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Showing posts from October, 2017

Grant will fund innovation plan for West High School

Manchester School District (MSD) has received $300,000 from the Barr Foundation to support plans to transform West High School into a competency-based, student-centered learning model of education.

Based in Boston, the Barr Foundation directs its investments to nonprofit organizations, the public sector, and civic and business leaders to connect all students to success in high school and beyond.

The funds from this grant will help MSD and its partners, including the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester and other local agencies and businesses, develop a plan to transform five key areas of the West High School experience: out of school learning; personalization; college and career preparation; student support and family engagement; and school culture. These components will provide all students the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary for post-secondary success.

“Educators across the country recognize the need for new approaches to instruction in the 21st century,” said Dr. Bolge…

A message from Dr. Vargas on the decision to close school

Dear Manchester School District families and staff,

We recognize that the timing of this morning’s announcement to close Manchester public schools was inconvenient for many families who were on their way to school or work.  The results of last night’s storm and the time to collect and assess information complicated some of the coordination that takes place when we decide to close or delay school.

Unlike during a winter storm when the impact on the city is sometimes easier to evaluate all at once, reports about power outages at several schools today came in at different times. The outage at Beech Street Elementary School had the most serious effect, because that is where all of the meals for 13 out of 14 elementary school are prepared. The decision to cancel school came when we determined the district-wide impact.

We understand that some students were waiting at bus stops or had already been picked up. Manchester Transportation Authority successfully implemented our emergency plan to e…

Amy Allen named assistant superintendent of elementary education & innovation

Superintendent Bolgen Vargas has named Amy Allen as the new Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education & Innovation in Manchester. The Board of School Committee approved the appointment at Monday night’s meeting.

Allen began working in the district in 2009. She was assistant principal of student services at Hillside Middle School before moving to her most recent position of principal at Parker-Varney Elementary School in 2013.  During her time at Parker-Varney, Allen focused on raising achievement for all students, closing the achievement gap, preparing students for college and career, and providing supports for her faculty and staff to accomplish those goals.

Parker-Varney received the 2015 Elementary School of Excellence EDie Award from the New Hampshire Excellence in Education committee. In 2016, the school was recognized by the National Principals Leadership Institute with the School Innovation and Change Award. Parker-Varney has received national attention this year f…

Applications for family assistance from the Salvation Army

Manchester paraprofessional nominated as a "life changer"

Longtime paraprofessional Gail Dubois of Highland-Goffe's Fall's Elementary School has been nominated by principal Susan Matthews to receive a LifeChanger of the Year award.

LifeChanger of the Year, sponsored and organized by National Life Group and the National Life Group Foundation, is an annual program recognizing K-12 educators and school employees across the country. The program celebrates those who are making a significant difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership.

We first met Mrs. Dubois when we visited Highland last winter to meet her therapy dog, Remington.

Mrs. Dubois has done amazing things for her students. Read the full nomination online.

Manchester has many life changers. In 2016, Parker-Varney Elementary School social worker Ginger Drechsel was nominated for the same award. Good luck, Mrs. Dubois!

Operation Warm underway

Manchester Firefighters for Operation Warm are on a mission to provide brand-new, USA-made coats to children in need in our city. Hundreds of them are students in Manchester's schools.

Since 2012, IAFF Firefighters have provided more than 200,000 coats nationwide to children who need them the most, providing a gift of warmth in the communities our firefighters protect.

This is not a coat drive, but rather a fundraising effort to allow the firefighters to purchase the coats.

Can you help? Click HERE to donate.

Dr. Martin first-ever recipient of Partner in Education award

The Manchester Education Association has named assistant superintendent Dr. Christine Martin the recipient of its new Partner in Education Award, as voted on unanimously by the MEA executive board.

Dr. Martin was honored for always making students her highest priority -- as a teacher, principal, and administrator.

In presenting Dr. Martin with the award, MEA president Sue Hannan said, "Chris has always preferred to collaborate rather than argue, and looks for creative ways to solve problems. She is that rare gem who attended school in the Manchester School District, and followed her calling to succeed at every level of educator in the district where she learned to love school."

Dr. Martin will celebrate 30 years in the Manchester School District in 2018.

WZID's first-ever Teacher of the Month is one of ours

Congratulations to Mrs. Whitney, fifth grade teacher at Green Acres Elementary School, who was named WZID's Teacher of the Month for September! She was nominated by the parent of a former student. Marga and Neil surprised Mrs. Whitney with the apple trophy at school. Thank you, WZID, for recognizing hard-working and dedicated educators!

Lights On Afterschool celebration: October 25 and 26

Principal Brennan named deputy commissioner of education

Beech Street Elementary School principal Christine Brennan will be sworn in as New Hampshire’s deputy commissioner of education. Her nomination by Governor Chris Sununu was confirmed unanimously by the Executive Council.

Brennan is in her 31st year in the Manchester School District, beginning when she was hired in 1987 to teach first grade at Wilson Elementary School. She was in that role for 20 years, then worked as a literacy specialist there from 2007 until 2010. As an administrator, Brennan served as assistant principal at Wilson and Jewett Street elementary schools before arriving at Beech Street in the same position in 2012. She has been principal of Beech Street since March of 2014.

“Christine has worked with some of our most challenged students with the singular focus of helping them thrive,” said N.H. Commissioner of Education Frank Edelblut. “I and everyone at the DOE look forward to working with her to create more opportunities for our students that meet their individual l…

Community forums on new assessment tool

Professional learning: Advancing STEM education

Led by The Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME) and partnering with Granite State College and the NH Dept. of Education, a project called “School Librarians Advancing STEM Learning” (SLASL) is in its third year of creating curriculum that supports standards-aligned STEM resources, learning, and literacy standards.

Memorial High School science teacher Caitlin Gately and library media specialist Linda Hedrick are participating in the project with other New Hampshire school librarians and STEM teacher fellows. The focus of the project is to support STEM resources and learning by developing curriculum on standards-aligned STEM inquiry and literacy standards.

Caitlin and Linda collaborated to create a unit of lessons titled "Recombinant DNA in Genetically Modified Organisms" using open educational resources that focused on text-based inquiry in STEM, science literacy skills, and library research. They also created an interactive electronic notebook …

Manchester selected as model of education reform

Educators from Brazil are looking to New Hampshire for help reforming their home country’s system of education to better serve students. The World Affairs Council of New Hampshire has arranged for the group to tour Manchester School of Technology, where they will learn how competency-based classes support students’ mastery of knowledge and skills.

The delegation from Brazil is part of the International Visitor Leadership Program, a professional development exchange administered by the U.S. Department of State. A recent article in Christian Science Monitor caught the eye of State Department officials, who wanted to select the right location in the U.S. for their Brazilian visitors to focus on. The tour of MST is scheduled for October 5.

“They are very interested in how Manchester School of Technology is reinventing the idea of what high school can provide to students,” said Dr. Bolgen Vargas, Superintendent of Schools. “We look forward to sharing what we do in Manchester that could dr…

Reminder about dropping off and picking up your children from school

We are asking for your help in keeping our children safe during school arrival and dismissal times. Each school has drop-off and pick-up procedures for those who drive their children to and from school. Parents and guardians who are unsure of the proper procedures are encouraged to ask their schools for clarification. Please abide by those rules and obey the posted signs that indicate where cars are not allowed to stop or park on the street.

Many students walk to school, and the procedures are intended to keep traffic around our school buildings flowing in a safe and organized way.

The Manchester Police Department is aware of the challenges some schools face in enforcing drop-off and pick-up procedures. You might see officers providing assistance with directing drivers to their designated areas.

Thank you in advance for your understanding and continued cooperation on this important student safety issue.