WILLIAMSTOWN -- A year after receiving a donation of $135,000 for efforts to transform the Mount Greylock Regional School District experience, the district has become the recipient of a second financial gift from the same donors.
The School Committee unanimously accepted a donation of $150,000 Tuesday night to be put toward initiatives to further assist in catalyzing change at the district's middle and high school.
"Mount Greylock is very honored and appreciative of this," said Rose Ellis, superintendent of Williamstown and Lanesborough Public Schools. "We were thrilled last year, not expecting there to be a second round of funding. We are humbled by this."
James Kolesar, assistant to the president for public affairs at Williams College, said the donation last year was from an alumna of Williams and her mother. This year's gift is made possible by those same two individuals, as well as 18 members of their extended family, he said. The family shares a common ancestry with Joseph A. Jeffrey, a founding partner of a business in the 1800s that became The Jeffrey Manufacturing Company, he said. The family members are not local, Kolesar said, but no more identifying information was given.
By giving the gift, the family not only wants to continue to encourage change at the school, but also community support of the school, he said.
"It's a good outcome that makes it possible for the school to provide the best education
Ellis said the $150,000 will be divided between support for professional development for faculty, staff and the administration; developing a literacy plan; continuing to fund a math coach for the school; continuing with "The Connected School" effort; funding some technology needs; looking at independent and alternative learning options for students during the school day; and reviewing arts programs.
Last year's gift was used toward a needs assessment of the school district, which was done by the International Center for Leadership in Education, she said. It also went toward funding for professional development, launching teams of faculty to explore education at the school, the purchase of four laptop carts and the upgrade of a computer lab, she said.
Prior to the School Committee's vote to accept the donation, committee member Heather Williams said the gift shouldn't be viewed as subsidizing the school's budget.
"This money isn't for making up any shortfalls in the budget," she said. "It's for the extras that can make the school much better," she said.