Vol. III No. 10 5/15/2022
From the Desk of Superintendent Peter Dillon
Berkshire Hills Regional School District (BHRSD)
As we head into our Annual Town Meeting, I'm sharing some updates on warrant articles.
There are 3 warrant articles connected to the School District.
Article 5 is for our operating budget. The increase is to cover increases in salaries, transportation, insurance and utilities. We also added an assistant principal for Career, Vocational and Technical Education. The amount went up because Stockbridge had more students this year and Great Barrington had slightly fewer. The % increase is unusual and the longitudinal increase over 10 years was closer to 3% each year. We did return $76,436 to Stockbridge this year and we raised more than $4 million in grants this past year which both help offset assessments.
Article 6 is for our capital budget — debt payments on Muddy Brook Elementary School and Du Bois Middle School.
Article 9 is to authorize borrowing for a feasibility and schematic design study for a new or renovated high school. Stockbridge's share is roughly $480,000. We were one of 17 projects selected by the Massachusetts School Building Authority. 42 projects were rejected. Feasibility and schematic design are a necessary step in advancing a potential building project. This cost will not impact the current year's budget but FY24.
I can respond to any questions before the town meeting by email and I will be at the town meeting as well.
As I mentioned two weeks ago, The Regional School District Planning Board voted 16-6 to move forward with the consultant's recommendation to merge BHRSD and SBRSD and share a high school on the Great Barrington campus. Take a look at this recent FAQ for some updates. In the coming months, there will be facilitated conversations and a series of meetings to try to develop a new regional agreement which would then be voted on as well as a revised educational vision.
As always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions — Peter.Dillon@bhrsd.org
Next issue, I'll share some updates on future School Committees topics including our work with the 9th grade team, shifts in Career, Vocational and Technical Education (CVTE), and what post-secondary choices our seniors are making.
Photo: Jay Rhind