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Mount Greylock Closing Up Schools for Summer
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:08AM / Friday, May 01, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School District is making progress in closing up its buildings for the year even as it thinks about ways to close out the high school careers of its 2020 graduating class.   On Wednesday afternoon, the School Committee met to finalize the terms of a memorandum of understanding between the district and its custodians, the last bargaining unit requiring a resolution to reflect the new job conditions under the COVID-19 pandemic.   "It looks like we'll be bringing the custodians in in the coming days for them to start the cleaning process at the schools," Superintendent Kimberley Grady said shortly after the

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Williams College Geosciences Professor Wins NSF Grant
04:58PM / Thursday, April 30, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — José Constantine, associate professor of geosciences at Williams College, has been awarded a prestigious grant from the National Science Foundation. 

The two-year grant, in collaboration with Claire Masteller, assistant professor of Earth and planetary sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, totals $299,000, with $135,000 to support Constantine's research on why rivers move, jump, and reshape the landscape and the impact that has on communities.

Constantine's project, titled "Invisible Floods on the Mississippi River Floodplain: Unravelling the Causes of Urban Flooding in a Community-Centered Approach to Geomorphology," aims

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MCLA's Senior Art Exhibition Opens May 1 Virtually
10:58AM / Tuesday, April 28, 2020
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts senior art students will launch their website exhibition titled "And So it Goes," with an online event featuring artist talks from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, May 1. 

The event and exhibition will feature artists Emery Bibbins, Liz Brick, Gillian Catherine Fournier, Spring Hajjar, Samantha Louise Hinds, Sierra Lamonde, Kelsey Sherman, and Macie Turrell, all class of 2020.

Each artist's individual work spans a variety of themes and mediums. Themes range from mental illness and self-reflection to climate change and addiction, with a wide array in between. The artists' chosen media run a similar gamut, with

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Williamstown-Lanesborough Students, Teachers Adjusting to Remote Learning
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:02AM / Monday, April 27, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Administrators and parents from the Mount Greylock Regional School District gave a passing grade to the start of remote learning in the K-12 district.   But they were grading on a curve.   "I think it's been stressful, but I think it's going as well as we can expect it to at this point," Williamstown Elementary School Principal Joelle Brookner.   Brookner and the district's other two principals participated in a virtual meeting Thursday of the School Committee's Education Subcommittee, which held a joint session along with the school councils from Williamstown Elementary, Lanesborough Elementary and Mount Greylock Regional

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County Education Task Force Pitching Plan for Remote Learning Platform
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:15AM / Monday, April 27, 2020
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire County Education Task Force unanimously decided Saturday to move forward with a plan members hope will address a short-term need and bolster its argument for a long-term solution to problems confronting the county's school districts.   The task force endorsed a framework for a countywide online learning management system for remote learning that it hopes to present to school superintendents and school committees in the next couple of weeks.   The ambitious plan would have an online platform for course delivery, teacher collaboration and training in place this summer, in time for the 2020-21 academic year.   The immediate

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County's Colleges Allotted Funds From Federal Stimulus
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:29AM / Thursday, April 23, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The county's four colleges are in line to receive a combined $4.2 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, with at least half that money going directly to aid students financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.   One provision of the $2 trillion CARES Act signed into law late last month is $12.6 billion set aside for institutions of higher learning, to be distributed based on a formula that factors in each school's Pell Grant recipients.   The grants to colleges and universities, which are administered by the Department of Education, made headlines this week when President Trump objected to the idea that Harvard

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Federal Waiver Allows for Expansion of Family Food Benefits
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
07:08PM / Wednesday, April 22, 2020
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BOSTON — Families struggling during the novel coronavirus lockdown may now be eligible for a state food program beginning in May.   Massachusetts was among the first states to take advantage of waivers to establish a "pandemic electronic benefit transfer program" under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act.    "It's an important opportunity to provide nutritional resources to families who have lost access to free or reduced price meals at schools across the country that closed in response to COVID-19," said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders, who added that food security is an important factor in the determinants of

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Massachusetts Schools Will Not Reopen This School Year
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
12:47PM / Tuesday, April 21, 2020
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BOSTON — Schools won't be reopening this school year.    Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday announced the decision to continue remote learning through the end of the year and to extend the closure of non-essential child care centers through June.   "It's the right thing to do, considering the facts on the ground associated with the COVID-19 pandemic," he said at the daily update on the state's pandemic response. "At this point in time, there is no authoritative guidance, or advisories with respect to how to operate schools safely and how to get kids to and from schools safely. We believe students, therefore, cannot safely return to schools and

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MCLA Professor Named Outstanding Educator of the Year by Massachusetts Society of CPAs
11:43AM / Tuesday, April 21, 2020
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — North Adams resident and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts assistant professor Tara Barboza has been selected as the 2020 Outstanding Educator of the Year by the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants, the professional association of certified public accountants, representing over 11,000 members. 

Each year, the MSCPA recognizes a full-time accounting educator at a college or university who has demonstrated excellence in a classroom teaching, motivating students and inspiring educational innovation.

Barboza was selected for her excellence in teaching and motivating students, as well as her contribution to the accounting profession, active

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MCLA Professors, Accounting Students to Prepare Virtual Tax Returns Through VITA Program
10:12AM / Thursday, April 16, 2020
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Two MCLA accounting professors and their students will again be preparing tax returns for local low-income residents — this time, virtually — through Habitat for Humanity's VITA program.

MCLA's new virtual VITA location, approved by the IRS, will be working through the end of April 2020 preparing eligible taxpayers' returns and helping ensure Berkshire County residents receive their coronavirus stimulus payment from the federal government. 

Individual taxpayers may be eligible for a $1,200 stimulus payment; married taxpayers filing jointly may be eligible for a 2,400 stimulus. In addition, taxpayers are eligible for an additional $500

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