Manchester Proud shares findings with Board of School Committee

October 16, 2019

Media contact: Barry Brensinger, Manchester Proud coordinator, 603-493-5201

MANCHESTER – Manchester Proud and its partners Reaching Higher NH and 2Revolutions held a three-hour workshop with the Board of School Committee last night to share findings from our partners’ community engagement activities and school district research.

The session was a valuable opportunity for Manchester Proud to partner with board members as we create a plan to remodel our schools to ensure they have the supports to ready our students, and therefore our city, for the challenges and opportunities ahead.

“It was moving to have our school board at the table with us, fully engaged, working together on how we can make our schools great for all Manchester’s students,” said Mike Skelton, President and CEO of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to Board of School Committee members, over 40 people attended the session held at the Institute of Art and Design at New England College in Manchester, including members of Manchester Proud’s Champions Council and  Community Planning Group

The three-part workshop was designed to bring Board of School Committee members up to date on our work and to get their input as we prepare a draft of the plan to be released in December. A final plan will be presented to the board early next year.

The information shared with the Board of School Committee is available on the homepage of our website, Materials include Reaching Higher NH’s slides and narration as well as 2Revolutions slides and narration. The handout from the session is also available.

Manchester Proud will hold a second workshop on Nov. 18, 2019 at the same location with the newly elected Board of School Committee.

Manchester Proud opened the workshop with Reaching Higher NH’s community engagement findings gleaned from a community survey, a city-wide canvass, and community and school-based listening sessions.

During this six-month endeavor, we sought to understand how the people of Manchester feel about our schools and what they want for our future students. Working with Reaching Higher NH, we intentionally conducted community engagement work with multiple tools, within diverse communities, and in multiple languages to ensure the plan includes input from as many Manchester residents as possible. 

Before presenting its research, 2Revolutions took Board members through a “Visioning” exercise similar to those it has done with school administrators, community members, the Manchester Chamber, afterschool providers, and educators. Board members were asked to identify the skills and knowledge they believe our graduates need to be successful.

2Revolutions closed the workshop with its research of the Manchester School District across five categories: teaching and learning; organizational effectiveness, finance, governance, and community partnerships. 2Revolutions detailed its findings from district data and stakeholder interviews and shared evidence of best-practice approaches in each category.

“From the outset, Manchester Proud committed to the Board that our plan would be founded upon an objective analysis of the current state of the district and how it compares to regional and national benchmarks. Tonight was a big step forward in having the board and broader community achieve that understanding,” said Barry Brensinger, Manchester Proud’s Coordinator. 

Manchester Proud believes the future of Manchester depends on the planning we do today – for our city and for our schools. We know that when our schools provide both the basic and new skills and knowledge needed to meet the challenges of tomorrow, they help ensure that the prospects for our city are great. 

Manchester Proud is a community movement to plan for that future.  It is a movement made up of families, students, educators, business owners and community leaders. 

Reaching Higher NH is a nonpartisan 501c3 whose mission is to provide all New Hampshire children with the opportunity to prepare for college, for immediate careers, and for the challenges and opportunities of life in 21st century NH by serving as a public education policy and community engagement resource for New Hampshire families, educators, and elected officials.

2Revolutions is a national education design lab striving to transform the American education system. 2Revolutions works with entrepreneurial leaders and practitioners within K12 and higher education to design, build, and implement new learning models and help catalyze the enabling systems that prepare students for success in the future.

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