Strong schools are critical to our city’s success and lead to a thriving community, better jobs, safer neighborhoods, enhanced property values and more. Mayor Craig and her husband Mike are both graduates of Manchester public schools, as are her two oldest children, and her youngest is a student at Central. She first ran for school board when she saw unmet potential in her children’s schools, and has always made improving our public schools a priority.
Mayor Craig oversaw the immediate transition from in-person education to remote learning due to the COVID-19 crisis, took measures to limit academic drop-off, and worked with the District to safely bring students and teachers back into the classroom.
Leading During the Crisis
- The Manchester School District updated air filtration systems in all school buildings to improve ventilation, expediting the return to in person learning.
- In partnership with Southern New Hampshire University, Granite United Way, Granite YMCA and Manchester School District, we established Fuel our Families, allowing the Manchester School District to prepare over 185,000 meals for students across the city, no matter if they added public, private, or charter schools.
- Utilized federal funds to make major investments in technology for District staff, including hardware purchases of 800 computers, webcams, document cameras and writing pads, and more.
- Purchased and distributed more than 6,000 Chromebooks to students, reaching the city’s goal of one device per student.
- Completed an expansive fiber internet loop project between West, Memorial and Central that connects with surrounding schools and provided a significant increase in internet bandwidth at a time when such an increase was critical to continued instruction.
- Expanded summer learning programs available to all students to help combat learning loss by working with community partners such as YMCA and GEAR UP with MCC, to offer online and drop-in tutoring sessions and more.
Standing up for our students
- Worked with the Board of School Committee and the Manchester School District, to develop a new English and Math curriculum; a new reading curriculum is currently in development to provide a 21st century education to Manchester students.
- Secured a GEAR UP grant giving Manchester schools $10.5 Million over 7 years, and a $500,000 grant from the Barr Foundation for Manchester High School West.
- Continued partnership with Manchester Proud to create the first-ever community-led strategic plan for Manchester’s schools, facilitating the hiring of a Chief Equity Officer, and establishing a School Equity Dashboard to track progress towards annual diversity, equity, and inclusion goals and metrics.
- Eliminated overdue book fines for all children’s and young adult books at the Manchester Public Library, ensuring every child in the Queen City can afford to check out a book at our local libraries.
- Continued highlighting the importance of the Bookmobile in Manchester to encourage literacy across our city, providing free books and snacks over the summer to Manchester children and access to books and library resources during remote instruction; working to receive a new vehicle to replace the Bookmobile to ensure it can stay on the road for years to come.
- Worked in collaboration with the Manchester Transit Authority and Manchester School District to allow high school students to ride municipal buses at any time, any day — free of charge.
- With the Board of School Committee, implemented redistricting on the West side, decreasing class sizes.