Alternative high school closing in Merrimack
Sixteen students at the alternative high school said their goodbyes on Tuesday, the final day of classes at the small red building on Brentwood Drive. The Brentwood School was serving about five different communities to provide individual and personalized education to students with emotional, social and academic challenges who were not thriving in a traditional high school setting.
About five school districts were paying out-of-district tuition to send their students to The Brentwood School, according to McMurray. It is still unclear where the 16 children will attend school this fall, but McMurray said he is working with various school leaders to find alternatives for each of the students.
Enrollment has been declining at The Brentwood School for the past five or six years, explained McMurray, adding the school once housed students from 14 different communities.
“There is a lot of sorrow and a lot of concern. This year was a rebuilding year for us with new staff who worked hard to try and change the culture of the school, which was a success,” said McMurray. “We were starting to really gain some traction, but we ran out of clock.”
Southeastern Regional Education Service Center of Bedford, a New Hampshire educational consortium, currently owns The Brentwood School. Marge Chiafery, superintendent of the Merrimack School District, is also a member of the SERESC board of directors.
“What kind of school is still to be determined,” said Chiafery, explaining if The Brentwood School became a public charter school, all of the districts comprising SERESC would become partners.
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