MTRSD S'Update

November 5, 2021

Dear Mohawk Trail & Hawlemont Families,

WELCOME to November! We have so many wonderful things happening in our classrooms around the district. As we kick-off the official start to the giving season - I'm thankful for this incredible school community. Through your dedication to practicing the Fab Five, our COVID-19 numbers in Franklin County continue to remain lower than other areas in the state; which helps to keep our schools healthy and safe.

A reminder, a few dates to keep in mind as we head through this busy month:

  • NEXT Thursday, Nov. 11 is Veterans Day and there is NO SCHOOL
  • Wednesday, Nov. 24 is an EARLY RELEASE day
  • Thursday, Nov. 25 and Friday, Nov. 26 there is NO SCHOOL

And now, here's what's happening in our district this week!

* COVID-19 School Planning Task Force updates

* Principal Mendonsa's last day in the building and MTRS principal search update

* MTRS Varsity Volleyball heads to second-round of state playoffs

* Sean O'Dea named 2021 Superintendent's Award recipient

* MTRS students awarded John and Abigail Adams Scholarship

* Literacy Strategic Plan

* School Spotlights: Buckland-Shelburne Elementary, Sanderson Academy

* Community Corner & District Events: Family Literacy Night at MTRS on Nov. 17; Colrain basketball

COVID-19 School Planning Task Force updates

This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) unanimously approved and recommended the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11. This followed on the heels of the FDA approval last week.

A vaccine bus clinic (VaxBus) will be rolling-in to Franklin County at the end of this month, providing free vaccines and boosters for those who are eligible. The DPH VaxBus will be at Hawlemont Regional School on Nov. 30 and Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School on Dec. 2; both clinics would be held from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Pre-registration is required. To sign up, visit:

Registration is now OPEN! If you have any questions about the VaxBus or COVID-19 vaccine, please reach out to COVID Nurse Donna Weber at

Click HERE to view VaxBus flyer.


Another friendly reminder, that POOL TESTING is available for all students, staff, and volunteers, but is required for athletics, extracurriculars, and before- and after-school programs. ALL information can be found on the district’s COVID-19 Information page at OR by clicking on the “Helpful Links” drop-down from any of the school websites. If you have any questions surrounding the process, procedure, or need additional information, please reach out to Nurse Weber at or Superintendent Sheryl Stanton at

If you have not yet signed-up, but still need or want to - it's easy!


Select: Consent Now → Mohawk Trail → (select your school)

For staff, coaches, or anyone over 18 years of age, please select “Sign consent form for yourself.”

For caregivers who need to give consent for their child/ren, please select “Sign consent form for a minor.”

If you are unable to complete the online sign-up/consent, please contact Donna Weber for a paper copy to complete.

VaxBus Flyer & Registration

Click here to view the flyer and sign-up!

ARTICLE Greenfield Recorder FRCOG/DPH VaxBus

Click here to read the article "FRCOG, area nurses join with state to bring Vax Bus clinics to schools"

MTRSD COVID-19 Information

Click here to visit the district's COVID-19 information page and data dashboard.

Principal Mendonsa's last day in the building and principal search update

Students and staff bid farewell to Principal Marisa Mendonsa on Wednesday, Nov. 3 as it marked her last day in the MTRS building. We are grateful for Principal Mendonsa's work and strong leadership at MTRS over the past six years. We wish her the best of luck as she returns to her hometown and embarks on a new journey as the Deputy Superintendent of Pittsfield Public Schools!

This week, we continued with the search process for the next MTRS principal. Staff and caregiver candidate meetings were held on Thursday, Nov. 4 with the two finalists:

Chris Buckland, current principal of Smith Academy in Hatfield, Massachusetts; and

Mike Henault, current Reid Middle School principal in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Superintendent Stanton will now begin the selection and negotiation process for the next leader of MTRS. We will continue to keep you apprised as we move forward in the weeks to come. We are excited for these next steps and welcoming new leadership to MTRS!

MTRS Varsity Volleyball heads to second-round of state playoffs

A BIG round of applause to the MTRS Varsity Volleyball team for their win in the first round of the MIAA state tournament!

The volleyball team will be squaring-off against Bourne High School in the second round of the MIAA state tournament on Saturday, Nov. 6. Game starts at 5 PM and looks like the home team will be broadcasting the game LIVE from their YouTube channel! Stay tuned to the @mohawktrailregional Facebook page - we'll share the link to the live stream there as soon as we have it!

A big CONGRATS to all our fall sports teams for their hard work this season! We are *so proud* of our student athletes and all they've accomplished! And... THANK YOU FANS! It has meant so much to our athletes to have such an awesome fanbase! YOU ROCK!

Varsity volleyball team. Photo of students in front of school bus, smiling, in a group and looking at the camera.

Sean O'Dea named 2021 Superintendent's Award recipient

Mohawk Trail Regional School is proud to announce senior Sean O’Dea as the recipient of the 2021-22 Superintendent’s Award. O’Dea is currently ranked second in his class and is a valued member of the MTRS school community both in-and outside of the classroom.

O’Dea excels in the classroom and consistently takes a full course load of honors and advanced placement courses; having earned straight As throughout his high school career. His current GPA is 4.53. O’Dea has taken a variety of MTRS’ most challenging courses offered, including AP U.S. and World History, and has participated in classes at Greenfield Community College (where he once again earned an A for his work).

In addition to being an exceptional student in the classroom, O’Dea is also an incredible peer leader at school. He is an active member of Key Club, and has served as secretary for the past two years; is the treasurer for National Honors Society; has served as class President (9th/10th) and now as secretary; has served on student council throughout his high school career and now holds the position of vice president; and also serves as the student representative on the school committee. He uses his voice and energy to enact positive change and provide a variety of fun, engaging opportunities for his school.

O’Dea is also an active member of MTRS athletics. He has served as a captain of the junior varsity basketball team and is captain of the cross country and track teams. O’Dea is quick on his feet - having placed in the top 50 runners in the Western Mass championships and received an All-League Award in 2019 and 2020. He is also a committed, dedicated member of his wider community and has been involved with numerous community service projects throughout high school including serving as a Project 351 representative; volunteering as a server at the athletic association Bridge Dinner; hosted a youth track program for elementary students; and was an integral member of the MassIDEAS MTRS Weekend Design Institute where he provided important student feedback and helped lay the foundation for the schools redesign work.

An accomplished student, athlete, and dedicated member of his community, O’Dea is a shining example of all the qualities an MTRS student embodies. We are incredibly proud of his work in the classroom, community service, and leadership at MTRS and honored to recognize him as a recipient of the Superintendent’s Award this year.

2021-22 Superintendent Award Recipient Sean O'Dea. Photo: O'Dea standing in front of a blue MT background, smiling and holding an award letter.

MTRS students qualified for John and Abigail Adams Scholarship

CONGRATULATIONS to MTRS students Stella Clark, Octavia Crawford, Sophia Guy, Mya Lesieur, Alexandra Lilly, Sean O'Dea, and Dennis Simmons for qualifying for the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship this year!

The John and Abigail Adams Scholarship is a merit-based program that provides a credit toward tuition for up to eight semesters of undergraduate education at a Massachusetts state college or university. For this scholarship, merit is based on student scores on the 10th grade Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) test.

Scholarship recipients are eligible for an award of a merit-based credit toward tuition. Individual student awards at State Universities and Community Colleges shall be no more than the resident undergraduate tuition rate at the participating institutions. Individual student awards at the University of Massachusetts shall be valued at $1,714 at Amherst, $1,714 at Boston, $1,417 at Dartmouth, and $1,454 at Lowell.

To read the full details and learn more about the scholarship, please visit:

CONGRATULATIONS to our incredible MTRS scholars for this achievement!

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Students... Blaze YOUR trail at MTRS

At MTRS, we prepare you for your future. Whether you're looking for hands-on learning; personalized support; advanced placement or honors courses; or a variety of athletics and extracurricular opportunities -- there's something for you right here! To learn more, check out the information and video below for a sampling of student life at MTRS. Want to learn more? Contact the MTRS Student Services office and let us show you how you can blaze YOUR trail to graduation!
Blaze YOUR trail at MTRS


Literacy Strategic Plan

Educators of the Mohawk Trail and Hawlemont Regional School System are excited to embark on a new path towards a comprehensive, research-based literacy program for our districts.

Reading specialists, classroom teachers, special educators, and administrators from all buildings and grade-bands are participating in teams to implement our first strategic plan for literacy. The goal is to align literacy teaching and learning in our schools using an assessment and data management system, professional development on the science of reading, and the adoption of a new literacy curriculum in grades Kindergarten through eighth grade.

Our team will be seeking family input and involvement, and we look forward to partnering with our communities on literacy-related events and workshops. Our shared goal is to better prepare our students for life-long learning and engaged citizenship.

Caregivers of students in grades PreK - 8th: The Literacy Leadership Team Family Engagement Subcommittee has created a quick survey that asks about the information you receive about your student's literacy learning. Please, follow the link below, and take a few minutes to give us your thoughts. Literacy Communication Survey

Literacy Communication Survey

Click here to complete this brief survey.

School Spotlight: Buckland-Shelburne Elementary Fall Fun

On Oct. 29, Buckland-Shelburne Elementary students enjoyed a day of fall-fun festivities -- painting pumpkins and taking a field trip to the Hicks Corn Maze. Thank you to everyone (staff, students, volunteers) who helped make this day a success!

A special THANK YOU to our incredible community members for their time and generosity -- A big THANK YOU to Patterson Farm for donating nearly 200 pumpkins for this event. It's because of our incredible community support for our students and our school that we are able to do events like this and we are GRATEFUL!

BSE 6th Grade Fundraiser

BSE 6th graders are hosting a sunflower seed sale to raise money for their trip to Nature's Classroom this year... and they need YOUR help to get them there!

Seeds (grown RIGHT at BSE) are 25 seeds for $2 OR 100 seeds for $6. To purchase your seeds and help support the class, please contact David Conlon at Thank you in advance for supporting our students!

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School Spotlight: Sanderson Academy

Sanderson Academy students, staff, and caregivers participated in their annual Sugar Rusk 5K on Thursday, Oct. 28. It was a great day of enjoying the fall weather and getting exercise! Great job to all the runners this year!

Community Corner & District Events

Click HERE to view Family Literacy Night Flyer

This link will bring you to the literacy night flyer.

Parents' Night Out - Grades K-6


PARENTS - you need a night out and your children need a fun-filled night IN with us at MTRS! We’re bringing back a crowd favorite and hosting a Parent’s Night Out Movie Night for students in Grades K-6 on Friday, Dec. 3 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Mohawk Trail Regional School.

5:30 p.m. - 6 p.m. Games in the MTRS gym

6:15 p.m. - 8 p.m. Snacks & Movie time in the MTRS auditorium

Caregivers head out for a night of fun and food and support our movie night sponsor (details to come!) while your child is at the movie!

MTRSD Community Engagement & Enrichment Programs

We are excited to share our first round of district Enrichment Programs this year! Click on the image above to check out the December offerings -- Robotics club, STEAM team, Mixed Media Art, and a crowd favorite -- PARENTS NIGHT OUT! Enrollment opens on Monday, Nov. 8. To access the online registration form, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

Preregistration is required for all programs. If you need a printed copy of the registration form, please contact your school's main office. Class enrollment is first-come-first-served; please wait until enrollment confirmation before submitting your payment. Questions? Need help?

Please reach out to Alia Woofenden at

Colrain looking to create two elementary basketball teams

Mohawk Trail SEPAC Facebook Page

The SEPAC is a self-governing body (creates its own by-laws and operational procedures) and is open to all parents of children with disabilities and other interested parties. All are welcome.

Thanks for all you do to make Mohawk Trail and Hawlemont School Districts GREAT places to learn and grow!