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January 28. 2014 8:02PM

Eighth-graders prepare for the big leap to Pinkerton Academy in Derry

DERRY — Some 800 eighth-grade students, including a contingent from Hooksett, were given a preview Monday of Pinkerton Academy during Eighth Grade Information Day at the high school.

More than 100 Hooksett eighth-graders were included in the large turnout, said Chris Harper, dean of academic affairs. Hooksett has signed a one-year contract with the high school, and about 107 eighth graders from the town are scheduled to attend next year as freshmen, according to Pinkerton administrators.

During the information day, students learned about elective programs at the school. Pinkerton students involved in such programs as Career and Technical Education, ROTC, athletics and fine arts made presentations to the group of visiting students, Harper said.

“We want students talking to students about what the Pinkerton experience is, and how these courses can help them achieve their aspirations in the future,” he said.

Along with Hooksett, eighth-graders in the four other sending towns — Derry, Hampstead, Chester, and Auburn — are starting the process of choosing their courses for freshman year.

Current Pinkerton students have just about concluded the course selection process. Eighth-grade students, who will be coming to the school for the 2014-15 school year, are scheduled to complete the process by the end of February or early March, Harper said.

A big informational meeting called Course Night is scheduled for Feb. 5 at the high school. While Information Day focused on electives, Course Night will involve presentations on standard core curriculum courses, such as math, science, social studies, English and foreign languages.

“We want to make sure the students get the information they need to make informed decisions about the courses they are selecting,” Harper said.

To sign up for courses, eighth-grade students will be given a form that can be completed by parents or teachers and returned to the school by the middle of February. Pinkerton guidance counselors will then have their work cut out for them as they are scheduled to meet with every single student from every single middle school in the sending towns. This will happen from Feb. 17-21 or, in the case of Hooksett, on March 6, Harper said.


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