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The School Committee meets last week.

North Adams Superintendent Up for Second Evaluation

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The School Committee is set to do its second evaluation of the performance of Superintendent Barbara Malkas. 
 
A special meeting is being held Monday night for a final vote on the school budget for fiscal 2019, followed by superintendent evaluation.
 
Malkas last week had quickly outlined some of the evidence that she had provided to the School Committee members to aid them in their evaluation process.
 
"I will tell you this is not the sum total of the evidence and I realized when I was trying to put this together ... I didn't need the kitchen and the bathroom sink," she said. "I realized I was putting a lot in there so if there is something in particular that you would like to see please do not hesitate to ask."
 
Malkas went through some chosen materials that included emergency operation planning, goals set, community outreach and involvement, budgetary information, examples of leadership and various datasets.
 
School Committee member Heather Boulger said the committee members will take the information home and fill out a rubric. At the Monday meeting, they will compile this information and create one evaluative document.
 
"We each do it individually, but we will have to agree on the comments that go into the evaluation and the ratings based on everybody's collective input," she said.
 
In other business last week, the committee appointed Boulger and Chairman and Mayor Thomas Bernard to the Shared Services Subcommittee made up of the Northern Berkshire school districts.
 
The creation of this subcommittee came out of the discussions of possibly sharing a superintendent with the Adams-Cheshire Regional School district. Although it was ultimately decided that Adams-Cheshire would go ahead with hiring its own superintendent, the group decided it would still be advantageous to seek out other opportunities where services could be shared.
 
Malkas said the first meeting of the committee would likely take place in the late summer or fall. She said although there was a meeting scheduled in late June, the group decided to wait until the superintendent positions were filled in Adams-Cheshire and the Northern Berkshire School Union.
 
Both of those entities have selected new superintendents, with Adams-Cheshire hiring Pittsfield's Taconic High School Principal John Vosburgh and the school union offering the post to Brayton Elementary School Principal John Franzoni. 
 
Toward the end of the meeting, the committee voted to enter into negotiations with Savoy school district (Emma Miller Elementary School) to work out a shared lunch service agreement.
 
Malkas said the school, which has 47 students, does not have a lunch program and had been told by the state that this is not an option.
 
"They looked to us," she said. "We are known for having a highly developed and highly successful food service program." 
 
Food Services Director Corbett Nicholas said there are two options through the National School Lunch Program: North Adams can act as a vendor or a sponsor.
 
"In both scenarios, we are providing meals," he said. "The compliance piece, the administrative piece, and reimbursement piece would come with sponsorship."
 
Nicholas said as a vendor, North Adams would supply the meals and simply send Savoy an invoice. As a sponsor, North Adams would hold the administrative duties and take on any compliance issues. 
 
Nicholas said currently NAPS food service is a sponsor for all of its schools and recently switched from a vendor to a sponsor for Head Start. He said the plan is to also switch from vendor to sponsor for the North Berkshire Academy. 
 
Nicholas suggested taking on Savoy as a sponsor because some funds would be kicked back to the North Adams lunch program, and other than that it is cost neutral.
 
He added that more meals and more students are also a plus.
 
Boulger asked if the extra duties would take away from the North Adams program but Nicholas said he did not anticipate an issue and that the food would be prepared at Drury High and driven to Savoy. He said an additional employee would need to be hired but it would still be cost neutral.
 
He added if the agreement does not pan out they do not have to renew it next year.
 
Administrators will negotiate an agreement with Savoy and bring it back to the School Committee for a vote.
 
Malkas said Director of Facilities Matt Neville plans to retire early next year after 29 years with the school system.
 
"He has worked to create and maintain an environment that is safe and attractive and efficient," she said. "He makes himself available 24 hours a day which I can personally attest to ... Matt will always be known for his unique sense of humor and we wish him the best."

Tags: evaluation,   fiscal 2019,   NAPS,   school budget,   

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