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Presentation at Nov. 3, 2012 meeting for town officials of Amherst, Leverett, Pelham and Shutesbury Massachusetts regarding possible regionalization

Presentation at Nov. 3, 2012 meeting for town officials of Amherst, Leverett, Pelham and Shutesbury Massachusetts regarding possible regionalization

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  • 1. Regional School District Planning Board Town Officials Update Amherst, Leverett, Pelham, Shutesbury November 3, 2012 www.RegionalSchoolPlanning.com regionalschoolplanningboard@googlegroups.com
  • 2. 2 Regional School District 11/3/2012 Planning BoardBoard MembersAppointed by the Four Towns• Amherst ▫ Katherine Appy (Amherst School Committee) ▫ Alisa Brewer (Amherst Select Board) ▫ Andy Steinberg, Chair of the Board (Amherst Finance Committee)• Leverett ▫ Ann Delano (Leverett Finance Committee) ▫ Kip Fonsh (Leverett School Committee) ▫ Julie Shively (Leverett Select Board)• Pelham ▫ Trevor Baptiste (Pelham School Committee) ▫ Jeff Eiseman (Pelham Zoning Board of Appeals) ▫ Darius Modestow (Pelham School Committee)• Shutesbury ▫ Michael DeChiara, Secretary/Treasurer (Shutesbury School Committee) ▫ Elaine Puleo, Vice Chair of Board (Shutesbury Select Board) ▫ Becky Torres (Shutesbury Town Administrator)
  • 3. 3 Regional School District 11/3/2012 Planning BoardOur Values Guide UsThe Regional School District Planning Board’s (RSDPB) work is being guided by the following values:  Be good stewards. We received good schools from past generations, and take seriously our responsibility to invest in the future by handing off good schools to the generations that follow.  Be fiscally responsible. Be thoughtful and realistic about cost to the towns, and understand short and long-term results of any investment.  Provide ample opportunities for town and resident input.  Learn about, respect, and reflect the culture of the different communities.  Maintain the best features of current schools; capitalize on their strengths.
  • 4. 4 Regional School District 11/3/2012 Planning BoardAgenda• Welcome and Introductions - Andy Steinberg• History of regionalization – Michael DeChiara• Models & Options – Elaine Puleo• Discussion with Legislators• Review of Handouts• Timeline & Process - Michael DeChiara• Consultants, Funding & Costs – Kip Fonsh• Core Issues – Darius Modestow• Voter Approval – Alisa Brewer• Outreach & Communications Plan – Julie Shively• Working with our Town Officials
  • 5. 5 Regional School District 11/3/2012 Planning BoardHistory of Current Educational Systems forAmherst, Leverett, Pelham & Shutesbury 1901: Superintendency Union #26 of Amherst & Pelham authorized by special act of the legislature 1901: Superintendency Union #28 created by Erving, Wendell, Leverett, & Shutesbury 1940: New Salem joins Union #28 1953: Amherst-Pelham Region created by towns of Amherst & Pelham 1955: Leverett & Shutesbury joined Amherst- Pelham Region
  • 6. 6 Regional School District 11/3/2012 Planning BoardHistory of Regionalization Discussionsand InitiativesThe four towns participated in regionalizationefforts in… 1968, 1976, 1992, and 2009
  • 7. 7 Regional School District 11/3/2012 Planning BoardHistory of Regionalization Discussionsand Initiatives 1992: Effort involved a year of discussions among the 4 towns resulting in a proposal to create a K-12 region. Since towns were not yet able under Mass law to withdraw from Unions, Shutesbury and Leverett were going to pay other Union #28 towns $300,000 for permission to leave Superintendency Union #28 (exact mechanism unclear). Leverett Town Meeting voted to join the new region; Shutesbury voted against joining. Effort failed.
  • 8. 8 Regional School District 11/3/2012 Planning BoardHistory of Regionalization Discussionsand Initiatives2007-2009: Prompted by leadership fromSen. Rosenberg and Rep. Kulik, the Franklin CountyPublic Education Study Committee was created in2007.The 2-year process sought to get ahead ofanticipated forced regionalization by the Commonwealth.Report to the Committee by NESDEC (New EnglandSchool Development Council) in April 2009 offered 3Models for reconfiguration of districts in FranklinCounty – Model #3: “Leverett, Shutesbury to join withAmherst, Pelham”
  • 9. 9 Regional School District 11/3/2012 Planning BoardHistory of Regionalization Discussionsand Initiatives2008- 2010: Following NESDEC report and missed opportunity for regionalization planning grants, Amherst-Regional School Committee voted to create 4-town Regionalization Study Committee in December 2008. Final report released in June 2010 reviewed 4 scenarios – Expand Union 26 to include Leverett and Shutesbury, Expand region to K-12, Expand region to K-12 but close Pelham Elementary, and Retain current structure but increase efficiencies. No action was taken on these scenarios.
  • 10. 10 Regional School District 11/3/2012 Planning BoardHistory of Regionalization Discussionsand Initiatives2011-present:Following ongoing town-based processes in 2010,Town Meetings of each town created RegionalSchool District Planning Committees. Thesecommittees began meeting jointly in December2011.A Regional School District Planning Board of thefour towns’ committees (consistent with stateguidance) was approved by members in June 2012.
  • 11. 11 Regional School District 11/3/2012 Planning BoardModels & Options• Form a new preK-12 region with all 4 towns ▫ Shutesbury and Leverett withdraw from Union 28, Union 26 is dissolved, 4 towns create preK-12 region to replace current 7-12 region• Maintain current 7-12 Region and form a new preK-6 region with all 4 towns ▫ Shutesbury and Leverett withdraw from Union 28, Union 26 is dissolved, 4 towns create a new elementary region, current 7-12 region continues
  • 12. 12 Regional School District 11/3/2012 Planning BoardDiscussion with LegislatorsThe Regional School District Planning Board’s (RSDPB) work is being guided by the following values:  Be good stewards. We received good schools from past generations, and take seriously our responsibility to invest in the future by handing off good schools to the generations that follow.  Be fiscally responsible. Be thoughtful and realistic about cost to the towns, and understand short and long-term results of any investment.  Provide ample opportunities for town and resident input.  Learn about, respect, and reflect the culture of the different communities.  Maintain the best features of current schools; capitalize on their strengths.
  • 13. 13 Regional School District 11/3/2012 Planning BoardReference Materials• Massachusetts General Laws & Regulations• Planning materials from DESE and MA Association of Regional Schools (M.A.R.S.)• “Exploring a Regionalization Solution for Elementary Education in Amherst, Leverett, Pelham and Shutesbury” – RSDPB flyer
  • 14. 14Regional School District 11/3/2012 Planning Board Timeline & Process
  • 15. 15 Regional School District 11/3/2012 Planning BoardConsultants, Funding & Costs • Exploration of Regionalization Alternatives to Current School Structures • Values Forming Foundation for Deliberations and Inform Actions ▫ Be good stewards ▫ Be fiscally responsible ▫ Provide for ample time for community input ▫ Respect different community cultures ▫ Preserve what is currently working
  • 16. 16 Regional School District 11/3/2012 Planning BoardConsultants, Funding & Costs • Need for Information and Analysis ▫ Provide information and analysis that will allow Board to act in harmony with stated values • Consultants Role ▫ Educational ▫ Financial • Funding ▫ Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC) ▫ Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) ▫ Amherst-Pelham Regional School District (APRSD) ▫ DESE grant ▫ Community Innovation Challenge (CIC) grant
  • 17. 17 Regional School District 11/3/2012 Planning BoardCore Issues to be Resolved• Governance• Curriculum & Elementary Education Focus• Valuing Schools as Community Centers
  • 18. 18 Regional School District 11/3/2012Voter Approval to Create New Region Planning BoardOctober – November 2013 MGL Chapter 71 Section 15 ...Said question shall be determined, in a town having an open town meeting, by vote with printed ballots at an annual or special town meeting to be held in either case within thirty days after receipt of such recommendation by the selectmen and, in a town having a representative town meeting or council, at an annual or special town election to be held in either case not less than thirty-five nor more than fifty days after receipt of such recommendation. The article in the warrant for such annual or special town meeting or election and the question on the printed ballots to be used at such meeting or election shall be in substantially the following form: Shall the town accept the provisions of sections sixteen to sixteen I, inclusive, of chapter seventy-one of the General Laws providing for the establishment of a regional school district, together with the towns of Amherst, and Pelham, and Leverett, and Shutesbury, and for maintenance and operation of a regional school by said district in accordance with the provisions of a proposed agreement filed with the selectmen?
  • 19. 19 Regional School District 11/3/2012 Planning BoardVoter Approval to Create New RegionOctober – November 2013 • Total Costs: approximately $17,500 ▫ Amherst: $14,250 ▫ Pelham $2,800 ▫ Leverett $150 ▫ Shutesbury $300
  • 20. 20 Regional School District 11/3/2012 Planning BoardOutreach & Communications Plan• Committee established to ensure focus ▫ Identification of constituencies and communication opportunities• Ongoing communications regarding work in progress ▫ Web site & email ▫ Meeting participation by members of the public• Individual town communication initiatives using existing channels• Series of Four Town public forums
  • 21. 21 Regional School District 11/3/2012 Planning BoardOutreach & Communications Plan• Fall 2012 ▫ Flyer with key information ▫ Existing communication avenues in each town ▫ Four Towns Meeting• February 2013 ▫ Public forums to review consultant reports• March /April 2013 ▫ Public forums to review Board recommendation• September/October 2013 ▫ Public forum to review Agreement & Long Range Plan
  • 22. 22 Regional School District 11/3/2012 Planning BoardNext Steps and Closing Remarks• Working with our town officials• Research and frame “Core Issues”• Support and guide consultants• Secure additional funding• Engage further with public in all four towns www.RegionalSchoolPlanning.com regionalschoolplanningboard@googlegroups.com