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JANUARY 12, 2012

Foundation in Early Stages of Opening Charter School T


LONDONDERRY TIMES ————––––––————–◆

he Founders Acade- my Foundation is in the process of de- ciding among the towns of Derry, Londonderry and Auburn as the location for a proposed Charter School that focuses on leadership. The foundation expects the school could house up to 800 students for either Grades 5-12 or 6-12.

Thomas Frischknecht of Amherst, chair of the Founders Academy Foun- dation, said the board is in the preliminary stages of creating the school and has yet to file to create the school with the state Department of Education. Charter schools operate as public schools.

Frischknecht said of

the three towns in the run- ning for the school, Lon- donderry and Derry are the most serious candidates due to "accessibility," and

the key to the choice will be which town the board finds wants the school more from a community and educa- tion standpoint. Frischknecht said the plan is to file with the De- partment of Education in July in order to open the school in 2013. Under discussion now is whether the school will be for Grades 5-12 or 6-12. According to the New

Hampshire Corporation Di- vision, the Founders Acade- my Foundation is a non- profit corporation in good standing created Dec. 5, 2011 and operating out of Amherst. According to its Articles of Agreement, its purpose is to establish new charter schools, and main- tain or provide maintenance services to charter schools. In addition to Frisch- knecht, the other corpo- ration signers are Patricia Humphrey of Chichester, Matt Southerton of Center Barnstead, Kimberly Laval-

lee of Mont Vernon, and Sarah Frischknecht of Amherst. Frischknecht empha- sized that the proposed Charter School is still in the preliminary stages, and it could be decided not to open a school. "There is a lot of red tape," he said. "We are envisioning between 500-800 students for the charter applica- tion with the Department of Education, but there would be a gradual build up. Kind of like a busi- ness, you have to start up," Frischknecht said. "The heavy focus is going to be on the leaders of tomorrow," he said, saying the school would teach clas- sic history – "you have to know where you come from," he said – law, business ethics, accounting, status of leadership, economics." According to the New

Hampshire Center For In- novative Schools email news- letter, the Founders Acade-

my curriculum would also include "western values." Frischknecht said a

regular curriculum would be in place as well but it will be designed so that it will be incorporated into the overall focus.

Frischknecht said he plans to attend meetings in the three possible host communities to talk with residents and to discuss whether or not that would be something the town would be in favor of seeing. "As soon as the plan is

formalized, the plan is to ini- tiate some town meetings in those three towns, talk to leadership and make it pub- lic and have that conversa- tion so we can get a feel on how the town and commu- nity would feel to have such a school in their proximi- ties," Frischknecht said. Southerton, director of the New Hampshire Center For Innovative Schools, a non-profit dedicated to fos-

LHS Partners With Maine School in Broadcast T

he New England School of Communi- cations (NESCom)

in Bangor, Maine and Lon- donderry High School announce that they will be joining together to give students a unique oppor- tunity. NESCom will be working with TV Produc- tion students from LHS to produce a live broadcast of the double-header bas-

ketball games between Londonderry and Pinker- ton Academy. On Friday, Jan. 13, NESCom will provide its 32-foot mobile production facility (NESCom Mobile Production) along with instructors and NESCom students to help LHS stu- dents experience a pro- fessional production of a sporting event.


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Karen Robinson’s TV Pro- duction classes and the LHS Radio Club will run cameras, update graph- ics, run instant replay, report from the sidelines, and comment during the game.

The game will be broad-

cast live on Londonderry’s educational access chan- nel, LEO-21, as well as

through a live stream on the school district’s web- site, www.londonderry.or- g/leo and also through an audio simulcast on WLLO- LP, the district’s low-power radio station at 102.9 on the FM dial. The broadcast will be- gin with the girls’ game at 6 p.m., with the boys’ game to follow.

tering Charter Schools in the state, is aiding the Academy in its bid to get off the ground floor. Southerton said Found- ers Academy would be a state authorized Charter School as opposed to a local- ly authorized public school, meaning that the money for the school would come from the state and as a result, any student in New Hampshire would be able to attend. The Foundation would be the sponsoring entity of the school when the application goes before the Department of Educa- tion for review. Southerton said the Founders Academy Foun- dation is currently "com- ing together as a board and investigating the proj- ect." The next step would be to write a charter. Asked where the mon- ey for the Foundation was coming from, Frisch- knecht said one of the board members is in charge of a trust that is financially backing the group. He said the project is comprised of five peo- ple and he is working full time to bring the project

to fruition.

"The board members of the Foundation have done this before, they have experience starting charter schools, and I am the chairman of the board of trustees for the Acade- my for Science and Design Charter School in Merri- mack," Frischknecht said. A draft of the Founders Academy Mission Statement reads, "The Founders' Acade- my will build on the wisdom and values of the past to pre- pare its students to be the leaders of tomorrow. It will offer a classical curriculum, including law, rhetoric, ethics and finance, in addition to a rigorous program of standard high school courses.”

Leadership will be a theme of the curriculum and leadership experi- ences and opportunities will be available at every level in and out of the classroom, he said. Frischknecht said the

three towns being consid- ered for the Charter School have yet to be contacted. “I haven’t heard any- thing about this,” London- derry School Board Chair John Robinson said.

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