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Pittsfield Schools Decreasing Number of Suspensions
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:09PM / Wednesday, February 15, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The School Department is taking a fresh look at discipline and so far that has led to 155 fewer days of out-of-school suspension.   Superintendent Jason McCandless presented the numbers to the School Committee last Wednesday. With a bolstering of the number of school adjustment councilors and registered behavior technicians, the district has been implementing new practices to improve behavior — that includes the creation of a restorative justice program but also rethinking the way principals handle discipline.   "As we continue to make attendance a real focus on what we do, knowing that nothing good that we are doing can work if a student

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BCC Announces Fall Semester Dean's List
02:55PM / Monday, February 13, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College has announced the Dean's List for the fall 2016 semester.

Dean's List status is awarded to full-time students who have declared a major; completed a minimum of 12 non-repeated, traditionally graded credit hours during the fall semester; and achieved a 3.250 to 3.749 grade point average for Honors, or a 3.750 to 4.000 grade point average for High Honors.

The following 80 students qualified for High Honors:

 

Connecticut

Jackson P. Karpicz

 

Massachusetts

Colleen M. Baker, Aaron R. Biros, Enrique F. Bouvier, and Jeremy R. Patterson      

Alexys J.

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Berkshire Community College Announces New Hires, Promotions
12:38PM / Friday, February 10, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College has announced new faculty and staff additions as well as recent promotions.

Julia Curletti of Richmond, Mass., has joined BCC as staff assistant to the dean of enrollment management and student success. She previously worked at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston as a program coordinator. She garnered a bachelor's degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and attended New England Law.

Alyssa Felver has been named assistant professor of practical nursing. A registered nurse in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, she previously worked at the Berkshire Medical Center. Prior to that, she was a critical care registered

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Lanesborough School To Consider Preschool Subsidy Program
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:12AM / Friday, February 10, 2017
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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Superintendent Kimberly Grady is reinvigorating the idea of a sliding scale for preschool.   The School Committee on Thursday approved the pricing for the preschool programs, which Grady says is lower than many programs. But there are still other free programs. Grady hopes to one day move to a free program but for now, she is bringing back the conversation about providing subsidies for families who can't afford the full price.   The school used to have a sliding scale option but over time the entire program had grown to be more expensive than the income it was taking in. A proposal was floated to end the practice altogether but that faced

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Reid Middle School Evacuated After Hoax Bomb Threat
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:15PM / Thursday, February 02, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. —  A secretary at Reid Middle School picked up the phone about 11:25 on Thursday morning to hear a message that a bomb was in the school and would explode at a certain time.   Reid was one of five schools across the state and two more schools in New Hampshire that received the same call on Thursday. Ultimately, it was determined that it was a hoax.    "We received intelligence from the state police after we reached out for resources that this was one of multiple, five in Massachusetts and two in New Hampshire, and based on the timing and the multiple reports, and that no devices detonated, it is being treated as a hoax," Police Chief

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MCLA to Present Student Leadership Conference
02:13PM / Wednesday, February 01, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts will present the 22nd annual Leadership Conference, "100 Yards of Leadership," on Sunday, Feb. 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Amsler Campus Center Gym, when MCLA will welcome AJ Adams, an award-winning speaker, author and entrepreneur, as the keynote speaker.

Registration for this event, open to college and high school students, will remain open through Thursday, Feb. 2. This event is free to all members of the MCLA community, and $40 for those from other campuses. The cost includes breakfast, lunch and a snack.

"This conference is a place where students – whether they are emerging leaders or

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'Chefs In Schools' Brings Healthy Eating to Pittsfield Children
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:15PM / Thursday, January 26, 2017
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The students get a taste test from chef Guy Koppe to help determine if the meal should be on the lunch menu in the future. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Eat well, sleep well, and exercise are the keys to a healthy life. Thanks to Blue Cross Blue Shield, the first of which is being instilled in young children throughout the city schools through Project Bread's "Chefs in Schools" program.   One of the Boston-based Project Bread's initiatives, it brings chefs into schools to help train cafeteria staff, test out new recipes, and teach children about healthy eating — even getting the picky eaters to try new things.   The overall goal is to teach the importance

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Pittsfield Schools Preparing For Layoffs In Next Budget Cycle
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:49AM / Thursday, January 26, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — School officials are preparing for layoffs as the budget process begins.   Superintendent Jason McCandless said the budget development has just begun and with the city's tax levy situation, there may be very little room to maneuver. That could mean coming in with a level-funded budget, which would likely mean reductions in personnel to offset contractual and other obligations.    He said he's asked all of the school principals to find 3 to 5 percent to cut out of their school budgets should that be needed.   "It is a very real scenario where we have level-funded, which means we actually need to come up with $2.5 million cuts. This

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Berkshire Country Day School Students Win Classics Day Awards
12:13PM / Monday, January 23, 2017
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STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — Berkshire Country Day School's Upper School Latin students (grades seven to nine) joined the Pioneer Valley Classical Association annual Classics Day at Mount Holyoke College on Jan. 20.

BCD's Latin students enjoyed participating in workshops and contests with their peers from Academy Hill, Amherst Middle School, Belchertown, Herberg, Lenox Memorial High, MacDuffie, Pittsfield, Taconic and Williston. The BCD students were accompanied by teachers Eugénie and James Fawcett, Associate Head of School Leigh Doherty, and Head of School Paul Lindenmaier.

BCD students received the following awards:

 

Art contest

First Place: ninth grader Lanna Knoll

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Final Steel Beam Placed On New Taconic High School Structure
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:35PM / Friday, January 20, 2017
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City Councilor Kathleen Amuso, a former School Committee member, has been working on this project for more than a decade. Her signature joined hundreds including students, construction workers, and staff. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The $120.8 million Taconic High School construction project hit another milestone Friday when workers placed the final steel beam on the structure.   In a topping-off ceremony, a construction tradition signifying the completion of the structure of a building, school and construction officials celebrated the milestone with a speaking program, signing of the beams, and of course, watching the workers place it.   "While they hoist the beam that

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