Derry School Enrollment Continues to Show Decline

Derry’s Kindergarten-Grade 8 school enrollment has continued to decline, but may have stabilized, and School Board members want to know the status of their high school students. Derry students are tuitioned to the semi-private Pinkerton Academy for high school.

Superintendent Laura Nelson gave the most recent enrollment data at the Sept. 8 School Board meeting.

According to Nelson, the following school enrollment was valid as of Sept. 1: Ernest P. Barka Elementary School, 552; Derry Village Elementary School, 469; East Derry Memorial Elementary School, 396; Grinnell Elementary School, 402; South Range Elementary School, 338; Gilbert H. Hood Middle School 706; and West Running Brook Middle School, 522.

But by Sept. 8, Derry Village had lost one student, coming in at 468; Grinnell lost one, 402; and South Range had gained one, 339.

The total K-8 enrollment is 3,385, a decline of 10 students since last year’s 3,395.

Derry students attending Pinkerton Academy total 1,861, down 113 from last year’s 1,974. That is a decline of 113, Nelson said, for a total loss of 123 students.

She said School Administrative Unit (SAU) staff member Toby Kaboub is “talking with Pinkerton” about a final total. “By Oct. 1 it may look different,” Nelson said. “We are still tracking some students, and there are questions.”

Board member Brenda Willis asked, “Can we get a report from Pinkerton as to where they are? It would be good to know where they went.”

Nelson agreed to investigate this further.

Compared to last year’s Sept 1 numbers, Barka is down 34 students, from 586 to 552; Derry Village up, from 439 to 469; East Derry is up, from 380 to 396; Grinnell is up, from 398 to 402; South Range is down, from 351 to 338; West Running Brook is down, from 548 to 522; and Hood is up, from 693 to 706. Last year Pinkerton reported 1,974 Derry students on opening day, compared to this year’s 1,861.

In other business, the board announced the dates for budget meetings. The Fiscal Advisory Committee and board will meet Mondays, Nov. 2, 9, 16 and 30; and Dec. 7 and 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the library at Hood Middle School. The school budget hearing will be Tuesday, Jan. 12, and the Deliberative Session will be Saturday, Jan. 30.