What does the Future of Learning look like in Manchester?

What should graduates of Manchester’s public schools know and be able to do when they graduate? Build relationships and resolve conflicts. Demonstrate a strong work ethic. Understand world history.

These are a few of the hopes shared during a recent Manchester Proud forum at a Greater Manchester Chamber breakfast. Other responses included a grasp of the basics (math, English, and science), critical thinking skills, and a respect for diversity. The photos below capture many more suggestions.

Manchester Proud, a non-partisan community group, has been holding listening sessions and forums like this one over the last 13 months with a single goal: to learn what the people of Manchester want in their schools. 

The feedback is being used now by our Community Planning Group, which includes parents, teachers, educators, community leaders, and school district administrators, as they write a plan for achieving these hopes. We will present the final plan to the Board of School Committee early next year with hopes it will guide the board’s future policy and budget decisions.

Barry Brensinger of Manchester Proud opened the Chamber forum with our argument for doing this work now.

“If Manchester is going to succeed in the future, if we are going to be the city we want to be in the future, we need to be bolstered by an extraordinary public school system,” he said. “It is essential that we do this while there is still time to make important change.”

Brensinger also said the conversation must involve all of Manchester if schools are going to support all students. In the last 10 years, the number of students in poverty has increased 60 percent, and the number of English language learners is up 75 percent.

“We can create opportunity for every child to succeed,” Brensinger told the Chamber audience. “We can learn to live and play together with mutual respect, dignity, trust, and support. That is a Manchester we could all be proud to be a part of.”

Send us an email if you’d like to stay up to date on our work or join us: outreach@manchesterproud.org.