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Mount Greylock Grads Told: Go Balls to the Wall
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:22PM / Saturday, June 03, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Some will tell you that you learned everything you needed to know in kindergarten, but Mount Greylock Regional School's 2017 class speaker had a different idea.   "When we were younger, most of us read Aesop's fable about the tortoise and the hare," Josh Narey reminded his classmates at Saturday morning's graduation. "The moral of the story is: ‘Slow and steady wins the race.'   "And it's a load of crap.   "That guy Aesop was a complete clown. Slow and steady does not win the race. It loses it. Best wins the race. You have to put everything you've got into everything you

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BCC Grads Showed 'Grit' To Earn Degrees, Certificates
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
08:30PM / Friday, June 02, 2017
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LENOX, Mass. — Jeremy Patterson admires the traditional college graduate, the ones who had the foresight and commitment to delve right into higher education.   Patterson is not a traditional graduate. At age 26, neither he nor his wife had even graduated high school. He was out of work and trying to care for their three children. One day in 2007, they packed everything they owned into a 1992 Oldsmobile and left their rural home in Florida, driving to a new home in the Berkshires.   "We were petrified. While staying with a friend, I found work and in a month we had gathered enough money to rent the apartment below him," Patterson said.    The

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MCLA Alumna Named Scope Educator of the Year
01:36PM / Friday, June 02, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Jill Pompi, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Class of 1989,  the literacy director at C.T. Plunkett School in the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District, is the MCLA SCOPE (Standing Committee on Professional Education) Educator of the Year.

She received the award on Tuesday, May 30, in Boston.

This Educator Alumni Award recognizes and celebrates outstanding state university educator alumni who work or have worked in a Massachusetts public pre-K or K-12 school.

Pompi, who earned her bachelor's degree, master's degree, reading specialist certification and administrator certification at MCLA, and her education specialist Degree at Simmons

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Stamford Overwhelmingly Rejects Act 46 School Merger
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
02:47AM / Thursday, June 01, 2017
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Two ballots were cast, one for the merger and the second to organize representation on school for the merged union. The merger failed, making the board makeup moot.   STAMFORD, Vt. — Voters in Stamford overwhelming rejected the creation of a unified school district with Readsboro and Halifax.    The final tally on Wednesday night was 173-6 against moving forward with the district under the state's Act 46.    "It's a good thing I believe because now we have more time, we have time to explore the interstate district talks with Clarksburg and at minimum try for geographic isolation," said Cynthia Lamore, chairman of School Board.

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MCLA to Host North County Eighth-Grade Career Fair
05:08PM / Monday, May 29, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts will welcome approximately 800 eighth-grade students from seven Berkshire County schools on Thursday, June 1, and Friday, June 2, when they attend the sixth annual Eighth Grade Career Fair in Bowman Hall on the MCLA campus.

Eighth graders from Hoosac Valley Middle/High School in Cheshire, Berkshire Arts and Technology (BArT) Charter School in Adams, and Mt. Greylock Middle/High School in Williamstown will attend the Fair on June 1, from 8:15 to 10 a.m. Students who are in the eighth grade at Reid Middle School in Pittsfield will participate that same day, 9:45 to 11:30 a.m.

On June 2, eighth-grade students from Drury

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Information Sessions Begin for Clarksburg School Project
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
04:40AM / Saturday, May 27, 2017
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CLARKSBURG, Mass. — School officials are pushing for a vote on school construction project for September that, if successful, means a projected opening in fall 2019.   The timeline was explained on Wednesday during the first public information session on the proposed $17.5 million school construction project. The entire presentation can be seen below.    The plans, "Scheme E," is available on Clarksburg School's website and includes a renovation of the so-called 1960s wing, and addition on that wing in the back, and the tear down and reconstruction of the 1970s wing.    Christian Whitsett, of Jones Whitsett Architects, said the building has

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North Adams School Committee OKs $17M Budget, Teacher Contract
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
02:20AM / Friday, May 26, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The School Committee on Tuesday approved a spending plan of $17,329,082 for fiscal 2018 that is offset by an appropriation of $250,000 from the school choice account.    The committee also approved a three-year contract with the North Adams Teachers Association after a brief executive session.    The contract balances out the wage and step schedule in year one and has 1.5 percent increases in years one and two.    The negotiations were done as interest based bargaining, where the two sides worked together in mutually beneficial talks rather than each side coming in with separate positions.    "When you don't have a

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Stamford Group Asks for Time to Research Joint-Clarksburg School District
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:57AM / Tuesday, May 23, 2017
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STAMFORD, Vt. — A state education act is pushing small schools to consolidate their governance and share their services or come up with an alternative.    Stamford's been wary of how the law would affect its school but some residents think they've found an answer — across state lines.    An ad hoc group, with input from the School Board and representatives from Clarksburg, Mass., is exploring the possibility of an interstate school district that will allow the tiny town to look south rather than north.    "We're not the only small school that's struggling right now, that's having problems staying healthy and viable

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Youth Substance Use and Abuse Targeted in Prevention Efforts
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:24AM / Tuesday, May 23, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — First, the good news.

Since the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition started keeping track of youth substance-abuse data in 2002, the percentage of Northern Berkshire students in eighth, 10th and 12th grades smoking cigarettes or using alcohol has dropped.

Now, the bad news.

Though those rates have dropped over the course of the last 15 years, they still top the national average. And a newer and more troubling statistic has emerged: the lack of any real decrease in the use of marijuana, which also remains well above the national average.

Those 2017 statistics — culled from needs assessment surveys completed by students, hospitals and pediatricians,

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Clarksburg School Committee OKs $2.44M Budget for Fiscal 2018
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
02:47AM / Saturday, May 20, 2017
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CLARKSBURG, Mass. — The School Committee on Thursday approved a school budget of $2,448, 000 for fiscal 2018, down 4 percent over this year.    The budget, which as been essentially level funded the last couple years, was cut by some $103,000 as the behest of town officials. Clarksburg is again grappling with difficult budget season and voters will see a total budget trimmed by some $120,000 at next week's town meeting.    "We will be using more [school] choice money than we have used in the past," said Superintendent Jonathan Lev. "It's not an easy budget for next year, it will be a struggle. We will have less in our choice account than

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