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Schools

Area briefs

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Northampton NHS FRESHMEN TRANSITION: Northampton High School will hold its first-ever transition event for freshmen and their parents from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday. The event is aimed to ease anxieties of students and their parents about entering the high school. Students will meet the high school administrators, as well as their guidance counselors who will provide them with their schedules and planner. They will then get a tour of … 0

Town and school officials back out of WHMP radio’s broadcast on racial issues in Amherst

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

AMHERST — Four Amherst officials backed out of a live broadcast by radio station WHMP on racial issues the day before Thursday’s planned event, saying the town and schools are in the early stages of an effort to unite the community and the officials want to focus on “positive momentum.” “We are unable … 0

Amherst schools leaders say they are determined to ease racial tensions this school year

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

AMHERST — School Superintendent Maria Geryk is approaching September with measures she hopes will help put to rest the trauma of a school year marred by racial tensions at Amherst’s high and middle schools. “People think I’m wearing my rose-colored glasses, but I’m optimistic about this year,” she said in an interview. “I … 1

Building community is focus as performing arts charter school sets to expand

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

SOUTH HADLEY — As Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Public Charter School students arrive for their first day of school Aug. 27, they will be entertained by a faculty band performing from a loading dock near the building’s main … 0

Chinese charter school begins expansion by adding Grade 10

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

HADLEY — It’s a big year for the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School. This year begins its expansion into what will be the first kindergarten through 12th grade Chinese immersion school in the country, according to school administration. Its program now serves 320 students in kindergarten through … 0

Smith Academy spiffy after facelift; new play area graces elementary school

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

HATFIELD — When students and staff return to Smith Academy this year, they will enter a school building that has undergone considerable improvements during the summer. Topping the list is the replacement of the school’s 18-year-old roof, which, despite repairs, had been leaking for the last four years. … 0

Grades 2 and 3 combined at Berkshire Trail Elementary in Cummington due to low enrollment

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

CUMMINGTON — There will be a new classroom grouping and curriculum at Berkshire Trail Elementary School this year. “New for us this year will be the reinstatement of a multi-grade classroom for Grades 2 and 3,” Principal Lorraine Liantonio said. The combined classes resulted from low student enrollment. … 0

Curriculum coordination, professional development the focus for Frontier Regional, Union 28 schools this year

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

SOUTH DEERFIELD — The Frontier Regional and Union 38 school district will have new staff and programs while emphasizing professional development and increased collaboration among the schools and district towns this year. “Last year, we spent a lot of time focusing on mandates from the state,” said Superintendent … 0

Move from five- to seven-period day aims to improve students’ course options at Gateway Regional High and Junior High Schools

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

HUNTINGTON — Students at Gateway Regional High School and Junior High School will have a new class schedule this year that school officials say will improve their options for study. “The new daily class schedule is the biggest change happening at the high school this year,” said Wendy … 0

New principal impressed with ‘welcoming’ community

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

LEVERETT — With a new principal and the retirement of a longtime school psychologist, Leverett Elementary School is set for the new school year with its floors waxed and minor repairs made to a leaking office wall. Principal Margot Lacey, 61, started July 1, replacing Anne Ross who … 0

‘Meet the principal’ night tomorrow in Shutesbury

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

SHUTESBURY — Jacqueline Mendonsa of Florence is preparing for her first year as the new principal of Shutesbury Elementary School. Mendonsa, 32, joined Shutesbury Elementary on July 1, replacing Maureen Ryan who resigned at the end of the 2013-14 school year. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts … 0

Two finalists for school superintendent named in Belchertown

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

BELCHERTOWN — Two educators working elsewhere in Massachusetts were named finalists for superintendent of schools in Belchertown after a third candidate withdrew hours before the announcement was made Tuesday evening. Karen Zaleski, director of pupil services for the … 0

Divided Amherst Regional School Committee elects Trevor Baptiste new chairman amid concern about board factions

Thursday, August 14, 2014

AMHERST — Acknowledging that the Amherst-Regional School Committee has factions that may be causing harm to the school system and student education, a divided board elected a new chairman at its annual retreat Thursday afternoon. Trevor Baptiste of … 0