Barr Foundation Funds 'Portrait of a Graduate' Project for Five Berkshire County High Schools

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Barr Foundation has awarded $250,000 to the Berkshire County Education Task Force and Berkshire Tomorrows, an arm of the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, to enable five County high schools to develop "a portrait of a graduate."

The participating schools are the Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School, Drury High School, Lee Middle and High School, Pittsfield High School and Taconic High School.

The Barr Foundation describes "A Portrait of a Graduate" as "a collective vision of what all high school students will know and be able to do by graduation. To create a portrait of a graduate educators, parents, students, and community members work together to articulate a robust definition of student success in school and beyond. This process offers an opportunity to outline a community’s own values, align work with what’s already in place, bridge existing gaps, and guide future decision-making."

"The task force's objective is to ensure high quality educational programming, services and opportunities for all students in Berkshire County. Among the ways we seek to do this is to support inter-district efforts that foster educationally-driven collaboration. We sought this $250,000 grant on behalf of five county high schools to help them, and the county as a whole, move toward offering the highest quality and most soundly focused education possible," William Cameron, the chairperson of the BCETF. "That effort begins with developing a clear understanding of what the community views as essential in preparing its high school graduates for the future that lies before them."

The Barr Foundation has awarded 14 "Portrait of a Graduate" grants to New England school districts and organizations. Seven of these award winners are in Massachusetts.

The Barr Foundation’s mission is "to invest in human, natural, and creative potential, serving as thoughtful stewards and catalysts. Based in Boston, Barr focuses regionally, and selectively engages nationally, working in partnership with nonprofits, foundations, the public sector, and civic and business leaders to elevate the arts, advance solutions for climate change, and connect all students to success in high school and beyond. Founded in 1997, Barr now has assets of $1.8 billion, and has contributed more than $1 billion to charitable causes.


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MEMA Grant Puts Emergency Medical Kits in Pittsfield Schools

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff

Police Chief Michael Wynn, left, Fire Chief Thomas Sammons and Eric Lamoureaux, community coordinator for the Pittsfield Public Schools, at Monday's announcement. 
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — All city public schools will receive backpack trauma kits equipped to handle a multitude of emergency situations.
Fire Chief Thomas Sammons alongside Police Chief Michael Wynn and Eric Lamoureaux of the Pittsfield Public Schools announced Monday the delivery of 15 trauma kits that were secured through a Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency grant.
"This is a whole approach the city is taking in responding to an active shooter," Sammons said at Fire Department headquarters on Monday morning. "The Police and Fire Department have worked together on active shooter scenarios and these kits have a lot of the same items that we carry and deploy."
Sammons said the grant was submitted in the fall and was a joint effort between the Fire, Police, and School departments. The grant was $9,735 in total; each kit cost around $650.
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