Look Ahead Pittsfield: School year finally starting

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PITTSFIELD — Students will be logging into their first day of online lessons Tuesday, capping a coronavirus summer and ushering in a new school year.

Educators and the district's administration spent much of the summer developing first-ever plans for delivering instruction under extraordinary circumstances. Pittsfield is among a number of districts that opted to reopen fully remote in the fall, with plans to transition to a hybrid learning model.

All the while, the district's administration and school committee have been working to hammer out an agreement with the teachers' union over the terms for reopening schools. The chair of the School Committee, Katherine Yon, told me Thursday that parties are closing in on an agreement.

Though school buildings will remain closed for now, the district will provide grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches for children under 18 at a number of community meal sites on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with the first day of meal service being Wednesday, Sept. 16. Click here for pick-up locations and times.

Senior citizens will have new opportunities to dine in a community setting starting Monday. Congregate meals will be offered on weekdays at the Ralph J. Froio Senior Center, 330 North St., daily during two time slots, the first at 10:30 a.m. and the second at 11:30 a.m. The new offerings provide a forum for seniors to get together and socialize after months of pandemic-induced isolation, the executive director of the Council on Aging said in a recent press release.

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"We are acutely aware of the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on food insecurity and social isolation for our senior community. By offering this modified plan, our hope is that our seniors will be able to enjoy a healthy meal and socialize for a brief period, in a safe and friendly setting," said Executive Director Jim Clark.

A $2 donation is recommended for those over the age of 60. Diners must reserve a spot at least 24 hours in advance, as no more than 20 people are allowed to be seated. While diners beginning Monday have the option to sit down and enjoy a meal with company, the center will continue distributing grab-and-go meals between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Two marijuana companies are looking to expand their footprints in the city with new parking or cultivation space. The Community Development Board, at a virtual meeting Tuesday, will hear from Berkshire Roots, which is seeking approval to build a cultivation center to add to its Dalton Avenue campus.

Bloom Brothers will request an amendment to create additional parking at its retail location off of Merrill Road.

Amanda Burke can be reached at aburke@berkshireeagle.com, on Twitter @amandaburkec and 413-496-6296.


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