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DA's Office, Pittsfield Schools Collaborate on Early Intervention Grant
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:11AM / Thursday, September 24, 2020
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A collaboration of the Berkshire District attorney's office and the Pittsfield Public Schools is using $25,000 in seed money in hopes of growing a sustainable program for social emotional learning in the schools. 

  The program, Tuned Transitions, is being funded through a grant from the state Department of Probation and will be implemented in the Conte and Morningside community schools for Grades 2 through 5. The curriculum was developed by Brooke Bridges, founder of Building Bridges SEL, a mental health advocacy and coaching organization.   "I have to say, as a parent, I understand how much the closing of schools and the switch to virtual

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State Education Commissioner to School Districts: Go In-Person or Face Audit
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
11:08AM / Tuesday, September 22, 2020
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BOSTON. — Continuing a pressure campaign against local school districts that began over the summer, the commissioner of education this week sent multiple districts a letter requesting "further information" of those who are beginning the school year with remote instruction.   In a letter dated Friday, Jeffrey C. Riley told more than a dozen districts, including Pittsfield Public Schools, Hoosac Valley Regional and the Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School, that they have "very low COVID-19 transmission" and that he is "concerned" that their school committees have elected to keep most students remote to start the academic

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Berkshire Museum Offers Virtual After School Program
12:05PM / Thursday, September 17, 2020
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Enrollment for the Berkshire Museum After School program After-School@Home is now open.   The Berkshire Museum will host After-School@Home through the fall and bring lessons on science, history, art, and culture directly to students' homes.    "We realize that remote schooling has changed the way everyone is learning this year, so supporting educators and students is one of our top priorities," Jeff Rodgers, the Berkshire Museum's Executive Director said. "Our after-school programs complement classroom learning, encourage curious kids to explore new ideas, and they also happen to be great fun.”   The first

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Berkshire United Way Teams Up With Ready4K
08:59AM / Thursday, September 17, 2020
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire United Way (BUW) and Northern Berkshire United Way (NBUW) have partnered with Ready4K to provide Berkshire families with educational facts and on their cell phones.    To support early childhood education, BUW and NBUW have teamed up with Ready4K to help support early childhood education through a text messaging program.   According to BUW and NBUW, based on research conducted in a recent 2019 Early Childhood Assessment and Sustainability report, Civitas Strategies found that bolstering the services available to directly serve parents and caregivers has the greatest potential to positively influence the overall well-being of the family unit

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Mount Greylock School Committee Passes Modified Agreement with Union
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
10:30PM / Wednesday, September 16, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School Committee on Tuesday night approved a number of modifications to the memorandum of agreement with the district's union about procedures related to the COVID-19 pandemic.   By a vote of 5-2, the committee OKed changes that include the structure an "remote academy" for elementary school pupils, the metrics that will be used for switches between remote and in-person instruction and safety precautions that will be in place during the school day when the district moves to a hybrid model of in-person and remote instruction on Oct. 5.   School officials had to rethink the remote academy idea for families

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OLLI, 1Berkshire & BIC Launch Transformative Technology Fall Series
09:52AM / Wednesday, September 16, 2020
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — 1Berkshire, The Berkshire Innovation Center (BIC) and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College (OLLI) announced the launch of "The Impact of Transformational Technologies on Work and Society" series.    This eight-week course of weekly webinars will bring regional, national, and global experts and leaders together to share and discuss key technologies impacting a broad spectrum of individual and societal realms, with a focus on how they impact rural regions like Berkshire County.   "This is a groundbreaking initiative and a creative collaboration that we hope will inspire greater economic and community

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Pittsfield Schools Anticipate New Layoffs
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
02:23AM / Monday, September 14, 2020
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Superintendent Jason McCandless says more layoffs may be needed depending on when students can return to school.   McCandless told the School Committee in his report Wednesday that without students in the actual buildings, there may be a need to lay off a sizeable amount of the cafeteria staff.   "We are not certain that the money would work out in favor on the positive side of the ledger even with the staff reduced by over two-thirds," McCandless said.   Pittsfield Public Schools opted to begin the school year entirely remotely. The plan is to phase students into a hybrid education model later in the fall if heath data

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Berkshire Museum Enters Next Reopening Phase
02:36PM / Thursday, September 10, 2020
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Museum will implement its third phase of reopening Monday, Sept. 14.    The Berkshire Museum, which began a phased reopening on Aug. 1, will start phase of their reopening process that will bring changes to the museum’s available gallery experiences.   This includes the departure of "The Art of Warner Bros.," which has been on view at the museum since January.    In addition to the museum’s Aquarium, exhibitions on view will now include "Berkshire Backyard," "Rocks and Minerals," "Animals of the World in Miniature" and the "Feigenbaum Hall of

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Pittsfield School Committee Takes No Action on Taconic Name Change Petition
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:09AM / Thursday, September 10, 2020
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The School Committee took no action on a petition Wednesday asking it to delay a decision to eliminate the Taconic Braves name.

The petition with 200 signatures was simply accepted, essentially grounding a community effort to delay a possible mascot name change at the high school.    "I think that people feel very strongly about being Braves and some people are thinking we are wiping out history," Chairwoman Katherine Yon said. "I don't think it is that at all. The Braves will always be the Braves; it is part of our history here. But it seems to me that the context of the history we are living in now is changing, and we are looking

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The Berkshire Museum Helps Families Prepare for a Different Kind of Kindergarten
04:16PM / Thursday, September 03, 2020
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  PITTSFIELD, Mass. The Berkshire Museum launched a new series this week dedicated to preparing young children and their caregivers for the first days of kindergarten.    The new digital content, located here, includes an updated digital edition of the museum's award-winning publication "In Kindergarten" in addition to fun, age-appropriate videos that teach essential kindergarten skills and explore pandemic precautions for early learners.    "Since 2014, the Berkshire Museum has played a role in every Berkshire County child's transition to formal education with 'In Kindergarten' and our popular Kindergarten Day events," Jeff

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