Candia to look at alternatives to Central High School
CANDIA— While much of the attention Tuesday was paid to Hooksett and its failed Pinkerton Academy contract agreement, Candia voters chose to support exploring high school placement outside of Manchester.
Article 5 on the school district warrant, which presented the proposal, passed 568-182.
Candia School Board Vice-President Nicole LaFlamme said the board placed the article on the ballot to gauge public opinion.
“The Candia School Board has always worked well with Manchester school (officials) in a collaborative effort to ensure the students of Candia are getting an excellent education,” she said. “We have a 100-year relationship with Manchester and ... several of their board members have attended Candia meetings, and even Mayor (Ted) Gatsas has come to our meeting.”
Though LaFlamme acknowledged some residents expressed concern when the Manchester School District ran into financial difficulties last year, she said those initial worries have been addressed.
“The majority of Candia students are at Central, which means they’re getting the books they need and the classes they need and the classrooms aren’t being overcrowded,” she said. “Where the concerns are coming from are the parents in Candia with children in the lower grades. They just want to be sure of the stability of education their kids will be receiving, so they grouped together to try to find that out.”
Those parents who have children at Central High School are primarily satisfied with the education being provided, said LaFlamme, who explained that Candia officials, in an effort to maintain that satisfaction, have been sending Henry W. Moore School Assistant Principal Michelle LaVallee to Central one day a week to maintain constant communication with Candia students and to immediately address any concerns, of which there have been few.
“We’ve seen what’s happening with some of our neighbors and, of course, we share an SAU with Auburn and Hooksett, but Candia is Candia, and we’re going to do things for the benefit of Candia,” she said. “But it’s a good thing to get a pulse on the community, and the next thing we’re going to do is start doing some research and look at fact-based data from Central, and look at fact-based data from Pinkerton, and look at fact-based data from Bow and some other viable districts and then compile that information and go from there.”
Candia’s current contract with Manchester expires in 2023.