Gill-Montague school officials ready to determine uses for $110k regionalization grant

  • Recorder Staff/Tom RelihanGill-Montague Regional School District Superintendent Michael Sullivan Tom Relihan

Recorder Staff
Published: 1/18/2018 9:57:52 PM

TURNERS FALLS — Gill-Montague Regional School District officials are excited to determine the most beneficial uses of a $110,000 grant for regionalization and shared services between school districts, according to Superintendent Michael Sullivan.

The grant was announced last week and would allow Gill-Montague schools, Franklin County Technical School, and Pioneer Valley Regional School District to find ways to collaborate.

Sullivan plans to move quickly in discussing plans for the grant and says that additional outcomes of the grant could potentially include a shared superintendency between schools and further collaboration between TFHS and the tech school.

“Working together in the schools could take advantage of TFHS’s ample, modern classroom space and (the tech school’s) expertise in providing workplace focused education and expand opportunities for students from both campuses,” read the grant proposal submitted in mid-November.

Sullivan said that the next step is to set up meetings with school committees and other “key players” from Pioneer and the tech school.

“We want to see if we can, fairly soon, come up with some ways to expand joint offerings for students,” he said, adding that collaboration between the high school and technical school would add more opportunities for students.

In addition to the tech school, the grant may also allow the school district to share administrative services with the Pioneer Valley Regional School District.

In addition to the possible shared superintendency, Sullivan said there could also be other shared “central office administrative functions” between Gill-Montague and Pioneer.

At the moment, Pioneer anticipates having a vacancy for its superintendent position starting July 1.

Pioneer has recently shown interest in these joint offerings, so Sullivan believes this may be an appropriate time to begin further talks on how to go about the process.

Some longer-term goals would be to bring in a consultant to help the district determine additional ways to become “more ambitious,” according to Sullivan.

While it isn’t clear what exact ambitions the district would like to have, Sullivan hinted that they may eventually consider sharing buildings with the tech school or moving toward regionalization with Pioneer.

Plans will continue to be laid out by the school districts, and in March, a consultant will share a draft of the district’s plan with the project leadership team. The final draft of the plan will be shared with community stakeholders in May.


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