ANDOVER — SAD 44 superintendent David Murphy and two former superintendents hired by the Andover Withdrawal Committee met for the first time Wednesday to discuss the steps for the town to leave the district.
Murphy said the meeting was essentially an introductory session, along with discussion on requirements for withdrawal.
Withdrawal Committee Chairwoman Susan Merrow said earlier that former Superintendents Ray Freve of Plymouth and Jack Turcotte of Arundel have been involved in several withdrawal efforts by towns.
Merrow said via email that Turcotte will focus on a business plan to establish an Andover School District, while Freve will focus on negotiating a separation agreement with SAD 44.
She said the Withdrawal Committee met Sunday and reviewed the letters of agreement with Turcotte and Freve, went through the details of a withdrawal agreement with committee member and attorney Steve Hudspeth, and launched the committee’s website, www.andover4kids.com.
The committee meets weekly at 6 p.m. at a location to be announced.
The deadline to complete negotiations, according to Merrow, is late January, but extensions are possible with permission from the state Department of Education.
The issue of withdrawal came about because the SAD 44 board voted to close the Andover Elementary School at the end of the 2011 school year to save money. The school has about 30 elementary students.
The town approved paying the district $214,000 to keep it open in 2011-12 and $68,000 for this school year.
Once the Withdrawal Committee and the SAD 44 school board agree on separation terms, the Department of Education will set a date for Andover residents to vote on whether they agree on the terms, and to separate from the district.
The next meeting is set for Sunday, Nov. 18.