After many years of discussion around how to reorganize Manchester School District in such a way that it would address aging and inefficient buildings and decreasing enrollment, while improving educational opportunities for students, District Superintendent Dr. John Goldhardt last week released a comprehensive plan with detailed recommendations for sweeping changes across all levels of learning.

“Let me begin by making it clear that these recommendations are not intended to be an all-or–nothing plan, nor are they intended to be the final word on the subject. This is intended to be a starting point,” Goldhardt wrote in an introduction letter that is part of the 159-page document, which will be discussed during the May 19 Board of School Committee meeting.

Public feedback is the first phase of the proposal, wrote Goldhardt.

There are five key recommendations for the city’s four high schools, which includes building a “state of the art” Manchester High School that could accommodate 3,500 students, and consolidation of Central, West and Memorial, with suggestions for repurposing the existing buildings.

The high school plan is the most ambitious, with recommendations for middle and elementary school buildings and formats to include more remodeling and some consolidation. In all three levels, the magnet approach is key.

Consolidate the three traditional high schools (Central, West, and Memorial) into one large newly built 21st-century state-of-the-art high school to be MANCHESTER HIGH SCHOOL.

To make the large school more personal, and to better engage students in pathway planning and preparation, the school should utilize the Academy Model so students can be in smaller “houses” in their chosen potential career and college pathways.

The high school should be built on a property large enough to accommodate a 3-4 story building, ample parking, football stadium, softball and baseball fields, soccer/lacrosse/field hockey field, practice/Physical Education field, and if possible, space for an indoor swimming pool.


Source: Manchester Link


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