This year’s Pittsfield Budget Committee hearing on the school district and town budgets will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 8 (snow date: February 9), in the PMHS lecture hall, and Pittsfield’s annual School District Meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 16, in the PES gym. As always, all Pittsfield voters are strongly encouraged to participate in these meetings, which will determine the budget for the district’s schools for the 2017-2018 school year. This budget will provide the basis for the school portion of Pittsfield’s tax rate.
As many residents know, the Pittsfield Schools have been engaged in very important work to personalize learning for all our students. This transformation is based on new knowledge about how people learn as well as changing workplace demands for our graduates. Importantly, these changes also respond to the community’s demand for stronger outcomes for Pittsfield’s youth.
Thanks to the hard work of students, school staff, and community members, Pittsfield’s schools have emerged as models of personalizing instruction in recent years. Visitors from across the nation – approximately twenty groups or teams have visited the schools per year over the past five years – to learn from us better ways to help children learn. While most of these visitors have learned from PMHS, we’re very pleased that we are now also hosting visitors to PES.
While we don’t believe that we have finished our schools’ transition, we are heartened to see the data that indicate improvement across a range of indicators. For example, in 2012, 66% of our graduates were accepted by post-secondary educational institutions; in 2016, 83% of our graduates were accepted. In 2013, the average per student scholarship award for our graduates from all sources amounted to $8675, while in 2016, that average had jumped to $14,514 per student. (more…)