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Updated December 01, 2020 03:34PM

Second Positive Test Sends Mount Greylock to Remote Learning

By Stephen
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- After a second positive COVID-19 test in a Mount Greylock Regional School student in as many days, the middle-high school is switching to remote learning through Wednesday, Dec. 9.
Principal Jacob Schutz notified the school community of the move in an email Tuesday afternoon. The announcement was repeated on school's home page.
Schutz said said the move was being made "out of an abundance of caution."
"This short hiatus of in-person learning provides time and space for us to validate our current safety practices and procedures and further improve our confidence that there was no transmission within the building," Schutz wrote.
The principal's email says that two students, who were not identified, are following the protocols of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Schutz Tuesday said that the first student reported to have tested positive for the novel coronavirus -- the one the community learned about in a Monday email -- had not been in school and was not believed to have had any contact with the school community.
On the other hand, the school "did identify four students as closest to the affected student" reported on Tuesday. Those four students have been notified and are undergoing COVID-19  testing while quarantined, the email reads.
Schutz asked that students continue to complete the district's daily health screener each day during the remote learning period.
He also wrote that students who order school lunches will be able to pick them up at either Lanesborough Elementary School or Williamstown Elementary School between 10 a.m. or 11:30 a.m.
"There will be no in-person clubs, activities or athletics during this time frame," Schutz wrote.
The move affects only the middle-high school.
The Mount Greylock Regional School District includes the two elementary schools. All three began the year with fully remote learning before transitioning to a hybrid schedule in October.
At Mount Greylock, the hybrid plan divides the student body into two cohorts. Half can attend in-person classes on Mondays and Tuesdays; the other half can attend school in person on Thursdays and Fridays.
Pupils at Lanesborough Elementary and Williamstown Elementary are divided into A.M. and P.M. cohorts. They receive half a day of instruction in school and half a day remotely, four days per week.
The district has seen a few positive COVID-19 tests among pupils at LES and one positive case at WES, Superintendent Jake McCandless said on Tuesday afternoon.
"Every one, we handle differently because the timing and situations are different," McCandless said. "At the elementary schools, kids are met on the bus, walked in, walked out. They're really just with this tiny cohort for two or three hours and then sent home."
The Williamstown Elementary school case affected one classroom in one grade level, and that cohort was moved to remote instruction, he said.
"The Lanesborough Elementary situation had some important nuances that indicated [sending the cohort home] was not something that made sense," McCandless said.


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New Chef Jackson Changing Up Menu at Williams Inn

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Williams Inn is looking toward the future with the addition of chef Daniel Jackson and the return of Sunday brunch.  
"We got into this industry because we like to make people happy. So let's do that even though we are up against a pandemic," Cory Amman, the inn's director of sales said. "I think chef Dan has that same passion and desire ... I think he is passionate about people loving food and making that creation for them."
Jackson, who moved back to the area this summer, has more than 25 years of culinary experience. He most recently was a private chef for a former U.S. ambassador. His assignments brought him to exclusive destinations throughout the United States, where he planned and executed a wide range of events for dignitaries and celebrities. 
He has been an executive chef at various luxury resorts and inns located throughout the Northeast and the state of Florida, including the Woodstock Inn & Resort in Woodstock, Vt., and the Colony Beach and Tennis Resort in Longboat Key, Fla. Jackson holds an associate of occupational studies degree in culinary arts from the Culinary Institute of America.
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