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Mount Greylock Parents Split on Merging Winter & Spring Vacations
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:14AM / Monday, October 14, 2019
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — With a Monday holiday this week and a Friday off for students to make time for professional development, the prospect of more four-day weekends was contemplated by a districtwide survey recently conducted at Mount Greylock Regional's three schools.   Mount Greylock's director of academic technology reported on results of a survey to gauge support for revising the school calendar to consolidate the February and April vacation weeks into a single week off in March. Eileen Belastock said 457 parents and 95 teachers and staff responded to the survey, which was conducted online and in hard copies that were available at all three schools' start-of-year

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Mount Greylock Considering Universal Pre-Kindergarten
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:35AM / Saturday, October 12, 2019
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School District may take a look at transitioning to universal pre-kindergarten as soon as the current academic year.   At last Tuesday's School Committee meeting, Superintendent Kimberley Grady broached the subject of removing the fees the district currently charges for programs at Williamstown Elementary School and Lanesborough Elementary School.   The topic is trending across the commonwealth, and the need is growing in the district, Grady said.   At the state level, the Massachusetts Association of School Committees is voting on a resolution that the group, "file or support legislation that will

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New Voices Heard in Mount Greylock Turf Field Debate
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:09AM / Friday, October 04, 2019
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Rob Abel appeared before the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee to make a point that probably united everyone in a very crowded meeting room at the middle/high school.   "I want a grass field," Abel said. "Grass is better in so many ways. Grass is not controversial."   And then Abel got to the crux of his argument.   "Unfortunately, a grass field would be great for four months, and two of those months, school is not in session," he continued. "Even the best maintained grass in all of Western Massachusetts, right here at Taconic Golf Club, is not ready for play until late April or early May.   "I

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Williams College Chemistry Professor Wins NIH Grant
12:59PM / Thursday, October 03, 2019
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Katie Hart, assistant professor of chemistry at Williams College, has won a three-year $378,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to research the relationship between the chemical composition of proteins known as beta-lactamases, a family of enzymes involved in antibiotic resistance, and their ability to degrade medicinal drugs.

The grant will also enable new equipment for Hart's lab and support student research assistants during the summers and academic years.

Hart's lab at Williams studies how drug resistance evolves at the molecular level with a particular focus on protein stability. Many forms of drug resistance depend upon a small

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Mount Greylock Celebrates Building that 'Reflects Its Greatness'
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:20PM / Wednesday, October 02, 2019
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Wednesday was homecoming day for state Rep. John Barrett III.   Barrett was one of the dignitaries asked to speak at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the recently expanded and renovated Mount Greylock Regional School.   Noting that the ceremony — forced indoors because of the threat of rain — was being held in one of the renovated portions of the middle/high school, Barrett said he was glad to be back to help the school celebrate its new era.   "I sat out there on our first day of school in 1961," Barrett said, indicating the seats of the auditorium. "I was part of the freshman class that was beginning this

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Mount Greylock School Committee Rejects Fields Bid, Reposts
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:01AM / Friday, September 27, 2019
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  WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School Committee decided Thursday night not to take a leap of faith.   By a vote of 6-1, the committee rejected the low bid submitted for an athletic fields project after the price tag came in far higher than the committee expected when it authorized a request for proposals in May.   On Monday, the subcommittee steering the fields project — acting on the advice of the district's consultant, Traverse Landscape Architect — believed that the district had an option to extend the bidding process and engage all three qualified bidders in a discussion about value engineering options to reduce the project's

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Mount Greylock to Extend Bid Period for Fields Project
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:05AM / Tuesday, September 24, 2019
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The subcommittee looking at addressing the athletic field needs at Mount Greylock Regional School decided to extend the bidding period in hopes that one or more of the three bidders can come back with a lower bottom line.   The district's Phase 2 subcommittee met Monday evening for the first time since Friday's opening of bids responding to the district's search for a contractor to install an artificial turf multipurpose playing field and make improvements to other fields to bring the district into line with Title IX and the Americans with Disabilities Act.   The district's architect, Art Eddy of Traverse Landscape Architects,

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Mount Greylock Turf Field Bids Come in Higher than Hoped
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:00PM / Friday, September 20, 2019
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School District opened three bids Friday morning for proposed projects to improve athletic fields at the middle-high school.   All three were well above the figures targeted by the School Committee for the projects.   Clark Construction of Westfield, Mountain View Landscapes and Lawncare of Chicopee and RAD Sports of Rockland submitted bids ranging from $2.847 million to $2.984 million — an average of about $2.901 million — to install a new artificial turf playing field and make requirements to existing fields required under the Americans With Disabilities Act and Title IX.   When it decided in

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Mount Greylock Student Named National Merit Semifinalist
12:11PM / Thursday, September 19, 2019
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Mount Greylock Regional School senior Owen A. Tucker-Smith of Williamstown has been named a semifinalist in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

About 1.5 million high school juniors take the PSAT/NMSQT each year. Tucker-Smith is one of approximately 16,000 juniors with the highest PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index scores (or total PSAT scores) who met the eligibility requirements qualify for NMSP Semifinalist consideration.

These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered next spring.

To become a finalist, the

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Williams College Seeking Input as It Forms Strategic Plan
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:05AM / Tuesday, September 10, 2019
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  WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The top-ranked liberal arts college in the country wants your advice.   Williams College President Maud S. Mandel was in front of the Select Board on Monday to discuss the school's strategic planning process, which includes soliciting input from a broadly defined group of stakeholders that includes students, alumni, faculty, staff and members of the community Williams calls home.   That includes not just Williamstown, but also North Adams, Lanesborough, Pownal, Vt., and beyond, Mandel and Williams Vice President James Kolesar told the board.   "If someone has a grand idea for the college's engagement in the region,

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