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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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SU-71 OKs Superintendent Search; Lanesborough Officials Seek to 'Study' Union
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Sports
03:05AM / Monday, September 15, 2014
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The two-school Superintendency Union 71 on Friday morning approved the framework of the search for its next superintendent, even as town officials in Lanesborough prepare to study whether SU-71 should continue.   Four of the six SU-71 committee members attended Friday's meeting at Williamstown Elementary School, where the committee endorsed, among other things, the salary range of $145,000 to $160,000 previously OK'd by the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee.   SU-71, which consists of Williamstown and Lanesborough elementary schools, shares a superintendent with the junior-senior high school in an arrangement referred to as the

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Expanded Mount Greylock School District Questioned
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:15AM / Saturday, September 13, 2014
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Williamstown Elementary School Committee on Wednesday heard the case for not moving the school into an expanded Mount Greylock Regional School District.   David Langston spoke to the panel about concerns he has with the way education is funded by Mount Greylock's other member town, Lanesborough.   "I've become more and more convinced that regionalization is not a particularly good idea for Williamstown," Langston said. "Regionalization for Williamstown Elementary means taking a school that's excellent and has good leadership and a distinguished record and enjoys reasonably good funding ... and placing it in a context where

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McCann Begins School Year With New Staff, Equipment
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
02:53AM / Friday, September 12, 2014
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — McCann Technical School's administration said the new year is off to a solid start.

Principal Justin Kratz told the School Committee on Thursday night that the freshman have already settled in.

"The start of the school year has gone very smoothly," he said."We welcomed the new freshmen in, and they found their way around the building. They seem to be a really nice class, and they seem to be really friendly."

Kratz said he also spoke to the seniors about their new role in the school.

"We talked about what their role is as seniors and how they can help to positively set the tone in the building," he said.

Kratz said 136

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Lanesborough School Waiting For State Legal Opinion On SU71
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:30PM / Tuesday, September 02, 2014
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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The School Committee is still waiting for the state to weigh in on how it could dissolve Superintendency Union 71.    School Committee member Robert Barton made an unsupported push for the school to join with another school district, ending the Supervisory Union 71 agreement with Williamstown.   Ultimately, the School Committee slowed down the issue and agreed to look at alternatives.   The committee, posed with different opinions, is now waiting for the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to render its opinion. That will help dictate how the committee moves forward with weighing the options.   The committee's

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College, Criminal Processes for Sexual Assault Cases Not in Conflict
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:53AM / Tuesday, September 02, 2014
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Last spring's national discussion about sexual assault on college campuses hit very close to home for Williams College when a former student made headlines with allegations she had been steered away from the criminal justice system and toward a college disciplinary process she found unsatisfactory.

The Boston resident went public after her alleged attacker was allowed back at Williams after a three-semester suspension, something she characterized as "a mere slap on the wrist."

The story sparked discussion on and off campus, fueled social media, angered alumni and linked Williams to the efforts by the Obama administration and two U.S. senators

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