Diocesan Rice Bowl Grant, a donation from Mayor Gatsas, and private donations, the students assembled 200 drawstring backpacks filled with snacks, water bottle, toothbrush and tooth paste, small toys, a book, a craft, and a teddy bear. The packages include a penguin gift tag that was individually colored and designed by the children. Each tag expresses a note of encouragement for the receiver.

The Kids Caring for Kids effort has grown every year. The children donated 100 packages in 2015, 144 packages in 2016, and 200 in 2017.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Bike drive will benefit fifth graders

The Life of the Little Green Athlete program held a bike drive in partnership with the QC Bike collective. They collected 69 donated bikes that will be refurbished by QC Collective and donated to the Earn a Bike program for eligible 5th graders at Beech Street and Gossler Park elementary students in May, along with a new helmet. 

More than 60 CHS students participated in the drive.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Key dates in redistricting proposal process set

Superintendent Bolgen Vargas is considering feedback from community members before making a final redistricting recommendation to the Board of School Committee on Monday, April 10.

The proposal will be phase I, after the Board of School Committee voted last November to approve several parameters to guide Dr. Vargas in the redistricting process:
●          Use a phased-in approach that starts with a feeder pattern;
●          Be mindful of budget implications; and
●          Consider external and internal community engagement

Parents, teachers and community members have attended a series of ten public forums to ask questions and offer input on a draft proposal that includes a revised feeder pattern among Manchester’s schools. While the current system splits groups of students from some single elementary schools between multiple secondary schools, proposed changes would streamline neighborhood school assignments so that all graduating students from one elementary school move on to the same middle and high schools.

A more predictable feeder pattern will help schools foster a stronger continuity of programs between grade levels. Children also will be able to maintain strong relationships throughout their school years instead of being separated from friends. In addition, parents would know with confidence which schools their children will attend based on home elementary school instead of street address.

Dr. Vargas will present final recommendations for phase I of redistricting to the full school board at its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, April 10 at 7:00 pm. No vote will be taken at that time.

On Tuesday, April 11, the Special Committee on Redistricting will hold its meeting and hear public comment on Dr. Vargas's final proposal. The meeting will take place at Southside Middle School at 6:30 pm.

A special meeting of the full Board of School Committee to vote on the superintendent’s redistricting plan will be held on Wednesday, April 19 at 7:00 pm.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

GMCC makes McLaughlin the first stop on its tour of Manchester schools

The Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce aims to deepen the engagement between the business community and the Manchester School District in 2017.
Specifically, the Chamber hopes to better promote the success stories of the Manchester School District happening every day to ensure members of our community have a balanced and informed view of our schools.
Recently, the GMCC Education Committee hosted the first in an ongoing series of tours at various schools in Manchester at McLaughlin Middle School. The tour provided business leaders the opportunity to meet school administrators, teachers, students, and learn about the exciting and innovative programs being offered, aimed at improving educational outcomes and introducing students to future workforce opportunities.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

MPDHH students compete in academic bowl

Margaret Reekie, coach; Todd Higgins, director; Ramone Tirado Valez, Central HS;
Rebecca Bailey, Memorial HS; Roberta J. Cordano, president of Gallaudet University;
Ashley Durham, Memorial HS;
Brandon LaJoie, MST; Lori Mclaren, coach; Kathy Vesey, retired  director
High school students in Manchester's Program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing participated in the 20th Annual East Regional Academic Bowl in Maryland last month. Sponsored by Gallaudet University, the Academic Bowl for Deaf and Hard of Hearing High School students was established with the goal of fostering the pursuit of academic excellence, promoting a spirit of academic competition and sportsmanship, and providing social opportunities for the development of collegiality and lifelong friendships.

The four students representing Manchester won five of their nine matches! Ashley Durham, a junior from Memorial, received one of the six "All Star Player" awards.  We are so proud of her and all the players' efforts during the competition.

The team also had the opportunity to meet with Gallaudet University president Roberta J. Cordano and a university admissions counselor to discuss their future plans and all the opportunities available to them at Gallaudet.

The Academic Bowl experience allows our students to see the world of possibilities in transitioning from high school to higher education or career.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

2017/18 academic calendar approved

The Board of School Committee has approved the calendar for the 2017/18 school year.

Some dates to note:
  • First day of school for grades K-12 -
    Tuesday, September 5, 2017
  • First day of school for preschool -
    Friday, September 8, 2017
  • Vacation weeks -
    • December 25, 2017 - January 1, 2018
    • February 26 - March 2, 2018
    • April 23-27, 2018
  • Last day of school -
    Tuesday, June 12, 2018 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Revised schedule for redistricting forums announced

Three more opportunities for the community to weigh in on a school redistricting proposal in Manchester have been scheduled. Superintendent Bolgen Vargas and Board of School Committee member Leslie Want are presenting the components of the first phase of redistricting to address some of the school district’s enrollment and space utilization challenges.

Public forums are being held over the next two weeks at the schools where many families would be impacted if the changes are implemented. Hallsville, Weston and Wilson elementary schools have been added to schedule of dates on April 3 and 5.

The Manchester Board of School Committee voted last November to approve several parameters to guide Dr. Vargas in the redistricting process:
     Use a phased-in approach that starts with a feeder pattern;
     Be mindful of budget implications; and
     Consider external and internal community engagement

The proposal includes a revised feeder pattern among Manchester’s schools, determining which middle and high schools a student will attend based on his or her elementary school. While the current feeder pattern splits groups of students from some single elementary schools between multiple secondary schools, the proposed changes streamline neighborhood school assignments so that all graduating students from one elementary school move on to the same middle and high schools.

The proposed changes impact the highest numbers of students at Bakersville, Hallsville, Weston and Wilson elementary schools. Other elementary schools, including Gossler Park, Northwest, and Parker-Varney on the West side,  Green Acres, Highland-Goffe’s Falls, Jewett Street, Smyth Road, and Webster, would see very little or no change in their students’ subsequent middle and high schools.

“An established, clear feeder pattern system fosters better continuity of programs and supports as students proceed from one grade level to the next,” said Dr. Vargas. “It also provides more predictability, based on school instead of street address, for families as their children move through the district.”
The exception to the single feeder school system in the proposal is Beech Street School, where half the students will attend Southside Middle School and the other half McLaughlin, as they do now. Under the new proposal, all former Beech Street students from both of those middle schools will reunite at Central High School.   

Another proposed change affects a small group of students who currently attend McDonough Elementary School but live on and around the north end of Mammoth Road closer to Smyth Road Elementary School.  Assigning those children to Smyth Road will eliminate a bus route and allow class sizes to be more evenly distributed.

The public forums will provide feedback and input in advance of a final proposal that will be recommended to the full Board of School Committee for approval. Any plan that is approved will be implemented in September 2017. The full, updated schedule of the public forums is available online at

Memorial High School artist wins statewide student contest

Congratulations to Memorial High School Sophomore Nhi Pham, who won the New Hampshire Art Educators' Youth Art Month Student Competition!

Her pottery piece, "Nature’s Reflection," earned top honors in the high school division of all statewide entries. Nhi received a cash award and her pottery teacher, Lori Sweeney, received $300 in art supplies for the students at Memorial.

Student work from across New Hampshire will be on display this month at Plymouth State University’s Silver Center for the Arts. A public reception is on March 26, 1-3 pm.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

MST High School’s FIRST Robotics team takes top honors

Manchester School of Technology’s FIRST Robotics team came home victorious from the New England District Greater Boston competition, just weeks after the first-ever team at MST was established. Team 6763 placed third on its own, then captained the alliance team that won first place in another part of the competition. In addition, Team 6763 received the Rookie Highest Seed Award for scoring the highest points in a match and the Rookie All-Star Award.

A generous grant from the FIRST Foundation helped get Team 6763 started in January. 2 Mentors and a few parents volunteered to coach the 25 students, and several MST staff members are helping out as well. The team then faced a February 26 deadline to create a working robot for its debt competition on March 3. Coming in 21st place but excelling in certain functions and learning lessons along the way earned the team the Rookie Inspiration Award.

MST’s Career and Technical Education program allowed Team 6763 to make use of its many resources including advanced CNC machining, welding, and CAD design.

“Preparing for competition is a student-driven operation,” said FIRST Robotics Team 6763 coach Andrew Nicholas. “The team’s collaborative prototyping process and approach to building their designing, engineering, mechanical, and technical skills make them factored into their achievements as 21st century thinkers.”

In addition to all of their hard work on the field, Team 6763 is reaching out to the community to help grow the younger FIRST community. Students have shared their learning experience with children at Manchester Police Athletic League.

The most recent results from Boston put Team 6763 in third place in New England. Up next is another district-level event at UNH on April 6-9.  From there, if MST’s students are the highest scoring rookie team or place high enough to gain enough merit points, they will qualify for the World Championship in St. Louis, MO, on April 26. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

"Get Moving, Manchester" helps kids learn healthy habits

For the 16th year, schools are participating in Get Moving, Manchester to encourage students to establish and maintain healthy lifestyle choices. The voluntary program for children in grades three through six focuses on nutrition and physical activity now through April 14.

Students use a Get Moving, Manchester log to keep track of eating, exercise, and screen time based on 5-2-1-0 goals.  Following 5-2-1-0 guidelines means:
  • eating 5 fruits and vegetables a day
  • spending 2 hours or less on the computer, watching TV, playing video games, or texting
  • getting at least 1 hour of physical activity a day
  • drinking 0 sugar-based beverages.
“We know that healthy bodies in school are as important as healthy minds,” said Manchester School District Superintendent Bolgen Vargas. “This a great way to help our children learn exercise and eating habits that will serve them well through life.”
Highland-Goffe's Falls Elementary School
was last year's Get Moving, Manchester winner for
grades 3-5.

Participating Get Moving, Manchester students will have a chance to win prizes when they complete their weekly logs. Those prizes include Palace Theatre tickets, Fisher Cats tickets, Spare Time Bowling coupons, and gift cards from Sky Zone and Indian Head Athletics. The students who participate all four weeks are eligible to win a grand prize raffle.

In addition to those businesses which provided generous donations, Get Moving, Manchester also is sponsored by Catholic Medical Center and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Manchester.

At the end of the four weeks, Mayor Ted Gatsas and Dr. Vargas will present trophies to the elementary and middle schools with the highest rates of participation.

“We’re grateful to our community partners that make Get Moving, Manchester possible,” said Mayor Gatsas. “I hope all of our eligible students and their families take the opportunity to participate. I’m looking forward to congratulating our students on their healthy accomplishments.’

McLaughlin Middle School and Highland-Goffe’s Falls Elementary School were the 2016 Get Moving, Manchester winners.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Central student wins prestigious art award

Congratulations to Central High School senior Jenna Ryan, who has been named a National Scholastic Art Award winner for her illustration "Talkin' 'Bout My Generation."

Under the guidance of teacher Corey Doherty, Jenna's work received a gold key award at the state level, then a silver medal in the drawing and illustration category among all state winners across the nation. National Medalists are recognized in part at the national ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Past winners of this prestigious award include Andy Warhol, who was also a winner in high school.

Parking changes on and around South Jewett Street go into effect on March 27

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Registration dates announced for 2017-18 school year

The dates and times for children and parents to register in person for the next school year are now available. Please note that one evening date and time has been scheduled, and students across the city can register there, regardless of their home school. 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. 

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 required forms are available for downloadFilling them out before your registration day will save you time. Please be aware that some schools might require additional forms specific to those schools.

Not sure which is your neighborhood school? Find it HERE.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Parent information on Smarter Balanced and SAT assessments

Central High School mock trial team tops in the state

Congratulations to Central High School's mock trial team, which won the state championship last Friday in Concord against Pinkerton Academy. The team qualifies to attend the national mock trial championship in Hartford, Connecticut, in May. 

The team is in its third season since starting competition in the fall of 2014. The students have two advisors, teacher Margaret Burke and retired principal John Rist. They are coached by attorneys Ashley Scott of McLane Middleton and Jamie Myers of Bianco PA in Concord. 

Thank you to the Central Pride Foundation, which funds the program for our students!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Duck nuptials at Weston Elementary School

Two years ago, a couple of ducklings hatched in Marguerite Hopey’s kindergarten classroom at Weston Elementary School. They went home to live with a friend of the school, and she has maintained the Weston connection, bringing the ducks – named Plumpty and Pierre – to visit the children several times since then.

This year’s kindergarten students decided Plumpty and Pierre should get married. Once the idea was. . .well, hatched, Mrs. Hopey and the children threw themselves into planning the event and embracing learning opportunities at the same time.

Members of the wedding party were
interviewed by media.
During interactive writing lessons, the children designed invitations, wrote the wedding vows, and created a reception menu. Math skills helped the students determine the timing of the event, calculate how much food is needed, and make seating arrangements. Weston’s music teacher is working with the students to prepare music for the ceremony, and the art teacher is guiding the children on decorations and wedding favors. Principal Liz MacDonald officiated.

West wrestler claims state title

Congratulations to Markus Joseph, a senior at West High School, who is New Hampshire's reigning high school wrestling champ! 

Markus came from behind and tied it with 2 seconds left. . .then won it in OT! He was also given the outstanding wrestler award.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Music and physical education come together for learning and fitness

The music and physical education teachers at Jewett Street Elementary School joined forces this winter to combine lessons in rhythm and movement that culminated in a school-wide dance-off. Students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade have been exploring the relationship between music, dance, and physical activity, as well as practicing music timing, footwork, and motor skills for coordination.

Each lesson started with warm-up exercises, which included jumping jacks, leg stretches, toe touches, and running in place. The teachers introduced different types of music with dance steps and choreography to go with them. Some familiar line dances – the Macarena, Cotton-Eye Joe, and the Cupid Shuffle
– were on the list, along with traditional square dancing and some freestyle. The students also used drum sticks to learn about beat patterns. At the same time, the 45-minute sessions served as good cardio-vascular workouts to build endurance.

The end of this cross-curriculum unit was celebrated with an assembly that featured demonstrations from students in each grade level to show off their enhanced or newly-developed dancing and drumming talents. 

Thank you, Mr. Baberadt and Mr. Papajohn, for a fun way to learn!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

McLaughlin 7th grader crowned spelling bee champ

Amir Melkic is Manchester's 2017 middle school spelling bee champion. He's a seventh grader from McLaughlin Middle School and claimed victory with the correct spelling of "accordingly." 

Amir also was McLaughlin's top speller last year and finished second in the 2016 city championship.

Congratulations to all of the top spellers who represented their schools, and good luck to those who will compete in the state spelling bee in Concord later this month:

*Athena Vasilopoulos, 7th grade, Southside
Paige Thibault, 7th grade, Southside
Delaney Cote, 8th grade, Southside

*Amir Melkic, 7th grade, McLaughlin
Jakub Zienkiewicz, 7th grade, McLaughlin
Paige Graziano, 8th grade, McLaughlin

*Mario Ferro, 7th grade, Hillside
Grace Mayhew, 8th grade, Hillside
Aeryn Laflamme, 6th grade, Hillside

*Salma El Boudali, 6th grade, Parkside
Jake Donahue, 7th grade, Parkside
Jocenya Deak, 6th grade, Parkside

(*Indicates students who will compete in the state spelling bee on February 25)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Winterfest 2017 schedule posted

Winterfest is coordinated by the Office of Youth Services and takes place during February Vacation.  Winterfest offers an abundance of activities for families to enjoy during the break. 

Check out the full schedule of events:

Navy conducts 46th annual inspection of ROTC

Manchester High School West’s 46th annual inspection of the ROTC took place on February 15.
This year Captain William F. Malloy, USN (Ret) inspected the cadets with family members, other special guests, Manchester Board of School Committee members Mary Georges, Leslie Want, Lisa Freeman and Arthur Beaudry in attendance, as well as Manchester West High principal Richard R. Dichard.

Captain Malloy’s detailed inspection included all administrative, supply and academic areas concluding with a demonstration from the Marksmanship Team. The program included a personnel inspection, awards presentation and concluded with a pass in review.  There was also a performance by the exhibition drill team.

The NJROTC Cadet Command Group consisting of CO Bradley Ewing, XO Joseph Parent, COS Brandon Sullenberger, CMC Kevin Scannell, Admin Justin O’Rourke, OPS Alica Talbot, Supply Alana N’Tapalis, Special Teams Anahi Bracero,  Commo Samantha Durand, Senior Chief Michael Anglin, and Desmond St. Felix made a formal presentation regarding the unit's activities.

Capt Malloy concluded the inspection with a brief to Principal Dichard announcing that the unit had achieved a result of “Outstanding,” the highest grade possible.

The Naval Science instructors are Captain Arthur W Stauff, USN (Ret) and Master Gunnery Sergeant Ronald V. Slagle, USMC (Ret). Bradley Ewing is the cadet commanding officer of the NJROTC unit.

A note about weather-related announcements

As you might already be aware, there was some kind of technical glitch when we put out the Nixle alert about today’s delayed opening. Some people received multiple texts; some people received an email but no text. We also hear that most people who didn’t get the texts early this morning eventually received them after 10:00 am. Too little, too late, right? We have contacted Nixle and will report back when we find out what happened. In the meantime, we want to offer a reminder about how we communicate weather-related announcements. Any closing or delay will be announced before 5:30 am. Official Manchester School District updates are available on: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: Usually the first and fastest notifications. MSD web site: The alert will always be at the top of the home page in red. Nixle: Sign up HERE for an account to receive text notifications. If you already have an account, check your settings to make sure you are subscribed to “public schools” alerts. You can also adjust your personal preferences to receive email notifications as well as texts. WMUR-TV WHDH-TV WCVB-TV NBC Boston TV WZID radio WGIR radio WJYY radio The postings don’t always happen simultaneously, but it’s our goal to submit them to all of our communication platforms within 15 minutes. We encourage you to monitor various sources of information to ensure you don’t miss an announcement in case one fails to function properly. We are happy to hear that most families who did not receive the Nixle text today got news of the delay in other ways.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Spartans dominate in city championships

Southside Middle School is celebrating three victories in the basketball middle school championships over the weekend.

The girls B team won over Parkside, 26-22.

The boys B Spartans followed, winning 48-36 in the finals against Hillside.

The Southside boys A team came out on top in a close game against Parkside, 61-58.

The girls A team final was McLaughlin versus Hillside. The Cougars defeated the Hawks, 25-14.

Congratulations to all!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Therapy dog enhances learning at elementary school

Highland Goffe’s-Falls Elementary School’s newest staff member is a three-year-old golden retriever and a certified therapy dog. Since he started his duties once a week, Remington has been a welcome addition to the school community.

“Earlier in my career, I was a reading specialist,” said principal Susan Matthews. “I’d researched the benefits of using therapy dogs in education, and it was always a dream of mine to pursue it.”

A fortunate coincidence brought the opportunity to Highland this year. One of the school’s paraprofessionals, Gail Dubois, is Remington’s handler. The dog has taken obedience and other training classes to earn various certifications, including membership in Therapy Dogs International. Dubois agreed it would be a great idea to include sessions with Remington in some of the work she already does with students. It costs the school nothing.

To get the program started, the parents of students in the classrooms where Dubois provides assistance were asked permission to allow Remington to interact with their children. All signed off on the concept, and only one child has an allergy to dogs. In that situation, on the days Remington is at school, Dubois and her student work one-on-one in another room so the allergic child isn’t affected.

For the students who have dogs at home, Remington is a familiar comfort. For those who don’t, the dog offers a new experience. And Matthews’ original vision of helping students practice reading skills is one benefit realized.

“I think Remington helps kids who are struggling with literacy because dogs are non-judgmental,” said Dubois. “Children have an audience while reading aloud, but Remington helps them become less anxious and more comfortable.”

Dubois spends part of every day in a first grade classroom, where all the students take turns reading to Remington as time allows during small group work. During regular class lessons, the dog is happy to lay down and wait while Dubois performs her other responsibilities as a paraprofessional, a position she’s held for 17 years in Manchester.

Another area of early success is behavior improvement. Dubois works with a third grader who responds well to Remington. Perhaps a more surprising result of Remington’s presence at school is the effect he has on a student with cerebral palsy. The boy walks independently but does have mobility challenges.

“When he walks next to Remington, holding his harness, you can see his posture and confidence change,” said Matthews.   

That’s prompting Highland staff to think about other ways Remington might help students in occupational or physical therapy sessions. Children could exercise muscles by brushing Remington, for instance.

For now, Remington works at Highland once a week, but the growing interest in his services could lead to additional time at school.

“Remington is not the magic solution, but he’s one more tool that makes the team of teachers, specialists and resources stronger to help children succeed,” Dubois said.