Mount Greylock Regional High School announced at its school committee Tuesday night that an anonymous College alumna and her parent donated a gift of $135,000 to the College in order to support the professional and curricular development at Mount Greylock.
“Needless to say, we’re very excited as a high school to have a higher education partner like Williams College,” said Rose Ellis, superintendent of Williamstown and Lanesborough public schools. “This is just an amazing opportunity for our school to begin to transform for the future and to be ready to meet the new challenges and the new ways of learning in the 21st century.”
“This gift is wonderfully creative in that it supports the College by bolstering an important part of the community infrastructure that Williams must rely on to thrive,” said Jim Kolesar, assistant to the president for Public Affairs. “It’s easy to see how Williams students will benefit from it to the degree that it helps the college recruit and retain the strongest possible faculty and staff.”
The gift will also be used to allow Mount Greylock faculty to visit model schools and study their teaching habits, to provide the school with technology that it currently lacks and to help the school with the integration of the new technology into the curriculam.
Mount Greylock recently began an initiative to improve the training, equipment and collaboration skills necessary for teachers to engage students in the classroom. The school’s faculty and staff have been working with the International Center for Leadership in Education to adapt the school’s teaching methods so as to better prepare students for the rapidly changing world.
“We have another educational partner in the International Center for Leadership and Education, and they have worked with numerous schools around the country and internationally on transforming those schools,” Ellis said.
This past summer, 14 representatives from Mount Greylock and the College participated in the center’s Model Schools Conference in Nashville, Tenn. Teaching coaches from the center will soon visit Mount Greylock for a few days and interview students, faculty and parents from certain organizations.
To measure the progress of the initiatives, Mount Greylock will gather input from faculty, parents and students via surveys. Additionally, Mount Greylock will work with the international center on a needs assessment.
“We feel that input is important and will help to change the direction of our preferred future,” Ellis said.
In 2003, the College created the Williams Center at Mount Greylock, which works to create educational connections between the College and high school. The center, which is coordinated by Kaatje White, will continue in its efforts.
“This is an expansion of the current engagement with the College and will allow us to connect more deeply,” Ellis said.