Mt. Greylock Regional School District
Office of the Superintendent
1781 Cold Spring Road
Williamstown, MA 01267
(413) 458-9582 ext. 4000
Dear Mount Greylock Regional School District Faculty and Staff,
We hope that you and your family are well.
These are difficult times and perhaps even frightening times for many of us.
The Covid-19 situation for Berkshire County and the Commonwealth is getting more worrisome by the day. We know that some neighboring districts and schools have opted to move to remote-only instruction as their communities are experiencing a dramatic uptick in positive cases. I am writing today to assure you that we are constantly keeping watch over the Covid-19 case numbers and infection rates within our two communities, among our neighbors in the Berkshires, Pioneer Valley, Vermont, New York, and across the Commonwealth. This is not to say that we will not have cases--as having cases of Covid-19 in an organization of our size serving more than 1,000 students plus staff representing hundreds of families may be inevitable.
Our aim is to continue offering vital in-person educational services and opportunities to as many students as possible for as much in-person time as possible while maintaining the safest environment we can for our students, staff, their families, and the communities that we serve.
The current rise in cases and daily cases is alarming. The Website Covid Act Now lists Massachusetts as in a state of “An Active or Imminent Outbreak,” with Berkshire County in the same category, with a “daily new cases per 100,000 people” rate of 15.9, and an infection rate of 1.47 (which means “on average, each person in Berkshire County, Massachusetts with COVID is infecting 1.47 other people”) and a positive test rate of 1.5%. (covidactnow.org)
According to the Massachusetts Department of Health Covid-19 Dashboard for the current week (https://www.mass.gov/doc/weekly-covid-19-public-health-report-november-12-2020/download) both Lanesborough and Williamstown remain in the “gray” category, indicating that both towns remain under, at, or below 10 active cases over the past 14 days--October 29 through November 12.
There are several events that could move us back to fully remote-instruction including a 3% test positivity rate or greater in Berkshire County, or a 3% test positivity rate or greater in the combined member towns (this is codified in the Memorandum of Agreement between the Mt. Greylock Regional School Committee and the Mt. Greylock Educators Association). Likewise, any order from the National Centers for Disease Control, The Massachusetts Department of Health, our local health agencies, or school district officials could also move the district to a temporary time of remote-only instruction.
Our schools and staff are dedicated to our children, to their education, and during these trying times, our work and awareness are even more focused on the physical and emotional well-being of our children. We thank every individual and family who are working to do the things that will help us all be safer by avoiding the activities and situations that endanger the community.
We hope that if you have questions or concerns about our safety protocols and practices or your child’s well being, that you speak with your child’s principal, school nurse, a member of the school counseling staff, or give my office a call. We are all in this together--and we are here to help and support one another.
Jason P. McCandless