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Teachers' Union Rallies Support for Increased State Education Funding
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:47AM / Friday, March 08, 2019
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Neil Clarke of the MTA outlined action steps to rally support for the bills. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — When the school gymnasium is full of excitement and noise for a rally, some children don't respond well.   They cover their heads and cry. But they might not if they had a paraprofessional with them.   A couple of years ago, the city of Pittsfield cut more than 30 paraprofessional positions from the school system's budget. Parent Starr Williams on Thursday asked that people envision each one of those paraprofessionals as being one child covering their heads and crying.   Williams is a Berkshire Community College student studying social work and will graduate in

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North Adams Awarded Grant to Expand Pre-Kindergarten
03:33PM / Thursday, March 07, 2019
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Families with 3- and 4-year-old children will soon have additional options for high-quality pre-kindergarten programs thanks to a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care.   In collaboration with Child Care of the Berkshires, the North Adams Public Schools has been awarded $285,549 to create a new full-day pre-kindergarten program located at Brayton Elementary School, and to expand an existing program currently operated by Child Care of the Berkshires at Monument Square.   Several communities from across the commonwealth submitted applications for funding through what is known as the Commonwealth Preschool Partnership

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North Adams School Officials Endorse Resolution on State Funding
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
04:26PM / Wednesday, March 06, 2019
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — School officials on Tuesday approved a resolution supporting changes to the Chapter 70 state aid formula for education that could bring more than $2 million in state funding to the North Adams Public Schools.    In doing so, the School Committee joined a statewide effort urging the State House to recalculate formulas for both K-12 and higher education. Supporters of the effort say public educational institutions are being shortchanged by millions of dollars a year — funds that could make higher education more affordable, provide more educational opportunities at the local level and relieve pressure on local school budgets.    "This

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Southern Vermont College to Close Doors
Staff Reports,
12:01PM / Monday, March 04, 2019
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BENNINGTON, Vt. — Southern Vermont College, facing "insurmountable pressure," will close at the end of the spring semester.    In an announcement made Monday morning, President David R. Evans cited declining enrollment, financial pressure, and adverse action by the college's regional accreditor concerning institutional resources.   Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, Mass., has agreed to accept SVC's new students in the fall semester. MCLA staff are expected to be on the Vermont campus on Tuesday afternoon to meet with any interested students.    "Following notice at the end of January from the New England Commission of

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BCC Announces Adjunct Faculty Fellow, Several Other New Hires
02:18PM / Friday, March 01, 2019
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College has hired a new director of Safety and Security and a new building maintenance supervisor II. It has also announced it has a new adjunct faculty fellow and interim dean of Business, Science, Mathematics and Technology.

Ellis Richardson has been hired as the new Director of Safety and Security. Richardson, a retired chief of police for the city of Hudson in New York, brings an extensive law enforcement background with a community-building mindset. He most recently worked as the Public Safety sergeant for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He attended University at Albany and received an associate's degree from Columbia-Greene

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Alumna Donates $5 Million To Support Teachers At Miss Hall's School
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:04PM / Wednesday, February 27, 2019
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Theresa Thompson PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Miss Hall's School will bolster its efforts to attract and retain faculty with the help of the largest single gift the school's ever received.   Theresa Thompson, who graduated from the all-girls school in 1964, donated $5 million with an eye toward retaining faculty who deliver innovative curriculum at the school.   "The gift is directed to supporting salaries ... the salaries are our largest expense and our most valuable asset," said Head of School Julia Heaton on Wednesday.    Heaton said the gift had been in the works for some time and is being celebrated this year to honor Thompson's 55th

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Presentation on Interstate School District Study Expected in May
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
06:15PM / Tuesday, February 26, 2019
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STAMFORD, Vt. — The towns of Stamford and Clarksburg, Mass., hope to have their questions about a merged school district answered by May.    Representatives from Public Consulting Group, hired to crunch data, research educational, governance and legislative factors, and lay out possible pathways to an interstate elementary school district, anticipate a joint meeting on May 15 to present what they've learned.    "What we're here to do is see if it's even something that's possible, that's feasible," said Anna d'Entremont, PCG senior consultant and team leader. "We don't know yet. ... Our job is to really help facilitate a

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McCann School Committee Endorses $9.6M Budget for Fiscal 2020
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
02:28AM / Tuesday, February 19, 2019
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The McCann School Committee on Thursday approved a straightforward budget that represents a 2.36 percent increase over this year.   The committee members had few questions about what Superintendent James Brosnan referred to as "vanilla" fiscal 2020 budget that will increase by $220,769.   "There are not a lot of frills or add-ons here. The increases are just a lot of things we don't have control over," School Committee member Daniel J. Maloney Jr. said. "We consider this a balanced budget that just really maintains. It does not move us forward a lot and it keeps us where we are."   The fiscal 2019 budget

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College Notes: January, February & March 2019
04:53PM / Thursday, February 14, 2019
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Sports management majors Rachael Donahue of Pittsfield and Jacqueline Lemaire of North Adams were among 10 students from thewho spent part of their winter session in Australia. They are the first cohort to participate in the college's "J-Term" program of academic study and cultural experiences.   The students arrived in Sydney in time to take in the New Year's celebrations, including the spectacular fireworks atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and returned to Springfield for the start of the spring semester on Jan. 14. The two-week course, "International Business in Asia Pacific," was delivered through Global Academic Ventures, a Sydney-based academic

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North Adams Hires Away NBSU Business Administrator
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:15PM / Thursday, February 07, 2019
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The current part-time business administrator will become full-time in July at the expiration of a contract with the North Berkshire School Union.    Carrie Burnett, who was hired last year as part of a one-year shared services agreement with the union, will take over all budgeting and finance office for the North Adams Public Schools.    The School Committee on Tuesday voted to retain Burnett and authorized a contract based on the agreement approved last year but updated to reflect Burnett's full-time position that includes a $1,000 stipend from NBSU as salary; a 1.5 percent contractual increase, based on the teachers' negotiated rate.

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