LANESBOROUGH -- The Lanesborough School Committee chairman who proposed the district withdraw from School Union 71 won’t be heading the committee this year.
Robert Barton declined another year as chairman, after being nominated by fellow member Jim Moriarty. Barton then asked member Regina DiLego if she would lead the commmittee and she accepted.
But Barton and Moriarty continued to stress the need to explore other options for a superintendent.
"I want to see what else is out there," Moriarty said during Wednesday night’s deliberation. "I want to have a discussion. There’s no harm in looking."
Barton surprised residents and officials last winter when he proposed that Lanesborough Elementary School withdraw from School Union 71, under which it shares a superintendent with Williamstown. Barton cited the high administrative costs to the 205-student district and also suggested one, large regional high school for Northern Berkshire instead of pursuing a building project for Mount Greylock Regional High School.
School Union 71 members also called for Barton to work closer with Superintendent Rose Ellis, following reports of a strained working relationship.
On Wednesday, Barton proposed three meetings this summer to review the superintendency options, with the goal of determining whether the district would remain by the fall. He indicated Central Berkshire Regional School District may be interested in discussing sharing a superintendent. He also suggested a meeting with both Northern Berkshire School Union and Shaker Mountain School Unions.
The meeting saw tension between the school committee and administration return. Barton and Moriarty objected to a routine request that the business manager and superintendent be given line-item transfer authority to balance the books during the summer.
In addition, Barton and Moriarty pressed Ellis on why a spreadsheet outlining transportation alternatives for the special education department had not been provided for them. Ellis said she would work to find that information, since Director of Pupil Services Kim Grady is on vacation.
In other business, members voted to continue to administer MCAS tests for the 2014-15 school year. School districts have until June 30 to determine whether they will sign onto a field-testing of the the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), which could potentially replace the MCAS.
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