June 19, 2020 Newsletter

Breaking down structures of systemic racism

Superintendent Dr. Goldhardt reiterated his commitment to ensuring equity for all students – in every classroom in a recent statement on the killing of George Floyd. He applauded students for organizing peaceful calls for racial justice but said that’s just the start.

“To eliminate systemic racism we must take action, such as eliminating barriers in our education system that produce learning and opportunity gaps,” he said. “As superintendent of schools, I am committed to increasing standards of rigor for ALL students, increasing levels of mastery for ALL students, increasing graduation credit requirements for all students, and dramatically increasing the number of students of color and students from poverty in advanced placement and dual enrollment courses.”

During its June meeting Manchester Proud’s Council reaffirmed its longstanding commitment to fairness and equity.  Our strategic plan was crafted with a focus on equity and intentionally includes “Excellence and Equity for all Learners” in its title.   It is our hope, our commitment, that our greater collective awareness of the inequities and injustices in and around us will serve as a call-to-action. Together we must create equal opportunity, justice, and respect for all, and build a future where we can all be our best selves. 

“Adopt” a Manchester West High School Senior

With graduation disrupted by COVID-19, here’s a unique opportunity to support our graduating seniors at West High School. When you sign up to  “Adopt a Senior,” you will be paired with a West senior and invited to send the student a card, letter, or small gift celebrating their accomplishments. You’ll also learn about their future plans. Each match will be announced on Facebook. 

To participate, visit the “Manchester West Adopt a Senior” Facebook page and ask to “Join the Group.” Once admitted, you will see pictures and profiles of participating seniors, like this one of Kimiya Parker-Hill, a student member of our Community Planning Group. Let the page’s administrators know which senior you’d like to adopt and you will be connected privately. 

Another dedicated Manchester teacher

When the state shifted to remote learning, West High School art teacher Richella Simard was determined to maintain a connection to her students. She asked students if they’d like a visit and began riding her bike to the homes of everyone who said yes.

From a safe distance, Richella asks students how virtual learning is going, checks on their mental health – and grabs a selfie with them. Richella makes the rounds once a week, pedaling 15 to 20 miles each trip. She’ll keep it up this summer if students want to continue the check-ins.  Check out our story on Richella in Manchester Ink Link

Hard to say goodbye

We are sending out a big heartfelt Thank You to all the dedicated educators and staff who are retiring this year. The Manchester School District celebrates them all in this YouTube video.  Those retiring  include Selma Naccach-Hoff, an early supporter and volunteer for Manchester Proud. 

Selma is retiring after 45 years of service, most recently as chair of Central High School’s English Department. Former student and current Milford High School English teacher David Scannell celebrated Selma in a recent Ink Link story. We agree with his conclusion: “At Central, Ms. Naccach, quite simply, is a legend.” 

You can also catch a video of Union Leader reporter Mark Hawyard’s interview with Selma on their website.