MANCHESTER, NH – The public is invited to attend a celebration of the Helping Our Pupils Excel (HOPE, Inc.) program at City Hall on Nov. 13 from 6-7 p.m., which will meet in advance of a Special Board of School Committee meeting in the Aldermanic chamber at 7 p.m.
The gathering will provide a chance for students who’ve benefitted from the mentoring program over the past decade to reconnect with teachers and talk about how the program has helped them succeed, says HOPE Inc. Executive Director Matt Courchesne. Food has been donated by Goldenrod and the Puritan Backroom.
The program, which has struggled in the past year to gain acceptance by the Board of School Committee, was funded in 2017 by the Board of Aldermen as a pilot intervention program for 15 at-risk students, with a solid endorsement of West High School’s principal Rich Dichard. However, the school committee voted in August to axe the program during a closed-door meeting. They have not publicly stated why they came to that decision, or endorsed or initiated a replacement program to deal with the issues of West High School’s drop-out rate, or how to otherwise support the students struggling academically and socially.
Courchesne says following the pre-meeting gathering, supporters of HOPE Inc. will take the opportunity to speak during the public comment segment at the top of the meeting.
He is hoping the public will come out to show support for the program.
The only agenda item for the Nov. 13 meeting is a discussion and review of district-wide i-Ready results, a K-8 math and reading diagnostic and instructional tool administrated by Curriculum Associates.