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BCC Graduates Recognized in Remote Commencement
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
07:03PM / Friday, May 29, 2020
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Any other year, the graduates of Berkshire Community College and their friends and families would be filling The Shed at Tanglewood in Lenox.

  But instead of taking the stage, speakers stood alone in front of a backdrop. And instead of being handed their certificates and diplomas, the more than 200 graduates' names were read as their pictures were shown.    What didn't change was the ceremony's broadcast on Pittsfield Community Television, allowing at least a virtual coming together of the BCC community to mark their significant accomplishments.   President Ellen Kennedy reminded those watching how commencement celebrates not just

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Local Schools Receive Olmsted Grants from Williams College
11:08AM / Friday, May 29, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College has awarded the 2020 Bicentennial Olmsted Awards for Faculty and Curricular Development to nine area schools.   Each entity will receive $5,000 for professional and curricular development projects.   The schools and districts are Hoosac Valley Regional School District in Cheshire, the Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School in Adams, Lanesborough Elementary School, McCann Technical School in North Adams, North Adams Public Schools, Pownal (Vt.) Elementary School, and Mount Greylock Regional School, Williamstown Elementary and  Pine Cobble School, all in Williamstown.   Hoosac Valley will expand its practices of

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Study: Interstate School Merger Beneficial But 'Untenable' With COVID-19
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
04:03AM / Tuesday, May 26, 2020
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CLARKSBURG, Mass. — A 37-page report released presented to Clarksburg and Stamford, Vt., last week lays out the pros and cons of an interstate school district merger.    The report by Public Consulting Group looks at a broad range of factors and challenges in such a merger and comes to the conclusion it can be beneficial to both towns if "done thoughtfully."   "PCG believes the proposed merger model is both educationally and fiscally sound," the report states.   It recommends a governing body of seven with three from Stamford and four from Clarksburg; teacher licensure and retirement through Massachusetts; standards-based curriculum; special

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iBerkshiresTV: Vocational Teaching in an Online World
By Jeff Snoonian, iBerkshires Correspondent
02:45AM / Tuesday, May 26, 2020
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Host Jeffrey Snoonian speaks with McCann Technical School's Principal Justin Kratz, IT instructor Perry Burdick and carpentry instructor Patrick Ryan.  

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College Leaders Talk about Lessons Learned from COVID-19 Crisis
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:54AM / Monday, May 25, 2020
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Higher education is learning lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic that it will inform their operations long after the crisis has passed, a group of top administrators agreed on Friday.   "I had begun to think about the ways in which the modalities of teaching that remote learning offers can infuse and enrich some aspects of teaching, without suggesting that we would move in any way to a fully remote learning platform or even a largely remote platform," Williams College President Maud Mandel said.   "There are aspects of the modality of remote learning I think faculty have found to be enriching of their teaching, and that's one area that I

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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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Clarksburg, Stamford Officials Holding School Merger Update
Staff Reports,
08:17PM / Wednesday, May 20, 2020
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CLARKSBURG, Mass. — The Interstate Merger Committee and Clarksburg and Stamford, Vt., officials will hold an update Thursday at 6  p.m. on the proposed school merger.    This joint town meeting will be conducted differently than previous meetings.. Because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the meeting will be held remotely by phone and video.    Community members will have to dial in to be able to listen and ask questions.    The school merger proposal goes back several years and arose from a Vermont law that forced school districts to combine to streamline governance and finances. Stamford, on the Massachusetts border, would had been put 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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College Notes: March-June 2020
04:06PM / Tuesday, May 19, 2020
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Lindsey Coe Pittsfield resident and student Lindsey Coe has received the Deena Jo Heide-Diesslin Foundation Challenge Match Scholarship. Coe is a junior financial services major in the certified financial planning track at the Smithfield, R.I., college.   "I want to use what I'm learning about financial planning to help others," Coe, co-founder of Bryant's Financial Planning Association Student Community, said. The scholarship, she says, will help her help others to secure their finances and safeguard their futures.   The annual challenge match scholarship seeks to diversify the financial planning field by providing financial

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