Over the past six years, standardized test scores have risen dramatically at Mount Greylock Regional School in all areas of study. A decade ago, the school’s falling standards were a point of concern for many community members. The rise in test scores certainly correlates with the increased community and College involvement in Mount Greylock, namely the 2008 creation of the Williams Center at Mount Greylock Regional School and the 2011-12 establishment of the Williams College Fund for Mount Greylock.
While the partnership between schools has produced concrete and measurable benefits on Mount Greylock’s end, we at the Record think that those involved at the College are also provided with a valuable opportunity. The partnership with Mount Greylock creates additional student employment opportunities and provides the chance to experience hands-on teaching, which is not often available through the College’s normal curriculum. Programs at the Williams Center at Mount Greylock Regional School which utilize College students as tutors, writing fellows, classroom assistants and language teachers and allow the students to not only teach, but also learn in a real classroom situation.
Furthermore, it is important to acknowledge that high quality faculty members the College looks to hire often have school-age children who will likely attend Mount Greylock if their parents decide to work here. In order for the College to attract prospective faculty, it is vital that high-quality education for middle and high school students in the area be available.
However, the motivation behind cooperating with Mount Greylock should not be approached with only a cost-benefit analysis, justified solely by the rewards we can seek to reap. Rather, we must recognize that as residents of Williamstown and more broadly as those of Berkshire County, we automatically have ties to the area. Regardless of whether it directly benefits us or not, it is crucial that we maintain awareness that the College is part of a larger community.
Moreover, the availability of good education is imperative to the quality of our community, especially when it serves as large and socioeconomically polarized an area as Mount Greylock does. Breaking out of the purple bubble can start locally, and the opportunity for engagement and involvement at Mount Greylock effectively serves this purpose.
We at the Record applaud the initiatives taken by both the College and Mount Greylock to collaborate, and hope this mutually beneficial relationship will continue to thrive.