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Mount Greylock School Committee Pulls Rug Out of Fields Project
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
09:33PM / Thursday, January 14, 2021
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School Committee on Thursday decided to move forward with needed improvements to the middle-high school's athletic fields, but it removed both a track and a synthetic turf field from the project that will go out to bid this winter.   After hearing that the estimated cost of the project with the inclusion of an artificial turf field would be more than the committee is willing to spend, it voted 6-1 to order bid documents that just address Title IX and Americans with Disabilities Act deficiencies on the campus.   Primarily, that means bringing the softball fields up to the same level as the school's baseball fields

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College Notes: Winter 2021
02:55PM / Thursday, January 14, 2021
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  Graduations Alissa Rosier of Pittsfield earned a master of education degree fromin Seward, Neb., in the fall 2020.   Academic Lists & Awards in Milton named local students Madison Vigna of Adams, Julia O'Connor of Dalton and Jonah Alemany of Pittsfield to the dean's list for the fall 2020 semester.   named the following students to the fall 2020 honors lists:   Haley Adelt, Jacob Halverson and Sarah Rattigan, all of Adams; Brooke Gates of Dalton, and Quintin Demarsico of Readsboro, Vt.   Ashlee Meczywor of Adams, Aubrey Tetlow of Williamstown, and Jamie Boyle of Pownal, Vt.   Brandon Hoffman of Dalton, Donovan Sawyer of Monterey and Thomas

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Mount Greylock School Committee Faces Thursday Vote on Scope of Fields Project
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:19AM / Monday, January 11, 2021
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock School Committee this Thursday is slated to decide what elements — if any — can be trimmed from a multimillion-dollar athletic fields project before it goes out to bid.   The committee's Finance Subcommittee last week took a first pass at the "value engineering" list of items that were included in the first version of the project to go out to bid in 2019.   The subcommittee made plans to discuss the value engineering list again on the afternoon of Jan. 14 before the topic goes to the full committee for final decisions later that evening. The school district's architects from Perkins Eastman and Traverse

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State Program Will Allow Schools to Conduct 'Pool Testing' for COVID-19
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
05:20PM / Friday, January 08, 2021
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BOSTON — Massachusetts schools will have the ability to conduct "pool" testing of staff and students for the novel coronavirus under a program announced Friday on Beacon Hill.   Gov. Charlie Baker was joined by his secretary of education and commissioner of elementary and secondary education to roll out the latest in the administration's continuing effort to push for in-person education in the commonwealth.   "As schools across the commonwealth and around the world are demonstrating and as the medical experts have confirmed, when the standard protocols are followed, schools can be very safe places for children and staff, even without universal

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Mount Greylock School Committee Talks about Long-Term COVID Costs
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:37PM / Tuesday, December 29, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock School Committee last week talked about the toll that last classroom time is having on learners and the financial cost the district might incur to fill some of the learning gaps.   Committee member Jose Constantine pointed to some dire national statistics about the effect of teaching in a remote or hybrid model and asked whether the Lanesborough-Williamstown schools were seeing similar consequences from the COVID-19 pandemic.   While the major decision from the committee's last 2020 meeting was a move to address perceived physical education and co-curricular needs, students' academic needs consumed more time during the 4

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Mount Greylock School Committee Advances Synthetic Turf Field Project
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
11:21PM / Tuesday, December 22, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A deeply divided Mount Greylock Regional School Committee decided Tuesday night to move forward with a project to address deficiencies in the playing fields at the middle/high school that includes an artificial turf multi-sport field.   On a vote of 4-3, the committee decided to pay architect Perkins Eastman $44,000 to develop design documents that will allow the district to put the project out to bid this winter with the possibility of having a synthetic turf field in place as early as fall 2021.   The vote does not commit the district to actually accept bids when they come back, but it almost certainly ensures that the district will issue a request

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Mount Greylock School Committee Hears from Public on Turf Question
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
07:31PM / Monday, December 21, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The newest members of the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee last week got a crash course in the arguments for and against building an artificial turf playing field at the middle-high school.   On Tuesday evening, they have another chance to decide whether to move forward or again press the pause button.   The committee is scheduled to take a vote on a $44,000 proposal from architect Perkins Eastman to draw up bid documents for a renovation of the school's playing fields that includes a multi-sport synthetic turf field.   Without the updated documents, the district cannot put the project -- projected to cost north of $2 million -- out to

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Mount Greylock School Committee Talks About Long-Term Enrollment Trend
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:19AM / Monday, December 14, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Like most school districts, Mount Greylock is working every day to figure out how to get through the challenge of the next week in the COVID-19 pandemic.   Last week, the School Committee took some time to look at the difficulties the district will face in the next 10 to 20 years.   First-year Superintendent Jason McCandless used the opportunity of an often routine report on enrollment to talk about concerning long-term decline in student population that the two-town district can foresee over the next couple of decades.   He pointed to projections from the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission that show the district's enrollment falling to 783

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Mount Greylock School Committee Invites Public to Comment on Field Issue
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:40PM / Friday, December 11, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School Committee is offering one more chance for proponents and opponents of an artificial turf field to make their cases before the panel decides whether to put the project out to bid.   On Tuesday, the School Committee settled on a format for a pair of special meetings to be held on Monday, Dec. 14, at 5 and 7 p.m.   The 5 p.m. session will provide an opportunity for one hour of comments from community members who sign up in advance. At 7 p.m., the committee will hear two 15-minute presentations — one for a synthetic field and one against — followed by 30 minutes for School Committee members to ask questions of

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McCandless: District, Union Working to Improve COVID-19 Agreement
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:57AM / Thursday, December 10, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Mount Greylock Regional School District officials are working to tweak a memorandum of understanding with the teachers union that allowed the opening of school in September, but it is too soon to say whether those talks will lead to a resumption of in-person instruction.   Last week, Mount Greylock went to fully remote learning all three of its schools after the county's 14-day COVID-19 test positivity rate reached 3.01 percent, just north of the 3 percent threshold for remote learning in the September MOA.   Superintendent Jason McCandless on Tuesday told the School Committee that he is not overly optimistic that metric will decline when the state

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