Mixed in with concerns about the ongoing labor strife in the newly expanded district were several comments about disparities between Williamstown Elementary School and Lanesborough Elementary School, where, committee members were told, pupils do not have access to the same opportunities for music instruction and a currently unfilled library position is straining resources.
The pair had sat down with Assessor Kelly Tolisano, who explained to them that the mall is valued at $19.5 million, resulting in a tax bill of $417,000 — a number that is significantly down from the mall's heyday and one that the current owner routinely falls behind on and then catches up at the last moment.
The Mount Greylock Regional School Transition Committee on Thursday decided to take its case to the floor of Lanesborough's town meeting in order to secure the funding it requested from the town.
At issue is about $112,000, the figure that Lanesborough's Finance Committee decided to unilaterally cut from the assessment the regional school district made to the town.
On consecutive paper ballot votes, town meeting voted by a 35-31 margin to keep the school line item in the town budget at the level recommended by the School Committee and, by a 13-vote margin, approved the total $870,054.61 spending plan.
As agreed to Wednesday and blessed by the School Committee 24 hours later, the town would pay $12,477 per pupil in fiscal 2019, $14,442 in FY20 and the full DESE per-pupil rate, whatever it may be at that time, in FY21.
A question about the size of a single classroom at Lanesborough Elementary School led to a big-picture discussion about school funding at Tuesday's Mount Greylock Transition Committee meeting.
And it highlighted one of the challenges the district is likely to face as it implements an elementary school funding approach that paved the way for passing full regionalization in November.
School officials expect to present a budget to the town by the end of the month.
The budgets for Lanesborough Elementary School and Mount Greylock Regional Middle and High School will look very different when it goes to town meeting this year. With the merger, there is a significant amount of shifting of cost centers. Most notably, health insurance will shift out of the town's budget and into the school district's budget.
The Selectmen are particularly interested in the lease agreement with the newly expanded school district for use of the elementary school.
The Selectmen met with the School Committee this week as part of bi-annual conversations the two bodies started having in recent years. Now, the School Committee will slowly be dissolved, replaced with a transition committee, and then eventually a new district school committee. The town had voted to expand the Mount Greylock Regional School District to inc
Elementary School teachers and students have set the bar high.
The school held its first tests of the newly revamped Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System tests last year and the newly revealed scores show Lanesborough students trending ahead of state averages in nearly every category.
The state is not placing an accountability rank on schools that have moved to the new system, but the first year will set a benchmark to measure growth in the future.
At contemporaneous town meetings in each community, residents will be asked whether to consolidate the three schools of the Tri-District into a single, expanded Mount Greylock Regional School District. If they do so, the current practice of electing a separate school committee for each elementary school will be a thing of the past, and the budgets for both preK-6 schools will be incorporated into a single spending plan that voters will be asked to approve each spring at Annual Town Meeting.
The Mount Greylock Regional School Committee on Tuesday decided to ask voters to approve the region's expansion to include Williamstown's and Lanesborough's elementary schools.
But there may be one more School Committee meeting to approve the final regional agreement language voters will see at Nov. 14 special town meetings in each community.
School officials behind the regionalization vote have been around town answering questions about it. But they still don't have a final draft of the proposal.
The long talked about full regionalization of Williamstown Elementary School, Lanesborough Elementary School, and Mount Greylock Regional Middle and High School goes to voters on Nov. 14. The move is seen as a natural progression after sharing administration for nearly a decade.
The Mount Greylock Regional School Committee on Tuesday echoed the school committees at its feeder elementary schools by endorsing a plan to fully regionalize the district while maintaining local control of the elementary schools in Lanesborough and Williamstown.
In a 5-0 vote, the panel voted to signal the Mount Greylock School Committee that it wants to meet jointly with the the junior-senior high school committee at its Sept. 19 meeting and that the elementary school committee wants to continue to seek community input ahead of a hoped-for November special town meeting in each of Mount Greylock's member towns.
The latest proposal to expand the Mount Greylock Regional School District would allow each member town to control the budget of its elementary school.
The elementary school committees from Williamstown and Lanesborough met Tuesday to review a draft regional agreement that would expand Mount Greylock Regional School District to include both its "feeder" schools.
The long talked about a vote on regionalization of the two elementary schools goes to the voters on Nov. 14.
The Board of Selectmen set that date for a special town meeting to handle the question of whether or not Williamstown and Lanesborough should join together as one K-12 regional school district. Schools officials have been talking about taking such a step for years and it is eyed to save both towns money and improve efficiency.
As the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee moves forward with its efforts to invite its "feeder" elementary schools to join the district, it is getting some indirect encouragement from the countywide task force looking at challenges facing public education.
Children from Cheshire Elementary School won't be making their way to Lanesborough instead.
The close of Cheshire Elementary School has led many to suggest Lanesborough could be a home for some, if not all, of those students. The Lanesborough Board of Selectmen even suggested looking to craft a tuition agreement to attract some of those students.
John Goerlach worked 20 years in the town's Highway Department so when he retired, part of his health insurance will come from the town's budget.
Goerlach will be paying 15 percent of the premium with the town picking up the rest. Goerlach is now a Selectman, a decade after leaving the town's employment, and he's tasked with managing the finances. Because of conflict of interest laws, he cannot vote to increase the percentage retirees pay for benefits.
Full regionalization of the Mount Greylock School District is expected to go to a vote in the fall.
Considerations of fully regionalize the district have been ongoing since 2013 and is eyed to bring efficiency to the administration of three schools. Currently, Williamstown Elementary, Mount Greylock Regional Middle and High School, and Lanesborough Elementary are all separate entities sharing a superintendent. The move would bring both elementary schools into the district, creating a pre-K to