CHESHIRE -- The start of 2013 is shaping up to be a busy time for the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District (ACRSD).
For starters, a new website is being planned, with its launch tentatively scheduled for the third week in January.
"The biggest benefit is that teachers will be able to update [the website] themselves, post homework assignments and communicate with parents," district Superintendent Kristen Gordon said at an ACRSD committee meeting Monday night. "It will be similar in interactivity and user-friendliness to Facebook's setup."
Gordon said she anticipated the improvement, foremost for academic purposes, but also to satisfy parents who've lately urged district staff to provide Hoosac sports information. Athletics details will be available on the new site.
The current website will be pulled down the first week of January to make way for the new one, Gordon said. Hoosac Valley Middle & High School's section will launch first, followed by those of Cheshire and C.T. Plunkett elementary schools.
Two other major projects are also slated for January: renewing the district's regional agreement and updating its five-year plan.
At Monday's meeting, Gordon said the former is planned for early in January, and the latter should see progress later that month.
ACRSD committee Chair Paul Butler said the district's regional agreement need only consist of a continuation of the prior agreement after ridding it of outdated information.
Regarding the new five-year plan, district business administrator David Hinkell said officials plan to have it go into effect July 1, 2013.
"With this new [Hoosac Valley] facility, we certainly want to keep up with preventative maintenance that's needed and work with the towns to fix things as quickly as possible, so they don't become capital concerns down the road," Hinkell said.
Butler is the district's representative charged with coordinating with Adams officials. The prior 2008, five-year plan was subject to adjustments and was occasionally strayed from -- understandably given the tough financial times it saw -- but officials agree on the importance of the practice.
For her part, Gordon said she and her cabinet are at work on a "mini" plan, to cover the coming year. Gordon asked for extra time to hone in on the larger project later in January.
"If I'm going to lead the charge, I want to have a really good handle on our direction," Gordon said.
Regarding ongoing technology problems at Hoosac, Gordon said the district's information technology staff is working with Apple, and they continue to make progress. She asked district parents and staff for patience, as the situation is improving, but acknowledged that "hiccups" in the new system were frustrating.
In other business, the district recently dedicated Hoosac's newly finished auditorium space in honor of former Superintendent Alfred W. Skrocki, who retired early in November. The outdoor entrance to the space now bears the name "Alfred W. Skrocki Performing Arts Center."
The high school rendition of "A Christmas Carol," directed by Kate Frisell, is scheduled to show in the space Friday and Saturday, Dec. 14 and 15, at 7:30 p.m.
Regarding the change in leadership since Skrocki's retirement, Butler said at Monday's meeting, "I'm very pleased with the way things are going in the district. To see things moving forward in a nice, smooth manner is very good."
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