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Williams Colleges Pledges $5M Endowment for New Mount Greylock School
Staff Reports,
01:50PM / Thursday, February 11, 2016
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College announced on Thursday that it will create a $5 million endowment for the Mount Greylock Regional School District.   The funding will go toward projects outside of the scope of work in the new construction and renovation project. The district has approved a $64.8 million renovation and the cost will be split between the two towns and the Massachusetts School Building Authority.    William's $5 million fund will be created next fiscal year and will be used for capital projects chosen by the Mount Greylock School Committee that fall outside of the new school project.    "Williams is pleased to be able to strengthen

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Williams Lego Challenge 'Bridges' Math, MLK, Charity
By Phyllis McGuire, Special to iBerkshires
04:50PM / Friday, February 05, 2016
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Last year it was a sturdy Star Destroyer, this year it was a fragile bridge across the massive fireplace in the Paresky Center.

The building of the Lego Bridge on Jan. 18 was one of the focal points of the Williams College Winter Study course "The Mathematics of Lego Bricks," taught by associate math professor Steven Miller. The course often includes a time challenge.

In 2015, some 70 students assembled more than 3,000 pieces in less than 10 minutes to create the 4-foot long destroyer. The bridge was a bit on the fly, and it's symbolism far different than the prior construct of imperialism.

A few weeks before winter courses began on Jan. 4, the

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Williams Science Center Project in Front of Zoning Board
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:07AM / Thursday, February 04, 2016
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Zoning Board of Appeals on Thursday evening will continue a hearing to consider Williams College's new science center.   The college and its consultants were before the board on Jan. 21 to discuss topics ranging from stormwater management to light pollution to the height of the new, 170,000-square-foot science center.   ZBA Chairman Andrew Hoar explained at the January meeting that because of the college's educational use exemptions, the board cannot require the institution to comply with town zoning regulations.   Nevertheless, the college applied for a special permit for the noncomplying structure.   "This board cannot

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Lanesborough FinCom Supports Greylock Project; Questions Mall's Tax Future
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:14AM / Wednesday, February 03, 2016
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LANESBORUGH, Mass. — The Finance Committee is recommending voters approve the Mount Greylock Regional School project.   In a 3-2 vote, the committee supported the part-renovation and part-new construction of the secondary school. The project will cost $64.8 million with the town paying about a third of the district's $32.3 million share with the state funding the rest.   "The Mount Greylock building project has now been approved by the Finance Committee and the chair will no longer accept that as an agenda item," said Chairman Al Terranova, who halted debate on the item that has perpetually been added the committee's agenda.    The Finance

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Williams Students Teach Biology in Elementary School Classes
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:22AM / Saturday, January 30, 2016
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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — This month, fourth-graders in Lanesborough and Williamstown have traded in Four Square for Punnett squares.   Genetics is just one of the lessons being taught by the nationally-recognized science program BioEyes, which returned this winter to Williamstown Elementary School and made its first stop at Lanesborough Elementary.   The program, developed at the University of Pennsylvania, came to North Berkshire in 2010 through the efforts of Williams College neuroscience professor Martha Marvin.   She was back in the elementary school classrooms this week, helping her Williams students who taught the program to 9- and 10-year-olds, who studied the

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Lanesborough Elementary Earns State Commendation For MCAS Results
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:41AM / Friday, January 29, 2016
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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The elementary school was one of just 45 schools in the state to receive commendations from the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.   The state's 2015 accountability data gave the school scores of 98 out of a 100 in closing proficiency gaps for all Lanesborough Elementary School students and a score of 100 for those with high needs. Both of those calculated scores are above the state's target of 75. The school is again ranked a Level 1 — the highest the state ranks — because of Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System scores.   "I'm proud of all of these scores," Principal Martin McEvoy said on

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Lanesborough Elementary Considering Opening 14 School-Choice Spots
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:42PM / Thursday, January 28, 2016
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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Superintendent Douglas Dias is asking the School Committee to open up a total of 14 school-choice spots for the upcoming year.   "Where there is excessive space, we should open choice," Dias said. "Taking in students to a class that is half full doesn't add to the monetary weight."   School choice has been a topic of discussion among some town residents who feel the $5,000 in state support isn't sufficient. Some say since the cost per pupil is higher than $5,000, the town is being shortchanged.   However, school officials see the $5,000 per student as offsetting costs that are already being incurred. The classrooms

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Simon Youth Foundation Seeks Applicants for Scholarships Across New England
03:07PM / Wednesday, January 27, 2016
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LEE, Mass. — Living near a Simon Malls or Simon Premium Outlets property - like the Lee Premium Outlets - could help a graduating senior pay for college.  Simon Youth Foundation, a national nonprofit that provides educational opportunities for at-risk high school students, has begun looking for a graduating senior who live within 50 miles of a Simon property.

Each year, Simon Youth Community Scholarships are awarded in every community across the country that is home to Simon Malls, Mills or Premium Outlets. The application period has begun and ends on March 1, 2016.

Students can apply online by visiting syf.org/scholarships.

Any student who will be graduating in the class of

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MSBA OKs Mount Greylock Building Project Budget
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:53PM / Wednesday, January 27, 2016
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BOSTON, Mass. — As expected, the Massachusetts School Building Authority on Wednesday gave the green light for the Mount Greylock Regional School addition/renovation project.   The MSBA Board of Directors unanimously approved a grant of $32,491,074 for the project, Mount Greylock School Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Greene reported in a Friends of the Mt. Greylock Building Project Facebook post.   "[The MSBA directors] were, once again, highly complimentary of our education program, which is the foundation of the building design," Greene wrote in her post.   Earlier this month, the School Committee approved the appropriation of a $64.8 million debt to pay for

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Letter: Residents Should be Informed Before Mount Greylock Vote
02:00PM / Wednesday, January 27, 2016
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To the People of Lanesborough and its Board of Selectmen

Greetings. I have the privilege of serving on the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee. I attended the Lanesborough Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday, Jan. 25. I was heartened that the board allowed many audience members to speak, balancing the desire to hear our voices and move through a lengthy agenda. I was allowed to state my views several times, and I thank them for that courtesy and for scheduling a vote on the building project on March 15. I strongly urge members of both our towns to inform themselves of the facts of the building project (see http://www.wlschools.org/page.cfm?p=534) and vote as they see

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