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Education Task Force Plans Presentations of Phase 1 Report
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:53AM / Monday, November 14, 2016
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DALTON, Mass. — Enrollment is declining in Berkshire County schools and costs are rising.

It's one of those things everyone knows — now there's concrete data confirming those notions and pinning down some of the effects on Berkshire County education.

The Berkshire County Task Force on Saturday morning reviewed a 77-page report commissioned from the University of Massachusetts' Donahue Institute on the state of county education.

It's not pretty.

Enrollment is down 22.3 percent over the last 15 years in 17 of the school districts being studied. The only exceptions are McCann Technical School and Berkshire Arts & Technology Public Charter School, both of

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United Way Urging State to Help Up Preschool Teaching Salaries
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:02AM / Friday, November 11, 2016
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Dalton Preschool Director Paul Harris met with Douglas McNally, state Rep. Paul Mark, and United Way Program Director Karen Vogel on Thursday. DALTON, Mass. — On Thursday, Paula Harris wore a button to work in support of a movement to raise the wages for preschool teachers like herself.   The button was from 26 years ago.   Harris is approaching her 30th year as a preschool teacher and is now the director of the Dalton Preschool, housed in the same building with the CRA. When she took over as the director, she took a pay cut and she hasn't had much of a raise since then, now earning around $35,000 a year.    But she's ahead of the curve. Many

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Lanesborough Elementary to Veterans: Breakfast Is On Us
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:15PM / Thursday, November 10, 2016
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This student saluted during the National Anthem.  LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The kindergarten class led the way, the preschoolers followed with flags held high — and teachers reminding them not to let them hit the ground.   They stood in the cafeteria and looked over a crowd of some 75 armed service veterans and began singing patriotic songs. When they finished, they had handmade cards of thanks to give to each and every one who attended.   Meanwhile, the third-graders were going from table to table asking, "would you like more coffee, sir?" The first-graders were waiting outside the door, ready to perform their own songs.    The scene was the

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Miss Hall's Presents 'Peter and the Starcatcher'
02:43PM / Wednesday, November 09, 2016
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PITTSFIELD — The Miss Hall's School Theater Ensemble will take to the high seas this fall, pursuing the story of how Peter Pan became "The Boy Who Never Grew Up" and performing the award-winning play "Peter and the Starcatcher." Shows will take place at 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 11; at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12; and in a matinee at 2 on Sunday, Nov. 13.

Based on the best-selling novel "Peter and the Starcatchers," by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, the play is a prequel to the story of Peter Pan. It opens with a young orphan and his two companions shipping out aboard the Neverland from Victorian England to a distant island. Also on board is a trunk of

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Williamstown-Lanesborough Superintendent Leaving Post Under Fire
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
10:38PM / Monday, November 07, 2016
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The brief tenure of public schools superintendent Douglas Dias came to an end Monday after an evening of lengthy closed-door discussions among the three school committees he served.

Dias, who was hired to administer the Lanesborough-Williamstown Tri-District in spring 2015, is leaving the post in the wake of undisclosed "complaints or charges" leveled against him.

"After careful consideration of our respective managerial and educational priorities, the parties agreed to sever the relationship," Dias' attorney, Michael Long of Hingham, said in a brief statement. "We wish each other well in our future endeavors and will have no

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BArT Blows Its Own Horn at Breakfast
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:13AM / Sunday, November 06, 2016
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ADAMS, Mass. — Four days before Massachusetts voters decide whether to raise the commonwealth's cap on charter schools, the director of Berkshire County's lone charter school Friday made the case for continued support of the junior-senior high school.

Julia Bowen told a crowd at the school's annual Fall Breakfast that the politicking around Question 2 on Tuesday's ballot has included repetition of misconceptions about charter schools that do not apply to the Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School.   One thing that particularly stuck in her craw: the charge from Question 2 opponents that charter schools, unlike traditional public schools, enjoy the

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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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