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Published weekly since August 2017 and now daily during the Coronavirus school shutdown

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Last night's virtual BoE meeting was, not surprisingly, dominated by discussion of school closure issues.
Yesterday began with classmates and teachers reunited online as learning formally resumed throughout the district ... and it ended with a virtual BoE meeting, with Board Chair Darryl Thames and Superintendent Matt Geary alone in Lincoln Center as members took part by phone. We have coverage of these developments and more as well as our daily invitation that if you want to subscribe to this newsletter just click here.
The Latest
The number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in the state is doubling every three days and is now over 2,500, which has officials seeking potential overflow treatment sites -- the Connecticut Convention Center and the Mohegan Sun casino are possibilities.
  • State statistics released yesterday had the death count at 36.
  • According to The Courant, the state recently received 111,000 N95 masks and 146,000 surgical masks from the federal government but those supplies will "not last longer than several days."
  • Locally, the Manchester Rotary Club has a crowdfunding campaign in support of corporate member ECHN’s front line staff.  Funds raised will be used to purchase meals from local restaurants for duty staff. Click here for more.
The Weather

Something new: Starting in April (which arrives tomorrow) our newsletter will include a daily student weather drawing and a quick forecast (today will be cloudy and in the high 40s).
Click here for Manchester's 10-day forecast and here for info on how to submit weather drawings.
School Stuff
That Virtual BoE Meeting
You can watch a replay of last night's virtual meeting and it includes a lengthy and thorough status report by Superintendent Matt Geary and lots of phoned-in questions from board members.

Topics covered:
  • Technology (internet hotspots and more Chromebooks are on the way)
  • Budget implications (what happens to transportation and Special Education costs? etc.)
  • The calendar (extended learning will be held through what would have been April vaca and the academic year will end June 15).
  • And lots, lots more. The meeting is packed with info.
More From The Superintendent

Geary's email to the MPS community yesterday afternoon included reassuring words and tips including these:
  • There's no need to purchase devices, printers and such.
  • Written work can be done on plain paper; no need to print anything.
  • Chromebook issues? Email
For our MHS essayist, the first day back was welcome indeed. Read Aislinn Gara Grady's latest installment ('Glad To Be Back') as she chronicles the life of a student during this school shutdown. Also, if you have an essay you'd care to share we have info for you here.
Back To School, Sort Of
Come Again?

The first first day for students was Tuesday, Sept. 3 and the big story in town was the reopening of Verplanck Elementary. Raise your hand if back then you predicted we'd have a mild winter (just two snow days!) followed by a world-wide pandemic. But here we are. Myra (left) was especially excited about the year's second first day.
We have a dozens of photos of students learning from home on the district FB page and we'll add yours if you send them to
District Resources 
  • We have all the other past emails from the superintendent (in English and in Spanish)
  • This resource hub has tips about Google Classroom, Chromebook troubleshooting info and more.
  • We have a team of people who are helping with tech-related concerns and issues and they can be reached at
The theme is 'Unexpected' so it should come as no surprise that we've changed the duration of the contest. You can now enter through April 24, but why wait? For details just click here.

Seth In The (Silk) City

Seth DeValve, a 2011 MHS grad and new member of the Carolina Panthers, is planning a free football camp this summer on the field where he got his start (although now it's covered with artificial turf).
The Journal Inquirer and Hartford Courant both have regular town news coverage but monthly free-read limits -- although the Courant has removed the paywall from its main daily Coronavirus story. You'll also find stories in Manchester Patch
Of Note:
  • The JI has a story about organizations (like MACC) working to ensure residents have access to food and more.
Meals For Students Now Include Supper
Free ‘grab-and-go’ meals for students are available Monday through Friday.
  • The Menu: Lunch today is toasted cheese sandwich and supper is pizza. You'll find the menu here. 
  • How: Drive up and the meals will be delivered to the car.
  • Also: People have asked whether they can pick up breakfast, lunch and supper for the day at the same time. Because some meals are not prepared in advance that's generally not possible but we are exploring options. 
OTHER FOOD AVAILABILITY: For info about the MAAC community kitchen, the Salvation Army and the Second Congregational Church food pantry, please click here.
Teacher's Pet
Pictures are pouring in (here's how that works) as we feature the pets of teachers -- both those employed by the district as well as parents/guardians helping their kids from home.
  • Featured today: A rescue mix dog and a Manx cat
  • Guess their names: Rosie, Cadi and Brady. (We add one fake name just for fun)
  • Now what? Click here to find the name of each pet and its owner, etc.
Words From The Wise

“Anyone who has never made a mistake
has never tried anything new.”

-- Albert Einstein
OneManchester is compiled by Jim Farrell of the school district's communications office and he can be reached at or 860-268-6377. OneManchester has been published since August 2017, is always free, and has not been hacked since Sept. 12, 2019, Want to subscribe? Just click here