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The Southside Spartans give back!

The Southside Middle School student council representing 6th, 7th and 8th graders led a program to recognize the efforts of the entire student body to support three worthy causes.
In just the last two weeks, Southside Middle School raised $500 and collected 52 toys for Felicity's Closet, a local organization which helps families who have been displaced by fire or domestic violence.
Last month, students donated 1,693 items to New Horizons for New Hampshire. They were included in the 1,200 food baskets delivered to hungry families for Thanksgiving.
Finally, Make-A-Wish New Hampshire received a check from Southside today in the amount of $658.13.
What a wonderful way to celebrate the season!

Transformer malfunction interrupts power to Hillside

UPDATE: POWER HAS BEEN RESTORED

An electrical transformer outside of Hillside Middle School malfunctioned and temporarily ignited at about 8:15 this morning. The fire was quickly extinguished, but power is out in some of the school's classrooms and the kitchen. All students were inside and safe at the time of the incident. Manchester Fire Department, the city's facilities division, and Eversource Utilities responded and are working to restore 100% power to Hillside. The school is safe, and the normally scheduled day will continue.

Jewett Street School assistant principal named MSD director of federal projects

Sharon DeVincent has been named Manchester School District’s director of federal projects. She will be responsible for developing and supervising federal funding opportunities to enhance education for all students across the city.
DeVincent was assistant principal at Jewett Street School, a position she’d held since 2013. Prior to that, she arrived in Manchester as the Title I reading supervisor at Hallsville Elementary School. From 2005-2011, DeVincent was a classroom teacher in Florida at the elementary and high school levels. She holds Master of Science degrees in reading education and instructional technology and has several professional certifications. DeVincent is working toward a Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership.
As director of federal projects, DeVincent will seek out and recommend opportunities for Manchester to participate in educational grants, entitlements, and funding allocations. She will work closely with schools, administrators and faculty in planning …

West High School teen honored for heroic act

Mayor Ted Gatsas and the Board of School Committee honored a senior from West High School for his efforts to prevent a stranger from taking his own life.
The Manchester Monarchs had just won their game against the Norfolk Admirals, and the weather was mild enough that 17-year-old Desmond Powell didn’t mind walking home from the Verizon Wireless Arena. The short walk to the West side on November 21 around 9:00 pm would have been uneventful, as it had been countless other times, until Desmond saw the man on the Granite Street Bridge.
“He was sitting on the railing with his legs on the water side,” Desmond said. “I heard him muttering to himself, ‘I’m gonna jump, I’m gonna jump.’”
Desmond was compelled to stop. Once the teenager got the suicidal man’s attention, he kept talking to try to keep him from following through with his intent.
“I told him a decision like that doesn’t just affect him, that it affects his family and friends and everyone who cares about him,” Desmond said. “Even if he’…

Smarter Balanced assessment individual results available next week

Parents and guardians will receive student reports starting next week that show how their children scored on last spring’s Smarter Balanced assessment. While state and district-wide results were released in November, technical challenges related to the interface between the assessment’s score reporting system and school rosters delayed the printing of individual reports in New Hampshire’s largest school district.
New Hampshire is part of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), a group of states which worked together to develop a new tool to assess English language arts/literacy and mathematics. The Smarter Balanced assessment replaces the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) in the same subject areas.  Students in grades 3-8 and grade 11 took the SBAC assessment, which establishes a new baseline for academic progress.
“Assessments are like academic check-ups,” said Superintendent Debra Livingston. “Smarter Balanced results provide a picture of where a student is exc…

Mystery Location Calls offer unique learning opportunity

Access to computers, software, and creating web-based classroom projects is expanding in all of our schools, giving teachers across Manchester School District the opportunity to use technology during every day lessons.Recently, one of our teachers jumped at the chance to integrate technology in a way he never had before.


Mr. Coulon signed up his fourth graders at Highland-Goffe's Falls Elementary School for a Mystery Location Call. They connected with a class in another state via Google Hangout, and the children asked each other yes/no questions to figure out where the other class was. With each answer, the kids marked off a map to narrow down the states and ultimately make a guess about the other class's location. 

Highland's mystery callers were in Mississippi! Hattiesburg, to be exact.

"Students today are part of the digital world, and we as educators have to change and find new and creative ways to teach them," said Mr. Coulon. "I wanted my students to expe…

Young Writers' Conference set for May

High school students are cordially invited to attend a weekend of writing workshops, craft sessions, and open mic at the Champlain College Young Writers' Conference, May 27-29. Now in its sixteenth year, the conference attracts high school students who wish to share their passion for story, drama, and song with their writerly brothers and sisters—and with celebrated New England authors. It offers three days of readings, improv, Moth storytelling, poetry slams, literary jazz/blues fusion, and extended friendship on the hillside campus of Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont.
THE 2016 KEYNOTE SPEAKER, AWARD-WINNING POET AND ESSAYIST ELLEN BRYANT VOIGT, is the author of Claiming KinThe Forces of PlentyThe Lotus FlowersTwo TreesKyrieShadow of HeavenMessenger: New and Selected Poems, and Headwaters. A former Vermont State Poet, Ellen’s work has appeared in The American Poetry ReviewTheNew YorkerTheAtlanticTheNew England Review, and elsewhere. She designed and direc…

Central High School safe after evacuation

A report of a possible threat against the school prompted an evacuation of Manchester High School Central this morning. While the threat did not appear to be credible, administrators and police took it seriously. Students and staff were able to re-enter the building after it was determined to be safe to do so. 
Families who have questions may contact principal John Vaccarezza's office: 624-6363.

Furniture donation transforms media center

The Middle School at Parkside media center looks almost nothing like it did just a couple of weeks ago, after a generous donation from Brady Sullivan Properties helped give the space a much needed update. The real estate company was moving office furniture out of a building to make room for a new tenant when Arthur Sullivan had an idea.
“Instead of storing the tables and chairs or selling them, we wanted to offer them to the school district,” Mr. Sullivan said. “I was born and raised in Manchester, and I appreciate the education I received here. Giving back to our community is very important, and this was an opportunity for us to do that.”
When Parkside principal Forrest Ransdell heard about the available furniture, he jumped at the chance to take it for the school’s library. The room was furnished with old wooden chairs, which were difficult to move around on the carpeted floor, and tables repurposed to hold desktop computers. Within a few days, plans were made to deliver the Brady Sul…

MMHS inducts new Hall of Fame class

The Class of 2015 was inducted into the Manchester Memorial High School Hall of Fame on November 28. Thirty-eight athletes, coaches, alumni and volunteers join the classes of 1994, 2000 and 2006, who have been recognized for their contributions to the school and/or achievements in their fields.

The red division honors athletes who displayed outstanding skill in their sports and graduated from Memorial:
WILLIAM LUCCI - CLASS OF 1964 THEOHARRIS “HARRY” LAZOS - CLASS OF 1970 SCOTT THOMPSON - CLASS OF 1971 CRYSTAL FINEFROCK GAFF - CLASS OF 1984 PAUL JONES - CLASS OF 1986 PETER FAVREAU - CLASS OF 1987 MICHAEL ASTARITA - CLASS OF 1990 RICHARD CAPLETTE - CLASS OF 1990 MARK McMAHON - CLASS OF 1990 MOLLY DAVENPORT GUILFOYLE - CLASS OF 1991 KELLY CROSSMAN OLSEN - CLASS OF 1993 ADAM LAWRENCE - CLASS OF 1995 CHRISTOPHER LAMBERT - CLASS OF 2001 KINDYLL DORSEY - CLASS OF 2002 DAVID IRVING - CLASS OF 2007 CHRISTOPHER LEMIEUX - CLASS OF 2008 KALEIGH ROBERGE - CLASS OF 2009 Also included in the red division are coach…

Shoes for Schools will benefit Manchester children

The Currier Museum of Art and Webster Elementary School are teaming up to host a shoe drive timed with the Currier’s upcoming exhibition, Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe. 

All donations of NEW, closed-toe shoes, sneakers or boots will be distributed to elementary- and middle school-age children in need across Manchester. Sizes requested range from toddler 10 to adult men's 12. Community members may bring shoes to the Currier Museum of Art at 150 Ash Street between December 1, 2015 and January 15, 2016.

Special thanks to the student council members at Webster for representing Manchester School District in the effort and for helping to make sure all of our schools benefit. 

Middle school cross country recap: Two Manchester teams reign supreme

This year, two of Manchester's middle school cross country teams excelled at the biggest meets of the year. Hillside coach Michelle Leonard led her Hillside Hawks girls team to an undefeated season, bringing the program back to the top, where it once was for decades.  
After a great early part of the season, the Hawks finished off their tremendous year with titles at the Division 1 Tri-County League meet and another title in the Large School Division of the Middle School XC State Championships. While the entire Hillside team was outstanding all season, special recognition goes out to her "A" team consisting of twins Katelyn and Keegan Pepin, Ella Tartsa, Erin Flurey, Emma Krantz, Alexandra Topic, and Fiona Doherty.  
McLaughlin Middle School's girl's cross-country team took home the Division 2 title at the Tri-County League meet, helping Manchester to a sweep of the events in the top 2 divisions. McLaughlin also came in 2nd place at the State Championships, givi…