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November Date Set for Mount Greylock Regionalization Question

As the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee moves forward with its efforts to invite its "feeder" elementary schools to join the district, it is getting some indirect encouragement from the countywide task force looking at challenges facing public education.

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Williamstown Elementary Talks Use Fees, School Calendar

The Williamstown School Committee began discussing on Wednesday how it can more equitably charge fees to outside groups for use of the school's building and grounds.

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Total Eclipse Preview Enthralls Williamstown Students

Pasachoff and Williams sophomore Brendan Rosseau came to WES on April 4 to talk about the eclipse, which will only be at 70 percent strength here in Williamstown, meaning "it won't get very dark and you won't barely know what's happening," he said.

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Williamstown Teacher Honored by State Down Syndrome Congress

Fifth-grade teacher Frani Miceli was nominated for the award by Steve and Donna Narey, whose son Cole has Down Snydrome and has been with Miceli for fourth and fifth grades. She joined other award recipients as well as WES principal Joelle Brookner and paraprofessional Kelly Galusha at a ceremony in Worcester on March 25.

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Williamstown Selectmen Discuss Mount Greylock School's Regional Expansion Plan

A veteran member of the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee explained to the Board of Selectmen on Monday why the school wants to ask both member towns to expand the region in November special town meetings. Carolyn Greene explained that there are several options to address deficiencies in the Tri-District arrangement that binds the three independent school districts: Mount Greylock, Lanesborough Elementary and Williamstown Elementary. But there is one option that the school committee fa

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Williamstown Elementary Now Looking at 4 Percent Hike

With three weeks left before the district presents its fiscal 2018 budget request to the town's Finance Committee, Interim Superintendent Kim Grady and School Committee Chairman Joe Bergeron told the committee that the latest iteration of the spending plan sees the appropriation to the town up by 4.12 percent from FY17.

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Williamstown School Committee Talks Special Education Collaboration

A collaborative agreement among North County school districts could save money and improve outcomes for special needs students throughout the district, an official working on the collaboration told the Williamstown School Committee on Wednesday. North Adams Public Schools Superintendent Barbara Malkas said she'd seen the benefits of educational collaboratives when leading the public schools in the Worcester County town of Webster.

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Williamstown Elementary Faces Budget-Busting Hike in Costs

The Williamstown School Committee heard some sobering news about the prospects for the fiscal 2018 budget talks it will begin in earnest next month. The K-6 district expects costs for the fiscal year to increase by about twice the funding increase historically offered by the town unless cuts are found.

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Williamstown Elementary School Committee Chairman Steps Down

A turbulent year in the governance of Williamstown Elementary School took another turn on Wednesday evening when Dan Caplinger stepped down as chairman of the School Committee. Caplinger called a special 4 p.m. meeting of the body to announce his decision and decide on a new leader going forward.

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Williamstown Elementary Principal Lays Out Priorities

Maintaining staff and reinstating programs cut in the fiscal 2017 budget process are among the priorities of Williamstown Elementary School's principal. Joelle Brookner gave a presentation to the School Committee at its Nov. 30 meeting in an order to help the panel understand the budget numbers it will see this winter when it weighs the FY18 budget.

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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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