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November 21. 2012 9:09PM

State board backs Rollinsford on sending students to Maine

ROLLINSFORD - The state Board of Education unanimously agreed Wednesday morning to recommend the plan for some Rollinsford students to school in Maine in 2015.

The plan must now go before Rollinsford voters in March, according Selectman Patrick Carroll, who attended the board's session with Superintendent Jeni Mosca, who oversees Somersworth and Rollinsford students.

"It took a total of seven minutes," Carroll said, adding the state board was impressed with the thoroughness of the plan. If approved, the town would withdraw from the Authorized Regional Enrollment Area (AREA) plan with Somersworth and form a new agreement to send students in grades seven through 12 to Marshwood School District, which includes the towns of Elliot and South Berwick, Maine.

As some Rollinsford residents have been working toward this for the past decade, Carroll said there are many smart and patient voters keeping a close eye on the process. Nonetheless, he added it is not a done deal.

Currently, students in kindergarten through grade six attend classes at the Rollinsford Grade School, while grades seven through 12 are educated in Somersworth.

Rollinsford pays tuition to Somersworth as part of the AREA agreement, which has been in effect since 1968.

The past two votes - determining whether separation was feasible in September and deciding which district to pursue this month - was split down town lines as Rollinsford officials were in favor of it while Somersworth representatives were against it.

The withdrawal committee was formed by officials from Rollinsford and Somersworth after residents appropriated $5,000 to fund the process in March.

For more information, go to rollinsford.nh.us.

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John Quinn may be reached at jquinn@newstote.com.


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