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Documents Reveal Complaints Against Departed Lanesborough-Williamstown Superintendent

Mount Greylock Regional School Committee member Carolyn Greene, who chaired the committee at the time of Dias' 2015 hiring and last week's departure, said at the Nov. 7 meeting that the Tri-District remains strong despite the turbulence, and on Thursday she emphasized that the complaints against the superintendent did not involve students.

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Williamstown-Lanesborough Superintendent Leaving Post Under Fire

The brief tenure of public schools superintendent Douglas Dias came to an end Monday after an evening of lengthy closed-door discussions among the three school committees he served. Dias, who was hired to administer the Lanesborough-Williamstown Tri-District in spring 2015, is leaving the post in the wake of undisclosed "complaints or charges" leveled against him.

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Williamstown Elementary Surveying Families About Strategic Plan

Williamstown Elementary School is asking its families about their aspirations for the K-6 school. The district is in the process of developing a strategic plan, and part of that process will be an electronic survey that is being sent to stakeholders, Superintendent Douglas Dias told the School Committee on Wednesday evening.

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Williamstown Students Celebrate Words With Costume Parade

Words and books of all shapes and sizes were on parade on Wednesday morning during Williamstown Elementary School's annual Words Are Wonderful costume parade. T

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Special Ed Preschool Issue Continues to Vex Williamstown School Committee

The special education prekindergarten was the only thing on the minds of the three residents who participated in the public comment portion of Wednesday’s meeting. And, not for the first time, those comments strayed into areas where Caplinger had to admonish residents against levying accusations against individual school personnel or speaking about an individual child's experience in open session.

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Williamstown Elementary Earns Level 1 Status, State Commendation

Williamstown Elementary School passed its first year under a new standardized testing regime with flying colors, the School Committee learned on Wednesday. Last spring marked the first time the school's pupils were evaluated by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, test in place of the commonwealth's traditional Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System.

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Williamstown Elementary to Hold 10th Annual Children's Clothing Sale

Shoppers will find all types of weather bargains from shorts, pants and sweaters to jackets, boots, snowpants, bathing suits and mittens.

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Williamstown Elementary Welcomes New Faces for School Year

As the School Committee held its second meeting in the month of August, Williamstown Elementary School's principal reminded the committee members they're not the only ones devoting time to the school in the "off season." "People think that summer comes and teachers go on vacation, and it's just not true," Brookner said. "I've seen everybody. Some days, I want to say, 'What are you doing here? Go home.'

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Williamstown Elementary Challenged Again on Preschool Question

Williamstown Elementary School officials on Monday continued to face questions about their decision to restructure the school's special education program. Although Side-by-Side was not on the committee's agenda, two of the most outspoken critics of last spring's decision took the opportunity to raise the issue during the meeting's public comment period.

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Williamstown Elementary Creates Math Support Position

The Williamstown Elementary School Committee on Thursday discussed the possibility of adding a part-time math support position for the 2016-17 academic year. The administration asked for a special meeting of the committee to approve the creation of the position in case the school district realize a cost savings from unexpected turnover on its staff.

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Girl Scout Troop Donates 'Buddy Bench' to School Playground

A buddy bench is a bench placed on or near a playground on which a child who is feeling lonely can sit as a signal that he or she is looking for a friend or playmate. The troop is dedicating the bench in the memory of Eve Claffey, a fellow fourth-grader who died right before school started this year.

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Williamstown Elementary Reserve Funds Running Low

The elementary school district is on track to finish the fiscal year in the black — but not by much. "We're pulling into the gas pumps on fumes in terms of the operation budget," Business Manager Nancy Rauscher told the School Committee at its monthly meeting on Wednesday.

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WES Sixth-Graders Present 'Lion King Jr.'

The show is the annual sixth-grade musical performance and features dozens of the school's graduating sixth-graders as well as some of their younger siblings.

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Preschool Issue Spills Over Into Mount Greylock School Committee

The politics of preschool officially graduated to high school on Tuesday night. The Side-By-Side special education program at Williamstown Elementary School became a topic for discussion at the monthly meeting of the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee. The opening came when the Williamstown-Lanesborough Tri-District's Director of Pupil Personnel Services gave the committee a periodic updates on the special education program at Mount Greylock.

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Williamstown Town Meeting Passes School Budget With Protest Cut

Town meeting on Tuesday night approved the elementary school's requested fiscal 2017 budget- after cutting it by a symbolic $27. There had been concerns that the $6 million budget would be "held hostage" by constituents angry at the reductions made to the school's Side-By-Side special education preschool program. But opponents expressed their displeasure with an amendment that cut the school's funding by $1 for every year that Side-By-Side has existed.

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Williamstown Town Meeting Primer 2016

All you need to know going into Tuesday's annual town meeting: Come early, plan to stay late and read up. There will be plenty to talk about when the town's voters gather at Williamstown Elementary School, and if last Tuesday's Town Election is any indication, there will be plenty of people there to do the talking.

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Williamstown School Budget Aims to Rebuild Reserve

The Elementary School Committee is seeking a 6.35 percent increase in the town's contribution to an fiscal 2017 budget that only increases 3.33 percent from FY16. The difference: a choice the district has made about how to use School Choice revenue. First-year Superintendent Doug Dias made it clear from Day 1 of the budget process that he wants to end the district's unsustainable practice of relying on School Choice revenue for operating expenses.

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Williamstown School Committee OKs Third Half-Day Preschool Section

The Elementary School Committee on Wednesday approved a plan to add a third half-day session to the school's Side-By-Side special education preschool program. In a unanimous vote, the committee agreed to ask the town for an additional $58,424 on the budget it approved earlier this spring. The school is seeking about $6.14 million from the town for fiscal 2017, a 6.35 percent increase over this year.

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Williamstown Elementary PTO to Hold Used Clothing Sale Saturday

“People do come from far and wide to donate, and they’ve made it a regular part of their routine. There are people who don’t bring their kids’ clothes anywhere else, which is nice.” — Cecilia Hirsch

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Williamstown Seeking Third Half-Day Section to Preschool

Williamstown Elementary School is adding a third half-day section to its Side-By-Side preschool program, a move school officials hope will ease some of the concerns that have riled the community in recent weeks. Superintendent Douglas Dias said on Friday that the decision to add the third section was driven by a desire to accommodate all families who had applied for the program.

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Preschool Program Dominates Williamstown School Committee Forum

It was clear from the get-go that the decision to cut a full-day option from the elementary school's special education preschool program was the chief topic of conversation. The town on Tuesday, May 10, will elect two people to serve on the five-member School Committee. There is one incumbent in the race, current committee Chairman Dan Caplinger.

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Letter: Transparency Critical in Preschool Discussions

Seeing these two meetings unfold at the nearly the same time, (1 hour or so at the Planning Board, 45 minutes at School Committee meeting, and then back to Planning Board for another hour) I was struck by their similarities and their startling differences.

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Letter: Moving Forward on Full Day Side-By-Side

The following are some thoughts on the recent Williamstown Elementary School Committee meeting on April 28. While I am on the High School committee, my comments are those of an individual.

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Advocates Continue to Push on Williamstown Preschool Program

Four members of the Williamstown School Committee on Thursday again explained their reasons for supporting a fiscal 2017 budget that includes a reduction to the school's popular preschool program. At a special meeting originally rescheduled from April 13, the committee members explained why they did not oppose the school administration's decision to eliminate the full-day option for Side-By-Side.

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Williamstown Elementary Starts Vacation Early Because of Widespread Illness

Families were informed of the decision on Wednesday at the regularly scheduled 1:30 dismissal. The school will be off limits to all school and non-school activities through Monday to allow the building to be cleaned allow for “any residual spores to die” according to a school-wide email.

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