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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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Williamstown Sixth-Graders Receive Civics Lesson

Last week, the voters of Williamstown overwhelmingly supported an initiative that would allow the town to fund a renovated and expanded Mount Greylock Regional School. It is a fair guess that many of the voters did not understand their choice as well as a group of Williamstown Elementary sixth-graders.

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Williamstown School Officials Seek to Restore Budget Cuts

The School Committee has sent its superintendent and his team back to the budget with a complex mandate to restore at least some of the cuts made to reduce next year's spending plan. The decision came Wednesday night after a marathon 4 1/2 hours of public comments and committee deliberation. Rather than sending a budget to the town's Finance Committee next Wednesday, the school officials plan to reconvene to hopefully vote on a modified budget.

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Williamstown Superintendent Explains School Cuts to Parents

Williamstown Elementary School Superintendent Douglas Dias faced a crowd of about 70 people on Thursday evening to explain the constraints that are shaping the district's fiscal 2017 budget. The elementary school is facing cuts that include two teachers, four paraprofessionals, several enrichment programs and the reduction of its pre-kindergarten Side by Side program from the current full-day program to two half-day sessions.

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Williamstown School Committee Hears About College's Involvement

Williamstown Elementary School students participate in BioEyes, one of the programs through which Williams College supports education at local schools.

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Williamstown School Budget Looks at Staff Reductions

Williamstown Elementary School is looking to cut three teachers to offset rising health insurance costs. Citing a 14 percent increase in health insurance cost and a need to make the district's budget more sustainable, School Superintendent Douglas Dias told the School Committee on Wednesday his preliminary fiscal 2017 budget includes a reduction of three teachers from current staffing levels.

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Williams Students Teach Biology in Elementary School Classes

This month, fourth-graders in Lanesborough and Williamstown have traded in four square for Punnett squares. Genetics is just one of the lessons being taught by the nationally-recognized science program BioEyes, which returned this winter to Williamstown Elementary School and made its first stop at Lanesborough Elementary.

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Williamstown Elementary to Give PARCC Test This Spring

"This seems to me the Goldilocks moment." — Dan Caplinger

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Heating Leak Causes Thursday Closure at Williamstown Elementary

"When crews come in dragging hoses and things through the hallway, it's not a good environment for learning." — Douglas Dias

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Williamstown Elementary Facing Boiler Project

"So we have one working boiler, one that is questionable and one that is non-working." — Douglas Dias

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Williamstown Elementary Sets Annual Fall Children's Clothing Sale

The large selection of Fall/Winter apparel includes some of the most popular and durable brands in stores today.

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