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MCLA President Appointed to Two Local Boards of Directors
01:12PM / Friday, March 23, 2018
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts President James F. Birge has been appointed to the 1Berkshire Board of Directors and the Lever Board of Directors.

His participation on these two boards augments the college's outreach to the greater community as MCLA continues to maintain and expand vital connections throughout the Berkshires.

Birge said he is delighted to join the 1Berkshire and Lever boards as they, along with MCLA, work to elevate economic growth all over the region.

"I look forward to working with 1Berkshire and Lever to gain further insight on how we might best prepare our students to fill positions across the Berkshires," he said.

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New Ashford School Committee Endorses Compromise School Tuition Plan
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:00AM / Friday, March 23, 2018
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NEW ASHFORD, Mass. — The School Committee on Thursday morning voted 2-1 to accept a three-year phased-in tuition agreement for elementary school pupils negotiated with representatives from the Mount Greylock Regional School District.   Superintendent Peter Dillon and School Committee Chairwoman Brenda Frye reported that they negotiated Wednesday morning with Mount Greylock interim Superintendent Kimberley Grady and Transition Committee member Chris Dodig to find a compromise that will meet the district's aim of raising tuition to match the per-pupil rate for Lanesborough Elementary School as published by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.   As agreed

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Lanesborough Elementary Class Size Leads to Broader Funding Discussion
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:23AM / Thursday, March 22, 2018
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  WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A question about the size of a single classroom at Lanesborough Elementary School led to a big-picture discussion about school funding at Tuesday's Mount Greylock Transition Committee meeting.   And it highlighted one of the challenges the district is likely to face as it implements an elementary school funding approach that paved the way for passing full regionalization in November.   At issue was next year's fourth grade at the PreK-6 school, one of three in the recently expanded district.   Fourth-grade teacher Jennifer Szymanski and third-grade teacher Anna Mello each urged the Transition Committee to find a way to

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Grady, Taconic's Vosburgh Named Finalists for Mount Greylock Superintendent
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:58AM / Wednesday, March 21, 2018
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School District Transition Committee on Tuesday voted to interview interim Superintendent Kimberley Grady and Taconic Principal John Vosburgh for the permanent superintendent post.   The committee, an amalgam of the three elected school committees at Mount Greylock, Lanesborough Elementary and Williamstown Elementary, was presented two candidates by its Search Committee, which reviewed five applicants for the post.   On Tuesday, Search Committee Chairman Steven Miller told the full Transition Committee he had notified the two finalists and received confirmation from each that he and she would like to continue in the

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Mount Greylock Committee Opts to Keep Negotiating on Tuition
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:36AM / Monday, March 19, 2018
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Transition Committee on Thursday voted unanimously to continue negotiations with the town of New Ashford about the tuition rate at Lanesborough Elementary School.   But at least one member of the committee sounded a cautious note about going too far without buy-in from town officials in the district's member towns.   New Ashford officially was notified by the district in September of a spring vote by the Lanesborough School Committee to institute a policy aligning tuition rates with the per pupil cost of a school's education as calculated by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.   The Transition

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New Member Joins MCLA Board of Trustees
02:25PM / Friday, March 16, 2018
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Brenda Burdick, senior manager of marketing and public relations at General Dynamics Mission Systems in Pittsfield, as been named the newest member of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Board of Trustees.

MCLA President James F. Birge said he is pleased to welcome Burdick to the board.

"Brenda Burdick brings more than 25 years of experience in business communications and marketing – as well as public, community, and government relations – to MCLA's Board of Trustees," Birge said. "Through her extensive community service throughout the Berkshires, which includes her work with the Berkshire Compact for Education and as a

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Williams College Admits 1,163 Students to Class of 2022
12:51PM / Friday, March 16, 2018
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College has extended offers of admission to 1,163 applicants for the Class of 2022. They were selected from a total applicant pool of 9,559.

"The incredible strength of the pool made selection especially competitive, but we are thrilled with the results," Richard Nesbitt, director of admission, said. "While the academic power of this group is impressive, their notable talents in co-curricular areas will enrich the community at large."

Of the admitted students, 103 are international students representing 53 different nationalities. Among American students, 50 percent identify as students of color: 220 students are Asian American,

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New Ashford School Committee Wants Another Negotiation on LES Tuition
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:14AM / Thursday, March 15, 2018
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NEW ASHFORD, Mass. — The School Committee on Wednesday night voted to accept a tuition agreement to send its seventh- through 12th-graders to Mount Greylock Regional School but asked its chairwoman and its superintendent to try again to negotiate a lower tuition rate to be able to continue sending its younger students to Lanesborough Elementary School.

The three-person committee agreed to recommend that the town approve at town meeting the increased rate of $14,477 for its middle and high school students, contingent upon some clarifications in the language about special education students and transportation costs.

But after nearly two hours of fielding questions and listening to

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Mount Greylock Superintendent Search Panel Narrows Field to Two
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:23AM / Thursday, March 15, 2018
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School Superintendent Search Committee on Wednesday voted to send two candidates' names to the Transition Committee.   Search Committee Chairman and Transition Committee member Steven Miller said the screening panel did an in-depth review of the five applicants for the job and voted to advance two candidates to the hiring body.   The Transition Committee had charged the Search Committee with returning no more than three names. The finalists would be expected to visit the district for in-person interviews.   Miller was not at liberty Wednesday night to identify the two candidates who made it through the first stage of

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Mount Greylock Students: 'Have Difficult Conversations' on Gun Violence
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:20PM / Wednesday, March 14, 2018
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More than 400 students stood in the snow to speak out against gun violence, joining marchers from schools across the nation.  WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Several hundred Mount Greylock Regional School students Wednesday morning left the warmth of the classroom and chose instead to stand in a driving snowstorm.   But the frigid temperatures paled in comparison to the cold realities they gathered to confront.   "There have been 302 school shootings since 2013," Karen McComish told the crowd of seventh- through 12th-graders. "From 2013-2015, there was an average of two shootings per month in K-through-12 schools. In those K-through-12 shootings,

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