The eight town Regional School District Planning Board has released the results of recent community surveys and focus groups designed to gather preliminary community sentiment concerning possible merger and collaboration models between Berkshire Hills Regional School District and Southern Berkshire Regional School District.

A key takeaway from the surveys was that many community members are open to considering the possibilities and would like to learn more about the models under consideration.

Interested community members are encouraged to attend two upcoming meetings at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25, and Monday, Feb. 7. Both meetings will be held remotely and there will be opportunities for public comment at the end of each meeting. 

On Tuesday, the RSDPB’s research team will present their findings on indicators of educational quality and Career Vocational and Technical Education possibilities of a merged high school.

On Feb. 7, the research team will synthesize its research findings to date and present the three models under consideration, moving toward its recommendations.

More information about the survey results and the Zoom coordinates for the upcoming meetings are available at 8Towns.org.

Also on the website are detailed reports regarding declining enrollment in the districts, a historical review of educational regionalization and collaboration efforts, a transportation analysis of various merger scenarios, and reports on district buildings, debt and finances.

For more information, contact project manager Jake Eberwein at jakeeberwein@gmail.com or RSDPB Chairwoman Lucy Prashker at lprashker@cainhibbard.com.

Jeannie Maschino can be reached at 413-496-6256 or jmaschino@berkshireeagle.com.

Community News Editor / Librarian

Jeannie Maschino is community news editor and librarian for The Berkshire Eagle. She has worked for the newspaper in various capacities since 1982 and joined the newsroom in 1989.