Curriculum Update for December 20, 2013

posted Jan 14, 2014, 8:23 AM by   [ updated Mar 5, 2014, 5:40 AM ]

English Learner Coordination Team Now Leading the EL Charge

The complexity of our student population continues to increase in that more and more students who are enrolling in the Manchester School District are native speakers of a language other than English. English Learner (EL) students comprise a goodly portion of our population and contribute to the pool of 70 languages spoken in our great city. Our job as educators is to embrace all student differences in our district and meet the needs of the individual. Whether it is cognitive, cultural, linguistic, physical, emotional or social, our role is to ensure that each and every child realizes their aspirations with whatever it takes to do it.

One of the approaches we are using this year is a District EL Coordination Team that represents all three organizational levels. In years past we have benefitted from the services of a district EL coordinator and a pair of co-coordinators, and after much discussion with the EL improvement plan writing team this fall it was decided that a team representing high school, middle school and pull-out and magnet programs in elementary would best serve our students’ needs at this time.

Congratulations and thank you for taking on this role June Tumblin of Central High School, Jane Pollard of McLaughlin Middle School, and Meryl Shea (pull-out) of Hallsville and Smyth Road. We are currently advertising for our magnet elementary coordinator and once we return from break we expect to have the team fully in place.  

Manchester Academic Standards Progress

60 teachers gathered at Manchester Community College on December 17 and 18 to dive into the details of the Common Core State Standards and begin working on assembling the Manchester Academic Standards. Dr. Althea Sheaff, retired assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in the Nashua School District and current instructor at the University of New Hampshire, facilitated the two day workshop and was very pleased with the hard work of everyone involved and the first steps our team took. All of the information from the workshop is being organized and includes action steps, needs, barriers, and strategies. Further, the team has chosen to remain as one workgroup instead of breaking off into separate grade level teams. The grade level work will be accomplished at the work sessions in breakout fashion, if necessary, but the whole group felt more confident about their vertical work if the entire team stayed together.  

Please Vote for Our New Logo!

Twenty-two Manchester School District students responded to our logo design challenge by submitting their logo ideas by November 22, 2013. On December 12 a draft selection team of community members comprised of students, parents, administrative assistants, directors,  technology personnel, and district administrators came together to whittle down the 19 submissions to two finalists. We are very happy to say our two final logos are now live on the

website and are waiting for you to vote for one of them.

Teachers - when you return, please use this as an example of displaying student work and exercising student voice. Display the logos and have students vote - paper and pencil, website, show of hands, however you want to do it. We want this to be an opportunity for students to make a choice, and if you are unable to submit the vote electronically, please send the results to me by interoffice mail. We will continue the voting until January 31, 2014.

URead of the Week

Scherer, Marge. (2013).  Perspectives/Mastery: The Game Changer. Education Leadership, Volume 71 (4), p. 7.

Have a wonderful Holiday break!