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Manchester school board sends course listings back to committee


MANCHESTER - The Board of School Committee on Monday voted to return to committee the high school program of studies for next fall.

The Curriculum and Instruction Committee had approved the program, which is a listing of all courses offered at the three high schools.

But the full board rejected the listing, with the majority arguing that it continued to include specialized courses offered at only one of the three high schools.

"The idea was to have courses that students at all three (high schools) can participate in," board member Art Beaudry said. "There are courses here where other students have no chance of taking the course at the other school."

The vast majority of courses on the list are core subjects taught at all three high schools. There are, however, unique courses taught at only one of the three schools, such as "Women's Literature" and "Lessons of the Vietnam War" at Manchester High School Central.

The school board has long been making an effort to pare down its program of studies in order to remove specialized classes.

Board member John Avard said the list of courses approved by the committee reflected the concerted effort of school principals and district officials.

"This is the most pared-down list I've ever seen. I think it's time we do as the education specialists say we should do. Time is drawing short," he said.

Assistant Superintendent Michael Tursi said, "There is a total of 22 course titles. ... This list has been vetted through building principals."

The vote sends the program of studies back to the Curriculum and Instruction Committee, with the directive to further pare down the list.

tsiefer@unionleader.com

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