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Berkshire Education Task Force Sets Strategy for Outreach
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:35AM / Tuesday, August 29, 2017
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DALTON, Mass. — The Berkshire County Education Task Force has settled on a strategy for reporting its findings and getting feedback from town and school officials and the general public.   At a meeting on Saturday facilitated by the task force's consultants from Boston's District Management Group, the panel hammered out the language it will use to guide task force members as they make presentations to select boards, city councils and school committees throughout the county this fall.   The first presentation will come in the form of a webinar for school superintendents, principals and teachers union representatives on Sept. 19.   The task force will use

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Berkshire Community College Launches New Education Department
01:43PM / Friday, August 25, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass — Berkshire Community College has launched a new education department, combining and expanding the early childhood education and elementary education programming into one unified field of study.

Patricia Kay, the associate professor and chair of the Education Department at BCC, designed the new Education Department. She worked closely with community partners, coalition groups and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts to ensure the new department fit the needs of childcare providers here in the Berkshires.

"We went out to the community and we asked them if the cohort program at BCC would work for the childcare professionals, and overwhelmingly we heard yes,

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BArT Students Look Skyward on First Day of School
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
05:13PM / Monday, August 21, 2017
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  ADAMS, Mass. — It's not every day an astronomical event coincides with the first day of school.    But for Berkshire Arts and Technology Public Charter School students, Monday's partial eclipse was a chance to view something special together before dismissal.   "This is just a blast," new Executive Director Jay White said. "It is not as good as being in the path of totality but just look around — they are just so excited."   White, a former astrophysics professor, shared his excitement with the school community and made sure each student and faculty member had a set of eclipse glasses to safely view the event.   The

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Berkshire Athenaeum Honors Youth Short Story Contest Winners
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:12AM / Saturday, August 19, 2017
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Author Jana Laiz shared her own personal story as a young writer to now a published author of multiple books. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — As a child, Jana Laiz didn't like to read.   She loved to write but she didn't like to read, despite her mother's attempts to get her to do so. And then one day, a librarian helped her find the perfect book. She devoured it and went back for more. And then her writing improved.   She read more. Her writing improved. The more she read, the better her writing became.   Now she has seven published books and working on more. Writing has allowed her to travel, meet all kinds of people, and do interesting things. Her books are

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Pittsfield Has Questions, But Optimistic About Educational Task Force Recommendation
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:50AM / Thursday, August 17, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — City leaders still have an array of questions to ask of the Berkshire County Educational Task Forces' goal of a single district for the entire county.   But, they remain optimistic that even asking those questions and having that conversation will lead to increased shared services.   The task force is now entering its third phase of a deep look at the county's educational system after coming to a decision that it would recommend the county's school districts combine into one. Now, it is the nitty gritty details of a path forward that need to be nailed down.    "Our population continues to decline, the needs of the students

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BArT School 2017-2018 Bus Routes
01:40PM / Wednesday, August 16, 2017
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ADAMS, Mass. — Berkshire Arts & Technology Charter Public School begins the school year on Monday, Aug. 21. School days have been restructured to begin at 8:20 a.m. and end at 3:40 p.m.

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Education Task Force Takes in Reaction to Countywide District
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
07:34AM / Sunday, August 13, 2017
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DALTON, Mass. — The Berkshire County Education Task Force assessed the fallout from its July 15 vote advocating a single school district for the county and discussed its strategy for explaining that recommendation to school officials, town officials and the public at large.   Nearly a month after acting on the data accumulated in Phase 2 of the task force's multiyear study of the county's education system, the members at Saturday's meeting remained firm in their commitment that a single school district provides the best long-term option for providing educational opportunity and fiscal stability in a time of rising costs and declining populations county

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As Eclipse Nears, Williams College Crew Prepares
10:57AM / Wednesday, August 09, 2017
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College astronomer Jay Pasachoff. is heading one of the largest organized scientific expeditions to study the sun, and the sun's effects on Earth, at the eclipse.

"This summer's total solar eclipse is a bonanza for finding out more about how the sun shines," said Pasachoff, who will take advantage of his experience in observing eclipses, and organizing eclipse expeditions, by taking dozens of students and colleagues with him to Salem, Ore., for the event on Monday, Aug. 21.

"I've chosen the site because it is in the region with the most favorable cloudiness statistics for August, while still having the logistics

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Letter: Comments on the Recommendation of the Berkshire County Education Task Force
Letters to the Editor,
01:00PM / Friday, August 04, 2017
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Like many others, I appreciate the time the members of the Berkshire Educational Task Force have spent on a challenging and important problem. Their recommendation is being discussed in a variety of places, and thus merits a response.

Most recently, at a public forum on July 31 in Lanesborough on the proposed regionalization between Lanesborough and Williamstown, a resident asked if the Mount Greylock Committee has voted on the task force's recommendation. We have not, but I have asked for agenda items on it for future meetings.

The task force concentrated efforts on roughly three options: do nothing, form three regions, form one region. These are just three possibilities on a large

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Lanesborough Raises Questions On School Regionalization Vote
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:33AM / Tuesday, August 01, 2017
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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The long-discussed vote on regionalization of the Lanesborough-Williamstown schools goes to the voters on Nov. 14.   The Board of Selectmen set that date for a special town meeting to handle the question of whether or not Williamstown and Lanesborough should join together with Mount Greylock Regional as a single K-12 regional school district. School officials have been talking about taking such a step for years and it is eyed to save both towns money and improve efficiency.   "Even though we have regionalization at the high school and the shared superintendency, we still have three separate school districts," Chris Dodig, a Lanesborough

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