Wednesday, March 14, 2018

NHIAA names Manchester's 2018 Scholar Athletes

Congratulations to the high school seniors recently named scholar athletes by the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association! Students qualify for nomination by their schools based on criteria that includes a minimum B+ GPA, participation in at least two NHIAA-recognized varsity sports, and being a positive role model who participates in community service.  

Dominic Girard
McKenzie Asprey 
Lejla Hodzic 
Favour Alejo 

Lan Bui
Melanie Presseau
Sydney Robinson
Zoe Stamoulis
Hannah Trottier
Gresham Connors
Eric Langley
Connor Lyons
Jordan Trombly

Abigail Conrad
Gabriella Leonard
Victoria Roy
Morgan Tanguay
Nathan Duplessis
Matthew Gilroy
Connor Hamel
Devin Jones
Declan Knieriem
Aiden McGahey
Andy Vo

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Booked for Summer fundraiser at Shorty's

Shorty’s Mexican Roadhouse is helping us raise funds for our 2018 Booked for Summer literacy activities.

Please join us at Shorty’s on Bicentennial Drive in Manchester on THURSDAY, MARCH 15 from 11:30 am until closing.

Dine in or take out lunch or dinner, and Shorty's very generous Fair Share program will give Booked for Summer 15% of the total sales!

Please be sure to tell your server that you’re there to support Manchester School District.

Kindergarten and new first grade registration dates announced

Manchester's elementary schools will be accepting registrations for kindergarten and new first grade students in April. Students currently attending MSD's pre-school programs do not have to register for kindergarten at their neighborhood school; those records will be transferred. 

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

The dates and times for children and parents to register in person at each school are listed belowPlease 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. 
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.

District-wide registration 
April 3, 2018
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Registration for all schools will take place at Parker-Varney Elementary School 

April 10, 2018
8:30 am - 2:30 pm

Beech Street
April 4, 2018
8:30 am - 2:30 pm

Gossler Park
April 17, 2018
8:30 am - 11:30 am
12:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Green Acres
April 11, 2018
9:00 am - 11:30 am
12:00 pm - 2:30 pm

April 16, 2018
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Highland-Goffe’s Falls
April 5, 2018
8:45 am - 2:30 pm 

April 11, 2018
8:30 am - 11:30 am
12:00 pm - 2:30 pm

April 5, 2018
8:30 am - 2:30 pm

April 18, 2018
8:30 am - 11:30 am
12:00 pm - 2:30 pm

April 3, 2018
9:00 am - 11:30 am
12:00 pm - 2:30 pm
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Smyth Road
April 11, 2018
8:30 am - 2:30 pm 

April 4, 2018
8:30 am - 11:30 am 
12:00 pm - 2:30 pm

April 5, 2018
8:30 am - 11:30 am
12:00 pm - 2:30 pm

April 11, 2018
8:30 am - 11:30 am
12:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Monday, March 12, 2018

UPDATED Redistricting forum schedule

Please note changes below from the original schedule of redistricting forums. Two have been postponed for weather and added later this month. There also is a new time for the forum at Wilson Elementary School, a change from an evening forum to an afternoon session before dismissal.

March 19: School Safety Forum

Friday, March 9, 2018

A message about student-led protests

Dr. Vargas emailed a letter to families and staff in the school district outlining expectations for any anticipated student-led protests in Manchester as part of a national call for awareness of gun violence in schools.

In his message, Dr. Vargas states that while the school district is not sponsoring or organizing these events, we recognize schools have a role in managing procedures and safety.

At this time, the superintendent is not aware of definite plans by our students to organize a walk-out.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Get Moving Manchester 2018 for Grades 3-5

Get Moving Manchester 2018
Get Moving Manchester is an optional 4-week nutrition and physical activity journal program for Manchester students in grades 3-5, potentially impacting over 3000 students. The program begins on March 19 and ends April 13. Students will be given a log at school to keep track of healthy habits based on the concept of 5-2-1-0. The concept focuses on eating 5 fruits and vegetables a day, 2 hours of screen time or less, 1 hour of physical activity and drinking 0 sugar based beverages. The goal of the program is to increase an awareness of healthy lifestyle habits.

The elementary school with the highest and second highest percentage of student participation will receive Get Moving Manchester trophies presented by the mayor and superintendent of schools. Last year's winning schools were McLaughlin Middle School and Highland Goffe's Falls Elementary School.

Incentives and raffles include Palace Theatre tickets, Fisher Cats tickets, gift cards to Dick's Sporting Goods and more. At the end of the 4 weeks, students will be entered into a raffle to win a bike donated by Bike Barn (pictured here). Click on the kickoff video link featuring the Fisher Cats mascot, Fungo. This video was made possible through our partnership with the Fisher Cats and Catholic Medical Center.

Get Moving, Manchester schools and fill out those logs to be eligible for some great raffles and incentives! Most importantly, be a winner of health!

Special thanks to Get Moving Manchester program sponsors: Catholic Medical Center, Manchester Dartmouth Hitchcock, Fisher Cats, Palace Theatre, Anagnost Companies, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Bike Barn and Indian Head Athletics.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Important notice from Dr. Vargas

Dear Manchester School District staff and families,

I am writing because a Memorial High School student was arrested yesterday for
making threats via social media related to school shootings. The Manchester School
District and the Manchester Police Department were made aware of those potential
threats and the Manchester Police Department took immediate action.

According to the information we received about the investigation, there was no
imminent threat to any of our students at Memorial or in the district. We are
working closely with the Manchester Police Department to ensure the safety of our

As a community, we need to be vigilant and work together to keep our students safe.
We urge you to talk with your children to encourage them to share anything they
hear or see that causes concern regarding their safety or that of others.

Dr. Bolgen Vargas
Superintendent of Schools

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

MSD recognized at YMCA's 2018 Community Partners Luncheon.

The YMCA of Downtown Manchester recently honored Manchester School District during its Community Partners Luncheon event, noting its partnership with our schools is key to several programs.

Summer of 2017, 131 students participated in Power Scholars at Parkside Middle School. During the school year, more than 120 students are served in YMCA START at Beech Street School and Henry Wilson Elementary School. In addition, there are 90 students in YMCA STAY program at the four Manchester Middle Schools.

Friday, February 23, 2018

New reading challenge underway

You've heard of Monopoly. Now it's time to play BOOKOPOLY!

Check out the reading challenge for all ages from preschool through high school. Complete your game board by March 23, turn it in, and receive a prize!

All the details, including the reading log pages, can be downloaded HERE. Have fun!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Office of Youth Services sponsors Winterfest events

The full schedule of 2018 Winterfest community activities and events is available, coordinated by Manchester's Office of Youth Services. Check out some of the highlights below!

The Currier Museum of Art, Manchester Historic Association Millyard Museum, the Manchester City Library and West Branch Community Library are offering children, youth, and families dozens of opportunities to exercise their creativity and imaginations over the course of Winterfest 2018.

At the Currier, activities begin on Monday, Feb. 26 with a joint Currier and Library event geared to ages 3 to 5, reading Duck for President, and then creating campaign signs. On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, family activities include Creative Studio for Build Your Own Sculpture Park and Monument Building on Wednesday and Friday, respectively and Drawing in the Galleries on Thursday. Children must always be accompanied by an adult.  Free Admission for ages 17 and under; adults $5.

The Millyard Museum will be open Saturday, February 24 through Saturday March 3 (closed Sunday 2/25 and Monday 2/26). Adult admission is $8, children up to 18 free.  Special programming Tuesday, February 27 through Friday, March 2 includes mini-tours and scavenger hunts at 11:30 a.m. and coloring and self-directed crafts throughout the day.

Both the main Manchester Library on Pine Street and the West Branch Community Library on North main Street have multiple activities Monday through Friday of vacation week, ranging from Toddler Storytime to a personal appearance by Josh Judge, meteorologist of WMUR, presenting his book, Be Nice to the Weatherguy. Among the activities are crafts, Legos play, a Minion party, dancing, movies, and art, along with family game sessions and reading out loud to Hazel, Cody, and Cookie, dog visitors to the Library. All Library events are free of charge, but some require reservations. Full details in the Winterfest 2018 schedule to be posted soon.

Favorite Camp Returns to Winterfest 2018
The Massabesic Audubon Center  bring NH Audubon’s February Fun Nature Camp to Winterfest 18, February 26 to March 2, for children ages 6 to 12. Children learn about nature in winter, with outdoor excursions, games, crafts, stories, live animals, music, and conservation projects. Campers may attend one day, a few days, or the week. $43 per day for members, $53 per day for non-members and financial assistance is available. Details and links to registration at the NH Audubon website.

Sports During Winterfest
During Winterfest 18, children, youth and families can skate, swim, play basketball, enter a foul-shooting contest, and practice climbing.

Vertical Dreams Climbing Gym is offering special weekend and vacation hours during Winterfest 18 for climbers and beginners. Saturdays and Sundays it will open at 11 a.m.; Monday through Friday at noon, from Saturday February 24 through Sunday March 4. Full details of waivers and discounts can be found at

Manchester Parks and Recreation hosts a Free Throw Contest for boys and girls grades 3 through 8 at the Beech Street School on Friday, March 2 and a 3 on 3 Tournament, also at the school, for 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders, February 27 & 28 and March 1.

JFK Coliseum, as in years past, will be open for public skating weekday afternoons, Feb 26 to March 2, 2 to 4 p.m., $5 for adults, $3 for children.

The pool at Southern NH University will be open for free swims from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday. Passes for swimmers will be distributed from the Office of Youth Services the day before the swim, Friday, Feb. 23 for Monday Feb. 26.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Community forums on redistricting proposal set

Members of the community will have several opportunities in the coming weeks to ask questions and make comments on the Manchester School District superintendent’s draft proposal for the next phases of redistricting. Nine forums have been scheduled across the city, beginning on February 21 and ending on March 28. All parents, guardians, school employees, students, and other interested community members are welcome to attend any and all sessions. The full list of dates, times and locations is below.

Dr. Bolgen Vargas introduced six draft recommendations to the Board of School Committee:
·         Replicate Parker-Varney personalized learning opportunities through an innovative network of the West Side schools
·         Establish grades 5-8 middle school model
·         Reduce class sizes
·         Adjust the school feeder pattern to send Beech Street and Wilson elementary students to McLaughlin and Central
·         Create preschool center at Memorial High School
·         Repurpose surplus space at high school level

The draftproposal is based on preliminary results from a comprehensive facilities study conducted by a local firm, CMK Architects. Among the early findings, there is enough space in the four middle schools to accommodate grades 5 through 8.

“A grades five to eight middle school education model has proven to work in other districts, including our neighbor, Goffstown,” said Dr. Vargas. “One of the benefits of establishing this in Manchester is that it will free up much needed classroom space our elementary school buildings.”  

The additional space created when the fifth grade moves to middle school will allow for smaller class sizes in kindergarten through fourth grades.

Another highlight of the superintendent’s draft plan is to create a preschool center at Memorial High School, which has surplus space. Currently, preschool students attend five elementary schools and the Bishop O’Neil Community Center. Centralizing the pre-k programs would help teachers collaborate more and allow therapists to use their time with students more efficiently. In addition, preschool transportation services could be streamlined and cost less. Under the draft proposal, the O’Neil Center would remain open for preschool.

Dr. Vargas will present detailed elements of his draft recommendations at every forum and take feedback.   

“Involving the community and addressing concerns during this process is critical for success of any plan,” said Dr. Vargas. “The feedback we receive will help shape the final recommendations.”

The superintendent will present his final proposal to the Board of School Committee by early April.

Community Forum Schedule
February 21, 6-7 pm – Middle School at Parkside

March 7, 7:30 am – Webster Elementary School

March 7, 6-7 pm – Northwest Elementary School

March 8, 4:30 pm – McLaughlin Middle School

March 14, 6-7 pm – Beech Street Elementary School

March 15, 6-7 pm – Memorial High School

March 20, 6-7 pm – Hillside Middle School

March 22, 6-7 pm – Wilson Elementary School

March 28, 6-7 pm – Parker-Varney Elementary School

Friday, February 9, 2018

Spring sports coaching openings

We're thinking spring!

Check out the available coaching positions we have, including:
  • Central High School boys & girls track and field
  • Central High School girls tennis 
  • Assistant coach for West High School boys track and field.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

New athletic director named

Superintendent Bolgen Vargas has named Christine Pariseau Telge director of athletics for the district.  In this part-time role, Telge will oversee the middle and high school athletic programs across the district. Responsibilities include hiring coaches, arranging game schedules, and supervising the high school athletic coordinators.

Telge currently works as program coordinator for Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center’s Friends of Norris Cotton Cancer Center and will continue in that position. She also holds a law degree and has experience working in human resources.

Telge is a lifelong resident of Manchester and a product of the city’s schools. 

“My love for the student-athletes and the city of Manchester will drive me to strengthen our programs and represent our community in the best way possible,” said Telge.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Donation update: McLaughlin embraces new STEAM technology

McLaughlin Middle School students have been busy learning and using the Makerbot Replicator+ 3D printer provided by People's United Bank last year.
The tech ed and wood shop classes, where the curriculum is designed to integrate elements of engineering, was a natural fit for using this new technology.
Among the students' projects -- design bubble wands for blowing bubbles. First, the students learned all about bubbles and what designs would work to best to make a good bubble blowing wand. Then, the students printed their bubble wands using the MakerBot 3D printer. The next steps in the project were to design and build a storage rack or stand, to store their jar of bubbles and wand.
The engineering process gave students the opportunity to ask questions, research, imagine, plan, create, test, and make improvements.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Special meeting of the Building & Sites Committee

The public is invited to a Building and Sites Committee special meeting at West High School on Tuesday, February 20 at 5:30 pm. The purpose of the meeting is for the community to listen to a presentation of the design of the school district central office move to the third floor of West High School. After the presentation, a town hall-style discussion will allow anyone to ask questions, make comments, and/or express concerns.

Prior to the formal meeting, West High School principal Rick Dichard will give a tour of the affected areas of the school at 5:15 for those who are interested. You can see a sketch of the preliminary proposal HERE

Southside in the spotlight

Southside Middle School science teacher Amanda Lotz wrote an article featured in EdSurge, a resource for educators that focuses on sharing information about using technology to support teaching and learning.

Ms. Lotz shared her experience with developing personalized learning opportunities for her students that transformed her classroom.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Seeking professionals for career day event

The Central High School Guidance Department will be hosting a Career Day on April 17, 2018 from 8:30am - 2pm.

Following the success of the format West High School adopted last spring, Central is organizing this career day event as a school-wide opportunity to introduce students to a broad range of professional fields.

Central High School is currently seeking business partners from all fields, new and traditional, to spend the day with students and educate them about the careers available to them in their futures.

Every teacher will be paired with a different professional for the day, matched as closely as possible to the subject area most relevant to the business. As a result, each professional will have the opportunity to interact with hundreds of students as they move throughout their classes for the day, and each student will be exposed to at least five career fields.

If your business is interested in helping educate our students for Career Day at Central High School, please fill out the online career day participation form. We look forward to this fun and exciting opportunity to help develop Manchester's future talented workforce.

West High School art show January 26

“My Third Eye," pen; Ashley Thompson, 2017
The public is invited to attend an art exhibit celebrating the talents of current students at Manchester High School West. Please join them on Friday, January 26 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm.
The event is free to all and will feature artist talks, music, refreshments, and hundreds of art pieces to enjoy on the second floor in the library. Guests should use the main entrance located on Notre Dame Avenue.
Support has been provided by West High School, the 104th chapter of the National Art Honor Society, and Tri-M music honor society. Donations to our supporters will be gladly accepted but not required to attend.

Winter holiday vacation reading challenge results

The numbers are in for the winter holiday vacation reading challenge for elementary and middle school students. A total of 401 readers submitted their logs. Students in preschool through grade 5 spent 1,158 hours reading, while students in grades 6-8 read 170 books. 

Congratulations to the winners of the T-BONES and Cactus Jack's gift certificates raffle. They qualified to win just for turning in their completed reading records!

Thank you to our friends at the Manchester City Library, the local businesses that donated prizes to our readers, all of the students who participated this first time out, and their families and teachers for encouraging them. Watch for details on next year's program in the fall!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Middle and high school semester dates adjusted for snow days

Due to the number of snow days in the second quarter of the academic year, the first semester for middle and high school students will end on January 29, instead of January 25. High school mid-term exams will take place on January 24, 25, 26 and 29.

This change also affects the dates of the second semester. The third quarter will begin on January 30 and end on April 6. The fourth quarter will begin on April 9. Unless make-up days are added to the end of the school year because of more weather-related closures, high school final exam dates in June remain as scheduled.

The decision to adjust the calendar was made to account for the number of classroom days lost when school was canceled for snow in recent weeks. There are five "snow days" built into the academic calendar, and Manchester has used four since October.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

New UNH program offers support and scholarships for Manchester's STEAM Ahead students

DURHAM, N.H. – A new program developed by the University of New Hampshire will help 30 students from Manchester West and Dover high schools with academic talent and financial need attend college to study in the fields of science, technology, engineering or math. The Finishers’ Program will provide up to four years of scholarships as well as ongoing academic support and job placement assistance. 

The program, which has received a five-year $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation, grew out of a need to continue supporting students participating in Manchester’s STEAM Ahead program. It partners with Manchester West and Dover high schools, as they represent the largest and fastest growing urban areas respectively in New Hampshire.

“STEAM Ahead is a successful public school/private industry partnership – participating students are absent one-fifth as often and have almost a point higher GPA than those not participating in the program -- but when they graduate high school the support stops,” said David Mattingly, assistant professor of physics at UNH and the head of the program. “This new program helps students transition from high school to college and persist through a four-year college degree and STEM career by providing the financial and academic support they need.”

Mattingly noted that STEAM Ahead was founded to help businesses in the state meet their skilled workforce needs, and that need still exists. Dover High School also offers STEM opportunities through its career and technical education programs. At both schools, the training and support largely ends upon high school graduation. For students who may not have the resources to attend college, this often means an end to their education and a limit to STEM workforce development in the state.

“Manchester High School West is extremely excited to enter this partnership with UNH,” said Rick Dichard, principal of Manchester West. “It is a tremendous opportunity for our students to be part of a cutting-edge program while keeping the cost of college tuition at a more affordable rate via the scholarship that comes with it.”

The scholarship, averaging $24,000 per student over four years, is designed to meet the average unmet need for these students. In addition, students will receive continuous academic support from their senior year of high school through college as well as job/graduate school placement assistance and mentorship. Knowledge gained from studying each student’s progress and experiences will provide data needed to better support students in STEM across the country.

“By providing this unified system that addresses financial, academic, professional and social need we can support these 30 students and learn from them how to improve overall educational equity at UNH,” Mattingly said. “In this time of rising economic inequality, we have an obligation to keep higher education accessible and affordable for low-income and first-generation students. Because of this program at least 30 kids will go to college who might not have otherwise been able to.”

Interested students must apply to UNH by Feb. 1, 2018, and complete the FAFSA by March 1, 2018. Federal regulations require that eligibility is based on the FAFSA. For more information contact David Mattingly at 

The University of New Hampshire is a flagship research university that inspires innovation and transforms lives in our state, nation and world. More than 16,000 students from all 50 states and 71 countries engage with an award-winning faculty in top ranked programs in business, engineering, law, liberal arts and the sciences across more than 200 programs of study. UNH’s research portfolio includes partnerships with NASA, NOAA, NSF and NIH, receiving more than $100 million in competitive external funding every year to further explore and define the frontiers of land, sea and space.

Media Contact
Erika Mantz | Communications and Public Affairs |