Amherst Regional High School dealing with a cold realityIf ever a chart starkly demonstrated the treacherous waters that lay ahead for an education organization, this would be it:
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Less costly are the students who leave via "choice" for another public school at only $5,000 per student. But add them all up and it comes to a whopping $540,000 carved out of the FY16 $30 million operation budget. Yikes!
PVCICS Death Star addition
The Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School looms as the Death Star, expanding into a full high school with a gleaming new building to show for it. In just the past two years PVCIC has gone from 68 ARPS students up to 83 for the upcoming FY16 year. Double yikes!
Interestingly before the Chinese Charter School was founded the Amherst Schools had the opportunity to offer their Chinese language curriculum via the same founders who were rejected by public school officials, so they went off and opened their own Charter School.
Amherst Public School officials are now considering a major reorganization by "repurposing" the Middle School building, which currently houses 7th and 8th grade.
Administration report to Regional School Committee
The Regional Assessment Working Group, who are recommending their own major reorganization by having the four-town Region expand all the way down to pre Kindergarten through 6th grade, spent a lot of time discussing the "repurposing" of a building.
Amherst Regional Middle School ... mothballed?
The RAWG Final Report states:
"The law is not entirely clear about whether such decisions are matters of educational policy (School Committee domain) or administrative operations (Superintendent). To the extent that decisions are within the purview of the superintendent, the RAWG recommends that there will be a lengthy and open process before the use of a school is changed."
Either way let's hope school officials take to heart the concept of a "lengthy and open process," something the RAWG certainly has not demonstrated over their three year tenure.