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CONNECTIONS: Baldwin’s in West Stockbridge marches on

The Civil War had created pent-up demand for goods, and there was Baldwin’s. Folks all over the North and South were glad to see the war ending and new businesses starting up.

Consolidation for dummies: BHRSD and SBRSD officials briefed on nuts and bolts of merging

Forming a new or combined district, as both have indicated a willingness to explore, could take a minimum of two to three years. In addition, there would need to be a transition period of several months to a year.

At BHRSD-SBRSD summit, talk of potential merger and doing what’s best for students

School committee members noted that the driving force behind the merger should be greater opportunity for students and a desire "to keep education strong" in the two districts amid declining enrollments.

In ‘historic night,’ two districts set wheels in motion for merger

Berkshire Hills voted unanimously to appoint two subcommittees. The first will focus on the nuts and bolts of a potential consolidation. On the recommendation of the Southern Berkshire school committee, a second subcommittee would focus on the educational aspect of the potential consolidation.

Member towns might override South Berkshire School District’s reluctance to pursue merger

The Berkshire Hills Regional School Committee voted unanimously to send a letter to Southern Berkshire and its five member towns asking to establish a planning group to explore consolidation for grades 9-12

SBRSD to Berkshire Hills: Letter about consolidation ‘feels like backstabbing’

At last Thursday’s school committee meeting, Rich Dohoney of Great Barrington proposed that Berkshire Hills issue a written request to its member towns, along with the Southern Berkshire Regional School District and its own member towns, to form a planning board "for the purpose of either forming, or consolidating into, a regional high school district to serve grades 9-12."

Berkshire Hills seeks panel to explore possible merger with Southern Berkshire

Berkshire Hills School Committee member Rich Dohoney said he is approached by South County residents all the time and the most common question he hears is why Berkshire Hills isn't trying to merge with Southern Berkshire.

Re-elect Steve Bannon to Great Barrington Selectboard

In his letter, Richard Dohoney writes: “Steve Bannon works tirelessly to keep us heading in the right direction.”

For once, little opposition to proposed Berkshire Hills spending package

Ironically, it actually cost a lot of money to keep the overall increases down. In order to limit the operating budget increase to 4.21 percent, the school committee had to spend $840,000 from a reserve fund known as excess and deficiency.

News Brief: Harrington names Dohoney, Kempthorne to leadership team

Harrington and her team will take office after being sworn in Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019.

At Pittsfield’s urging, Berkshire Hills challenges state school funding formula in strong terms

Officials say the foundation budget is adjusted and increased each year but mostly along the lines of inflation. But several expenses school districts are confronted with increase at a pace that greatly exceeds inflation: health insurance for current employees and retirees; special education, especially out-of-district placements; English language instruction for non-native speakers; preschool; data collection, including how students are counted; and transportation. 

In another bid for funding, Berkshire Hills to tell state what’s wrong with Monument

Berkshire Hills’ director of operations Steven Soule will once again assess the condition of 50-year-old Monument Mountain Regional High School and draft the statement, which will explain a number of deficiencies including 'building condition, access, health and safety, as well as deficiencies for instructional programs, especially science and career and technical facilities.'

Tabakin wants cooperation from Berkshire Hills, insists town is ‘up against our’ levy limit

Tabakin asked the school committee to delay its vote to approve or reject the proposed budget because she would like the school committee to meet first with Great Barrington’s selectmen and finance committee.

Berkshire Hills budget: $1 million increase for Great Barrington seen as excessive

Great Barrington's assessment will rise a projected 6.7 percent to about $16.4 million, in part because of an increase in the town's state-mandated minimum local contribution, which determines a minimum each town should pay based on the wealth of the community.

Stockbridge Planning Board opposes massive development project at former DeSisto School

At issue is that the plan ran afoul of the town's Cottage Era Estate zoning bylaw governing the development of a handful of historic properties in town that fall under that bylaw.

Huge rise in Berkshire Hills assessment for Great Barrington averted as health insurance premiums stay flat

The vote by Berkshire Health Group, the school district's joint health insurance-purchasing entity, to keep rates flat for next year surprised district officials, but they're not complaining.

As enrollment plummets, panel charts ‘future’ of public education in southern Berkshires

The driving force behind regional school reform is enrollments, which are dropping at an alarming pace. Berkshire County school districts saw enrollment losses of 22 percent between 2000 and 2015.
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