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Accreditors to Visit BCC's Nursing Program Wednesday, Public Meeting Scheduled
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:24AM / Friday, October 19, 2018
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — BCC's nursing program will be reviewed for accreditation during a site visit on Wednesday.   The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing's review includes a public forum on the accreditation process. ACEN has a full day scheduled and has set aside 1:45 until 2:45 p.m. to hear from the public on any questions, opinions, or concerns about the program.   "It is just an open conversation ... they look at stakeholders and the community is a stakeholder," said program adviser Ann Tierney. "They really want it to be a free-flowing conversation."   Tierney said program officials won't even be on hand during the

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BCC Names Interim Director of Nursing
Staff Reports,
10:29AM / Friday, October 12, 2018
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Christine Martin is taking over as head of the nursing program at BCC.   Berkshire Community College named Martin the interim director of nursing on Thursday. The appointment comes a month after former director Tochi Urbani resigned from the position in the midst of trouble with the program's accreditation.    Martin is no stranger to the program. She has taught at the college since 1993 and has worked as a tenured Professor in the Practical Nursing Program as well as the Associate Degree Nursing Program, an Adjunct Clinical Nursing Faculty member, an instructor of the Bridge Course called LPN to RN Mobility, as a CPR Instructor, and as an

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Berkshire Education Task Force Developing Models for Collaboration
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:13AM / Tuesday, October 09, 2018
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LEE, Mass. — The Berkshire County Education Task Force has completed its initial mission of determining options for local schools facing difficult economic and academic futures.    Now, it's hoping to offer pathways to school officials as they decide whether and how far to proceed toward the task force's solution of a single countywide school district.    William Cameron, task force member and retired superintendent of the Central Berkshire Regional School District, presented the coalition's goals to the meeting of Region VI of the Massachusachusetts Association of School Committees last week.   The task force last met on Sept. 22, he said,

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Clarksburg Principal Looks to Spend More Time in Classroom
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:07PM / Monday, October 08, 2018
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CLARKSBURG, Mass. — Principal Tara Barnes will be a little less available this school year.    Barnes told the School Committee she'd made a point of getting back as quickly as possible to parents and guardians when they've called. But after a recent coaching session, she's reorganizing her calendar to get her out of the office and into the classrooms more.    "Being in the classroom is where the work is happening," she told the committee on Thursday. "We all know this because this is where all the magic is happening and sometimes principals get bogged down with reports, and meetings ... we allow things to pull us away from

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Gabriel Abbott School Starts Off School Year With Anti-Bullying Blitz
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
04:01AM / Monday, October 08, 2018
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FLORIDA, Mass. — The class of third-graders at Gabriel Abbott Memorial School were quick to raise their hands on Friday as their bingo square was called out.    This game wasn't about numbers but about attitudes, empathy and safety.    Each block had a word or phrase related to bullying and relationships like verbal and emotional, trusted adults, walk away, kindness and "think before you click."   "Our words can really hurt someone," said Carol Mulcahy, director for community outreach and education for the Berkshire district attorney's office, describing the feeling of being bullied as "feeling it in your

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Clarksburg School Making Slow Progress on Repairs
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:21AM / Friday, October 05, 2018
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CLARKSBURG, Mass. — Officials and volunteers are still working out the kinks on an ambitious plan to make necessary renovations to Clarksburg School.

There was a rush of volunteers in the wake of last year's failed school vote but progress has been slow — hampered by lack of funding, bidding procedures and lines of communication between town and school officials.

"The town is the school, the school is the town, it's never going to be successful if it's an us versus them," said Superintendent of School John Franzoni at brief meeting of the ad hoc school renovation committee. "We have to work together. ... If we don't make these improvements to

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County School Officials Press Legislators on School Funding Formula
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:52AM / Tuesday, October 02, 2018
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LEE, Mass. — Local school officials pressed members of the Berkshire delegation to make education funding a priority in the coming legislative year.    And the legislators urged them to keep up the pressure.    "The pressure we feel at home can translate into action at the State House," said state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, explaining that when they speak with legislative leaders, "I can go and say this is the most important issue in Pittsfield."   But while the Pittsfield representative is a firm believer in grassroots activism, she said the critical part of the equation is finding new revenue.    "We're underfunding

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Mount Greylock Regional Teachers End Job Action
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
12:20PM / Wednesday, September 26, 2018
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- The Mount Greylock Regional School District and its teachers union have reached an accord to end the job action that has limited extracurricular activities at the district's three schools.

Mount Greylock Superintendent Kimberley Grady late Wednesday morning sent an email to the Mount Greylock community announcing that, while contract negotiations continue, the teachers have agreed to end the job action that has affected students at Mount Greylock, Lanesborough Elementary and Williamstown Elementary.

"We understand that the negotiation continues to reach a final contractual agreement, but we are thankful that the parties were able to find common ground to

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Ground Broken For Berkshire Innovation Center
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:30PM / Tuesday, September 25, 2018
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Gov. Charlie Baker helped break ground on the $13.7 million project.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Shawna Axenroth and her daughter go hiking in the scenic Berkshire Hills and talk about the environment. They run science experiments in their kitchen.

And they are both looking to pursue scientific careers.

Axenroth is at Berkshire Community College and her daughter is just starting the first year of high school. They both want to live and work fruitful careers in the science field in their hometown.   But the way it has been going in the region, there hasn't been much reason to be optimistic about that prospect. The population has been declining, particularly with the younger

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BCC, AHEC Announce Fall Workshops
02:04PM / Wednesday, September 19, 2018
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College, in collaboration with Berkshire AHEC (Area Health Education Centers), through the recently created "BCC Area Health Education Collaborative," will offer the following workshops this fall on BCC's main campus at 1350 West St.

"Cultural Competency: Immigration, Acculturation and Implications for Social Identity" (WKS-1914-E1) is an informational session regarding how the attitudes and behaviors of people from one culture are modified as a result of contact with a different/host culture. Discussion will include applying the role of the interpreter and their functions. Sunday, Sept. 30, is International Translation

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