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Williams College Announces Plan for Return of Classes
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
10:21AM / Monday, June 29, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College on Monday morning announced that students will be welcomed back to campus beginning in August for a semester of " 'hybrid' courses that blend in-person and remote instruction."

In a 3,400-hundred word letter to the college community, President Maud S. Mandel explained that the college's faculty and administration have designed a return from the spring's campus closure that aligns with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.   Students will be allowed to choose to take the year off with no penalty, and the college has lowered the number of

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Q&A: Mount Greylock Principal Looks Back on Tenure, Ahead to Teaching
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
07:15AM / Sunday, June 28, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Mary MacDonald this Tuesday leaves the principal's office at Mount Greylock Regional School.   But she hopes to not go very far.   MacDonald, who moved into the corner office in 2013, announced this winter that she will wrap up her seven-year stint as the school's top administrator with the hope of returning in the fall as one of its teachers..   Although hiring plans at the middle/high school are unknown at the moment because of the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, MacDonald remains focused on her plan to get back to the classroom.   "Mount Greylock has a history of principals going back to the classroom,"

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Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation Names Winner of Environmental Leadership Award
10:22AM / Saturday, June 27, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Amelia Murphy of Williamstown is the 2020 Mt. Greylock senior recipient of the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation  Mathias J. Bartels Environmental Leadership Award.

The award was presented at the Mt. Greylock Regional High School class night on June 6.

WRLF has long recognized the importance of fostering a sense of place and awareness of the natural environment in the next generation and in support of that, in 2000 established an annual environmental award for a graduating senior at Mt. Greylock Regional High School.  The award was renamed in 2004 to honor the exemplary leadership shown by former Mt. Greylock student Mathias Bartels.

The WRLF is a

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Doctors Back Up State's Guidance for School Reopening
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:30PM / Thursday, June 25, 2020
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Dr. Lloyd Fisher, a pediatrician, discusses the reasoning behind some of the health measures recommended for reopening schools this fall. BOSTON, Mass. — All over the world, temporal thermometers are part of the strategy for reopening economies from the COVID-19 pandemic.   But they will not do much good when it comes to reopening schoolhouse doors, Gov. Charlie Baker said on Thursday.   The commonwealth came very close to requiring daily temperature checks for students returning to school in the fall, but ultimately decided against the move because those checks would not yield any useful information, he said.   "With kids, there are way too many false

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State Issues Guidance for Return of School in the Fall
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
12:12PM / Thursday, June 25, 2020
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BOSTON — The state is recommending schools maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet and require masks for staff and children in Grade 2 and above.   And districts are required to create plans to start the school year in three different scenarios: in-person learning, remote learning and a hybrid model that could see students alternating in-person instruction on a daily or weekly basis.   The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on Thursday released its first round of reopening guidance for the commonwealth's primary and secondary schools.   "Continued isolation poses very real risks to our kids mental and physical health, and to their

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State Guidance on Start of School Year Expected Thursday
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
05:38PM / Wednesday, June 24, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — School officials across the commonwealth are anticipating a Thursday announcement of state directives regarding the 2020-21 school year.   But they have been disappointed before.   "We were hopeful we would have the [education] commissioner's guidance," Mount Greylock Superintendent Kimberley Grady told the School Committee's Education Subcommittee on Tuesday. "We were supposed to have it the week of the 15th, now we're in the week of the 22nd. We were hoping it would be released this morning. We received notice five minutes before the governor went on [Tuesday morning] that we weren't going to be receiving an update until

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BCC Hires New Staff in Human Resources, Enrollment Services
09:04AM / Tuesday, June 23, 2020
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College has brought on a new staff personnel in human resources and in the Enrollment Services department.

T.J. Karis has joined the Enrollment Services team as an admissions counselor. Karis recently graduated with honors from MCLA, majoring in philosophy and English literature plus a strong minor in Spanish. He also earned an associate degree in liberal arts and sciences with a concentration in world languages from Middlesex Community College. 

Most recently, he worked in Access Services at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington, Vt. A lover of languages and linguistics, he is fluent in Spanish, proficient in Italian and

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Mount Greylock School Committee to Hear Proposal for Fields Advisory Group
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:18AM / Monday, June 22, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School Committee's Finance Subcommittee on Thursday settled on a proposal for an advisory group to help the full committee make a decision that has stymied it for months.   Following a request from School Committee Chair Christina Conry, the subcommittee crafted a proposal to bring to the full panel as soon as its Thursday, June 25, meeting.   The proposed Athletic Infrastructure Advisory Group would be charged with delivering and providing background to the School Committee two or three options "for resolving current challenges to athletic infrastructure" at the middle/high school. The proposal as drafted gives

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MCLA Announces Plan to Begin In-Person Classes on Sept. 2
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:19AM / Friday, June 19, 2020
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — With students assigned one to each dorm room and attending each class one day per week, the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts plans to begin in-person education again on Sept. 2.   On Thursday, MCLA President James Birge announced to the school community the plan devised by its Return to Campus Advisory Committee.   In addition to giving each student in the residence hall system a single room at the same rate they would have paid, students will be expected to leave the campus at the start of the Thanksgiving break in November and not return until spring semester.   "While we cannot expect our plan to be perfect or completely free of risk, I

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Mount Greylock Forum Opens Conversation on Racial Equity
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
11:33AM / Monday, June 15, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Difficult conversations about race across racial lines are important.   But so are conversations that are not about race.   Pittsfield author and motivational speaker Ty Allan Jackson made that point last week during a virtual community conversation hosted by the Mount Greylock Regional School District.   "I think there has to continuously be consistency of having people of color coming in [to the schools] to talk -- and not just solely about diverse issues," Jackson said. "I think a big problem we have in a lot of our communities is that there isn't a lot of representation of people of color in the first place. I think we need

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