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Adams-Cheshire Changes Retiree Insurance Split

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Adams-Cheshire Regional School Committee voted last week to change the retiree health insurance split to make it more in line with active employees.
 
The committee unanimously voted Tuesday to change the retiree health care split from 75/25 to 60/40 for non MedX plan users and 51/49 for MedX plan users. 
 
"We want to make that change. The savings, if we were to do both, would nearly be $300,000 so it is pretty significant," School Committee member Darlene Rodowicz said. "It is also a significant change for our retirees and what they pay out of pocket." 
 
Business Manager Erika Snyder said the committee was unable to change the split, as it did with active employees last year, and this change makes things even across the board.
 
She added this also puts the district in line with the rest of the state.
 
"The majority of eastern and central Massachusetts has already brought their retiree rates to 50/50," she said. "As you move toward the Berkshires and Western Mass, still vary but are getting closer."
 
In other business, the committee heard from educator Dawn Bishop who explained the overhauled book approval process.
 
"After quite a bit of discussion and research we came up with a process of how teachers need to think about the book before they try to even apply for the approval process," she said. "When they come to us it should pretty much be hands down that this is a pretty good book and it is going to work."
 
She said teachers will be able to submit possible books for students to read three times a year after filling out an approval form with general information about the book.
 
The book would be rated by a committee on readability and how appropriate it is for the grade level.
 
Themes and language will also be considered.
 
"If there is swearing or profanity in the book and if yes where it is. They have to delineate so I can go in and check it out," she said. "Because sometimes it is benign and other times it is vulgar and offensive."
 
Bishop said the committee will also take into account items that may be controversial to the community as well as sex and violence. 
 
Superintendent Robert Putnam went on with his report and noted the heat in the Hoosac Valley Elementary School gymnasium is back up and running.
 
After inconsistent heating, the system was shut down for two weeks to accommodate repairs. 
 
Putnam went on to say the job posting for the superintendent has closed and the district has received 13 applications. 
 
The district is still looking at sharing a superintendent with North Adams, however, will run the two processes congruently.

Tags: ACRSD,   retirees,   

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