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Mount Greylock Interim Superintendent Proposing Fully Remote Start to School Year
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:10PM / Wednesday, August 12, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Mount Greylock Regional School District's interim superintendent Tuesday told the community he will propose the district start the year with fully remote learning for general education students.   In a virtual town hall, Robert Putnam previewed the proposal for the start of school that he will present to the School Committee for a vote on Thursday evening. Districts throughout the commonwealth must present their reopening plans, approved by school committees, to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education by Friday.   Putnam emphasized throughout his presentation that all of his plans for the preK-12, three school district are still subject

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Williams Officials: Town's Safety High Priority in Reopening Plan
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:52AM / Monday, August 10, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College officials Friday sought to assure the Board of Health that the safety of the town is at the forefront of the school's plan to welcome students back to campus at the end of the month.   The college's vice president for finance and administration told the board in a virtual meeting that the impact on the community is something that is discussed every day by the school as it prepares for the beginning of students' arrival on Aug. 24.   "Every conversation is rooted in what is safe not only for the college community but the community as a whole," Matt Sheehy said. "As a community member myself living in town,

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Mount Greylock Adds Day in High School, Splits Elementary Days
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:17AM / Monday, August 10, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — All students at Mount Greylock Regional School will be in school two days a week, and elementary school pupils will attend four days a week to start the school year under the latest iteration of the hybrid learning model announced Thursday by interim Superintendent Robert Putnam.   And the School Committee finalized its negotiation on a three-year contract with incoming Superintendent Jason "Jake" McCandless.   After meeting in exectutive session for about 15 minutes, the committee came out and voted 6-0 (with one member, Regina DiLego, absent) to approve a contract negotiated with McCandless, who was offered the job the week

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BCC Hires New Vice President of Administration and Finance
05:39PM / Friday, August 07, 2020
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College has hired Andrea Wadsworth as the new vice president of administration and finance.

Previous to accepting her role at the college, Wadsworth has held a number of positions in education in the Berkshires. She was most recently the assistant superintendent of business and finance. Prior to her role at Mt. Greylock, she was the business administrator at Lee Public Schools and before that she was the senior accounting coordinator/business office accountant for the Berkshire Hills Regional School District.

Wadsworth has participated in a number of community activities related to education as well. She had served as the chair of the Lee

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Williamstown's DIRE Committee Divides Workload
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:01PM / Friday, August 07, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The town's Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Equity Committee Monday formed three working groups to help organize efforts around different tasks before the nascent panel.   Keeping with the members' desire to focus on evidence gathering as the nine-person committee gets up and running, all three of the initial groups are tasked with building up the knowledge base.   Bilal Ansari, Aruna D'Souza and Jeffrey Johnson will be looking to form connections with other grassroots groups in town and beyond who are looking to address issues of equity and inclusion.   Gina Coleman, Drea Finley and Kerri Nicoll will work on developing strategies

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McCann Class of 2020 Urged to Highlight the Positive
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
10:45PM / Thursday, August 06, 2020
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Valedictorian Vanessa Harrington urges her classmates not to define their high school experience by the pandemic. See more photos here. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — McCann Technical School's class of 2020 did not want to make its graduation about COVID-19.   Valedictorian Vanessa Harrington told the 117 members of the class that she scratched her original speech that had been about the effects of COVID-19 and switched to talk about the some of the more positive things in the world    "It has taken over our lives and has become the topic of every conversation," she told the hundred or so attendees gathered on the football field on Thursday night. "So

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Williams Tightens Safety Rules for Returning Students
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com
11:26AM / Thursday, August 06, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College on Thursday issued updated, more stringent regulations for students returning this month.

And the dean of the college noted that violations of the school's COVID-19 safety protocols could lead to "probation, suspension or expulsion."

In a letter to students posted on the college's website, Dean Marlene Sandstrom cites "shifting national conditions" and updated guidance from the commonwealth for changes to the rules that will govern students returning to the college.   One day after Smith College in Northampton announced that it will be going fully remote for the fall semester, Williams told students that they

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McCann Postsecondary Grads Overcame Obstacles
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
10:35PM / Wednesday, August 05, 2020
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Diplomas were presented to 23 graduates on Wednesday. See more photos here.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The 23 graduates of McCann Technical School's postsecondary programs had waited nearly two months for the chance to graduate together.    Seated apart below the school sign on the side lawn, they were ready to singly be called to pick up their diplomas and cheered by families and friends set apart in clustered seats of four.    Superintendent James Brosnan said he'd had the honor of congratulating graduates of the program for 25 years, but this was a first for him, too.     "You have accomplished what others did not and that is

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Mount Greylock Committee Member Pushes to Reopen Schools
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:00AM / Wednesday, August 05, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The chair of the Mount Greylock School Committee's Education Subcommittee on Tuesday repeatedly pressed the district's interim superintendent to develop benchmarks that could be met in order to allow a return to full in-person instruction.   For now, school officials are planning to begin school in mid-September in a hybrid model that sees half the students in preK through ninth grade attending classes in person two days a week with the rest of their time on learning spent remotely; sophomores through seniors in high school would attend school one day a week under the current plan.   Several times during a more than two-hour virtual

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Williams College Promotes Seven Faculty Members to Full Professor
04:49PM / Tuesday, August 04, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College has announced the promotion of seven faculty to full professorships, effective July 1, 2020. 

They include Jessica Chapman, history; Lisa Gilbert, geosciences; Christopher Goh, chemistry; LeRhonda (Rhon) S. Manigault-Bryant, Africana studies; Ashok Rai, economics; Neil Roberts, Africana studies; and Fred Strauch, physics.

In addition, eight faculty have received new named chair positions: Daniel Aalberts is the Kennedy P. Richardson ’71 Professor of Physics; Stephen Freund is the John B. McCoy and John T. McCoy Professor of Computer Science; Marc Gotlieb is the Halvorsen Director of the Graduate Program in Art History; John Limon is

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