, Derry, New Hampshire

November 1, 2012

Derry's first charter school on track

Derry's first charter school is set to open in 2013

By Julie Huss
Derry News

---- — DERRY — The town’s first charter school is on track to open in 2013.

Proponents of the plan to open a charter high school next fall say everything is on schedule. A committee is working hard on details for the alternative classrooms planned for space at Gilbert H. Hood Middle School.

Charter schools are public institutions operating under a board of trustees. The schools offer a nontraditional education for students who may need an alternative for their high school years.

In Derry’s case, the board will be made up of five trustees.

“The board is set to get involved with policies,” School Board member Ken Linehan said.

Justin Krieger and Joe Crawford, both middle school assistant principals in the district, first presented the charter school plan to the public in January. Residents then cast ballots in a non-binding vote in March and supported the charter school plan.

More public information sessions followed, the plan went before the state Board of Education and was approved in June. The school will receive state and federal funding.

Krieger and Crawford will serve as co-directors of the school. Earlier, Crawford said the charter school would give students a chance to thrive and succeed where a traditional high school may not be the perfect fit.

It’s an alternative.

“Some students may be better served in a smaller environment,” he said.

Derry’s school may begin with about 30 students, with up to 90 possibly being enrolled within five years.

Curriculum would include more individualized learning and real-life applications for what lies ahead after high school.

Linehan said the school’s admision process will begin early next year. Derry students will get first priority for space, but other towns may also send their students to the school.

“It’s exciting,” Linehan said. “Things are moving along.”

The next meeting of the charter school committee is set for Nov. 6.