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Education Task Force Keeps Focus on Creating Opportunities for Students
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:54AM / Tuesday, September 19, 2017
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DALTON, Mass. — The Berkshire County Education Task Force on Saturday pressed forward less than 48 hours after one school district voted to step back from its participation in the effort.   The committee had a full agenda for its regularly scheduled meeting at Nessacus Middle School, but Thursday's decision from the Berkshire Hills Regional School Committee to withdraw from the task force colored the conversation.   Chairman John Hockridge opened the meeting by addressing the vote head on.   "I just wished they'd put off the discussion for one more meeting to give us the opportunity to tell them where we're coming from," Hockridge said of the

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MCLA Welcomes Seven New Faculty Members
01:19PM / Friday, September 15, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts recently welcomed seven new, full-time faculty members to five departments on campus, including five assistant professors and two instructors.

As an instructor in MCLA's Department of Physics, Bridget Gormalley, Class of 2009 will teach general physics courses, and also staff Bowman Hall's maker space. A native of Pittsfield, she earned her associate's degree in engineering from Berkshire Community College, her bachelor of science degree in physics, summa cum laude, from MCLA, and a master's degree in applied physics from Columbia University in New York, N.Y.

She previously worked at St. Joseph Central High

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Letter: Clarksburg School Project Not a Good Investment
Letters to the Editor,
07:00PM / Wednesday, September 13, 2017
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As a homeowner in Clarksburg who has young children I took a great interest in your recent article regarding the proposed Clarksburg $19M school project.

I believe greatly in investing in infrastructure and in education particularly. As a father to two special education students I am especially sensitive to the importance of public schools being able to well serve their local populations.

At the same time I believe in looking at fiscal responsibility seriously, trying to fairly weigh what is likely a good long term investment versus that which is a risk level that perhaps raises too many red flags.

From the start it is troublesome that it was explained that a 40-year term was chosen

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Clarksburg Debating Pros, Cons of $19M School Project
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:56PM / Thursday, September 07, 2017
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Select Board Chairman Jeffrey Levanos wants residents to understand what the vote will mean for them. The plans can be found on the school website. CLARKSBURG, Mass. — Residents in this small town are facing a tough choice in the coming weeks: whether or not to support a $19 million school building project.    Whichever way the vote goes, it's going to have a significant impact on the town, its students and its citizens.    School proponents say the estimated $400 annual increase on property tax bills over 40 years will pay off by keeping the 65-year-old school open and attracting families; others worry that if the project fails, so will the school, and

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North Adams School Officials Give Superintendent High Marks
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:03AM / Thursday, September 07, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The superintendent of schools has met her goals and was marked proficient across the board for her first year on the job.    The School Committee on Tuesday night confirmed its first evaluation of Superintendent Barbara Malkas, who was hired in May 2016. The evaluation and discussion by the committee had taken place at its last meeting at the end of June; the final document with written comments was approved on Tuesday.   "It was actually a wonderful process and I think to do it as the committee of the whole was a good choice for us because everyone in the room got to learn this as the first time we went through it," Mayor Richard

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North Adams Closes Books on Colegrove Park School
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:30AM / Wednesday, September 06, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The books have closed on the Colegrove Park Elementary School project nearly 18 months after it opened.    The finally tally is $29,084,907, with the city responsible for $7,057,296.53. The city's portion is $402,251.53, over the initial projection of $6.6 million. It comes to about 1.4 percent of the project cost.   The overage is largely because of insurance carrying costs because the project went several months past its deadline and additional plaster work in the century-old building, said Superintendent Barbara Malkas at Tuesday's School Committee meeting.    "When you think about a project that lasted three years from

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CNN's Toobin, ABC's Pitts Among MCLA's Fall Speakers
01:07PM / Friday, September 01, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' fall speakers this year will include Jeffrey Toobin, senior analyst for CNN and staff writer for The New Yorker, and multiple Emmy Award-winner Byron Pitts, co-anchor of ABC's "Nightline."
 
MCLA's annual fall lectures are free and open to the public.

Toobin, a political expert who also has expertise on the media and the law, frequently is featured on CNN. He will be the featured presenter at the seventh annual Michael S. and Kitty Dukakis Public Policy Lecture, which is made possible through the generosity of the Ruth Proud Charitable Trust. He will present "Inside the Secret World of the

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Public Invited to Comment on Williams College Accreditation
12:43PM / Tuesday, August 29, 2017
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College will undergo a comprehensive evaluation visit Oct. 22–25 by a team representing the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.    The commission is one of seven accrediting commissions in the United States that provide institutional accreditation on a regional basis. Accreditation is voluntary and applies to the institution as a whole.   Recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education accredits approximately 240 institutions in the six-state New England region. Williams was last reviewed in 2008. Its accreditation

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Berkshire Education Task Force Sets Strategy for Outreach
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:35AM / Tuesday, August 29, 2017
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DALTON, Mass. — The Berkshire County Education Task Force has settled on a strategy for reporting its findings and getting feedback from town and school officials and the general public.   At a meeting on Saturday facilitated by the task force's consultants from Boston's District Management Group, the panel hammered out the language it will use to guide task force members as they make presentations to select boards, city councils and school committees throughout the county this fall.   The first presentation will come in the form of a webinar for school superintendents, principals and teachers union representatives on Sept. 19.   The task force will use

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Berkshire Community College Launches New Education Department
01:43PM / Friday, August 25, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass — Berkshire Community College has launched a new education department, combining and expanding the early childhood education and elementary education programming into one unified field of study.

Patricia Kay, the associate professor and chair of the Education Department at BCC, designed the new Education Department. She worked closely with community partners, coalition groups and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts to ensure the new department fit the needs of childcare providers here in the Berkshires.

"We went out to the community and we asked them if the cohort program at BCC would work for the childcare professionals, and overwhelmingly we heard yes,

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