PITTSFIELD — The School Committee’s budget that will expand pre-Kindergarten into every elementary school will be vetted at the City Council’s third budget hearing on Monday.
The spending plan includes $720,000 for the pre-K expansion, part of the proposed budget for the Pittsfield Public Schools that totals $67.3 million, an increase of $2.8 million over this years’ spending plan.
And at its meeting on Wednesday, the committee is slated to take a first step toward filling the position of deputy superintendent for the district, the post formerly held by Interim Superintendent Joseph Curtis, who is now becoming the permanent superintendent. Pittsfield High School Principal Henry Duval was serving as the deputy superintendent while Curtis was the interim chief.
But with Duval set to return to the principalship and Curtis soon to move on to permanent superintendent, the committee on Wednesday is expected to approve the job description for deputy superintendent, just one of several personnel decisions being made as this school year draws to a close.
The School Committee’s work this week comes on the heels of its decision to relax mask rules, in line with recent guidance released by the state, allowing students to remove their masks outdoors, whether or not social distancing can be maintained.
Gov. Charlie Baker pushed the state’s reopening up two months, allowing businesses to reopen without restrictions starting Memorial Day weekend, and replacing the face-covering requirement with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new guidance that says vaccinated adults don’t need to wear masks in most situations, either indoors or outdoors.
Elsewhere, the City Council will hold its regular meeting Tuesday, when it is expected to approve the Community Preservation Act funding requests. The council amended the funding request at its budget hearing last week, when a majority of the council voted to nix a CPA request to replace a historic chimney at the Pittsfield Country Club.
Meantime, the City Council is returning to in-person meetings next month. Mayor Linda Tyer is set to give her regular COVID-19 update to the council Tuesday, and may provide more detail about how the eased regulations will play out in Pittsfield.
The council will tackle the public safety budget next month, but before then the city will be welcoming a new slate of firefighters to the department’s roster: James Law, Brian Kozaczek, Tyler Vu, Joseph Amlaw, Jacob Garcia, Russell Holmes, Nicholas Klemansky and Jonathan Lacasse.
In other personnel matters, the board of Downtown Pittsfield Inc. reelected Branden Huldeen of Barrington Stage Company as board president at its annual stakeholder meeting last week. Other board leaders are: Board Chairman Gary Levante, vice president for corporate and social responsibility at Berkshire Bank, First Vice President Michele Butler, project manager at David J. Tierney, Jr. Inc. Vice President of Administration Timothy O’Donnell of Guardian Life Insurance, Treasurer David Irwin, a partner at Adelson & Co. and Clerk Lindsey Schmid, vice president of tourism and marketing for 1Berkshire.