A collaborative agreement among North County school districts could save money and improve outcomes for special needs students throughout the district, an official working on the collaboration told the Williamstown School Committee on Wednesday.
North Adams Public Schools Superintendent Barbara Malkas said she'd seen the benefits of educational collaboratives when leading the public schools in the Worcester County town of Webster.
The Williamstown School Committee heard some sobering news about the prospects for the fiscal 2018 budget talks it will begin in earnest next month.
The K-6 district expects costs for the fiscal year to increase by about twice the funding increase historically offered by the town unless cuts are found.
A turbulent year in the governance of Williamstown Elementary School took another turn on Wednesday evening when Dan Caplinger stepped down as chairman of the School Committee.
Caplinger called a special 4 p.m. meeting of the body to announce his decision and decide on a new leader going forward.
Maintaining staff and reinstating programs cut in the fiscal 2017 budget process are among the priorities of Williamstown Elementary School's principal.
Joelle Brookner gave a presentation to the School Committee at its Nov. 30 meeting in an order to help the panel understand the budget numbers it will see this winter when it weighs the FY18 budget.
Mount Greylock Regional School Committee member Carolyn Greene, who chaired the committee at the time of Dias' 2015 hiring and last week's departure, said at the Nov. 7 meeting that the Tri-District remains strong despite the turbulence, and on Thursday she emphasized that the complaints against the superintendent did not involve students.
The brief tenure of public schools superintendent Douglas Dias came to an end Monday after an evening of lengthy closed-door discussions among the three school committees he served.
Dias, who was hired to administer the Lanesborough-Williamstown Tri-District in spring 2015, is leaving the post in the wake of undisclosed "complaints or charges" leveled against him.
Williamstown Elementary School is asking its families about their aspirations for the K-6 school.
The district is in the process of developing a strategic plan, and part of that process will be an electronic survey that is being sent to stakeholders, Superintendent Douglas Dias told the School Committee on Wednesday evening.
The special education prekindergarten was the only thing on the minds of the three residents who participated in the public comment portion of Wednesday’s meeting.
And, not for the first time, those comments strayed into areas where Caplinger had to admonish residents against levying accusations against individual school personnel or speaking about an individual child's experience in open session.
Williamstown Elementary School passed its first year under a new standardized testing regime with flying colors, the School Committee learned on Wednesday.
Last spring marked the first time the school's pupils were evaluated by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, test in place of the commonwealth's traditional Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System.
As the School Committee held its second meeting in the month of August, Williamstown Elementary School's principal reminded the committee members they're not the only ones devoting time to the school in the "off season."
"People think that summer comes and teachers go on vacation, and it's just not true," Brookner said. "I've seen everybody. Some days, I want to say, 'What are you doing here? Go home.'
Williamstown Elementary School officials on Monday continued to face questions about their decision to restructure the school's special education program.
Although Side-by-Side was not on the committee's agenda, two of the most outspoken critics of last spring's decision took the opportunity to raise the issue during the meeting's public comment period.
The Williamstown Elementary School Committee on Thursday discussed the possibility of adding a part-time math support position for the 2016-17 academic year.
The administration asked for a special meeting of the committee to approve the creation of the position in case the school district realize a cost savings from unexpected turnover on its staff.
A buddy bench is a bench placed on or near a playground on which a child who is feeling lonely can sit as a signal that he or she is looking for a friend or playmate. The troop is dedicating the bench in the memory of Eve Claffey, a fellow fourth-grader who died right before school started this year.
The elementary school district is on track to finish the fiscal year in the black — but not by much.
"We're pulling into the gas pumps on fumes in terms of the operation budget," Business Manager Nancy Rauscher told the School Committee at its monthly meeting on Wednesday.
The politics of preschool officially graduated to high school on Tuesday night.
The Side-By-Side special education program at Williamstown Elementary School became a topic for discussion at the monthly meeting of the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee.
The opening came when the Williamstown-Lanesborough Tri-District's Director of Pupil Personnel Services gave the committee a periodic updates on the special education program at Mount Greylock.
Town meeting on Tuesday night approved the elementary school's requested fiscal 2017 budget- after cutting it by a symbolic $27.
There had been concerns that the $6 million budget would be "held hostage" by constituents angry at the reductions made to the school's Side-By-Side special education preschool program. But opponents expressed their displeasure with an amendment that cut the school's funding by $1 for every year that Side-By-Side has existed.
All you need to know going into Tuesday's annual town meeting: Come early, plan to stay late and read up.
There will be plenty to talk about when the town's voters gather at Williamstown Elementary School, and if last Tuesday's Town Election is any indication, there will be plenty of people there to do the talking.
The Elementary School Committee is seeking a 6.35 percent increase in the town's contribution to an fiscal 2017 budget that only increases 3.33 percent from FY16.
The difference: a choice the district has made about how to use School Choice revenue.
First-year Superintendent Doug Dias made it clear from Day 1 of the budget process that he wants to end the district's unsustainable practice of relying on School Choice revenue for operating expenses.
The Elementary School Committee on Wednesday approved a plan to add a third half-day session to the school's Side-By-Side special education preschool program.
In a unanimous vote, the committee agreed to ask the town for an additional $58,424 on the budget it approved earlier this spring. The school is seeking about $6.14 million from the town for fiscal 2017, a 6.35 percent increase over this year.
Williamstown Elementary School is adding a third half-day section to its Side-By-Side preschool program, a move school officials hope will ease some of the concerns that have riled the community in recent weeks.
Superintendent Douglas Dias said on Friday that the decision to add the third section was driven by a desire to accommodate all families who had applied for the program.
It was clear from the get-go that the decision to cut a full-day option from the elementary school's special education preschool program was the chief topic of conversation.
The town on Tuesday, May 10, will elect two people to serve on the five-member School Committee. There is one incumbent in the race, current committee Chairman Dan Caplinger.