Weekly Newsletter

May 5, 2022

News from Principal Emma Liebowitz

Sanderson Academy welcomed Billie on April 29th. Billie is a female black lab mix puppy that will grow up in our Sanderson community. She will receive comfort dog training as she matures and learn to be a model canine citizen by providing smiles, love, and steady companionship to our students while they are at school. She lives with our School Psychologist, Nicole Duprey, and comes to school with her most days. Billie has already stolen the hearts of many of the students and staff. Billie has certainly felt this love and it has been a joy to watch her play and cuddle with students. She is a lucky pup to have the opportunity to grow up surrounded by such warm and caring students!

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Events/Calendar


May 9 -13: Fifth and Sixth Grade to Camp Keewaydin

Tuesday, May 10: Third Grade MCAS

Wednesday, May 11: 1:50 Dismissal

Wednesday, May 11: School Committee at 6:30

Thursday, May 12: Third Grade MCAS

Friday, May 13: Third and Preschool to Porter Farm

Monday, May 16: LEC at 3:15

Tuesday, May 17: Fourth Grade MCAS

Wednesday, May 18: 1:50 Dismissal

Thursday, May 19: Fifth Grade MCAS

Thursday, May 20: First Grade to Fish Way

Thursday, May 20: Fifth Grade MCAS

Tuesday, May 24: Fourth Grade MCAS

Wednesday, May 25: 1:50 Dismissal

Thursday, May 26: Berkshire Hills Music Academy Performance at 2:00 (all grades)

Friday, May 27: Mosquito Presentation at 1:30 (grades 3-6)


Monday, May 30: No School


Link to Sanderson Academy calendar.

Health Office News from Nurse Loranna

May is mental health awareness month so I will be focusing on that this month. Approximately one in five school age children have a mental, emotional or behavioral disorder, and yet only 20% have support from a mental health professional. This is a huge disparity that affects us all, and hopefully will begin to change. ( https://www.cdc.gov/childrensmentalhealth/access.html)

There are many barriers to care for mental health services, such as lack of providers, insurance coverage, stigma, cost, time, and geographic location (rural areas such as our area have less resources available). The average delay of symptom onset to receiving treatment is 11 years! With the pandemic, there has been a rise in mental health issues- but also- perhaps a silver lining- there is more conversation about mental health and less stigma. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and just like physical health, there are certain risk factors which may contribute, such as genetics, poverty, and trauma. While lifestyle factors can sometimes contribute such as nutrition and sleep. This is a screening tool that can be helpful in the beginning stages of identification of any concerns, it is not meant to be diagnostic, but can help identify children who may need more support and begin the process: mhascreening.org.

Preschool News from Ms. Freeman

Sanderson preschool had a farm E-I-E-I-O! This week we are talking about farms, farm animals, and farm equipment. We are using our creativity to make animals for our classroom’s farm display. The photos show chickens, cows, and horses.

This week we are also busy making cards and gifts for our mothers. Preschoolers can’t wait to bring them home to give to their moms. Happy Mother’s Day!

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Preschool News from Ms. Melanie

We had a wonderful time at Hancock Shaker Village. There were so many baby farm animals in the big round barn–it was a popular place that day. We were allowed to go inside many of the pens for a closer look and a hug. We visited all the buildings, stopping here and there to explore items that the Shakers used in their daily lives. In the Discovery Barn, there were many delightful activities waiting for us to enjoy. There were baby chickens to see, a big plastic cow in a stanchion that we could try to milk, a loom where we could try weaving, and a big table of coloring pages waiting for us to color to take home. It was a lovely day. Thank you to all of our parents who joined us on this exciting field trip.

We have been busy this week making special surprises for Mother’s Day–and we got a surprise of our own when we returned to school on Monday. Another egg in the incubator had hatched and we found a new duckling in the brooder with our chicks! We were amazed at how big the duckling was compared to the size of the shell from which it hatched–we thought it must have been feeling pretty squished in that little egg. One morning, we sat in a quiet circle around newspapers and Ms. Melanie put the duckling where we could watch it. Then we each had a chance to hold it. What fun!

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Kindergarten News from Ms. Sarah

In writing, we introduced our new unit on poetry! So far, we are looking at repeating line poems (where each line starts with the same word or phrase) and trying out our own about any topic that interests us. Our poem of the week was titled Rain and featured a repeating line structure, just like what we learned about in writing!

Rain on the rooftops, Rain on the trees, Rain on the green grass, But not on me! We did a sequencing activity based on the poem and filled in missing sight words.

Second Grade News from Ms. Robertson

This week we completed another lesson called “Ways the Earth’s Landscape Can Be Changed” as part of our unit on landforms and bodies of water. As part of this lesson, we defined the word landscape as what landforms and bodies of water we see as we look out over a piece of land. We started this lesson by listening to the book titled Billions of Bricks by Kurt Cyrus, where we focused on how the landscape is a barren dirt patch that is built up with bricks to create a town/city. Next, we imagined that the rug in our classroom was a bare landscape, and then over time, a river and mountains formed and a forest started to grow. We also brainstormed a list of ways people can change the landscape, such as damming the river, building roads, cutting down trees, and building houses and other buildings. These changes were added to the landscape by creating a town out of paper and blocks. After drawing maps of our block town, we discussed how the landscape can be changed by natural means, such as floods, earthquakes, and wildfires. We ended our lesson by having the landscape of our fictional town changed by the forces of nature, such as a tornado that knocked down buildings and destroyed parts of the road. To further extend our knowledge of how the landscape can be changed by natural means, we are reading a book entitled How Do Wind and Water Change Earth? by Natalie Hyde.

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Third Grade News from Ms. Carole

It’s the time of year where there is just so much to do in third grade! This week we spent some time preparing our gardens and planting some seeds. We weeded the beds, added some compost, and built the bean teepee and the trellis for the peas. Then both of those items were planted. Many other items were planted for growing indoors including herbs, flowers, squashes, and cucumbers, so now we have our grow light table filled and on. We are eagerly awaiting those early shoots to pop up out of the soil.


We want to send out a special thank you to Eliza Healy and Snow’s for donating and delivering a beautiful pile of compost to the Sanderson Academy gardening efforts.


In math we continued working on multiplication facts, and this week we are linking them to division facts and concepts. Next week we will be taking the math MCAS on Tuesday and Thursday, so we are also spending time this week getting acquainted with how to use the many online tools for taking those.


We are grateful to the parent chaperones who came with us last week on our field trip to Hancock Shaker Village. We had a wonderful time, and students had a lot to write about in reflection. Next Friday, April 13th, we will be taking a walk with our buddies to the Porter Family Farm for more fun and learning.

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Fourth Grade News from Ms. Lagoy

In the coming week, we will be reading two articles during our reading block. Students will be asked to consider what inspired Jeanne DuPrau to write The City of Ember. On her website, students will read that the arms race of the 1950s influenced DuPrau’s idea for Ember. In the article titled “The Manhattan Project'' students will read about the early development of nuclear energy in Germany and the United States. In the article titled “Nuclear Arms Race” students will read about the Cold War that began in 1945 and continued through the early 1990s. Students should conclude that Ember was likely built to protect the people from nuclear attack.

Fifth Grade News from Ms. Johnson

Fifth grade has been learning about energy in the food web. We have done a demonstration of how energy is used at each level so consumers higher up on the food chain aren’t getting as much energy. We also did a lab about conservation of energy. Students learned what organisms use energy for and how it moves around the environment as energy can’t be created or destroyed.

Sixth Grade News from Ms.Lilly

Last Friday, we had a visit from Pat Thayer, from the Ashfield Food Pantry. Pat informed the sixth graders all about the different foods the food pantry collects, how they gather the food, and when it is handed out. She shared the different struggles the food bank currently faces and some ideas that they have to alleviate some of their current problems. One of their biggest challenges is lack of fresh vegetables. The community can currently donate items from their gardens, but it’s often not enough to support the needs of the pantry. In order to help address this problem, the sixth grade class will be working with Bug Hill Farm to establish a community garden to help support the Ashfield Food Pantry. In the month of May, our class will be visiting Bug Hill Farm two times to help add compost and plant the garden. We are looking forward to this fun project and getting to help our community!

News from Ms. Prew

You should check out this link! You will find SO many fun games to play. You can filter the search by grade-level, game type (for example online games or family games), and even math topics (for example counting or decimals). Let me know which games you try out! aprew@mtrsd.org :)

Music News from Nick Lawrence

Just a reminder to all parents of band students that our Band Together Concert will take place on Wednesday, May 18th, at 7PM. The concert will take place at Buckland-Shelburne Elementary, alongside other band students in the district in grades 4-12 as well as the Shelburne Falls Military Band. Dress is black on bottom, white on top. There is also a dress rehearsal one week before (Wednesday 5/11, 7PM at BSE) for those who can make it (mostly 4th grade). On behalf of myself and all the conductors involved, we hope to see you there!!

News from Trish Aurigemma

This months Newsletter will focus on Language Development for children from 11-12 years in age: The following information was found on the Kidspot.com, Scholastic.com and Momjunction.com Generally speaking, sometime between the ages of 11 and 12, most children will begin to reason, think abstractly, and apply logic.

Children from 11-12 years are able understand metaphors, detect sarcasm, understand active and passive voice in grammar, understand both concrete and abstract themes in reading, understand character traits as they relate to the story and their vocabulary continues to expand in direct relation to the amount of what a child reads. Their attention span has grown so that they can listen longer to more complex information such as news programs. They are also planning prior to speaking and have a range of strategies such as listening to others, planning out research and developing a thesis statement.

Children from 11-12 years may use language effectively for a variety of purposes by speaking or in written form. Children at this age are able to explain results through discussions. They can persuade by presenting a well formed, convincing argument for or against an issue, create written work to support their opinion, as well as create their own writing pieces and use complex sentence structure in their writing. Children are learning how to use questions of others to continue and strengthen their own argument in discussions.

Here a few fun language building games and activities to enjoy with your child.

1. Make a comic book- creative writing is fun, engaging and helps develop your childs imagination.

2. Learn to code- Coding can be useful in strengthening their problem-solving, communication, critical thinking, and collaboration skills.

3. Learn a new language- learning a new language can help improve you and your childs cognitive and decision making skills.

4. Play a board game or create one of your own.

I hope you find this information helpful and as always, if you have any questions feel free to contact me.

MTRSD Elementary Newsletter

Can be found at this link: https://www.smore.com/3vf4x

Trailblazer Celebration of Learning

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CFCE Activities

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EEC Transition Meeting Invitation

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