MTRSD S'Update

December 3, 2021

Dear Mohawk Trail & Hawlemont Families,

We've finally made it to the final month in 2021... and the official start to winter is just a few weeks away! As we quickly launch into snow season, remember to stay tuned for emergency weather closing or delays posted on our websites; official social media outlets; shared via all-call alerts; local television outlets such as Western Mass News, WWLP, and local radio stations.


We have a lot of wonderful work happening in our classrooms and fun event scheduled in our schools. Be sure to read your principal's weekly newsletters for the most up-to-date information to stay connected!


* MTRSD hosts virtual town halls to outline FY23 budget

* Message to families & community from Hawlemont principal

* DESE / Department of Public Health Frequently Asked Questions

* COVID-19 cases on the rise

* Capstone students host panel discussions to present project updates

* Winter hiking equipment fundraiser

* Shriners Children's toy & donation drive continues

* MTRS Class of '24 hosts winter TRIVIA NIGHT!

* MTRS visits to elementary classrooms

* ALUMNI IN THE NEWS

* School Spotlights: Colrain Central

* Community Corner: Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection offers free well water testing

MTRSD hosts virtual town halls to outline FY23 budget

This week we held two virtual town halls to discuss the initial stages of building our FY23 budget and give an overview of our district's strategic plan. On Monday, Nov. 29 we met with town select and finance committee chairs, town administrators, and budget subcommittee. Thank you to our attendees who asked great questions and shared valuable feedback in this initial stage. If you missed this meeting and would like to hear the discussion, you can watch the recording here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wRaH8b8j7F7_jafT2Koyb6A6owy2l3Hk/view


Additionally, we hosted a Caregiver Virtual Town Hall which was livestreamed to our district's Vimeo channel on Tuesday, Nov. 30. The video link was shared on all of the district's school Facebook pages, the district's Twitter, and posted under "Helpful Links" on the district's website www.mtrsd.org. You can watch it back HERE.


THANK YOU to everyone who participated in these preliminary budget discussions. As we move through the FY23 budgeting process this year, we will be hosting additional virtual town halls and soliciting feedback along the way. We are committed to providing our stakeholders with the information they need regarding the fiscal status of the district as we head into town meeting season. Thank you for being partners in this work and for your dedication to your school community.

Virtual Town Hall - Caregivers - 11/30/21

To view the virtual town hall held on 11/30/21 for caregivers, click here.

Message to families & community from Hawlemont principal

On Nov. 30, Hawlemont Principal Lindsay Rodriguez shared this message with her school community:


Dear Hawlemont Families and Community,


It is with mixed emotions that I inform you I will be leaving the Hawlemont community and that my last day is December 1. I want you to know this is in no way because of the staff, students, or families. All of your children are amazing kiddos an I am so glad to have spent the last three and a half years with them. The staff is doing amazing work to have the best instruction for students, awesome experiences through HAY and just an all-around amazing school for kids.


During this time I am so happy to have little Milli as a breath of fresh air. At this point I am looking forward to embarking on my next adventure and plan to spend some time with my family before beginning another role. I wish you all of the best and thank you for all of your support over the last few years.


All the best,

Lindsay

DESE / Department of Public Health Frequently Asked Questions

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Massachusetts Department of Public Health issued a COVID-19 frequently asked questions sheet prior to the holiday break. This PDF outlines commonly asked questions in school districts surrounding COVID-19, including what to do if districts are seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases in their schools and protocols/procedures for testing and quarantine.


Please take a moment to look through this helpful information. With the increasing case loads in Franklin County and in our district, and what sometimes seems to be quickly changing information from state guidance, this FAQ is a helpful resource. As always, you can reach out to our district's COVID Nurse Leader Donna Weber at dweber@mtrsd.org if you have any questions!

CLICK HERE to read DESE/DPH Frequently Asked Questions

PDF provided by DESE/DPH to answer Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19

COVID-19 cases on the rise

District COVID-19 caseload numbers are on a rapid upward trend both in Franklin County and the district. Prior to the Thanksgiving break, we saw a spike in cases and continue to see our numbers trending in the wrong direction post break.


With colder weather upon us and an increase in indoor gatherings, the COVID-19 School Planning Task Force reminds residents to PLEASE stay diligent in following the Fab FIVE to help stop the spread. If you haven't yet scheduled your COVID-19 vaccination (for yourself or a child aged 5-11), please consider scheduling your appointment. Trust the facts; get the VAX! Vaccination helps protect you and your family from COVID-19. Don't forget to wear your masks; wash your hands; maintain physical distancing when feasible; and STAY HOME when you are not feeling well. Together, these mitigation efforts will help us bring our caseload numbers down.


If you are planning to gather with those outside your household this winter, use FRCOG's chart below to help assess your risk of catching or spreading COVID-19. LAYER UP with your COVID-19 protections and keep your family (and community) healthy! We need our entire community to work together to bring our caseload numbers back down.

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MTRSD COVID-19 Information

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

Capstone students host panel discussions to present project updates

Mohawk Trail Regional School senior Capstone students presented their project updates to their selected panelists this week. At this point in the process, student projects are well underway and this midpoint panel presentation allows for students to begin outlining their work while obtaining valuable feedback from outside sources. As a result, panelists provide additional guidance to students to guide them as they complete their work.


Final Capstone presentations will take place in January and we're looking forward to seeing their work.

Winter Hiking Equipment Fundraiser! We STILL need your help!

We are SO close to having this project fully funded! If you're able, please consider donating today!


MTRS Community & outdoor enthusiasts: Ms. Brown is raising funds to help purchase some winter equipment for a new trail walking class at MTRS this spring. Equipment will also be used by our MTRSD Community Engagement and Enrichment Programs to provide fun, outdoor experiences for our district's elementary students. If you'd like to help support Ms. Brown's project, head over to her DonorsChoose page to make your donation. Be sure to use the code LIFTOFF at checkout to double your donation (up to $50)!


In order to provide students with this opportunity starting in January, Ms. Brown is hoping to reach her goal by Dec. 10! Please help us make this opportunity a reality for our district students!


www.donorschoose.org/project/winter-hiking-equipment/5888213

Shriners Children's toy & donation drive continues

MTRS seniors Tyler Matteson and Caitlin Upton continue to collect toy and monetary donations to benefit the Shriners Children's Hospital in Springfield.


Toy drop-off locations for Matteson's project are located at each school in the district. Please bring your new, unwrapped toy donation to any of our schools through Dec. 10! Help Tyler in his Capstone quest to bring joy to children at the hospital this holiday season! Questions? Need additional information about donating? You can contact Tyler directly at toydrive@mtrsd.org.


For those who would like to make a monetary donation, you can support Caitlin Upton's Capstone work as she aims to raise $1,000 via direct donations (cash or check) OR supporting her bake sale during school lunches (we're looking at you, fellow students!). For those who would like to support her work, please reach out to Acting Principal Diane Zamer to learn more - dzamer@mtrsd.org.


A sincere thank you to those who have supported our students in this work!

Winter Hiking Equipment Fundraiser

Click this link to visit the project page & donate today!

MTRS Class of '24 hosts winter TRIVIA NIGHT!

JOIN US for a fun, festive night of TRIVIA hosted by the Class of 2024 in the MTRS Trailblazer Cafe!


WHEN: December 10 from 5PM - 6:30PM


COST: $5/person tickets for participating or watching the trivia game; additional cost of purchasing snacks at the bake sale. **Proceeds from this event will benefit the Class of 2024.**


ALL ARE WELCOME! Bring your friends and family for a fun--and slightly competitive--winter themed trivia night!


To view the Facebook event post, visit: www.facebook.com/events/599921761283344


(Graphic credit: Sophia Goodnow, Class of '24)

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MTRS visits elementary classrooms

Over the next several weeks, Mohawk Trail Regional School staff and students will be making the rounds and visiting 5th and 6th grade classrooms across the district to talk about how they can blaze their trail to success at MTRS!


This week, we kicked-off the visits at Sanderson Academy where current MTRS students Courtney, Erica, and Tanner (who are also Sanderson alumni) talked about what MTRS has to offer (academics, student life, athletics) and how MTRS is preparing them for the future. Our elementary students were given an opportunity to ask candid questions and watched a video with some MTRS highlights.


We're excited to welcome these future trailblazers to MTRS in the years to come and can't WAIT to see them in our halls!


Elementary caregivers - if you have any questions about MTRS and how we can help your child blaze their trail to graduation, please reach out to Acting Principal Diane Zamer at dzamer@mtrsd.org. And don't forget to follow our official Facebook and Instagram accounts @mohawktrailregional to stay up to date with what's happening!


www.mtrs.mohawktrailschools.org

Sanderson Academy 6th graders: aka the MTRS Class of 2028 with MTRS students Tanner, Courtney, and Erica.

Sanderson 6th graders with MTRS students, standing facing camera, "smiling" under masks.
Welcome to MTRS!

#BlazeYourTrailatMTRS

ALUMNI IN THE NEWS

Check it out! Spotted in the Greenfield Recorder: MTRS alum Meghan Davis recently competed in the NCAA Division 3 cross-country championships! CONGRATS, Meghan, for your continued success in the classroom and on the course!


https://www.recorder.com/Bulletin-Board-43644874

Click here to read the Recorder article

Click this link to read the article from the Greenfield Recorder

School Spotlight: Colrain Central

This week Colrain Central School fifth graders delivered rain suits to first graders. Fifth graders recently completed a service learning project to address equity between the different grades and thought first graders might want to play in the rain like our younger students do using these awesome rain suits. Thanks to generous funding made possible through grants and the Colrain Central PTO, the fifth graders were able to make their project come full circle.


WAY TO GO, CCS students, for thinking about your peers and helping to problem-solve! We can't wait to see our first-graders stomping around the puddles!

Students stand in semi-circle around desks (with younger students seated) and are holding yellow rain suits.

THANK YOU, Posada Grill!

A HUGE thank you to Posada Grill for sponsoring our Parents' Night Out event on Dec. 3! Thanks to generous support from businesses like Posada Grill, were able to offer Parents Night Out for FREE!


If you participated in Parents Night Out, be sure to send a message to the great folks at Posada for their support of our programming!

TEXT: POSADA Authentic Salvadoran & Mexican Grill with graphic image of a DOTD skull.
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.

Community Corner: MassDEP offers free well water testing

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) recently announced they are offering FREE well water testing to 84 towns in the state and ALL nine district towns are included.


If you are interested in having your well water tested for free, please visit the MassDEP Drinking Water website HERE to learn more and sign-up.


To hear the announcement on WWLP, click here: https://www.wwlp.com/health-2/massdep-offering-free-testing-for-pfas-well-water-contamination/

MassDEP Drinking Water Program

Click here to learn more and sign up!

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