CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Hoosac Valley Regional School District has received $6,000 in donations from General Dynamics.
This donation came in the form of three $2,000 donations — one to each school in the district.
At the high school and middle school, the grants must go toward science, technology, engineering and math initiatives, the School Committee was told at its meeting Monday. The elementary school is planning to use its donation toward a beautification project.
"Third-grade students and volunteers spend a day planting flowers and beautifying the landscape in front of the school," Superintendent Aaron Dean said in an email correspondence after the meeting. "It's a service learning project that promotes pride in our elementary school."
Dean added that this is a yearly donation.
Other maintenance projects are planned for the elementary school. Working with the town of Adams, the district is tapping into an account with around $160,000 that is reserved for school improvement purposes. The school district may also use some money from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act for various projects.
Jacqueline Daniels, the associate director of student services for the school district, discussed the details of the new English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum.
She said the district received a number of grants "that helped train a group of teachers in the science of reading" and that another grant "will give us $60,000 towards [the] K-5 curriculum."
Daniels also addressed other grants aimed mostly at literacy and evidence-based learning programs.
The committee also discussed the school choice program for the district. Because enrollment is strong at the elementary school, the school is not going to open up school choice for the fall.
Some committee members were disappointed at this news, but recognized that having too many students would put an undue strain on the school system.
The reduced number of school choice spots at the elementary level reflects the lack of resources due to COVID-19.
The committee also reorganized and re-elected Mike Mucci as chairman and Bethany DeMarco as vice chairman.
Mucci was also confirmed as the assistant treasurer, as it is the custom of the committee for the chairman to also serve as the assistant treasurer.
The committee generally reorganizes after an election, which was held Monday, May 3. However, there were no new additions to the School Committee.
Committee member Erin Milne closed out the meeting by acknowledging Teachers Appreciation Week. She wanted to "echo again how much we really do appreciate all of the teachers, and what they do for our students in this district."
The committee also met in executive session for more than an hour to discuss collective bargaining agreements, presumably with the teachers' union.
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