Thursday, September 22, 2016

Redistricting Update for September 22, 2016

RELEASE: September 22, 2016 

Dear Community of Manchester, 

This message is to inform you that the Special Committee on Redistricting voted unanimously last night to suspend further action until a new superintendent has been chosen. It was the feeling of the current administration that redistricting is a tremendous opportunity that needs to be part of a larger vision for the district.

The subcommittee has collected an enormous amount of information district-wide and insight into stakeholder viewpoints that will help whoever comes in to lead this district understand the complexities of redistricting.

I would like to thank all those who helped provide information to the subcommittee, especially Dr. Livingston and Dr. Martin. I appreciate your kindness and unwavering patience. I am also very grateful to all those who engaged in the process during the last six months; district staff, board members and the community. I’d like to single out our Clerk, Maura Leahy, as her poise and guidance was invaluable to me.

Finally, I extend my gratitude to my committee for all their hard work and perserverance. I look forward to continuing the work we have started under the guidance of new leadership.

Best regards,
Leslie Want
Chair of the Special Committee on Redistricting

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Updated Meeting Schedule

The Special Committee on Redistricting has revised the schedule for its upcoming meetings to allow more time to consider all of the plans submitted by BOSC members, staff and community. While the timeline has been shifted slightly in the next two months the deadline of October 1 has not changed.

The committee would like to thank all those who have attended meetings and given their input. It is only together that we will find the best solution to the issues that face our schools!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Do You Have a Plan for Redistricting?

Do you have a plan for redistricting? If so please submit your proposal to the Special Committee on Redistricting at The committee wants to leave no stone unturned! We have two time slots open to look at plans at our next meeting on July 19th. PLANS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY NO LATER THAN JULY 12TH AT NOON.

Redistricting Committee Goals

The following goals have been developed by the Special Committee on Redistricting to focus our purpose on what's best for students and the city of Manchester. These goals will be used after we have narrowed the field of plans to evaluate the remaining proposals against each goal and give each plan a score. It is critical that we keep an excellent education as our primary objective!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Update to Preliminary Redistricting Plan Presentation Schedule

This is an update to the schedule of plans to be presented at the Redistricting Committee meeting at 5 pm on Thursday, June 30, 2016 at the Police Station Community Conference Rm./Municipal Complex at the intersection of Valley and Lincoln Streets.

Committee member Avard has withdrawn his original plan "Memorial District Offices" and has yielded his allotted time to "MST Pre-K" which was suggested by 5 different Manchester School District staff in the online Staff Redistricting Survey. BOSC Committee member Van Houten has with drawn her original plan "Switching Some Elementary and Middle Schools" and is going to address her "K-8 Plan" and her "Repurpose Memorial High School" at Thursday's meeting.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Full Schedule for Redistricting Plan Selection and Presentations

On June 30th and July 19th the Special Committee on Redistricting will present ten plans to the public. Throughout the summer additional meeting will take place to narrow down the top choices. After several round table discussions between the superintendents, principals, and transportation, a session will take place on September 8th to gather input from teachers and the public. Additional public forums will be scheduled in October:

Preliminary Redistricting Plan Presentations on June 30 and July 19, 2016

The Special Committee for Redistricting has set two dates  to present proposals that have been brought forward by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Debra Livingston, Mayor Gatsas, and several members of the Board of School Committee.

On June 30 and July 19, 2016 plans will be presented to the public between 5:15 PM and 7:15 PM. The presentations will take place in the Community Room of the Manchester Police Department.

The order in which plans will be presented was determined via random selection:

Updated 6/28/2016

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Your Opinion Counts - Redistricting Survey for Parents/Guardians is Open!

Your Opinion Counts!
A message from the Superintendent of Schools:

As you may know, the Manchester School District is currently planning to redistrict at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year. A special committee of the Board of School Committee has been appointed to alleviate overcrowding in some of our schools.

What does this mean for your family and child(ren)? The special committee’s goal is to finalize a redistricting plan by October 1, 2016. We don’t know yet how many students or schools will be affected. Right now the committee is gathering facts and community input.

The special committee is committed to keeping the public informed about the process and welcomes your input. Information is available at our website under the Redistricting tab at the top of the page.

We also invite you to participate in a survey. It is available on our website. If you do not have access to a computer, you may ask for a paper survey from your child’s school office. The paper surveys must be returned to the school office by June 9 th . The results of the survey will help the committee make better decisions about redistricting and will be available on-line.

Debra Livingston, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Monday, April 25, 2016

School Room Usage and Capacities

A new document comparing  room usage and capacity in each school has been added to the Documents folder on the Special Committee on Redistricting web site at

Floor plans are included for each school along with a list of rooms by number, designated purpose, current number of students in the room, and the room's capacity. School are listed in alphabetical order by elementary schools, middle schools, and then high schools.

View the document:

Friday, April 22, 2016

Principals Redistricting Survey Results Are In

Manchester School District principals were recently surveyed. The survey collected information about:

  • gym and cafeteria as a dual-purpose or stand-alone space
  • number of lunch shifts
  • portables and their use
  • possible benefits of redistricting
  • special programs housed at that location
  • whether or not art, music, and health were taught in their own or shared space
View the survey result at:

Saturday, April 2, 2016


Welcome to the BOSC Special Committee on Redistricting blog! We are excited to begin the conversation with all of Manchester and expect to meet our educational goals by having an equitable open exchange of ideas and information around this very difficult topic.

We are all on the side of doing the very best we can for kids and their families. The Special Committee is going to tackle the issue in three phases and will welcome community input during all three:

I.  Collect all of the relevant information from schools, the administration and the public. This fact finding phase is critical to making sure that we do not overlook important information needed to make an informed decision.

II. The committee, with the help of administrators, transportation representatives, and city planners will create a plan or plans for redistricting.

III. The Special Committee and MANSD administration will present the redistricting plan or plans to the public in a series of open forums where the community can not only be presented with the plan(s) but can ask questions and receive answers in an open exchange.

We look forward to working with you all and hope that everyone working together can come up with the best solution and do what is the educationally best for our children.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Proposed Strategy for a BOSC Sub-Committee on Redistricting

Step 1 - Mission statement for subcommittee

Step 2 -  Set the Educational Goals for Redistricting.
Look at the Superintendent’s stated goals from February 29th Special BOSC meeting - discuss and refine without reference to any specific school or plan.

Step 3 - Develop a Timeline.

Step 4 - Go on a Fact Finding Mission.

Start with as much information as possible - post  ALL of it on the District website.
  1. District will provide;
    1. Recommended building capacities, number of classrooms and current class sizes (teacher names, class codes and other identifying factors removed to protect student privacy) and current total number of students for each building.
    2. Number of portable classrooms at each school and how they’re being used.
    3. Past redistricting studies, proposals and all other information regarding redistricting that is relevant.
    4. Current recommendation from the Superintendent including her stated goals.
    5. Spreadsheet of full BOSC members redistricting suggestions collected before formation of the special committee.
    6. Projections of additional incoming students due to development in the city as provided by the Planning Department.
  2. Each school in the District will;
    1. Fill out a simple, uniform questionnaire (developed by the Special Committee) asking for building information relevant to redistricting.
  3. Committee will;
    1. Have two members of the committee visit every school in the district to meet with building administration and take a tour of the facilities.
    2. Will listen to every member of the public that contacts the Special Committee.
    3. Stay open to all possibilities and not prejudge or predetermine a solution until all of the facts have been gathered.
     3. Community will;
    1. Have access to all of the same information that the Special Committee has.
    2. Have the opportunity to offer any information and/or suggestions they feel are important for the Special Committee to know. (special email address accessible by all subcommittee members?)

Step 5 - Set Specific Goals for Redistricting.

Define specific goals to accomplish the best educational outcomes for students.
  1. Define specific goals.
  2. Prioritize those goals.

Step 6 - Develop a plan(s) for redistricting to accomplish the specific set goals.

Work on plan(s) to present to the community on as many different media platforms as possible.
  1. Provide the educational rationale for the plan(s) in common everyday language.

Step 7 - Listen intently to community feedback and engage in question/answer format forums all around the city.

Each member of the Board of School Committee will be asked to host an open forum at a school of their choosing in their ward. They will;
  1. Work with the Special Committee chair to be given a range of dates in which to hold a meeting.
  2. Request the principal and the parent group of the school to help him/her host the Special Committee and community for a public forum to be held in the evening.
  3. Help facilitate the setup and restoration of the space according to the requested format of the Special Committee.
  4. Work with the school(s) in their ward to inform parents, staff and the community of the date, time, location and purpose of the forum.
  5. Inform the media of the date, time, location and purpose of the forum in a timely manner so that the public is well informed. The Special Committee will provide a recommended list with contact information for the media.
  6. Attend the forum and bring any received feedback from constituents unable to attend.

The Special Committee will host an online forum where the community can also provide feedback and suggestions.

Step 8 - Recommendation to the BOSC of final plan.