Town and school officials were told this week by members of the Berkshire Education Task Force that with a dipping population and shrinking resources, challenges facing Berkshire County schools are more likely to worsen than improve.
Interim Superintendent Robert Putnam reviewed an action plan at Monday's School Committee meeting that focuses heavily on classroom instruction and teacher feedback. He believes strongly that the district can reverse its low performance despite the challenges.
The Adams-Cheshire Regional School District is facing a decision: Consolidate and get small, join another district and get big.
That seemed the takeaway from Saturday's community forum at Hoosac Valley High School hosted by the Edward J. Collins Jr. Center for Public Management. The center, based at the University of Massachusetts, was hired by Adams to identify and analyze alternatives to reduce costs for the district.
The public is invited to Hoosac Valley High School this weekend to participate in a study to identify and analyze cost-saving alternatives for the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District.
"It's to learn, to listen, to provide background, to receive information and to share," School Committee member," Edmund St. John IV said. "It is a chance to partake in the conversation about the future of the district."
The Selectmen on Wednesday approved a revamped one-day liquor-license application form that will simplify the application process.
Selectman Arthur "Skip" Harrington presented the new two-page one-day application that was developed by the Licensing Subcommittee.
Cheshire School opened its new playground with a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday.
The Cheshire Parent/Teacher Group under its President Karen Isbell has been fundraising for several years to be able to replace the old wooden play structures with a new rubber-coated steel structure that is much more durable and will last for many years to come.
Another year of subpar standardized test scores has administrators in the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District seeking ways to improve performance.
"What we need to do is more parent outreach and work with students, teachers and administration because it is going to have to be a broad initiative if we want to be successful because we have to turn around what has been a steady trend for a long time," interim Superintendent Robert Putnam told the School Committee on Monday.
Adams-Cheshire Regional School District staff and School Committee members have deemed the C.T. Plunkett Breakfast in the Classroom program a success.
Food Service Director Rosanne Schutz told the committee Monday that the grant-funded program that lets students eat breakfast in the classroom has increased the number of students eating breakfast in school by nearly 200 percent.
The Adams-Cheshire Regional School District has secured a grant that will provide free breakfast and lunch to all C.T. Plunkett School pupils.
The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act. The 2010 allows eligible schools to provide meals to all children regardless of income.
The regional school district's new leader is going above and beyond in keeping communication lines open with town officials
Robert Putnam, interim superintendent for the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District, was back in front of the board on Wednesday for the second time since being appointed July 1.
Adams-Cheshire Regional's new interim superintendent continued his introductory rounds last week, this time with the Board of Selectmen.
Robert Putnam had introduced himself to the Adams Selectmen earlier this month and addressed the regional district's School Committee for the first time last Monday.
The school district's new leader said on Monday that his first impression since arriving has been a strong sense of pride.
"There is a deep and abiding pride in the community," interim Superintendent Robert Putnam told the School Committee. "A true sense of place and dedication to the towns and their institutions."
Putnam was hired earlier this year as interim superintendent of the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District. He started in his post on July 1.
Robert Putnam, interim superintendent of the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District, wants to better communication between the towns and the school district.
Putnam, hired in May to lead the district as it searched for a permanent replacement, introduced himself to town officials at last week's Board of Selectmen meeting.
The two elementary schools in the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District will be studied this summer to determine whether one should be closed.
School Committee member Edmund St. John IV asked Chairman Paul Butler on Monday when they will start serious discussions about possibly closing a school.
The Adams-Cheshire Regional School Committee has unanimously voted to hire Robert Putnam as its interim superintendent.
The committee held a short meeting Wednesday to vote on hiring the former Central Berkshire Regional administrator.
The search for an interim superintendent took an unexpected turn Monday night when one of candidates declared the post was "not a good fit," thanked the committee and left.
The departure of Christine Canning came at the end of a somewhat tense interview with the Adams-Cheshire Regional School Committee over the needs and expectations of the school district. At one point, she turned to fellow candidate Robert Putnam, shook his hand and said, "congratulations, you've got the job."
With budget cuts, staff cuts, and uncertainty over the future structure of the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District, there may not be room for school-choice students.
The School Committee decided Monday night to hold off on opening any more school-choice slots, which allow students from other school districts to enter the district. Slots are often a form of revenue since the state money follows the student.
One of Hoosac Valley's graduates will be headed for the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis this summer.
Jared Haley of Adams is the first Hurricane known to obtain an appointment to the academy. U.S. Rep. Richard Neal was on hand Tuesday morning to present his congressional nomination before Haley's family, teachers, and coaches.
C.T. Plunkett Elementary pupils and teachers are benefiting from the newly implemented student support center.
Principal Michelle Colvin introduced the Adams-Cheshire Regional School Committee on Monday to the team of Plunkett administrators and teachers who have created and implemented a program that allows disruptive students to leave the classroom, unwind, and learn better self-control.
Through a state grant, Adams and Cheshire will undergo a third-party cost analysis study and review of the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District that will provide information on how to best restructure the district.
The Adam-Cheshire Regional School District will use the next year as a "stop gap" as it researches possible reorganization and brings on an interim superintendent.
School Committee member Darlene Rodowicz at Monday's meeting at C.T. Plunkett School said it should begin organizing subcommittees and meetings to decide what changes could be made to the structure of the two-town district to make it economically viable.
Town officials want some hard numbers before any talk about closing Cheshire Elementary School.
Chairwoman Carol Francesconi asked that the Selectmen on Tuesday to draft a letter to the Adams-Cheshire Regional School Committee asking for a cost-benefit study of closing Cheshire Elementary School or C.T. Plunkett Elementary in Adams.
The Adams-Cheshire Regional School District budget is down for fiscal 2017 — but only after slashing nearly $1 million, including a dozen positions.
Business Manager David Hinkell on Monday presented a $18,995,762 preliminary budget to the school committee Monday that represented a .58 percent decrease, or drop of $110,767, from this year's budget.