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January 21. 2014 8:20PM

Kingswood Regional makes pitch to Middleton parents

WOLFEBORO — Before making a decision to withdraw from the school district they share with Farmington, Middleton residents are invited to learn more about the schools where some students may attend in the future.

While the specifics have not been determined, the principals of Kingswood Regional High and Junior High schools — Guy Donnelly and Suzanne Onufry — plan to offer tours of the two schools, located at the Kingswood Complex, on Feb. 15.

The Gov. Wentworth Regional School Board discussed the matter Wednesday and referred it to their three-member public relations committee to work out the details in the near future, according to district officials.

In March, Middleton residents must decide whether to withdraw from Farmington, accept a tuition agreement with Gov. Wentworth and have 60 percent of voters pass a $6.6 million bond to build a new school. If all is approved, Middleton's 7-12 grade students would attend school at the Kingswood Complex after July 2015 and students in pre-Kindergarten through grade 6 would begin school in Middleton the following year.

Gov. Wentworth voters, who must also approve the tuition agreement, will discuss the matter during the deliberative session, on Feb. 1, at 10 a.m., at the Kingswood Arts Center. The Middleton School District deliberative session is Feb. 8, at 9 a.m., in the Old Town Hall. Both districts will decide at the polls March 11.

During a bond hearing in Middleton on Saturday, school board member Linda Adamo told about 40 residents if all related proposals are approved in March, Middleton would be able to send its students to Gov. Wentworth, but not be a member of the cooperative district, which includes the towns of Brookfield, Effingham, New Durham, Ossipee, Tuftonboro and Wolfeboro.

Adamo said Middleton would receive a non-voting seat on the nine-member regional school board, be able to participate on committees and have some say in curriculum and activities. She said Middleton currently has one vote on the joint board with Farmington.

Unlike Farmington, Adamo said Kingswood is accredited, offers more programs, and has a lower turnover rate of staff at the high school. She said students also perform better on state tests than their counterparts in Farmington.

"Gov. Wentworth performs above state average across the board," Adamo said.

In 2012, Kingswood was expanded and renovated through a $67 million project. This included upgrades to the Lakes Region Technology Center, which offers a variety of classes in career and technical education.

While Middleton students can attend the Technical Center, Adamo said they wouldn't have to commute between Middleton and Farmington and Wolfeboro, which would save time and allow them to focus on classes.

If the plan is approved, Gov. Wentworth will work with Middleton officials to ensure there is a "seamless transition" between the two districts, according to officials.

For more information, go to https://sites.google.com/a/govwentworth.k12.nh.us/gwrsd/ or middletonnh.gov.

jquinn@newstote.com


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