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Online forum addresses school funding erosion in Franklin County
06-23-2024 5:00 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

GREENFIELD — The Franklin County Education Funding Committee used its second online forum to explain how the progress of school funding in Massachusetts has eroded over the years, disproportionately affecting lower-income districts, despite the state...

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Orange, Petersham schools receive state grants to bolster reading skills
06-10-2024 11:44 AM

By DOMENIC POLI and MAX BOWEN

Orange and Petersham will receive a combined $134,530 in state money to implement a package of materials for teaching foundational reading skills in kindergarten through second grade.The two North Quabbin towns are among the 18 school districts and...


Franklin County Technical School prepares to launch aviation, veterinary programs
06-04-2024 5:00 PM

By LIESEL NYGARD

TURNERS FALLS — The Franklin County Technical School is on the cusp of completing two separate projects that will provide more opportunities for its students.The school has been working on both a veterinary center, which should be done before the end...


Small in numbers, large in spirit: Mahar graduates 56
06-03-2024 2:00 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

ORANGE — Seated at the 10-yard line of the James S. Woodward Athletic Complex, the members of Ralph C. Mahar Regional School’s perhaps smallest-ever class crossed into a different end zone of sorts on Friday evening.Fifty-six graduates moved their...


Following risk screening, Erving Elementary School implementing student mental health program
05-28-2024 2:39 PM

By ANTHONY CAMMALLERI

ERVING — After results from a recent survey showed that 7% of Erving students were in the “high risk” emotional category and another 32% were at “some risk” emotionally, Erving Elementary School is moving forward with a new student mental health...


Does renewed growth in Massachusetts’ higher education mark a turning point or a temporary surge?
05-28-2024 1:50 PM

By XINYI YANG

After a decade of declining enrollment, public higher education in Massachusetts finally saw the first increase in first-year undergraduate enrollment last fall, fueled by a nearly 8% increase in community college admissions.Meanwhile, at the...


Mahar school district tightens belt in wake of town fraud
05-22-2024 3:24 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

ORANGE — The Orange Elementary and Ralph C. Mahar Regional school committees obliged their town’s Selectboard on Monday by revisiting the budgets they’re proposing at the Annual Town Meeting but only Mahar voted to further trim costs as asked.Because...


Graduating amid signs of protest: 6,800 UMass students receive diplomas at ceremony briefly interrupted by walk out
05-20-2024 5:02 PM

By Elise Linscott

AMHERST — Several dozen protesters marched out of the 154th UMass Amherst Undergraduate Commencement ceremony this weekend when Chancellor Javier Reyes took the podium, including a few faculty members and people in the stands carrying banners,...


Debt-burdened UMass students, grads rally for relief
05-03-2024 2:00 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Responsible for $135,000 in student debt, Amherst resident Ian Rhodewalt observes that during the yearslong federal pause in making loan repayments during the pandemic, he and his family were able to get a vehicle, replace a broken-down car...


Franklin Tech student welds ‘artistic’ bench for French King Bridge
04-30-2024 1:14 PM

By LIESEL NYGARD

ERVING — Drawing inspiration from the French King Bridge, Franklin County Technical School senior Laynie Coates, 17, put her welding skills to the test.The result, a green bench with lettering that says “Gateway to the Mohawk Trail” and a bridge-like...


PHOTO: A valuable simulation
04-28-2024 5:00 PM


Spilka pledges ‘comprehensive climate bill’ in Senate
04-23-2024 3:22 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — Signaling the potential for more change in the transportation and energy sectors, Senate President Karen Spilka revealed Monday that the Senate plans to tackle a major climate bill before formal sessions come to a close in just over three...


With eye toward teaching firearm safety, Mahar’s Junior ROTC adding air rifles
04-18-2024 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...


Director of Village School in Royalston steps down
04-15-2024 4:30 PM

By GREG VINE

ROYALSTON – Village School Director Rise Richardson, who has been there since the doors opened in 1989, has announced she has stepped down from the position.Richardson has been the school’s director since 1994, and said she had decided that it was...


Families fume at Orange Elementary School Committee over LPN hire
04-10-2024 5:00 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,...


Savoy seeks Athol Royalston School Committee seat
03-26-2024 4:33 PM

By GREG VINE

ATHOL – Jason Savoy, a 1999 graduate of Athol High School, is one of two people running for a one-year term on the Athol-Royalston Regional School Committee in next Monday’s annual Town Election. Savoy is seeking to fill the vacancy created by the...


Healey: Let’s focus on those facing MCAS hurdle
03-20-2024 5:00 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...


Senate gives House more runway for early ed bill
03-17-2024 5:00 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — More Massachusetts families would become eligible for subsidized child care and “transformational” grants that kept the early education system afloat during the pandemic would be made permanent, under a bill the Senate unanimously passed on...


Senate plans another push for major early ed bill
03-11-2024 5:00 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — Despite a tightening state budget picture, the Senate this week plans to take up a pricey early education and child care bill aimed at expanding access to education for the state’s youngest learners and making it more affordable for families,...


‘Remarkable’ enrollment increase continues for second semester at GCC
03-10-2024 5:00 PM

By ANTHONY CAMMALLERI

GREENFIELD — Greenfield Community College saw a 13% increase in enrollment this semester, marking the college’s second consecutive semester of enrollment growth after a more than 10-year decline.By the end of 2023, 150 more students enrolled in the...


Wages, turnover put drag on early education
03-01-2024 5:01 PM

By SAM DORAN

BOSTON — The early education and care sector is seeing high turnover and a lack of younger educators entering the field, according to a report released Tuesday by The Boston Foundation, while the study’s authors recommended lifting up the sector with...

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