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Pittsfield Schools Ending Student Resource Center Program
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:36PM / Friday, March 10, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The school district is ending the partnership with the sheriff's office to provide alternative education.   Since 2006, the district has been contracting with the Berkshire County sheriff's office to run the Student Resource Center, formerly known as the Juvenile Resource Center. The program was for out-of-school suspensions and the district is now restructuring the way it handles discipline, reducing the number of those suspensions altogether.    "We think we need to use this as an opportunity to ramp up our in school suspension program," Superintendent Jason McCandless said at Wednesday's School Committee meeting. "We

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Preliminary Pittsfield School Budget Calls For 57 Job Reductions
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Thursday, March 09, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The school district is considering reducing staff by 57 employees.   Superintendent Jason McCandless presented a preliminary budget to the School Committee on Wednesday night that calls for the sharp reduction in staff. Overall, the budget would still be up by about a half million dollars but the staff reductions counter increased cost for contractual obligations.    "This keeps the central focus on student instruction. This keeps the central focus on student learning and that is really, at the end of the day, what we are here for," McCandless said.   The proposal increases the school budget by less than 1 percent that is mostly driven

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Taconic Construction: Exterior Precast To Start in April
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:37PM / Tuesday, March 07, 2017
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Fireproofing work is ongoing on the second floor. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — There are over 100 people on site at the building of the new Taconic High School and that is expected to ramp up even more over the coming months.   Construction on the $120.8 million building has been ongoing for a full year. The winter weather caused only minor delays and work will ramp up again when the temperature rises.   The number of workers is expected to double to 200 this year. The entire school is set to be completed by June 2018, and the current building will then be razed.   At this point, the side of the building closest to Valentine Road is still covered with wrapping but that is

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General Dynamics Brings Engineering To Reid Classrooms
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:48AM / Saturday, March 04, 2017
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Nine engineers from General Dynamics spent the day teaching the middle school students about engineering.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Engineer Jake Kalish is the type of person who learns better when he sees things in action.    On Friday when he stood in front of an 8th grade class at Reid Middle School, he sped through the lesson he was teaching about chemical reactions between salt water and magnesium and got right to the action.   He and eight other engineers from General Dynamics spent the day leading classes through building small cars that run on salt water and magnesium.   "It's always really nice to see what I learned about in practice,"

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McCann School Budget Reflects Hikes in Fixed Costs, Health Insurance
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:59AM / Monday, February 27, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The McCann Technical School budget for fiscal 2018 is up 2.7 percent over this year, largely reflecting increasing fixed costs and level state funding.    The school's budget is up about $250,000, from $9.09 million to $9,340,159, and includes $88,000 in cuts. Some $3.7 million of the spending plan will be covered by assessments to its nine districts for operations, transportation and capital projects. The total assessments are up less than one percent.    "The problem we run into when you look at the budget itself, the state Chapter 70 money is pretty much level, the numbers that are municipal assessments ... are fairly level for all

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MCLA Professor Begins 'The 50 Card Project'
12:12PM / Friday, February 24, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Every week since Inauguration Day and continuing through the end of 2017, Melanie Mowinski, an associate professor of visual arts at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts will print a new letterpress card in a limited edition of 100, using vintage letterpress type, cuts and other printing matrixes.

After making a card of FDR's Four Freedoms on Inauguration day, Mowinski decided to make a card every week for the entire 2017 year. She calls this mission "The 50 Card Project." In total, she will create 50 different cards or 5,000 individual cards. As they are completed each week, she will send 15 to 20 to key players in Washington, D.C.

"The

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Miss Hall's School Presents 'The Addams Family'
11:10AM / Wednesday, February 22, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — You thought your family was weird? The Miss Hall's School Theater Ensemble presents its take on oddball households, performing the musical comedy "The Addams Family" in shows at 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24, and Saturday, Feb. 25, and in a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Feb. 26.

Gomez and Morticia Addams have tried to raise their children right — by Addams family standards. Then Wednesday Addams invites her new boyfriend, Lucas Beineke, and his parents to dinner. Intent on enjoying a simple family dinner, Wednesday and Lucas instruct their families to "act normal," which proves easier said than done. As the dinner unravels, a terrible storm

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Berkshires Beat: Bad Weather Doesn't Stop Lenox Robotics Team
09:37AM / Monday, February 20, 2017
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When Lenox High School's robotics team, Team Enginuity, canceled its field trip to the First Technology Challenge qualifier in Dedham, Mass., on Feb. 11 because of bad weather, two students persevered.

Ella King, senior and founder of Team Enginuity, received a group text between runs at a FIS Giant Slalom Race at Sugarbush Mountain in Vermont that her team was not going to the robotics meet. She knew this qualifier was the last one before the state championship and it would be critical for the team to attend. She called her dad, who was still in Lenox, and asked him to pick up the robot from school. The family's plan was to meet on the eastern side of the state intersecting her

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Pittsfield Schools Decreasing Number of Suspensions
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:09PM / Wednesday, February 15, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The School Department is taking a fresh look at discipline and so far that has led to 155 fewer days of out-of-school suspension.   Superintendent Jason McCandless presented the numbers to the School Committee last Wednesday. With a bolstering of the number of school adjustment councilors and registered behavior technicians, the district has been implementing new practices to improve behavior — that includes the creation of a restorative justice program but also rethinking the way principals handle discipline.   "As we continue to make attendance a real focus on what we do, knowing that nothing good that we are doing can work if a student

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BCC Announces Fall Semester Dean's List
02:55PM / Monday, February 13, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College has announced the Dean's List for the fall 2016 semester.

Dean's List status is awarded to full-time students who have declared a major; completed a minimum of 12 non-repeated, traditionally graded credit hours during the fall semester; and achieved a 3.250 to 3.749 grade point average for Honors, or a 3.750 to 4.000 grade point average for High Honors.

The following 80 students qualified for High Honors:

 

Connecticut

Jackson P. Karpicz

 

Massachusetts

Colleen M. Baker, Aaron R. Biros, Enrique F. Bouvier, and Jeremy R. Patterson      

Alexys J.

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