AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – A blanket of stress covers Amherst-Pelham regional schools, as controversy engulfs the district, as the number of unfilled school committee positions now stands at five.

The school district is made up of multiple committees that are responsible for different schools. Five members, some of whom belonged to more than one committee, have now stepped back.
These gaps, hindering the district’s typical business proceedings, as at least two committees lack the required amount of personnel to make proceedings valid.

Community members, expressing their concern, “Any resignation during the year can have a really negative impact on faculty, on the parents, and on the students most importantly,” says Caolan O’Loughlin of Northampton.

Though schools will run as normal, policy decisions will be put on hold, likely until at least October. That’s according to a plan discussed at a town council meeting held Monday night, which details the process of filling vacant school committee positions.

Amherst resident Thomas Porter, along with his four children, has gone through the Amherst public school system. He says he’s never seen such chaos, “We are not doing the job now and Amherst needs to get its schoolhouse in order or we’re going to risk falling behind in the coming year in terms of students achievement and focus.”

All of this comes not only on the brink of the new school year, but also ahead of the release of a Title IX investigation report, looking into the handling of reported LGBTQ bullying at the middle school.

The new school year began Tuesday for Amherst-Pelham Regional School Pre-K and Kindergarten students, Grades 1-12 begin Wednesday.

Local News

Kaelee Collins is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2022. Follow Kaelee on X @kaelee_collins and view her bio to see more of her work.