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Pittsfield School Policy Panel Amends 'Core' Values
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
03:56PM / Tuesday, November 08, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The school policy subcommittee voted to adopt a revised Mission, Vision, Core Values policy after making two amendments during its meeting on Monday afternoon. 
 
Member William Cameron proposed amending the draft to add "Academic Excellence" as a new section in the policy. 
 
The revised section now says the public schools commit to "supporting a community that creates and sustains an atmosphere of intellectual excitement, high student achievement, critical thinking, innovative effective instruction, strong communication, and personal responsibility and growth."
 
Committee member Sara Hathaway noted that this policy encompasses all forms of student achievement, not just academic. 
 
"One of the points that was driven home to me at the conference that we just attended was that student achievement is the purpose of school committees, helping to ensure that the school system is focused on that," she said.  
 
"They also pointed out that student achievement isn't just academic, and I think this larger mission, the set of core values addresses that."
 
An "extensive process" of revising the policy began in May 2022, with the District Leadership Council but was then moved to a core committee of staff, family members and community members. 
 
When Superintendent Joseph Curtis presented the draft to the School Committee during one of the meetings, Cameron raised the concern that the draft did not include academic excellence as evident in the proposed core values, Curtis said. 
 
"At that time, I indicated that I would go back through kind of the extensive amount of notes that we have, throughout the process, starting back with the District Leadership Council. As I did recall, a core value relating to academic excellence was in one of the versions," Curtis said. 
 
Curtis sent out the revised draft that included the core value of academic excellence that was in a previous version to the mission and vision committee. 
 
They provided some comments and are now at the point of looking at the proposed draft, the feedback received, possibly making any edits to bring it back to the School Committee. 
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