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No on 2 Campaign Rallies in Pittsfield as Election Day Nears
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:11PM / Saturday, October 29, 2016
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MTA President Barbara Madeloni said so far 'the 413 is no on 2.' PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Corporations and big business cannot buy public education.   That is the message that those opposing Question 2, a ballot initiative calling for raising the cap on charter schools by a dozen, is sending.
  The opposition says the expansion of the charter school system will devastate the traditional public school system by allocating more public funding to the privately-run schools.   "The message you are sending across the nation is powerful. What you are saying is that big business, corporations, you cannot buy public education. That's the message that needs to

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MCLA to Host Open House for Prospective Students
12:19PM / Wednesday, October 26, 2016
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts will host the second of three fall open house events for high school and transfer students interested in applying for admission to attend MCLA for the spring of 2017 or the fall 2017 on Saturday, Oct. 29. Check-in will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Amsler Campus Center.

In addition to touring the campus, prospective students and families can learn more about the admissions and financial aid process; student life; attend an academic program overview; and explore the many opportunities MCLA has to offer, such as internships, study abroad, our honors program and undergraduate research.

Those who wish to find out more about

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BCC Honors Academic Achievement at Convocation
11:33AM / Wednesday, October 26, 2016
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College recently recognized the academic achievements of 103 students during an Honors Convocation Program.

Each honored student ranks in the top five percent of the college with a grade point average of 3.75 or better in courses totaling at least 12 credits.

Honored students (and hometowns) include:

 

Massachusetts

Aaron R. Biros, Jeremy R. Patterson, Chelise M. Rondeau

Rebecca J. Simmons

Amy L. Brassard, Katie Clarke, Dudley R. Johnson, Emily A. Thurston

Henry J. Fristik

Marion T. Brooks, Alexander F. Griffith

Shaina R. Benham, Magdelin C. Bennett, Oksana O. Dix, Whitney N. Eastland, John C. Morrissey, Valerie L. Rose, Bridget

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Pittsfield Council Adopts 'No On 2' Resolution
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:17AM / Wednesday, October 26, 2016
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council's oddest vote tally of the year came Tuesday night with 11 potential votes being split five different ways on a resolution to oppose the ballot question to expand charter schools.   Council President Peter Marchetti was absent and unable to cast a vote. Ward 3 Councilor Nicholas Caccamo recused himself from the conversation — and sat in the audience without casting a vote — because he works for Berkshire Arts & Technology Public Charter School. Councilors Donna Todd Rivers and Anthony Simonelli both abstained from voting but debated the issue. Councilors Melissa Mazzeo and Kevin Morandi opposed the resolution. And

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Taconic High Construction: Precast Concrete Begins; Steel Going Up
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:18PM / Tuesday, October 25, 2016
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The first precast concrete beam for the vocational shops at the new Taconic High School was placed on Tuesday.   Construction has been ongoing since March. It began with site work by J.H. Maximillian, who leveled the area, set up drainage, and blasted out rock ledge. Once that was completed, the foundation work started.    David Tierney Construction has so far completed the foundation in what is known as "area A" and steel work — the upward construction of the bones of the building — began in early October. Foundation has been laid in nearly all areas of the site, with just the final of four areas still being complete. That

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St Joe Strong: The Crusaders Won't Go Down Without A Fight
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
08:14PM / Thursday, October 20, 2016
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Dozens of parents, alumni, and students rallied at Park Square on Thursday. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Unless Pope Francis himself says nothing can be done, the crusaders will be strong.   In the wake of the Diocese of Springfield announcing last week the closure of the 120-year St. Joseph Central High School, parents, students, and alumni have joined together to appeal the closing of the county's only Catholic high school.   The "St. Joe Strong" effort kicked off in earnest Thursday night when dozens of people rallied at Park Square as the fight to keep the school open began.   "I think it is important enough for us to fight this. If Pope Francis

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Lanesborough Elementary Retains Level 1 Ranking
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
09:35PM / Wednesday, October 19, 2016
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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The elementary school has again scored a top level ranking from the state.   The scores from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers have placed the school as Level 1. While the school has consistently ranked Level 1 in recent years, what stands out about this year's results is that PARCC was a pilot program that had a clause allowing schools to be held harmless in state accountability.   "This is the first time we took the PARCC. It is more rigorous and aligned with the common core than the old MCAS," Principal Martin McEvoy said. "Our students did so well, we didn't need to invoke that held harmless

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Founding Director Bowen Leaving BArT at End of School Year
Staff Reports,
05:30PM / Wednesday, October 19, 2016
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ADAMS, Mass. — The founding director of Berkshire Arts & Technology Public Charter School will leave at the end of the school year.

Julia Bowen informed the BArT community by email on Wednesday afternoon that she was departing after 13 years guiding the region's first and only charter school.

"I feel confident that this work will continue long after my departure," she wrote. "Over the years, we have built a team that has the intelligence to take on new challenges, the wisdom to focus on the most important work and the moral clarity to do this with integrity and respect, always with students' best interests at heart. I couldn't have imagined we would

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BCC To Pilot Humanities Center Focused On Stories Of Immigration
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:59PM / Monday, October 17, 2016
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David Tebaldi said Mass Humanities will be seeking an implementation from to implement the humanities centers at three community colleges in the state.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Juan Jose Carrion-Almeida immigrated to Berkshire County from Ecuador in 2009.

Five years later, he was Berkshire Community College's first Latino valedictorian.

Carrion-Almeida said while his story isn't nearly as difficult as others who immigrated to the United States, he has faced significant challenges. After a few years of being encouraged to go to college and educate himself, he put himself in a better position than he imagined.    "We have a different perspective of the world.

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McCandless: Test Scores Show Cultural Proficiency Taking Hold
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:20AM / Monday, October 17, 2016
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — On the surface, standardized testing scores for the Pittsfield School District distinguishes the system as Level 3 in the state's rankings.   But Superintendent Jason McCandless says looking deeper into the numbers, the scores show progress in the areas the district has focused on. The district revamped its English curriculum in the elementary school to a unified one and this year expanded it to the middle school level, is piloting math curriculum this year to do the same.   But maybe even more importantly for McCandless, the district's recent focus on cultural proficiency is paying dividends with those "subgroups" of

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