Vol. IV No. 19 9/8/2023
Key Notes from the 8 Town Regional School District Planning Board (RSDPB) meeting, August 28, 2023, Hybrid
This open meeting of the RSDPB was well-attended with approximately 60 in person and additional attendees via Zoom.
Lucy Prashker, RSDPB Chair, called the meeting to order. Prashker explained the group was formed 4 years ago to answer the question: are the two school districts better apart or better together? After study, consultation, and outreach, RSDBP determined they are better together.
Jake Eberwein, Berkshire Educational Consulting Group, familiarized the attendees with the approved plan for bringing the districts together. The full description of the plan is online: www.8towns.org
Public comment was not unanimously supportive — there were questions, concerns, and disagreements with elements of the plan. Some attendees requested a follow-up meeting. The Berkshire Eagle is organizing a public forum at the Mahaiwe in early October. In addition, SU hopes the RSDPB will also hold a "listening session" before the vote. The session might open to public comment and questions immediately. The answers will be informed by the years of research; the answers will present appropriate parts of the plan rather than a lengthy presentation.
Approval/disapproval will be up to the people at eight Special Town Meetings planned for October. All eight towns must approve the plan. If even one town declines, the 8Town plan fails. What then? There is a 3Town plan (West Stockbridge, Stockbridge, and Great Barrington) or there may be other options.
Photo: Lionel Delevingne