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Schools

Mother of Ryan Road School student objects to police firearms training nearby during weekdays

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A Florence woman said she plans to keep her fifth-grade son at home two days next week so he remains out of earshot of gunfire when the Police Department’s state-required firearms training partially overlaps with school hours, and she hopes other parents take a similar stand. “I feel frustrated that the Police Department insists there’s no other way to do it, and it doesn’t seem like other parents …

Amherst Regional High School African Scholars substitute fundraiser for exchange trip

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

AMHERST — An exchange trip to Senegal and The Gambia planned by members of the Amherst Regional High School African Scholars has been postponed due to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. However, the students are channeling their disappointment into action by holding a West African take-out fundraiser to benefit local health organizations working to combat the deadly disease. Meals in microwavable containers …

Greenfield Community College teams with area high schools to teach about sustainable agriculture

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

GREENFIELD — Greenfield Community College has received a grant of almost $50,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to start new courses in sustainable agriculture, along with free workshops for local high school teachers who are bringing farm-based components into the curriculum. The initiative is called Educational Networks for Growing an Agricultural Economy, and the community college is teaming up with six area …

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 …

Bob the horse, Smith Voke’s unofficial mascot, dies at 34

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Bob, a Belgian draft horse who became the “unofficial mascot” of Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School, received a mint every day for the last 15 years of his life. This was his reward for saving …

HILLTOWN VOICES: Renovated Anne T. Dunphy School impresses students, teachers and parents

Friday, September 5, 2014

Anne T. Dunphy School Principal Stacey Jenkins said it for many Tuesday morning as Williamsburg students and families streamed in for the first day of school in a long-awaited new building. “We are very excited today, I can’t …

UMass unions rally on campus, claim existing benefits at risk during contract negotiations

Friday, September 5, 2014

AMHERST — Contentious contract negotiations and claims that University of Massachusetts administrators want to take back union benefits prompted an hour-long campus rally led by employees Friday. Holding yellow signs and wearing yellow stickers reading “UMass Unions United to Protect Our Rights,” more than 200 members, joined by …

Principal Jill Pasquini-Torchia to move from Mosier to Plains School in South Hadley

Thursday, September 4, 2014

SOUTH HADLEY — Jill Pasquini-Torchia will be the new principal of the Plains Elementary School when it opens in a new building next year, succeeding Jill Flanders, who is retiring in June. Pasquini-Torchia will leave her current job as principal of the Mosier Elementary School to take on …

Students happy with Hilltown Cooperative Public Charter Public School’s new home

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

EASTHAMPTON — For students at the Hilltown Cooperative Public Charter Public School, the first day of school Wednesday meant reuniting with friends, meeting new teachers, and exploring the bright, modern building that contrasts with their former space in …