Superintendent Weekly Update

February 19, 2021

Dear Mohawk Trail & Hawlemont Families,

I hope you had a wonderful February break doing all the things that make you smile! While our school buildings were closed for the vacation week, we've been working hard to move forward with FY22 draft budget preparations which were presented at the MTRSD budget subcommittee meeting this afternoon.


Here's what's happening this week:


* FY22 Budget Update

* Community Feedback Survey

* MTRS to Host COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic

* COVID-19 School Planning Task Force Update

* School Spotlights

FY22 Budget Update

The MTRSD budget subcommittee will meet on Monday, Feb. 22 at 2 p.m. to continue the FY22 draft budget discussion. As I mentioned in my update last week, the FY22 budget was built on level-service. What does this mean for our schools? Essentially, this means that the services and staffing currently in place will continue in the next school year.


Together with TMS and the district leadership team we looked at every line and every expense; we left no stones unturned in building this budget. Thank you to TMS for their diligence throughout this process; for their dedication to understanding the FY21 budget and making significant improvements and enhancements to the FY22 budgeting process.


District funding helps to support our commitment to instructional resources like our Bridges math program; strengthening and focusing on our district's literacy and digital literacy programs; and to continue building our district's social-emotional supports and resources (for example, funding for our counselors). I am proud that our FY22 draft budget represents our district's commitment to these goals and ensures our future fiscal sustainability.


I strongly believe it is because of our community support for our schools--our collective dedication to education--that we continue to make this district a great place for students to learn and grow.

MTRSD Strategic Planning

On Wednesday, Feb. 24, district families should keep a look-out in their email for a message from TMS, our strategic planning consultant, with a Survey Monkey link to our community feedback survey. Given this week is school break, and wanting to be sure our entire school community is informed and has access to the link, we opted to wait until next week to issue the survey. THANK YOU for your patience! I know we've been teasing this for a few weeks now and I'm excited to get your feedback!


We want as MANY district families and community members to share their insight with us, so I encourage you to share the link to our website or direct your friends, family, and neighbors to our social media outlets so they, too, can complete the survey when it's live! We want to hear from our *entire* community!


Starting Wednesday, Feb. 24, you'll be able to find the link on our district website, www.mtrsd.org, and social media outlets (school Facebook pages and district Twitter); the survey will remain open through Sunday, Feb. 28.


This survey is being conducted by our third-party consultant TMS and should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Your responses are anonymous and private; TMS will provide us with a synopsis of the survey once it has been closed. This survey data is critical as we move forward with our strategic planning process. Thank you in advance for your participation!

MTRS to Host COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic

I mentioned this briefly in my update last week, but I have MORE details to now share with you regarding the Mohawk Trail Regional School (MTRS) COVID-19 vaccine clinic site!


LOCATION: MTRS (indoors) in the small gym

WHEN: Pending vaccine availability, Wednesday, Feb. 24 & Saturday, Feb. 27

TIME: 12 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.


For full details, visit: www.town.buckland.ma.us/home/news/covid-19-vaccine-clinics-coming-mohawk-trail-school-feb-24-and-27


A big THANK YOU to the Franklin Regional Council of Governments for helping to make this happen for our community. Providing residents with another vaccine clinic option right here in our backyard is so appreciated!


For full listing of local COVID-19 vaccine clinics, eligibility, and other important COVID-19 information and resources, visit: https://frcog.org/covid-vaccine/

COVID-19 School Planning Task Force Update

As COVID-19 cases across Massachusetts continue to rise, we're seeing our community data stay relatively low. Our task force continues to meet weekly to review and discuss the data and its impact on our school community. We are feeling particularly proud of all the efforts of our in-person/hybrid staff, students, and families. Our mitigation strategies are in place and everyone has adjusted to their new normal.


As more of our community members are vaccinated; as we continue to do our part to stop the spread; and we continue to practice the FAB FOUR--we all benefit from our collective actions.


We've just learned some exciting news from our District Nurse Leader Donna Weber: Once eligible, Big Y Pharmacy has committed to hosting a MTRSD staff-only COVID-19 vaccine clinic to help vaccinate all of our employees. More information to come in the weeks ahead so stay tuned! And... a huge THANK YOU to community partners like Big Y for helping to keep our communities healthy and safe!

You know what to do... keep at that FAB FOUR!

Wear your mask; wash your hands; practice physical distancing; and stay home when you are unwell.

School Spotlight: Buckland-Shelburne Elementary

Before the break, BSE first graders in Ms. Galipault's class studied animal adaptations. A highlight of the science unit included a study of bird beaks--how they are designed and how they work. To cap off the unit, the class made pine cone bird feeders (pine cones, peanut butter, and bird seeds) and took a walking field trip around town to hang them up. Keep a lookout in front of the Senior Center and The Bridge of Flowers to see their feeders (and maybe a few of our feathered friends enjoying them!). Nice work First Graders! Great way to care for our community AND our resident birds!

Moooooooove Over, Students... Cows Just Want to Have Fun!

Our schools might be on break this week, but this little one wanted to have some playground fun. You know what they say... when the kids are away, the cows will play!


((Rest assured, our four-legged friend was safely reunited with their family.))

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School Spotlight: Sanderson Academy, A Little Classroom Fun

Weeeeeeeeee!
Sanderson Academy second graders enjoyed a socially-distanced Valentine's-inspired parachuting contest just before the winter break. What a fun way to end the week! Thanks, Mrs. Prew for this great pic!

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Brrr... It feels like Antarctica!

As we creep our way through these winter days, I'm reminded that though it often FEELS as cold as Antarctica... it's not! Check out this great site with some facts and videos about this famously chilly location and the live web cams from the area!

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