Saturday, May 31, 2014

Community partnerships foster learning

Students plant for New Horizons for NH
Manchester schools love opportunities to partner with community organizations to enhance students' learning. Read about Henry Wilson Elementary School's planting project!

Friday, May 30, 2014

VISTA Volunteer Sought for Manchester High School West STEAM Ahead Program

Granite State College will place an AmeriCorp VISTA volunteer at Manchester High School West's STEAM Aheadprogram.

The VISTA volunteer will help students shape their college and career goals and plans, and will have the opportunity to participate in an innovative education and industry collaborative effort.  

AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers are passionate and committed to bringing communities out of poverty.  They serve a full-year term, receive a modest living allowance, and are eligible to receive health coverage, childcare if needed, and other benefits.  At the end of the service, a VISTA volunteer  can choose between an education award or post-service stipend. 

This is not a position for employment with the Manchester School District. Please look for application details at

Questions about AmeriCorps VISTA? Please review the Frequently Asked Questions:

All Hands Up for CHaD!

The Central Runs Road Race is an annual event sponsored by the Central High School student council. Each year the student body votes to decide which organization shall receive the funds raised. This year's proceeds will benefit the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Call for applications for Education Leadership 2014-15

The Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications for next year's Education Leadership class! The program builds positive community relationships between Manchester schools and businesses.Educator Leadership is designed to recognize and nurture mutually beneficial relationships between educators and diverse sectors of the local business community. The program creates closer alignment between business and education so that educators walk away with practical applications and a stronger understanding of where industry sectors are going and the knowledge necessary to better prepare students for careers in high growth industries.  Directed by a Steering Committee, Educator Leadership begins in October with a total of 7 sessions held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in October, November, January, February, March, April and May. Each session focuses on a new industry with presentations by business leaders through lectures and discussions during on-site visits.

Who Should Apply

This year, educators (teachers, guidance counselors, reading and math specialists, etc.) from the elementary, middle and high schools in Manchester are invited to apply for Educator Leadership.  Those chosen will have demonstrated a strong commitment to education and the Manchester community, have achieved high levels of leadership in their respective spheres of influence and are capable of assuming greater responsibility in the future, including taking what they have learned back to their schools to share with other educators as well as making the necessary commitment to attend all the Educator Leadership classes.

2014 - 2015 School Calendar

The 2014-15 school year calendar which was approved this week by the Board of School Committee is available for download. The first day of school for students will be Wednesday, September 3, 2014.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Summer Reading and Activity Programs at City Libraries

Read books, come to programs, win prizes! 

Summer reading and activity programs for the Manchester City Library and the West Manchester Community Library will be taking place this summer!

Elementary Programs include Family Matinees, Story Time, Make & Take Crafts and much more.  Teen programs include Teen Movie Nights, Minecraft, Wii, and Craft Activities. Dates and times with program activity locations please view or download full program fliers at

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Students mark end of the school year with art show

A free art exhibit will celebrate the work of students at Manchester High School West. Works will be on display on Wednesday, May 28 from 4-6pm. This event will feature music, refreshments and hundreds of original art pieces in several mediums to enjoy. 
Support for the exhibit has been provided by West High School, the 104th chapter of the National Art Honor Society, and the New Hampshire Institute of Art.

WHAT: Student art show
WHERE: Manchester High School West, second floor
              9 Notre Dame Avenue, Manchester
WHEN: Wednesday, May 28, 2014
            4:00-6:00 p.m.

Contact: Aaron M. Czysz, art teacher
(603) 624-6384

Call for entries in the city art show

Mayor Ted Gatsas has announced the City of Manchester’s 9th Annual Art Show put on in partnership with the National Arts Program. The program is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to enjoy the talents of one another. What’s even more exciting is this opportunity is open to the family members of city employees, retirees, volunteers, and elected officials.

We are fortunate that The National Arts Program provides award money giving us the ability to compete for cash prizes and the city also is securing fun prizes from local vendors including 2 Circus tickets, 2 tickets to Austin Mahone, 4 Fisher Cats tickets, 2 Palace Theatre tickets, $25 to E&R cleaners, restaurant gift cards, art classes and much more!! All participants are eligible to win prizes regardless of skill level!

Register online by Friday, June 6 – so don’t wait!
For more information please contact Vicki Ferraro in the mayor's office: or 624-6500.

Music can Make a Big Difference

Central High School band

Monday, May 19, 2014

After school program funded for five more years

The New Hampshire Department of Education will continue funding to provide a high-quality after school program for five more years in nine Manchester schools. Bakersville, Gossler Park, Hallsville, McDonough, and Parker-Varney elementary schools, along with Hillside, McLaughlin, Parkside, and Southside middle schools are included in the 21st  Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) grant award totaling about $3.2 million over five years, beginning July 1, 2014. 

“The 21st Century program is just one way our schools make sure Manchester students reach their full potential academically, personally and socially,” said Mayor Ted Gatsas. “We are committed to giving as many students access to the opportunity as possible.”   

In the highly competitive grant-writing process, Manchester School District applied for renewal of funding for eight existing 21st CCLC sites, and for funds that will establish a new site at Parker-Varney Elementary School.

“We’re proud that the Department of Education has recognized Manchester’s success over the last decade,” said Donna Mostovoy, 21st Century Community Learning Center program director. “It’s exciting to be able to expand the program where we can enhance the after school experience for more students in our district.”  

When the formal school day ends, 21st CCLC students have the opportunity to participate in activities focused on the fine and performing arts, recreation, fitness, and wellness, in addition to homework help and academic-based classes in math, science, and language arts. All participants are encouraged to develop new skills, find their sense of creativity, create friendships, and have fun after school. 

Manchester’s 21st CCLC program serves more than 2,000 students across twelve sites, grades K-8, per year. Beech Street, Northwest and Wilson elementary schools are in their third year of a five-year funding cycle and therefore were not named in this most recent grant application. Community partners across the city include Bedford Youth Performing Company, City Year, Greater Manchester Family YMCA, Manchester Parks & Recreation, New Morning, New Hampshire Food Bank, Royal Palace Dance Studio, Student Conservation Association, UNH Manchester, and UNH Cooperative Extension 4-H. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

John Vaccarezza named CHS principal

The Board of School Committee has approved John Vaccarezza as the next principal of Manchester High School Central. Vaccarezza is currently an associate dean of students at Pinkerton Academy and will begin his new post on July 1. He will visit the school on several days before then to meet with various groups of staff and students to become more familiar with the culture and climate of the school community. 

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 master’s degree in education from Rivier University in Nashua and a B.A. in history from Elon University in North Carolina. 

Former Central principal John Rist has been serving as interim principal since February. 

“Mr. Rist has done a superb job in providing a sturdy bridge to the next leader’s tenure,” said superintendent Debra Livingston. “I’m confident that the vibrant learning community at Central will embrace Mr. Vaccarezza’s arrival.”

Principal search for Henry Wilson and Highland-Goffe's Falls elementary schools

The search has begun to find new leaders to succeed the retiring principals of Henry Wilson School and Highland-Goffe's Falls Elementary School. Your opinion is valuable!

Please take a short survey about the qualities you would like to see in the next principals. We greatly appreciate your input. The surveys can be found on each school's home page:
Henry Wilson:
Highland-Goffe's Falls:

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Free Summer Reading Resources

Through a partnership between the Digital Opportunity Consortium and myON, all educators, librarians, students and parents in the Granite State have free access to over 4,000 enhanced digital books from myON through September 30th. There is a wealth of fiction and non-fiction e-books and graphic novels for readers from kindergarten through grade 9. 

For more information and for the NH username and password please visit:

This information has been provided by the New Hampshire Department of Education. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Video series offers tips for what kindergarten students can expect in school

A new series of videos produced by the Manchester School District and Manchester Public Television will help ensure the youngest students are prepared when the new school year starts in September. “Ready, Set…Kindergarten!” covers a variety of topics that parents can view for tips and advice on some of the expectations of children in a classroom.

“Every child coming to school should feel comfortable and already possess certain skills to ease the transition to a new classroom,” said superintendent of schools Debra Livingston. “It’s especially important for parents and children to know what to expect if they haven’t been in an educational environment before kindergarten.”

Each of the videos is narrated by kindergarten teachers from schools across the city. They cover academic subjects, such as reading and writing, as well as themes around fine motor skills, social behavior and independence.

“Encouraging self-help skills is a critical step to preparing children for kindergarten,” said Jessica Huard, a kindergarten teacher at Weston Elementary School who helped brainstorm the ideas to be featured in the videos. “That can be something as simple as knowing how to hang up a jacket or being able to follow instructions from a teacher.”

One “Ready, Set…Kindergarten!” video focuses on Writer’s Workshop, a curriculum followed throughout Manchester schools at all elementary grade levels.

“One of our biggest priorities as a district is to expose students to writing early on and to build their skills as writers year to year,” said Bakersville School teacher Shauna Webber. “Many parents are surprised to find out that the process begins in kindergarten.” 

The videos can be viewed at and on each elementary school’s web site. Dr. Livingston hopes parents will watch them for ideas on ways they can work with their children in the months before the new school year starts. Five videos are available now; additional videos will be added as they’re produced.

“We want to provide helpful information and resources for every aspect of education in Manchester,” said Dr. Livingston. “The video series is just one tool we can offer to reach that goal.” 

MSD unveils new, student-designed logo

All Hands Up - new logo
The new logo for the Manchester School District evokes a sense of community support for education and learning opportunities in the city. That’s just one of the reasons why the senior Design Communication students at Manchester School of Technology developed the “All Hands Up!” image and tag line for schools in Manchester.

“We wanted the logo to engage everyone with an interest in our schools,” said Joseph Sample, 18. “It shouldn’t just emphasize academics, teachers and students.”

The image features hands reaching upward. The twelve student designers from Manchester, Londonderry and Goffstown prefer to leave it up to the viewer to decide what message the hands are communicating.

“Maybe it’s ‘I have the answer’ or ‘I’m reaching my aspirations,’” said Brady Kingsbury, 18. “The hands also could be a demonstration of participation or pride. The interpretation of ‘All Hands Up!’ is in the eye of the beholder, and that was our intention.”  

Under the direction of Design Communication teacher Stephen Koziatek, the class came up with several ideas before focusing on the “All Hands Up!” concept and refining it for submission.  District administrators, teachers and parents selected it as a finalist for consideration. “All Hands Up!” subsequently won the public poll on the school district’s web site.

“The design truly embodies the Manchester School District’s mission to inspire and empower all learners,” said Dr. Debra Livingston, superintendent. “We’re looking forward to sharing it with our schools, as well as community leaders and businesses as the symbol of what we’re about.”  

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Green Acres to celebrate golden anniversary

Next Thursday, May 15 is a special one for the Green Acres Elementary School community. Students and faculty past and present will celebrate the school's 50th birthday. Join the party with your family and friends, as well as some special guests. The fun starts at 6:30, and the program of events is attached below.

Parker-Varney shows a lot of heart

Parker-Varney jump rope for heart
The students at Parker-Varney jumped with all their heart to raise nearly $4,500 for the American Heart Association. Classes learned about heart health for several weeks leading up to the AHA's Jump for Heart event on April 22.  More than 450 students and staff in grades pre-k through five participated in various jump rope activities led by Parker-Varney's City Year volunteers. Students collected donations from family and friends in exchange for jumping during the hour-long event. In the end, the students raised $4,485! Each student took home a jump rope from the Parker-Varney PTG.