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.