Manchester Schools

Jason Moon for NHPR

Civil rights groups are filing a formal right-to-know request with the Manchester school district.

Speaking from the steps of city hall, Manchester NAACP president Eric Jackson said the school district hasn’t been transparent enough about its efforts to address racial inequities.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: July 7, 2017

Jul 7, 2017

We'll have the latest on the controversy over the request  from the Presidential Commission on Electoral Integrity for voter data from the states.  The American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire sues to bar New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner from disclosing New Hampshire voter information.  The re-building of I-93 from Manchester to Salem may include a fourth lane, which could also cut five to eight million dollars along the way.  A 14-year-old student raped in a hallway at Manchester High School West in 2015 may sue the school district. And it's a bumper year for strawberries.


Manchester school leaders and city officials are working on a policy that will spell out how information about crime and safety incidents is disseminated to parents and citizens.

This follows concerns over how information about a rape in one of the city’s high schools nearly two years ago was kept quiet until last week, when the perpetrator was sentenced to jail.

Jason Moon for NHPr

Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas officially kicked-off his reelection campaign Tuesday night. The event was held just as news of how city officials handled a rape at a Manchester high school in 2015 is creating controversy.

In a short speech at the St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Manchester, Ted Gatsas struck an upbeat tone to start his campaign.

“I hope everybody has the ‘I love Manchester’ patch on," said Gatsas, "because that’s what were going to run on this time. About I love Manchester and the great things that are happening in this city.”

Jason Moon for NHPR

With 14,000 students from a huge variety of backgrounds, the Manchester School District is both the largest and most diverse in the state.

But those distinctions come with challenges that sometimes result in stark disparities between schools just a few miles apart.

In Manchester, the city School Board has approved a plan by the superintendent to lay off 14 school district employees.

The positions to be eliminated all come from Manchester high schools and include an English teacher, a Latin teacher, and a P.E. teacher.

Superintendent Bolgen Vargas says the layoffs are a direct result of declining enrollment in the Manchester School District – that trend has been steady over the last decade.

With fewer students, the district gets less money from the state. Vargas says stopping that decline is one of his major priorities.

The Manchester School Board has approved a new plan for how students will progress from one school to the next. It’s the first step in a broader school redistricting effort in the state’s largest city.

For nearly a decade, city officials in Manchester have been trying to overhaul the system that determines which kids go to which schools.

Last night, the School Board took its first step. It approved a change to the feeder pattern - which determines the path students follow as they move from elementary to middle to high school.

Manchester Schools Superintendent Bolgen Vargas presented his budget proposal to the city’s board of alderman Tuesday night. The plan looks to make up for the district’s projected $5 million shortfall.

The state’s largest school district has been squeezed financially in recent years by a combination of factors including reduced aid from the state and declining student enrollment.

Some call it the toughest job in the state of New Hampshire: superintendent of the Manchester School District. To know why, it helps to understand just how different the district is from most in the state.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Parents, teachers, and city officials met in Manchester last night to discuss a projected six million dollar budget gap for the Manchester school district.

In recent years the Manchester school district, the state’s largest, has been beset by declining enrollment, reduced aid from the state, and rising pension costs. Those trends have now added up to a projected budget gap for next year of six million dollars. That’s out of a total operating budget of around 180 million dollars.

Ted Siefer / NHPR

  

There’s been a lot of debate recently around federally-mandated nutrition standards for school lunches. The rules aim to bring healthier food into school cafeterias. But many students, and some administrators, say, they have resulted in meals that are — for lack of a better word — gross.

But at one Manchester elementary school, the kids have taken matters into their own hands. 

Ted Siefer / NHPR

Next month, residents of Candia will vote whether to pull their high schoolers out of the Manchester school district and send them instead to Pinkerton Academy in Derry. If the agreement goes through, Candia would be the last town in the greater Manchester area to remove its students from the city’s school district – the largest in New Hampshire.

Ted Siefer

Manchester has become an increasingly diverse city in recent years, due in large part to an influx of refugees and immigrants. The political leadership of the city, however, has so far barely reflected its changing demographics.

This changed in small measure last month, when a woman from the Democratic Republic of Congo was elected to the city’s school board. Mary Ngwanda Georges is also the first African immigrant elected to municipal office in New Hampshire.

meridiannh.com

Students in Manchester schools are heading back to classes this morning at new times.

The school district is changing hours based on its new contract with the Manchester Education Association.

The high schools will start at 7:45 this morning, the middle schools at 7:35 and elementary schools in the city will begin at 8:45. 

 

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

  About 60 9th grade students in Manchester High School West are participating in a new science-focused magnet program called STEAM Ahead, this year. The partnership between the school district and several local tech companies also involves state colleges. It aims to boost the local workforce and retain youth and talent.

It’s morning in biology teacher Christine Aspinwall’s class. The students are scrambling to fill beakers with pureed food.

Manchester Common Core Vote Postponed

Sep 17, 2013

A key Manchester Board of School committee vote on how to implement federal Common Core standards has been delayed.  The state adopted the Common Core in 2010, which outlines what students should know before passing each grade.  

Mayor Gatsas presents his budget proposal to aldermen and department heads
Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

Mayor Gatsas unveiled his budget for fiscal year 2014, which raises taxes and allots more funding to schools.

Gatsas' budget pushes for the maximum amount of new revenue allowed under the city's tax cap. That's just more than a two-percent increase.

The bulk of new revenue would go towards bolstering the city's school system, which has experienced layoffs and overcrowding in recent years.

Gatsas was optimistic that the budget could be hammered out before the city's June deadline, but acknowledged it would be a difficult process:

Sheryl Rich-Kern

At the start of this spring semester, Manchester’s three high schools are launching two new initiatives around computer-based learning.

The Hooksett School board voted recently to begin negotiating an early withdrawal from Manchester High Schools. Tonight will be the first, joint school board session between Hooksett and Manchester. And talks are expected to start on bitter terms.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

On Tuesday, Manchester voters will pick nine names from a list of 62 candidates vying to serve on the city’s charter commission. And public education is a central issue.

Cawley Middle School media

Manchester school officials dealing with a teacher shortage and overcrowded classrooms may soon face the loss of high school students from neighboring towns.