On July 12, 2023, Manchester Proud held its fifth annual meeting. Each year we find ourselves with more to celebrate, and this year was no exception. Dr. Gillis provided an inspiring summary of her recent report to the Board of School Committee, demonstrating progress across all three goals of the strategic plan: Grow our Learners, Educators, and System. Also, among the meeting’s highlights was the welcoming of ten new members to our Champion’s Council. All are extraordinary new talents that boost our capacity to seize the opportunities ahead.
The second half of the meeting brought the Council together to explore possibilities for the continuation and growth of Manchester Proud’s work. Prior to the meeting, we consulted with Superintendent Gillis to identify opportunities for ongoing and new partnerships between Manchester Proud and the District. The four most promising became topics of group and breakout discussions at the annual meeting:
Topic 1: Community Awareness and Family Engagement to Support Student Success
How might we better enable students and families to share their needs/concerns/suggestions and problem-solve with the District?
Topic 2: Integrated School-Based Supports for the Health and Wellbeing of Students and Families:
How might we facilitate partnerships to promote improved communications, access, and more equitable distribution of community services and resources?
Topic 3: Partnerships for Pathways to Postsecondary Education and Careers:
What are the next steps in our development of business partnerships to create career pathways for our students and promote a thriving workforce for our community?
Topic 4: Resource Development and Fundraising to Support Initiatives:
What resources will be needed to implement our initiatives and realize our goals for our students and schools?
The Council will reconvene for a dedicated strategic planning session on August 9th, when these and other potential initiatives will be probed more deeply. While our core mission remains sharply focused on the making of exceptional public schools, the ways and means of our work continue to evolve – as they should! For Manchester Proud to be most impactful in its partnerships with the Manchester School District, we must acknowledge the long-term nature of our work, continue to learn as we go and adapt to emerging needs and opportunities.