Earlier this week, Manchester Ink Link received several questions from readers related to Manchester’s Public Schools. We’ve found answers for these questions. If you have questions about things going on in Manchester, e-mail Manchester Ink Link editor Carol Robidoux at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. If we can find an answer for your question, we will publish here on Manchester Ink Link.
Why didn’t school go into remote learning on Tuesday when the schools were physically closed due to the weather?
Under several collective bargaining agreements with Manchester School District, Manchester Public Schools cannot go into remote learning for weather purposes until five weather-related cancellations have occurred, usually snow days. Tuesday was the second weather-related cancellation of the 2021-’22 school year.
It is also largely expected that remote learning for COVID-related cancellations will also not be allowed without a State of Emergency Declaration, with the New Hampshire Board of Education discussing the matter in November, before officially advancing the rule banning remote learning during COVID outbreaks on Thursday.
What is going on with the Manchester School District’s COVID-19 dashboard?
Updates to the dashboard have been delayed due to a larger number of cases in Manchester and across the state as well as staffing shortages both in Manchester’s schools and the Manchester Health Department. While community transmission data comes from the state, data regarding infections among Manchester public school students come from Manchester School District staff and Manchester Health Department personnel.
Community transmission data is also not being released every single day, but most days, which can also cause delays.
What is de-leveling?
A topic discussed at length at Monday’s Board of School Committee meeting and at many other Board of School Committee meetings over the last few years, de-leveling addresses removing the class levels found with most high school classes.
Currently, students are separated into different levels, with lower-level classes receiving more remedial instruction to avoid frustrating struggling students and higher-level classes holding a more challenging curriculum for gifted students.
Manchester School District Superintendent Dr. John Goldhardt has stated in the past that he wants to eliminate levels completely except for Advanced Placement classes, citing that traditionally minority students have been pressured into taking lower-level classes.
On Monday, Ward 11 Board of School Committee Member Dr. Nicole Leapley also noted that 10 years ago, the Manchester School District also received a civil rights violation related to minority students and leveled classes.
Opponents of de-leveling note that not all children learn at the same speed and putting students of different learning abilities in the same class would frustrate students who feel that the pace of learning is either too fast or too slow and teachers who would have to calibrate lessons into a “one-size-fits-all” format rather than more targeted lessons depending on their students.