Enrollment Up at Some Schools, Down at Others

Total enrollment in the Londonderry School District stood at 4,403 students on Tuesday, Aug. 26, the first day of school. That number is slightly up from a projected enrollment of 4,398.

Enrollment was down from projections at Moose Hill and Matthew Thornton schools. It was up at Londonderry High School, North and South schools. At Londonderry Middle School, enrollment is down from last year, but up a few students from what had been projected.

Moose Hill School  Kindergarten Coordinator Bonnie Breithaupt has 105 students in the morning program and 117 in the afternoon session for a total of 222, down by 21 from the projected total of 243.

“We have an average of 15 per class in the morning session and 16.7 in the afternoon session,” she told the School Board at its Tuesday, Aug. 26 meeting. “In LEEP (Londonderry Early Education Program), we have 94 students. We try to have a 50/50 ratio there, with 50 percent Special Ed and 50 percent inclusionary, and we are there in all four of our LEEP classes.”

Children continue to enroll in LEEP throughout the year as they turn 3 years old.

At the elementary level, South School principal Linda Boyd said she has 477 students enrolled, 16 higher than the 461 projected.

“The class sizes are 16 in grade one, 20.5 in grade two, 22.5 in grade three, 19.6 in grade four and 22.6 in grade five,” she told the School Board. “We have 43 new students and 18 have withdrawn, so we have a net gain of 21 new students.”

“We really appreciate the extra security measures but there’s a little learning curve to iron out the kinks,” she said, referring to the new secure vestibules installed at Londonderry schools this summer, as previously reported in the Londonderry Times.

At North School, new Principal Paul Dutton said he has 439 students, up by 12 students from the 427 anticipated.

“It was my first experience with opening day and it was very exciting,” he said. “We made sure all the students were there and accounted for, and it was a relief to get the all clear from the bus company.”

Dutton added that parents like the new security vestibule.

Matthew Thornton School’s Principal, Sharon Putney, said she was pleased with the new paving of the parking lot and added that the new “red, white and blue playground structure has completely changed and improved the aesthetics of the outside of Matthew Thornton.”

She said the new security entrance vestibule was complete and tested.

“The first day of school was a definite success and students were excited and gave thumbs up after the school day,” Putney said. Matthew Thornton has 538 students enrolled, 14 students less than projected. The school has 87 in first grade, 99 in second grade, 108 in third grade, 120 in fourth grade and 124 in fifth grade.

“Our goal at Matthew Thornton is to focus on three things, Community, Communication and College and Career readiness,” Putney said.

She said a program called “Nice Bike” is the theme this year. If someone says “nice bike,” they are acknowledging that the person has gone above and beyond expectations.

Londonderry Middle School Principal Richard Zacchilli said his school has 1,016 students enrolled this year, down 164 from the 1,180 students last year.

“We projected 1,009 students during the budget process and we’re close with that,” he said. “We have about 34 new students registered and 32 have withdrawn, and there are several pending.”

The school has eliminated three teams over the last three years to account for the drop in enrollment, and the school now has three teams per grade.

Sixth grade has 330 students, seventh grade has 337 and eighth grade has 339. Zacchilli said 10 students were not assigned to a team, making the number of enrolled students 1,016.

Principal Jason Parent said Londonderry High School has 1,613 students enrolled. Last year LHS had 1,626 students.

Enrollment had been projected at 1,611. The enrollment totals include 60 students from Hooksett.

This year’s enrollment comes out to 414 freshmen, 403 sophomores, 407 juniors and 389 seniors.

“Our goal for Career and College readiness is to increase our acceptance rate in college from 90 percent for the class of 2014 to 92 percent and eventually 95 percent,” Parent said.

He noted the new security vestibule is operational, and said, “The previous space that housed the welcome center is now being used for a Future Lab, which is a resource center for staff, students and parents to potentially navigate a lot of educational sites for college and career exploration.”

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