DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

May 16, 2012

Derry moves forward with charter school

By Julie Huss
jhuss@derrynews.com

DERRY — The plan to bring a charter high school to town is moving forward.

The plan is to have a charter school in place by the fall of 2013, giving students an alternative to Pinkerton Academy.

Charter schools are public institutions operating under a board of trustees. They do not charge tuition. Charter schools have less procedural bureaucracy than a more traditional public high school.

The plan would put classrooms in Gilbert H. Hood Middle School, in space formerly occupied by the Derry Early Education Program.

The official charter application has been submitted to the state and the district is beginning to get some positive feedback on the plan, according to Superintendent Mary Ellen Hannon.

The charter school committee recently made a presentation to Pinkerton Academy's Board of Trustees. The district hopes to receive a letter of support from Pinkerton, Hannon said.

Justin Krieger and Joe Crawford, both middle school assistant principals in the district, are spearheading the charter school plan.

Although Pinkerton Academy serves student well, Crawford said, a charter school environment would offer students an alternative.

Krieger said the process is moving along.

"We are scheduled to meet with the Commissioner of Education on May 30 and later with the State Board of Education on June 20," he said. " We are indeed excited to enter the last stages of the approval process and anticipate structured planning to begin after July 1."

Derry students would get first priority for space, but other towns could also send students to the school.

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