News, Events and Updates from Manchester School District
In this Edition:
- Superintendent's Message: Stay Focused
- Memorial Students Participate in Tree Study
- Adult Education Program Celebrates Graduate
- Student Report: Eye on CTE Programs
- Henry Wilson Students Offer Salute to Veterans
- In the News: Central Band Performs plus More Cool News from Our Schools
- Learning Focus: About Student Assessments
- Help Available with Winter Heating, Utility Bills
- Mark Your Calendar: Thanksgiving Break Begins
Superintendent's Message: Stay Focused
As we cruise into the Thanksgiving break, we are nearly through three whole months of school. Once we return to school next week, we’ll have just four more weeks until December vacation week (as always, upcoming days off and links to our calendar are at the bottom of this message).
There’s lots happening over the next four weeks, including winter sports, concerts and other events. With all that’s going on, I want to remind families to remain focused on school routines, too. Remember to check in on your student’s schoolwork, and as always, keep in touch with teachers and your school.
I want to wish each of you a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am thankful each and every day that I’m a part of this vibrant community. I hope you’re able to take time in the coming days to rest, recharge and reflect.
Superintendent of Schools
Memorial Students Participate in Tree Study
This fall, Memorial biology teacher Cassie Thomas was able to help her students go beyond learning about science to actually experiencing it. Students spent time outside school meticulously collecting data as part of a tree study by Harvard Forest assessing the impact of climate change.
Harvard Forest, located in Petersham, Massachusetts, has operated the Schoolyard Ecology program since 2004. Through the program, teachers can get support with collecting ecological data right in their school’s own backyard. Continue reading
Adult Education Program Celebrates Graduate
The path to a high school diploma isn’t the same for everyone. For Amber Beaulieu, who wasn't able to graduate in a traditional high school model, our Manchester Adult High School was the perfect option to earn a diploma.
Beaulieu’s path to graduation finished with a ceremony late last month, with Superintendent Jenn Gillis officially presenting her with a diploma. The new graduate, who had her young daughter and parents with her, explained why the program was a good fit for her.
“Manchester Adult High School helped me be able to still be a mother, do my schoolwork on my own time,” Beaulieu said, “and still finish and graduate without having to worry about being late on an assignment or a test.” Continue reading
Student Report: Eye on CTE Programs
Editor’s note: Student Report is a new feature in our monthly newsletter featuring student-created content and news stories. Each month, a student from a different school is featured. Up this month, Manchester School of Technology.
By Blaise Loughner, Manchester School of Technology
Manchester School of Technology, MST, affords students many unique opportunities. Students who go here full time have one significant advantage over students from sending schools: they can easily, due to scheduling, take a CTE (Career and Technical Education) a year before other students. Usually, students outside of MST High School take a CTE as Juniors and Seniors; however, at MST High School, Sophomores can take a CTE if they meet competency in their classes. Because of this opportunity, many students, such as myself, can handle multiple CTEs. Continue reading
Henry Wilson Students Offer Salute to Veterans
On the day before Veterans Day, students at Henry Wilson Elementary gathered in the school’s gym with veterans from the community before them on stage. This was the first all-school event in several years, and the students were well-prepared for the occasion. Students recited from the program, heard from several veterans on their service, and delivered some great musical performances. Amazing work by the students and music teacher Mrs. Barker. You can watch a video of one of the performances below, and you can see a gallery of photos from the event at http://bit.ly/3A6yJ70.
In the News: Making Headlines this Month
Central band keeps tradition going
On Veterans Day, the Central High band joined the West and Memorial bands in participating in the parade downtown. But before they headed home, Central band members had a few more stops to make. During parts of the COVID-19 pandemic, nursing homes were largely closed to visitors, which meant no live entertainment. Kathi Hanson, a Manchester-based therapeutic musician, connected with Central band director Ed Doyle, and a new tradition was born. The Central band has performed at several nursing homes over the last few years on Memorial Day and Veterans Day. The Union Leader gave the band, Mr. Doyle and Kathi a well-deserved round of applause. You can read the editorial here.
Parent brings Native American Heritage month to life
Altieri Farinoli loves to share his Native American traditions with his daughter, who attends Beech Street Elementary. Early this month, he shared one of those traditions with her entire school, as well. Farinoli, who is descended from the Blackfoot tribe, spent a day at the start of Native American Heritage month constructing a teepee, using traditional Plains Indians techniques. After completing the three-hour construction process, Farinoli showed students around the structure and answered questions. You can read more in the Union Leader
School District moves facilities planning process forward
This month, Manchester School District took the next step in the long-term facilities planning process. The district released a request for qualifications, or RFQ, seeking information from businesses interested in helping the district with the process. The responses will be evaluated, and qualified applicants will be invited to submit financial bids. “Our goal remains the same: Creating spaces that meet the needs of our students for years to come,” said Superintendent Jenn Gillis. “Today, we’re one step closer to achieving that goal.” You can read more in the Union Leader and Manchester Ink Link
Learning Focus: About Student Assessments
Editor's note: Each month in Learning Focus, we share information and updates on topics related to curriculum and instruction for students. This month, we take a look at student assessment tests.
Each year students participate in district-wide assessments and statewide assessments to measure their academic growth. At the district level, assessments help schools to determine how to best support a child’s learning. At the state level, assessments provide a snapshot of student learning and performance, and more broadly, school and district performance. We are set to provide an update on district-level and statewide assessments at tonight’s (Tuesday, November 22) Teaching and Learning Committee meeting of the Board of School Committee. Here is a brief summary of those assessments:
District-level assessments: i-Ready is a district assessment that we administer three times a year to students in Kindergarten through 10th Grade to monitor their academic progress. This computer-adaptive assessment adjusts its questions to suit students’ needs. Teachers then use the assessment results to determine how to best support the child’s learning. Families can learn how to support and encourage your student’s success in the i-Ready Family Center. For more information about i-Ready, visit the i-Ready Family Center at https://i-readycentral.com/familycenter/.
State-level assessments: In the spring, students in Grades 3 through 8 participate in the New Hampshire Statewide Assessment System, sometimes referred to as NH SAS. This statewide assessment is administered in English Language Arts (reading and writing) and mathematics. Students in Grades 5, 8, and 11 also participate in the science assessment. In addition, the Scholastic Aptitude Test, which you likely know as the SAT, is a statewide test administered to 11th Graders. All of these assessments are summative snapshots of a student’s learning and performance. The NH Department of Education, iReport has information on our district assessment data for the past five years. Please note: data for the most recent year will be posted in mid-December. You can find iReport data by clicking here. Looking ahead to next year, families will receive information regarding the spring statewide assessments in January.
Help Available with Winter Heating, Utility Bills
Energy costs are rising and cold weather is coming. If you need assistance with the cost of heating fuel or electricity, help is available. Southern New Hampshire Services administers the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program in our region. You can find more information, including eligibility requirements, and the application at www.snhs.org/services/fuel-assistance.
Mark Your Calendar: Thanksgiving Break Begins
There is no school in the Manchester School District this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving break. Students will return to school on Monday, November 28. There are no other days off scheduled until December school vacation at the end of next month.
Below, you can find upcoming days off and events, as well as a link to the full 2022-23 school year calendar.
Wednesday, November 23-Friday, November 25: No school – Thanksgiving break
Monday, November 28: Board of School Committee meeting at 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 3: Annual Holiday Parade at 4 p.m.
Monday, December 12: Board of School Committee meeting at 6:30 p.m.
Friday, December 23: Early release at 11:15 a.m. for elementary students ONLY
Monday, December 26-Monday, January 2: December vacation week
Full calendars for the 2022-23 school year, including translated versions, are available online at https://bit.ly/MSDCalendars.