April 01. 2013 8:28AM

Danbury to study leaving Newfound Area School District

Union Leader Correspondent

DANBURY — At the prompting of Danbury residents, the Newfound Area School District school board has begun studying the possibility of the town leaving the district.

At town meeting last month, Danbury residents overwhelmingly voted for a warrant article that asked the school board to conduct a formal study on the costs and changes required for a town to leave a school district.

Danbury residents are concerned about their future in the Newfound district, said town selectman Jim Phelps, and want to see if it makes sense to leave.

"There's no hue and cry from Danbury to leave the school district," Phelps said. "The people just want to study the idea and go from there."

Danbury has a K-5 elementary school and sends its students in grades 6-8 to Newfound Middle School.

Town residents last year heard news of a district plan to move Danbury's fifth-grade students to the middle school as a cost-saving measure, but that plan was dropped when Danbury residents protested.

Phelps said people in his town are dealing with decreased enrollments, as are other towns in the district.

Danbury students have the longest ride of any students in the district into Bristol, so residents want to consider their options, he said.

"There's really no consensus yet, but things are changing in the district and I think people want to know what's possible," he said.

School board Chairman Vincent Paul Migliore said the board will announce tonight that it has begun the process of investigating the legal and financial consequences of a town leaving the school district.

At the board's next meeting on April 8, Barrett M. Christina, staff attorney with the New Hampshire School Board Association, will address the potential withdrawal of a town from a school district, Migliore said.

The boards of selectmen in all district towns — Bristol, Danbury, Alexandria, Bridgewater, New Hampton, Hebron — have been invited to next week's meeting.