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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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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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BArT Students Look Skyward on First Day of School
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
05:13PM / Monday, August 21, 2017
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  ADAMS, Mass. — It's not every day an astronomical event coincides with the first day of school.    But for Berkshire Arts and Technology Public Charter School students, Monday's partial eclipse was a chance to view something special together before dismissal.   "This is just a blast," new Executive Director Jay White said. "It is not as good as being in the path of totality but just look around — they are just so excited."   White, a former astrophysics professor, shared his excitement with the school community and made sure each student and faculty member had a set of eclipse glasses to safely view the event.   The

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BArT School 2017-2018 Bus Routes
01:40PM / Wednesday, August 16, 2017
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ADAMS, Mass. — Berkshire Arts & Technology Charter Public School begins the school year on Monday, Aug. 21. School days have been restructured to begin at 8:20 a.m. and end at 3:40 p.m.

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Education Task Force Takes in Reaction to Countywide District
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
07:34AM / Sunday, August 13, 2017
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DALTON, Mass. — The Berkshire County Education Task Force assessed the fallout from its July 15 vote advocating a single school district for the county and discussed its strategy for explaining that recommendation to school officials, town officials and the public at large.   Nearly a month after acting on the data accumulated in Phase 2 of the task force's multiyear study of the county's education system, the members at Saturday's meeting remained firm in their commitment that a single school district provides the best long-term option for providing educational opportunity and fiscal stability in a time of rising costs and declining populations county

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As Eclipse Nears, Williams College Crew Prepares
10:57AM / Wednesday, August 09, 2017
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College astronomer Jay Pasachoff. is heading one of the largest organized scientific expeditions to study the sun, and the sun's effects on Earth, at the eclipse.

"This summer's total solar eclipse is a bonanza for finding out more about how the sun shines," said Pasachoff, who will take advantage of his experience in observing eclipses, and organizing eclipse expeditions, by taking dozens of students and colleagues with him to Salem, Ore., for the event on Monday, Aug. 21.

"I've chosen the site because it is in the region with the most favorable cloudiness statistics for August, while still having the logistics

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Letter: Comments on the Recommendation of the Berkshire County Education Task Force
Letters to the Editor,
01:00PM / Friday, August 04, 2017
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Like many others, I appreciate the time the members of the Berkshire Educational Task Force have spent on a challenging and important problem. Their recommendation is being discussed in a variety of places, and thus merits a response.

Most recently, at a public forum on July 31 in Lanesborough on the proposed regionalization between Lanesborough and Williamstown, a resident asked if the Mount Greylock Committee has voted on the task force's recommendation. We have not, but I have asked for agenda items on it for future meetings.

The task force concentrated efforts on roughly three options: do nothing, form three regions, form one region. These are just three possibilities on a large

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McCann School's District Towns Getting Some Funds Back
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:52AM / Monday, July 31, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Some towns in the Northern Berkshire Regional School District are going to see a little bit of relief in their assessments, and others will get turnbacks of transportation funds.   Superintendent James Brosnan told the McCann School Committee on Thursday that now that the state budget has passed, he has firmer numbers that will be relayed to the towns.   "Chapter 70 increased so I reduced the amount of money that we have in tuition so those two balance out because we cannot change the budget bottom line, it is how we get to it," he said. "So up in Chapter 70, down in tuition but up in the municipal minimum."     The

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MCLA Hands Out Book Award Scholarships
01:40PM / Monday, July 24, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has announced the recipients of its Book Award scholarships, which recently were granted to students who will begin their senior years this fall at one of Berkshire County's public high schools.

One student from each of the high schools received this award, which honors outstanding high school juniors who have made a positive difference in the community.

"The MCLA Book Award is presented to an outstanding high school junior who exemplifies academic achievement, displays leadership qualities, and has a strong commitment to the Berkshire County community," said Joshua Mendel, director of recruitment and outreach

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