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.
One thing that appears to finally be off the table is any solution for the district office that involves an existing "off-campus" building. District officials searched for more than a year to find a workable solution that did not involve new construction. Unfortunately, Bergeron said, any such structure would have involved costly modifications that made an existing property impractical at any price.
Time is running out for anyone who wants to run for the newly constituted Mount Greylock Regional School District School Committee.
Nomination papers must be returned to the town clerks in Williamstown and Lanesborough by Tuesday, July 24, at 5 p.m.
Teachers in the Lanesborough and Williamstown elementary schools and at Mount Greylock Regional School have filed a series of unfair labor practice complaints with the state Department of Labor Relations, according to a statement released on Monday.
Educators in the regional school district are asking the Transition Committee to honor existing contractual wage increase, which officials have decided not to honor as three separate contracts are merged into one.
Mount Greylock Educators Association Vice President Marty Walter said the teacher's unions feel it is "unacceptable" not to honor those wages and accused school administrators of being unwilling to negotiate.
The Transition Committee opted against the superintendent's recommendation to shorten the April vacation.
Superintendent Kimberly Grady proposed a school calendar which replaced the vacation with two long weekends. Grady was worried that extra snow days could put the district in a position where it wouldn't have the required 185 days of school.
Educators from what will be a unified Mount Greylock Regional School District are demanding that the transition committee handling contract negotiations honor existing agreements until a new contract is settled, as well as establish a more realistic time frame for negotiating a regional agreement.
Acting on direction from the committee to try to end the school year earlier than this year’s snow day-induced June 25 release, Superintendent Kimberley Grady and her building principals developed a proposal that replaces the traditional week off in April with two long weekends.
Below are excerpts from the hour-long interviews of each candidate, during which the committee asked a series of predetermined questions with an opportunity for committee members to ask follow-up questions.
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.
The Mount Greylock Transition Committee is sticking with its previous agreements when it comes to the tuition rate.
The committee agreed to set a split rate — $14,477 for New Ashford and Hancock students attending Mount Greylock Regional Middle and High School and $17,314 for New Ashford students attending Lanesborough Elementary. Those figures are in line with votes the legacy school committees had adopted in prior years.
Since the fall's votes in Lanesborough and Williamstown to fully regionalize the Mount Greylock district, the LES Committee is no longer responsible for decisions that impact the school after July 1, 2018, which is why the Transition Committee is charged with setting a tuition rate.
This week, the district's advertisement for a permanent superintendent was posted on the website of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, which, along with the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, is one of the main vehicles for getting the word out.
Some town officials are urging the Mount Greylock Transition Committee to hold firm on tuition rates.
Members of the Board of Selectmen and the Finance Committee had fought for years over the price point of tuition and last year finally reach an agreement with school officials.
For years, Lanesborough Elementary School and Mount Greylock have been criticized for setting tuition levels below the per-student cost published by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The third school in the newly expanded Mount Greylock Regional School District, Williamstown Elementary School, has a negligible number of tuition pupils in any given year.
The committee decided on the following seats for the search panel: two members of the Transition Committee, one teacher, one parent, one principal, one town official from either Lanesborough or Williamstown and one Mount Greylock student.
On a vote of 4-3, the committee decided not to offer the job to interim Superintendent Kimberley Grady, who stepped into the post on short notice when the then-Tri-District abruptly parted ways with Douglas Dias at the start of the second year of his three-year contract.