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Controversial Amherst-Pelham Regional Middle School schedule changes to go into effect in September

Saturday, January 31, 2015

AMHERST — A new middle school schedule plan, praised by administrators but criticized by many parents and some school committee members, will go into effect in September, according to School Superintendent Maria Geryk. In an email Saturday, Geryk said she had decided to move forward with changes designed to create more time for English, math, science and social studies while altering many of the school’s elective programs including music and …

Sunderland Elementary School celebrates diversity

Saturday, January 31, 2015

SUNDERLAND — As Jaime Reloj of Sunderland helped his son John press a small, green, arrow-shaped sticker into the South China Sea on a giant world map Thursday night, marking the spot where the Philippines are located, a wide grin crossed the face of the Sunderland Elementary School student. Mounted on a bulletin …

Security upgrades at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School include emphasis on communication

Friday, January 30, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School aims to increase school safety with more than $160,000 in security upgrades and a commitment to better communication in the digital age. The school installed 20 new security cameras last fall and plans to add 20 more as part of an upgrade to a new surveillance system, said Smith Vocational Security Director Kevin Brown. Features …

Deerfield considers ending School Choice program in elementary grades

Saturday, January 10, 2015

DEERFIELD — With the town of Deerfield facing yet another tight budget this year, the Deerfield School Committee is weighing whether it will continue to accept students under the state’s School Choice program. The concern is that accepting out-of-town students will end up costing the school money rather …

Fierce falcon: Smith Adademy student-created mural graces gymnasium hallway

Friday, January 9, 2015

JERREY ROBERTS Fierce falcon Smith Academy teacher Julie Muellejans, hands out corsages to Renee Archambault, left, Will Smiarowski and K.K. Smiarowski before a dedication ceremony Monday for a student-created mural painted in a hallway outside the gym. The …

Concerns aired about proposed schedule changes for Amherst-Pelham Regional Middle School

Thursday, January 8, 2015

AMHERST — Parents and other community members expressed discontent Thursday with proposed schedule changes at the Amherst-Pelham Regional Middle School that would increase time for English, math, science and social studies while decreasing time for many electives. The proposal will be brought to Superintendent Maria Geryk to make …

State committee reviewing public school spending to hold hearing in Northampton on Saturday

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — State officials will give parents, educators, and other community members an opportunity to sound off about how much money they believe it takes to run a school district at a public hearing Saturday. Between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the Northampton High School auditorium, the …

Northampton High School Key Club volunteers package meals for Food Bank of Western Massachusetts

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Donning hair nets and gloves, Northampton High School students organized themselves into four assembly-line style teams in the cafeteria Monday night to see who could feed the hungry the fastest. The effort paid off. More then …

New student-led group fights racism from within at Hopkins Academy in Hadley

Sunday, December 28, 2014

HADLEY — Minority students at Hopkins Academy reacted to what they call almost daily expressions of racism by forming the school’s first diversity club this fall. Student Mik Gnobo, an eighth grader, said he has been the target …

Baker names education chief

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

BOSTON — Republican Gov.-elect Charlie Baker on Tuesday named charter school advocate and former chairman of the state Board of Education James Peyser to serve as his secretary of education and also appointed commissioners of public health and agriculture as he continued to build his new administration. Baker, …

Student readers help nonprofit raise $4,000 for children’s Christmas gifts

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — This holiday season, Rod Hart found himself glad to be “one of those mean teachers” who requires his students to read a lot of books. Thanks in part to his eighth-graders’ bookish determination, a local nonprofit was able to raise more than $4,000 to buy Christmas …

Cummington students will be bused to Dalton after district votes to close Berkshire Trail Elementary School

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

CUMMINGTON — A decision earlier this month to close the Berkshire Trail Elementary School leaves some students facing a one-way bus trip of 55 minutes next year, and town officials considering other options for educating Cummington children. The …

Hadley student robot team preps for state meet, ponders moving from one FIRST to another

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

HADLEY — Four years ago, five fourth graders from Hadley Elementary School established the first FIRST. Now with nine members and numerous awards, they are ready to move on to the second. In 2010, the youngsters formed a …