Mount Greylock Regional School Committee Approves Solar Lease for Lanesboro Elementary

In a recent meeting, the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee passed a motion approving a solar lease and power purchase agreement for Lanesboro Elementary School. The committee also delved into strategies for improving student well-being, including the adoption of the three-year Student Opportunity Act plan, and discussed challenges related to teacher diversity and public school funding.

The solar lease and power purchase agreement aim for a solar developer to install a solar array on the school’s roof, enabling the school to purchase electricity at a reduced rate compared to current energy contracts. The committee discussed the subsequent steps required to implement the agreement, which promises to serve as a cost-effective energy solution for the school.

In addition to the solar agreement, the committee invested significant time discussing the Student Opportunity Act (SOA) and its potential impact on the district. A detailed presentation emphasized the importance of aligning the SOA’s requirements with the district’s improvement plans and superintendent goals. The SOA mandates that a student opportunity plan be created to address identified challenges and measure their success. This plan will focus heavily on academic performance, chronic absenteeism, and belonging—a sense of being happy and comfortable within the school community. The district has already established various initiatives to foster belonging, including social-emotional learning programs, morning meetings, social workers, affinity groups, and restorative justice practices.

The committee also approved the three-year SOA plan, which included a discussion on tracking and improving student attendance, discipline, and overall well-being. The use of local data to monitor progress was highlighted as particularly valuable, with the implementation of Panorama surveys to assess student feelings of belonging in a timely manner.

Teacher diversity was another focal point of the meeting, as members discussed the impact of a diverse teaching staff on creating a welcoming environment for all students. The committee acknowledged the challenges in recruiting a varied teaching staff, especially in rural areas, and the strict licensure requirements in Massachusetts. Nonetheless, the importance of this goal was stressed, with an understanding that a diverse teaching staff is important for the benefit of all students.

Public school funding discussions also took center stage, with a report on the upcoming Berkshire County superintendent’s roundtable meeting with the legislative delegation. The need for increased support to meet the growing needs of students and families was underscored against the backdrop of perceived diminishing state support for public schools.

The committee addressed other operational matters, including the impact of a weather incident that damaged the visitors’ dugout on the varsity baseball field. Discussions about insurance coverage and community support for repairs were initiated. Additionally, the committee touched upon the need for better communication regarding sports events and coordination of the district’s calendar to include future events and provide a comprehensive view of student engagement in athletics.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Jason P. McCandless
School Board Officials:
Christina Conry, Carrie Greene, Steven Miller, Julia Bowen, José Constantine, Curtis Elfenbein, Ursula Maloy

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