By: Barry Brensinger, Manchester Proud Coordinator
Manchester Proud’s mission remains clear and compelling. We engage our community in the making of exceptional public schools. We are inspired by a fundamental truth that has been reaffirmed time and time again during the past four years of our work: Manchester’s public schools are the most opportune place to make best possible futures for all of our students – all of our community!
Of course, given the complexities of education in the 21st century, our schools will not be transformed overnight. Thankfully, Manchester Proud is distinguished by our capacity transcend short term needs and address long-term, systemic, and sustainable change.
Manchester Proud’s Council has been deliberating to establish goals for the year ahead. The Council is resolved to continue our ongoing initiatives, being undertaken by nine active Work Groups and more than 100 volunteers. Among them are:
- Partnering with the Manchester School District to further implement Manchester’s community-driven Strategic Plan for the future of our schools.
- Developing a Dashboard to inform community of the progress being made on the Strategic Plan’s goals, thereby enabling deeper engagement.
- Planning and promoting the second annual CelebratED! A city-wide festival in Veteran’s Park to unite Manchester in celebration and support of our students, teachers, and public schools.
- Building our School-Community Partnership Network, a robust network of partnerships between our public schools and community – to align and optimize community investment in our kids and schools.
- Promoting manchesterproudcompass.org , our community portal for student, family, and teacher access to services and supports, as well as guidance on how to become a partner with the Manchester School District.
Next Stage Initiatives
The Council also enthusiastically launched a new initiative – Work with the Manchester School District to explore and build a more inclusive, community-wide communications network.
During the creation of our community-driven plan for the future of Manchester’s schools, we heard from more than 10,000 residents during more than 400 events! However, despite all efforts, we know that many of our students and families remain disconnected.
In response, Manchester Proud is forming an Exploratory Group to conceptualize a city-wide communications network to better connect with our students and families. A network that speaks in multiple languages, is culturally nuanced, and is safe and welcoming. A network where information is shared and all voices contribute to the shaping and governance of our schools.
Our ultimate objective is a Manchester where expecting great public schools is embedded in our civic DNA and all students are supported with the education, skills, and opportunities needed for healthy, productive lives.
While the impacts of our partnerships and initiatives continue to expand beyond expectations, the challenges of recent years have further intensified the need for the work of Manchester Proud. Our resolve is unshakable. Empowered by your support we continue ONWARD toward our vision of exceptional public schools as the source of vitality for all of Manchester.