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McCann Scores High on MCAS Tests

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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The McCann School Committee reviews MCAS results. 
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — McCann Technical High students once again scored highly on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System tests and the vocational high school is classified as "not requiring assistance or intervention."
"It has been another solid year and we are doing the same things we have always done and our kids are performing at the same level and they are getting a chance to shine," Principal Justin Kratz told the
School Committee on Thursday. "We are in good shape."
Kratz said the test was different this year and has been "reshuffled." He said it is harder to directly compare results to the previous test and that rather it pits local scores against the state average.  
This is the second year of using the new accountability system for so-called MCAS 2.0, a more rigorous iteration of the standardized tests. The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education used a weighted system in which last year's results made up a percentage of the combined two-year score.
Kratz compared results to the state average — specifically passing rates. On the math portion of the test, McCann claimed a 94 percent passing rate; the state average is 91 percent.
In biology, 97 percent of McCann students passed against a state average of 95 percent. McCann trended the same way in the English Language Arts test with 98 percent of students passing compared to a state average of 92 percent.
In terms of accountability points, McCann scored four out of four points in ELA, one out of four in math, and three out of four in science.
Out of a total of eight points in growth, McCann scored five.
Kratz noted, like in years passed, it becomes harder to continue to grab points when students are already scoring highly. 
"Being a high-performance MCAS school is a double-edged sword because there is not always that room for growth that the state is looking for," he said. "Compared to other schools, our kids have traditionally done well on the MCAS so this year was no exception."
Kratz said McCann was mentioned in a DESE press release that stated among vocational schools, McCann saw the greatest improvement in meeting its targets from 2018 to 2019.
He said the faculty and students are the ones to thank for McCann's continued success. 
"If you think about what our kids do in 180 days compared to students not in vocational programs to be at this level," the principal said. "We meet expectations and we are where the state says we need to be. We are there in 90 days and by the way, our students are coming out of school prepared to do electrical work, automotive work, and other trades."

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North Adams McDonald's Being Renovated

Staff ReportsiBerkshires

Plans presented to the Planning Board in 2018.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The McDonald's on Union Street is in the process of being renovated inside and out with a more contemporary look. 
The plans were approved in November 2018 by the Planning Board and include the removal of the mansard roof and construction of a new patio area in the front. 
The fast-food burger chain launched the new look two years ago with plans to invest $6 billion to renovate most of its 14,000 locations by the end of 2020.
Changes include modernized dining areas with new furniture and "globally and locally inspired décor," according the release announcing the building overhauls in 2018. 
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