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 |