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Pittsfield Superintendent to Speak on Schools as Sanctuaries
11:28AM / Friday, July 07, 2017
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Jason 'Jake' McCandless, seen at a recent Pittsfield School Committee meeting, will speak at MCLA's Leadership Academy on Saturday.

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 governmental actions considering school as a "sanctuary" takes on urgent and precise meaning. For many students, however, including students of color, students affected by poverty and immigrant students, schools have certainly served as sanctuaries, if not "Sanctuaries," for decades.
McCandless has worked in public education since 1993 with service in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Massachusetts. He has served as an alternative education program director, an English teacher, a football and wrestling coach, a department chairperson, an assistant principal and a principal.
He has been a school superintendent for the past dozen years in Lee and in Pittsfield. He is a co-author of a chapter in "The Collaborative Cohort Model: A Group Perspective on the Impact and Issues of Collaborating on a Dissertation," in the soon-to-published book, "Exploring the Impact of the Dissertation in Practice."
A graduate of Grove City (Pa.) College with degrees in literature and communications, he also holds a master's degree from the University of Virginia, and a doctorate in educational leadership from Boston College.
The goal of MCLA's Leadership Academy is to prepare candidates to serve as highly effective leaders of educational institutions and active citizens in their communities. Leadership Academy graduates discover how to shape a vision based on equity, justice and academic success for all students; create a climate hospitable for education in schools and the community; cultivate collaborative leadership with faculty and staff; improve curriculum and instruction; and manage people, data, and processes to foster continuous school improvement.
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