NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — McCann Technical School students are making do with remote learning but the school still hasn't determined how it will deal with graduation.
"It is going well, and I have to give a ton of credit to our faculty and staff," Principal Justin Kratz said in an interview Friday. "They have done a really phenomenal job in something that teachers were never formally trained ... they have really stepped up to the challenge
Kratz gave an update to the School Committee a its meeting held remotely Thursday evening. The meeting was unable to be live stream to the public so the committee opted to post a recording online at a future date.
On Friday, Kratz said, for the most part, McCann has had few issues keeping students connected during the novel coronavirus pandemic that has closed schools across the nation. He said those who did not have devices for remote learning were able to borrow one from the school.
"We didn't have the same magnitude of need like Pittsfield having to get out thousands of laptops," he said. "But every kid who needed a device got one. We had enough in the building to take care of the students in need."
He said there may be a dozen or so students without an internet connection at home so the school has been delivering other learning materials.
Kratz said teaching shop remotely has been somewhat of a challenge
"It is definitely difficult and our shop instructors are really coming up with some creative stuff to present material but ultimately you cant replace hands-on shop experience with anything virtual," he said. "You can try to supplement it or prime the students for next year."
For example, culinary students are watching videos to learn knife skills but there are still challenges. Even for computer heavy shops, students don't have access to the school's powerful machines or the expensive software used in class.
He said they are trying to reinforce what students have already learned and are preparing them for future lessons when the school's doors open again.
"No matter how you slice it or dice it there is going to be some learning loss when we come back," he said. "So we are trying to look at things the students would have received and get them ready and primed to learn when they get back."
The principal said they are also extending support to families and working closely with students who may be less engaged during the pandemic.
"I am really pleased with how much our students are participating but like any school, we have a handful of students we are working with to raise their level of engagement," he said. "Our councilors have been doing a fantastic job reaching out to families to offer support. All is going as well as it could in this type of situation."
As for graduation, McCann is holding off on any decision until they have more information.
"We felt like a moving target was not going to be helpful to parents who may want to invite people or make plans," he said. "So instead of putting out a bunch of hypotheticals early on that, we would have to change we are waiting."
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue. Name-calling, personal attacks, libel, slander or foul language is not allowed. All comments are reviewed before posting and will be deleted or edited as necessary.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The city released a boil water notice for all residences and business which lost water service or experienced discolored water or lower pressure in connection to the River Street water main break.
The Department of Public Services released a statement at 2:30 pm on Friday urging residents and businesses whose water was affected by the water main break on River Street to boil water before consumption.
The statement reads:
"Due to the water main break on River Street, and as a precaution, all residences and business which lost water service, or experienced discolored water or lower pressure (below 35 psi at the water main/hydrant), advised to boil water for one minute prior to use for human consumption."
The Department of Public Services released a statement at 2:30 pm on Friday urging residents and businesses whose water was affected by the water main break on River Street to boil water before consumption. click for more
The investigation launched in April, which included Medicaid fraud team investigators, spoke with more than 90 family members of veterans and others who called into the attorney general's office.
click for more
The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition will commence its annual event, Voices for Recovery, beginning this Friday, Sept. 25. This year's theme is "Days of Hope," and the weeklong event coincides with the conclusion of Recovery Month.
click for more
The 24-inch main sprung a leak sometime on Tuesday that was reported about 7 p.m. that night. Crews began working the problem on Wednesday morning. River Street between Marshall and Holden was closed to traffic.
click for more
The total amount to be raised is $40,939,756, up $134,218, or 0.33 percent, from last year. Some $11,369.776 has already been spent over the past three months through continuing appropriations caused by delays in the state budget because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
click for more
Local governments will be taking up the question of Halloween activities in the coming weeks but it looks like traditional trick-or-treating is out this year. And don't think that plastic costume mask is a substitute for the cloth one you're wearing now.
click for more