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February 09. 2014 9:09PM

Manchester school board to vote on expanding Parker-Varney programs

MANCHESTER — The school board Monday will decide whether to expand the before- and after-school programs at Parker-Varney School.

A board subcommittee last month unanimously backed the idea.

The principal and parent-teacher group have requested a different program be offered that would use the building for more hours.

"The request is to have the program increase with regard to the number of hours per day and to offer the program daily on non-school days, holidays and during school vacations," according to background information prepared for the school board.

The current program doesn't provide programming when school is not in session. The current after-school provider has indicated an inability to accommodate the request.

Added costs for utilities and maintenance are cited, but no dollar amount is given to expand the program.

Principal Amy Allen wrote that 42 people had responded that they were interested in a before/after-school program that offered more hours and more enrichment activities.

Amy Richards, with the Parker-Varney PTG, wrote that the school's current program "no longer meets the needs of our families" and other programs in the area offer longer hours and cover school vacations and holidays.

"In addition some of the programs in the area offer additional activities such as a gym and swim program," she wrote.

Parent Noella Sebastien, whose son is a second-grader, wrote that she would like to see swimming lessons, arts and crafts and computer/technology activities.

She wrote that "many students would benefit from a different program that fosters learning and welcomes everyone."

The board, which meets at 7 p.m. at City Hall, also will be asked to confirm a phone poll of board members declaring Friday as "Maggie Philbrook Day," in honor of the 13-year-old girl who was diagnosed with cancer and died early this month. Participating schools will allow staff members to wear jeans Friday for a $5 donation, with all proceeds benefitting the family.


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