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MCLA, BCC Agreement Bolsters Early Ed Degree Programs
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:55PM / Wednesday, July 19, 2017
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The cohort program at MCLA helped Heather Thompson balance work, raising a child, and continuing her education. She praised the agreement making it easier for others to follow her path to higher education. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Heather Thompson started going to college in 1998. And then found out she was expecting a child.   She returned home to the Berkshires and six months after giving birth, enrolled at Berkshire Community College.   She got a job at the Boys and Girls Club but knew if she wanted to further her career she needed to get a bachelor's degree.   "Fourteen years went by and I knew I had to go back to school, I was a single mom essentially, I

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Berkshire County Education Task Force's Single-District Solution Surprises Its Chair
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:32PM / Tuesday, July 18, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The chairman of the Berkshire County Education Task Force says he was as surprised as anyone when the group voted to recommend a single school district for the county's 30 towns and two cities.   But John Hockridge is convinced that the proposal makes sense for students and taxpayers alike.   "Most of us thought that was not the direction we were headed in 32 meetings over the last couple of years," Hockridge, a member of the North Adams School Committee, said on Tuesday. "But we went through a process on Saturday that involved breaking into six groups for thorough discussions of the options.   "From the breakout groups, the

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BArT Enrolling New Students in Grades Six through 10
03:00PM / Monday, July 17, 2017
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ADAMS, Mass. — The Berkshire Arts & Technology Charter Public School, a tuition-free public school serving students in grades six through 12 from a number of Massachusetts communities within the Berkshires, is currently enrolling new students in grades six through 10 for the 2017-18 school year.

Recent action by BART's Board of Trustees and by the Massachusetts Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education resulted in a change in the school's enrollment policy. Previously, students new to BART could be admitted to grades six through nine. Now, however, students may be admitted into BArT to grade 10 as well.

"As a college preparatory charter public school, BArT

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McCann Announces Fourth Quarter Honor Roll
01:48PM / Monday, July 17, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — McCann Technical high School has announced its fourth-quarter honor roll for the 2016-17 school year.

High Honors

Alcala, Salvador; Banks, Matthew; Boudreau, Brian; Dean, Ainsley; Denault, Angela; Field, Mallory; Gardner, Makenzie; Gifford-Blasi, Ivy; Gigliotti, Madison; Gorman, Kayla; Guyette, Connor; Kaczowski, Kyla; Kendig, Caleb; Kipp, William; Lampro, Tyler; Pandell, Blaize; Wood, Elizabeth.

Beany, Justin; Cahill, Alyssa; Cote, Megan; Diesz, Natalie; DiSanti, Bailey; Dix, James; Dowling, Aimee; Fuller, Hannah; Gamari, Daniel; Ingalls, Maisy; Kelly-Whitney, David; Kittler, Benn; Laprise, Dean; Lemaire, Jacqueline; McGrath, Grace; McLain, Lucas; Odell,

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Drury Sophomore Attends Congress of Future Medical Leaders
12:54PM / Friday, July 14, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Kelsey Haley, a sophmore at Drury High School, attended the Congress of Future Medical Leaders in Lowell, Mass., from June 25-27.

The Congress is an honors-only program for high school students who want to become physicians or go into medical research fields. The purpose of this event is to honor, inspire, motivate and direct the top students in the country who aspire to be physicians or medical scientists, to stay true to their dream and, after the event, to provide a path, plan and resources to help them reach their goal.

Haley was nominated by Dr. Robert Darling, the medical director of the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists, to

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Berkshire County Arc Awards Scholarships to Five Local High School Seniors
12:44PM / Friday, July 14, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire County Arc and the Berkshire County Arc Down Syndrome Family Group have awarded scholarships ranging upwards from $1,000 to the following five high school seniors who demonstrated outstanding prior involvement with individuals with disabilities and the potential to contribute to the field of human services.

The students are:

· Jessie Downer, Wahconah Regional High School (Recipient of the Carol Craighead Memorial Scholarship Award, which is funded by Berkshire County Arc and the Berkshire County Arc Down Syndrome Family Group)

· Anthony Melski, Pittsfield High School

· Aubrey Milligan, Wahconah Regional High School

·

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McCann Students Bring Home Gold, Bronze From SkillsUSA Nationals
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
02:40AM / Thursday, July 13, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — McCann Technical School students brought home a gold medal from the automated manufacturing technology competition and a bronze medal in dental assisting from the SkillsUSA National Competition.   Graduating seniors Madison Gigliotti, William Kipp and Salvador Alcala, and postsecondary student Carey Contini returned from Louisville, Ky., as champions in their respective fields.   "To come back and to be able to say you are the best in the country is a big deal," Superintendent James Brosnan said. "It is the major leagues and it's a hell of an honor for them to represent the school."    Gigliotti, Kipp and Alcala,

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Berkshire Arts & Tech Says Goodbye to Founding Director
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
06:32AM / Sunday, July 09, 2017
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Julia Bowen, center, flanked by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Mayor Richard Alcombright on Saturday after receiving a certificate of recognition from the senator. Her husband, Brad Svrluga, is at left. ADAMS, Mass. — It's not every educational leader who gets a bridge, or two, named after them. But that's exactly how Julia Bowen will be remembered.    Bowen shepherded the Berkshire Arts and Technology Public Charter School over the past 14 years, bridging its beginnings as a three-grade school in rented rooms to a middle and high school in its own renovated and expanded building.    Her legacy as executive director at BArT was cemented in

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Pittsfield Superintendent to Speak on Schools as Sanctuaries
11:28AM / Friday, July 07, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Leadership Academy at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts on Saturday, July 8, welcomes Pittsfield Public Schools Superintendent Jason McCandless, who will speak on the topic of schools as sanctuaries, from 1:15 to 3:15 p.m. in Murdock Hall.   The event is free and open to the public.   In his presentation, McCandless will look at the many types of "at-risk" students, the state of at-risk students in the Commonwealth, what Pittsfield Public Schools have done to become more "sanctu-arial," and the special care that immigrant and refugee children require.   According to McCandless, because of current affairs, rhetoric and

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McCann Technical School's Freshmen Class Shaping Up
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:43AM / Monday, July 03, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — McCann Technical School is looking forward to a solid number of freshman this coming school year.    Principal Justin Kratz told the School Committee on Thursdsay he is currently looking at applications.   "We are going to look at what numbers are, how much room we have left and what we have for incoming freshmen," he said. "The applications are still trickling in and overall we are in good shape for next year."   He said there are even sophomores interested in going to McCann.    "We have maybe 10 to 12 sophomores looking to come but is trickier for them because shops are not as open as they are for

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