Students will be logging into their first day of online lessons Tuesday in Pittsfield. The Berkshire Eagle reports that Pittsfield is among a number of districts that opted to reopen fully remote in the fall, with plans to transition to a hybrid learning model.  

PHS Full Remote Secondary Schedule
PHS Full Remote Secondary Schedule

Superintendent Jason McCandless says more layoffs may be needed depending on when students can return to school.

McCandless told the School Committee in his report Wednesday that without students in the actual buildings, there may be a need to lay off a sizeable amount of the cafeteria staff. reports that McCandless said.

We are not certain that the money would work out in favor on the positive side of the ledger even with the staff reduced by over two-thirds.

Pittsfield Public Schools opted to begin the school year entirely remotely. The plan is to phase students into a hybrid education model later in the fall if heath data allows.

McCandless said the food service program is outside of the budget and is self-sustaining. Without teachers and students eating in school, funds are limited.

He said there are about 70 people employed in the food service program. This may have to be knocked down to around 20.

The problem will be dramatically lessened, he said, as soon some students return to school.

Just getting the special populations back in the buildings we think we can cut that number in half, Some of this is just a matter of timing, and when we can expect to bring kids back in by the hundreds.

Once they fully enter the hybrid model the problem goes away. He said they may even have to hire more food service workers at that point.

Otherwise, McCandless said all the paraprofessionals that were laid off during the unsure budget process are either back or were offered their position back.

The school district was forced to hand out more than 100 reduction-in-force notices in anticipation of a worst-case scenario in state aid allocation during the outset of the pandemic.

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