Look Ahead, Pittsfield: New school rules, cash for streets and candidates step out

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The start of school is just around the corner, and with it comes a new code of conduct for all the city's public school students.

The new school rules bar cellphone and earphone use in classrooms. The electronic devices too often disrupt learning, wrote Superintendent Jason McCandless and Deputy Superintendent Joseph Curtis in a letter to families.

The district leaders plan to convene an information session about the new code of conduct at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, though the initial letter didn't specify a location.

Overhaul of the new school code happened over the last year, as officials worked to quell fights in the city's high schools and address BB gun violence outside of one of the city's middle schools. With the revised rules, school leaders say they aim to create a safe, respectful and healthy learning environment. They say the new framework also empowers students to understand the impacts of their behavior and correct it, and it endeavors to punish all students equally regardless of race or ability.

On Tuesday, Mayor Linda Tyer will hold a press conference announcing the receipt of competitive funding through the state's Complete Streets program. The funds will support 10 streetside projects throughout the city, ranging from new crosswalks, crossing islands, pedestrian signals, ramps and bike lanes.

Candidates in city races are kicking into gear, and many are rolling out individualized events this week to help them tune into residents' wishes and get their own political messages out.

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And on Wednesday, the Carnevale family marks one year since one of their own, Nick Carnevale, was shot twice in the head during a party. The family will honor the milestone with a private celebration of his survival, which some have described as "miraculous."

Heads up

This week, the Police Advisory and Review Board is slated to discuss news coverage of a recent trial absolving a man of assaulting police officers. During the trial, the man's attorney said police officers triggered the incident with their own behavior, while Police Chief Michael Wynn said their use of force complied with the department's policies given the totality of the circumstances.

The new board was formed earlier this year as a way to bridge gaps between the Pittsfield Police Department and the community, as well as review complaints lodged by citizens against police officers.

And the city's Community Development Board will review plans for three new cannabis facilities in the city. Up for review is a possible retail and cultivation operation on Seymour Street, as well as plans for outdoor grow on Pecks Road and a cultivation facility at Downing Industrial Park. The board meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers.

What's up in Pittsfield? Tell me via email at adrane@berkshireeagle.com, @amandadrane on Twitter, and 413-496-6296.


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