Community Planning Group Minutes, Nov. 21, 2019

Nov. 21, 2019

Minutes: Community Planning Group

Gustafson, SNHU

5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Community Planning Group members present: Lizabeth MacDonald, Abby Gemme, Joede Brown, Christina Bui, Deo Mwano, Katie Labranche, Amanda Egan, Mike Delaney, Anthony Poore

Community Planning Group members not present: Hunter Churchill, Liz Kirwan, Mike Skelton, Rev. Eric Jackson, Meredith Young, CJ Chretien, Grace Puninu, Amy Allen, Jenn Gillis, Dr. John Goldhardt, Kimiya Parker-Hill, Donna Crook, Patty Lynott, Will Kanteres, Diane Fitzpatrick, Norma Gonzalez, Nicole Lora, Forrest Ransdell, Trinidad Tellez, Anna Thomas

Others present: Barry Brensinger, Manchester Proud Coordinator; Rachel Lopkin and Adam Rubin of 2Revolutions; Annmarie Timmins of Reaching Higher NH.

Manchester Proud’s (MP) Coordinator  called the meeting to order at 5:50 p.m. 


MP Coordinator updated CPG members on the Nov. 18, 2019 BOSC special session. Those who attended the session said they felt it was productive and positive. Current and new board members were engaged in learning about and prioritizing hunches. One BOSC member said it was the most productive and efficient board meeting in years. 

CPG members in attendance asked if the Dec. 19 meeting could be moved to early January in hopes of increasing attendance. This will be a critical meeting because CPG members will finalize the plan’s ideas.


Reaching Higher NH updated the group on communications plans for the Validation process. 

    • There are three community-wide Validation sessions, each with their own focus.
      • Dec. 3, 2019 – Teaching and Learning, West High School, 6 p.m to 8 p.m. 
      • Dec. 12, 2019 – Governance and Finance, Memorial High School, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
      • Dec. 18, 2019 – Operational Effectiveness and Community Partnerships, Institute of Art and Design @ NEC, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    • CPG members are encouraged to attend the sessions they can.
    • MP Coordinator and Reaching Higher are working with local media outlets to promote these Validation events Reaching Higher is submitting the events to several community calendars
    • CPG members are asked to sign up to host their own Validation session with a peer group. Members can host sessions together if they prefer and are encouraged to conduct sessions as they think best. 
    • MP Coordinator and Reaching Higher will reach out to the CPG to participate in other promotional events as they arise.
    • MP has received permission from MSD Superintendent to hang a poster in each school advertising the three Validation sessions. These posters should be hung by Thanksgiving break.
  • CPG members are asked to sign up to take a poster to a school as well as other prominent city locations. 
  • MP Coordinator and Reaching Higher are working with Cookson Communications to design yard signs that will promote the February BOSC meeting where board members will be given the plan. (That meeting date has not yet been set but is likely to be Feb. 19 or 20.)

2Revolutions summarized the comments, questions and ideas shared by current and new BOSC members at the Nov. 18, 2019 special session. 2Revolutions also shared board members’ top choices among the hunches prioritized by the CPG. 

The group reviewed and discussed the new ideas suggested by BOSC members. 

The group began thinking about how to frame the plan. It should have concrete ideas. And while the plan will include all five buckets, there is a feeling Teaching and Learning and Community Partnerships will resonate the most with the community. 

There was a deep discussion around class size. 2Revolutions asked CPG members to suggest language around class size for the group to consider. 

Some CPG members recommended using the Validation sessions as a means to get more community feedback before the CPG identifies its final ideas. This model would resemble the one used at the special BOSC session. With this approach, community members would be asked to choose their top ideas from the short list the CPG has created. 

CPG role in Validation

  • Complete all validation session by mid-December
  • Support and drive attendance to the citywide sessions.
  • Host your own validation sessions and/or co-facilitate a citywide session with 2Revolutions
    • Can be formal or informal sessions
    • You can focus on one or two buckets 
    • 2Revolutions has a sample agenda 
    • The agenda is optional, but facilitators must collect data
    • 2Revolutions will share a Google form validation audiences can use to rank choices. (It’s the easiest way to collect the data)
    • 2Revolutions can provide a packet of hunches in detail 
  • Sign up to co-host a citywide validation session with 2Revolutions. 

Small group Validation sessions

2Revolutions will be doing sessions with: MSD Superintendent and executive team, Principals, Youth-serving nonprofits

The meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.