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Lanesborough School Writing Transportation Policies
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:03PM / Friday, September 26, 2014
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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — How far should a student walk to get to school or a bus stop? That is the question the Elementary School Committee is trying to answer.   Currently, the school doesn't have a policy in place, leaving Principal Ellen Boshe to make the decision on a case-by-case basis.   "Right now my position is that, on a case by case since they are similar, I haven't been saying the bus will pick up your children," Boshe said on Wednesday.   The School Committee pulled state statutes as a guide but members said they don't agree with the distances suggested. The draft policy calls for children in Grades 1 through 3 to walk if they live less

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Ioka Valley Farm to Feature Spookley the Square Pumpkin in October
01:54PM / Friday, September 26, 2014
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HANCOCK, Mass. — October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and Ioka Valley Farm is partnering with Spookley the Square Pumpkin to raise awareness for bullying prevention.

Ioka Valley Farm will be featuring Spookley in farm-based events for school group visits throughout October to help its younger visitors understand the importance of being tolerant and kind.  

Spookley was first introduced to millions of children in the book "The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin," in which he is shunned by all of the round pumpkins until a mighty storm threatens to destroy the entire pumpkin patch and only Spookley, with his unique shape, can save the day.  This fall

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Lanesborough Blames School Committee for Late Bus Loss
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
10:09AM / Thursday, September 25, 2014
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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Selectmen have taken exception to Mount Greylock Regional School officials pinning the blame on them for the elimination of late buses.   "It wasn't our decision what was going to be cut. It was up to the School Committee," said Henry "Hank" Sayers, adding the town has been "getting slammed" by the public and school officials.   In a recent School Committee meeting, parents voiced concerns about the elimination of the two buses that ran — one heading to each town — at 4:25 p.m. The buses were in the original school budget, which called for Lanesborough to see a 4 percent increase in

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MCLA Receives 'Dual Enrollment' Grant
11:22AM / Wednesday, September 24, 2014
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has been awarded a $26,000 grant from the Massachusetts Department of Education to fund its participation in the Commonwealth Dual Enrollment Program during the 2015 fiscal year.

Through the program, academically qualified high school juniors and seniors can register for one or more classes at MCLA free of charge, receive an introduction to college life and the academic expectations of a college course, while earning college credits.

“The Dual Enrollment Program provides an early college experience to high school sstudents and prepares them for college level work,” said Monica Joslin, dean of academic affairs at

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Williams Seniors Urged to Be Open to New Experiences
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
09:28PM / Monday, September 22, 2014
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — As the Williams College senior class entered the home stretch of its collegiate career, the college's president reminded the students not to coast.   Adam Falk used Saturday's Convocation to point out that it was natural for members of the class of 2015 to enter their final year on campus with a sense of what to expect and an expectation of what the year will be like.   "Resist that particular impulse," Falk told the students gathered in Chapin Hall. "It's natural to want to be comfortable, but you didn't come to Williams to be comfortable."   Falk urged the students to approach their last months on campus with a

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NBCC's UNITY Program Announces 2014-15 Teen Programs
12:39PM / Friday, September 19, 2014
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The UNITY Program of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition is pleased to announce their 2014-15 youth development programs.

UNITY’s popular and long-running Youth Leadership Program and Teen Writing Workshop will again be offered and facilitated by new staff, MCLA alumni Jessica Sweeney, and more recent MCLA graduate Adam Tobin. UNITY staff will be at high school lunches to meet students and share program information according to the following schedule: Mount Greylock, Sept. 23; McCann, Sept. 25; Drury, Sept. 26; and BArT, Sept. 30.

The Youth Leadership Program engages teenagers in developing leadership skills through creative, youth-led community service projects. Activities

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A Reading Room With a View: Sawyer Library To Be Dedicated
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
11:33AM / Friday, September 19, 2014
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Have a seat.

Have any one of a dozen different kinds of seats at the new Sawyer Library that Williams College will dedicate on Saturday afternoon.   There are benches and bean bags, high chairs and hassocks, straight back chairs and wing wingback chairs. There are yellow chairs, gray chairs, red chairs, green chairs and  — this being Williams — purple chairs.   And almost all of those chairs are positioned to take advantage of the natural light that floods into the college's main library.   "The books don't need the view, right?" jokes Director of Libraries David Pilachowski.   Pilachowski has presided over

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Mount Greylock Parents Air Concerns About Loss of Late Buses
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
11:40AM / Wednesday, September 17, 2014
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School Committee on Tuesday heard from parents concerned about the district's decision to cut down on the number of late buses for students participating in after-school activities.   More than a dozen residents attended the committee's regular monthly meeting, and five who identified themselves as parents of Mount Greylock students rose to ask the panel to reconsider the decision.   Committee members sympathized with parents, explaining that the late bus was a difficult but necessary cost cut in the face of opposition to the district's proposed budget last spring and that efforts are under way to find alternative

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Williamstown Orchestra Focused on Community, Performance
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:57PM / Monday, September 15, 2014
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Mount Greylock Regional School freshman Niku Darafshi knows about playing in orchestras with people of varying age groups.   When she was a kindergartener at Williamstown Elementary School, her mother lobbied to have the budding violinist be allowed to participate in school orchestra, previously an activity reserved for pupils in fourth, fifth and sixth grades.   "I was playing with all these sixth graders, and I was in kindergarten," she recalls. "I got to learn from them because I was so young. ... Now, there are kids in the orchestra from kindergarten all the way up to sixth grade. I'm happy about that."   And she was

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MCLA, Williams to Partner with North Adams Schools on Science
02:01PM / Monday, September 15, 2014
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has received an $810,876 grant from the National Science Foundation for a collaborative venture with North Adams Public Schools and Williams College.

The four-year project, which runs from Sept. 1 through Aug. 18, 2018, allows undergraduates at MCLA and Williams to work with college science professors and teachers in North Adams Public Schools to develop science units based on the Next Generation Science Standards, and to teach curriculum to students in grades K-7.

"This grant is yet another evidence of the strong partnerships that exists between institutions, and I am grateful to NSF for recognizing the value of this

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