Weekly Newsletter

October 14, 2021

News from Principal Emma Liebowitz

Thank you for those that attended or attempted to attend the PTO meeting on Tuesday. I apologize if you were unable to join with the link. The issue should be fixed now. An email was sent yesterday with a summary of the meeting and a quick survey.

Some caregivers indicated an interest in joining the Local Education Council (LEC). A virtual meeting is being help on Tuesday, October 18 at 3:15. I will send an email with links to log into the meeting.


Monday, October 18 - Local Education Council Meeting at 3:15 pm (virtual)

Wednesday, October 20 - 1:50 Dismissal

Thursday, October 28 - Sugar Rush 5K in the morning

Thursday, October 28 - Costume Parade and Celebrations

Monday, November 1 - No School for Students - Staff Professional Development Day

Tuesday, November 2 - Picture Retakes

Thursday, November 4 - 12:30 Dismissal for Caregiver-Teacher Conferences

Friday, November 5 - 12:30 Dismissal for Caregiver-Teacher Conferences

Thursday, November 11 - No School

Saturday, November 13 - Local Goods Distribution Day

Wednesday, November 17 - 1:50 Dismissal

Wednesday, November 24 - 12:30 Dismissal

Thursday, November 25 and Friday, November 26 - No School

Wednesday, December 1 - 1:50 Dismissal

Link to Sanderson Academy calendar.

News from the Office

Picture retakes will be on Tuesday, November 2.

Health Office News from Nurse Loranna

There is still time to sign your child up for the covid testing services we will have at school- pooled testing, symptomatic testing and “test and stay” for school close contacts. Pooled testing will be done weekly, about 6-10 swabs are put in a test tube and sent to the lab for processing.That pool is tested and if there are any positives those in that pool would be re-tested. Pooled testing can help identify asymptomatic cases, thus reducing unknown spread. District policy is that if any student is signed up for extracurricular activities or before and after care they are required to sign up. Symptomatic testing would occur only if a student or staff member becomes symptomatic at school, negative tests will need to be followed up with a pcr test. Symptomatic testing adds another layer of protection in the school community, if a student (or staff) becomes symptomatic at school and they do test positive on the rapid test- we will be able to isolate and contact trace more quickly and help to stop the spread in its tracks. The Test and Stay program allows those who are identified as a “close contact” and exposed within the school community (students, staff, coaches, etc.) to test immediately for COVID-19 using the BinaxNOW antigen test. Testing is conducted by the school nurse upon their arrival at school each day for one week. BinaxNOW test results are available within 15 minutes. If the person deemed as a close contact remains asymptomatic and continues to test negative daily, they may continue performing and participating in regular school activities. However, if they develop symptoms, they will need a pcr test. “Test and stay” allows for a safe way to monitor close contacts and increase time in the classroom. you can find the link HERE.

Click on Consent Now

Choose your student’s school in the drop down menu

Click on Sign Consent Form For a Minor

Library News from Ms. Robin Wilson

Mark Your Calendars for the 2021 Scholastic Book Fair!

The Sanderson Library will be hosting a Scholastic Book Fair during the week of Parent Teacher Conferences. The Scholastic Book Fair is a wonderful opportunity to add new books to your home collection while raising funds for new books for our school. You are welcome to come to the fair in person or shop from home. We will accept multiple forms of payment, including eWallets (Scholastic’s easy payment method) at the fair.

If you are interested in helping with set-up, take-down, or running the fair, please contact Robin Wilson at rwilson@mtrsd.org.

Book Fair In-Person Hours:

Thursday, November 4 12:30 - 8:00

Friday, November 5 12:30 - 5:00

Stay posted for Book Fair reminders and updates. Thanks for your consideration, and we hope to see you at the fair!

Preschool News from Mrs. Freeman

Where can you find a little red house with no windows, no doors, a chimney on top, and a star inside? Ask your preschooler!

This week we are learning more about apples. We made applesauce, had an apple taste test, and shared our favorite ways to eat apples. In motor group, we moved our bodies to an apple rhyme, and in music class, Ms. Fitzgerald taught us a song about applesauce and cider.

The photos show preschoolers picking apples for applesauce from an apple tree in the school’s garden.

Preschool News from Ms. Melanie

We released our last butterfly on a sunny, warm fall day. When the wings opened, we checked for the telltale spot to see if this last butterfly was a boy or a girl. This one was a boy butterfly and he quickly flew away, almost as if he knew the season was getting late and there was a long journey ahead. Our butterfly study was great fun! There were six butterflies in all--four girls and two boys and they all headed off to Mexico and a warm winter home.

In our outdoor classroom, we have been keeping a daily nature journal, stopping for a moment to draw what we see as the Autumn season embraces us. We found special leaves and made leaf rubbings one day, and discovered new colors in the trees on another day. A busy chipmunk visits each day, scampering back and forth, gathering food for the winter. Some days, we make music in the woods, playing shakers and rhythm sticks and dancing with scarves. Our outdoor classroom is a vibrant place.

As we continue to explore apples, we have made a book about apple trees and how they grow. We have read several books about apples, made some yummy applesauce, and heard the story of the Star in the Apple and the Apple Fairy. There is something special about a story that is told and where our own imaginations make the “pictures” in the story. During the telling of this wonderful tale, there was more than one gasp of surprise and delight as the magical story unfolded.

And we have begun making our apple dolls! This is a classroom tradition that we are happy to introduce to a new group of preschoolers. We peel the apples on our hand-crank apple peeler, then we choose two cloves for eyes, make a happy smile, put the apple head on a stick and dip it into lemon juice. We will continue to dip each day as the apple shrinks and dries and takes on its own personality. Then, just in time for Halloween, we will make costumes for them and our apple dolls will be ready to go home. A lovely Autumn tradition!

Kindergarten News from Ms. Sarah

This week we were all about apples! In addition to an apple poem-of-the-week, an apple directed drawing, and an apple Fun Friday craft, we also had an apple themed science time! In one station, we had an apple taste & vote activity to see if the different color apples really do taste different. In our other station, we made applesauce using a food mill. Students also enjoyed learning the sign language for “apple.” Ask a kindergartener to show you the sign!

First Grade News from Mrs. Wyckoff

First graders are loving math! They are especially enjoying Number Corner. For the month of October we are working on number trees, where we first identify how many we have all together then how many we have of each item. For example on October 10th, our calendar marker showed us 3 acorns and 3 nuts. The 6 at the top tells us there are 6 items in all, then we have a 3 and a 3 jetting out from the bottom of the number tree. The next step is to create a story problem and an equation to match. One student decided his story problem would read “Mrs. Smith’s class goes outside. They find 3 acorns with tops then they find 3 nuts. How many do they have all together?” This student created the equation 3+3=6. This month the pattern continues to change as well as what we see on each calendar marker. Children make really fantastic predictions and then are completely surprised by what they see! First, leaves, then acorns, next pumpkins and now a zucchini! To practice our counting skills we have been making ourselves into a first grade human number line. Kids are given a mystery card with a number on it (this week we worked with ten frame cards) and then as a class we line up in numerical order. First graders have done a great job working together, respectfully agreeing/disagreeing and making adjustments as needed. Once we are in our line, together as a class we practice counting forward and backwards! First graders are ready for the next challenge- counting forward and backwards from 11-20 and then 21-30!! At home you can practice counting with your first grader by counting forwards and backwards asking them to identify what number comes next in the sequence, or by saying a number (ex. 13) and asking them to tell you what number comes just before (ex. 12) or after (ex. 14) this number.

Second Grade News from Ms. Robertson

The month of October has brought new features to our Number Corner area. The focus of our daily calendar is on leaves, where we are classifying leaves by observing the way their veins are formed. A palmate leaf looks a bit like a hand, where the leaf has several main veins branching out from the base of the leaf. A pinnate leaf looks a bit like a feather, where the leaf has veins that all branch off of one central vein. As we look at the daily leaf markers, we are also looking for patterns in their color, their stem orientation, and if they are palmate or pinnate leaves.

Other features of our Number Corner time include telling time to five minutes, using a number line to count by tens, and writing equations for arrays. For the date of October 12th, we built a 6x2 array and 4x3 array and shared equations such as 6+6=12, 3+3+3+3=12, and 4+4+2+2=12.

This week finds us continuing our work with the story Shopping from the book Dragon Gets By After reading and discussing the story in small groups, we worked on answering comprehension

questions in complete sentences. To help ourselves with writing our responses in complete sentences, we were introduced to the strategy of going back to the question and using words from it to begin our answer. Another focus during our reading block has been on creating character sketches by looking at what a character looks like, their actions, and how their actions influence their personality. For example, we described the big bad wolf from the story Little Red Riding Hood as being big and gray with large eyes and a long snout. We also decided that he was mean, tricky, and sneaky based on his actions, such as jumping out of the bushes to scare Little Red Riding Hood and climbing in the window at Grandma’s house and pretending he was

Grandma. We have also started to talk about homophones, which are two or more words that have the same pronunciation but they have different meanings and spellings, such as ate/eight and write/right.

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Third Grade News from Ms. Carole

Last week we spent time pulling in the harvest from our Three Sisters Garden. We found butternut squashes, pumpkins, and corn and beans to dry. We also picked our basil, which, when combined with the garlic we had already harvested, turned into a yummy treat on Thursday. Many students enjoyed a bowl of our homemade pesto!

We have also been learning about the history and present of The Quabbin Reservoir in preparation for our upcoming field trip. Next Friday, October 22nd, we are looking forward to spending the day checking out this interesting place. Please let Ms. Carole know if you could be available as a driver.

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Fourth Grade News From Mrs. Lagoy

I’ve really missed being in school with all of your wonderful kiddos this past week. I wanted to express my gratitude to Mrs. Upright for her extra work making a seamless transition into the lead teacher role so the fun and learning can continue during English Language Arts and Geography in my absence. During reading, students have finished the second quadrant of our whole-group novel, Shiloh, and Mrs. Upright helped them set up their evidence collection box for the third quadrant of the book. Students think the author’s message is, “Lying and keeping secrets is wrong, but protecting animals is right.” Throughout the third quadrant, students will collect evidence to support this line of thinking. In writing, students are continuing to work on their personal narratives. This week, Mrs. Upright is focusing on teaching different ways authors hook their readers by writing engaging leads. They will practice using an onomatopoeia to begin their personal narrative and then try an action lead. Be sure to ask your kiddo which they liked better. Perhaps the most exciting learning in room 12 is that students are beginning their study of the Northeast Region. They begin by learning about the land and water of the Northeast. Be sure to ask them what they learned about the Appalachian Mountain Range.

Fourth Grade News from Mrs. Lilly

We have been up to so much in fourth grade! We have been spending a lot of time thinking about having a growth mindset. This means when something is new or a little hard we encourage ourselves to work through it and keep going. We can grow our brain like a muscle the more we learn. On the other hand is a fixed mindset, this is when our brains tell us that we can’t do something and we’ll never know how to do it. We’re working our shifting our minds to be in a growth mindset almost always, especially when things seem hard! We have also started to learn about how animals (including humans) bones move. We began making robot fingers in science. In math we have been continuing to review multiplication and starting to connect it to division. This is a review from last year, but it is feeling difficult because we are still working on mastering our multiplication facts. We’ve had to use a lot of growth mindset in math!

Ffith Grade News from Ms. Johnson

Fifth grade has started a unit on fractions. We are using money and clocks to help us. For example, if you have a problem that is ½ + ¼, you can think about it as ) $0.50 plus $0.25= $0.75= 75/100. Students are working on the water cycle in science. We did a couple activities to learn where the water is on the planet and how it moves around. We also examined how much of the water is usable to us compared to how much is salt water or locked in glaciers, plants, animals, or groundwater, for example.

Sixth Grade News from Mrs. Schreiber

Sixth grade has completed our unit on the phases of the Moon and we are beginning a unit studying early humans. We are learning about the characteristics of early humans and how we can learn about them using evidence from the past such as art work, fossils, and tools. In math we are also reviewing strategies for finding the least common multiple and greatest common factor. Can you think of times in your life that you use these? At recess a couple of students helped to plant trees donated by last year's sixth grade class by the soccer field.

News from Ms. Prew

Have you ever heard the word subitize? Ask your kiddos if they have heard it! To subitize means quickly knowing how many are in a collection without counting. It is a helpful skill for addition and multiplication - plus, it's fun! Take a look at these three images. How many are in each collection? How do you know? Do you see certain groups (ex. 4 +2 for the first image)? Click this link to play an online subitizing game with your kiddos!

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Reading News from Mrs. Morey

Fall Literacy assessments are now complete. Moving forward teachers and specialists will be meeting and looking over the data to develop instructional groupings that best meet the needs of our students. Teachers may be sending home on level books or practice activities to support the learning happening at school. Be sure to check your child’s backpack. The best way for a child to appreciate books and learn to read is to have regular interaction with stories. Read to your child as much as you can or even better yet, have them read to you!

News from Nick Lawrence

Props to all the band students on their first lessons of the year--they have been doing great so far! Don’t forget to bring your instrument and book every week and practice a little bit at home when you can. Thank you to all the grown-ups who make this possible. Just as a reminder:

  • Monday: flutes

  • Tuesday: trombones and saxophones

  • Thursday: clarinet

  • Friday: percussion

Special Education News

During the October SEPAC meeting, the Director of Pupil Services, Leann Loomis will be presenting the Annual Parents Rights and Responsibilities.

Date: October 20 at 6:00pm - Virtual

How to Join the meeting:

Topic: MTRSD/Hawlemont SEPAC Public Meeting

Time: Oct 20, 2021 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 899 5861 7701

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Meeting ID: 899 5861 7701

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kezwcZCNm6

Below is a parent-friendly link about your rights and responsibilities if you are unable to attend the meeting.

Parents Guide to Special Education

SEPAC Newsletter can be found here.