Sara Swanson

School building consolidation transition team moves forward – more questions answered, public meetings scheduled

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Last Thursday Manchester Community Schools held its first Transition Team meeting. The committee is tasked with ensuring a smooth transition for students currently in grades 5th – 8th, moving into new buildings for the 2017/2018 school year. Because of the re-purposing of the Manchester Middle School, current 5th graders (next year’s 6th graders) will be moving from the Manchester Middle School to Klager Elementary School, which will continue to be called Klager Elementary. Current 6th, 7th and 8th graders (next year’s 7th, 8th and 9th graders) will be moving to what is now the Manchester High School but what will be known as the Middle School/High School next year.

Meetings and building tours have been scheduled:

  • As part of the transition process, two meetings have been scheduled for current 5th through 8th graders, (students going into 6th through 9th grade) and their families to answer questions and hear concerns, on Thursday June 8th at 7 pm and Wednesday, August 23 at 7 pm, both in the MS/HS auditorium. After the meeting, tours will be given of the Middle School/High School and of Klager.
  • Two dates for technology pick-up, registration and building tours for current 6th through 11th graders (students going into 7th through 12th grade next year) have been scheduled for Tuesday, August 15 from noon to 8 pm and Wednesday, August 23 from noon to 8 pm, both in the MS/HS commons. During these times, parents will be able to pick up their child’s Chromebooks, pay for technology insurance, and complete all the annual forms and take a tour of the building.
  • Open Houses have been scheduled for both buildings on Tuesday, August 29, from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. Klager’s open house will be for all students going in to K – 6th grade and their families and Manchester MS/HS will be for all students going into 7th – 12th grade. Teacher assignments, class schedules and locker assignments are usually set by the open house, so the open house is an opportunity for students to meet their teachers, find their classes, and their lockers.
  • If parents of current 5th through 8th graders (students going into grades 6th – 9th) are not able to make any of the scheduled tours, they can contact either of the building principals for a private tour, Kevin Mowrer,, Manchester MS/HS or Jennifer Mayes,, Klager Elementary.

The transition committee is made up of 6 parents, 5 staff members, 4 administrators and 6 students.  Superintendent Cherie Vannatter reports that all of the parents who had emailed her and volunteered to help with the transition were placed on the committee. Students and staff were asked to be on the committee by school administration.  The following adults on the committee are willing to be contacted by community members with questions: Julie Desbrough,, Kim Blumenstein,, Jill Corwin,, Tracey Niswender,, Kristi Campbell,, Mary Fielder,, Kerry Wolf,, Sandi Fillyaw,, Leslie Rollins,, Kevin Mowrer,, Jennifer Mayes,, Karin Villarreal,, Cherie Vannatter,

Some of the questions asked before and immediately after the decision was made to re-purpose the Middle School next year that had no answer at the time, have been decided on. Here are some of those answers:

  • The start and end times for students next year will be 8 am and end at 2:45 pm for 7th and 8th grade students, 8:03 am – 2:48 pm for 9th – 12th grade students and 8:15 am – 3 pm for K – 6th grade students.
  • Next year 7th and 8th grade students will not have recess but will have physical education each day.
  • 7th & 8th graders will not be allowed to remain in the High School Commons after school unless meeting with a teacher or tutor.
  • 5th & 6th graders will have lockers but whether/how they will be able to lock them is being considered. All 7th grade students and most of the 8th grade students have lockers on the first floor of the MS/HS near their classrooms. If an 8th grader is assigned a locker on the second floor, parents will be notified and have the ability to opt out of this location.
  • Market Day for 6th graders will continue next year
  • 7th and 8th graders will not be allowed on Junior Varsity or Varsity teams.
  • Buses will provide transportation for MS student athletes to the MS building after school if their sport requires gym usage. Coaches will supervise their teams as they do currently.
  • Grades K – 4 will continue to use iPads and grades 5 – 12 will use Chromebooks.
  • Picnic tables at the Middle School are being moved to the other two buildings.
  • There will be three lunch periods at Klager next year. Grades K – 2 will eat together, as will grades 3 and 4, and grades 5 and 6. At the MS/HS, grades 7, 8, and some 9 will eat together, then the rest of grade 9 and grades 10– 12 will eat together.
  • No microwaves will be moved to Klager but 5th & 6th graders will be able to purchase pretzels at Klager.

More information on building consolidation will be posted as it is available on the school district’s website, located at

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