Weekly Newsletter

September 14, 2023

News from Principal Emma Liebowitz

We had two representatives from each class (kindergarten through sixth grade) come together for a Rule Convention. The group was very thoughtful and created the school rules for 2023-2024. Below is a copy of the poster that will hang in all classrooms and around the school.

Big picture

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, September 19: Open House at 6:00

Friday, September 22: Band Instrument Rental Night at 6:30 at Buckland-Shelburne Elementary

Wednesday, September 20: 1:50 Dismissal

Tuesday, September 26: School Picture Day

Wednesday, September 27: 1:50 Dismissal

Friday, September 29 - Mountain Day

Link to Sanderson Academy calendar.

Local Good Catalog

The Local Goods Catalog is out!! Here is a link to the CATALOG and the ORDER FORM.

PTO News

PTO Needs Your Help at the 2023 Fall Festival!

Please help staff our booth & sign up for a shift or two! At the fall festival we need help making tacos, prepping food and collecting money. Sanderson students are welcome and encouraged to work the shift with their parents or caregivers selling seltzer or bottled water. We need a minimum of 5 people per shift. Signing up digitally is best: All sign ups needed by Sept. 29. https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080F44AEA929A3F49-fall1

The money raised by our Walking Tacos stand goes directly back to Sanderson students and classrooms for supplies, field trips, or anything else teachers need or wish to use to enrich their classes.

The next Sanderson PTO meeting will be Thursday, September 21st virtually at 7pm. We will be discussing Local Goods, Fall Festival and assemblies. Here is the link to join. https://meet.google.com/kkv-iffj-xfm. New members are always welcome!

If you have any questions, please email lindi.russell@gmail.com.

Health Office News from Nurse Loranna

Greetings from the health office!

It has been very busy and exciting the past couple of weeks getting back into routines and being together after the summer break. I have been so impressed with the student’s kindness towards each other and willingness to help out their classmates when needed.

Believe it or not we are thinking ahead to the colder months and in collaboration with Mary Lyon’s Foundation we are holding our “warm the children” campaign. If your family could use some extra support in getting winter clothing please do not hesitate to reach out to me- I can help sign your child(ren) up. We are sending home a flyer this week with directions for signing up so you can sign up on your own or reach out to me and I will sign you up :) lalmeida@mtrsd.org

Preschool News from Ms. Freeman and Ms. Becky

This week we shared our Hopes and Dreams for the year. We thought about the things we hoped to do or dreamed of doing at preschool. Painting and playing with playdough were popular responses. Since we are currently exploring these materials, we will talk about other things we hope to do in the future.

This week we also shared our thoughts and ideas about classroom rules. Many talked about the things we should not do including not throwing toys and not hurting anyone. With help and guidance, we continued our discussion and talked about things we can do. We decided our rules should include the following: Be safe, take care, share, take turns, and listen.

Preschool News from Ms. Melanie and Ms. Kylee

In preschool, children have become more comfortable interacting with the various centers. Dramatic play has been a very popular choice. Here children can make felt sandwiches for friends and ask what they would like to eat in their sandwich. The communication has been amazing!

The children are also enjoying the playdough table. They are practicing rolling, smoothing and pinching playdough. The children often pretend that they are making food for their friends and there are a lot of conversations about favorite foods. This is a nice carryover from the dramatic play center.

The library is another well attended center in the classroom. The children are exploring the books on our shelves and they are learning how to care for books and how to put them back on the shelves when they are done.

We are also looking forward to starting classroom jobs and specials this week!

Big picture

Kindergarten News from Ms. Sarah, Ms. Veronica and Ms. Beckwith

After one more round of practice tomorrow, we will be adding the block, dramatic play, and tub table to our choice options! We have been learning another game for our games center as well. We have also added easel paint, scissors, and gluesticks to the art center. We have been playing several games to practice controlling our voice volume and body movements, as well as still working on learning each other’s names. And we completed more group art projects—caterpillars for our classroom display board and butterflies for hanging in the room!

First Grade News from Ms. Wyckoff and Ms. April

This week in first grade, first graders have completed their hopes and dreams and from this we created our class promise to ensure that everyone can achieve their hopes and dreams for their year in first grade! First grade is full of science and animal loving children who are hoping to learn how fish grow and move, how elephants eat, how cows, kittens, puppies and bunnies grow as well as learn all about space! First graders feel that moving your body safely, raising your hand, listening to others and taking care of materials are important rules to follow and will help our classmates achieve their goals.

This week we also started our first math, ELA and Fundations units! First graders are making popsicle charts and graphs in math, learning and writing lowercase letters and learning all about tools and how they help us. First graders are also preparing for our upcoming open house by making some “all about me” books! We look forward to welcoming families into our room next week. The week ended with a popsicle party to celebrate all the hard work and enthusiasm for their new learning!

Second Grade News from Ms. Lilly, Ms. Laura and Ms. Taylor

In second grade we have been working on learning all of our centers for ELA small groups, we have learned about working in the library, working independently, and working with the teacher. We will soon add working on Chromebooks. This is very exciting! Prior to second grade students only used ipads. So Chromebooks make them feel like really big kids! During this time students can look at and read books from our classroom library, work on reinforcing skills learned during our Fundations time, work on writing or reading in small groups, and eventually on Lexia which is our district’s online literacy program. Right now in Fundations we are learning all about a new concept called blends. Blends are when there are two or more consonants together in a word and you hear each of the consonants sounds. Blends can be found at the end of a word or the beginning. For example in the world clap, there is one blend in the beginning with the letters c and l. When we are tapping this word out each letter gets its own tap. In math we are learning about bar graphs and pictographs. We have been discussing how these types of graphs make it easier to understand information and make observations. We can’t wait to show off our space next week at Open House on Tuesday, September 19th from 6:00pm - 7:00pm.

Third Grade News from Ms. Carole and Mr. Luke

This week in math third graders have been brushing up on their addition and subtraction facts. We have been finding patterns in these facts, such as doubles, doubles-plus-ones, and make-tens facts. We have also been playing games that make use of both addition and subtraction facts.

During our ALL block, we have been learning about six sign-posts that often appear in stories. As we read books throughout the year, we will be recording when we find signposts in our books. We will also be writing about what we think and what we love about our books.

In Language Arts we started learning about some of the challenges students in faraway places can have in accessing books and schools. This week we learned about books that visit villages in the mountains of Columbia via burros!

We also go to meet our new, preschool buddies this week. We shared a snack time with them and started getting to know about each other.

Big picture

Fourth Grade News from Ms. Lagoy and Ms. Upright

Students have really been enjoying learning about poetry along with Jack, the main character in Love That Dog. Luckily, we have been experiencing more success understanding the poems than Jack. So far, we have read: “The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams, “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost and the first stanza of “The Tiger” by William Blake. When we read a new poem we think about the characteristics of poetry: structure, rhyme and meter, imagery, and repetition. We are also practicing identifying the theme of the poem and writing summaries. In math, we are exploring different models for multiplication. We have practiced solving multiplication problems using arrays, number lines, ratio tables, and the area model. Ask your kiddo which strategy makes the most sense to them. Next week, I will provide an update on our geography studies and our September STEM challenge.

Fifth Grade News from Ms. Johnson and Ms. Shero

In math, students have been using cubes to explore volume. They have been trying to figure out how many ways you can make a rectangular prism out of twenty-four cubes. In social studies, students have been making maps of the colonies, exploring a song from the time, making a buzz saw toy, and using images to get an idea of what that time period was like. Our first unit in English Language Arts is about human rights. Students have started reading Esperanza Rising as well as exploring other books about human rights. They have also started using the Human Declaration of Human Rights to make connections to what we are reading. We have been doing many lessons in our Second Step program to start our year. Students have been reviewing and learning about empathy, listening with attention, being assertive, predicting feelings, perspectives, and accepting differences. We will continue to refer to these lessons as we put them into practice all year.

News from Ms. Prew

It is time for beginning of year math assessments. We use screeners called the Universal Screeners for Number Sense, or USNS. "The screeners are quick assessments that help to identify skills and concepts that indicate readiness for grade level content, as well as identify students who would benefit from additional supports." They are interview style so children are untimed and able to explain how they solve the tasks, not just the answers. I so enjoy this one-on-one time with the kiddos! If you have any questions, please email me! :) aprew@mtrsd.org

Reading News from Mrs. Morey

Did you know that it is just as important for children to learn letter sounds as it is for them to learn their names? You can play I-spy using sounds “I spy something that starts with the sound /s/.” Knowing letter sounds will help when they begin spelling and building an awareness of sounds can support phonemic awareness, ”the ability to hear, identify, move or change sounds, called phonemes, in spoken words” (Jerry L. Johns Literacy Clinic)

Instrumental Music News from Ms. Julie

Instrumental music classes have begun for most instruments this past week. Several students have been waiting patiently for their instruments to arrive and they are finally here! We will be spending the next several weeks learning how to play our first notes and anticipating our first band and orchestra rehearsals starting in early November. The excitement of this new adventure is contagious! We are looking forward to a great year in band and orchestra.

Our third-grade recorder class is learning their first song–Hot Cross Buns! They have been working hard and are learning very quickly. Soon, we will be adding our beautiful xylophones and metallophones to play along with the recorders. Here we go!

A note to all of our young musicians: practice, practice, practice, then repeat!

Seeking Community Member

23-24 District Computer Science Stakeholder Council - Community Stakeholder Member

Seeking a caregiver/community member who is committed to high-quality programming and equitable opportunities for K-12 computer science education in the Mohawk Trail Regional School District to participate in the District Computer Science Stakeholder Council.

Our council is seeking your support and input as we develop our K-12 programming. We welcome individuals with or without tech backgrounds, who have an interest in broadening opportunities for students within and beyond their K-12 school experience.

Specific responsibilities include attending a fall meeting, a spring meeting, and a cross-district summit. Tasks include analyzing enrollment data, curriculum and course offerings, and working toward improving caregiver/community engagement, student access, and teacher professional development in computer science programming.

The council member will be compensated with a $250 grant-funded honorarium.

Applicants should send a letter of interest to Sarah Jetzon at sjetzon@mtrsd.org

News from Special Education


~Parent Rights and Responsibilities workshop will be held Tuesday, October 3rd

In person at Mohawk Trail Regional and Virtually -

Annual Parent Rights and Responsibility Training

Google Meet joining info

Video call link: https://meet.google.com/mby-cuxg-pkm

Or dial: ‪(US) +1 276-695-5147‬ PIN: ‪369 643 542‬#

~SEPAC is up and running. Be on the lookout for the next meeting date.

~You will be receiving a letter in the mail with the Annual Rights and Responsibility.

Special Education Contact Information

Leann Loomis

Director of Pupil Personnel Services

413-625-0192 x1025


Melissa Plesnar

Assistant to Director of Pupil Personnel Services

413-625-0192 x1015


Erin Beaudet

7-12 Liaison

413-625-9811 x1314


Carolyn Goodnow

1-6 Liaison

Mohawk Trail District



Kate Dwyer

1-6 Liaison

Hawlemont District



Amy Socquet

Early Childhood Coordinator and Liaison



Community Events

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture