DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

September 5, 2013

Pinkerton Academy may accept Hooksett students

By Julie Huss
jhuss@derrynews.com

---- — DERRY — Hooksett students may end up coming to high school in Derry.

Although it’s early in the process, Pinkerton Academy and the Hooksett School District are talking about bringing the majority of Hooksett students to the Derry high school.

That could be roughly 600 students.

Pinkteron officially contracts with four sending towns — Derry, Chester, Hampstead and Auburn.

This is the first school year for Auburn to be an official Pinkerton contracted town.

Pinkerton spokesman Chip Underhill said Auburn, Chester and Hampstead make up anywhere from 10 to 15 percent or more of the school’s total enrollment. Derry is the largest partner, with about 60 percent or more. Those are only approximate numbers, he said.

A more final breakdown of sending school totals was not available as Underhill said it’s early.

“Registration numbers this early in the year are not solid,” he said. “We need another week or so as some students register, but then don’t end up attending Pinkerton.”

The school also accepts students from other towns that are not officially under contract.

Right now, Hooksett is in the final year of a contract with Manchester School District

It’s still early to decide if and when those students could arrive in Derry.

“It’s very early in the process as Hooksett has only very recently expressed formal interest to Pinkerton,” Pinkerton Academy Headmaster Mary Anderson said. “The first thing Superintendent (Charles) Littlefield and I will do is talk about a potential process. Then we’ll get back to the boards we each serve and receive direction for subsequent conversation.”

Littlefield is the superintendent serving SAU 15, which includes Candia, Hooksett and Auburn.

Underhill said the school’s numbers show enrollment is up slightly from last year, to 3,111 students.

Those numbers can change often.

“Actually, registration number this early in the year are not solid; we need another week or so as some students register and then don’t end up attending Pinkerton,” Underhill said. “But even with this flux, we’re still stable this year.”

Underhill said bringing students in from Hooksett could fill any projected gaps in enrollment.

“Of course, everything depends on the course chosen by the Hooksett School Board for it high school age students,” he said.

Earlier this year, Londonderry school officials approved accepting approximately 60 Hooksett students at Londonderry High School.