BOSC approves Manchester Proud community partnership proposal

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Karen Soule on June 21, 2021. Photo/Andrew Sylvia

MANCHESTER, N.H. – On Monday night, the Manchester Board of School Committee voted to endorse the School-Community Partnerships Network proposed by Manchester Proud, an initiative seeking to increase partnerships between the Manchester School District and local non-profit and business groups seeking to aid local schools.

The network grew from the sub-goal within last year’s Manchester Proud report to make community partnerships with the school district more systemic.

“We’re excited, there were a lot of great people who have been working on this for a year at this point,” said Manchester Proud Coordinator Barry Brensinger. “The potential here exists in Manchester to develop partnerships to the benefit of all of our kids. That’s the point of all of this work. If we do that, we’ll see more and more success in the district and deeper engagement in the district as well.”

Brensinger and others who worked on the initiative such as BOSC Member Karen Soule (Ward 3), noted work remains.

“I think this is a starting point to build on the foundation we’ve already laid,” said Soule. “It’s the power of us, all of us have some responsibility for moving this forward.”

Front page of the Manchester Compass portal

A new portal developed by Manchester Proud to facilitate volunteering and donation opportunities in the school district, dubbed the Manchester Compass, was also unveiled. The unveiling was referred to as a soft launch, with a more refined version of the site coming in the fall.

Members of the BOSC universally praised the network and portal, although Dr. Nicole Leapley (Ward 11) said there was too much Manchester Proud and not enough Manchester School District imagery on the portal.

Following the meeting, Brensinger said the comment was well taken and it would be addressed as the site develops over the next few months.

Other points within the Manchester Proud plan relating to district/community partnerships included hiring a Director of Community Partnerships that will coordinate efforts between the school district and initiating an independent foundation to encourage alumni giving.

A .pdf file of the presentation at the meeting can be found below.