Vol. V No. 3 2/1/2024
Congratulations Cathy Buffoni
...on fifty years at the Stockbridge Library and warm good wishes for fifty more!
Bravo Corey Sprague!
At the Berkshire Hills Regional School District's (BHRSD) meeting on Thursday, January 25, Corey Sprague, BHRSD School Committee member from Stockbridge, read her resolution in response to the Great Barrington Police Department's actions at W.E.B. Du Bois Regional Middle School over a copy of the book Gender Queer.
"Whereas the Berkshire Hills Regional School Committee is dedicated to fostering an environment that encourages critical thinking, diversity and the free exchange of ideas; and whereas our educational mission is grounded in the principles of academic freedom, intellectual curiosity and pursuit of knowledge; and whereas we recognize the importance of providing students with a well-rounded education that exposes them to a variety of perspectives, ideas and cultures; and whereas the diversity of thought and representation in our curriculum was crucial for developing informed and engaged citizens. Now, therefore, be it resolved at Berkshire Hills Regional School Committee affirms its commitment to the principles of academic creativity, intellectual freedom, diversity, and inclusivity within our educational system, and be it further resolved that we stand in support of students and staff, right to access a broad range of educational materials that reflect diverse experiences and perspectives. And being also resolved that we acknowledge the importance of open dialogue and constructive conversations to address concerns related to educational materials. And we encourage community members to participate in respectful discussions about curriculum content, and be it finally resolved that the Berkshire Hills Regional School Committee will continue to review and uphold our policies to ensure that our educational materials are aligned with the values of our community and the principles of academic freedom."
A fellow committee member pronounced it "perfect".
Thank you BHRSD School Committee that further resolved:
WHEREAS, the Berkshire Hills Regional School Committee is dedicated to maintaining a safe and supportive learning environment for students and staff; and
WHEREAS, recent concerns have been raised regarding potential overreach by the local police department in matters related to school affairs; and
WHEREAS, the Berkshire Hills Regional School Committee values a collaborative relationship with law enforcement agencies while ensuring the protection of the rights and well-being of our educational community; and
WHEREAS, accountability and transparency are essential for maintaining public trust and con?dence in both our educational institutions and local law enforcement;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Berkshire Hills Regional School Committee respectfully urges the local police department to initiate a thorough internal investigation into any alleged overreach or involvement in school affairs; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the internal investigation should examine the nature and extent of the police department's interactions with the school community, ensuring that actions taken align with established protocols and respect the rights of students and staff; and
BE IT ALSO RESOLVED that the School Committee expects the local police department to provide a transparent and detailed report of the internal investigation ?ndings, including any recommended corrective actions if warranted; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the School Committee remains committed to fostering a positive and cooperative relationship with local law enforcement agencies to enhance the safety and well-being of our educational community.
Both resolutions were adopted on January 25, 2024.
Applications for Berkshire Art Center's Summer 2024 Internship Program Now Open!
Students ages 15+ are encouraged to apply for a Teaching Assistant position in Berkshire Art Center's Summer 2024 Camp Season, which provides an opportunity to work alongside local artists and aid children ages 4 to 14 years old in visual art exploration.
Berkshire Art Center's camp season runs for 9 to 10 weeks from June through August and the Teaching Assistant position is from approximately 8:30am–4:30pm daily with camps occurring Monday through Friday. Preference is based upon availability and experience, and is given to high school students, college students, and those considering an art education career. Ideal applicants have experience working with children in a camp setting, experience in the visual arts, and an interest in art education.
In Berkshire Art Center's summer camp classrooms, Teaching Assistants help students and teachers through leading selected group activities, setting up art materials and projects, presenting and distributing family surveys at weekly student art shows and assisting with various coordination duties under the supervision of administrative staff. This opportunity also allows students to gain non-profit organizational experience and receive on-the-job training in classroom management, visual arts techniques, and skills.
Teaching Assistants receive a weekly stipend of $525 and one free class tuition to any of Berkshire Art Center's upcoming courses in-person or online (valid through the end of the calendar year with a two-week internship commitment minimum, materials fees not included.)
Applicants must submit an application form by March 1, 2024 and have a resume ready to attach. For more information, please visit berkshireartcenter.org/employment-internships.
Photo: Blue Moon Images/Dana Goedewaagen.