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Anchor school discussion in Hooksett Wednesday

HOOKSETT — As parents continue to tussle over which school will serve their high school children for the foreseeable future, school district officials have scheduled a community-wide informational meeting to discuss the issue in an open forum.

The gathering is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, at the David R. Cawley Middle School cafeteria. All Hooksett residents, students and parents are encouraged to attend, and babysitting is provided.

“We’ve done some presentations up until now on the high school and what the board has put into place for the future, and those presentations have mostly been directed at parents, and I think the purpose of the informational night on Wednesday is to provide information to the community on where we’re sending our students and why,” said Dr. Charles Littlefield, Superintendent of Hooksett Schools. “Certainly, all are welcome to attend, but we’re hopping to see residents who don’t have youngsters in our school come out to obtain information on the direction we’re headed.”

That direction, of course, is Pinkerton Academy in Derry. Though roughly 60 of the current 166 Hooksett eighth-graders have chosen to remain in Manchester schools — or commute to Bow High School, Londonderry High School or Pembroke Academy — the remaining two-thirds have all opted for Pinkerton Academy.

The exact number of current middle-schoolers enrolled, which currently sits at 106, changes from day to day as families move in and out of the area, Littlefield noted. The contract was agreed upon by the Hooksett School Board on Dec. 17 and must be approved by voters at the polls on March 11.

For the next five years, the minimum number of Hooksett students per Pinkerton class is 75. As of year six of the 10-year agreement, 10 percent of public school students are able to opt out.

Though the issue garnered some discussion at Friday night’s deliberative session, no amendments were proposed on the article.

“The reason we decided on Pinkerton as our anchor school is because it is the only high school that can take all our students,” said Hooksett School Board Chairman Trisha Korkosz.

The Hooksett School Board spent extensive time last summer in reaching a mediation settlement allowing the district to exit its current 20-year agreement with Manchester five years early as of the 2014-’15 school year.

“The school board has worked very hard to put this together, and this information meeting is to present the details to anyone in the community that desires to come out and see what it looks like,” said Korkosz.

Additional details will be provided and questions will be answered during Wednesday night’s meeting.

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