Jason “Jake” McCandless, superintendent of the Mount Greylock Regional School District, alerted families via email of a racist incident Thursday during a high school Zoom class. “We all must be better and do more to protect our children, dismantle structural racism, and promote peace,” he wrote.

WILLIAMSTOWN — All Mount Greylock schools have shifted to all remote learning until at least Dec. 14, according to Superintendent Jason “Jake” McCandless.

He said the Mount Greylock Middle/High School closed for in-person learning on Wednesday after a student tested positive for being infected with COVID-19.

Then on Thursday, the state Department of Health reported that the infection rate in Berkshire County was higher than 3 percent. That level of infection tripped a provision in the COVID response plan that was negotiated and agreed on by the administration and faculty that if the county rate goes above 3 percent for 14 days, the schools would go to remote learning. The decision was made shortly after the figures were reported on Thursday evening.

“We decided to close for a week until we see if the numbers have gotten better or worse,” McCandless said.

McCandless said that if the county rate goes below 3 percent before the 14th, schools would reopen on that day.

Otherwise, they will remain in remote learning mode until the rate decreases or until the administration and teachers union renegotiate a new, higher rate of infection to bring students back to school, McCandless noted.

“Or maybe we can agree on new metrics,” he said. “I think we will probably have that conversation.”

In the past three weeks, there have been six students who have tested positive for the virus. McCandless said each positive case had unique circumstance and were dealt with accordingly.

McCandless said that in the district’s two member towns, Williamstown and Lanesborough, the infection rate is less than 1 percent and more than 5 percent, respectively.

Scott Stafford can be reached at or 413-629-4517.

Scott Stafford has been a reporter, photographer, and editor at a variety of publications, including the Dallas Morning News and The Berkshire Eagle. Scott can be reached at, or at 413-496-6301 and on Twitter at @BE_SStafford.