North Adams Schools Awarded Literacy Grant

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — North Adams Public Schools received a $8,652 state grant to implement Appleseeds, a package of materials for teaching foundational reading skills in kindergarten through second grade.

While Appleseeds is free for download to all Massachusetts school districts, the grant will fund professional printing of the materials, plus professional development for educators.

Appleseeds is a free, evidence-based reading foundational skills program for students in grades K-2. Districts can use it to supplement existing curriculum that does not have a strong foundational skill component.

"This Appleseeds grant is an important part of our administration's commitment to improving early literacy instruction," said Governor Maura Healey. "We also recently proposed Literacy Launch in our latest budget, a historic investment in early literacy from age 3 to grade 3, on top of additional funding for continued literacy programming from DESE."
 
The Healey-Driscoll Administration awarded $1.2 million in grants to 18 school districts and collaboratives to implement Appleseeds, a package of materials for teaching foundational reading skills in kindergarten through second grade. 

The program will be implemented by the Executive Office of Education, in coordination with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Department of Early Education and Care. The proposed $30 million fiscal year 2025 investment would help up to 45 school districts transition to a strong, evidence-based literacy program, and the funding would also accelerate review timelines for teacher education programs to require evidence-based early literacy training for future educators. Appleseeds will continue to be an essential part of the state's overall literacy efforts.

 

 

 


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North Adams Council OKs $49M Budget for Fiscal 2025

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The City Council on Tuesday approved a $48,891,455 fiscal 2025 budget, up $1,481,385 or 3.12 percent over this year. 
 
The budget includes a school budget of $20,357,096, up $302,744 or 1.51 percent over this year. 
 
The major drivers are the general increases in the cost of supplies, utilities and insurance; a 2 percent cost of living raise for nonunion employees; upgrades in software and equipment; reclassifications of several positions and additional clerical staff. 
 
Mayor Jennifer Macksey provided the city budget, school budget, compensation and classification plan and capital improvement plan in a bound document with summaries and graphs explaining expenditures. 
 
Finance Committee members recommended the total to the full City Council, calling it "fiscally responsible."
 
Councilor Keith Bona, Finance chair, said committee members did raise objections or concerns during deliberations, particularly Councilor Andrew Fitch over the lack of a city planner and Councilor Ashley Shade over the need for more building maintenance. Shade voted against the public safety budget Tuesday over that issue.
 
"The majority did support each department recommending it to the council and again, there were some some minor changes between the draft budget and what's in front of us," he said. 
 
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