Every consulting partner that has or will be selected by Manchester Proud is chosen through a rigorous selection process, that includes multiple candidates. They are chosen to perform specific tasks, such as coordinate community engagement or perform an assessment of our District’s current operations. They are selected based on qualifications and commitment to upholding our Mission. They have no authority to direct our work or make any decisions on behalf of our community. And anyone among us, whether Council members or our volunteer Coordinator, who has any relationship with the proposed vendor, has been entirely recused from the selection process. Our high standards of ethics and propriety are never compromised.
In April 2018, Manchester Proud contracted with Reaching Higher NH to provide project management services and oversee the community engagement efforts.
Reaching Higher New Hampshire is a New Hampshire-based, nonpartisan 501c3, whose mission is to promote the success of our state’s public schools. RHNH has deep experience in facilitating workshops and town hall-type events, organizing community events to gather feedback around education issues. They assist Manchester Proud as project managers and community engagement coordinators.
In October 2018, Manchester Proud received the approval of the Board of School Committee to support the membership of Manchester School District in the Council of the Great City Schools. Manchester School District applied for membership and will hear back from the Council of the Great City Schools later in 2018.
The Council of the Great City Schools is a school district membership association consisting of the largest urban school district from each state and the largest urban school districts in the country overall. Its membership can be viewed here. The Council of the Great City Schools provides its members with expert technical advice and consultation on important operational issues involved in running large school systems. For example, each year it produces a comprehensive report analyzing performance among its member districts on metrics such as:
- Payroll staff – overtime hours per FTE
- Procurement costs per purchasing order
- Workers compensation per employee
- Cost per meal
- Custodial costs per square foot
- Utility costs per square foot
- Health/Safety violations per site
- Safety and security expenditures per 1,000 students
- Cost per mile operated (transportation)
- Bus usage – daily runs per bus
- Teacher retention
- Exit interview completion rate
- HR cost per district FTE
- IT spending per student
As the small sampling above shows, these metrics are critical towards maximizing the efficient use of taxpayer dollars irrespective of the educational strategies Manchester adopts. The Council of the Great City Schools focuses on these types of nuts-and-bolts considerations so that its members can improve their performance and deliver better outcomes per dollar of taxpayer support.
Manchester Proud anticipates bringing on additional partners to provide specific expertise. Manchester Proud wants to ensure the planning process involves national experts so that we can learn about best practices and ideas that have proven successful in other cities in comparable situations.
Manchester Proud will hold all partners accountable in order to ensure all efforts remain rooted in our community-centric vision for Manchester’s schools.