Derry School Board Discusses District’s Enrollment Numbers

By Alex Malm

DERRY – The Derry School Board held its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Tuesday, July 13, and one of the agenda items discussed was in regards to the enrollment numbers for the district.
It was explained by Derry School District Superintendent MaryAnn Connors-Krikorian that right now they have the maximum number of recommended students for the kindergarten classes at South Range Elementary School.
She said that Derry Village Elementary School is the overflow school.
What happens in the situation that more kindergarten students register and they don’t lose any students is that South Range keeps a waiting list for students and if one of the students moves out of the district then the next student on the waiting list is given the opportunity to switch to South Range. In some cases they rather stay at the school they started in.
They have also been monitoring the enrollment for other grades throughout the district where many or close to the recommended limit.
It was explained by Connors-Krikorian however, that unlike for the kindergarten classes they would not make students transfer to a different school.
“That wouldn’t be right to do to our students,” she said.
Cohen said that they constantly monitor the enrollment numbers.
“We are always watching enrollment and we want to make sure we have the space for our students,” she said.
Also discussed during the meeting was the amount of bully investigations that took place during the school year. Connors-Krikorian explained that per district policy “the superintendent shall report to the school board all substantiated cases of bullying and cyber bullying.”
They also are required to turn in a report to the state the number of investigations that they have throughout the year. This year they had 12 substantiated cases of bullying and 12 unsubstantiated for a total of 24.
Cohen said that they take bullying seriously in the district.
“We take bullying very seriously in the district and we look into every allegation, every concern that comes to us and we aim to make this the best school for all students to feel comfortable and be happy in learning,” she said.
Derry School Superintendent MaryAnn Connors-Krikorian explained it.
In personnel news Connors-Krikorian recommended to the school board that they name Laura Powers as the interim director of student services for the school district.
Powers said that she started in the Derry school district at Gilbert H. Hood Middle School as a special education facilitator, where she supported teachers, students and families with their needs.
Eventually she moved into the assistant director of student services position for the district working with different schools and their programming.
Powers said that she is originally from Derry.
“I’ve been very rooted in the Derry community, grew up in Derry and moved back to raise my family here,” she said.
The board unanimously approved making Powers the interim director.
“Congratulations Laura you have been in the district for a long time, you have served us very well and we look forward to working with you in the future,” said school board chair Erika Cohen.
The next Derry School Board meeting is slated for Aug.7.

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