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Adams-Cheshire Committee Moving Pre-K Back To Cheshire

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
10:25PM / Monday, February 11, 2013
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The Adams-Cheshire Regional School Committee appointed a new member on Monday.

ADAMS, Mass. — The school district's preschool program is going back to Cheshire.

Preschool programs at both Cheshire Elementary and C.T. Plunkett had combined four years ago in Cheshire when Adams Memorial Middle School was closed.

But when the renovated Hoosac Valley Middle and High School reopened, officials felt that the combined program would be a better fit in Adams because the majority of the children come from there.

The switch to Adams upset many parents who fought the move. On Monday, Adams Cheshire-Regional School District officials opted to bring the program back to Cheshire.

"We don't have the space at Plunkett," said Superintendent Kristen Gordon. "We're cramped."

Officials had thought that with the sixth-grade students moving to the renovated school, there would be plenty of room. Gordon, however, said the preschool program's needs are greater than the freed-up space.

The majority of the children with special needs in the program are still from Adams but it won't add to the budget to bus them to Cheshire. Gordon said she looked at separating the programs as they had operated before the closure of the middle school but the teachers prefer the combined program.

The program had a stable home for four years in Cheshire and Gordon said this will be the last change for a while. The School Committee supported the move.

"I don't want to revisit this every year," Gordon said.

In other business, Brian Astorino was appointed as a Cheshire representative on the School Committee. The School Committee had been short since Gloria Lewis resigned to run for the Cheshire Board of Selectmen.

Astorino is an employee of Greylock Federal Credit Union with children in the schools. The committee members praised the already active role he plays in education, from being on the School Council to coaching Little League to being a member of the ACE Foundation.

Astorino was picked over Mark Biagini, who also interviewed for the seat.

"They both would be good additions to the committee," Chairman Paul Butler said.

The seat is up for election in the spring, so his appointment will only last until the election.

The School Committee also approved submitting a statement of interest to the state School Building Authority in hopes to be invited into the program that will provide about 80 percent of the cost to renovate Cheshire Elementary School.

The district has been applying since 2009, which it submitted SOIs for Cheshire Elementary, Adams Memorial and Hoosac Valley High School. After a study, the state recommended the middle and high school concept and the district was able to vacate middle school and move Grades 6 through 12 into the renovated high school.

Tags: ACRSD,   preschool,   

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