ANDOVER — A public hearing to learn about an agreement between SAD 44 and the Andover Withdrawal Committee will be held at 7 p.m., Monday, Nov. 18 at the Andover Town Hall.

The withdrawal committee has been working on a possible withdrawal for at least two years. The committee negotiated with the school district to find common ground, which was achieved a few weeks ago. The state Department of Education has given conditional approval to the committee’s educational plan.

Comments gathered at Monday’s public hearing will be forwarded to the DOE for consideration and possible action toward final approval.

The move to withdraw from SAD 44 began a couple of years ago when the school board voted to close the small Andover Elementary School. Townspeople approved raising about $268,000 in additional school taxes to keep the school open. The following year, the town raised an additional $68,000 to keep the school operating.

The school currently has an enrollment of about 35 kindergarten through grade 5 students.

Proponents of retaining the school have said that its closure would be detrimental to the economy and people of the town. The school district’s actions to close it were prompted by efforts to reduce the annual SAD 44 budget.


A final vote by Andover residents as to whether the town will remain in SAD 44 or create their own school district will be held sometime in January.

Ten days prior to the final vote, another public hearing will be held to further discuss the advantages and disadvantages of leaving the district and the town’s cost to maintain the school.

If a majority of residents decide to leave SAD 44, the new Andover district will go into effect at the beginning of the 2014-15 school year.

Selectman Susan Merrow headed the withdrawal committee, which hired consultants and lawyers familiar with school withdrawal issues to help them devise a withdrawal agreement and educational plan.

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