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Six COVID-19 Cases Linked to Williamstown's Pine Cobble School

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Four children and two faculty members from Pine Cobble School have tested positive for COVID-19, the private school's head reported on Friday.
 
Ten days after a kindergarten teacher went home with a fever, the ensuing tests have turned up six cases, Sue Wells said.
 
"All the cases are contained to the kindergarten families, and the teachers in the kindergarten," she said.
 
All of the families in that kindergarten cohort were ordered by public health officials to either be tested for the novel coronavirus or quarantine for 14 days, Wells said.
 
The school sent home the kindergarten pupils and any siblings on Wednesday, Sept. 9, the day a teacher first reported symptoms.
 
Due to HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) concerns, Wells said she could not disclose whether she knew if any of the other five people who subsequently have tested positive ever displayed COVID-19 symptoms.
 
After the initial teacher's test came back positive for the virus on Sept. 12, the school announced it would go to fully remote instruction for at least two weeks starting on Monday, Sept. 14.
 
Wells said Friday that Pine Cobble, which tested its entire school community prior to the start of classes on Sept. 8, plans to conduct another round of tests on the entire community -- faculty, staff and pupils -- on Friday, Sept. 25.
 
Pending the results of those tests, the school still hopes to reopen for in-person instruction on Tuesday, Sept. 29, Wells said.

Tags: COVID-19,   school reopening,   


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Mount Greylock Superintendent Succession Topic in Exec Session

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Executive session minutes from the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee show that the panel did discuss a succession plan for the district's superintendent behind closed doors, and the minutes shed light on the reason for the superintendent's subsequent departure.
 
In mid-July, iBerkshires.com filed an Open Meeting Law complaint against the committee alleging that, "at the very least, the School Committee's deliberations on July 1 strayed into territory not covered by the stated exception to the Open Meeting Law."
 
That meeting was one of four held in executive session for the stated purpose of conducting contract negotiations with nonunion personnel, specifically the superintendent.
 
An extemporaneous statement by committee member Al Terranova at a July 13 public meeting indicated that the panel did more behind closed doors than simply discuss contract negotiations.
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