DERRY — The Next Charter School is one step closer to opening day with an admission lottery held last week to choose the school’s inaugural class.
Thirty-seven Derry students and eight from outside the community applied to be part of the school’s first class of 30 students.
Charter schools are public institutions operating under a board of trustees. The schools offer a nontraditional education for students who may need an alternative choice for their high school years.
By law, a charter school must admit students by a system such as a lottery, not a typical selective admission process.
Justin Krieger and Joe Crawford, both middle school assistant principals in the Derry district, first presented the charter school plan to the public last year. Residents then cast ballots in a nonbinding vote and supported the plan.
More public information sessions followed, the plan went before the state Board of Education and was approved last June. The school will receive state and federal funding. Krieger and Crawford will serve as co-directors of the school.
Last week’s lottery event at Gilbert H. Hood Middle School brought out families and potential students hoping their number would be called.
The Next school will be located at Hood in the former Derry Early Education Program space.
The first 30 students picked will be the first Next class; they have until April 19 to confirm their attendance.
Derry town historian Richard Holmes presided over the lottery, tossing balls in a basket and cranking a handle to mix up the numbers. He then called out the numbers and added in a history lesson about the significance of the first charter school in town and where it would be located.
“I’m very pleased to be here,” Holmes said. “I am thrilled to be here in this moment in history.”