Local Schools Receive Olmsted Awards from Williams College

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, executive assistant; tele: 413-597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., April 25, 2019—Williams College has announced its 2019 Bicentennial Olmsted Awards for Faculty and Curricular Development to the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District, the Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School (BART), Lanesborough Elementary School, McCann Technical School, Mount Greylock Regional School, North Adams Public Schools, and Williamstown Elementary. Each entity will receive $5,000 for professional and curricular development projects.

The Adams-Cheshire Regional School District will use the funds to support the creation of a robotics classroom at Hoosac Valley Elementary School, including new equipment for its science facility.

BART will create an academic master plan that evaluates current middle- and high-school core curricula, defines elective courses and the enrichment experience, and considers the most effective daily and weekly schedules for the delivery of the academic program as well as how to integrate special education and so-called regular education.

Lanesborough Elementary School will fund the implementation of social and emotional learning (SEL) programs that will support cultural competency, awareness, and tolerance among staff, students, and families. The school will also use funding to introduce the Flying Cloud Institute, a Berkshires-based center for science and arts education for children, during the 2019-2020 school year to support teacher training in project-based, student-led inquiry learning experiences that meet the 2016 Massachusetts Science, Technology/Engineering Curriculum Framework.

McCann Technical School will revise its grading and assessment policies. A method will be created for assessing a student’s “citizenship score,” which will be reported out separately, including students’ work ethic, accountability, behavior and respect for others. In addition, workshops will be held to help teachers implement a valid grading system.

Mount Greylock Regional School will use the grant for two projects. First, it will expand educational programs for students and professional development for faculty and staff with regard to identifying implicit bias and expanding cultural competence. Second, it will partner with Berkshire County Regional Employment Board and the Credit for Life organization to develop programming for 9th and 10th graders in career exploration and financial literacy.

North Adams Public Schools will further teacher readiness in K-12 math as well as in civics infusion.  Teachers will work collaboratively to embed this advanced work into the instructional scope and sequence. The funds will cover the professional development experiences and work of these teachers.

Williamstown Elementary School will use Olmsted funds to continue its partnership with cultural competency trainers, expanding upon work examining implicit bias. The school will also use funds to support stipends for curriculum development in transitioning to the 2018 Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework.

The local Olmsted Awards are funded by an endowment from the estates of George Olmsted, Jr. ’24 and his wife Frances. The awards were established in 1993, on the occasion of Williams’ Bicentennial Celebration. They are an extension of the national Olmsted Prizes, which are administered each year to secondary school teachers from around the country, nominated by students of Williams’ senior class. Olmsted, a lifelong advocate of superior teaching, was president and chairman of the board of the S.D. Warren (Paper) Company

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Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, Mass., which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions on U.S. applicants are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.

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