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New Manchester schools boss spends first days addressing issues in audit report

MANCHESTER — The district's new superintendent made her debut at a Board of School Committee meeting Monday that was notable for its light agenda.

"What an exciting week this has been," Superintendent Debra Livingston, who began her first week on the job last week, told the board. "I feel like I've been welcomed with open arms."

In her address to the board, Livingston said she would make the recently released audit report of the school system a guide for her first actions.

"I think this is such a benefit. My first priority is to find a way to align all the work we do in curriculum and instruction through the audit findings," she said.
The report, by an Iowa-based consulting company, was critical of the school committee and district, and singled out a lack of curriculum coordination across the school system.   Livingston met earlier in the day with a team of teachers revising the district's curriculum in line with the state's new Common Core standards.
In addition, the superintendent said that the state Department of Education has designated seven schools in need of special support as a condition of the waiver the state recently received from the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
The designation will make the schools eligible for more professional development training and other state resources, Livingston said.

"This will help build capacity in these schools," she said.The schools are Beech Street, Gossler Park, Wilson, Parker-Varney and McDonough elementary schools, and Parkside and Southside Middle Schools.

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