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BRPC Considering Expanding Role In Education Task Force
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:14AM / Friday, October 13, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Education Task Force has asked BRPC to take an expanded role in helping school districts regionalize.   The task force had already released its recommendation that eventually the county should have a single school district. That process will take years and have many challenging steps. The group has now asked the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission to serve as the "backbone" to support any consolidation efforts county school district undertake.   "We're not setting policy direction for them, we are providing administrative support," said Executive Director Nathaniel Karns.   BRPC already serves as the fiscal

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Williamstown Elementary Holds Fall Children's Clothing Sale on Oct. 14
02:09PM / Wednesday, October 11, 2017
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Williamstown Elementary School PTO's annual clothing sale enters its second decade on Saturday, Oct. 14, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. As an added bonus, items will be half-price for customers receiving a hand stamp and entering after 1:30 p.m.

The WES cafeteria will be packed with gently used, nearly new and brand new quality children's clothing and accessories, including dressy styles, swim and athletic wear, foot wear, costumes and pajamas. Shoppers will find all types of bargains for all types of weather for all four seasons - especially the seasons coming up.

“The clothing sale will feature great cold-weather clothing, costume

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Miss Hall's School Announces AP Scholars
12:18PM / Wednesday, October 04, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Miss Hall's School announces that 37 of its students, including 25 recent graduates and 10 local students, have been named by the College Board as AP Scholars, in recognition of their exceptional achievements on the 2017 Advanced Placement Exams.

The AP Scholar designation means that the students earned a 3 or better — using a 5-point grading system — on three or more of the rigorous AP Exams, which are administered in May. This year, 81 MHS students sat for 172 exams in 23 subject areas, and 92 percent of those exams earned qualifying scores, according to the College Board, which oversees the AP program.

Local students recognized as AP Scholars

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MCLA Announces Distinguished Alumni Awards
12:46PM / Friday, September 29, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts announces that this year's Distinguished Alumni Awards were given to Jamal Ahamad '11, Wayne A. Soares '89, Susan A. Bell '97, Russell J. Pearce '60, Daniel J. Trombley '90 and Ellen L. Kennedy '83, who were honored at an awards ceremony as part of MCLA's annual reunion weekend, on Saturday, Sept. 23.

Ahamad received the Young Alumnus Award, which is presented to the individual who, within 10 years of their MCLA commencement, has shown significant growth in their chosen profession and/or career path, received recognition as an emerging leader through professional and/or community achievements,

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Panel Explores Big Challenges Facing Local Education System
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:18AM / Friday, September 29, 2017
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The forum was moderated by NAACP President Dennis Powell and included Alicia Costa from Working Cities, Brendan Sheran from Pittsfield High School, Andrea Wadsworth from the Lee School Committee, and William Cameron, the former superintendent of the Central Berkshire Regional School District. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Education advocates have identified some major issues facing the future of the county's public school system in health insurance, private educational institutions, transportation, funding, and population.    On Thursday, Jobs with Justice held a forum to bring those issues to the forefront, hoping to build momentum behind solving the problems.   The

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Education Task Force Keeps Focus on Creating Opportunities for Students
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:54AM / Tuesday, September 19, 2017
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DALTON, Mass. — The Berkshire County Education Task Force on Saturday pressed forward less than 48 hours after one school district voted to step back from its participation in the effort.   The committee had a full agenda for its regularly scheduled meeting at Nessacus Middle School, but Thursday's decision from the Berkshire Hills Regional School Committee to withdraw from the task force colored the conversation.   Chairman John Hockridge opened the meeting by addressing the vote head on.   "I just wished they'd put off the discussion for one more meeting to give us the opportunity to tell them where we're coming from," Hockridge said of the

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Taconic Construction: Mechanical Systems, Exterior Progressing
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:28AM / Wednesday, September 06, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — There is just one more school year left for the current Taconic High School.   Across the driveway, workers have been constructing a new $120.8 million school. On a daily basis, an average of 150 workers under different subcontracts and companies report to the site every morning. The project has crossed the 50 percent completion mark and is on pace for substantial completion in June.    Much of the focus now is on enclosing the building. The plan is to have the exterior sealed up before Nov. 1 when the heat comes on. The exterior includes a significant amount of glass, much of which is currently going up in various sections of the

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New School Year Starting in Pittsfield
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:45AM / Wednesday, August 30, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Wednesday marks another year for the Pittsfield School Department.   Teachers have already returned to classrooms ahead of time but Wednesday morning, teachers, local officials, and members of the Police and Fire departments will stand outside of the city's elementary schools rolling out the red carpet for the children who will enter the doors.   Wednesday is the first day for elementary, sixth-graders, and ninth-graders; the rest of the students return on Thursday, bringing enrollment up to more than 5,500 throughout the 12 city schools.   "I'm always personally very glad to see this time of year roll back around," said

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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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