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Hooksett School Board to explain school options at special meeting

HOOKSETT — The School Board has scheduled a special meeting for Monday to discuss the district's search for a place to send the town's high school students.

Board Chairman Trisha Korkosz and Vice Chairman David Pearl agreed the meeting is a good step in ending the acrimony that has been plaguing the board in recent months.

"Well, email is greatly reduced since the compromise was made at the last meeting, and it seems to be OK so far. But it doesn't mean all disagreements are solved. But I am cautiously optimistic that things will get better," Korkosz said.

Pearl agreed, saying things between himself and Korkosz seem to be going much better.

"I would have to say so far so good. I think it went well. Everyone is relieved to move forward and not have to go through the uncomfortable issues we have had," Pearl said.

Hooksett is exploring options to replace the soon-to-expire contract the district has with Manchester for its high school students. The contract will end in 2014 after the two districts came to an agreement following a pair of court-ordered mediation sessions last month regarding Hooksett's breach claim against Manchester and Manchester's injunction claim against Hooksett.

"It is important for the public to attend this meeting. This is a complex issue, and we have a short amount of time to put something together. I hope we have a format that accommodates the public but keeps us efficient," Pearl said.

During the meeting, which will include multiple public input sessions so the public can ask questions and make statements to the board, School Board members and district officials will discuss the pros and cons of the single-district sending option, multi-district option or hybrid option."During the course of our last School Board meeting, we got into discussing the high school situation, what our different options are. It was going into greater detail than time would allow, so we decided to schedule a special meeting on the 19th so we could," Korkosz said.

She said a large part of the meeting will be designed to inform the public of what the district's options are, as there has been a great deal of confusion regarding the hybrid option. Korkosz said Superintendent Charles Littlefield brought up the notion of a hybrid option but that he didn't go into very much detail, possibly leading to some confusion among residents.

"A hybrid model involves a school that can take all of our students, but then having agreements with other schools that could take a smaller amount depending on geography or if a big school is too much for a student," Korkosz said.

She added that she is also open to discussing a multi-district option, which Pearl and fellow board member John Lyscars favor, or the single-district options the board already decided to go ahead with.

"Multi-district sounds good in theory, but in my opinion it would just be a logistical nightmare," Korkosz said.

Korkosz said that the format of the meeting has yet to be finalized, as Dr. Littlefield will not be back in the office until Thursday.

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