Student & Family Update
April 29, 2022
March 10th, 2023
I hope that you have had a great week.
We are deep in planning our annual Celebration of Learning for March 29th and look forward to seeing many of you here at MTRS.
Please read on to find out all that is happening at our very busy school!
March 18th - Winter Ball: 7-10pm
- Grades 7-12, 7pm - 10pm, tickets - 10$ in advance, 12$ on the door. See your student council member for more details!
- Please contact TreeRing to order the yearbook at any time. The delivery date is estimated to be 5/24. Please reach out to our school yearbook team with any questions: email@example.com
AP Exam ordering
- The expectation is that students taking AP courses will also pay for and take the AP exams offered by the College Board in May of the school year. Students qualifying for free/ reduced lunches will be asked to pay a significantly reduced fee. Anyone who doesn’t qualify or needs financial support should reach out to the guidance dept.
Have a safe weekend
Important Dates & Information
March 13,14,16,17 - Grade 8 Civics week at GCC
March 18th - Elvis Concert 6-7pm & Student Council's Winter Ball 7-10pm
March 15th - Equity Council Youth Leadership Summit at GCC
March 29th - District Celebration of Learning
April 5th - NHS Induction, 5-6:30pm
April 17-21 - April Break
Early Release Wednesdays (12:50pm)
- March 1,8,15,29
- April 5,12,26
- May 3,10,17,24
AP and MCAS Schedule :Link
Academic Calendar: Link (Please note that Q3 started on January 25th and subsequent dates have yet to be adjusted for snow days. Thanks for your understanding.)
Theatre Updates: For more information and news on Guys and Dolls: Link
Tentative End of Year dates: (adjusted for snow days up to 3-1-23)
13, 14, 15th June: 2 hour delay 13th & 14th, 15th is a ½ day: 11:30 dismissal
Student Council Attends Spring Conference
Motivation, Education and Polar Plunging!
Mr M chaperoned four of our high school STUCO members who participated in the (Massachusetts Association of Student Councils) MASC Spring Conference. This event is held annually to provide students with both motivational and educational experiences. The three-day, two-night conference is held at the Resort and Conference Center at Hyannis and Cape Codder Hotel. These three days are full of events, motivational speeches, workshops, awards, and entertainment—and are a rewarding experience for any student leader. Attendees are trained in areas of leadership, allowed to network with students from across Massachusetts, and celebrated as student leaders for their achievements throughout the year.
A particularly memorable leadership experience was participating in the Polar Plunge at Craigsville beach on the cape. This valiant act raised $530 for Special Olympics.
More information about this event can be found at:http://mastuco.net/index.php/programs/state-conference/
Key Club Clothing Drive
Sharing is caring!
The Key Club NEEDS YOUR HELP. Please consider donating any used clean clothing to the “MOHAWK SHARING IS CARING ROOM (room 178)” All sizes of clothing are needed. We will accept footwear if clean and are in good condition. You may contact Mrs. Camarda if you have any questions. The community may drop off their donations at the front office. Mohawk staff may contact Mrs. Camarda or bring donations to room 214.
On behalf of the Key Club members, we thank you for your support.
Building Resilience Against Violent Extremism in Schools (BRAVE)
An MTRS partnership with the Karuna Center
The Karuna Center in Greenfield recently launched a new peacebuilding project in partnership with middle and high schools throughout Western Massachusetts: Building Resilience Against Violent Extremism in Schools (BRAVE Schools). MTRS is delighted to be one of the partner schools.
Below is a brief explanation from the Karuna Center about BRAVE schools.
Building Resilience Against Violent Extremism in Schools (BRAVE Schools) will focus particularly on building student resilience against the spread of hate groups and far-right extremism, and preventing future acts of “targeted violence”—premeditated violence directed at a specific individual, group, or location. We will work to address often-unacknowledged factors that can lead youth down a dangerous path toward violence and hate.
We plan to use a whole-school approach in middle and high schools— to engage a range of students and staff in problem-solving issues that could hinder a positive, safe school climate. Our aim is to enhance school capacity to recognize and address the often-unacknowledged factors that can lead youth down a dangerous path toward violence and hate.
BRAVE Schools will combine Karuna Center’s dialogue-based practices with the expertise of two trainers, Robert Örell and Tony McAleer. Both are renowned leaders in creating pathways for people to avoid or exit hate groups, and are themselves former violent extremists who were recruited as youth.
The Alliance for Peacebuilding—a network of 165+ organizations working in 181 countries, of which Karuna Center is a member—will design and lead the project’s monitoring and evaluation processes, as part of their work to learn about and amplify effective strategies for local peacebuilding in the United States.
The project is new, and we are still welcoming schools to sign on to participate. We will proceed collaboratively, with the first phase being an assessment to deepen the project team’s understanding of schools’ needs.
Karuna Center’s BRAVE Schools project is one of 43 recipients nationwide funded by the Department of Homeland Security’s Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships, opportunity number DHS-22-TTP-132-00-01, and takes a public health approach to violence prevention. This year’s grants were announced in conjunction with the White House’s United We Stand Summit on hate-fueled violence.
Please make a note of two upcoming events in relation to this project:
- Public talk
- Monday, March 20, 7:30pm — Public talk in conjunction with the BRAVE Schools project (in-person and livestream): “Radical Compassion: Overcoming Hate & Building Understanding,” a conversation with Loretta Ross, Tony McAleer, and Robert Orell. The speakers will share their own experiences with hate groups, why people join, and the place of radical compassion in confronting hate effectively. The event will be held at Edwards Church, 297 Main St, Northampton, and is free of charge and open to all. For more information or to connect via livestream, please visit: karunacenter.org/events
- Parent/Guardian night
- Tuesday, March 21, 7:00-8:00pm — Parent/Guardian Information Night on the topic, “How are youth lured into hate online?” (in-person and livestream). Tony McAleer and Robert Orell will talk about how extremist groups recruit youth, and how to help prevent it and intervene. Both Tony and Robert were themselves recruited into violent ideologies as youth, and have since devoted themselves to creating pathways out of hate for others. This event is part of the BRAVE Schools project and will be held both over Zoom (register/join at karunacenter.org/events) and at the Amherst-Pelham Regional Middle School Library (170 Chestnut St, Amherst - 2nd Floor).
“Radical Compassion: Overcoming Hate & Building Understanding,” a conversation with Loretta Ross, Tony McAleer, and Robert Orell
The event will be held at Edwards Church, 297 Main St, Northampton, and is free of charge and open to all. For more information or to connect via livestream, please visit: karunacenter.org/events
Please make a note of the following dates in relation to the Class of 2023:
Class of 23 and families, two surveys were sent home this week. These will help us plan some of the events listed below. Please complete them by March 27th.
Student survey: Link
Care provider survey: :Link (Only 12 responses so far!)
Reach out to Class of 23 advisors Ms. Basal or Ms. Camada if you have any questions.
- Prom - Friday 19th May
- Senior Send off - Weds 24th May
- Senior Soak - Thursday 24th May
- Finals and rehearsals for Awards/ Graduation - Tuesday 30th May
- Elementary school visit and MTRS staff cookout - Wednesday 31st May
- Awards Event - Thursday 1st June (5-7pm)
- Graduation Celebration - Friday June 2nd, 6:30-8pm (Rain date: June 3rd: 1-3pm)
For scholarship information and deadlines, students should continue to reference the Student Services updates
Save the date -March 29th: District Celebration of Learning
Save the date...Guys and Dolls!
Grade 8 Field Trip to participate in a CIVICS project week at GCC
March 13, 14, 16 & 17th
As a reminder, we will be partnering with GreenField Community College (GCC) for a CIVICS project week at GCC for the week of March 13 - 17th. Not Wednesday 15th as this is a 12:50pm finish at MTRS.
The 8th grade Policy Summit Civics Project is here! Next week, students will be guided through intentional learning experiences and provided with relevant guest speakers on the campus of GCC to help build a foundation and starting place for the end of year 8th grade Policy Summit Project.
Then, in May, students are provided with the task of proposing a policy change in their local or regional area that would help in some way. Students are walked through the process of research and contacting experts to finally propose their well researched and science supported new policy during our live summit at the end of the year. You are invited with more details to follow.
We encourage students to consider a variety of topics and it's impressive to learn what matters to our 8th graders. There's an intentional thread of vagueness when discussing this specific project because we don't know what topics our students will choose!
We thank you for supporting your student's work through permission slips and discussing with your student at home. We are excited and ready to help MTRS 8th graders engage with their own civic identity in a structured and meaningful way and this year with the support of GCC Faculty and resources.
Please explore the PDF for more details on the project, press releases, and a day by day schedule of our time at GCC: Link
MTRS student participate in 24 hour Math Challenge!
The Future of Electric Bikes
This year’s challenge was all about the future of Electric Bikes. Here is the task the team was presented with:
Ride Like the Wind Without Getting Winded: The Growth of E-bike Use
Though electric automobiles have been a hot-ticket item in recent years1 they were not the most in-demand electric vehicle on the market. That distinction went to the electric bicycle, a.k.a. the e-bike2. The Light Electric Vehicle Association estimates that the United States saw a 70% increase in annual e-bike sales in 20213. While this increase may not be uniform (for example, bikes tend to be more popular in urban areas), in many cases, e-bikes provide people with a fast, reliable transportation option that comes without the worry of timing public transit, the nuisance of parking, or the stress of traffic congestion. E-bikes have also revolutionized some businesses that rely on them for delivery of food and other goods5. And in some countries where car ownership is rare, electric bikes are an affordable transportation option. Policy makers are observing these changes with interest and wondering if e-bikes are likely to become part of a more sustainable energy plan by getting more cars off the roads. Some are even considering tax incentives for people who use e-bikes, and/or investing in more bike lanes Before getting to these bigger, policy-related questions, policy makers are interested in the answers to the following foundational questions. Answer each of the following for either the U.S. or the UK (or both if you have time).
• Q1: The Road Ahead—Create a model to predict growth in e-bike sales. Predict the number of e-bikes that will be sold two and five years from now.
• Q2: Shifting Gears—In addition to being able to predict growth, it is often important to understand the underlying causes of that growth. For e-bikes, there is a lot of debate about what exactly led to the increase in their usage and/or sales. Some commonly cited reasons include: environmental awareness, gas prices, personal finances, health and exercise, and the “coolness factor” (increased visibility of others with e-bikes increases demand). Consider one or more factors that may have contributed to e-bike growth and use mathematical modeling to argue whether that factor (or factors) was a significant reason for the growth of e-bike usage.
• Q3: Off the Chain—As more people choose e-bikes as their preferred mode of transportation, there may be reduced usage of other modes of transportation, like gas vehicles and regular bikes. Quantify the resulting impacts on carbon emissions, traffic congestion, health and wellness, and/or other factors you deem important.
Here is an excerpt from the team’s 18+page response:
Electric Bikes and the Fight Against Climate Change - Summary
Greetings U.S Department of Transportation,
Based on our research today about the vast benefits of electric bicycles, we highly encourage implementing the use of electric bicycles and other equipment necessary for their use, such as charger stations and bike lanes. Although currently electric bicycles are not viable for all communities and individuals, encouraging people who have access and opportunities in place to use them, would be a big step forward in solving the climate crisis.
We created a model using electric bike sale information from Europe, France, and the U.S. which projected that by 2028, over 16,981,000 E-bikes will be on the road, with 4.7 million sold annually. The benefits of E-bikes are not only limited to the environment, but also to the people. An average American will save at least $2,958.63 in 2028, by the switch to E-bikes. This number is expected to continue to increase if individuals invest early in E-bikes, with them being able to save over $10,000 in 5 years. Although our research today did not show environmental awareness playing a significant role in the sales of E-bikes, the promotion of the following research might help change people's ideas.
Over the course of 11 years E-bikes will reduce CO2 emissions by 321,226,449 metric tonnes. This could help slow the rate of climate change if the use of E-bikes continues after those 11 years. This would also especially help slow the rate if other carbon emitting projects are not implemented or in combination with increased use of renewable energy to power cars or larger infrastructure. The decrease of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere will also help lower rates of respiratory illness, and be a good chance for exercise.
As we have stated above, the change from using fossil fuel powered cars, to using rechargeable E-bikes would do great measures to help fight the climate crisis we are currently facing. We highly recommend that you think about previous statements, and look into our research/models on the proceeding pages to influence your decision.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
Franklin County DEI Youth Leadership Summit
MTRS Equity Council and Equity Alliance are taking a key role in organizing the above event on 3/15/23
Supported by faculty advisors, MTRS student groups are working hard to help organize the above event. The summit is planned to be a coming together of School youth groups from across Franklin County, all focused on equity and social justice work. Student groups will convene on campus at GCC for a day focused on education, leadership, as well as initiatives and opportunities across the county, including ACCESS Franklin County (Early College), that provide student voice, choice and access to youth opportunities and resources.
Here is a working schedule for the day:
Welcome: Students will be welcomed to campus by Peggy Fallon, Dual Enrollment Coordinator at GCC. They will learn about campus programs, facilities, and Early Access opportunities for dual enrollment at GCC.
Building Connections: Icebreakers and activities to get students talking and making connections with other student leaders from around Franklin County.
Workshops: Students will attend two different workshops on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Many of the workshops are created and lead by student leaders and representatives of their schools social justice, diversity, and equity groups. MTRS Equity Council students will be leading a workshop on how to create and use an "Equity Pause" tool, to assess whether an item (documents, policies, curriculum etc.) or school event is equitable and inclusive for all students. Another MTRS student will be co-leading with a teacher on identifying and responding to Microaggressions.
Lunch: Students will have a chance to reconnect with their morning group and eat lunch together, provided by GCC. Plus, a swag giveaway!
Panel Discussion: Students will hear from a panel of community experts who are involved in DEI work:
- Keyedrya Jacobs,Community Engagement and Programs Associate for Communities that Care Coalition
- Glen Franklin, Social Justice and Community Connections Coordinator for Greenfield Public Schools
- Hunter Kirschner- Keene State U. Coordinator of LGBTQ Student Support, GCC Alumni
Student course choices for 2023/4
Courses and Scheduling process overview for 23/24 - Grades 8,9,10 & 11
On Wednesday morning, students in grades 9, 10 & 11 made course choices in Aspen. Grade 8 will be making their course choices during social studies in the next two weeks.
Students can make choices in Aspen until March 15th. If students have any questions, please speak to Ms Ruggeri (7 & 8) or Ms Fulton (9-12).
- Short presentation for students
- Longer presentation with more course detail
- Course catalog (with information on Dual Enrollment, and new courses such as Data Science, Music History and ASL)
- Specific information on Dual enrollment for students who are considering taking college courses at GCC while attending MTRS
Grade 8 Information:
Recorded Presentation: High School & Course Requests
Slides: High School & Course Request Information for Families 2023
Course Catalog: 2023-2024 MTRS Course Catalog
* 3/8 - 3/15 Students enter course requests into Aspen
* May/June- Students receive their 23-24 high school schedule and meet with counselors to make changes as needed before the end of the school year
* We do our best to accommodate requests, however final schedules may not include all of a student's requests. This happens for a variety of reasons, and we will do our best to create a schedule that works for each student.
Grade 7 and Rising &
- Current 7: We will communicate about course selection later in the Spring
- Rising 7: More information about choices will be given when we visit grade 6 schools after Feb break. Typically this is done via google form and completed on registration day in the summer.
MTRS students visit Grade 6 classrooms
Current grade 7 students talk to grade 6 students about life in Middle School
Supported by counselor Ruggeri, grade 7 students from Hawlemont & Sanderson returned to their former school to talk to the current grade 6 about what life is like at MTRS!
As well as describing a day in the life of a grade 7 student, grade 6 students were given MTRS backpacks with important registration documentation for caregivers to sign and return at the Celebration of Learning on March 29th or Step Up day on June 9th.
Please reach out to Ms. Ruggeri with any questions.
A different team of students will be coming to elementary schools one morning in the next few weeks!
The OAC is working on creating a Sensory Garden this spring in the newly created Mohawk Trail Outdoor Classroom (MTOC). This space is situated between our building walls creating easy access to the outdoors for staff and students to use during the school day. Our community felt creating a sensory garden would be beneficial to our students.
We are in need of plant and seed donations. We are looking for plants (and small bushes only) that are fun to touch, smell or taste as well as pretty plants to enjoy looking at. We prefer things that are native, but are open to plant ideas that don’t profusely spread. Some ideas are bee balm, chives, rosemary and yarrow (nothing taller than 5 feet).
Have something to donate? Are you interested in helping plant items this spring? Email Alia Woofenden at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is our latest CEEP newsletter including our April Vacation camp information. Enrollment opens March 17th.
Alia Woofenden "Mrs. Woof"
Liaison for Community Engagement and Enrichment Programs
Mohawk Trail Regional School District
24 Ashfield Road, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370
Youth Climate Action
Ollie Perrault, a high school student is a founding member of YOUTH CLIMATE ACTION NOW (YCAN). She and Sasha Kracauer, another group leader, will be speaking about YCAN and their goals. She writes: “Our generation has grown up in this crisis and there has never been a time when we weren’t fighting for our right to a livable future.” FYI:YCAN https://sites.google.com/ view/ycanupcomingevents/home. Come in to support this organization. Listen to Ollie and Sasha and ask questions When: Sunday, March 19, 2023. Where: The Episcopal Church of Saints James and Andrew. 8 Church Street, Greenfield, MA (Enter at main doors on Federal Street). Time: 12 Noon. Serving snacks. Contact Ella Ingraham:email@example.com
How can you get involved in MTRS?
We want to hear your voice!
Local Education Council (LEC)
This meets virtually every second Wednesday of the month between 3:45 and 4:30pm. More information can be found here. The next meeting will be on April 12th.
The virtual joining information is as follows:
PIN: 741 012 215#
Outdoor Advisory Committee (OAC)
This meets every second Wednesday of the month between 5 and 6pm. In the winter we will be virtual. In the Spring and Fall we will be in-person. The next meeting will be on April 12th.
Outdoor Advisory Committee- Virtual
Wednesday, Feb 8th, 5:00 – 6:00pm
Google Meet joining info
Video call link: https://meet.google.com/ysh-dgqv-jvz
Or dial: (US) +1 470-210-0524 PIN: 190 585 623#
Please explore the OAC page on the website and have a look at the list of initial projects we gathered from surveying students, staff and community as well as OAC priorities created from this initial list.
As was the case last year, I will hold regular virtual office hours. You don’t need an appointment to come and talk with me and share your thoughts on what goes on at MTRS. I will try to be available for the whole 60 minutes but can't always guarantee it at our busy school.
Second Friday of each month: 8:00 to 9:00 a.m.
Meeting ID: meet.google.com/jtz-yhet-ipo
Phone Number: (US)+1 (813) 773-5581
PIN: 636 883 303
Third Friday of each month: 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Meeting ID: meet.google.com/sru-mshz-rht
Phone Number: (US)+1 (218) 301-2866
PIN: 136 064 523
Hello sports fans! We in the Mohawk Trail Athletic Department are currently between seasons! However, while our athletes and coaches are able to get a very brief, well deserved break, the countdown is on to SPRING SPORTS! Please make sure that you get your student-athletes signed up HERE for their spring sport of choice. Like usual, we will be offering baseball, softball, tennis, and track and field! Please remember that all athletes must have an up to date physical (physicals are valid for 13 months after examination) prior to March 20th (opening day of spring sports!).
SPRING SWAG SHOPS ARE OPEN!!!!
We are ahead of the game this season, and have opened our spring swag shops early! Follow the links below to get your authentic Mohawk Trail gear! Don’t hesitate though, as the shops will close on March 23rd! QR Codes can also be found around the school to access these online shops!
Special Education Updates
Mohawk Trail SEPAC Member and Parent
Do you have a question about your child, their services, or resources specific to your needs? If you or someone you know would like to be added to the private list and receive emails and event notifications, please send an email to: MOHAWKSEPAC@gmail.com Please indicate your email, title (such as parent of a student with IEP/504), District, Interested Party or other)
Disclosure: SEPAC maintains the list of contacts and keeps the information private. This email is maintained by a parent and volunteer. Our goal is to respond in a timely manner. We will get back to you as soon as we can. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.
MTRSD Director of Communications