School union could expand

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Mount Greylock is also continuing to prepare a search for a new Superintendent of Schools to replace William "Bill" Travis, who is retiring at the end of the school year.

Expanding the school union is being weighed by a subcommittee that was formed by the three schools who are involved.

"It started with a very long effort that has been centered around regionalization," said Carrie Greene, who chairs the union expansion feasibility subcommittee. She is the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee's delegate. "We're not going to push regionalization right now but rather expand the union.

"We're looking at a unique opportunity here," Greene said. "With our superintendent retiring, it also seemed like a very good time to look at it."

School unions in Berkshire County are not unique. The state approved School Union 71 in May 2008. But if Mount Greylock joins, School Union 71 would be the first union in Berkshire County to include a regional school system.

In an expanded union all the schools would maintain their autonomy, and have separately formulated school budgets, teacher contracts, and collective bargaining units. The Williamstown, Lanesborough and Mount Greylock schools would each have their own school committees. A superintendent, central office administration staff, and streamlined initiatives like curriculum planning and professional development would be shared.

"We're looking at what a union-level central office would look like, the cost, and what the positions involved would entail," Travis said.

A public presentation on the pros and cons of the proposal will be held at each school after the holiday break.

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