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BArT Blows Its Own Horn at Breakfast
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:13AM / Sunday, November 06, 2016
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ADAMS, Mass. — Four days before Massachusetts voters decide whether to raise the commonwealth's cap on charter schools, the director of Berkshire County's lone charter school Friday made the case for continued support of the junior-senior high school.

Julia Bowen told a crowd at the school's annual Fall Breakfast that the politicking around Question 2 on Tuesday's ballot has included repetition of misconceptions about charter schools that do not apply to the Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School.   One thing that particularly stuck in her craw: the charge from Question 2 opponents that charter schools, unlike traditional public schools, enjoy the

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No on 2 Campaign Rallies in Pittsfield as Election Day Nears
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
07:11PM / Saturday, October 29, 2016
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MTA President Barbara Madeloni said so far 'the 413 is no on 2.' PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Corporations and big business cannot buy public education.   That is the message that those opposing Question 2, a ballot initiative calling for raising the cap on charter schools by a dozen, is sending.
  The opposition says the expansion of the charter school system will devastate the traditional public school system by allocating more public funding to the privately-run schools.   "The message you are sending across the nation is powerful. What you are saying is that big business, corporations, you cannot buy public education. That's the message that needs to

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MCLA to Host Open House for Prospective Students
12:19PM / Wednesday, October 26, 2016
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts will host the second of three fall open house events for high school and transfer students interested in applying for admission to attend MCLA for the spring of 2017 or the fall 2017 on Saturday, Oct. 29. Check-in will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Amsler Campus Center.

In addition to touring the campus, prospective students and families can learn more about the admissions and financial aid process; student life; attend an academic program overview; and explore the many opportunities MCLA has to offer, such as internships, study abroad, our honors program and undergraduate research.

Those who wish to find out more about

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BCC Honors Academic Achievement at Convocation
11:33AM / Wednesday, October 26, 2016
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College recently recognized the academic achievements of 103 students during an Honors Convocation Program.

Each honored student ranks in the top five percent of the college with a grade point average of 3.75 or better in courses totaling at least 12 credits.

Honored students (and hometowns) include:

 

Massachusetts

Aaron R. Biros, Jeremy R. Patterson, Chelise M. Rondeau

Rebecca J. Simmons

Amy L. Brassard, Katie Clarke, Dudley R. Johnson, Emily A. Thurston

Henry J. Fristik

Marion T. Brooks, Alexander F. Griffith

Shaina R. Benham, Magdelin C. Bennett, Oksana O. Dix, Whitney N. Eastland, John C. Morrissey, Valerie L. Rose, Bridget

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Founding Director Bowen Leaving BArT at End of School Year
Staff Reports,
05:30PM / Wednesday, October 19, 2016
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ADAMS, Mass. — The founding director of Berkshire Arts & Technology Public Charter School will leave at the end of the school year.

Julia Bowen informed the BArT community by email on Wednesday afternoon that she was departing after 13 years guiding the region's first and only charter school.

"I feel confident that this work will continue long after my departure," she wrote. "Over the years, we have built a team that has the intelligence to take on new challenges, the wisdom to focus on the most important work and the moral clarity to do this with integrity and respect, always with students' best interests at heart. I couldn't have imagined we would

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Great Barrington Police: Racist Threats Do Not Warrant Criminal Charges
Staff Reports,
05:57PM / Wednesday, October 12, 2016
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GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Police Department says racist comments between two high school students did not constitute criminal charges.   Earlier this year the Police Department and federal investigators began investigating a reported incident in which a white student at Monument Mountain High School threatened to lynch an African American student. The threat was allegedly made because of the football player's decision to take a knee during the national anthem.   "The altercation did not rise to a physical level through the alleged words used were very concerning and prompted the Police Department to open an investigation," reads a statement from the Great

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BArT Announces Upcoming 'Shadow Day'
12:10PM / Monday, October 03, 2016
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ADAMS, Mass. — Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School will host a "Shadow Day" for students interested in either enrolling at BArT for the upcoming 2017-18 school year or transferring into BArT during this current 2016-17 school year.

Shadow Days provide students with an opportunity to experience classes alongside current BART students. While interested students participate in BART's classes, parents and guardians are invited to take a tour of the school.  

Advance registration is required and can be completed by contacting enrollment Counselor Monique Nottke at 413-743-7311, ext. 732, or by e-mail at monique.nottke@bartcharter.org.

Grades six, eight

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Pittsfield Pols Discuss Importance of Millennial Voters At BCC Forum
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:54AM / Friday, September 30, 2016
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — In just a few short years, college students will be graduated, looking for work, buying a home, having children, and pay off loads of student debt.

But right now they aren't thinking of that, at least not in the political sense.

The 18- to 29-year-old age bracket votes at a much lower rate than older generations. And because of that, it is easier for politicians to craft their views around the population that put them in office — ignoring the issues of the young.

"The 18-to-29 age group only has at best a 45 percent turnout. The highest voting group of people are over 60 and 72 percent turn out to vote, at least 72 percent. You want want

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MCLA Starts Off Semester With New Leader, More Students & $2M Grant
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
12:29AM / Wednesday, September 07, 2016
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts is starting of the 2016 fall semester in a good place.

For the first time in two years, it has a permanent president at the helm, enrollment is up and it was just awarded $2 million to help it keep doing what it's been doing so well: retaining and graduating its low-income and students of color.

President James F. "Jaimie" Birge announced at Tuesday's traditional convocation breakfast that the college was told last week it would receive a $2.177 million federal "Strengthening Institutions Program" grant.

"Last week, the U.S. Department of Education recognized MCLA as one of only 13

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Q&A With MCLA President James Birge
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:53AM / Tuesday, August 23, 2016
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  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Originally called the North Adams Normal School, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts was founded to train public school teachers.   True to that heritage, today's MCLA faculty members take seriously their role as educators. That is the message the college's 12th president received when he arrived on campus earlier this year.   "To a department, the faculty talked about their commitment to students achieving their academic goals, which isn't always the case," James F. "Jaime" Birge said recently. "Faculty aren't always as uniformly committed to that purpose as our faculty here. Literally, every

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