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Manchester Central High School

Public | 9-12 | 2235 students


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22 reviews of this school

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Posted March 12, 2014

Manchester Central is an outstanding school. Staff is amazing! Mr. Sanford, Mrs. Ferro, Mrs. Anderson and Mrs. Wadleigh are just a few of the incredible teachers! The city should have enclosed the courtyard when building the addition.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 2, 2013

I currently go to this school and I have to say its the most amazing school I could go to. central is so diverse. it's refreshing especially being in New Hampshire. my parents have been very happy with the school and so have i. I'm proud to be little green and will hold my central pride forever! we have great ap and honor programs and I don't want to leave:( everyone should come here. no hesitations!
—Submitted by a student

Posted June 27, 2011

Excellent school. My daughter just graduated this year & they did a great job preparing her for college. I'm sad that the principal retired this year, Mr. Rist was the best principal I have ever met.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 9, 2009

Overall, Central is amazing. It offers rigorous classes for those who are devoted students, and basic classes for those who need extra help, as well as classes for everyone in between! We are amazingly diverse and have students from all over. School spirit has gone down slightly this year due to a change in the grading system, no more homeroom, no more labs for some science classes, and a change in pep rallies, but even with all of these new negatives our school spirit could beat any other school in the state! The only real problem I have with the school is the guidance department. It just may be the least organized and most complicated thing in the world. Most of the people who work in it seem to have no desire to help students and are quite rude. I have never even SEEN my guidance counselor.
—Submitted by a student

Posted October 7, 2009

Even though they may lack supplies they have no lack of school spirit . Four generations of my family have attended Central and have done well.

Posted October 7, 2009

I have one son who is currently a sophomore at Central and a daughter who graduated in 2007. She is currently a junior at Georgetown where her teachers are astounded by how well her teachers from Central prepared her. I imagine it is probably the same at Harvard, U Penn, Carnegie-Mellon, Columbia, Brown, RPI, Middlebury, and Stanford where here fellow classmates are enrolled.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 6, 2009

Our teachers and students want very much to do their best and they do despite falling short with textbooks, enough teachers & support staff and very scan supplies. The money would be such a loving boost.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 3, 2009

It believes in its students and helps them achieve their potential
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 3, 2009

central is amazing, im a senior this year and was super uneasy about going to an inner city school. But after 1 week i was in love with the school, the fact that its in the inner city makes it unique and it has barely any problems, the teachers aer wonderful the kids are amazing and the avademics are rigorous, they thoroughly prepare you for acceptance in to college. Don't think twice about sending your kids there it will be the best thing you can do for their education!!!!
—Submitted by a student

Posted December 31, 2008

I have had three children go through Central High School, a high achiever, an average student, and the third was coded learning disabled. As for the extracurricular, two were musical, and one was an athlete. In each case, all of my children absolutely loved Central High School. Their individual needs were met. They were well prepared and accepted into their colleges of choice. They all were very successful in college (#3 still in) Central's staff is excellent. Each was challenged academically to the fullest extent of their ability., The music and athletic programming was top-notched. Most importantly, each learned important life lessons and grew emotionally to be more sensitive, caring human beings as they interacted with diverse cultures and backgrounds. My husband and I were initially concerned about the inner city location, and did consider alternatives. I am so glad we went with Central. It was an outstanding experience.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 8, 2008

I graduted in 2006. I went to Central for two years, but I can tell you one thing. Central is probably the best school in New England. The atmosphere and tradition runs so thick in the school. Academically and athletically Central is the best.
—Submitted by a student

Posted April 25, 2007

I graduated with the class of 2006 and I have to say Central was a worthwhile experience. I was more than prepared for college academically, but also have a diverse look on life because of the fellow students at the school. The academics are excellent only if the student takes the initiative though. I thought the guidance counselors were adequate, they just won't go out of their way to find you, which is another way students can prepare for college. I was a varsity athlete for 9 seasons and it is obvious Central dominates. I have heard the music program is excellent as well. There is an enormous amount of other activities. John Rist is the best thing that has happened to Central and the construction makes the school much more aesthetically pleasing.
—Submitted by a former student

Posted April 7, 2006

I went to Manchester Central High School and I have to say that I have never had a better expirience in my life. I fell in love with the school and the teachers, the Art Department especially Mrs. Tagalakis-Fedor. The time that I spent at Central was a very valuable time in my life the teachers, the rest of the staff, were overall incredible, I dont know anyone with more pride and loyalty to a school then I to Central.'
—Submitted by a former student

Posted January 22, 2006

I graduated from Central High School in 2005. I have to say I am proud of it. Central fosters a strong sense of pride in clubs, team sports, and most importantly in its students. The teachers are excellent and they push students to excell. There are wonderful honors courses and though some of the buildings are in tough shape the students learn just as well. Afterall it is the oldest school in the state being over 150 years old. The guidance department does leave a lot left to be desired, but the overall experience at Central High School is amazing. Students are ready for college! I've already made the honors program at my school and am ahead of most of my peers in the English and Social Studies departments. The principal is an awesome guy who is interactive with the students and the parents! This is a good choice!
—Submitted by a former student

Posted February 23, 2005

I went to Central High School and graduated in 1999. I'd just like everyone to be aware of the fact that their guidance department is horrible. The teachers are all right, you get some good and some bad anywhere you go, but the guidance department leaves a lot of people in the wind. I ended up going into the Marines, now I'm graduating from UNH and applying to Franklin Pierce Law School. My sister propably won't graduate Central though, she's in the Special Ed department there and it's run on a shoestring budget- much like the rest of the state. I would encourage anyone considering relocation to Manchester to think about other options before doing so.
—Submitted by a former student

Posted February 19, 2005

So sad that all people think about is $$$. What about Abe Lincoln? He had but candle light,a mattress, and a few books to read. He hadn't much money as I recall. He faired better than any I know in history and in this day and age. Go Figure!! It's not all about $$$... it's about wanting to learn and teaching skills properly and efficiently to enable a child to learn. Too many agenda's in the classroom other than the teaching of basics...reading writing and arithmetic!! Oh and Mom and Dad... you're not (off so easily) the hook. Always afraid to have your child diciplined. From where I sit good ole corporal punishment ought be brought back! The old saying goes...'if you cannot control your child there will be someone out there that will!' Teach your kids by example.. respect, manners, etc..May God Bless!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 12, 2005

As the parent of two students attending Central High School I felt compelled to add my thoughts here. Both of my children are among the students receiving resources from the Special Ed. department. Because our family has relocated over the years, they've attended several schools all over the country. I feel like this makes me uniquely qualified to tell you that Central High School's Special Education department is among the worst i've ever seen. They're not alone, the Guidance Office at this school leaves MUCH to be desired. In order to sign our oldest child up for the SAT's, so that she could get extra time on them, we were forced to spearhead the entire effort. Much has been said about the teachers, but there are other areas lacking at this particular school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 29, 2004

i think manchester central is an extraordinary school, it may not be the most financially stable environment.. but with the support of the faculty, the extra-curricular activities, and the exceptionally amzing group of sudents, kids are put into an unreplacable education. it teaches them good social,and academic skills. its the best school out there, and i would give it a perfect 10!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 23, 2004

I just finished my junior year at Central and am so proud of my school. I have enjoyed the teaching of so many great teachers there. Yes, the buildings aren't the best, but they are not half as bad as everyone makes them out to be. John Rist has lifted school spirit among so many students. If a student pushes themself and takes honors classes, the education attained there is great.
—Submitted by a student

Posted September 4, 2003

I graduated from Central High School this past June with the rest of the class of 2003. After reading a recent post by a current student I agree that it is unclear how Manchester Central High School was listed on a website such as While it is true that the school excels in sports, and no doubt that school pride has risen due to the return of Principal Mr. John Rist, academically and structurally the school is falling apart. Lack of heating, and proper learning material, i.e., books, paper, are just a few of the problems faced with on a day to day basis of that school. Administration and faculty are not entirely to blame, however, and most should be give an award for making the best out of the current situation. Lack of funding has paid the largest toll and I find it horrible to think that there are still cutbacks happening.
—Submitted by a former student

Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.

Grade level


The state average for Math was 36% in 2014.

448 students were tested at this school in 2014.









The state average for Reading was 77% in 2014.

442 students were tested at this school in 2014.









The state average for Science was 33% in 2012.

409 students were tested at this school in 2012.



The state average for Writing was 54% in 2014.

443 students were tested at this school in 2014.








Scale: % achievement level 3 or 4

About the tests

In 2013-2014 New Hampshire used the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in reading and math, and in grades 5, 8 and 11 in writing. The NECAP is a standards-based test that measures specific skills defined for each grade by the state of New Hampshire. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficiency level 3.

Source: New Hampshire Department of Education


All Students27%
Black or African American (not Hispanic)3%
Hispanic or Latino7%
White (not Hispanic)32%
Economically disadvantaged12%
Not economically disadvantaged34%
Title I program (current)n/a
With educational disability2%
Without educational disability31%
English language learners9%
Proficient in English30%
Not migrant27%
Former LEP student - monitoring year 2n/a


All Students69%
Black or African American (not Hispanic)36%
Hispanic or Latino58%
White (not Hispanic)76%
Economically disadvantaged47%
Not economically disadvantaged79%
Title I program (current)n/a
With educational disability29%
Without educational disability74%
English language learners0%
Proficient in English76%
Not migrant69%
Former LEP student - monitoring year 2n/a


All Students50%
Black or African American (not Hispanic)28%
Hispanic or Latino42%
White (not Hispanic)54%
Economically disadvantaged34%
Not economically disadvantaged59%
Title I program (current)n/a
With educational disability23%
Without educational disability54%
English language learners13%
Proficient in English54%
Not migrant50%
Former LEP student - monitoring year 2n/a
Scale: % achievement level 3 or 4

About the tests

In 2013-2014 New Hampshire used the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in reading and math, and in grades 5, 8 and 11 in writing. The NECAP is a standards-based test that measures specific skills defined for each grade by the state of New Hampshire. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficiency level 3.

The different student groups are identified by the New Hampshire Department of Education. If there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: New Hampshire Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2013-2014 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 71% 89%
Hispanic 10% 4%
Black 9% 2%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 6% 3%
Two or more races 3% 2%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 38%N/A26%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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This school has not yet provided program information.

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207 Lowell St
Manchester, NH 03104
Phone: (603) 624-6363


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