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

Thursday, March 19, 2020

With no end to the school shutdown in sight, teachers will start calling parents and guardians today as the first step in what will be a shift to formalized "interim learning" -- a combination of hard copy assignments, online experiences, and telephone check-ins with students. But there's no remote approach to staging the MHS spring musical and since "Fame" was supposed to open tonight, we instead chatted with the student cast in the lead role. You'll find that below. And remember, to subscribe to this newsletter, just click here.
The Latest News
  • Here's the note superintendent Matt Geary sent to parents and guardians Wednesday explaining how remote learning will work.  (It's in Spanish, too.)
  • And a reminder that teachers' phone calls home may come from a "blocked" or "unknown" number. Here's more on that.
  • All Town buildings, administrative offices and facilities will be closed indefinitely to the public as of 8 a.m. today.  Offices will be staffed and services will be provided to the public by telephone, email, and by appointment. Read more here.
  • Tonight's BoD budget workshop will be held via video conference and broadcast live on Channel 16 and on Silk City TV.
  • Yesterday's Manchester Matters is here.
The town's pandemic information page has much more.
Student Stuff

Humans Of Manchester

We took this photo early last week, during rehearsal for the MHS spring musical that was supposed to open tonight. Alas, Gail Boahen is left with what modest 'Fame' comes with being featured in our gallery. Trust us, though -- her solos, and the entire show --  would have been terrific.
You'll find the 'Humans of Manchester' gallery on both Facebook and Instagram.
She's just a junior but Aislinn Gara Grady -- who each day is sharing her perspective on the school shut down -- feels especially bad for seniors who are going to be missing out on some classic high school memories. Read it here.

Our writing contest has a suggested theme -- 'Unexpected' -- and this second-grader's essay is sweet, personal and poignant.

The contest is open to students of all grade levels, district staff and even community members and the details are here.
Homework And More Homework

Buckley's Nathaniel (grade 1) and Audrey (kindergarten) had a busy day at home yesterday. We're posting more photos of students working from afar on the district Facebook page.

Teachers will be calling families starting today but in the meantime there's lots of resources online and few are listed below: 
eREADING ACCOUNTS : There are special accounts for students in the district, pre-K to grade 12. Click here to see the links.
HIGH SCHOOL: The MHS website has tons of resources and learning opportunities and there's even more on the MHS Media Center page.
ALL AGES: Manchester Public Library's database page includes a link to hoopla (download books and more for free), Pronunciator (learn another language) and more.
Food Is Available
STUDENT MEALS: Free ‘grab-and-go’ breakfast (8-10 a.m.) and lunch (11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.) is available to students Monday through Friday at Bennet Academy, Manchester Middle Academy (the former Robertson School building), Waddell Elementary School and now Squire Village.  Details are here.
MACC CHARITIES: The Community Kitchen (466 Main Street) is giving out bagged lunches (1 bag per person) from 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. No one will be allowed in the dining room to eat. 
SENIOR CENTER: Closed indefinitely but meals are being provided using a pick-up/delivery model.
This And That

History Repeated
Worth watching: A replay of the Historical Society's 100th anniversary program about the 1918 influenza -- and how Manchester responded to the epidemic.
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.
  • Gov. Lamont on Wednesday announced that indoor malls and bowling alleys must close by 8 p.m. tonight and remain closed until further notice. 
Social Distancing Dos and Don'ts
This parking lot was packed yesterday as hikers descended on Case Mountain (good!) while at Charter Oak Park, people played tennis and basketball while sweatily commingling (bad!).
OneManchester is compiled by Jim Farrell and Paul Ofria of the school district's communications office based on contributions from people and institutions throughout town. Jim, the district's communications director, can be reached at or 860-268-6377. OneManchester has been published weekly since August 2017, is always free, and has not been hacked since Sept. 12, 2019,