The School Committee meets at Cheshire School, which although closed, is being leased from the town for administrative use.
CHESHIRE, Mass. — Despite a slight shake up in the administrative team, Adams Cheshire Regional School District is ready for the new school year to begin, say officials.
Peter Bachli's departure this week to lead Morris Elementary School in Lenox has caused some more shifting around as the school district consolidates its grades from three schools to two.
"There have been changes, and the world doesn't always go the way you think it is going to go and I thought it would be a good opportunity to introduce the new team," Superintendent Robert Putnam told the School Committee on Monday. "I want to thank them for their flexibility and for rising to meet the challenge."
Bachli was to transition as principal of the now closed Cheshire School to the newly named Hoosac Valley Elementary. He had been at Cheshire since 2009.
Michelle Colvin, who had been principal of C.T. Plunkett (now Hoosac Valley Elementary) for nearly five years, will return to her post leading that building.
"We are substantially ready. we could open our doors now and I don't say that lightly," Colvin said. "You should have seen the boxes and all of the moving that had to be sorted out ... but everything has been moved, painted and refreshed. We are ready for kids."
Hoosac Valley Elementary will now contain pre-K through Grade 3 elementary pupils from both Cheshire and Adams. Grades 4 and 5 will attend the expanded middle school program at Hoosac Valley High School.
Colvin thanked Bachli for his preparation that made it easier to step back into her former position.
Christopher Sposato, assistant principal at Hoosac Valley, will take over as the interim middle school principal with Elizabeth Namislo, a special education reading teacher, as dean.
"I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to serve the district in this capacity," Sposato said. "I relish the opportunity to be before staff, students and the community and have that interaction and best meet our students' needs. There is a lot of enthusiasm ... and we are in really good shape."
Hoosac Valley Principal Jeremiah Ames added that he, too, is ready for the new school year.
"We are in good shape at the high school although we had far less to move over than the other grade levels," he said. "One of the big changes on our side of the building is that we have a lot of new faces and a lot of familiar faces in new roles."
He said staff has been trained in Project Lead The Way and that the district plans to roll out more coding programs in conjunction with the middle school.
Putnam thanked the entire staff for "stepping up to the occasion" during the move.
"The reconfiguring of the district was a monumental task and the people sitting in front of you have been diligently at work to secure its success," Putnam said. "But what else is important is the amount of work the teachers and staff put in ... there has been a great deal of sacrifices from all of our staff."
School starts Wednesday, Aug. 30.
In other business, the School Committee voted to form a 10-member regional agreement amendment committee.
Cheshire Selectman and recent School Committee member Edmund St. John IV said he had motioned to start this process when he was on the committee and has held meetings with his Adams counterparts and the School Committee.
"This is something that has come to light in recent events and it exposes that this really hasn't been substantially changed since its inception," he said.
Cheshire, in particular, has been interested in reviewing the decades-old agreement when the town found it had little recourse in the decision earlier this year to close Cheshire School.
St. John said the amendment panel would have one School Committee member from each town, one financial committee member from each town, one selectman from each town, one resident from each town, the superintendent and the business manager.
The School Committee also voted to bring on the Massachusetts Association of Regional Schools for guidance.
"The importance of having them at these meetings is they will be able to look at the issues that come up and help us streamline them and make sure they pass muster," Chairman Paul Butler said.
Putnam said the group will work with the committee for an hourly fee until it hits the $10,000 mark. If this amount is met, the School Committee can extend MARS' contract.
School Committee members Adam Emerson and Paul Butler volunteered to serve on the committee.
St. John said any amendment would have to be submitted and approved by the state Department of Education before it goes to town meeting.
He said this could be voted on at the next annual town meeting.
The district also has finalized the lease agreement with the town of Cheshire for use of Cheshire School as its central office. The district will pay $10,000 for this school year and some of the utilities and the town will handle maintenance.
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