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County's Colleges Train Workers for Post-Pandemic Economy
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:52AM / Saturday, May 23, 2020
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The county's institutions of higher education are ready to do their part to help their students navigate their way through a post-COVID-19 economy.   On Friday, the presidents of Berkshire Community College, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and Williams College and the provost of Bard College at Simon's Rock participated in a virtual town hall hosted by 1Berkshire.   Johnathan Butler led the hourlong conversation, which focused largely on how colleges are adapting to the current closure of their physical campuses and making plans for the fall 2020 semester.   But at one point Butler asked how the schools are situated to help address

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Mount Greylock School District Narrows School Choice Spots for 2020-21
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:03AM / Thursday, May 21, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School Committee last week decided to cut down the number of new school choice slots open in the district in response to uncertainty about the coming academic year.   In fact, the district will offer just two slots at one of its two elementary schools in order to allow the younger siblings of two existing pupils to enroll in kindergarten.   Generally, the administration asked that the committee cut back from the 13 choice slots that the committee discussed earlier this year.   "We submitted what our proposals would have been back in March had we had a discussion on what school choice would look like for us with

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'Remote Learning' More of a Challenge in Remote Corners of Commonwealth
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:18AM / Wednesday, May 20, 2020
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BOSTON — When school buildings across the commonwealth were closed two months ago, students and families were told to continue education at home.   But for kids in rural districts, going back to school could mean getting in the backseat of the family car.   "To help provide additional connectivity for our families, hotspots were recently installed in the school parking lot and town library," Colrain Central School Principal Amy Looman said last week. "Every day, cars line our parking lot with students trying to access their class meetings and parents and other residents attempting to work remotely for their jobs.   "With each passing week, the

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National High School Federation Offers Guidance on Return of Sports
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:45PM / Tuesday, May 19, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Do not expect this spring to be the last high school sports season impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.   That is the sobering takeaway from a 14-page report issued Tuesday by the National Federation of High School Associations in Indianopolis.   The national group's Sports Medicine Advisory Committee wrote the report to advise the NFHS' 51 member state associations as they think about a phased return to interscholastic athletics in consultation with state health departments.   "It is important to be clear that this is guidance for individual states to consider as they return to activities this fall," NFHS Executive Director Karissa

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Cheshire Resident Awarded Scholarship from Massachusetts Society of CPAs
10:46AM / Tuesday, May 19, 2020
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — Crystal Carol Wojcik of Cheshire has received the David J. Clarkson, CPA, Memorial Scholarship from the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants’s Educational Foundation.   

Wojcik, a student at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, was one of 37 students selected to receive a scholarship from the Educational Foundation’s 2020 Scholarship Program.  

 "The Society is honored to support young people who are the future of the CPA profession," said Amy Pitter, president and CEO of the MSCPA. "Becoming a CPA opens up different opportunities in a variety of fields, and we couldn’t

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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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Mount Greylock School Committee Rejects Recommendation to Delay Field Decision
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:19AM / Monday, May 18, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The majority of the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee on Thursday indicated it is ready to move forward with a decision about building an artificial turf field, just one week after its Finance Subcommittee decided unanimously to hit the pause button.   Without taking a vote on the matter at its regular monthly meeting, it was clear from the comments that four members of the seven-person committee do not believe concerns about the value of the remainder of a $5 million capital gift from Williams College are enough to hold off on the field decision.   As often has been the case, the most vocal proponent of building the turf field was Al

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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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Williams College Celebrates Staff Members on Annual Appreciation Day
10:56AM / Thursday, May 14, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College celebrated its annual Appreciation Day on May 12 to honor staff members who have reached milestones in their service to the college. 

The day is an opportunity for community members to offer thanks to the staff whose contributions uphold the college’s functionality and excellence.

This year's retirees are Edward Bourdon, Ginette Cahoon, Bruce Decoteau, Donna Denelli-Hess, Margaret Driscoll, Diane England, George Ferger, Miguel Gutierrez, Reina Gutierrez, David Johnson, Stephen Klass, Lynn Melchiori, Richard Miller, Douglas Paisley, Barbara Pietras, Daniel Viall, Carol Witek and Nancy Wojnicki.

Celebrating 40 years of service are

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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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