Friday, April 25, 2014

Hallsville clock tower
In a wonderful celebration of Manchester's storied history, Hallsville School today hosted a re-dedication of the building's clock tower. For the first time in about 23 years, the clock and bell atop the school are back in working order! The bell chimed 15 times -- in honor of former superintendent of schools Dr. Tom Brennan, two previous Hallsville principals, William Shea and James Davenport, and each of the six grade levels represented at the school -- before students counted down to the clock's hands being set to the correct time. The last time the clock worked was at Hallsville's 100th anniversary celebration in 1991.  

On hand for today's ceremony were two of Hallsville's former principals, William Shea and James Davenport. The school also recognized the memory of former superintendent of schools Dr. Thomas Brennan, who passed away this month and is credited with starting the project to refurbish the clock and tower. His wife and daughters attended the re-dedication and received commemorative photos of the clock. 
Prior to starting the clock ticking again, city historian Eric Kreuger offered a bit of history about the school and clock, showing up-close photos of the tower and internal workings to the students who can't climb up to the roof to see it for themselves. 

Video of the chimes and countdown can be viewed on the Manchester School District Facebook page.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

McLaughlin Celtics Lab ribbon cutting with Jared Sullinger
Boston Celtics Forward Jared Sullinger joined students of McLaughlin Middle School as the team and Southern New Hampshire University revealed a state-of-the-art computer lab. The lab, completely subsidized by the Boston Celtics and SNHU education partnership, marks one in a series of labs of its kind.
People around the world are keeping up with advances in technology, but so many of our schools right here in the U.S. don't have the resources to help kids stay current and be successful as they move on in their educational careers,” Sullinger said. “Through the SNHU partnership, we can find ways to change that, and thecomputer labs are a great start.”
In renovating the computer lab, the Celtics and SNHU purchased 30 new Chromebooks. A seldom-used classroom was repainted and decorated with new furniture as well as Celtics wall graphics. The room is now a modern, bright and inviting environment for the sixth, seventh and eighth graders to work and study.
“We’re grateful for the upgrades the Celtics and SNHU provided to us,” said Bill Krantz, McLaughlin Middle School principal. “Now even more of our students will have opportunities to harness the power of technology in everyday learning.”
During the opening ceremony event, members of the school's boys' and girls' basketball teams were the first to try out the computers by completing an online scavenger hunt designed by the Celtics staff. Students were asked to answer trivia questions about Manchester, SNHU, the Celtics, and Jared Sullinger by using the Chromebooks to look up the answers. McLaughlin hosted a Google Hangout for students in the gymnasium to watch and listen. It was a real time example of how the computers can be used to benefit the entire school.
“Southern New Hampshire University could not be more excited to be working with the Celtics and the staff and students at the McLaughlin Middle School,” said SNHU president Paul LeBlanc. “Technology is a key driver to improving how students learn, and this partnership helps to make that happen.”
More photos of today's event can be seen on the school district's Facebook page.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

First day of school for 2014/15 academic year after Labor Day

The Manchester School District's official calendar for the 2014/15 school year will be announced after it is approved by the Board of School Committee at the May 12 meeting. We understand families are anxious for dates so that they can confirm plans on their personal calendars, such as vacations. While we're not prepared to release the entire tentative calendar that the school board will be considering, we do know that the first day of school for students will be on Tuesday, September 2. 

Please watch this page and Facebook for the final academic year calendar, including school day start times and end times for all schools.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Redistricting plan won't include central pre-K and K-8 innovation school

Superintendent of Schools Debra Livingston today said the district will no longer pursue the K-8 innovation school concept that would include major changes to Southside Middle School and Jewett Street School. In a letter to parents of Jewett Street students, Dr. Livingston said she carefully considered all of the input she received after presenting the options of establishing a pre-K center at Jewett and moving K-5 students to Southside with the middle school grades.

“The Jewett Street School community is passionate about its children and learning environment,” said Dr. Livingston. “We are fortunate that the parents care as much as they do, and their points of view are important.”

The innovation school proposal was intended to create classrooms in other schools throughout the district to relieve overcrowding. With that in mind, the superintendent and other administrators will continue to develop a redistricting plan that will eliminate portables in the district and fully utilize the capacity of every school building.

In the fall of 2014, presentations are planned at schools across the district to gain input and ideas about the best way to redistrict its schools for the benefit of children citywide.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Students invited to "Salute the Soldiers" with artwork

Moore*Mart, the non-profit organization that provides personal supplies to U.S. troops serving in the Middle East, is celebrating its tenth anniversary with a fun contest for school children. Students can submit their personally designed patriotic drawings and cards that will be sent to military service members in Iraq and Afghanistan. Three winning entries will be featured in Moore*Mart's tenth anniversary packing celebration this summer. More than 40,000 troops remain deployed in the Middle East, and the organization wants to collect as many cards and letters as possible so that every service member gets one! 

"Salute the Soldiers" contest details:
Artwork must be of a Patriotic Theme (no graphic subject matter, please) and no larger than 8 ½” x 11” Participants must be under the age of 15, with parent/ guardian consent. 
If you are a teacher submitting your students’ work, please include school name, grade, and classroom, along with the student’s first name and last initial on the reverse side of each drawing or card.
If you are a parent submitting your child’s work, please include your child’s first name and last initial, as well as your name and contact information on the reverse side.
Entries may be:
Collected by the schools and sent to the school district office, attn: Andrea Alley
Mailed to Moore*Mart 10th Anniversary Contest, P.O. Box 1604, Nashua NH 03103
Dropped off at the Nashua Armory May 29, between 3:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Entries will be judged on their creativity and message, by a panel of Moore*Mart 10th Anniversary Committee members. All entries must be submitted to Moore*Mart by 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 29, 2014.  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Green Acres wins district Winning With Wellness competition

Green Acres Elementary School was recognized today as having the largest participation in this year's Winning With Wellness program. Fourth and fifth graders in seven of Manchester's elementary schools took part in the program, sponsored by the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation and the Manchester Monarchs. Students used logbooks to track their healthy eating and physical activity progress over four weeks this winter. They learned about the importance of good nutrition, which includes restricting sugary beverages, exercising, and limiting screen time.

Two hundred and fifty-six students in Manchester completed logbooks, with Green Acres at 67% participation out of 194 eligible students. To celebrate, Max the Monarch and representatives from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and the city's Health Department presented Green Acres health teacher Mrs. Gula with a trophy. Two fifth grade students, Sam Smith and Colin Brodeur, were the school's individual winners.

City-wide results:
Parker-Varney - 26% participation
Gossler Park - 25% participation
Weston - 14% participation
Jewett - 12% participation
Northwest - 6% participation
Webster - 5% participation

Congratulations to all!

Public forum to meet finalists for top Central H.S. post

Superintendent Debra Livingston has announced that two candidates have been selected as finalists for the principal position at Manchester High School Central. Cheri Towle, Principal of Mount View High School in Thorndike, Maine; and John Vaccarezza, Associate Dean of Students at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, will be at Central High School from 6:00 to 7:30 PM on Wednesday, April 16, to meet and talk with students, teachers, staff, parents, and members of the community. The public is encouraged to attend the event and provide feedback on the candidates.

John Vaccarezza has been a member of the Pinkerton Academy administration since 2010.  As an Associate Dean of Students, he assists with a wide variety of functions, including teacher evaluations, graduation exercises, intervention and instructional strategies, SAT coordination, and many other administrative responsibilities.  His educational philosophy is that student success is fostered through a variety of educational techniques and supported by a staff that values each and every student.  Prior to entering into his role as an administrator, Vaccarezza was a social studies teacher and coached freshman and junior varsity boys’ soccer teams for ten years.  He earned his Masters in Education from Rivier University in Nashua and a BA in History from Elon University in North Carolina.

Cheri Towle earned a BS in education and biology from the University of Maine, a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of New England, and she has recently been accepted into UNE’s doctoral program in education. Towle is a National Board Certified Teacher in Physical Science and has taught and served in leadership positions at the middle and high school levels for the past 21 years. As the principal at Mount View High School for the past three years, she has led staff, students and the community in developing a proficiency-based education system, focused on promoting a student-centered classroom approach, developed dual enrollment courses with area universities, and initiated exploratory classes that allow students to try new ideas and professional pathways. 

The search for Central’s new principal began with a 12-member interview panel and more than 20 students providing tours to eight candidates chosen from an original pool of 33 applicants. The panel, made up of students, teachers, parents, staff and community agency representatives, reviewed the candidates’ writing samples and feedback from school staff and students before selecting four to move on to an interview with the superintendent. Now that two finalists have been selected, site visits to each of their campuses will take place early next week. Dr. Livingston intends to recommend a final candidate to the Board of School Committee in the next few weeks.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Southside Middle School Opens Invitation to Hear Guest Speaker Will Bowen

Will Bowen will speak at Southside Middle School on April 22 & 23 at 6:30 PM. 

In July 2006 Will Bowen offered a simple idea for people to monitor their success at eradicating complaining from their lives. His idea exploded around the world and nearly 10 million purple Complaint Free bracelets have been sent to people in more than 106 countries. Bowen has been featured onOprah, NBC's The Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning, The ABC Evening News, Fox News Channel and in hundreds of TV and radio interviews around the world.

Stories about him and the movement he created have been written about in over 200 newspapers, in People, O, and Self magazines and in Chicken Soup for the Soul.

His first book, A Complaint Free World,  published in October, 2007 by Doubleday, is an international bestseller . The book has been published in more than 14 foreign countries to date and is an audio book, read by Bowen, published by Random House Audio. His second book, Complaint Free Relationships, was published December 2009 by Doubleday.

Please note that there will be limited seating so please RSVP on the Southside web site  on or before, Friday, April 18th if you plan on attending.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

In Memoriam: Former Superintendent Dr. Thomas J. Brennan, Jr. Has Passed Away

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of former superintendent Tom Brennan. Please keep Tom, his family and friends in our thoughts and prayers.

The wake will be held at Chadwick’s Funeral Home, 235 Main Street, New London, NH on Monday, April 14th from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. View Tom's obituary.

A funeral mass will be held on Tuesday, April 15th  at 11:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Fatima Church, 724 Main Street, New London, NH. Burial will be Wednesday, April 16th  at 11:00 a.m. in the Veteran’s Cemetery in Boscawen, NH.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to:

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in memory of Thomas Brennan to support esophageal cancer research and patient care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284 or via 


New Hampshire Jobs for America's Graduates (NH-JAG) in memory of Thomas Brennan to support today's youth to attain personal success in school, work and life via  and send to: 175 Ammons Dr. Suite 212 Manchester, NH 03103.

Driver Education Summer Session 2014

Registration for the 2014 Driver Education Summer Session opens on April 10. Classes begin on June 18 and will tentatively end on July 30. Click here for more details.
All students must be at  least 16 years of age before the last scheduled classroom lesson. Be aware that classes require extra time and students must commit to additional reading and homework, behind the wheel instruction, and directed practice driving under adult supervision. Parents must attend an informational night. 

TO REGISTER: bring the completed application, $525 fee (at least $100 deposit), and a photocopy of the birth certificate to the appropriate person. At Central and West bring it to the main office, at Memorial bring it to Mr. Dubisz in the cafe on Friday mornings from 7:15 - 7:45 AM.

All classes are held Monday through Friday and are 1 hour long. Questions and/or concerns should be directed to Mr. Dubisz:361-2537 or

Please visit to download an application.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

College overview session at Central High School

Thinking about college can be overwhelming. There are applications to be completed, deadlines to meet, essays to write, and finances to understand. Central High School is hosting a presentation from the New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation Network to help 11th grade students and their families better understand the college admission process. The session is scheduled for April 16 at 6:00 pm in the Central High School library. Topics include: narrowing your list, questions to ask on a college tour, college essay pointers, the application timeline and the basics of financial aid.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Cooks face off at Jewett

Cooks face off at Jewett School!
Have a chili or chowder recipe that can't be beat? Put it to the test on Saturday, April 12 at Jewett Street School's Chili/Chowder Cook-Off!  There will be staff, parent, and student entry categories. The $5 admission fee per person will allow you to sample all the chilies and chowders. 

All of the proceeds will benefit the family of Jaxson Field, a Jewett 4th grade student who is currently battling leukemia and being treated at Boston Children's Hospital. The cook-off takes place from noon to 4:00 pm. See you there!

Friday, April 4, 2014

CHS students go ivy league for a day

On March 26, 24 students in AP biology and L4 Biology from Central High School visited the Science Center at Harvard University to participate in a workshop with five postdoctoral students and one PhD student, all of whom specialize in plant physiology. The three-and-a-half-hour workshop was divided between the grad students' presentations of their research projects and four hands-on activities.  

The Harvard students welcomed comments and questions from the Manchester students, who got the chance to perform their own experiments, share their results and discuss them. Harvard's equipment and supplies gave the Central High School classes an opportunity to learn things about plant biology that can't be demonstrated during normal class time at the high school.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Barnes & Noble book fair to benefit literacy programs

Barnes & Noble on South Willow St. in Manchester is hosting a book fair on Friday, April 11 from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm, to benefit Highland-Goffe’s Falls Elementary School. People have the chance to purchase books specifically selected by HGF teachers from the "wish list" table. Those books will go to classroom libraries. In addition, a percentage of other purchases go toward HGF literacy programs. 

Children’s activities will begin at 3:30.  Local children’s author Maryann Cocca-Leffler will be there at 4:00 pm to talk to students about writing and sign her books. Based on her book, “Mr. Tanen’s Ties," kids can enter a tie-coloring contest throughout the day.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Light It Up Blue for autism awareness

Manchester schools want to help shine a light on autism education! That's why we are observing National Autism Awareness Month, starting with World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. Show your support tomorrow and all month long by wearing light blue.

Please visit for more information about the global effort.