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Education Task Force Keeps Focus on Creating Opportunities for Students
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:54AM / Tuesday, September 19, 2017
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DALTON, Mass. — The Berkshire County Education Task Force on Saturday pressed forward less than 48 hours after one school district voted to step back from its participation in the effort.   The committee had a full agenda for its regularly scheduled meeting at Nessacus Middle School, but Thursday's decision from the Berkshire Hills Regional School Committee to withdraw from the task force colored the conversation.   Chairman John Hockridge opened the meeting by addressing the vote head on.   "I just wished they'd put off the discussion for one more meeting to give us the opportunity to tell them where we're coming from," Hockridge said of the

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Williamstown Elementary Committee Moves Regionalization Proposal Forward
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
05:23PM / Sunday, September 10, 2017
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Williamstown School Committee on Wednesday endorsed the continuation of a conversation in Williamstown and Lanesborough about expanding Mount Greylock Regional School District to include its "feeder" elementary schools.   In a 5-0 vote, the panel voted to signal the Mount Greylock School Committee that it wants to meet jointly with the the junior-senior high school committee at its Sept. 19 meeting and that the elementary school committee wants to continue to seek community input ahead of a hoped-for November special town meeting in each of Mount Greylock's member towns.   While declining to go so far as to make an advisory vote

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Mount Greylock Officials Take Hard-Hat Tour of Building Project
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:20AM / Friday, September 08, 2017
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — It is still eight months before the first classes are held in the renovated Mount Greylock Regional School.   But the members of the School Committee and School Building Committee who got a sneak peek on Thursday had no trouble picturing what those classrooms will look like.   "You can see the science labs that are stacked and how the space is laid out," School Committee member Carolyn Greene said.   "There's substantial light — both light coming from the outside and light going into the hallways, which are flexible learning spaces," Principal Mary MacDonald added. "You can see, especially on the third

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Williams College Astronomer's Photo Has Left the Solar System
10:44AM / Sunday, September 03, 2017
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — NASA is celebrating the 40th anniversary of two spacecraft, Voyager 1 and 2, that were launched toward Jupiter and Saturn, which they reached in 1979 and 1980, respectively. Voyager 2 went on to Uranus and Neptune, passing Neptune in 1989. Since then, they have continued outward, one even leaving the solar system.

Each of the Voyagers contains a golden record that contains 115 photographs, greetings in many languages, and samples of music from Bach to Chuck Berry. The images are encoded in analog form.

One of the photographs was taken by Williams College astronomer Jay Pasachoff.

"Carl Sagan had the idea for the golden record, and our then-recent

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Latest Mount Greylock Regionalization Proposal Maximizes Local Control
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:20PM / Wednesday, August 30, 2017
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  LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The latest proposal to expand the Mount Greylock Regional School District would allow each member town to control the budget of its elementary school.   The elementary school committees from Williamstown and Lanesborough met Tuesday to review a draft regional agreement that would expand Mount Greylock Regional School District to include both its "feeder" schools.   Both Mount Greylock's member towns have agreed to Nov. 14 as the potential date for twin special town meetings to approve the regional expansion, an idea that has been under discussion for years at the junior-senior high school, which did a yearlong study of

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Williams College Names Interim President
06:37PM / Tuesday, August 29, 2017
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College professor Protik (Tiku) Majumder has been named the college's interim president, effective Jan. 1, 2018, until a new president is in place.

Majumder will replace current President Adam Falk, who announced in June he would leave Williams at the end of December to become president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. He has served as president since 2010.

The Williams College Board of Trustees approved the appointment of Majumder on Monday.

Majumder currently serves as the Barclay Jermain professor of Natural Philosophy and director of the Science Center. In a letter to the college community on Tuesday, Michael Eisenson, chairman of the board of

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Public Invited to Comment on Williams College Accreditation
12:43PM / Tuesday, August 29, 2017
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College will undergo a comprehensive evaluation visit Oct. 22–25 by a team representing the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.    The commission is one of seven accrediting commissions in the United States that provide institutional accreditation on a regional basis. Accreditation is voluntary and applies to the institution as a whole.   Recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education accredits approximately 240 institutions in the six-state New England region. Williams was last reviewed in 2008. Its accreditation

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Berkshire Education Task Force Sets Strategy for Outreach
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:35AM / Tuesday, August 29, 2017
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DALTON, Mass. — The Berkshire County Education Task Force has settled on a strategy for reporting its findings and getting feedback from town and school officials and the general public.   At a meeting on Saturday facilitated by the task force's consultants from Boston's District Management Group, the panel hammered out the language it will use to guide task force members as they make presentations to select boards, city councils and school committees throughout the county this fall.   The first presentation will come in the form of a webinar for school superintendents, principals and teachers union representatives on Sept. 19.   The task force will use

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Williamstown Elementary Adds Two Classrooms
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:57AM / Monday, August 28, 2017
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williamstown Elementary School's enrollment saw a dramatic increase over the summer, but school officials were able to find the money to hire new teachers without cutting programming at the K-through-6 school.   Last week, parents were notified by email that the school was adding a section each in kindergarten and first grade.   "We had 13 new first graders register — all verified residents — since school let out," Superintendent Kimberley Grady said on Thursday night. "We had been watching kindergarten closely. We had been paying attention and paying attention. But first grade was not even on our radar."   As

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Berkshire Community College Launches New Education Department
01:43PM / Friday, August 25, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass — Berkshire Community College has launched a new education department, combining and expanding the early childhood education and elementary education programming into one unified field of study.

Patricia Kay, the associate professor and chair of the Education Department at BCC, designed the new Education Department. She worked closely with community partners, coalition groups and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts to ensure the new department fit the needs of childcare providers here in the Berkshires.

"We went out to the community and we asked them if the cohort program at BCC would work for the childcare professionals, and overwhelmingly we heard yes,

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