Saturday, January 31, 2015

Events for Kids at Manchester City Library & West Library

The Manchester City Library and the West Library are offering a number of fun events throughout the month of February. Get a copy of a printable PDF HERE.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Safe Sports Network Offers Free Physicals for Athletes Ages 11 - 18

Athletes ages 11 - 18 are eligible for FREE SPORTS PHYSICALS on March 18th from 5:30-7:30pm at the NH Orthopaedic Center, 9 Washington Place, Bedford. The practice is donating their clinic space for the evening physicals. These physicals meet the requirements of school athletic programs. Athletes are encouraged to pre-register. Complete and submit a form before Thursday, March 11th to be pre-registered. Pre-registered athletes will be moved ahead in line. The form is available at and at area high schools. 

The form can also be found on the Manchester School District web site:

For more information visit the Safe Sports Network web page ( or call 627-9728.

Safe Sports Network

January newsletter now available

Read our newsletter for a peek at the latest happenings in our schools.

Building on ideas with FIRST Junior STEAM Ahead

The learning has begun for Manchester students taking part in the city’s inaugural FIRST® Junior STEAM Ahead program. After several months of planning, Beech Street School, Green Acres and Jewett Street School are bringing the popular FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) program into fourth grade classrooms. FIRST Junior STEAM Ahead is expected to enhance science and math curriculum like never before.
The creation of FIRST Junior STEAM Ahead happened with support from FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an international not-for-profit public charity based in Manchester that motivates young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math. FIRST has been encouraging young people's interest and participation in those subjects for more than 25 years, since it was founded by inventor Dean Kamen in 1989.

As part of the FIRST Junior STEAM Ahead program, each fourth grade classroom will participate in FIRST LEGO League with teams of six students. During lessons that apply math and science concepts, they will design, build, and program robots using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3 and other LEGO elements. The students not only practice skills such as computer programming, team-building, and effective communication, but they also start to understand the scientific process and creative problem-solving to find innovative solutions to real-world issues.

Members of the business community are giving hands-on guidance to FIRST Junior STEAM Ahead classes, another benefit of the collaboration with FIRST, which recruited mentors for their expertise. Participating companies include SilverTech, Wasabi Ventures, Autodesk, DEKA, NH High Tech Council, Fuentek, Robbins Farley, and Salesforce/Cloud for Good.

Follow our FIRST Junior STEAM Ahead blog for regular updates on learning in progress!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Information session at Manchester Central High School for the incoming Class of 2019

All incoming freshman who will be attending Central High School are invited to an informational session and tour on February 18, 2015 from 6:30-8:30 pm.

6-6:30 - Organizations will be in the cafe for students and parents to explore.

6:30-6:45 - Principal welcoming and introductions in McAllaster Hall located in the Professional Arts building.  

6:45-8:30 - Parents and students meet in the gymnasium with teachers, guidance counselors and representatives from our Special Education Programs.  

~Tours will be given by Central’s  student leaders~

Here at Central we highly encourage all students to participate in extracurricular activities to fully benefit from a top notch educational experience.  We feel this only enhances PRIDE and a sense of belonging in our school community.  We look forward to meeting you!  

Monday, January 26, 2015

Mr. Doyle named one of the Union Leader's 40 Under 40

We are proud of Ed Doyle, Central High School band director and an important part of our schools' music program, for being recognized by the Union Leader on its annual list of "40 Under 40" people in New Hampshire!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

MST Open House set for Saturday

The Manchester School of Technology is hosting an open house on Saturday, January 31, from 10am-1pm.

Current 8th, 9th, and 10th grade students and their parents are welcome to spend a day at MST exploring future educational possibilities! Talk to our teachers and learn more about our four year innovative high school and our career and technical programs!

Sophomores from the following high schools will have the opportunity to spend their junior and senior years in a program of their choice at MST (visit our website for details on each program):


Applications for the 4-year MST-HS program are due by February 13.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Jewett Street students care for troops

More members of the NH Army National Guard are set to deploy next month, but not without some care packages created with love and respect at Jewett Street Elementary School.

Students donated toiletries, games and other personal supplies to make the troops' time away a little more comfortable.

We're proud of our students' giving spirits! Job well done!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Vote for Parker-Varney in the Follett Challenge!

The students of Parker-Varney School took the #FollettChallenge! Help them win the grand prize by voting for their video. You can vote one time per day, and voting closes January 30 at midnight. Share this link and ask your family and friends to vote, too!

The Follett Challenge showcases and rewards educators who are aligning their curriculum and approach in order to teach the skills needed in the 21st century, and who are implementing a collaborative program with others in their school. In order to enter, applicants must demonstrate how the program is preparing students for the demands of the 21st century and complete the entire online application, which includes a 3-5 minute video about the program.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Art show begins January 20

Student work on display at the
2014 West High School art show
Student art work will be on display in the library at West High School starting Tuesday January 20. 

Members of the community are invited to attend an event on Friday January 23 from noon to 3:00 p.m. with food, music and conversations with the artists. 

Our young artists look forward to meeting you and sharing their creativity and hard work!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Parker-Varney grade 5 students thank you

Dear Manchester School District Employees,

We, the Parker Varney 5th Graders, would like to say thank you for the support that you have given us for our project based learning unit -- a fundraiser for the Liberty House transitional shelter for Veterans. The district-wide Employee Jeans Day raised $4,000. 

We presented our donations to the Director of the Liberty House at a holiday luncheon, which took place at Manchester School of Technology. The veterans who were in attendance were overwhelmed with the support and especially liked the homemade snowmen filled with daily care items. WMUR broadcast coverage of the celebration of our collective efforts.

Thank you for showing us the strength and power that we have as part of this community.

5th Grade Student Leaders
Parker-Varney Holiday Helpers

Mangos and rutabagas and yams. . .oh, my!

The Manchester School District participates in the grant funded USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable program at 12 elementary schools. Part of the requirements for participation in this program is that students are exposed to different fruit and vegetables as snacks to help students develop lifelong healthy eating habits. 

The snacks are offered free of charge to students in schools with 50% or more of students who are eligible for free or reduced price meals. Some of the fruits and vegetables offered are melon, sugar snap peas, rutabaga, zucchini slices, oranges, mango, grape tomatoes and yellow beans. They are not necessarily intended to replace a child’s snack on a given day. 

The schools that participate in the program will be posting the monthly snack menu, which includes some nutrition information about the featured items, on their web sites. Please note that the menu might change occasionally due to product condition or availability. Parents are encouraged to review the menu and plan to send their children to school with an alternative snack if they wish. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Memorial's Mr. Adamakos is NH Principal of the Year

Arthur Adamakos received the Principal of the Year award
 with assistant principal Peter Perich, right,
and retired Memorial assistant principal Herve Tancrede, left
looking on. 
Arthur Adamakos, principal at Manchester Memorial High School, received the 2015 Charles A. Napoli Principal of the Year Award from the New Hampshire Association of School Principals. The annual award recognizes one outstanding secondary school principal in the state.

The nomination for Adamakos included high praise from Memorial’s faculty members, including one who wrote to the selection committee, “(Adamakos) is the epitome of a high school principal. He’s not afraid to get involved in students’ lives. He listens to their problems and teaches them life lessons they often do not receive at home.”

Adamakos is a 36-year veteran of Manchester School District, beginning in 1979 as a social studies teacher at Hillside Middle School. He spent nine years teaching in the classroom before accepting his first administrative position as assistant principal at West High School in 1988. Since then, he has served as principal of Hillside, took on his first stint as Memorial’s principal in 1995, spent two years as assistant superintendent for the school district, then returned to Memorial in his current role in 2002.

“I work with a great group of educators who make this school a warm and welcoming place,” said Adamakos. “My job is to come to school every day to help kids get their diplomas when sometimes they didn’t think it was possible.”

The first and only other time a Manchester principal was named Principal of the Year was in 1990 when West High School’s Bob Baines received the award.

“There’s no doubt that Mr. Adamakos deserves this honor,” said Dr. Debra Livingston, Manchester School District superintendent. “He shows a commitment to his school community and all aspects of education that raises the bar for other administrators in New Hampshire and beyond.”

As a state Principal of the Year recipient, Adamakos will represent New Hampshire in Washington, D.C., when the National Association of Secondary Principals names its national Principal of the Year in the fall. 

Manchester student wins statewide art contest

Congratulations to Nikita Bhat, fifth grader at Webster Elementary School, whose painting won first place in the 33rd annual New Hampshire Martin Luther King, Jr. Coalition arts and writing competition. More than 100 entries were submitted by students in grades five through eight across the state, responding to this year's theme, "The time is always right to do what is right."

The judges felt that Nikita's art piece best honored the life and words of Dr. King. It expresses an understanding of the power of standing together to "grow" from negativity. The depiction of the flower with incomplete petals indicates that Nikita understands that the work is not done, that today's children must create a positive environment, in spite of historic negativity. 

Nikita and the other contest winners in the writing and art categories will be recognized at the NH Martin Luther King, Jr. Coalition's community celebration on Monday, January 19 at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral. The Memorial High School jazz band also will be there providing music entertainment. The public is invited to attend!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Weather Advisory for Thursday, January 8, 2015

Due to the extreme chill factor there will be a two hour delay for all schools on Thursday, January 8, 2015.  Morning preschool is cancelled.

The holiday story you haven't heard

The following is excerpted from a letter written by Manchester School of Technology guidance counselor Laverne MacInnis.

Fairpoint giving didn't go on strike

As the Christmas holidays approach, most generous people's thoughts immediately turn to young children. No one wants to think of a young child finding nothing or very little under the Christmas tree. All but the most hardened of hearts is willing to reach into their wallet to ensure a young child will know Santa has remembered them. After all, there is tremendous joy in seeing the eyes of a young child light up when their heart’s desire is fulfilled in the form of a much wished for toy! 

However, as the innocence of childhood is lost and adolescents no longer believe in Santa Claus, teenagers can sometimes be forgotten – even though their yearnings for Christmas presents can be quite like those of a young child. We at Manchester School of Technology are quite blessed to have a “Santa” of our own for many of our students. For some years now, Fairpoint employees have reached generously (and deeply) into their pockets and made sure that many of our students, who might otherwise not have found much under the Christmas tree, are blessed with an abundance of thoughtfully chosen Christmas presents. Fairpoint employees shop for and wrap a variety of presents for students who come to MST from the three sending city high schools and Goffstown, Bedford and Londonderry. Now that MST has its own high school, some of these students have been included as well. They fulfill the wish lists of many. However, with the strike this year, we assumed that the Fairpoint “Santa” would have much bigger concerns than MST students.

But no, giving didn’t go on strike. First, we heard from Fairpoint management. A manager called one day and essentially said, “Yes…there’s a strike, but we want to help out as best we can.” We were so surprised and grateful.  Then a week or so later, we heard from the Fairpoint representative who usually contacts us and is one of the strikers! Yes, there were some striking employees who wanted to provide Christmas presents for our students! I was truly stunned! I managed to gasp out, “But you aren’t working! You don’t have an income!!!” This woman kindly said, “Yes, but some of us planned for this….we want to help your students.”

I know Fairpoint has received some negative publicity for being unable to come to an agreement and get its employees back to work. And there have been some complaining customers. However, Fairpoint certainly came together and unified when it came to giving and making Christmas possible for some of our students. Giving certainly didn’t go on strike at Fairpoint. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

WANTED: 1,000 Mentors for Manchester

Mayor Ted Gatsas, Dr.Debra Livington and Ray McNulty
of SNHU at the announcement of 1,000 Mentors
Superintendent Debra Livingston has announced a partnership with Southern New Hampshire University and the National Center for Competency-Based Learning to launch the 1,000 Mentors program for high school students in Manchester. The initiative aims to connect community members, businesses and organizations directly with the schools, expanding the number of ways students can earn academic credit outside of school. 
“Collaboration is essential for growing the extended learning opportunities we currently offer our students,” said Dr. Livingston. “We’re excited to work with organizations that support the concept of competency-based learning and want to help us reach our goals.”

Fred Bramante talks about the value of mentorships and how
1,000 Mentors will benefit Manchester's students

Founded by Fred Bramante, a former chairman of the New Hampshire Board of Education, the National Center for Competency-Based Learning (NCCBL) seeks to help all students succeed by advocating for nontraditional options for learning.

“We can create a customized learning plan for every child,” Bramante said. “But that can’t happen if we just focus on traditional classroom instruction and don’t consider the world of resources available beyond the walls of the school.”

It’s a goal shared by Southern New Hampshire University, which has been focused on creating learning opportunities for its students in a variety of ways, offering traditional on-campus classes, online courses, work-based and competency-driven learning, as well as a combination of those options. SNHU seized the chance to partner with NCCBL and Manchester schools to further its mission and use its expertise to help shape the process of experiential learning. 

“Learning in a classroom is one way, but not the only way, to master a skill or discipline,” said
Ray McNulty, Dean of the School of Education at SNHU. “A student’s success shouldn't be determined only by how he or she got there or how many hours it took.”

Among the goals of 1,000 Mentors is to prevent students from leaving school before they graduate -- and in the long-term, eliminate the district’s dropout rate.

“We know that engaging students and challenging them in new ways can keep students in school if they’re thinking about leaving or even bring them back after they’ve decided to drop out,” said Dr. Livingston. “With a program like 1,000 Mentors, we can identify more students’ interests and learning styles so that they don’t even consider leaving an option.”

The 1,000 Mentors program will emphasize students’ understanding of a subject or skill set. The mentors will be recruited, trained and matched with Manchester students. Expectations for both mentors and students in the program will be explicit, and achievement will be clearly defined. Students will earn academic credit by demonstrating mastery of concepts and skills.

Manchester’s Board of School Committee endorsed the 1,000 Mentors program earlier this year when Bramante presented the concept; the Curriculum and Instruction Committee voted unanimously to participate in the NCCBL project.

“Manchester is proud to provide opportunities for students to gain first hand, real world knowledge,” said Mayor Ted Gatsas. “As we did in establishing STEAM Ahead New Hampshire, we recognize the benefits of enhancing the way we educate our students to prepare them to be bright, confident leaders.”

Anyone in the community – doctors, lawyers, electricians, software developers, news reporters, painters, musicians – is welcome to take part in the 1,000 Mentors initiative; every specialty and area of discipline will be considered for participation. Those who are interested can contact Dr. Livingston’s office at 624-6300 or