HANOVER – The South Shore Tech Regional School Committee on Wednesday, May 18 discussed a pair of “homework assignments” related to the schools expansion-renovation application from the Massachusetts School Building Association.
Superintendent-Director Dr. Thomas J. Hickey said the MSBA has asked vocational schools in the funding pipeline to provide information – without the agency knowing the size of the school – on the vocational programs it might consider how they might meet strong labor market demands through the use of Chapter 74 funds.
That information will be forwarded to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for a preliminary review.
“It’s all just potential,” he said. “MSBA wants to know, up front, from the Department of Education, would this be a viable program?”
DESE’s career and vocational unit take a close look at the data to determine, based on the same labor market data SST uses, to make that determination.
No assessment from the school about how it would need to expand to meet the educational program need, would be due for some time, Hickey explained.
The committee voted to forward the information to the MSBA. The second vote of the evening earmarked $900,000 – an estimated amount based on similar projects and school sizes, that the school would need to conduct feasibility studies once approval for the next round is received from MSBA.
“They want to know that, at the local level, there is support for this,” Hickey said. “There are no guarantees, but if, in fact we do move further into the pipeline and we are accepted, part of that money that is involved in that feasibility study will be reimbursed.”
If it were approved today, that reimbursement rate would be about 55 percent, but the MSBA does not dictate the amount schools should budget.
In other business, the students at South Shore Tech Gay/Straight Alliance Club is setting up a Transition Threads, a clothing drive program in which clothing may be donated to that other students in the school or community can do a “shopping day” to obtain free clothing they would not feel comfortable buying in a store in front of their parents or other people.
“They don’t have to come out of the closet, but they can still get clothes that make them feel comfortable,” said student body president and School Committee representative Grace Michel of Pembroke.
The GSA has also collected more than $200 that will be converted to gift cards.