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Lanesborough-Williamstown Officials Hopeful of School Leader
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:47AM / Wednesday, April 01, 2015
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williamstown-Lanesborough school officials are optimistic about having a contract for their next superintendent in place by next week, even though their chosen candidate was interviewing in another district on Tuesday.   As scheduled, Medway High School Principal Douglas Dias reported to the West Springfield School District on Tuesday morning to take tours of the district's schools, and Dias is scheduled to be interviewed by the West Springfield School Committee on Tuesday evening, according to West Springfield Mayor Edward Sulivan, who serves as chairman of the school committee.   Last week, Dias was offered the superintendent post in the

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Architects Make Presentation to Mount Greylock Building Committee
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:20AM / Monday, March 30, 2015
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The architects hired to find solutions for Mount Greylock Regional School say any plan would leave the district prepared for the future without neglecting the present.   "One of the things we're sensitive to is that teaching and learning as it happens now can continue while providing flexibility for the future," architect Robert Bell of Design Partnership of Cambridge said on Thursday evening. "In no way do we anticipate it will be entirely new and foreign to the educators."   "Part of the flexibility is that you can continue to use it as it's used now," Bell's colleague David Stephen

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Lanesborough School Approves $182K Budget Cut
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
05:52AM / Sunday, March 29, 2015
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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — A $123,000 cut to the elementary school budget wasn't enough for several townspeople at Thursday's public hearing, which led the School Committee to cut an additional $60,000.   The School Committee approved by a 2-1 vote Thursday an appropriated school budget of $2,399,709, which is $182,823 less than this year. The vote was taken after the public hearing on a budget $60,000 higher than what was ultimately approved.   "We certainly started with very sharp pencils and those pencils took almost $123,000 out of a small elementary school budget. In 45 years in this business, I have never seen that. There are increases every year," said

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Williams College Admits 1,159 Students for Class of 2019
01:27PM / Friday, March 27, 2015
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College has extended offers of admission to 1,159 applicants for the Class of 2019. They were selected from a total applicant pool of 6,883, for an overall acceptance rate of 16.8 percent.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the admitted group,” said Richard Nesbitt, director of admission. “Once the dust settles, we expect this to be one of the most academically gifted and socioeconomically diverse classes ever to enter Williams.”

Of the admitted students, 567 are women and 592 are men. One hundred and two are international students representing 46 different nationalities. Among American students, 50 percent are students of

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Lanesborough-Williamstown Superintendent Choice 'Pleased' to Negotiate
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
08:06PM / Wednesday, March 25, 2015
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Lanesborough-Williamstown public schools are moving forward with the school committees' selection for Tri-District superintendent, but it appears that choice continues to be a candidate for the top spot in West Springfield.   Douglas Dias has told officials at Mount Greylock and Superintendency Union 71 that he "would be pleased to enter negotiations with" the Tri-District, said Williamstown Elementary School Committee Chairwoman Valerie Hall on Wednesday.   The junior-senior high school school committee and SU71, a partnership of Williamstown and Lanesborough Elementary Schools, voted on Monday night to offer Dias the post, pending

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Mount Greylock Architect to Give Presentation Thursday
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
05:30PM / Wednesday, March 25, 2015
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School Building Committee invites the public to its meeting on Thursday, March 26, at 5:30 p.m., which will feature a presentation and Q&A beginning at 7 p.m. by Design Partnership of Cambridge, the architect firm selected to conduct the school's feasibility study.   The meeting will take place in the school's Meeting Room.   This session will kick off the Feasibility Study process, which consists of a thorough assessment of the school building's needs and deficiencies as well as proposing alternatives for improvement.   "We invite everyone from the community to share their perspective and ideas in

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Williamstown-Lanesborough Superintendent Pick Sees Himself as Potential Admiral
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:38PM / Tuesday, March 24, 2015
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Retired Tri-District Superintendent Rose Ellis used to talk about the high school being the "flagship" of any school district.

So the committees looking for her permanent replacement were primed to hear some naval metaphors on Monday evening.

"My job as superintendent — I went to college at the Mass Maritime Academy, so I use nautical analogies — is I'm like an admiral of a fleet," Douglas Dias told the joint committee of Mount Greylock and Superintendency Union 71 during Monday's interview.

"The schools need to be going in the same direction. When they need something, they let me know, and I'll get it for them

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Lanesborough Administrator Proposes $10.4M Budget
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:56AM / Tuesday, March 24, 2015
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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Town Administrator Paul Sieloff is proposing a 2.5 percent increase in spending for fiscal 2016.   The $10.4 million proposal is $345,609 more than last year, a quarter of which is eyed to fund a 3.3 percent increase in assessments for Mount Greylock Regional High School. The increase of $91,487 is some $65,000 more than Sieloff had originally proposed to give to the school.   The budget calls for a $2,714,668 assessment for the school, which is the town's largest budget sector.   "We have now have a balanced budget. We are able to present a balanced budget at town meeting. This includes a 2 1/2 increase," Sieloff

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Mount Greylock School Committee Votes to Send Towns Higher Budget
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:32AM / Tuesday, March 24, 2015
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — By a vote of 4-3, the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee on Monday voted to add $42,100 back to its $10.5 million fiscal 2016 budget.

The proposed budget the committee will send to Williamstown and Lanesborough will include $33,000 to support one late bus run to each town and $9,1000 to continue the current structure of team meetings for middle school faculty at the junior-senior high school.

The committee last week asked the administration to come up with a prioritized list of possible items to add back to the budget, along with price tags.

Each of those five items had proponents on the School Committee at Monday's meeting. So did the option of

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Williamstown-Lanesborough Offers Superintendent Post to Medway Principal
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
12:24AM / Tuesday, March 24, 2015
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School Committee and Superintendency Union 71 voted unanimously on Monday night to offer the Tri-District superintendent position to current Medway High School Principal Douglas Dias.   After interviewing both Dias and Woodstock, Conn., Superintendent Francis Baran for 90 minutes apiece, the joint Tri-District committee deliberated for another 90 minutes before deciding to offer Dias the job, pending a check of his references.   Although a Monday vote was always possible, it seemed less likely after the executive director of the New England School Development Council last week advised the committee members to not choose one

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