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Manchester Proud believes the great work Manchester’s nonprofits are doing with kids and families, and the resources of our business and cultural communities, would be even more beneficial to our kids and schools if their services were better aligned and coordinated. 

That’s one of several ideas community members discussed at a Manchester Proud forum Wednesday night on rethinking education in Manchester. Proposed options for enhancing that connection include starting a coordination committee of school, business, and nonprofit leaders and creating a “Director of Community Partnerships” position at the school district. 

All the ideas in this category are here

The forum was the last in a series where Manchester Proud asked community members to weigh in on a shortlist of ideas across several categories that also include teaching and learning, financing schools, and addressing our school board structure and culture. Two members of Community Planning Group – Central High English teacher Abigail Gemme and Manchester lawyer Michael Delaney – held a similar event Wednesday evening at Central High School. 


Although the forums have ended, online voting in all categories is open until December 31, 2019 at https://vote.manchesterproud.org/.

Approximately 250 people have already voted. 


Once voting closes, Manchester Proud’s Community Planning Group will use the community’s feedback to finalize a plan that will go to the Board of School Committee at a special session on Feb. 20, 2020 at Memorial High School. The public is encouraged to attend this session, which begins at 6 p.m.

In addition to community partnerships, Wednesday night’s session at the Institute of Art and Design at New England College also addressed school district culture of distrust.

Ideas for improving school culture included increasing opportunities for teacher leadership; better defining the authority of principals and the central office; creating listening sessions with the superintendent; and establishing a systematic approach to equity. All the ideas in this category, are here

Audience members at the Central High School session included Mayor Joyce Craig. 

Audience members at the Institute of Art and Design event included current and newly elected Board of School Committee members Arthur Beaudry, Leslie Want, and Jane Beaulieu as well as the following members of our Community Planning Group: Diane Fitzpatrick, CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Manchester; Lizabeth MacDonald, principal of Weston Elementary; community leader Deo Mwano; and Mike Skelton, president and CEO of the Manchester Chamber.