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Visually Impaired Students Unite for White Cane Awareness Day at Pittsfield High
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
11:58AM / Monday, October 17, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — "Yes we can" was the phrase of the day on Friday as students with visual impairments gathered at Pittsfield High School to celebrate White Cane Awareness Day.   "It's nice for them to know that there are others dealing with the same situations,"  said Lynn Shortis, a district schoolteacher for the visually impaired. "Maybe not the same exact vision issues but they're in the same boat.  Some kids have that because there are multiple kids in the same school, it just happens to fall that way, other kids don't have that."   The national day of awareness is on Oct. 15 and has been celebrated since 1964. 

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BCC and OLLI to Present Talk from Holocaust Survivor
08:29AM / Monday, October 17, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College (BCC) and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at BCC will present "Shattered Crystals: A Talk by Holocaust Survivor Eve Kugler" via Zoom on Wednesday, October 19 at 12:30 p.m.    The free talk is open to all; registration is required. To register and receive a Zoom link, visit www.berkshireolli.org/event-4977519.     According to a press release, now age 91, Eve Kugler is one of the few still living who witnessed first-hand the atrocities of the 1930s and 40s. She was born in 1931 in Halle, Germany, where her father owned a department store. Eve grew up alongside her sisters, Ruth and Lea, in a

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Pittsfield School Committee OKs Higher Custodial Wages
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:20PM / Saturday, October 15, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The School Committee on Wednesday approved a memorandum of agreement with the district custodial union through 2025, bumping up senior custodians' hourly wages by over a dollar.  

The approval was unanimous with no public conversation after about an hour in executive session.  

The custodial union is represented by the Pittsfield Federation of School Employees, a local affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. On Tuesday, the contracts was ratified by the federation.

A retroactive MOA for the 2021-2022 school/work year and for the 2022-2025 school/work years were approved. The 2021-2022 MOA is effective through July 1, 2021, and June

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Two PHS, One Taconic Student Honored With Superintendent's Award
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:06PM / Friday, October 14, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Two Pittsfield High School and one Taconic High School student were honored with the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendent's Award.

Seniors Jamie Duquette and Randi Duquette of PHS and Jane Wong of Taconic were congratulated by the School Committee on Wednesday for their scholastic achievements.

The Superintendent's Award for Academic Excellence is given out annually to high school students who have distinguished themselves in the pursuit of academic excellence and have achieved the highest grade average at their school.

This is the second time in Pittsfield's history that it was given to a set of twins.

Wong ranked second in her class

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MCLA, Berkshire County STEM Network Celebrate STEM Week
12:03PM / Thursday, October 13, 2022
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Berkshire County Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Week will be held on Oct. 17-22.    Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) and the Berkshire County STEM Network will offer virtual programming for local public-school students, K-12 educators, and the general community.     Berkshire County STEM Week's theme is "See Yourself in STEM."    The week is free and open to the public and will feature a virtual series of panels, workshops, speakers, virtual tours, and information about opportunities that exist in science, technology, engineering, and math in the Berkshires and beyond. 

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BCC's Disability Resource Center to Host Free Webinar
07:32AM / Wednesday, October 12, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Community College (BCC) Disability Resource Center will hold a free webinar, "There Is No Justice without Disability," with guest speaker Rebecca Cokley on at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20. 

Cokley, a nationally renowned disability rights activist, will discuss disability justice, the connections between oppressions, how ableism compounds all forms of inequality, and key steps any organization can take to become more inclusive and accessible. Advanced registration is required; to register and receive a Zoom link, visit www.berkshirecc.edu/justice-disability.

Cokley is the program officer for the Ford Foundation’s first-ever U.S.

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BCC Gets Over $1 Million Grant for Health and Human Services Students
02:34PM / Sunday, October 09, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College has been awarded a $1,080,231 grant from a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services program called Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training.

The four-year grant will provide stipends, partial reimbursement of tuition and fees, and supplies for up to 15 students per year enrolled in BCC's Mental Health, Addiction Recovery, and Human Services certificate programs. Grant funds will also support hiring a project coordinator and a mentor/coach for students.

"We’re ecstatic to receive this grant, which will allow us to provide Berkshire County with a steady stream of human service professionals," said Gina Stec,

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Pittsfield School Officials OK Contracts, Gets Diversity Update
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
10:19AM / Wednesday, October 05, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The School Committee last week approved memoranda of agreement with three of four bargaining units.   After an executive session, the committee returned to regular session to unanimously endorse new agreements with the cafeteria, paraprofessionals and educational secretary units.    A fourth, with the bus drivers and attendants, was tabled as committee member Sarah Hathaway commented that "we look forward to approving it when the language is tinkered with a just little bit."   The committee also approved raises for substitute paraprofessionals and educational secretaries of about $10 a day, depending on category, and

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White Cane Day Celebration Planned at PHS
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:03PM / Saturday, October 01, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The school district will recognize White Cane Day at Pittsfield High School in two weeks with an event to celebrate the accomplishments of visually impaired people.

On Friday, Oct. 14, students of all ages with visual impairments will participate in activities, join a virtual presentation through the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, walk to City Hall to be greeted by Mayor Linda Tyer, and have lunch at PHS's culinary restaurant.

The national day of awareness is on Oct. 15 and has been celebrated since 1964. The cane is an essential tool used by this population to move around freely and safely.

"It’s a day to really recognize the

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BCC to Host Admissions Info Sessions in October
09:09AM / Sunday, September 25, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Those interested in Berkshire Community College BCC) can learn more at one of three free virtual information sessions to be held in the month of October

The sessions will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 4 p.m.; Monday, Oct. 17 at 12 p.m.; and Sunday, Oct. 23 at 6 p.m. The 30-minute info sessions, presented by admissions counselors on Zoom, are designed to familiarize prospective students with the application and registration process.        

To register for a session, visit www.berkshirecc.edu/openhouse.      

Information session participants can ask questions about the admissions process, learn about BCC’s cost and

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