School board approves first phase of superintendent’s redistricting plan

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Diagram of Phase 1 of the redistricting plan shows how schools will feed from elementary, to middle, to high school.

MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Board of School Committee approved by a vote of 8-3 a plan to begin redistricting students. The plan, mapped out by Superintendent Bolgen Vargas, was put together following a series of 10 public meetings to gather feedback from parents and school personnel.

A diagram showing how the schools currently feed into middle and high schools.

According to coverage of the April 19 meeting by the Union Leader, an action plan will be in place beginning with the 2017-18 school year.

Pages 8 and 13 of the document embedded below outline some specifics of how the plan will be phased in and implemented.

Parents, teachers and community members were invited to ask questions and offer input on a draft proposal that included a revised feeder pattern among Manchester’s schools. While the current system splits groups of students from some single elementary schools between multiple secondary schools, proposed changes would streamline neighborhood school assignments so that all graduating students from one elementary school move on to the same middle and high schools.

A more predictable feeder pattern will help schools foster a stronger continuity of programs between grade levels, according to Vargas. Children also will be able to maintain strong relationships throughout their school years instead of being separated from friends. In addition, parents would know with certainty which schools their children will attend based on home elementary school instead of street address.

Voting in favor of the plan were: Sarah Ambrogi, Ward 1; Mary Georges, Ward 3; Leslie Want, Ward 4; Lisa Freeman, Ward 5; Dan Bergeron, Ward 6; Rich Girard, member at large; Art Beaudry, Ward 9; and Katie Desrochers, Ward 11. Opposed were Nancy Tessier, member at large; Connie Van Houten, Ward 11; and Mayor Ted Gatsas, who serves as the Board chair. Fourboard members were absent: Debra Gagnon Langton, Ward 2; Ross Terrio, Ward 7; Erika Connors, Ward 8; and John Avard, Ward 10.

Below is an outline of how the plan will work: