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:
https://www.manchesternh.gov/Portals/2/Departments/parks_and_rec/WinterfestPDF.pdf

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.