Hooksett School Board to Vote on New Pinkerton Contract

The Hooksett School Board will make another attempt at a long-term contract with Pinkerton Academy.

The board was to meet Tuesday, Jan. 6, after press deadline to explore the idea of a 10-year contract with the semi-private high school in Derry. After an explanation to voters, the board was expected to vote on the proposed agreement.

Charles Littlefield, superintendent of School Administrative Unit (SAU) 15, which covers Hooksett, Candia and Auburn, said the proposed contract, if approved, would begin July 1, 2016, and go into effect with the 2016-2017 school year for Hooksett students.

“We are still in a one-year agreement for 2015-16,” he said.

One of the reasons Hooksett residents objected to a previous contract proposal was the minimum number of Hooksett students requested by Pinkerton.

Littlefield said in the new proposed contract there will be no “minimum” required by Pinkerton for 2016-17, 2017-18 or 2018-19. Beginning in 2019-20 there will be a minimum, he said, but it will be based on the percentage of Hooksett eighth-graders who chose to go to Pinkerton the previous year.

It’s a matter of “self-selection,” Littlefield said, with the minimum for the final seven years of the contract based on the percentage of children who chose Pinkerton the previous year.

The agreement if approved by the board would still have to go before Hooksett voters this March, Littlefield said.

The current eighth-graders have made their school selections, Littlefield said. Out of 151 students, 68, or 45 percent, have chosen Pinkerton for high school. Manchester ranked second with 42 students or 27 percent; Londonderry third with 19 students or 13 percent; Bow drew 10 students or 7 percent and Pembroke Academy drew six students or 4 percent.

The numbers don’t add up to 151, Littlefield said, noting that other students are going to private school or pursuing other arrangements.

Littlefield also said the numbers are subject to change.