Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Manchester School of Technology High School Report Card Notice

MST HS will be mailing home the 4th quarter report cards today along with a copy of your child's transcript and a letter from Principal White. There may be up to 8 pages in this envelope. If you do not get your 2nd or 3rd year child's report card by Friday, October 3rd, please call MST at 624-6490. Thank you for your patience!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Band Demo Night: October 1, rain or shine

All prospective fifth grade band students and their parents/guardians are invited to a special “Band Demo Night” held at West High School. The high school marching band will give a short performance, which will be followed by brief sessions on specific instruments.

This event will be held on the West High School football field on Wednesday, October 1 from 6:15 p.m.-7:30 p.m. In the event of rain, the demo will be moved to the West High School cafeteria.

School officials to review emergency incident

School administrators and first responders will formally review every aspect of last week’s lockdown emergency at West High School. They will discuss the facts of the incident, assess which procedures went well, and identify what didn’t go as planned. The analysis also will include ways to improve safety protocol and prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.

West High School was in lockdown for almost two hours on September 25 while police searched inside for a person who was reported to have a weapon. School administrators immediately put their emergency procedures in place, which includes locking down the building to keep students and staff in their classrooms and prevent anyone from entering or leaving. Police located the suspect in question, as well as the weapon, which was identified as a pellet gun.

Debriefing after an emergency is routine practice so that everyone involved can evaluate current emergency plans and procedures to improve safety. Superintendent Dr. Debra Livingston will meet with school board members in a non-public session, in accordance with administrative rules*, to brief them on the results of the evaluation.  Specifics on any changes to policy or procedure may be released publicly in order to protect the integrity of those emergency plans.

*RSA 91-A:3 II(i): Consideration of matters relating to the preparation for and the carrying out of emergency functions, including training to carry out such functions, developed by local or state safety officials that are directly intended to thwart a deliberate act that is intended to result in widespread or severe damage to property or widespread injury or loss of life.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Student Spotlight: Manchester grads move their friendship to college and onto the soccer field

Samuel Binogono and Promise Kpee are featured in this week's edition of The Equinox, the student newspaper of Keene State College. Before they were freshmen at KSC, they were friends who met in Manchester after arriving here from Africa. We know you'll enjoy reading about their story.

Gas leak causes evacuation at West High School

A faulty valve in a science classroom is to blame for the early morning evacuation of students and staff at West High School today. Manchester Fire Department, the gas company and Manchester Health Department officials immediately responded to the call when the odor of gas was reported inside a second floor classroom.

One of the valves was found to be leaking, and the gas was shut off to the entire room. Other science classrooms in the school are not affected by the shutoff. Students and staff were allowed back into the building at around 8:30, and though an odor might linger for a short while, the health department says there is no cause for concern.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Student, staff safe after lockdown at West High School

West High School was in lockdown for almost two hours today while police searched inside for a person who was reported to have a weapon. School administrators immediately put their emergency safety procedures in place, which includes locking down the building. That means no one could enter or leave the school, and students and teachers remained in their classrooms.

“Staff and teachers followed the protocols they have practiced, stayed calm and kept everyone safe,” said Superintendent Dr. Debra Livingston. “We are grateful for the assistance from the Manchester Police Department and are very happy that this incident was resolved quickly.”

Police located the suspect in question, as well as the weapon, which was identified as a pellet gun. The lockdown was lifted soon after.

Police activity at West High School

A suspect has been arrested at West High School. The lockdown has been lifted.
Thank you to the administration and teachers at West for keeping our students safe.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Community newsletter shares MSD updates

There are many ways to communicate information to our schools' employees and families, as well as the Manchester community. Now Superintendent Debra Livingston is offering a monthly newsletter. The September edition is available.

As always, please send your news and photos related to school events and announcements to communications@mansd.org.

Manchester High School West hosts homecoming community march

All West Side students, families and friends are invited to join the first-ever annual West High School Homecoming Blue Knights March. 

Come and show your WEST SIDE PRIDE on Saturday, October 18!

Meet for the march at the West Side Ice  Arena on Electric St. (Follow Bremer St. to the end, then take a left.) There is plenty of  parking there. Located behind the ice arena is a beautiful pedestrian walkway perfectly safe for this event. The march will start at noon! 

All participants in the march will have FREE admission to the West High homecoming football game at 1:00. Also appearing  during the football game are the West High School marching band, color guard and cheerleaders. The West High Boosters will have fun activities, concessions and giveaways.

We hope to see you there!

3rd Annual Luke Capistran 5k set for October 4

The Hillside Builders Club is gearing up to host the 3rd Annual Luke Capistran 5K, Fun Walk, and Kids Run in honor of former Manchester student Luke Capistran, who passed away in 2011 from cancer.  The Builders Club has created a scholarship fund that is used to send Hillside students to YMCA camps during the summer months. This past summer, six Hillside students attended YMCA summer camps, including Sports Fan Trip Camp, Camp Foss, and Teen Trip Camp, awarded by the LC Scholarship Fund!

This year's event will be held on Saturday October 4, beginning at 10:00 AM at Derryfield Park in Manchester.

Register online!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Revisions to Educator Leadership aim to make program more accessible

The format of the 2014-15 Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce Educator Leadership program are making it more accessible to MSD staff who wish to participate. 

Each session will take place after school, instead of during the school day as previously advertised. They focus on a new industry with presentations by business leaders through lectures and discussions during on-site visits. A total of seven sessions will be held from 3:30-5:45 p.m. in October, November, January, February, March, April and May. 
The tuition for each participant is $250. Tuition is due from participants by October 10, 2014, payable to the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce. Educator Leadership tuition is reimbursable by the Manchester School District upon completion of the program through professional development funds.

Learn more about Educator Leadership on the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce web site, apply online, or contact Tammy Boucher with questions at leadership@manchester-chamber.org or 603.792.4110.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Safety information from the state fire marshal

The New Hampshire State Fire Marshal offers a newsletter that is intended to be shared with students and their families in grades preK-grade 4. As our lives become busier, it is important to think about what to do if your family has an emergency. Are you prepared to handle it? The fire Marshal encourages families to share with their children (and even neighbors without school children) this age-appropriate material and work together on the various topics that are presented. 

If you have not yet created your emergency preparedness kit, or haven’t inventoried it lately, take a moment to learn about what you may need in the event of an emergency. Create and discuss two ways out of every room in your home along with a meeting place and escape plan. 

Contact your local fire station should you need any assistance. Thank you, and be safe!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Cross Country Challenge

Calling the Hillside, Parkside and Southside girls' cross country teams. . .
Are you ready to bring it?

It's the Year of the Book at Beech Street School

Beech Street Elementary School is one of four schools in the state to be awarded a $25,000 grant to promote literacy. The Year of the Book grant is provided by the Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF), which delivers the resources to inspire a love of reading and writing among children throughout New Hampshire and Vermont.

The founder of CLiF, Duncan McDougall, presented the Year of the Book award to Beech Street School today and announced some of the special programs that are planned. Each of Beech Street's nearly 600 students received one free book today and will get another to take home every month through June 2015. 

In addition to giving new books to students, the one-year partnership between CLiF and Beech Street will include author/illustrator visits, multi-day writing workshops, and storytelling presentations. Grant money also will provide custom-designed and professionally printed literacy posters, a color printer, and expenses related to a student author day reception later this school year.

Today's event also kicked off Beech Street's school-wide Million Word Challenge. Students will log their reading over the course of the school year and count the books and pages until they reach or even surpass one million words. 

More photos of today's Year of the Book kick-off are available on our Facebook page. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Local school innovation plan to be recognized at national conference

Parker-Varney principal Amy Allen was chosen by the New Hampshire Department of Education to co-present her school's innovation plan to a national audience of education leaders.

Ms. Allen and her team developed the plan this summer to raise student achievement at Parker-Varney, which is a designated Priority School that receives federal money for improvement strategies.

Parker-Varney's innovation plan uses academic data to create individual instruction and personalized learning for every child.  A significant component of the plan calls for ways to use resources more effectively. One result of that goal is the school's new Innovation Learning Lab. Time in the school day is now dedicated to giving all students more learning opportunities on the lab computers, which were paid for with Priority School funds.

The "Building Systemic and Sustainable Turnaround Efforts" conference in San Francisco, hosted by the Center on School Turnaround, offers the chance for educators to hear from experts in the field of school improvement as well as share experiences, challenges and successes. Ms. Allen's presentation of her plan with members of the NH DOE is one session on the agenda. The conference will be held September 23-24.

Parker-Varney names new assistant principal

The Board of School Committee this month approved the hiring of Michael Beaulac as assistant principal at Parker-Varney Elementary School. Mr. Beaulac is very familiar to Parker-Varney families; he has been a classroom teacher there since 2005.

Among Mr. Beaulac's professional accomplishments, he was a New Hampshire Teacher of the Year nominee in 2012. He's also very involved in school district athletics, currently the director of the Parker-Varney running club and assistant coach of varsity boys' basketball at West High School. Previously, he was coach of JV basketball at West and directed the boys' basketball league at Parker-Varney.

"Michael is dedicated to the students our community," said Parker-Varney principal Amy Allen. "I'm looking forward to having him be an even more involved member of our school's leadership."

Celebrating National Welcoming Week

Manchester School District is joining people and organizations across the country -- in communities small and large, rural and urban -- to celebrate the growing appreciation of diversity in the United States.

Sponsored by Welcoming America, a grassroots collaborative that promotes mutual respect and cooperation between foreign-born and U.S.-born Americans, National Welcoming Week reflects the stories of how communities are thriving by working together to embrace immigrants.

Our schools are committed to creating supportive learning environments that maximize academic growth and cultural vitality.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Register to play in the Joe Sullivan Memorial Mini Golf Tournament

There is still time to sign up for the mini golf tournament to be held in memory of the late Joe Sullivan, creative writing teacher at West High School. Mr. Sullivan was the consummate family man, teacher, coach, and friend.  He loved life and he loved teaching his students at West High School.

In honor of his dedication to our community, a scholarship has been created to carry on Mr. Sullivan’s legacy  at West High School.  The Joe Sullivan Creative Writing Scholarship will be awarded to a  West High School senior annually who embodies passion and exuberance through his or her writing.

To raise money for the scholarship fund, a mini golf tournament at Legend's Golf in Hooksett will be held on September 23, 2014, the first anniversary of Mr. Sullivan's passing.

Please print the form below and send it to West High School to register yourself or a team by Tuesday, September 16!

Golf Tournament Registration
Cost:  $20 per player
Start Times:  September 23, 2014        4:30pm or 5:30pm          Reception to follow at
        the Raphael Club!
Individual Registration
Player Name: _______________________________
Team Name:________________________________
Team Player Names (4-6):
________________________________        ________________________________
________________________________        ________________________________
________________________________        ________________________________
I am unable to participate but would like to donate $________

Registration Deadline:  September 16, 2014
Donations are tax deductible and the tax id is 0220494977
Please make checks out to West High School and send them to: West High School, c/o Sarah Dumais, Athletic Director, 9 Notre Dame Avenue, Manchester, NH 03102

Friday, September 12, 2014

Elementary school orchestras and bands starting soon

Instrumental demonstrations are taking place this month at each elementary school. Orchestra (strings) is offered to all 4th & 5th graders, while band (brass, woodwinds, and percussion) are offered to 5th graders. Watch for notices from your school about the upcoming demos.

Lessons at school are provided free of charge, once a week, for thirty minute sessions. Lessons will start in October. 

To participate, your child is required to have his or her own instrument. They may be rented at any one of several music stores located in the Manchester area.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Manchester middle schooler reflects on 9-11

The following speech was given by eighth grader Taylor Frenette at McLaughlin Middle School's 9-11 remembrance ceremony. Her thoughtful words are a great reminder of what makes America strong.

Thank you, Mr. Krantz.  Governor, Mayor, distinguished guests, staff, and fellow students… Good Morning.  I was only 10 months old on September 11, 2001.  I was too young to realize how much life in America had changed in a matter of minutes. But, I have come to understand the true meaning of service, and the value of sacrifice.
                                              Taylor, with Manchester Fire Chief Burkush and
                                             Manchester police officers, including Chief Mara,
                                                                after the 9-11 remembrance ceremony

Years ago, my mom taught us to shake the hands of and to thank any soldier in uniform that we saw.  A first, it was a routine, something that I was supposed to do.  But, as I’ve gotten older, and have learned more about what happened on this day 13 years ago, and the events that followed in Iraq and Afghanistan, I now realize the importance of thanking the men and women in uniform for what they do for us on a daily basis. They live by the motto:  service over self.

Our military, and our first responders, train for years and are willing to give their lives for you, for me, and for our country.  Whether it’s a police officer helping us after a crime, a fire fighter saving one of us from a burning home, or a member of our military working everyday to make sure we have the freedoms we enjoy as Americans… they are all heroes.

On September 11, 2001, almost 3,000 people were killed, including ten NH residents.  Did I know any of them?  NO.  In fact, most of us in this room did not know any of the people killed in the terrorist attacks.

But many of us know someone who serves today, whether it’s a member of the armed forces serving overseas, or a local police officer, fire fighter, or EMT.  They are a part of our daily lives, and for that I am grateful.

The terrible events that happened on this day 13 years ago took a great deal away from us… lives were lost, lives were changed, and a nation’s sense of security was forever altered.  Our country was shaken, but we were not defeated.

This day has taught all of us that no one can lay claim to the future, and that we must all make every day count.  And we can gain strength from the many people who have chosen service over self.  Some of them are here with us this morning.

So, as we reflect on what happened to our country in 2001, let us also remember to thank the men and women who have sworn to serve and protect us from harm.

Thank you.

Open to all: Opportunity Fair on September 23

Manchester Central High School will host its annual Post-Secondary Opportunity Fair on Tuesday, September 23 from 6:30-8:00 pm in the Central High School Simon Gymnasium.

The fair is open to all students across the city for the chance to visit with admissions officers from colleges and universities from all over the country, meet with representatives from career schools, Military recruiters, or explore prep school and other gap year options.

For more information contact Shelli Cook at 603.624.6363 ext 1144

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Weston School open house postponed to October 2

Tomorrow night's open house at Weston Elementary School has been rescheduled for Thursday, October 2. The times remain the same:

Grades K-2                                                6:30-7:00 pm
Grades 3-5                                                7:10-7:40 pm 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Teaching for the 21st Century

Manchester school kicked off its Teaching for the 21st Century (T21) program, which will provide teachers with a solid understanding of  21st century teaching skills. Cohort participants will serve as teacher leaders in their schools to promote the use of instructional technology. Teachers will receive professional development through face-to-face workshops, live webinars, and online learning modules over the course of year one, with continued facilitated support in year two. This program is provided in collaboration with EdTech Teacher.

14 - 1.jpgT21 focuses on web-based tools for communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking, with a spotlight on Google Apps for Education and Google Chromebooks. 

21st Century isn't just about the technology - it's also about the thinking. A major cohort goal will be for teachers to develop projects that will help students learn key academic content while practicing 21st century skills and to begin the process of developing digital portfolios.

What’s in it for our educators?
  • They will gain a better understanding of strategies and ideas to leverage digital tools in the classroom to deepen students’ interest and engagement in academic learning. 
  • Teacher participants will receive a Google Chromebook and will gain a full understanding of how to leverage Google tools for communication and collaboration in the classroom.
  • Participation counts toward re-certification hours/professional portfolio.
  • Optional graduate credit.
Seventy-one teachers applied for 50 available seats through a rigorous application process. Participating schools in T21's pilot year are: Beech, Gossler Park, Hallsville, Jewett, McDonough, McLaughlin, MST, Parkside, Southside, Webster, West, and Weston.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

UPDATE: 2014 Open House Schedule

Bakersville School           Monday, September 15, 2014                 6:00-7:00 pm

Beech Street School        Thursday,September 25, 2014                 6:00-7:30  pm

Gossler Park School        Tuesday, September 23, 2014                 6:00-7:30  pm

Green Acres School        Thursday, September 11, 2014                     
                                        grades k-2                                              6:00-7:00  pm
                                        grades 3-5                                              6:30-7:30 pm
Hallsville School              Tuesday,September 16, 2014                 6:00-7:00 pm

Highland-Goffe's Falls        Thursday, September 4, 2014
                                         Grades K-2                                          5:45-6:30 pm
                                         Grades 3-5                                           6:45-7:30  pm

Jewett Street School       Tuesday, September 23, 2014                 6:00-7:30 pm

McDonough School       Tuesday, September 23, 2014                 6:30-7:30 pm

Northwest Elem School     Wednesday, September 17, 2014         6:00-7:00 pm

Parker-Varney School     Thursday, September 25, 2014               6:00-7:30 pm

Smyth Road School        Wednesday, September 17, 2014            6:30-8:00  pm

Webster School          Wednesday,September 17,2014                6:30-8:00  pm

Weston School           Thursday,October 2, 2014                      
                                   Grades K-2                                               6:30-7:00 pm 
                                   Grades 3-5                                                7:10-7:40 pm 

Wilson School            Thursday,September 18, 2014                  6:00-7:30  pm 

Hillside Middle School       Thursday,September 25, 2014            6:30-8:00 pm

Mclaughlin Middle School      Thursday, September 25, 2014       6:30-8:30 pm 

Middle School at Parkside     Thursday,September 18, 2014        6:30-8:00 pm

Southside Middle School        Wednesday,September 17, 2014
                                             For 6th Grade                                 6:00-7:45 pm
                                             Thursday,September 18, 2014
                                            For 7th and 8th Grades                    6:00-7:45 pm  

Central High School       Thursday, October 16, 2014                  6:30-8:30 pm

Memorial High School      Tuesday, October 14, 2014                 6:30-8:30 pm

West High School          Thursday,October 2, 2014                     6:30-8:00 pm

MST                             Wednesday, October 22, 2014              6:00-8:00 pm

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

School year kicks off with district-wide rally

Manchester School of Technology 
student James Manning emceed 
this morning's rally
The first day back to school for teachers is a professional development day, traditionally spent entirely in their own buildings in workshops, staff meetings, and of course, in their classrooms to prepare for students' arrival the next day.

This year, superintendent Debra Livingston wanted to start things off a bit differently, as a whole district. That's how more than 1,500 Manchester teachers, administrators and staff found themselves at the Verizon Wireless Arena – the only location large enough to accommodate such a large group.

Central High School chamber choir 
director Tom Seniow leads his singers
in a performance of the national anthem
Dr. Livingston offered a back-to-school message to all, first acknowledging the dedication and service of those who have taught students for 20 years and longer. She talked about the successes and highlights of the previous year, including the establishment of STEAM Ahead NH for high school students at West, the addition of city-wide full-day kindergarten, and the development of the Manchester Academic Standards.
Joanna Alley, a first-grader at 
Green Acres Elementary School, 
led the Pledge of Allegiance

Still, there is more work to be done. Dr. Livingston assured the teachers that the district is moving in the right direction, and she is confident in their abilities to keep the momentum going with students' best interest at heart.

The audience of teachers also heard from three Manchester students selected by their principals. They shared their educational experiences so far, offer words of inspiration, and even challenge the teachers to think about how they can best help their students succeed in learning.

West High School junior Karina Ithier implored the teachers to trust in their students' abilities and potential, to help them overcome the struggles.
Karina Ithier challenged Manchester
teachers to raise their expectations
and inspire students to believe in

"Every day, you are the ones who encourage us and make us realize that we are getting closer to our dreams, " Karina said. "This is why we need you to push and motivate us, to make us learn, write, analyze and read at greater complexities than we have ever done before."

Abdullah Mahdi, an eighth grader at McLaughlin Middle School, offered his perspective as a student who arrived in New Hampshire with his family from Iraq just 10 months ago. He praised his teachers for helping him adjust to his new life -- and a new language. Abdullah said he has big goals in mind, and he wants to make his parents proud.
Abdullah Mahdi, with his ELL 
teacher, Mrs. Proulx, looking on, 
spoke to the audience

"I want to learn everything there is to know, especially in math," he said in his address. "I want to be an architectural engineer, and it is going to take a lot of knowledge and hard work to get there."

Manchester's elementary students also have a valuable voice when it comes to ideas on what it takes to succeed in school. Webster School's Kathryn Craig, starting fifth grade, had opinions to share.
Kathryn Craig likes the feeling
of achievement she gets when
teachers challenge her

"Not every student tries as hard as he can to learn all the time, and some of us are more ready to learn than others," she said. "But if you get to know each of us, you will find that we want to be challenged. When we accomplish something, it gives us confidence."

Here's to a terrific school year ahead!