The Board of School Committee in Manchester will hold a special meeting tonight in order to receive a presentation from Superintendent Debra Livingston about student performance on the Smarter Balanced Assessment. The results will be released today by the state Department of Education and Livingston wants to make sure the board understands what they are and what they mean.
At Monday’s meeting of the board, Livingston, who requested a special meeting to present and explain the scores, was clearly trying to downplay expectations in reply to questions from Ward Two Committee-member Debra Langton who asked if the assessment was a fair measure of what students have learned. Livingston, after a long pause, said it was a fair representation of how well they performed on the test that one day. But, while she said they could look at the assessments and see how they might be used to adjust curriculum and improve instruction, she went on to say quote “But, to say that this is how a student would perform everyday, that’s not the case.”
Some, including Mayor Ted Gatsas, questioned why a special meeting was necessary, curious to know why, if the district has had the scores for several weeks, they weren’t brought forward at a regular meeting of the board. Livingston has maintained that districts were not free to release the statistics earlier because of a directive given by the state Department of Ed, despite the release of that information by other districts.
At Monday’s meeting, Livingston said they had a twenty slide PowerPoint presentation that was quote “ready to go” and that it would be sent to the board on Tuesday. We requested a copy of the presentation late Tuesday afternoon and were told it had yet to be sent to the board because it was still being worked on and that we should expect it today, given that yesterday was a holiday. The board expressed a desire to receive the information in advance of the presentation so they could be prepared to ask questions. Assuming we receive it, it will be published on Girard at Large dot com.
The meeting will be held in the library at Memorial High School at seven o’clock and, again, that’s tonight.
Also at Monday’s meeting, the board ratified the letter sent by Vice Chairman Sarah Ambrogi to the Hooksett School Board, basically telling them to pound sand on a long term tuition agreement. No one’s quite sure if, in ratifying the letter, the board nullified its prior action to allow any Hooksett student who started their high school career in Manchester to finish it in Manchester “in perpetuity” given that Ambrogi’s letter called that action “erroneous” and said the board would act to clarify that it meant to extend that guarantee only to those freshmen who enter in the coming school year. The ratification was opposed by Gatsas, Langton, Ward Five’s Ted Rokas and Ward Nine’s Arthur Beaudry.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
The Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund is now accepting grant applications for the winter review cycle. Applicants should submit a completed application and all required information no later than end of business on December eleventh. Information and an application are available on the Diocese of Manchester website, catholic n h dot org slash B C A F or by calling 6 6 3 0 1 6 6. The fund accepts applications from qualified 5 0 1 (c) 3 organizations in the state, without regard to religious affiliation, for projects that help people of the state meet their basic needs. The fund is operated by a volunteer lay board of directors who make recommendations to the Bishop of Manchester for grants to any organization in New Hampshire whose mission is consistent with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and who meet the grant guidelines. Money for the grants is raised through donations from individuals, businesses and philanthropic organizations.
Controversy is unfolding this morning as the most recent crime numbers out of the town of Candia are coming in for some scrutiny. The Candia Police Department, which has battled a brutal crime wave chronicled exclusively on these airwaves, released numbers for last month showed that crime has all but disappeared! Candia’s cops reported a mere seventy one traffic warnings, three motor vehicle summonses and just two arrests, including a twenty six year old male taken into quote “protective custody for alcoholism” and a thirty four year old man wanted on a warrant for Second Degree Assault.
Fearful folks in town are in an uproar, demanding to either know what the real numbers are or, if the numbers are real, demanding the police department be disbanded because they clearly have nothing to do.
Who knows, maybe some of those obviously bored officers will apply to become police officers in Manchester, where there are twenty vacancies to fill and plenty of exciting work to do. Better yet, to be hired, they won’t even to register by the end of the day today at Manchester P D dot com or talk to Officer Carl Accorto at 7 9 2 5 4 5 2 to take the police exam the department’s holding on November twenty first in order to be hired. Note to those even just thinking about being a police officer, Manchester really hopes you’ll take the test and apply. They truly need the help.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next!