The Manchester School District is governed by a fifteen member committee that is elected every two years. The Mayor serves as chairperson of the Board.
The District is comprised of fifteen elementary schools, including a developmental preschool, four middle schools, three fully accredited high schools, a regional vocational/technical school, and a program of adult education. The District serves more than 17,250 students and employs 1,700 faculty and staff.
Middle and high schools offer extensive music and art programs, competitive athletics, clubs, and community service organizations. All schools provide opportunities for parents to participate at school or from home through parent associations and volunteer groups. Partnerships with the business community are highly valued. Most schools enjoy one or more business/education partnerships.
As a community with an increasingly diverse population, the District offers a wide range of programs and initiatives. The English as a Second Language program serves more than 1,500 students who, as immigrants or refugees, are non-English proficient. The ESOL program provides English language instruction and offers students assistance with cultural assimilation. The Program Alternative to Secondary School (PASS), is geared for students who require an alternative approach for completing high school requirements.
The Manchester School District and the City of Manchester are united in their desire to provide students with quality education in wholesome environments. Determining the quality of the educational services provided, as well as completing a comprehensive assessment of school buildings, has been a major undertaking.
An Audit of Educational Effectiveness was conducted during the 1999-2000 school year. Funded by the business community through the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, the audit was performed by SchoolMatch, a nationally recognized firm which specializes in evaluating the quality of educational services provided by school districts. Key components of the audit include strong instructional leadership, clear learning objectives, regular monitoring and measurement of student achievement, high expectations, and a supportive school climate. Upon completion of the audit, the Manchester School District received several commendations as well as specific recommendations for improvement. The District has made significant progress in meeting the audit's recommendations.
In association with the New England School Development Council, the District completed a ten year enrollment forecast which outlined community demographics, operating capacity, and projected space needs. This was followed by a facilities audit conducted by Parsons Brinckerhoff. The facilities audit consisted of an engineering evaluation of the physical condition of existing school buildings, a programmatic assessment of capacities and needs, and an evaluation of alternatives to meet projected needs. Currently, District and City officials are studying the recommendations for funding options.
Providing an exceptional education for its children heads the list of Manchester's priorities. Together, working with students, parents, educators, school administrators, elected officials, and the community at-large, Manchester's education system is proactive and visionary.