MANCHESTER – As the school year fast approaches, administrators, educators and staff are also looking toward the future.
Members of the community took part in Strategic Planning earlier in the year which was an information-collecting process designed to provide parents, families and the community with the opportunity to share their opinions to drive the future of the Manchester School District.
A survey was available through the school district website that residents filled out. From this, the district is outlining a plan to cover from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2026
The plan – which is available to read on the school district’s website – has as its top goal to enhance communication within the district, between the district and the community, and among all stakeholder groups.
The objectives of the plan include increasing the modes of communication used with non-English speaking families and stakeholders by 15%, increasing parental engagement of non-English-speaking students by 10% and increasing the frequency of internal communications by providing weekly updates regarding district information, events and incidents.
An additional objective is to introduce and utilize a new integrated platform for system-wide communication.
A second goal is to strengthen the climate and culture of the school district by creating a safe and positive school environment free of bullying where students are celebrated, have a sense of belonging, and access to mental health support strategies.
The objectives of this goal is for all schools within the district to reduce disciplinary incidents by 10% and to improve students’ and staff’s sense of belonging by 10% each year.
Other objectives to support this goal include all of the district’s schools having upgraded safety measures by the end of 2026. There will also be an increase of opportunities for teaching mental health support/trauma-informed strategies by 10%.
The objectives also involve providing parent/community events that inform stakeholders about district efforts to improve safety, wellness and a sense of belonging.
The plan’s third goal is to increase student achievement and provide an environment that fosters student voice, engagement, and agency.
The objectives of this goal is add to the number of targets met on the District’s ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) accountability report by 10%.
The targets for this include:
- Increase the percent of students meeting/exceeding Proficiency on State Assessments in ELA, math and science.
- Increase the percent of students meeting/exceeding expected growth rates on State Assessments in ELA and math.
- Increase the graduation rate
- Decrease chronic absenteeism
The objective also seeks to increase the percent of students who achieve Proficiency on local and benchmark assessments by 15% and to increase students’ sense of engagement, voice and choice by 10% annually.
The school district also wishes to see a reduction in the number of Child Study Team referrals by 10% by improving Tier 1 interventions, classroom-based supports and service.
This goal also involves increasing the number of opportunities for students to participate in activities that foster connection, exploration, and community-based experiences.
School officials will be seeking to identify current opportunities for in-school and out-of-school experiences at each school, add opportunities for students at each school to participate in meaningful experiences that foster connection which includes involvement with Ocean County College, transition programs, structured learning experiences and field trips.
An earlier step in the process took place on March 16 when a Strategic Planning event was held at Manchester Township High School.
The district partnered with Dr. Tracey Severns of Teach4Results to facilitate the school district’s Strategic Planning Process. Dr. Severns was present at the event to conduct a feedback exercise and to explain to stakeholders of the school community how the school district would shape its future plans
Dr. Severns, a nationally known educator, said all the information collected was analyzed and those results were presented to the Board of Education at their June meeting. The Board came together with the school administration to lay out the goals and how to achieve those goals.