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With eye toward teaching firearm safety, Mahar’s Junior ROTC adding air rifles
04-15-2024 5:00 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

ORANGE — It appears Ralph C. Mahar Regional School’s Army Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps will participate in competitions with an air rifle aspect next year, though the program’s instructors are still waiting on air tanks, targets and other...

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Two local school advocates tapped to lead state’s new Small and Rural Schools Committee
04-16-2024 5:29 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

As rural schools and their challenges continue to become a more prominent topic at the state level, two local champions of Franklin County’s schools have been tapped to serve as co-chairs of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees’ (MASC)...


Shutesbury Elementary School principal leaving in June after 10 years
04-15-2024 12:49 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

SHUTESBURY — After 10 years as principal at Shutesbury Elementary School, Jacqueline Mendonsa is leaving the position at the end of June to relocate to the Boston area.“It is very hard for me to put into words my true love and appreciation for our...


‘Landmark’ contract brings significant pay bumps for Pioneer teachers
04-12-2024 2:52 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

NORTHFIELD — The Pioneer Valley Regional School District School Committee and the teachers’ union have come to what the district describes as a “landmark” contract through fiscal year 2027.Beginning in fiscal year 2025, all teachers will see, at a...


Greenfield School Committee aligns busing policy with current practice
04-11-2024 6:36 PM

By ANTHONY CAMMALLERI

GREENFIELD — The School Committee voted Wednesday to expand its busing policy for elementary school students by half a mile, allowing students living at Leyden Woods, Oak Courts and Greenfield Gardens to continue being bused to school as is the...


Activists: Tuition hike wrong tack for UMass
04-11-2024 4:08 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — As a University of Massachusetts Amherst doctoral student in physics, Mark Murdy has seen his wages as a graduate employee decline relative to inflation, meaning he, like others who work on campus, is taking home less money.Amid these...


Retired Newton School principal joins Greenfield School Committee
04-11-2024 3:05 PM

By ANTHONY CAMMALLERI

GREENFIELD — The School Committee voted 5-1 on Wednesday to appoint its newest member, retired Newton School Principal and former North Adams Curriculum Director Melodie Goodwin. Goodwin, who carries more than four decades of experience in education,...


After 10 years at Hillcrest Elementary, Burstein accepts job as Bernardston principal
04-11-2024 2:34 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

TURNERS FALLS — After a decade serving as Hillcrest Elementary School’s principal and early childhood coordinator, Sarah Burstein is making her way north to serve as Bernardston Elementary School’s new principal for the upcoming school year.A veteran...


State grant expands environmental, life science learning at Pioneer
04-10-2024 10:32 AM

By CHRIS LARABEE

NORTHFIELD — Pioneer Valley Regional School students will soon have new opportunities to explore environmental and life sciences thanks to funding from a state Innovation Career Pathways grant.Beginning in September, the school will begin offering...


Families fume at Orange Elementary School Committee over LPN hire
04-09-2024 5:11 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

ORANGE — Community members on Monday expressed their disgust with the Orange Elementary School Committee over the hiring of unqualified man as Fisher Hill School’s licensed practical nurse.Robert Davis, who was employed from Oct. 2 to Feb. 28,...


Sen. Markey informs Deerfield Elementary students about online privacy law
04-09-2024 12:40 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Fifty-two students coming of age during a time enveloped by social media and online influence spoke with U.S. Sen. Ed Markey on Monday to discuss proposed legislation that would update a law enacted 26 years ago to better protect...


Montague Selectboard talks need for school funding, infrastructure upgrades with Rep. Blais
04-05-2024 1:39 PM

By MAX BOWEN

MONTAGUE — Increased school funding, road and bridge repairs, and wastewater system upgrades were on the minds of Selectboard members as they met with Rep. Natalie Blais this week.Blais, D-Deerfield, met with the board as part of her annual tour of...


GCC uses $119K grant to expand nurse training program for English language learners
03-31-2024 11:56 AM

By ANTHONY CAMMALLERI

GREENFIELD — Greenfield Community College is revamping its free certified nurse aide (CNA) training program, expanding training an extra six weeks to support an English language learners cohort program after receiving $119,129 in grant funding.Funding...


Assessing student assessments: Part one of a conversation about the complicated issue of assessments in our schools
03-29-2024 12:22 PM

By DOUG SELWYN

One of the responsibilities and challenges of every society is to educate their young people so they are ready to assume their roles as adults in the community. There is not one way to do this, and societies make choices based on their values, their...


Four Winds School in Gill to close
03-28-2024 3:27 PM

By MAX BOWEN

GILL — Having struggled with an ongoing drop in enrollment since 2020, Four Winds School plans to close at the end of the academic year.Four Winds Director Hattie Adastra said the enrollment troubles began during the COVID-19 pandemic. Normally, the...


Hearing to consider Erving Elementary’s budget; $4.06M proposal favored by committee
03-26-2024 4:56 PM

By ANTHONY CAMMALLERI

ERVING — The Erving School Committee will hold a public hearing on Wednesday to pick one of three potential fiscal year 2025 budgets — two to the tune of nearly $4.06 million and another that totals approximately $4.13 million.The committee voted in...


Deerfield Elementary occupational therapist honored for ‘unwavering dedication’
03-26-2024 12:21 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

SOUTH DEERFIELD — For her work supporting Deerfield Elementary School’s students and teaching staff, occupational therapist Sue Boraski has been named the winner of the Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Award in the Union 38 School...


Proietti resigns from Greenfield School Committee
03-25-2024 6:02 PM

By ANTHONY CAMMALLERI

GREENFIELD — School Committee member and former Chair Amy Proietti has resigned from the board, just four months after winning a second, four-year term.“It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve as a member of the Greenfield School Committee,”...


Pioneer School Committee pauses talks on SRO until at least next budget cycle
03-25-2024 10:26 AM

By CHRIS LARABEE

NORTHFIELD — Any discussions about the school resource officer position will have to wait at least until the next budget cycle, as the Pioneer Valley Regional School District School Committee opted, by consensus, to not revisit the topic at this...


Stoneleigh-Burnham School launches Empowerment, Ethical Global Citizenship and Voice Center
03-23-2024 4:01 PM

By ANTHONY CAMMALLERI

GREENFIELD — Stoneleigh-Burnham School launched its new Empowerment, Ethical Global Citizenship and Voice Center — an all-in-one research, speech and debate, foreign exchange and staff development program — on March 1, the first day of Women’s History...


Healey: Let’s focus on those facing MCAS hurdle
03-19-2024 5:36 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — Gov. Maura Healey’s team is looking into what more the state can do to help high school students who do not pass the MCAS exam, but she gave voice Tuesday to her opposition to a potential ballot question that would force the state to stop...

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