Hampstead Enrollment Down as School Year Begins

HAMPSTEAD – Assistant Superintendent Roxanne Wilson said that despite New England School Development Council (NESDEC) projections, the Hampstead School District is down 18 students from last year.

Wilson said there are several new families at the middle school level, although several families have moved out. “We are up at every grade level at the middle school,” she said. “At Central School some grades are up but some are down. We have an enrollment of 1,367 students, preschool to high school this year, and we had 1,385 last year.”

The NESDEC projection has 1,363 for 2013, 1,334 for 2014, 1,325 for 2015, and 1,317 for 2016. The reliability of the projections goes down as the years go on, but Wilson said the five-year projections with births and real estate data added indicates that Hampstead enrollment is more stable than that of some surrounding districts.

Central School has a total population of 493, including preschool. It is distributed as follows: preschool, 38; Kindergarten, 78; Grade 1, 73; Grade 2, 95; Grade 3, 94; and Grade 4, 115.
The middle school has a population of 417 students, as follows: Grade 5, 107; Grade 6, 90; Grade 7, 126; and Grade 8, 94.

Board member Greg Hoppa said that for the second year NESDEC projections were lower than the actual Hampstead enrollment. Hoppa expressed the concern that when the Bread Loaf construction project is put before the residents as a warrant article, they will immediately ask why the School District is seeking to build when enrollments are declining (see related article page 1).

In other remarks at the Tuesday, Aug. 27 board meeting, Wilson said she has some reservations about representation on the Pinkerton Academy Selection Committee for a new headmaster She said she offered to be a member and was told they would let her know. She also said there’s been a lack of communication regarding the Hooksett district’s interest in sending its students to Pinkerton.
Hampstead tuitions its high school students to Pinkerton in Derry.

She told the board she is trying to utilize the web site for communications more this year, especially for such things as bus routes, lunch menus and the start and end of school.
Looking ahead, she said the district will have to take measures not to carry the lunch service debt from one year to the next due to new federal mandates.

Wilson, who is newly hired as assistant superintendent of the Hampstead and Timberlane School Districts, said she had met with Board Chairwoman Natalie Gallo to go over the meeting agenda and the tenor of the meetings. She said she is interested in working with the Hampstead board, administrators and teachers and becoming a team.

She is to head up a committee charged with putting in place a plan for how the districts intend to work with Common Core Standards and how they will be building a plan for teacher evaluation based on student performance and achievement. She said she wants the committee to be a combined regional district committee.

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