College gives Mt. Greylock funding

November 18, 2015 by Francesca Paris, News Editor

The College hopes that an annual fund to Mount Greylock Regional School will improve the overall well-being of the community. Photo Courtesy of Williamstown-Lanesborough Public Schools

The College hopes that an annual fund to Mount Greylock Regional School will improve the overall well-being of the community. Photo Courtesy of Williamstown-Lanesborough Public Schools

The College will gift $200,000 in annual operating funds to Mount Greylock Regional School starting in the 2016-17 school year.

The funds will be used primarily to develop and maintain a technology center and to support faculty and staff professional development, based on proposals sent in by the school earlier this year.

The money comes just as the Williams College Fund (WCF) for Mount Greylock will run out in the summer of 2016. Launched in 2011 in an effort to improve the health of Mount Greylock, the WCF is supported by funds from the extended Jeffrey Family, with supplemental funding from local donors.

“Nothing is more important to the well-being of a community than the quality of its education,” President Adam Falk said in a statement published by the office of communications, “…so the College has long been attentive to opportunities to enhance the quality of our schools’ programs and facilities.”

Jim Kolesar, assistant to the president for community and government relations, said that the College’s decision to replace the WCF with a larger and more permanent source of funding to Mount Greylock stems from the school’s effective use of the money. The school used the money for professional development for teachers, the revamping of departments and the expansion of curricular and extracurricular options.

“Mount Greylock has spent the money very effectively,” Kolesar said. “The school is in a different place now than it was even five years ago, and we think the money was an important factor in that change.”

With the WCF, under the supervision of a steering committee, Mount Greylock spent money and sent receipts to the college for reimbursement, but with the new funding, the school will receive the money directly. Kolesar said that there will be a committee for accountability made up of four people from the College and four from Mount Greylock, but that the school will be in charge of most of the decisions.

The technology center is a priority for the school, which “self identifies as being behind on inte-gration of technology into teaching and learning,” according to Kolesar. Improving this integration, which requires acquiring hardware and software, aligns with the school’s broader goal of “making its instruction more individualized, project-based and self-paced,” according to the press release from the College’s office of communications. The professional development for faculty and staff will be a continuation of projects that the school started using the WCF.

“Successful schools like Mount Greylock are constantly looking for partners in the community to help support the education of our children,” Superintendent Douglas Dias said in a press release. “The partnership between Williams College and our school is exemplified and extended by this generous gift, which will help Mount Greylock regain its historic legacy as a model school.”

Kolesar said that the College has not decided how long the fund will last or created a process for extending it in the future.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

anon November 24, 2015 at 11:30 am

The local high school is falling apart. This is a scar Williams bears. The college has massive resources and pays no taxes on billions of dollars worth of local property. Williams will raise over a billion dollars in non taxable assets this year alone. 200k for the local school that is falling down? Terrible. The college should pay much more.

This has to be an issue for prof and staff recruitment and retention at this point. Mount Greylock’s facilities have become a sad joke. Williams College has a greater responsibility to local education than this token gesture.

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anon November 24, 2015 at 11:37 am

Before you say that the college owes the town nothing, please remember that Williams College charter is as a free school for locals. The land grant that created Williams College also created the town and it was meant for local residents. The town and the school are inseparable. They are not separate entities. That makes this lack of attention to local education particularly shameful.

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