PLAISTOW — Community members will have the opportunity to learn more and ask questions about Timberlane Regional School District’s potential withdrawal from School Administrative Unit 55 on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Plaistow Public Library.
The Timberlane and Hampstead school districts currently make up SAU 55.
During the meeting, members of the withdrawal committee will discuss how the SAU currently functions, the plan to leave and the potential impacts of separating the Timberlane and Hampstead school districts.
In March 2019, voters in Plaistow, Atkinson, Sandown and Danville approved the creation of a planning committee to determine the feasibility of withdrawing Timberlane from SAU 55.
In August, the committee submitted a plan, which reviewed the potential impacts of a withdrawal and a one-year transition plan starting on July 1, 2021.
Karen Steele, who served on the committee for Atkinson, said that she has encountered multiple people in the past who were unsure about the cost of withdrawal and how the process might impact students. Steele said she thinks the withdrawal would be cost-effective and beneficial for students.
“I'm hoping that for people who aren't aware of this and how it works, it is an opportunity for them to understand,” said Steele.
Steele said the forum will begin with a brief presentation from Barbara Kiszka, who served on the committee, but the majority of the time will be dedicated towards answering audience questions.
“My expectation would be mainly for folks to understand how this recommendation was made by the withdrawal committee,” said Kate Delfino, an Atkinson resident who follows the issue. “They went through a lengthy, in-depth process, and I think it's important for everyone to understand what their thought process was.”
She added that community members should come with “questions and an open mind.”
Voters in Plaistow, Atkinson, Danville, and Sandown will decide at the polls whether or not to remain in SAU 55 on March 10. The warrant article, article 7, requires a three-fifths majority to pass. If Timberlane votes in favor of withdrawal, the district would withdraw according to the plan created by the withdrawal committee, which was approved by the New Hampshire Board of Education.