Pittsfield School Committee to hear from principals on needs

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PITTSFIELD — Principals of the 12 Pittsfield public schools will take turns making presentations to the School Committee on Wednesday during a daylong session to launch the 2017 budget process.

The session will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in City Council chambers at City Hall.

The committee, meeting for the first time this year, is scheduled to hear a half-hour report from each principal. The goal, according to Superintendent Jason "Jake" McCandless and committee members, is to provide the public with details on the needs at each school, as well as an overview of the programs and initiatives and long-term goals.

The presentations are similar to those principals normally would provide only to the superintendent and other administrators prior to preparation of the superintendent's preliminary budget for the next school year. That overall budget plan, which will be presented by McCandless at a subsequent meeting, will reflect significant reductions made in the spending requests.

Last year, for example, McCandless said his first budget already had trimmed out a total of $3.5 million that principals had requested, most of which he said would have addressed pressing educational needs. During the committee's review, the budget typically is reduced further prior to adoption.

The meeting Wednesday will begin with presentations on the two high schools and the two middle schools, and presentations by the eight elementary schools will follow throughout the day. The sessions will be recorded by Pittsfield Public Television and can be viewed on local cable TV or online through the PCTV website.

The committee is expected to continue its budget review through April, when a final 2017 school budget is scheduled to be submitted to the mayor's office and the council as part of the overall city budget to be adopted in June.


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