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 aproulx@mansd.org or 624-6356 x1211. Visit http://www.mansd.org/summer-school-2017 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 (slarson@mansd.org) 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 www.societyforscience.org.

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.