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Massachusetts Requiring Students Have Flu Vaccination
05:44PM / Wednesday, August 19, 2020
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BOSTON — State public health officials on Wednesday announced that influenza immunization will be required for all children 6 months of age or older who are attending child care, preschool, kindergarten, K-12, and colleges and universities.    State Department of Public Health officials say the new vaccine requirement is an important step to reduce flu-related illness and ​the overall impact of respiratory illness during the COVID-19 pandemic.    Students will be expected to have received a flu vaccine by Dec. 31, 2020, for the 2020-2021 influenza season, unless either a medical or religious exemption is provided. Also exempted are K-12 students who are

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Mount Greylock Teachers Union Nixes Notion of 'Public' Negotiations
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:06AM / Monday, August 17, 2020
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  WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The acting president of the Mount Greylock Regional School District's teachers union Friday rejected a School Committee member's suggestion that the union should hold its collective bargaining sessions in public and accused the committee of violating Massachusetts labor law in its Thursday evening meeting.   "Bargaining will not be done publicly," Lanesborough Elementary School teacher Jennifer Szymanski wrote in an email on behalf of the Mount Greylock Educators Association.   Szymanski was replying to a request for comment on Thursday night after School Committee member Steven Miller twice suggested that the panel hold public

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Pittsfield to Begin Superintendent Search in the Fall
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
02:18AM / Monday, August 17, 2020
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The School Committee will begin its search for a new superintendent next month.   The committee voted Wednesday to table the superintendent search discussion until its September meeting allowing them time to focus on opening the schools.   "Having been through a number of these through the years putting this off to September when instruction will be open, one hopes, it would allow us to focus a little better,” School Committee member William Cameron said. "We might have a better sense of what we need going forward.   Outgoing Superintendent Jason McCandless will take up a new position leading the Mount Greylock Regional School

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Pittsfield School Committee Votes to Change Taconic Mascot
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
03:54AM / Thursday, August 13, 2020
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The School Committee debates a change in team mascots for the two Pittsfield high schools.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Taconic High School will no longer be the Braves' House.   The School Committee on Wednesday voted to change 50-year-old team mascot and begin the process of determining a new, more culturally acceptable identity for the vocational school.   "I think this is going to be very divisive and very upsetting for this school," Chairwoman Katherine Yon said. "It is just a very difficult decision to come to and it feels like all of the decisions during this time are difficult."   The issue has come up during public comment over the

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Mount Greylock Interim Superintendent Proposing Fully Remote Start to School Year
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:10PM / Wednesday, August 12, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Mount Greylock Regional School District's interim superintendent Tuesday told the community he will propose the district start the year with fully remote learning for general education students.   In a virtual town hall, Robert Putnam previewed the proposal for the start of school that he will present to the School Committee for a vote on Thursday evening. Districts throughout the commonwealth must present their reopening plans, approved by school committees, to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education by Friday.   Putnam emphasized throughout his presentation that all of his plans for the preK-12, three school district are still subject

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Mount Greylock Adds Day in High School, Splits Elementary Days
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:17AM / Monday, August 10, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — All students at Mount Greylock Regional School will be in school two days a week, and elementary school pupils will attend four days a week to start the school year under the latest iteration of the hybrid learning model announced Thursday by interim Superintendent Robert Putnam.   And the School Committee finalized its negotiation on a three-year contract with incoming Superintendent Jason "Jake" McCandless.   After meeting in exectutive session for about 15 minutes, the committee came out and voted 6-0 (with one member, Regina DiLego, absent) to approve a contract negotiated with McCandless, who was offered the job the week

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Pittsfield Votes Hybrid Education Model, Considers Remote Start
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
07:37AM / Sunday, August 09, 2020
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The School Committee has voted to go forward with a hybrid education model with the possibility of a fully remote beginning to the school year.   During the second half Thursday's meeting, the committee directed the administration to go forward with a morning/afternoon hybrid education model with the option to begin the school year remote.   "Today we are attempting to thread a needle of being respectful of the negotiation we are doing with our teachers and be respectful of the community that has weighed in in large numbers to say that they want to see some sort of version of in-person school," Superintendent Jason McCandless

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Pittsfield Picks Interim Super; Retains McCandless for Full 90 Days
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
06:53AM / Saturday, August 08, 2020
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The School Committee on Thursday voted to appoint Deputy Superintendent Joseph Curtis as interim superintendent and to hold outgoing Superintendent Jason McCandless to his 90-day notice.   Last week it was announced that McCandless was chosen as the new superintendent of the Mount Greylock Regional School District. McCandless, who joined the district in 2013, flirted with the idea of leaving the district last year and was in the running for the Silver Lake Regional School District post. https://www.iberkshires.com/story/62748/Mount-Greylock-Offers-Superintendent-Post-to-Pittsfield-s-McCandless.html   During the first half of a six-hour meeting

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BCC Hires New Vice President of Administration and Finance
05:39PM / Friday, August 07, 2020
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College has hired Andrea Wadsworth as the new vice president of administration and finance.

Previous to accepting her role at the college, Wadsworth has held a number of positions in education in the Berkshires. She was most recently the assistant superintendent of business and finance. Prior to her role at Mt. Greylock, she was the business administrator at Lee Public Schools and before that she was the senior accounting coordinator/business office accountant for the Berkshire Hills Regional School District.

Wadsworth has participated in a number of community activities related to education as well. She had served as the chair of the Lee

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New Wahconah High Going Up Fast
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:55AM / Friday, August 07, 2020
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School Building Committee co-Chairman Tom Callahan, left, with MSBA Executive Director Jack McCarthy. The old high school is in the background. DALTON, Mass. — A traditional topping off ceremony was held on Thursday to mark the completion of the steel skeleton for what will be Wahconah Regional High School.    School officials gathered to mark the milestone with the sounds of construction and sparks from welding giving proof that their vision was being made reality after a  long and arduous process.    "As far as this building goes, the process by which to make it happen to get the vote was an arduous one," said Principal Aaron Robb.

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