FB - Restructuring

Image of a hiker climbing a hill planting a flag. Derry Cooperative School District Forward BoundOverview

Overview

In the 2023-2024 school year the Derry Cooperative School District will go through a restructuring process to be implemented in the Fall of 2024 in order to provide more continuity throughout the curriculum, build stronger teams of students and teachers, make more efficient use of the existing buildings, and eliminate costly repairs.

Restructuring and New School Questions and Answers

Elementary School Closure

On June 20, 2023, the Derry Cooperative School Board voted to close the Derry Village Elementary School effective June 30, 2024. The board came to this decision after receiving structural reports of the building that indicated extensive repairs were needed to the envelope of the building and the roof. Combined with the restructuring of the 5th grade moving to West Running Brook, the Kindergarten through fourth grade students will be redistricted into the neighboring elementary buildings that are closest to their residence. Though other buildings have similar structural needs, Derry Village was chosen due to the centrality of its location making redistricting less impactful on the remaining schools.

Derry Village Elementary School photo

Derry Village Elementary School

(Closing June 30, 2024)

Building Realignment

For the 2024-2025 school year, the Derry Cooperative School District will be comprised of six school buildings in the following configuration:

East Derry Memorial Elementary School picture

East Derry Memorial Elementary School

K-4

Ernest P. Barka Elementary School picture

Ernest P. Barka Elementary School

K-4

Grinnell Elementary School picture

Grinnell Elementary School

K-4

South Range Elementary School photo

South Range Elementary School

K-4

West Running Brook Intermediate School picture

West Running Brook Intermediate School

5-6

West Running Brook Intermediate School Presentation 8/22/2023

Gilbert H. Hood Middle School photo

Gilbert H. Hood Middle School

7-8

Also housing DEEP PK3-PK4 Next Charter High School

Benefits of Restructuring: Embracing change and reimagining education brings several key advantages:

  • Efficient Space Utilization: By consolidating buildings, we optimize space, reducing maintenance costs and enhancing learning environments.
  • Streamlined Administration: With fewer campuses, administrative tasks become more efficient, allowing us to allocate resources where they're needed most.
  • Cohort Entry in 5th Grade: Students join a cohort earlier, fostering stronger bonds and a smoother transition as they progress through the grades.
  • Cross-Grade Learning: New configurations encourage interaction among different grade levels, promoting peer learning and collaborative growth.
  • Enhanced Curriculum Alignment: Restructuring enables us to align curriculum and teaching strategies more seamlessly, enriching the educational experience.

Timeline: Preparation for the restructuring has already begun by the district administration and staff. Committees have been formed to address the following areas: Curriculum/Extra-Curricular Activities, Staffing, Redistricting, Transportation, Facilities, Special Education, and Transition Activities. The linked document details the timeline for the restructuring process and major milestones.

District Restructuring Project Plan

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

  • What is the plan for bus transportation for West Running Brook and Gilbert H. Hood students?
    • Students in 5th-8th grade will ride buses together. Transportation between the two schools will be finalized as the schedules become more established.
  • Will any staff lose their jobs?
    • Every effort is being made to keep all staff members employed within the district. While some positions may be changed, the administration will work with both unions to make all processes as transparent as possible.
  • Are educators being involved in the restructuring decision making process?
    • The decision to close a school and restructure the district is an administrative decision made at the SAU level and School Board that was based on structural needs of the buildings, student populations, curricular needs, and financial sustainability. Once the decision to move forward with this plan was made, educator input has been sought after to provide details for how the plan will be implemented.
  • What types of input have been sought after in the restructuring plan?
    • Administration presented the restructuring plan to the Derry Education Association members and solicited feedback and questions.
    • Administration met with the leadership of the AFSCME Association to solicit feedback and questions.
    • The curriculum transition committee, comprised of educators, administrators, school board members and family members has met from May and August to work through instructional models for the new configuration. Members were encouraged to solicit feedback and questions from peers.
    • A survey was sent to all teachers to seek input on preferences within the new configuration.
  • Are there plans to build a new school?
    • Repairing aging schools may prove too costly for the district. The School Board continues to explore the option of replacing a building rather than investing in updates and repairs.
  • How will the school district support the social-emotional needs of students as they transition between schools?
    • The school district administration and staff are exploring ways in which we can continue to support students' social-emotional growth through new and improved transition activities and reallocating staff resources at both the school and district levels.

Parent and Community Involvement and Communication:

The Derry Cooperative School District is committed to engaging parents, guardians, and community members in the restructuring process. Public hearings have been held throughout the 2022-2023 school year for citizens to express their ideas and concerns. Staff and parents are included in many of the restructuring committees. The school board and administration continues to encourage parents to contact them regarding their thoughts regarding the restructuring process. Contact information for school board members can be found on the members page of the district website. Each school board meeting provides an opportunity for delegates and individuals to come before the board and administration to provide input. This page will be updated regularly to keep all stakeholders informed of meetings, events, and milestones as they occur within the process.