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Majority of McCann Teachers Should Recieve High Evaluation Scores
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
10:24PM / Wednesday, May 20, 2015
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Administration anticipates between 90 and 100 percent of McCann Technical teachers will receive an exemplary or proficient score by the end of this year's evaluation cycle.

At last week's School Committee meeting, Principal Justin Kratz said the administration is half way through this year's teacher evaluation cycle.

He said by the end of the year, all of the teachers in the building will have gone through a complete evaluation cycle with the new format and regulation.  

"It is going very well and all of the software that we have is really helping facilitate the process," Kratz said. "It's a lot easier than in some of the

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Williams Grant Recipients Show Off Fruits of Their Labor
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:47PM / Wednesday, May 20, 2015
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — What do robots, websites, books on bullying and youth choruses all have in common?

In North Berkshire, they were all projects able to be developed and presented to local public school students, thanks to Williams College's 2014 Bicentennial Olmsted Awards for Faculty Development.

At a Wednesday morning breakfast in the college's Faculty House, President Adam Falk announced the winners of the 2015 grants to Adams-Cheshire Regional School District, Berkshire Arts and Technology Public Charter School, Lanesborough Elementary School, McCann Technical School, North Adams Public Schools, Mount Greylock Regional School and Williamstown Elementary School. But

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McCann Electricity Students Get Crash Course In Solar
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
02:57PM / Tuesday, May 19, 2015
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — McCann Technical students in the electrical program partook in a solar installation training course.

David Lawless, a solar instructor from Kennebec Valley Community College in Maine, brought the school's "Solar Bus" to McCann last week to teach electrical and some carpentry students some tips and tricks from the field and actually install some panels on a practice ground-mounted "roof."

Electricity instructor Don Tatro said the program provides students with another venue in which they can take their McCann electrical education.

"It demonstrates how renewable energy works and, being in the electrical field how, it pertains to it

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Colegrove Park School Won't Be Ready for September Opening
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
11:24PM / Monday, May 18, 2015
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Colegrove Park Elementary School will not open on the first day of school in September.

Construction delays have led the general contractor to put the "substantial completion" date of the $29.7 million project nearly a month later than scheduled.

The new Aug. 16 date will not give enough time for furnishings, finishings and classroom preparation for a Sept. 2 opening date.

"We are certain at this point in time that we will not be opening in September," Mayor Richard Alcombright told the School Building Committee on Monday. "We are not quite sure when it will be so we are still holding the contractor to the July 22 date.

"With

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Clarksburg School Committee Accept Budget, Discuss PARCC
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
03:14AM / Monday, May 18, 2015
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CLARKSBURG, Mass. — The School Committee on Thursday accepted the school budget of $2,487,736 for fiscal 2016.

The budget reflects a 2.6 percent increase from this fiscal year.

Both the Selectmen and the Finance Committee approved the budget and the number will go to town meeting.

Interim Principal Karen Gallese said the school just finished up Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System tests and a trial run of the new PARCC test.

She said aspects of the online Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers tests were difficult for both teachers and students.

"We were all scurrying around trying to figure it out," Gallese said. "It needs a lot of

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MCLA Graduates Charged to Challenge the World
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
10:00PM / Saturday, May 16, 2015
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts awarded 417 degrees and certificates on Saturday at its 116th commencement.

The crowd in the Amsler Campus Center shouted and applauded as the graduates took to the stage to receive 366 bachelor's degrees, 26 masters of education, nine Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies and 16 Professional masters of business administration degrees.

Derrick Z. Jackson, award-winning Boston Globe columnist, photographer and Pulitzer Prize finalist, told the graduates they would join alumni who had found meaning in their careers in science, education, finance and public service.

MCLA graduates rank high in a survey asking if they

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Drury Teacher Selected to Score AP History Exams
01:26PM / Wednesday, May 13, 2015
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Stephanie Kopala, a history teacher at Drury High School, has been selected to participate in the College Board’s Annual AP Reading in World History.

Each June, AP teachers and college faculty members from around the world gather in the United States to evaluate and score the free-response sections of the AP Exams. During the 2015 scoring sessions, more than 13,500 AP Readers will evaluate more than 4.5 million AP Exams.

AP Readers are high school and college educators who represent many of the world’s leading academic institutions. The AP Reading is a unique forum in which an academic dialogue between educators is both fostered and

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North Adams Teachers Show Off iPad Classroom Creativity
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:25AM / Saturday, May 09, 2015
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Learning the geography of New England. Creating illustrated books. Studying how to draw koi fish using Japanese techniques.

These are just a few of the innovate ways teachers at Greylock and Brayton elementary schools are using iPads in their classrooms — iPads given to the schools through their relationship with Williams College.

Williams students have been working with the two North Adams schools for 15 years. Three years ago, Williams secured a $20,000 Verizon grant to get iPads that would be shared between fourth-grade classrooms at two schools and used with the assistance of the college students.

With donations from Williams as well as other funding

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North Adams Sets Redistricting Map for Colegrove School
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
12:30AM / Wednesday, May 06, 2015
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The School Committee on Tuesday night approved a redistricting plan for the new Colegrove Park Elementary School. The plan is expected to affect about 100 children.

The committee modified the plan slightly to include the downtown commercial area.



The redistricting plan was done by Transfinder Corp. of Schenectady, N.Y., and used boundary lines, major landmarks and current school district lines to develop the new plan. The company offered three options (A,B, C) and believed "the overall concept of balancing enrollments between campuses was achieved in every option."

The committee selected "Option B," thought to be the least disruptive and

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North Adams Officials Push for New Elementary School Completion
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
09:04PM / Tuesday, May 05, 2015
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — School officials are pushing to get Colegrove Park Elementary School "substantially complete" by the target date of July 22.

"It really seems to be moving along quite well," Mayor Richard Alcombright told the School Committee on Tuesday night. But he cautioned the date had been "aggressive" and there could be a delay.

General contractor PDS Engineering & Construction Inc. began work on the $29.6 million project last spring but the winter's severe cold significantly hampered masonry and structural work. Over the past few weeks, the site's been busier with windows finally going in and scaffolding covering the much of west

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