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Summer Building Work Authorized at Williamstown Elementary
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:21AM / Tuesday, July 11, 2017
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Williamstown School Committee last week decided to use the district's building renewal fund to address some summer maintenance issues for the 15-year-old structure.   At a special Wednesday morning meeting, three members of the five-person panel voted unanimously to approve up to $84,283 dollars for three different contractors to do roof, window and masonry work at the school, which opened in 2002.   "Some of this stuff is to be expected," Principal Joelle Brookner said. "When a building is 15 years old, after 15 years, wood windows need repair. It's the same thing with the repointing."   The district has a

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Berkshire Arts & Tech Says Goodbye to Founding Director
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
06:32AM / Sunday, July 09, 2017
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Julia Bowen, center, flanked by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Mayor Richard Alcombright on Saturday after receiving a certificate of recognition from the senator. Her husband, Brad Svrluga, is at left. ADAMS, Mass. — It's not every educational leader who gets a bridge, or two, named after them. But that's exactly how Julia Bowen will be remembered.    Bowen shepherded the Berkshire Arts and Technology Public Charter School over the past 14 years, bridging its beginnings as a three-grade school in rented rooms to a middle and high school in its own renovated and expanded building.    Her legacy as executive director at BArT was cemented in

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Pittsfield Superintendent to Speak on Schools as Sanctuaries
11:28AM / Friday, July 07, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Leadership Academy at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts on Saturday, July 8, welcomes Pittsfield Public Schools Superintendent Jason McCandless, who will speak on the topic of schools as sanctuaries, from 1:15 to 3:15 p.m. in Murdock Hall.   The event is free and open to the public.   In his presentation, McCandless will look at the many types of "at-risk" students, the state of at-risk students in the Commonwealth, what Pittsfield Public Schools have done to become more "sanctu-arial," and the special care that immigrant and refugee children require.   According to McCandless, because of current affairs, rhetoric and

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Lanesborough-Williamstown Schools Hire Business Management Consultant
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:38AM / Thursday, July 06, 2017
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — After three attempts to hire a business manager for the Williamstown-Lanesborough Tri-District, the school committees this week agreed to hire a consulting firm to handle the schools’ finances on an interim basis.   On Tuesday, the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee joined its counterparts from Superintendency Union 71 in unanimously accepting the recommendation of Interim Superintendent Kimberley Grady to sign a one-year contract with The Management Solution (TMS) out of Auburn.   Grady has been without a full-time business manager since February when Lynn Rauscher resigned the post just more than three months after Grady, the

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Williamstown School Committee Ponders Role in Regionalization Talks
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:09PM / Monday, July 03, 2017
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The chairman of the Williamstown Elementary School Committee understands the challenge of educating voters ahead of a planned November special town meeting on school regionalization.   "There are people walking around Williamstown right now saying, 'Why would want the elementary school to have the same superintendent as the high school?' " Joe Bergeron said at Wednesday's committee meeting. "You look at them and say, 'We've had the same superintendent since 2010,' and they're like, 'Really? Oh, OK.'   "People don't realize where we're at now. At the same time, there are also legitimate

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McCann Technical School's Freshmen Class Shaping Up
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:43AM / Monday, July 03, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — McCann Technical School is looking forward to a solid number of freshman this coming school year.    Principal Justin Kratz told the School Committee on Thursdsay he is currently looking at applications.   "We are going to look at what numbers are, how much room we have left and what we have for incoming freshmen," he said. "The applications are still trickling in and overall we are in good shape for next year."   He said there are even sophomores interested in going to McCann.    "We have maybe 10 to 12 sophomores looking to come but is trickier for them because shops are not as open as they are for

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BArT Announces New Chair of Board of Trustees
03:38PM / Friday, June 30, 2017
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ADAMS, Mass. — Trustees of the BART Charter Public School elected a new board chair and treasurer, Dianne M. Cutillo and Jennifer Kerwood, and a new trustee, Maura Delaney, at the board's June meeting.

Officers re-elected were Christopher Perkins, vice chair, and Geraldine Shen, secretary. In addition to electing Delaney to a first term of two years, the board approved a third three-year term for Perkins and a second three-year term for Cindy Brown, Cutillo and Kerwood.

"It is a privilege to serve BArT as a Trustee," Cutillo said. "The school's work makes such a difference for area students by helping them achieve academic success and prepare for college

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Williams Professor's Research Published in Two Journals
02:48PM / Friday, June 30, 2017
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Phoebe Cohen, assistant professor of geosciences at Williams College, has published her most recent research that dates shell-making in fossils to a time 200 million years earlier than originally thought.

The research was published this week in Science Advances. Additionally, Cohen's research with Spencer Irvine, Class of 2016, on vase-shaped microfossils (VSMs) was published this week in the journal Palaeontology.

In Science Advances, Cohen details her research into fossilized eukaryotes, which are complex life-forms that include plants and animals but also a wide diversity of single-celled organisms. These single-celled eukaryotes were discovered in

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MCLA Adds Two New Health-Related Majors
11:52AM / Friday, June 30, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts is offering two new major programs in the Department of Biology, a bachelors of science degrees in health sciences and in community health education. These programs will launch in the fall of 2017.

Also starting this fall, the Biology Department will offer two new concentrations — pre-medical professions and pre-veterinary. In addition, new biology faculty members will join the campus in September.

MCLA President James F. Birge said he knew the college had to fast-track its already developing plan for new health care-oriented biology majors after hearing from the Berkshire health-care community about the need for

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Williams College President Falk Leaving the Purple Valley
03:44PM / Thursday, June 29, 2017
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College President Adam Falk will be stepping down from his post at the end of the year to become president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in New York.   The announcement was made on Thursday in a  joint release from Falk and Williams College Board of Trustees Chairman Michael R. Eisenson, a 1977 graduate.   A search committee chaired by Eisenson will be announced at a later date.   Falk was was welcomed as the college's 17th president — and only the second scientist to lead the liberal arts college in its 217-year history — in 2010. He replaced Morton O. Schapiro, who left to head Northwestern University in

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