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Eleven BArT Scholars Receive John and Abigail Adams Scholarship
12:48PM / Tuesday, December 27, 2016
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ADAMS, Mass. — Berskhire Arts & Technology Charter Public School has announced that 11 members of the senior class are recipients of the John and Abigail Adams scholarship.

Recipients of these scholarships, upon acceptance, are entitled to attend any Massachusetts state school tuition free.  

Kaitlyn Anderson, Christopher DiCarlo, Christopher Doubiago, Peter Elliott, Emily Failla, Tessa Langsdale, Emma Madden, Jason Mills, Alain Morrissette, Dean Parise, and Kelsey Rod all received this award.

In order for a student to qualify, he or she must score "advanced" on the Grade 10 Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System tests in English/language arts,

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Richmond Students Donate to Those In Need
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
02:28AM / Tuesday, December 27, 2016
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RICHMOND, Mass. — Giving is not a seasonal thing at Richmond School — the school community makes a point to help those in need all year round.   But the holiday season is a special time and this year the school community participated in two holiday drives among its other charitable initiatives.    "I think it is the most important outcome for our kids is to give back and I think the kids enjoy doing it," Principal Monica Zanin said last week. "They see how grateful the community members are and that it is why we do it."   This year, the Student Council selected families in the community and collected boxes of food for them.   But it

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Educational Task Force 2/3 Way Through Presentations To Local Governments
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:45AM / Monday, December 19, 2016
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Berkshire County Educational Task Force has had a busy month presenting at 30 or so public meetings with still more than a dozen to go.

The task force is rolling out its plans for Phase 2 of a study looking at the future of Berkshire County's school systems. The next phase will dive deep into various options — from leaving things as they are to creating super-regional school districts — and is funded with $150,000 from the state.

The efforts are to explore ways to counter declining enrollment mixed with the rising costs of education and offer school districts recommendations on how they might address those vexing issues.

"The

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Pittsfield Urgently Seeks to Restore Bus Drivers Pensions
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:52AM / Thursday, December 15, 2016
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The City Council approved the order, voicing its support for the bus drivers. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council is urgently looking to get retired bus drivers the pensions they deserve.   On Tuesday, the City Council passed a home rule petition, which needs to be approved by the state Legislature, to give retired bus drivers and attendants post-employment benefits.   The move comes right as some retirees are seeing a cut in benefits, sometimes 30 percent or more.   "It is a hope to get this rectified by the end of the year," said Council President Peter Marchetti.   The urgency is high and after approving the petition, Marchetti called for a

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Guest Column: Getting Smart About Art
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02:50PM / Tuesday, December 13, 2016
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The North Adams Public School district boasts one of the finest art programs in the commonwealth.

Students of all grade levels participate in classes and field trips that nurture their creativity in a fun and hands-on way. Our elementary schools offer choral and instrumental programs during the school day and perform concerts throughout the academic year. They make frequent field trips to Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. Through a partnership with Berkshire Children and Families and Brayton Elementary School, students are introduced to classical music through the innovative Kids 4 Harmony program.

Arts programming at Drury High School has grown so much that the school has created

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Guest Column: Education Task Force Misconceptions Clarified
Guest Column,
02:00PM / Tuesday, December 13, 2016
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The Berkshire Education Task Force and the University of Massachusetts' Donahue Institute recently have completed Phase One of a comprehensive look at the past, current and projected education landscape of the nineteen school districts in Berkshire County and 15,900 students (as of last count). The full Phase One report is online at www.berkshireeducation.org. The focus is on the challenges faced because of significant declining student enrollments, near stagnant financial resources and increasingly limited academic offerings.

Phase Two will explore ways to address these challenges through options of expanded shared services, partnering of neighboring school districts, where

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Norman Rockwell Museum Offers Berkshire County Student Passport Program
02:51PM / Monday, December 12, 2016
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STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — Norman Rockwell Museum has begun the Berkshire County Student Passport Program, part of a comprehensive effort to reach out and engage many more young people in the region with the museum, and to introduce them to Norman Rockwell, who lived the last 25 years of his life in Berkshire County.

The museum uses Rockwell's narrative images to support learning in the classroom in relation to history, language arts and art, and educators have also found meaningful connections with regard to social/emotional learning and ESL themes.

Supported by the contributions of friends of Norman Rockwell Museum, the Passport Program was created for students and families in

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Pittsfield Committee to Consider Seat Belts on School Buses
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:25AM / Tuesday, December 06, 2016
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Last month's devastating school bus crash in Chattanooga, Tenn., has the Public Safety Advisory Committee mulling the idea of seat belts in city school buses.   Six elementary schoolchildren were killed and many others injured when the bus crashed into a tree. There is no law requiring school buses to have seat belts in Massachusetts but a few states do. The National Safety Council, an advocacy group, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are both calling for school buses to have seat belts   "The one thing that is going to be the detriment to this is that it is going to be too expensive. My argument is, what is the price on a

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Pittsfield Super Tracking Impacts of Federal Education Act
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:41AM / Thursday, December 01, 2016
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Superintendent Jason McCandless said he is watching closely what the federal replacement to No Child Left Behind will ultimately mean for the district.   Last year, the federal government adopted the Every Student Succeeds Act that was signed into law on Dec. 10. The program replaces No Child Left Behind but it does retain some of those provisions.   When it comes to the local level, the largest changes would be regarding the ranking system.   "We continue in Massachusetts to work through was ESSA actually means for us," McCandless said told the School Committee Wednesday night.   The act does continue to keep standardized testing,

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Tuition Costs Highlight Meeting With Lanesborough School, Town Officials
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:28AM / Wednesday, November 30, 2016
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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Selectmen Chairman John Goerlach said he is "thoroughly disgusted" that New Ashford is paying half the cost per pupil than Lanesborough is for the same education.   The town has a tuition agreement with New Ashford, which does not have an elementary school, to send its students to Lanesborough Elementary. The tuition is set at $8,730, which is about half of the per-pupil spending of the entire school. Goerlach has been pushing for an increased tuition rate for years, calling for it to equal the per-pupil spending rate the town is paying.   "Why are we still 50 percent? I don't get it. How many times we do we have to ask? I am

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