BETHEL — Andover Elementary School was assured of another year serving its 30 or so students following several actions taken by the SAD 44 school board Monday.

Superintendent David Murphy said the board overwhelmingly agreed to accept an additional $180,000 from the town on top of the town’s school tax assessment.

For the past several years, additional sums have been paid by Andover taxpayers to continue having a school in its town.

The board also decided to take no action on closing the school due to the additional money paid.

The Andover Withdrawal Committee, which is expected to be appointed this week by selectmen, will continue its efforts toward leaving SAD 44. Murphy said SAD 44 Chairman Lainey Cross will call a meeting of the soon-to-be appointed AWC members, then discussions on steps required for withdrawal will begin.

Since this is the second effort by the town to leave SAD 44, Murphy said he expects that less work will have to be done. The district spent about $75,000 in the negotiation process during the last effort.

Appointed to represent the district on a subcommittee to discuss the possible withdrawal were Bethel members Cross, Roberta Taylor and Tim Carter, Greenwood members Stacey Sandvoss and Richard Melville and Woodstock representative Marcel Polak.

In another Andover Elementary School-related matter, the board has not yet decided whether to apply for a federal School Improvement Grant that would focus on methods to improve student achievement.

AES is one of 13 schools statewide which is eligible to apply for the federal grant.

Murphy said he submitted a letter of intent, but that does not necessarily mean that the district will apply. The district also received a $3,000 grant to be used for planning to apply.

Unlike some schools statewide that were listed on the priority list, removing the principal and half the staff would not be required because the teaching principal and both teachers at the school were hired last year.

Murphy said the board delayed action on whether to apply until additional information is presented.

He also said that SAD 44 schools are currently involved in another major grant that focuses on student improvement.


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