Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2014

What Reading Means: The runners up

There were four official entries in our holiday "meaning of reading" video contest for first graders, and two submissions after the deadline. While Smyth Road received high honors, we are proud to show you the creativity of some of the honorable mentions. Well done, boys and girls!
(Note: We cannot post every video we received because we don't have the OK from signed media releases for all the children.)

Wilson School: The Meaning of Reading from Communications Coordinator on Vimeo.

HGF: The Meaning of Reading from Communications Coordinator on Vimeo.

Parker-Varney students give back for the holidays

What does it take to raise $6,000 in under three weeks? The fifth graders at Parker-Varney Elementary School proved it can be done with hard work and focus on a cause. They held several fundraisers for Liberty House, a transitional housing community for homeless American veterans in Manchester. The students' efforts included candy cane gram sales, a Polar Express movie night, a district-wide dress down day for all employees and staff, and collecting donations online through 

The fundraiser ended officially today when the Parker-Varney students hosted a luncheon at the Manchester School of Technology for the residents and staff of Liberty House. There, they sang Christmas carols, ate a delicious lunch prepared by MST Chef Mike Holfelder and his culinary arts students, and presented the executive director of Liberty House with a check and other gifts.

In the end, the students raised six times their original goal of $1,000! 

The fifth grade wants to thank alderman Bill Bar…

The meaning of reading, according to first graders

We asked Manchester's first grades to tell us what reading means to them and record their answers in a 45- to 60-second video. What adorable, creative and thoughtful responses we received!

It was difficult to choose, but members of our staff in the superintendent's office selected one video that seemed to capture the essence of reading best. Take a look at what the boys and girls in Mrs. Fleming's class at Smyth Road Elementary School say about reading:

Those students were invited to visit us for a special story time with Santa Claus, who traveled all the way from the North Pole, even though it's a very busy time of year. We have to thank the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester for making the connection for us and making sure Santa's schedule could accommodate us.

Santa read "I Like Myself" to the class, while they drank juice and snacked on mini muffins. He then gave each child a copy of the book to take home.

Special thanks to our friends at Scholastic f…

Assistant superintendent Karen Burkush to retire in 2015

After 35 years with the Manchester School District, Assistant Superintendent Karen Burkush will retire at the end of this school year, effective June 30, 2015.

“I have enjoyed my career here in the school district,” said Burkush. “I’ve had the privilege of working with many amazing individuals, including faculty, staff, students and parents.”
Burkush’s first position in 1980 was as speech pathologist for pre-k through sixth grade students. She also served as Child Find facilitator, special education coordinator, assistant director of student services and then director of student services before becoming assistant superintendent in 2004.

“We thank Karen for her many years of service to our schools and students and wish her well,” said Superintendent Debra Livingston. “Her skills, experience and historical perspective have been a valuable part of our administration.”

FIRST LEGO League team honored

Congratulations to the FIRST LEGO League team from Hillside Middle School! The seventh and eighth grade team members won the judges' award for "Passion About the Problem" at Saturday's NH/VT competition in Nashua. Special thanks to Dyn Inc. for its sponsorship!

The Hour of Code is here! Computer Science Education Week starts Dec. 8.

Anybody can learn!  Join millions of teachers and students around the world for an Hour of Code during Computer Education Week on December 8 - 12. Activities are available for ages 4 to 104! Check out the resources below and give your students the gift of discovering computer programming!

Try a little or try a lot! Find fun one hour activities or a full course! Simple activities for kindergarten, too! Visit from No computers? No problem - offline activities to support computational thinking are available. 

The Attendance Ice Bucket Challenge

Congratulations to Parker-Varney and Gossler Park elementary schools for taking on the attendance challenge. Students in both schools worked extremely hard to make sure that they were at school -- and on time -- every day, and the numbers were tracked for the month of October. Parker-Varney won the competition by just a hair, 94.8 percent to 94.07 percent! 

Gossler Park's principal, Ms. Upham went to Parker-Varney today to pay off the bet, submitting to a version of the "Ice Bucket challenge." PV students designed a nine-foot pipe to dump the cold water on Ms. Upham, who also donated $105 to ALS research in Parker-Varney's name. Thanks to technology, the event was FaceTimed with Gossler Park so that those students could watch their principal get soaked! 

Way to go, everyone! Keep up the great attendance all year long!

Parkside's technology story goes statewide

Congratulations to the Middle School at Parkside for its "Spotlight" session at the Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference this week!
Members of the Parkside Technology Team -- Shauna Gagnon, social studies teacher; Robin Tafe, media specialist; Stacey Rust-Belforti, reading essentials teacher; Pauline Soucy, computer teacher; and Forrest Ransdell, principal -- shared with educators around the state their experience integrating technology to enhance learning for the whole school.

CALL FOR ENTRIES: NH Primary 100th Anniversary Essay Contest

2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the first New Hampshire primary.To commemorate this historic event, the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College has joined with AARP New Hampshire to sponsor The New Hampshire Primary 100th Anniversary Essay Contest.
Students enrolled in Civics, U.S. Government, or Politics courses in grades 9-12 are invited to submit an essay about New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary and the important civic role that New Hampshire citizens play in nominating our president. Students are encouraged to explore the greater significance of the primary and why political participation truly matters.

350 words, double-spaced • 12-point font, Times New Roman • cover sheet which must
include name, home address with zip code, email address, phone number, name of school (or the
word “homeschooled”), title of course, grade, and word count of essay • only one essay per student

TO ENTER: Essays are due on February 2, 2015 by…

An invitation to participate in Jeans Day, December 8, for a good cause

Dear Principals of Manchester School District,
The 5th graders at Parker-Varney School are working toward the common goal of making the lives of the homeless veterans at the Liberty House a little bit brighter.  We are trying to raise money and collect supplies to donate to this charity.  We are going to be putting our skills together to sell candy cane grams and contact local businesses and community members to donate to this cause.  We will be presenting them with these donations and a holiday concert at a luncheon at MST on December 18 at noon. We have been granted permission for Superintendent Livingston to hold a jeans day, where participating teachers would make a donation of $5.00. All money collected would be donated to the Liberty House to help the homeless veterans of Manchester.  December 7 is the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day so we are asking for Monday, December 8 to be the designated jeans day.  All money raised by your school should be sent to Parker-Varney by Friday, De…

WANTED: Volunteers for Junior STEAM Ahead

Manchester's fourth graders have an exciting opportunity to experience FIRST LEGO League in their classrooms, and three schools are ready to kick off the program next month. We're calling it "Junior STEAM Ahead," because it's a perfect fit for enhancing math and science concepts the way STEAM Ahead NH is doing at the high school level.

But our junior program needs volunteers from the community. Please download and share our flyer with friends and family who might be able to help! It has more information about FIRST LEGO League and how volunteers can participate.

High School Report Card Delay Advisory Update

Dear Colleagues and Manchester Families:

I would like to update everyone on the recent district report card delay and offer some clarification on what has happened as there seems to be a fair amount of mis-information “on the street”.

In a May report published by the Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, author Julia Freeland writes: "In 2005, the New Hampshire Department of Education mandated that all high schools measure credit in terms of mastery of locally selected competencies, rather than by time-based metrics.  Removing seat-time from state regulations opened up more opportunities for students to advance upon mastery and for educators to measure student progress in terms of authentic learning, rather than in hours and minutes.  Under the 2005 regulations, New Hampshire school districts were required to create competencies and begin measuring credit in these terms by the start of the 2008–09 school year " (Policy to Practice, Clayton Christensen Institute for …

High school reports cards delayed until Monday

Due to a technical issue with the system teachers use to input and calculate grades, first quarter report cards will be delayed until Monday, November 24.  The date was pushed back to ensure that teachers have the extra time they need to post grades based on the Manchester School District competency grading system, which measures both skills and academics and shows the truest indication of mastery and understanding of the material. 
We are sorry for the delay but want to make sure that the issue is resolved and grades reflect the correct level of each student's performance in every class.

Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Manchester School District placed on the College Board’s 5th Annual AP® District Honor Roll

Manchester School District is one of 547 school districts in the U.S. and Canada honored by being named to the College Board’s 5th Annual Advanced Placement® District Honor Roll for increasing access toadvanced placementcourse work while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams. Only six districts in New Hampshire have achieved this objective this year. Along with Manchester, the Exeter, Goffstown, Lebanon, Oyster River and Windham school districts are on the honor roll.
Reaching these goals indicates that the district is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are ready for the opportunity of AP.Since 2012, Manchester School District has increased the number of students participating in AP while improving the number of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher.
“We are extremely proud of our high school teachers and counselors for encouraging students to challenge themselves in AP …

MST culinary programs to benefit from fundraiser!

T he Great NH Restaurants' Charitable Trust drive to raise funds for local non-profit organizations is ending November 16:
T ​he​ Thanks for Giving fundraiser  has chosen as the beneficiary for this year's campaign.  The Manchester School of Technology Culinary Arts Program is one of four local non-profit organizations that will share the proceeds of this fundraising effort. ​ MST students provide many hours of community service and this is a great way to support and thank them for their efforts!​
How does it work? Give $5 get $10!

​S top in at the Manchester School of Technology's main office or send an email to Virginia Stephen at ​to purchase  certificates. For every $5 you donate you will receive a certificate for $10 off your next visit. (Certificates are valid through December 2015  - yes, 2015!) ​​ ​You can also v isit any Cactus Jack's or T-BONES location from October 20 - November 16 to donate! who has committed to support t…

Children in need find help at McDonough Elementary School

McDonough Elementary School teacher DeLorie Belanger has regularly purchased shoes, boots and other clothing essentials for her students in need throughout the years. Then one day, not even a month into the school year, she noticed one boy who was wearing a pair of shoes that were falling apart. Belanger gave the boy her own son’s sneakers to replace them.

“After that experience, I felt like I should do something more,” said Belanger. “Many of the teachers I know purchase items for students, and the cost adds up quickly. If there were a way to collect donations, we could help more children.”

Belanger asked her husband if she could use his office as a drop-off site and then went to Facebook for help, posting a request for gently used coats and shoes on a yard sale page. The response was immediate.

“Within an hour, dozens of people were offering to give and sharing my post to help spread the word,” said Belanger.

Soon, donations were being dropped off daily, and Belanger spent her evenin…

Barnes & Noble Annual Holiday Book Drive Will Benefit the Manchester School District

Once again the Barnes & Noble Annual Holiday Book Drive will benefit the Manchester School District! Last year Barnes & Noble collected and distributed over 3500 books to schools in the district. This year they'd like to expand that number to 4200 books!

Please consider adding a requested book to your basket when making your book purchases at Barnes & Noble. A table will be set up in the cash wrap line near the registers with bookmarks designating books that schools have selected. The books will be collected and distributed weekly.

Printed wish lists can also be found at Customer Service and in the Children's Department.

Parker-Varney Elementary School shows off its Innovation Learning Lab

Schools in Manchester work every day to develop new ways for students to engage and learn. Technology can play a big role, and now Parker-Varney Elementary School wants to show the community its new Innovation Learning Lab, where students receive personalized instruction according to individual strengths and needs. There are 85 computers, a projector and screen.

In addition to daily reading and math enrichment, the lab offers even more opportunities for enhancing students’ learning. In the coming months, they will learn computer coding, build their own computers, and work on projects with a 3D printer.

Today was the official ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the new lab. The event was conceived, planned and executed entirely by the fifth grade. After the ribbon cutting, students in all grades showcased the work they've been able to do with the technology now available.

STEAM Ahead Open House on November 13

West Steam Science Technology Engineering ARts Math Open House For Future Steamers Engineering the future! Higher Learning Opportunities Earn early College Credits

All Current 8th graders and their families are welcome!
6:00-7:30pm Thursday, November 13th Location: Cafeteria    Student presentations                    tour of the school & Meeting the teachers!