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Schools

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 with non-union employees with the goal of reaching individual agreements based on those same principles. “That’s the theme across the board,” he …

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 release Thursday by Darius Modestow of Pelham, chairman of Union # 26 which governs the …

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 the life of animal science teacher Don Baker after a plowing accident. The plow had …

College, schools unite for equity in Amherst

Monday, August 4, 2014

AMHERST — A partnership between the Amherst-Pelham Regional School District and Amherst College is creating a mentoring program in which racial issues will be confronted by elementary, secondary and college students in forums led by social justice educator …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Amherst school panel reverses reprimand of Amilcar Shabazz over use of ‘racist’ term for student

Monday, July 14, 2014

PELHAM — A quorum of the Amherst Regional School Committee on Monday faulted the decision of its chairman to reprimand member Amilcar Shabazz for allegedly calling an unidentified middle school student a racist. But to those who signed … 5

Teachers union targets education secretary

Sunday, July 13, 2014

LOS ANGELES — A national teachers convention on Sunday called for President Barack Obama to put Education Secretary Arne Duncan on an “improvement plan” as a prelude to replacing him. The action was taken by the American Federation of Teachers, which is meeting in Los Angeles. It represents …

Backstory: Amherst officials fight bid to discuss, possibly 'disavow' Shabazz memo; Regional School Committee to take up issue today in Pelham anyway

Friday, July 11, 2014

AMHERST — In a tug-of-war that has enmeshed town clerks in four towns, the vice chairman of the Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee is pressing ahead with a Monday meeting to discuss a controversial reprimand of a fellow board … 7

Teacher tenure fight gains momentum with ruling

Friday, July 11, 2014

NEW YORK — A month after a California judge ruled that job protections for teachers violated children’s constitutional rights, one lawsuit making the same claim has been filed in New York, another has been announced and critics of teacher tenure in other states say they are preparing litigation …

Michael Morris named assistant superintendent of Amherst schools

Thursday, June 26, 2014

AMHERST — Michael Morris, director of evaluation and assessment for the Amherst public schools, has been named assistant superintendent of schools. The Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee and the Amherst School Committee voted Tuesday to accept Superintendent Maria Geryk’s recommendation to promote Morris, who joined the central administration in …

Amherst Regional School Committee to air differences over task force member’s comments, reprimand

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

AMHERST — The vice chairman of the Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee has called a meeting for Monday to address comments about a racial assault involving middle school students that were made by the leader of a task force … 3