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Pinkerton Academy will be an option for more Hooksett students

HOOKSETT — Under a new agreement between Hooksett and Pinkerton Academy, the town’s eighth-graders can continue to choose the high school for an additional year.

The Hooksett School Board voted Tuesday night to approve the one-year agreement with Pinkerton Academy for the 2015-16 school year. The high school, in turn, voted to accept the extension of the current plan.

Ninety-nine freshmen students who chose Pinkerton are currently attending the high school under the initial agreement.

Hooksett School Board Chairman Joanne McHugh said the board had asked Pinkerton for the extension for next year.

“What we asked them for is ‘could we have another additional year?’’’ she said. “And they agreed to it.”

The agreement will allow the two parties an opportunity to continue negotiations on a possible long-term arrangement,” McHugh said.

And it ensures that graduating eighth-graders who choose Pinkerton, will be accepted by the high school, she said.

Pinkerton Academy Headmaster Griffin Morse said the school is looking forward to continuing its relationship with the Hooksett School District.

“The establishment of a second one-year enrollment agreement will allow current Hooksett eighth-graders to consider Pinkerton for the fall of 2015,” Morse said. “It also allows Hooksett and Pinkerton sufficient time to develop a more extended working agreement.”

There are about 165 Hooksett eighth-graders from last year who are incoming freshman at Pinkerton this year. In addition to Pinkerton, Hooksett students were able to choose from other surrounding schools to attend this year, including Manchester, Bow, Londonderry and Pembroke Academy, according to officials.

Administrators didn’t have to make too many changes to accommodate the new students this year, said Chip Underhill, Pinkerton’s executive director of public relations and external affairs.

But the addition of nearly 100 students did mean Pinkerton had to hire four more teachers to keep class size at a reasonable level, Underhill said. He said 100 is the “magic number” at which more teachers need to be hired in the core subjects of math, English, science and social studies.

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