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School Board Accepts $1.34 Million State Alliance Grant

The money will be used to help Manchester public schools bridge the achievement gap.

The Board of Education voted Monday to accept a $1.34 million dollar grant from the Connecticut Department of Education as one of the state's designated "Alliance Districts," a term developed under Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's education reform proposal to send extra funding to the state's 30 worst performing school districts. 

"We are very excited by this opportunity," Interim Superintendent Richard Kisiel said of the grant. "It is obviously going to be a benefit to our school district as we move ahead and meet the challenges of improving the achievement gap." 

Alliance districts had to submit an application to the state outlining how they would go about implementing some form of "reform strategies" outlined by Malloy earlier this year. Manchester's application focused on developing a six and a half week summer preschool program to ease the transition for young students entering the school system, an increase in reading tutors and coaches and the implementation of a six week summer literacy intervention for students below grade level, and the development of a new teacher and administrator evaluation and support system. 

"This will enable us to move ahead to work on the district's improvement plan," Kisiel said. "…Work has already begun in anticipation of the revenue." 

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The school board also unanimously voted to adopt a new social media policy. After a previous draft of the policy raised the ire of the Connecticut chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, Kisiel said the school board's attorneys at the firm of Shipman & Goodwin worked with the ACLU to revise the policy and that the new policy would actually encourage employee use of social media for educational purposes while establishing "succinct guidelines." 

Joel Mrosek October 23, 2012 at 01:46 PM
It is sad that Manchester is eligible for such grants.
tina bourke October 23, 2012 at 03:19 PM
It is an opportunity to turn things around and help the people who are working so hard to make that happen in order to benefit Manchester by helping their own succeed. Thank you for the grant and approving it!! Great decision.......
Joe Grieco October 23, 2012 at 03:55 PM
I agree. While I am glad to see the grant money, I am disappointed that we are considered to be one of the 30 worse performing school districts in the state.
James Bond October 23, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Wow, big news the BOE said yes to getting more money.What happens to these new programs when the grant money stops flowing in..........oh yeah that's looking down the road when those in charge now won't be there anymore and those that are can claim it wasn't their fault...............and the wheel keeps going round.

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