Principal hugging student

Principal’s Corner

Greetings Manual High School Families,

Manual High School guides students to step into their greatness through powerful learning experiences that propel them to positively impact their community and take their place in the world. This year we fully embraced our newly minted mission statement and have had a year full of students, families, faculty and staff stepping into their greatness on a daily basis. At the closing out of this school year, I am still energized from the joyous graduation celebration and our incredible College Signing Day. Even after the last bell rang our students, families and staff were still sharing and celebrating their learning at our AVID class Book Release Party.

For our outgoing 12th-grade families, I want to thank you for your hope, belief, resilience and commitment during your student’s time here at Manual. It is my sincerest wish that you feel Manual High School has served as a great foundation for your family’s post-secondary readiness plans.
In addition to graduation and our College Signing Day some of my favorite highlights from this year include strong parent engagement in our Thunderbolts Community Nights, a significant increase in the number of students accepted to four-year institutions and almost doubled scholarship totals! We had close to a 60% reduction of ninth graders off track to graduate over the previous year, with many of our juniors already qualifying for remediation-free college courses and credits. We supported our community through the Near Northeast Leadership Compact, and were named a DPS Bright Spot for extraordinary student outcomes. This all while working to ensure we retain, and support a great teacher in every Manual classroom!
For our returning families, you will come back to a school that will implement significant structural improvements aimed at creating 21st-century learning environments that support innovative learning for a second year in a row! When students return, you will also find that we are continuing our 1:1 device program through DPS MyTech accompanied by strong Whole Child wrap-around services. Our professional development focus will be on increasing student engagement in connection with high rigor, and a relentless focus on college and career preparation.
As always, I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you. Thank you to the Manual teachers and Dream Brokers who believe in our students and work day in and day out to ensure every student is given the knowledge and tools they need to bring their dreams closer to reality.
Thank you to the Manual staff, who is the backbone of our school. Without you, Manual’s engine would not run smoothly. We couldn’t do the important work we do without you.
Thank you to the parents and guardians who believe in us. By entrusting us with your kids, you have shown confidence in us, and we don’t take that lightly. Thank you for your words of encouragement, prayers, kindness, and, most importantly, belief in the Manual Graduate.
Thank you to our volunteers who tirelessly fill in the gaps of service to ensure nobody falls through the cracks. Your selflessness and dedication to Manual is amazing.
Thank you to our athletics coaches, alumni and community supporters. Your support for our school and your belief in our long-term plan for Manual has allowed us to push Manual towards the next level. Community support is vital to the success of our school, and we feel privileged to have you in our corner.
Finally, thank you to our scholars, who are the heart of Manual. Your enthusiasm, wit, energy, intelligence, and commitment to excellence and a better world are truly an inspiration. Everything we do is for you, and we believe in each and every one of you. We hope you will get some rest this summer, and come back to school refreshed and ready to embrace the opportunities in front of you.
Have a wonderful summer break, Thunderbolts! Manual is where the light is!
Nickolas Dawkins, Principal Manual High School