More Than Half Of Public Colleges in Mass. Used COVID Relief Funds To Cover Unpaid Student Bills

August 19, 2021

As students prepare to return to campus, colleges in New England and across the country are figuring out how to spend a windfall of $69 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funds. More than half the public colleges in Massachusetts are using part of that money to cover millions in unpaid balances that students owe them.…

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Federal Relief Funds Keeping Small, Struggling Colleges In New England Afloat — For Now

August 5, 2021

In a dank basement of a 113-year-old building in Boston, Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology’s new president Aisha Francis struggled to turn the key to a classroom where — when school is in session — students learn how to fix cars. “They learn to take apart and rebuild a transmission, so they have to be…

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Rumbila’s Story: Smith College Grad Works To Balance Career Goals, Family And Tradition

August 4, 2021

In early May, Smith College senior Rumbila Abdullahi relaxed on a couch in her living room off a quiet street in the Sixteen Acres neighborhood of Springfield, Massachusetts. She wore a baati — a traditional Somali dress — and a hijab. Days earlier, she sat in a testing center for most of a day taking…

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How The Critical Race Theory Debate Came To Two New Hampshire Towns

August 2, 2021

For student Alex Putney, the debate over diversity and inclusion efforts at her New Hampshire high school took a turn in July 2020. Local residents had submitted a proposal to SAU 41 to “make anti-racism and equity a strategic priority” in local schools. Putney, one of the few biracial students at the mostly-white Hollis Brookline…

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Kayaking, Mad Libs, and Greek History: Here’s What Summer School Looks Like in Somersworth, N.H.

July 21, 2021

At Idlehurst Elementary School in Somersworth, 9-year old twins Jamya and Jennessa Mercer are huddled over their clipboards, crafting a Mad Libs story about camping. They’re here with three other students and three teachers, four days a week, for the next five weeks. It’s a far cry from the virtual schooling they had much of…

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To Mask, Or Not To Mask: Epidemiologists Debate Rules For K-12 Students This Fall

July 15, 2021

The COVID-19 advisory panel for Brookline, Mass., public schools met late on a Friday afternoon last week to discuss, as they had for over a year, safety in the district’s classrooms. But that morning, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had thrown what David Gacioch, the panel’s co-chair, called “a curveball.” The CDC released…

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Schools Face A New Threat In The Pandemic: Ransomware

July 15, 2021

Doug Russell, the IT director for the city of Haverhill, was sleepless in the wee hours of April 8, which turned out to be fortunate. He caught an alert on his phone when the school district’s computer system suddenly crashed. A former firefighter, he hopped in his red pickup to check out the district servers…

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Is It Ethical For Universities To Ask International Students To Get Re-Vaccinated?

July 8, 2021

Abdulla Aldhaheri is a freshman at Brown University, but he’s never actually been to the hilltop campus in Providence, R.I. The pandemic meant he started college remotely, from his home in the United Arab Emirates. “I really want to come to campus, I feel disconnected,” Aldhaheri said. Aldhaheri — like other international students — is…

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Class of COVID — A GBH News Special

June 21, 2021

In a year with tremendous uncertainty, three Boston-area high school students faced a pandemic, remote school, and hardships — and prevailed. GBH News journalists followed their journey all year long as part of the COVID and the Classroom project. Check out this special retrospective looking back at the year, followed by a panel discussion with…

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Colleges Fight Attempts To Stop Them From Withholding Transcripts Over Unpaid Bills

June 17, 2021

Alex Harris loves his job working with students on the autism spectrum — “my superheroes,” he calls them with a broad smile and a deep laugh — in Boston Public Schools. But the academic transcript Harris needs for a promotion and a raise is being kept from him by the private college he attended because…

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