School Committee members Laura Wood and Cynthia Brule hold plaques with Principal Tara Barnes on Wednesday morning.
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — The school community on Wednesday marked its 100th day of in-person learning with a small parade and the presentation thanking students and staff for their perseverance.
One hundred days in school wouldn't normally be something to celebrate. But being inside a classroom in this particular year has been anything but normal.
Clarksburg's elementary grades along with its fellow schools in the Northern Berkshire School Union — Gabriel Abbott in Florida, Emma Miller in Savoy, and Rowe Elementary — have been able to operate in person in the midst of the pandemic while larger communities have been forced into hybrid or remote learning. In January, the three smaller Northern Berkshire schools were among only 20 in the state that were fully in person.
"We are so proud of the staff and the students and all of our community that helped us to get here to 100 days in person and we just couldn't have done it without all of the town without all of the administration without everybody's support," said Principal Tara Barnes after each grade marched up the driveway from the gym and back into the schools to cheers. "There are so many people from your community that came out this morning to cheer for you, because you've made it 100 days."
A 100 days balloon sign with apple and school bus, from Alluring Balloon Creations in Adams, was situated at the front of the school. Some of the children boasted paper glasses made to look like "100" and the sixth grade counted off their steps to 100.
Teachers dressed to show their age at 100 — canes, walkers, shawls and gray wigs. "Look how much your teachers have changed," shouted Barnes, shaking her cane.
The School Committee presented the plaque over the new public address system once the children were back in their classrooms. The round wooden sign, made by School Committee member Cynthia Brule's niece, a school graduate, reads "Clarksburg Elementary School, home of our heroes, with deepest gratitude, Clarksburg School Committee."
Circling the sign are the words citizenship, perseverance, responsibility, respect and integrity.
School officials were joined by members of the Select Board, Town Administrator Rebecca Stone and state police.
Clarksburg returned to school for Grades kindergarten through 5 in September; Grades 6, 7 and 8 have been in hybrid mode because of space issues. The school community has been tight on social distancing, masking and sanitation. Access to the school building is limited and the ventilation system upgraded and air purification filters installed.
The school closed the week of March 9, 2020, when the first Berkshire County case of COVID-19 emerged in the town and spent the rest of that year remote as schools across the state were shut down the following week.
Grades kindergarten through 5 returned to the building on Sept. 14, gradually transitioning to full days beginning on Oct. 5.
"I think it's been a great effort by the whole community working together, from the students to the families, staff, administration, the town leaders," said Superintendent of Schools John Franzoni. "Everyone worked hard in this last year to make sure that we could have in-person learning, and we're very proud of the fact that Clarksburg has been open for in-person learning for 100 days this year with no transmissions in our school. And that's due to all the effort by everybody to follow the safety guidelines and keep everybody in our town in our school safe."
The middle school has continued in hybrid but Franzoni said those three grades should be back fully in person by the end of March to comply with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's push to have all or most students in school by April.
"We've had good conversations and plans, and the plan will be that for the last trimester of the school year, it will be K through 8 in Clarksburg full-day, in-person, just like the other three NBSU schools," he said. "We're excited about that. It's best for the kids and we've proven that we can do it safely."
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Clarksburg Mulling Restoration of Misspelled Street Name
By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
Joseph Pevoski with sign he installed in 1970, from the North Adams Transcript.
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — Fifty years ago, Joseph Pevoski made sure his friend would not be forgotten by naming a road after him.
But at some point the road's name was misspelled and Pevoski's son wants to ensure his father's memorial to his friend is restored.
Pvt. 1st Class Herbert McLagan was born in Glasgow, Scotland, but raised in Clarksburg and graduated from Drury High School. He enlisted in the Army in 1941 and was wounded at Cassino a month after landing in Italy in 1944. He died two months later from his wounds.
Pevoski, also of Clarksburg, was wounded at Anzio and told the North Adams Transcript he had seen his friend die in the hospital. Twenty-six years later, he was given town permission to name the road in front of his house McLagan Drive. The sign was installed on the Fourth of July, 1970.
School officials are hoping to work out a solution with the attached public library for space and have budgeted $51,144 for a prekindergarten teacher and teaching assistant. The balance of the $101,000 would cover other essentials such as insurance, supplies and other needs but not necessarily any... click for more