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Williamstown-Lanesborough Schools Reallocate Funds for Office Staff
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:20PM / Wednesday, July 13, 2016
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Regina DiLego, left, runs Monday's meeting, attended by Williamstown School Committee members Catherine Keating and Dan Caplinger.


Williamstown School Committee member Joe Johnson and Assistant Superintendent Kim Grady participate in Monday's meeting.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Superintendency Union 71 Committee on Monday moved to streamline support staff for special education by creating two new positions that will be shared between Lanesborough Elementary School and Williamstown Elementary School.
 
The new part-time administrative assistant and office assistant positions will be funded from money already budgeted in both districts, but the shared position will be more efficient, Assistant Superintendent Kim Grady told the committee.
 
"What we've had is three different administrative assistants, which is not an effective or efficient use of people's time when jumping between buildings," said Grady, who serves as the director of special education for both SU71 and Mount Greylock Regional School. "We recently had a resignation here in Williamstown, and we had been using my administrative assistant at Mount Greylock [Regional School] in Lanesborough.
 
"It's not going to cost anything more [to combine the positions]. It may even be less than what's in the two budgets."
 
Currently, Williamstown Elementary’s budget has a line item of $12,450 for part-time clerical support in the special education department. Lanesborough Elementary’s budget has a line item of $11,132.
 
"Everything is budgeted," Grady said. "I have a pot of money for secretarial services for pupil personnel services."
 
The difference is that now the part-timers doing the work will not have to receive paychecks from each elementary school. Like other shared positions under the SU-71 "umbrella," they will receive one paycheck with the costs apportioned between the two K-6 districts based on enrollment.
 
SU71 Chairwoman Regina DiLego, the chairman of the Lanesborough committee, recommended that the vote to create the two positions specify that their salaries not exceed what has been budgeted for fiscal 2017 in the first year.
 
Since the proportional allocation between the two schools will dictate how the shared positions' cost is distributed, Dan Caplinger of the Williamstown School Committee suggested that the total salaries will not, in total, exceed what the individual districts already have budgeted.
 
"I think the way that we’ve shared positions before evolves this way," Caplinger said. "People leave, and we identify ways to make the positions more efficient.
 
"The fact is that the assistant superintendent is aware of the budgetary issues both schools face. This is consistent with everything we do as we work together."
 
DiLego was the lone member of the three-person Lanesborough School Committee to attend Monday's meeting of the six-person SU71 Committee. P.J. Pannesco was out of town and the recently elected Danielle Taylor has not yet been sworn in on the School Committee, DiLego said.
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