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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 …

Winners of MacArthur ‘genius grants’ unveiled

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

CHICAGO — A professor whose research is helping a California police department improve its strained relationship with the black community and a lawyer who advocates for victims of domestic abuse are among the 21 winners of this year’s …

Area briefs

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Amherst CULTURAL GRANTS: Artists, performers and educators interested in seeking grants from the town’s Cultural Council are invited to an informational meeting in the Goodwin Room of the Jones Library at 3:30 p.m. Thursday. There will be information about eligibility, funding priorities and special criteria. Priority will be …

Easthampton High School Class of 1944 will hold 70th reunion Saturday

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

EASTHAMPTON — When members of the Easthampton High School Class of 1944 wanted to get their senior yearbook to all of their classmates, it meant having to track down Army Post Office addresses for some of them. “It was a carefree time in your life, but a tough …

Area briefs

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Northampton TEACHING POLISH: Beginning this week, the Rev. Adam Czarnecki of St. Valentine Parish, 127 King St., is teaching Polish language classes at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays in the parish hall of the church. There is no charge. For further information, call the rectory office at 584-0133. Deerfield ART …

Coakley’s plan for universal pre-kindergarten draws GOP rebuke

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

BOSTON — Democratic candidate for governor Martha Coakley says her plan to eliminate a waiting list of 17,000 children seeking state vouchers for pre-kindergarten programs would cost an estimated $150 million annually. Coakley, who hadn’t previously put a price tag on the plan, vowed to begin moving children …

Belchertown School Committee names Karol Coffin new superintendent

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

BELCHERTOWN — After a brief deliberation, the School Committee voted unanimously Tuesday night to name Karol Coffin, currently principal of the Wamsutta Middle School in Attleboro, the new superintendent. After the vote, committee Chairman Richard Fritsch telephoned Coffin …

Hampshire Regional School District reviews applicants for interim assistant principal of middle school

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

WESTHAMPTON — Hampshire Regional High School is seeking a new interim assistant principal to head the middle school. Superintendent Craig Jurgensen said that Jesse Porter-Henry left his job as interim assistant principal for middle level programming and academic affairs at the combination middle and high school. Porter-Henry, formerly …

South Hadley teachers reach agreement on three-year contract with 2 percent annual raises, benefit reduction

Friday, September 12, 2014

SOUTH HADLEY — A new three-year contract for teachers includes a 2 percent annual pay raise and added longevity pay. It also contains a reduction in benefits and increased work hours. Similar agreements were reached with four other bargaining units. Superintendent Nicholas Young said he is currently negotiating …

Amherst School Superintendent Maria Geryk gets $11,000 raise, increasing her salary to $158,000

Thursday, September 11, 2014

AMHERST — Amherst School Superintendent Maria Geryk has been given an $11,000 salary increase by the school boards that serve the Amherst-Pelham Regional School district, boosting her annual salary to $158,000. The raise was announced in a press …