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Hoosac Valley School Officials See Superintendent Evaluation

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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The School Committee receives an update on the superintendent evaluation. 
CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Hoosac Valley Regional School Committee has approved a superintendent evaluation system.
Superintendent Aaron Dean provided the committee with a presentation Monday and outlined his proposed assessment system and the goals it included.
"I am happy to report about my own evaluation," Dean said. "This is an important process for us to work together on for me to get feedback."
Dean said he has already created a district improvement plan that should help the committee track some of his goals.
"I did that because I was lucky enough to know the district and be from the area," he said. "The leadership team has done so many great things and there are a lot of great things happening. I wanted to make sure we put it all together."
Dean went through some sections of his self-assessment and goals and said he wants to continue to use data to inform decisions when it comes to instruction and curriculum. He said this should be synced with professional development and other educational programs.
Operationally, he said he wants to continue to improve the district's information technology infrastructure and continue to strengthen state reporting. 
He also wants to make sure the district stays on top of building maintenance.
Regarding personnel, he wants to improve the assessment system and make it more consistent with valuable feedback.
Another goal is to keep the towns of Adams and Cheshire connected to their school district and engage the communities in the education of their students.
He said this can be improved through communication of all forms, including improving the district website.
In general, Dean wants the district to put its best foot forward and show that it is a good place to go to school.
"I am finding more and more that there is way more good here than the bad that I heard coming back in the door," said Dean, a former teacher at the high school who returned to lead the district in August. "There are a lot of great things started and a lot of great people working hard."
Dean said he would provide evidence for these goals in June and asked the School Committee to reach out to the community and staff to help inform their own evaluation.
"Feel free to ask folks how things are going, and ask principals and talk with them to see if my leadership is working for them," he said. "That is feedback that I am going to need."
In other business, Business Manager Erika Snyder presented some quick budgetary information and said the governor's budget shows a Chapter 70 school aid increase for the district of $37,000.
She said this comes to about a $30 increase per student.
"This is just round one," she said. "This kind of sets the stage."
The governor's budget is filed at the beginning of the year; the House and Senate will then propose their budgets, which may affect the final numbers.
Snyder did not get into current numbers because, at this point, they are only estimates but said currently transportation is coming in slightly lower and payments to the charter school are essentially a moving target based on enrollment and tuition.
Dean said he is hopeful to be able to secure some Rural School Aid funds but noted he was not sure how much this would be.
"I received word that we have met the threshold but I am not sure how much that means," he said. "We should hear shortly what that will add to the budget ... as long as they don't shift the threshold, we will be OK." 
Dean said the district needs to take inventory of services, educational tools, and products its uses.  
"We really have to look to right-size our education as we look to what our identity is going to be," he said, "potentially shifting our focus and funds to match these things."
Committee member Michael Mucci gave a buildings and maintenance update and that regarding Hoosac Valley Elementary, the town of Adams has continued its commitment to improving the building. 
"It sounds like the list that we have put together over the last couple of years of things that are outstanding gets a little smaller every year," he said. "They are doing a great job dealing with things as they come up."
He said the hope is that the roof project on the elementary school will go out to bid in the spring.

Tags: evaluation,   superintendent,   

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Adams Girls Basketball Travel Team Wins Tourney

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CHESHIRE, Mass. -- The Adams seventh- and eighth-grade travel girls basketball team won its home tournament over the weekend by knocking off two teams from New York.
North Adams made a strong run, beating Greylock and Ballston Spa, N.Y., before falling to Adams.
Adams advanced and defeated a tough Averill Park, N.Y., team that defeated them the day prior to win the tournament.
The tournament win was the Adams girls second championship of the season.
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