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The School Committee hears a report from the superintendent on the start of school and looks over the new website.

Adams-Cheshire Reports Successful First Week of School

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — Superintendent John Vosburgh reports that the school year is off to a good start.

Adams-Cheshire Regional School District students went back to school Wednesday, Aug. 29, and Vosburgh told the School Committee on Monday that there was plenty of enthusiasm among the students.

"The school opening went well, there was a lot of enthusiasm at all three levels," Vosburgh said. "It was a fun first day and the kids seemed generally excited … the enthusiasm really caught my eye."

Hoosac Valley High School students also started out the year with a new principal with whom they're familiar. Colleen Byrd, the former dean of students, has taken on the position.

"We went through the search process and she rose to the top," Chairman Paul Butler said.

Byrd is replacing Jerimiah Ames, who stepped down this summer.

Molly Meczywor was hired as the new dean of students at Hoosac Valley.

Vosburgh noted that the district is still working the kinks out of busing, but he anticipates it will improve over time.

"There are still busing issues, and this happens every year but, hopefully, everything is settling down," he said. "I think this is something we are going to have to evaluate throughout the year like how many kids are on the buses and where the bus stops are."

Vosburgh also introduced Rick White, the new shared technology director.

"It has been working out very well and we are coordinating with representatives at each level," he said. "Rick has been providing support to those folks."

White is technology director of the Central Berkshire School District and before the school year started, the School Committee gave Vosburgh their blessing to explore this shared service.

The district briefly had a full-time technology director some years ago but the position was eliminated because of budgetary constraints.

Vosburgh said the two districts are still working out the shared services and that the agreement is designed to be flexible.

"We are still figuring out what his role will be, and we will continue to evaluate and figure out how we can be a little more efficient," he said. "We tweaked some stuff today … this is going to be very fluid and we have to feel this out."

Also in regard to technology, Vosburgh said the district's website is still under construction but is up and running.

"As time goes on things will be brought more up to speed with all of the bells and whistles but it is up and running and it does look pretty nice," he said. "It looks pretty sharp."

As promised in his interview, Vosburgh said he plans to roll out a school choice survey in the coming months.

"Some students may have just moved away or chose to go to McCann [Technical School] but this will allow us to get an idea of where they are going and focus some attention on it," he said.

Vosburgh plans to send a paper survey to students and families who have decided to leave the district over the past two years in hopes of gaining some insight into why.

"We will see what we get back and even if we get 50 percent we can see what that the thought process may have been along the way and figure out what we need to do to retain students," he said.

Tags: ACRSD,   back to school,   first day,   

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Dancecapade Members Return From Disney World

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff

The girls got to go behind the scenes at the Florida theme park.
ADAMS, Mass. — Nearly a dozen local girls had the chance to perform in front of thousands at Disney World last year.
Dancecapade owner Jaclyn Grabicki brought 11 of her dancers to the Florida theme park in mid-December to perform alongside 45 other studios. 
"When I opened my studio that was something that I kind of prided myself on. I wanted to give the girls opportunities to get out of this area to see other venues," she said. "Watching them dance at Disney and watching them perform was the greatest thing for me to see because it is something that you don't think you are ever going to be able to do for them." 
Grabicki said the trip was not a competition but rather an opportunity for her girls to perform on a world stage at Disney Springs and a parade through the Magic Kingdom. 
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