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Schools

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, a Republican, will be sworn-in to office on Jan. 7. Peyser is no stranger to state government after serving in the administrations …

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 gifts for families in need. This month, Project Starfish of the Pioneer Valley launched its …

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 Central Berkshire Regional School Committee voted 8-6 on Dec. 11 to close Cummington’s elementary school …

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 …

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 …

Hampshire Regional Drama Company to stage ‘Fools’ Friday through Sunday

Thursday, October 23, 2014

WESTHAMPTON — The Hampshire Regional High School Drama Company will stage a play this weekend about a Russian village that has been cursed with stupidity. Neil Simon’s comedy “Fools,” set in the late 19th-century, follows schoolteacher Leon Tolchinsky as he tries to educate the townspeople and eventually falls …

State places Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School on probation

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

GREENFIELD — Since a state review this summer, the Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School has put in place programs for Title 1 and English language learning and hired a school psychologist and three family engagement coordinators. But the changes appear to be too little, too late. The Greenfield-based cyber …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Barbara Love says discussion of racist incidents part of healing process in Amherst

Monday, October 20, 2014

AMHERST — White people have learned a series of reactions to racism, progressing from denial to confusion to concluding that the victim must have done something wrong, Barbara Love told about 130 people at the Unitarian Society of …

Smith Vocational serves up breakfast and talk about its future for area politicians

Friday, October 17, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Student cooks at the Oliver Smith Restaurant at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School served up breakfast Friday morning to nine legislators while officials discussed possible changes in the way the school operates. Superintendent Jeffrey Peterson …

Calvin Terrell says missteps contributed to uproar in Amherst over his anti-bullying presentations

Friday, October 17, 2014

AMHERST — Social justice activist Calvin Terrell of Phoenix said if the steps he suggested to school officials had been followed, it’s unlikely his anti-bullying presentations to middle schoolers earlier this month would have upset so many people. …