But although the charges of illegal activity were limited to the top levels of MSEC's administration, the scandal also overshadowed others, such as MSEC board member and Nashoba superintendent of Schools Judith Klimkiewicz, who was not involved with the scandal.

The School Committee voted in August 2011 to withdraw from participation in the collaborative until changes were made.

Those changes began a year later, after former Lowell Superintendent of Schools Chris Scott was appointed as MSEC's new executive director. Scott immediately began to make changes in the organization including those covering fiscal issues, transportation and curriculum.

Scott appeared at the School Committee's meeting Tuesday to ask members to vote to approve an agreement with the collaborative that covered new rules and regulations governing its administration.

"The focus will be on educating students," Scott told members of the collaborative's streamlined budget. "We want to concentrate on high quality programming conducted in a fiscally sound way."

The recently closed Parker Elementary School building in Dracut has been acquired by the collaborative and opened for business.

Scott also said that similar to regular school districts, member towns will have first dibs on open seats in its various programs but that any room left over would be made available to tuition paying students from outside the district.


"For me, it's a red-letter day," said Chelmsford representative Samuel Poulten as he took the lead in voting to rejoin the collaborative.

With the Tuesday vote, Scott said three of the district's members have agreed to rejoin the collaborative, with six remaining.

Earlier in the meeting, members voted to appoint Klimkiewicz as its representative on MSEC's ruling board.

Also Tuesday, members:

* Voted to extend days paid for three school administrators from 220 to 240, bringing them into line with all the other administrators.

* Learned that the first day of the upcoming school year will be Aug. 28 while new student-orientation days are scheduled for Aug. 26 and 27. It was also reported that the new freshman class would increase from last year to 189 students for a total student body of 722.