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Berkshire Community College Holding Virtual Commencement
11:01AM / Monday, May 18, 2020
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College will hold its 60th commencement ceremony on Friday, May 29, via broadcast on Pittsfield Community Television at 4:30 p.m.    During the ceremony, the college will award associate degrees and certificates to more than 200 students.   The COVID-19 pandemic has forced schools and colleges around the world to rethink their graduation ceremonies. As such, institutions are finding ways to celebrate and honor their graduates – and BCC has decided to honor its graduates twice.    The virtual commencement will be broadcast on PCTV, on the PCTV Select app available on Roku and Apple TV, and on Facebook Live via PCTV.

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McCann Tech Working to Keep Students Connected
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
02:16AM / Monday, May 18, 2020
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — McCann Technical School students are making do with remote learning but the school still hasn't determined how it will deal with graduation.   "It is going well, and I have to give a ton of credit to our faculty and staff," Principal Justin Kratz said in an interview Friday. "They have done a really phenomenal job in something that teachers were never formally trained ... they have really stepped up to the challenge    Kratz gave an update to the School Committee a its meeting held remotely Thursday evening. The meeting was unable to be live stream to the public so the committee opted to post a recording online at a future

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Dire Outlook for School Budgets Across Commonwealth
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:36AM / Friday, May 15, 2020
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BOSTON — School districts across the commonwealth face a "dreadful" situation with regard to their fiscal year 2021 budget, legislators were told on Wednesday.   The Joint Committee on Education took more than four hours of testimony from state education officials, school administrators, teachers, parents and other stakeholders in an virtual oversight hearing on "Remote Learning and the Status of K-12 Education."   Although much of the testimony centered on the commonwealth's and districts' efforts to implement remote learning plans on the fly in the wake of March's closure of school buildings, the conversation frequently strayed to

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Berkshire County Selectmen's Association Awards Scholarships
Staff Reports,
04:30PM / Tuesday, May 12, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Berkshire County Selectmen's Association last week announced the award of scholarships to three Berkshire County high school students.   Hoosac Valley's Alannah McGrath of Cheshire, Mount Everett's Madeleine Soudant of Great Barrington and Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School's Sarah deBethune of Pittsfield were recognized the BCSA, which is composed of boards from 30 county towns.   "The organization engages in advocacy and best practice sharing to improve the functioning of local government," said Andy Hogeland of the Williamstown Select Board. "Our scholarship program is part of our goal of promoting

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Clarksburg Holding Off on School Choice Decisions
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:25AM / Tuesday, May 12, 2020
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CLARKSBURG, Mass. — The School Committee is holding off on approving school choice slots for this coming fall because of the uncertainty of what the school year will look like.     "As much as our schools are benefit from school choice and the funds that are received from it, we really have to be careful this year about how much school choice we accept," said John Franzoni, superintendent of the Northern Berkshire School Union at last week's meeting.    He noted that the phase one merger study last year by Public Research Group found the average classroom in the state had 22.5 students and that Clarksburg was low enough to consider taking in more

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Northern Berkshire Union Hires Director of Pupil Services
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
01:22AM / Friday, May 08, 2020
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CLARKSBURG, Mass. — The Northern Berkshire School Union on Wednesday night voted to hire Stephanie Pare as the new director of pupil services. She accepted, pending contract negotiations.    The members of the School Committee called it a tough choice between two highly qualified candidates but opted 9-1 to promote internally to replace the retiring Debra Rosselli, who spent 11 years in the post.   The decision came after more than an hour of interviews with finalists Pare and Amanda Brooks-Clemeno and another half hour or more of discussion.    Committee members — some who indicated they had been leaning the other way — were influenced by the

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Richardson Recognized Twice During MCLA's Athletic Celebration
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com Sports
07:00PM / Tuesday, May 05, 2020
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Megan Richardson of Adams wrapped up two year-ending honors Tuesday as the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts celebrated its 2019-20 student-athletes.   Richardson, a graduate of Hoosac Valley High School and an MCLA senior, was recognized in a Twitter poll for recording the Best Moment of the Year and Best Fall Moment.   For entire year, the top moment was Richardson's shutout in goal for MCLA's women's soccer team on senior day.   That afternoon against Framingham State, Richardson made 15 saves to preserve a 1-0 win, just the third of the season for the Trailblazers.   Richardson finished her career at MCLA with 596

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BCC Students to Be Inducted Into National Honor Society
05:43PM / Tuesday, May 05, 2020
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College will hold a virtual induction ceremony for students joining the Xi Alpha Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa on Wednesday, May 6, at 2 p.m., via Zoom.                                                             

Phi Theta Kappa is the national honor society of junior and community colleges in the United States. The purpose of the society is to recognize and encourage scholarship among students.

To be eligible for membership, students with freshman standing (12 to 29 credits) must have achieved

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McCann Tech Teachers Adapt Instruction to Shop-less Environment
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:02AM / Monday, May 04, 2020
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The vocational school is doing what is possible for remote learning but it's hard to replace hands-on learning students get in many of the shops, such as carpentry. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — McCann Technical School teacher Perry Burdick misses school the way it used to be.   He misses his students. He misses his lab. He even misses the occasional fire.   "We have a whole wall of computers dedicated to the kids," the information technology teacher said recently. "They take them apart, put them together. To re-emphasize it, they will go into TestOut and attempt to replicate it doing simulators."   Since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the

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At BArT Charter, the Show Must Go ... Online
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:07AM / Saturday, May 02, 2020
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ADAMS, Mass. — When schools were forced to close in March, the drama group at Berkshire Arts and Technology Public Charter School could have thrown in the towel on its spring production.   Instead, it decided to build a better "Mousetrap."   "We did not want to give up on the play and do want to keep the connection going with our cast mates," said John Kozak, a sophomore who has been involved in productions at school since the sixth grade. "We were all excited about doing 'The Mousetrap.' "   But instead of doing it on stage on May 9 as it originally planned, the club is working on the play in a virtual environment, utilizing

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