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Derry charter school leadership in place

Union Leader Correspondent

January 15. 2013 10:38PM

DERRY - When Derry's new alternative charter high school opens next September at the Gilbert H. Hood Middle School, current district middle school assistant principals Justin Krieger and Joe Crawford will be the full-time co-directors of the school.

As plans continue to open the school in September, which is expected to have 30 students in its first year, plans are under way to transition Krieger and Crawford to the charter school.

"They have been appointed and hired as coordinators of the NEXT Charter School, so relative to their positions for the remainder of the school year, we have worked these positions a little differently as to how we are transitioning these two gentlemen onto their full-time work," said Superintendent Laura Nelson.

At the Gilbert H. Hood Middle School, a full-time interim principal has been hired for the remainder of the school year, allowing Crawford to focus full time on the start-up of the charter school, Nelson said.

Hood teacher Ross McLean will serve as the interim principal. A long-term substitute has been hired for his seventh-grade composition classes.

"At the end of this school year, we will post that position and an assistant principal will be hired through our regular hiring process," Nelson said.

The West Running Brook Middle School assistant principal is currently splitting his time between the middle school and the start-up of the charter school, according to Nelson. She said he will begin full time at the charter school by the end of March.

Nelson said an interim part-time assistant principal has been hired for West Running Brook.

"I was not in favor of having two or three days per week where two assistant principals would be out of the building," said Nelson.

She said the goal is to have a stable transition for the schools and the students.

The operation of the charter school is expected to be cost-neutral to the school district. The district will take the cost for students attending Pinkerton Academy and subtract what it gets in state aid. The difference between the two figures will pay for the students to go to the charter school.

The charter school will be located at the Gilbert H. Hood Middle School, and the school will be renting the space from the district for $1 a year. The school district will act as the financial agent, and the charter school will also be reimbursing the school district for janitorial and nursing services.

The state will provide about $200,000 per year in start-up costs for the school's first three years. That money can be used for anything from furniture and equipment to curriculum development. In addition, the state will also pay $5,400 for each student attending the school.

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