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Fifth Grade Arbor Day Poster Contest Theme: 'Trees are Terrific'
12:56PM / Wednesday, January 18, 2017
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BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation has announced the theme of 2017's fifth grade Arbor Day Poster Contest: "Trees are Terrific … from Berkshires to Bay!"

Fifth grade classes from both public and private schools across the commonwealth are encouraged to participate in the annual Arbor Day Poster Contest by having the students create posters highlighting this year's theme, and then hosting a school poster contest. The winning poster from each school can then be submitted to the agency for review.

"I am delighted that students from across the Commonwealth continue to participate in the Department of Conservation and

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Neal: Democratic Party Needs a 'Reset'
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
09:26PM / Tuesday, January 17, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Democratic Party can't "sugarcoat" its disastrous situation, says U.S. Rep. Richard Neal.

And the pain lies deeper than the loss of the presidency and failure to make inroads in the Republican-controlled Congress.

"Time for a reset," he said, pointing out that "the people we're losing used to be for us."

Nearly a third of House Democrats come from three states: Massachusetts, New York and California.

"In the last eight years, all election cycles for Congress, we have lost 62 House seats, 15 Senate seats," Neal said at a session at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts on Tuesday. "Two-thirds of the

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Neal Visits Hoosac Valley, Says Will Attend Inauguration
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
05:34PM / Tuesday, January 17, 2017
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — U.S. Rep. Richard Neal says he will attend Friday's presidential inauguration of Republican Donald Trump.

The Springfield Democrat and staunch Hillary Clinton supporter told students at Hoosac Valley High School on Tuesday morning that while disappointed with the results of the election, he felt it important to be at the transition of power.

"What the inauguration represents is the peaceful transition of power and as much as I was for Secretary Clinton, as much as I campaigned for her in New Hampshire and in Pennsylvania … and as much as I was disappointed in the outcome I am going to be there," Neal said. "I will be there with a lot

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BCC Enters Home Stretch Of Renovation Project
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:23AM / Sunday, January 15, 2017
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The classroom spaces have have much more natural light with the renovations. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The state's oldest community college is starting to look more like the newest.   Berkshire Community College is wrapping up renovations to two academic buildings. The $30 million renovations have been under way since the spring 2015.   The renovated Hawthorne Hall was opened on June 1 and construction workers are putting the final touches and equipment is being moved into Melville Hall in anticipation for an opening later this month.   "We're looking late spring or early summer," Director of Facilities David Moran said of the entire project, which

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MCLA Recognized for Community Service
02:29PM / Monday, January 09, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — In recognition of its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts recently was named to the 2016 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

MCLA President James F. Birge said the college is pleased to be recognized for the community service that students, faculty and staff engage in throughout the year.

"MCLA has a long history of volunteer service," Birge said. "Whether it's volunteer work, civic engagement or service-learning in the community, or even beyond the Berkshires, these efforts prepare our students

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Eleven BArT Scholars Receive John and Abigail Adams Scholarship
12:48PM / Tuesday, December 27, 2016
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ADAMS, Mass. — Berskhire Arts & Technology Charter Public School has announced that 11 members of the senior class are recipients of the John and Abigail Adams scholarship.

Recipients of these scholarships, upon acceptance, are entitled to attend any Massachusetts state school tuition free.  

Kaitlyn Anderson, Christopher DiCarlo, Christopher Doubiago, Peter Elliott, Emily Failla, Tessa Langsdale, Emma Madden, Jason Mills, Alain Morrissette, Dean Parise, and Kelsey Rod all received this award.

In order for a student to qualify, he or she must score "advanced" on the Grade 10 Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System tests in English/language arts,

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Educational Task Force 2/3 Way Through Presentations To Local Governments
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:45AM / Monday, December 19, 2016
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Berkshire County Educational Task Force has had a busy month presenting at 30 or so public meetings with still more than a dozen to go.

The task force is rolling out its plans for Phase 2 of a study looking at the future of Berkshire County's school systems. The next phase will dive deep into various options — from leaving things as they are to creating super-regional school districts — and is funded with $150,000 from the state.

The efforts are to explore ways to counter declining enrollment mixed with the rising costs of education and offer school districts recommendations on how they might address those vexing issues.

"The

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Guest Column: Getting Smart About Art
Guest Column,
02:50PM / Tuesday, December 13, 2016
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The North Adams Public School district boasts one of the finest art programs in the commonwealth.

Students of all grade levels participate in classes and field trips that nurture their creativity in a fun and hands-on way. Our elementary schools offer choral and instrumental programs during the school day and perform concerts throughout the academic year. They make frequent field trips to Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. Through a partnership with Berkshire Children and Families and Brayton Elementary School, students are introduced to classical music through the innovative Kids 4 Harmony program.

Arts programming at Drury High School has grown so much that the school has created

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Guest Column: Education Task Force Misconceptions Clarified
Guest Column,
02:00PM / Tuesday, December 13, 2016
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The Berkshire Education Task Force and the University of Massachusetts' Donahue Institute recently have completed Phase One of a comprehensive look at the past, current and projected education landscape of the nineteen school districts in Berkshire County and 15,900 students (as of last count). The full Phase One report is online at www.berkshireeducation.org. The focus is on the challenges faced because of significant declining student enrollments, near stagnant financial resources and increasingly limited academic offerings.

Phase Two will explore ways to address these challenges through options of expanded shared services, partnering of neighboring school districts, where

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Norman Rockwell Museum Offers Berkshire County Student Passport Program
02:51PM / Monday, December 12, 2016
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STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — Norman Rockwell Museum has begun the Berkshire County Student Passport Program, part of a comprehensive effort to reach out and engage many more young people in the region with the museum, and to introduce them to Norman Rockwell, who lived the last 25 years of his life in Berkshire County.

The museum uses Rockwell's narrative images to support learning in the classroom in relation to history, language arts and art, and educators have also found meaningful connections with regard to social/emotional learning and ESL themes.

Supported by the contributions of friends of Norman Rockwell Museum, the Passport Program was created for students and families in

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