PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The School Committee will begin its search for a new superintendent next month.
The committee voted Wednesday to table the superintendent search discussion until its September meeting allowing them time to focus on opening the schools.
"Having been through a number of these through the years putting this off to September when instruction will be open, one hopes, it would allow us to focus a little better,” School Committee member William Cameron said. "We might have a better sense of what we need going forward.
Outgoing Superintendent Jason McCandless will take up a new position leading the Mount Greylock Regional School District this fall.
Although the school officials have asked McCandless to stay in Pittsfield for the full 90 days in his contract, they would prefer to begin the superintendent search sooner than later.
Deputy Superintendent Joseph Curtis has already been appointed as the interim superintendent.
Chairwoman Katherine Yon pulled up a School Committee policy from the 1990s stating that they must begin the process at least 15 days after it is known that the position will be vacated. Specifically, it states they bring in a consultant.
With actually opening school topping the committee's priorities, committee members agreed it may be worthwhile to begin the superintendent search in earnest this fall.
Also, Mayor Linda Tyer was not in attendance, and the committee agreed she needed to be present for any discussion surrounding the superintendent.
"She is a major player not just as a member of the School Committee but in terms of the city and financial support for the schools,” Cameron said.
Yon said she has been in contact with the Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC) who told her if Pittsfield wanted to have a new superintendent ready for July 2021, they should start the search by at least January.
In other businesses, the School Committee granted the administration permission to begin rolling out the beginning of school year plans to families.
"I don’t think we should languish over this because we have already decided what the model is going to be,” Cameron said.
Although negotiations with bargaining units are ongoing and a memorandum of understanding has not been signed, the administration did not want to blindside parents with only weeks to go before school begins.
"We just wanted to have a discussion with the committee as we have done with our negotiation group to permit the release of information to our families on how we would open the school year,” Curtis said.
The School Committee did approve a morning/afternoon hybrid learning plan but would begin fully remote before phasing that in.
McCandless said this still seems to be the plan going forward.
The information was to be released to families Friday and a series of virtual meetings for parents will be held they can ask questions and prepare for the beginning of the school year.
The working date for the first day of school had been Sept. 15. This date was later voted on by the School Committee when it accepted the revised school calendar.
Cameron said he did not think it would be possible to change the plan, even if they wanted to, because there has not been proper public notice.
The School Committee also voted to nominate Andrea Wadsworth of the Lee School Committee as the president-elect of MASC.
"I have had the privilege of working with Ms. Wadsworth for five years in education issues associated with Berkshire County," Cameron said. "She is highly energetic, very bright, and I think she would make an outstanding leader."
Wadsworth, who has served as the MASC Division VI chair, said the MASC's executive committee brings forth nominations for president. This year the person who would be nominated has instead decided to run for state representative.
Without a nomination, members can run from the delegation floor but only with the support of five Massachusetts school committees.
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Greylock and Credit Union of the Berkshires Agree to Merger
PITTSFIELD, Mass. – Greylock Federal Credit Union and Credit Union of the Berkshires (CUB), both of Pittsfield, have reached a definitive merger agreement subject to the approval of the CUB membership and regulatory agencies.
"We are pleased that Greylock and Credit Union of the Berkshires have reached this merger agreement," said Greylock President and CEO John L. Bissell. "We know that the credit union difference remains strong in Berkshire County. We look forward to completing the merger and
combining the resources of CUB and Greylock to help the community thrive."
With final approval of the merger, Greylock will assume CUB's nearly $23 million in assets.
The downtown branch will crank out juices and smoothies at 48 North St., the former Brooklyn's Best. It is a 650-square-foot space that owner Jonathan Vella said he has always loved because "it is that tiny perfect little hole in the wall."
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BRPC's Executive Committee unanimously approved the document on Thursday, which includes concerns for proposals that will eliminate Great Barrington and Lee/Lenox as urban clusters and reclassify the urban area of Pittsfield.
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On Friday morning, Mayor Linda Tyer delivered "breaking news" that the parade will be canceled this year for the second time since 1977. It was also canceled last year due to the novel coronavirus.
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