January 9, 2015 

JANUARY 9, 2015

Tuesday, January 13

            Regionalization Forum – 6:30 pm at the Shutesbury Elementary School    

Thursday, January 15

            PTO Meeting – 5:30 p.m.

Monday, January 19

            Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – NO SCHOOL

Monday, January 26

            Author David A. Kelly Visits

Friday, January 30  

            All-School Assembly – 2:15 pm

            Report Cards Mailed Home



Greetings and Happy New Year from your School Committee. Our monthly meeting this past Monday was dominated by two topics. First, the FY16 elementary school budget. Second, the issue of regionalization.

The town of Leverett is currently faced with a serious budget crisis as the result of property owners seeking abatement of their property taxes. As a result the town departments have been asked to submit FY16 budgets that reflect a 3.5% decrease. The Committee is currently studying a budget with just such a decrease. Superintendent Mahler and Principal Lacey have done a yeoman job in devising a budget that minimizes the damage to staff and programs as much as one could expect. This is not to state that there will be no cuts in staff or other items. The School Committee will meet with the Selectboard on Tuesday, February 24th, 2015 at 7:00pm in Town Hall to discuss the budget. The School Committee will vote on its final budget at our March meeting. We would certainly welcome your attendance at either or both meetings.

The second topic discussed on Monday is regionalization. By the time you read this the Regional Agreement Working Group (RAWG), the subcommittee of the Regional School Committee (RSC) charged with developing proposals to amend the current Regional Agreement, will have met and voted on just such a set of proposals. These proposals will be submitted to the Regional School Committee on Tuesday January 13th, 2015. The Regional School Committee will then have to decide what action they will take on the proposals. If the RSC agrees to submit the proposals to the four towns then residents will have  an  opportunity  to  vote  on  them  at  the Spring 

Town Meetings. Prior to that there will be forums held in order to educate townspeople about the proposals.

Obviously, there is still much to be determined. I can state that once the proposals go to the RSC the RAWG will go out of existence and the issue of regionalization will be in the hands of the RSC. 

Needless to say, the next several months will be a period of decision making by both committees, boards and, perhaps, residents. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding either the elementary school budget or regionalization.


Kip Fonsh, School Committee Chair




Dear Parents/Guardians and Community Members;

The Superintendent Screening Committee has chosen two finalists.  They are:

Tara Brandt is the Supervisor of Mathematics in the Westfield Public Schools. She has previously taught at the kindergarten and fourth grade levels and was both a Math and Technology and a Science and Technology Specialist within the Chicopee Public Schools. Ms. Brandt is a doctoral student at UMASS/Amherst in Educational Policy and Leadership.

Jennifer Haggerty has worked in education for over 25 years. She is currently the Principal of The Dexter Park School, as part of the Orange Elementary Public Schools, and spent twenty years as a kindergarten teacher in the Fitchburg and Gardner Public School systems. She also was a trainer for the Northeast Foundation for Children providing instruction and mentoring for teachers throughout New England.

      Below is a schedule of times you may either meet or participate in a forum with the candidates who will spend a day in the district. The following are the dates and times each candidate are scheduled in the district.

Monday, January 12:  Tara Brandt and Tuesday, January 13:  Jennifer Haggerty

Shutesbury     8:00 a.m.              Leverett  10:30 a.m.

Swift River    12:30 p.m.             Erving      2:20 p.m.

     An Interview/Forum will take place at Erving Elementary School on January 26th at the following times:

            6:00 p.m.        Tara Brandt

            7:30 p.m.        Jennifer Haggerty

The Supervisory Committee of Union 28 will interview the candidates individually; the interviews may include allowing time for public questions.

     Please join us during these events and share your valuable input as all audience members will have the opportunity to fill out response forms.

            -Bob Mahler, Superintendent of Schools



We are in the midst of a very busy time, with many very important meetings and events coming up in January. Instead of my usual reflections, I am asking everyone to make a particular note of the following upcoming events at LES:

Monday, January 12th

Superintendent candidate Tara Brandt will visit LES.

At 11:15, there will be a 45-minute lunchtime reception. Sandwiches and cookies will be provided.

Tuesday, January 13th

Superintendent candidate Jennifer Haggerty will visit LES.At 11:15, there will be a 45-minute lunchtime reception. Sandwiches and cookies will be provided. 

Tuesday, January 13th, 6:30 p.m. at Shutesbury Elementary School

U28 Superintendent Forum on Regionalization

If you weren’t able to attend the LES session, you are welcome to join the discussion in Shutesbury.

Thursday, January 15th at 5:30 p.m.

LES PTO Meeting

Join us to plan spring events! 

Monday, January 26th at Erving Elementary School, beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Superintendent Search: Public interview forum 

Friday, January 30th, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Family Night

LES Talent Show, followed by Game Night

Children and families are at the heart of everything we do at LES. I hope you will attend as many of these events as you can.

                                    -Margot Lacey



We have a collection envelope in the school office for census forms.  This year they are pink, and every Leverett household should have received one in the mail.  If you did not, please call Lisa Stratford, Town Clerk, at 548-9150.


Leverett Community Interview of the Week



What are you looking forward to at Leverett School?

The talent show and game night!

What do you like doing outside of school?

Hip hop dancing and art.


PTO Update

We Need You! PTO Meeting next week will discuss spring fundraising opportunities as well as upcoming events. Faced with possible budget cuts and regionalization, Leverett School needs your support more then ever. Please consider attending this meeting Thursday, January 15th, at 5:30pm in the school library. 

Thank you to those who chose the gift that gives twice this year - donating to the PTO in a teacher’s name. We raised over $200 with this program.


We are Collecting

Gift Wrap & Paper Towel Tubes!!

The LES Library is collecting giftwrap tubes and/or paper towel tubes to use at the MCBA Books In Action party in March! Please send them in to school any time.  Thank you! 



(Items listed here are not school sponsored)


NEED BABYSITTING?   Rheannon Stewart and Rosie Dinsmore  have recently been certified by the Red Cross as official babysitters.  They are 7th graders who are enthusiastic and fun with kids.  They live close to LES and are welcoming to all children between the ages 0 and 7 years old. Fliers are up at both the Leverett Library and Post Office.  They are responsible, careful, and loads of fun!  Please call Rheannon at 549-6535, or Rosie at 549-6067.

Our Union #28 substitute, Mary Lou Conca, will have her poetry/photography show on display for your viewing pleasure.  Her work is meant to be thought-provoking.  Her show will be up for the month of January at the Jones Library, downtown Amherst, under her pen/maiden name of Ferro.

Instrumental Music Teacher Brian Bender's world music band THE PANGEANS will be performing at the Wendell Full Moon Coffee House on January 10th at 7:30pm.  Open to all ages.

If you would like to put a notice in the Community Bulletin Board section of the Friday Post, please submit notices to be published no later than Thursday at noon.  The easiest way to do that is by e-mail to [email protected] Flyers for non-school sponsored events can be attached to the Post.  They must contain a disclaimer “This is not a school-sponsored event” and a sufficient number of copies (125) should be provided to the office by the end of the school day on Thursday.

 order form


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