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Amherst makes changes in discipline approach to decrease suspensions

Thursday, July 31, 2014

AMHERST — In an attempt to focus more on the causes of bad behavior than on the consequences, the Amherst school district has eliminated two secondary school deans and replaced them with “climate control coordinators.” The positions will be filled by two guidance counselors, Maureen Fleming at Amherst Regional High School and Talib Sadiq at Amherst Regional Middle School, said Faye Brady, director of student services. Mary Custard will continue to serve as dean of students at the high school, a key enforcer of the schools’ disciplinary code. Superintendent Maria Geryk declined to say whether the other staff members, who served as deans in the … 0

Amherst schools again collecting backpacks, supplies to distribute to students in need

Monday, July 28, 2014

AMHERST — The Amherst school district is again collecting new backpacks and schools supplies to distribute before the start of school to students in need. This will be the project’s sixth year and the fifth for a companion effort, Safe Seats for Kids, which provides car seats for income-eligible families. Project Backpack is a collaborative effort by the schools and many community organizations … 0

Immigrant debate hits home in Lynn

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

LYNN — The national debate over an unprecedented wave of Central American young people entering the country illegally is more of a practical challenge in places like Lynn, a former industrial city outside Boston that’s thousands of miles from the U.S.-Mexico border. There, city officials complain newly arriving Guatemalan children are straining classroom … 0

Social justice advocates plan to talk 'de facto segregation' at joint meeting of Amherst, Amherst Regional school committees tonight

Monday, June 23, 2014

AMHERST — Representatives of a coalition of groups working to advance social justice causes in town are calling for people to turn out at the final joint meeting this academic year of the Amherst and Amherst Regional School committees Tuesday to remind them that they expect concrete action … 0

ARHS teacher Barber-Just one of four nationally honored by Williams College

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Passionate. Tireless. Beautiful. Powerful. Courageous. Compassionate. Bold. Brilliant. This is how your students describe you, Sara Barber-Just. Barber-Just, an English teacher at Amherst Regional High School, was standing at the front of the stage at Williams College at … 0

Jackson Street School, Northampton, bids adieu to its iconic play structure

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Twenty-four years ago, Jackson Street School Principal Gwen Agna was among thousands of volunteers who, as she puts it, “lived” on school grounds for five days to build the wooden playscape that has become one of … 1

Northampton schools stay with MCAS, while Easthampton tries PARCC

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Northampton students in Grades 3 to 8 will continue taking the MCAS standardized tests next spring rather than participating in tryouts of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) tests. Easthampton students will take the PARCC tests. The state Department of Elementary … 0

South Hadley middle school teacher Pamela Howes connects students with poetry

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

SOUTH HADLEY — For 15 years, veteran middle school teacher Pamela Howes has found a way to ignite a love of poetry in her students. Her method is fairly straight-forward: Celebrate with a capital C. To that end, … 0

Amherst Regional Middle School club takes third place in state science fair

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

AMHERST — Members of the Amherst Regional Middle School Science Club took third place in the state middle school science fair in Worcester last weekend for their research testing the effects a video on student drinking had on University of Massachusetts students. Lee Borrell, Livia Tomasic, Zachary Ellis … 1

Amherst Regional Middle School students learn how to grow their own food

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

AMHERST — Five students at the Amherst Regional Middle School have been playing in the dirt each Thursday after school as University of Massachusetts student Kelsey Welborn guides them in the planting and harvesting of all sorts of … 0

Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School celebrates as construction of addition begins in Hadley

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

HADLEY — Andrea Cummings of Shutesbury sent her son and daughter to the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School because she wanted them to understand a second language, but she did not know one herself. “It wasn’t a … 0

Easthampton High School students win second place in statewide contest to create video about importance of healthy breakfasts

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

EASTHAMPTON — Easthampton High School students Morgan Tabb, Leah Stabile, Kelly Boisjolie and Rachel Mastorakis, in class with multimedia teacher Eileen Claveloux, rose to the challenge of creating a video that illustrates why a healthy breakfast is important and earned second place in a statewide contest. In March, … 0

Task force to study equity in Amherst schools will meet Wednesday

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

AMHERST — A task force formed to study equity in the Amherst schools after repeated hostile incidents aimed at a black teacher will meet Wednesday. The session, which is open to the public, is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in the Amherst Regional High School library. The 30-person committee, … 0