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Schools

YOSHITAKA HAMADA
The climber is seen at the Bridge Street School's playground in Northampton Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014.  The equipment is one of new additions to the playground.

Improvements made to Bridge Street School playground in Northampton

Saturday, October 25, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Bridge Street School’s colorful playground has long been an eye-catcher. The community recently celebrated special new features to the beloved play structure. Over the summer, the hard-packed dirt outside the school was transformed into a bouncy rubber surface, where children can play without worrying about kicking up dirt or getting muddy. There is also now an asphalt area for basketball and wall ball, tables for arts and crafts, and a playhouse. “There’s lots of places for them to explore and just be kids,” Bridge Street School Principal Beth Choquette said recently while looking out at the new play area from her office window. …

Frontier Regional School officials, police have long prepared for potential shooting threat

Saturday, October 25, 2014

SOUTH DEERFIELD — For years, Frontier Regional School administrators, local and state police have been preparing for a potential active-shooter incident at the school. This week, school and law enforcement officials had to put their plans into action as a Sunderland teen allegedly threatened to “re-enact Columbine” at Frontier Regional School. The threat led to the swift arrest by Sunderland Police of Nicholas …

Parents, teachers critique high-stakes tests at Northampton forum

Thursday, October 23, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Gus Morales, president of the Holyoke teachers union, thinks that if the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System had been around when he was growing up, he would not have received his diploma. “Had this been the culture of the schools when I was growing up, I would have dropped out,” he said …

Refugee of war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo relates his story to Smith Vocational and Agricultural School students

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Jowel Iranzi was barely 10 years old in 1996 when his life was turned upside down by war in his home country of Zaire — now the Democratic Republic of Congo. His family fled to Rwanda, …

Easthampton school notes: Easthampton High School student Bryan Delaney keynoter at annual conference

Monday, September 29, 2014

Easthampton High School senior Bryan Delaney will be a keynote speaker at “Find Your Voice,” the third annual Youth Conference on Substance Abuse Prevention Oct. 8 at Greenfield Community College. The conference, organized by Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan’s office, aims to steer youth away from substance …

Easthampton says farewell to Tim Luce, retiring Maple School principal, welcomes Judith Averill, whom he mentored

Monday, September 29, 2014

EASTHAMPTON — It could be said that Maple School Principal Thomas “Tim” Luce began his education career as a high school student in Connecticut, when as a member of the “Future Teachers” club, he tutored children at local …

Trash by the bags full: Thousands turn out for Connecticut River cleanup across four states; events held in Hadley, Amherst, Leeds and Greenfield

Saturday, September 27, 2014

HADLEY — On an island off the shore of the Connecticut River Saturday morning, Southampton resident Walt Brown dug up a garbage bag with a spiked pick-up stick. The bag crumbled as he attempted to free it from …

Volunteers help restore garden, build greenhouse at renovated Anne T. Dunphy School in Williamsburg

Saturday, September 27, 2014

An important part of the plans for the recently renovated Anne T. Dunphy School in Williamsburg was to make sure that the school’s garden would not be overlooked or lost due to the additions on the building. The …

Amherst Equity Task Force establishes nine-member voting group

Thursday, September 25, 2014

AMHERST — The Equity Task Force, a group created last spring to advise the Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee on issues of race and class, will now have nine voting members, Chairman Amilcar Shabazz announced Thursday during a meeting focused on what he called “creating a framework” for making …

Harvard endowment at $36.4B

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

CAMBRIDGE — Harvard University’s largest-in-the-nation endowment grew to $36.4 billion in the fiscal year that ended in June on a 15.4 percent return, the university agency that’s oversees the endowment announced. The endowment is now approaching its record high of $36.9 billion reached in 2008, before the worldwide …

$1M study about future of Wildwood Elementary School in Amherst gets state approval

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

AMHERST — A $1 million study to determine whether to renovate the 44-year-old Wildwood Elementary School or construct a new building can begin now that the state has given its approval. School and town officials have been working …

Ebola hits home: PVPA grieves with drum teacher who has lost mother, other relatives to deadly virus

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

SOUTH HADLEY — A beloved Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School drumming and dance teacher is grieving this week after losing his mother and two other relatives in recent days to the Ebola virus in his native …

Preschools latest to take on environmental movement

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY — Three-year-old Clara Centola seems unconcerned by the adults around her as she works at a mini-kitchen, deciding which cloth-toy fruits and vegetables to serve her imaginary guests. There are no plastic fast-food replicas to choose …