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Williams College Cancels Commencement, Reunion Weekend
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
11:39AM / Friday, April 03, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College President Maud Mandel on Friday sent a community-wide email announcing that school's commencement and reunion weekend weekend will not take place as scheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Seniors, while I am heartbroken that graduation cannot happen in the conventional way at the conventional time, I am determined that you will have your moment," Mandel wrote. "Rather than deciding for you what that should look like, my colleagues and I want to start by asking you."   Mandel announced that members of the Class of 2020 will receive a survey seeking their ideas about alternative ways to celebrate their graduation

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Mount Greylock Continues Teacher Talks Over Remote Learning
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:51AM / Wednesday, April 01, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School Committee met on Tuesday but did not have a resolution on two issues stemming from the school closure that entered its third week on Monday.   Districts statewide are closed through at least May 4 by order of the governor. Last week, the commissioner of education advised school officials to implement remote learning plans to continue students' education during the closure.   On Friday, Superintendent Kimberley Grady and other members of the administration sent an email to the district's families explaining plans for remote learning the PreK-12 district.   "We met this afternoon with the [teachers

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State Encouraging School Districts to Develop 'Remote Learning' Plans
Staff Reports,
10:35PM / Monday, March 30, 2020
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BOSTON — School districts throughout the commonwealth this week are deciding how they will act on remote learning guidelines issued by the commissioner of education last week.   After consulting with a range of stakeholders, including the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, the Massachusetts Teachers Association and the Massachusetts Parent Teacher Association, Jeffrey C. Riley sent districts a three-page memo outlining his guidelines.   And he stressed that they are only suggestions.   "Please note that the guidance below is a set of recommendations and does not constitute a requirement for any district or school," Riley wrote, italicizing

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Williams Shuts Down Construction After Worker Raises COVID-19 Concerns
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
05:28PM / Friday, March 27, 2020
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The North Addition is the second of two buildings in the $204 million project and is replacing the Bronfman Science Center.  The South Science Building opened in 2018. Williams College is shutting down all construction on both the North Science Building and Fort Bradshaw projects as of the end of day Friday.    According to an email from Fred Puddester, vice president of finance and administration, "neither of the firms managing these two projects have reported any positive cases of COVID-19 on either work site."   iBerkshires.com was forwarded this notification at 5:53 p.m., although the first communication within Williams'

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Hancock School Community Holds 'COVID-19 Drive By'
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
01:44PM / Friday, March 27, 2020
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The drive by tried to go past all the houses of tiny Hancock School's 49 students.  HANCOCK, Mass. — Members of the Hancock School community drove through Hancock, Lanesborough, and Cheshire to say a quick hello to students during what they called a "COVID-19 Ride By."   In these times of school closures and social distancing, the participants said its always nice to see a familiar face in person even if it is from your front lawn.   "Peer and social contact are necessary to maintain a healthy, balanced emotion outlook. Something like this keeps us positive, upbeat, and our interrelationships strong," teacher Janet Tremblay

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MCLA Offers Health Sciences Degree With Concentration in Radiologic Tech
11:30AM / Thursday, March 26, 2020
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' is now accepting students for its new health sciences bachelor’s degree with a concentration in radiologic technology for the fall 2020 semester. 

The program has been approved through the MCLA governance process and the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology, and students completing the degree are eligible to sit for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists Radiography examination. 

MCLA now offers one of only five accredited programs in the Northeast in a field that demonstrates 100 percent job placement. MCLA will also be able to provide students in health

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Massachusetts Schools to Remain Closed Through May 4
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:58PM / Wednesday, March 25, 2020
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BOSTON — Public and private schools will remain closed through May 4, extending the emergency closure for COVID-19 another month.    The emergency order was signed by Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday and announced at a press conference that afternoon. The order includes child-care centers not serving essential personnel.   "This will allow school districts to provide the best possible opportunities for remote learning to all students," the governor said. "This is not an extended school vacation. During this long-term closure, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will work with school districts to further develop educational programming

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Mount Greylock School Committee Holds First Remote Meeting
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:02AM / Monday, March 23, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The commissioner of education has no plans to extend the closure of schools in the commonwealth beyond April 7, but Friday promised to give superintendents a four- to five-day heads up if an extension is warranted, the Mount Greylock Regional Schools superintendent reported.   Kimberley Grady appeared Friday with Town Manager Jason Hoch for one of his regular Town Hall updates in a short video produced by the town's community access television station, WilliNet.   Earlier in the day, she participated in conference calls with Commissioner of Education Jeffrey Riley and the superintendents of Berkshire County.   "[Riley] has asked us to

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Q&A: Wahconah High Teacher to Participate in NASA Program for Educators
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
07:30AM / Sunday, March 22, 2020
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Wahconah science teacher David Dahari is participating in a NASA program this summer. DALTON, Mass. — Wahconah Regional High School science teacher David Dahari is looking out of this world to get some real world experience.   This winter, Dahari was selected to participate in the 2020 NASA Airborne Astronomer Ambassador program.   As one of 28 teachers selected from 13 states, Dahari will have the opportunity this summer to train at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, Calif., and study aboard the agency's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a modified Boeing 747 carrying a 100-inch diameter

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Member of Williams Community — Now in Another State — Tests Positive for COVID-19
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:05PM / Friday, March 20, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College on Friday notified its community that a member of the college community who was on campus as recently as Sunday has tested positive for COVID-19.   The person, who was not named, is self-isolating at home in another state, the email said.   "This is the first confirmed case within the Williams community," the email read. "We are notifying you all because this person was on campus from Saturday, March 14, through Sunday, March 15, and interacted with people, especially students, during that time.   "Out of an abundance of caution, we are notifying all of you and using this moment to remind everyone of the need to

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