Weekly Newsletter

January 27, 2022

News from Principal Emma Liebowitz

A message from Share the Warmth:

Dear Sanderson Community,

Our Share the Warmth Committee thanks all of you so much for all the clothing donations you gave to us. A special thank you goes to Robin Wilson for managing it and delivering so many bags to us. This will make many families very happy tomorrow when we give these away for free when they come to get their food at the Hilltown Food Pantry. To me it is recycling at its best: you gave us what you don't need anymore, and it goes to people who do need whatever they take home with them.

I really cannot thank you all enough.


Caroline Murray for Share the Warmth


Wednesday, February 2 - 1:50 Release

Wednesday, February 9 - 1:50 Release

Wednesday, February 9 - School Committee Meeting at 6:30

February 21 - 25 - No School - Vacation

Monday, February 28 - Local Education Council Meeting at 3:15

Link to Sanderson Academy calendar.

List of vaccine times and locations.

Health Office News from Nurse Loranna

Please continue to check in with your child regarding any symptoms before sending them to school. Let me know if there is concern for an out of school exposure- I can do a screening test here at school if you are unable to find a test or schedule one. GCC continues to be a great resource for our community- as we know PCR tests are the most accurate type of test out there. Antigen tests are an incredibly helpful tool for identifying symptomatic covid cases however it is important to know that early on in a covid infection they are not always as accurate and can miss an active infection and come up negative. This is why it is recommended to repeat testing if having symptoms or get a PCR test. Other helpful info:

~Please know if your child has been diagnosed with covid, the soonest they can leave isolation is day 6 after a positive test and symptoms need to be improving. If you choose to keep them out longer- those days will continue to be excused. While not required, testing with an antigen test during an infection is a good way to assess the current viral load.

~The department of education in MA guidance that we must follow requires that any preschooler diagnosed with covid are mandated to be out for the full 10 days, returning on day 11.

~ After a positive covid case, you are exempt from testing and quarantining for 90 days. This is because research shows there will be immunity from your infection that would protect against re-infection- for the 90 days. This is not always the case, especially if you have a high risk for exposure, reinfections do happen- but generally, that is what is advised. I keep track of all cases and when an individual could return to pooled testing. Please let me know if you have any questions about that. Thank you!!

Library News from Ms. Wilson

There are many reasons that I love libraries. One reason that has always been at the top of my list is the fact that I have complete autonomy when I am checking out books. I can choose books that seem safe and familiar, and I can choose books about topics that I know nothing about. I can choose books that reflect who I am (“mirrors”), and books that provide a view into a completely different experience (“windows”). I can check out several books at a time, or just one. I can read them as many times as I want, or I can casually leaf through one without even reading an entire chapter. Essentially, I get to explore the world through books at my own leisure. All for free! It is quite a joy to observe students having this same experience as they make choices about what they read and learn about. My hope is to build a collection of books over time that provides students with many choices and chances to discover new “mirrors” and “windows.”

students reading in the library

Preschool News from Mrs. Freeman

This week we read, Chrysanthemum, by Kevin Henkes and discussed the story. We talked about how Chrysanthemum felt when others at school were saying unkind things. We talked about how Chrysanthemum felt when her Mom and Dad said kind words to her. We also talked about things Chrysanthemum should have done when others were being unkind at school. Our ideas included getting a teacher for help and being kind ourselves, to model and teach others.

This book also provided an opportunity for us to look at our own names and count the letters we have in them. Chrysanthemum has thirteen letters in her name. Everyone did well counting the letters in their name! Two friends had the most letters in their name with eight letters. The friend with the least letters in their name had three letters.

Kindergarten News from Ms. Sarah

In our social skills program, we started a unit on thinking strategies, as it is often how we think about a problem that determines if it sends us into the yellow zone or not. This week’s mental strategy was to evaluate the size of the problem that is upsetting you and put it in perspective by comparing it to truly big problems. When you realize your problem is not so big, it helps you to make your reaction not so big either.

First Grade News from Mrs. Wyckoff

During our Language arts time we started reading a non-fiction book about astronauts titled Out Of This World . In this story first graders learned many new facts about astronauts, their time spent training and their life in space. Each first grader selected two facts they learned about and then completed their writing with a directed drawing of an astronaut. These wonderfully written pieces will be displayed here in our first grade hallway. Be sure to ask your first grader about their writing and you may even learn something new about space, such as Laika, a former stray dog who was the first animal to go into orbit!

Second Grade News from Ms. Robertson

During our math time this month, we have focused on several different math skills. During our Number Corner time, one area of focus has been on graphing. Every fifth day, a new bar graph or picture graph was revealed. The next four days revealed equations that accompanied the graph. (See the snip from our January Number Corner below.) We used the data from the graphs to formulate possible survey questions, to identify how many people responded to the graph, and to answer comparison questions about the data (ex. How many more? How many fewer?). We also identified possible titles for the graphs, discussing how a title needs to accurately represent the information presented in the graph. (See image below)

Another focus during our Number Corner time has been on using open number lines to find the difference between two numbers. For example, if we want to find the difference between 7 and 16, we can make 7 one endpoint on the number line and 16 the other endpoint and make 9 jumps of 1 between 7 and 16. We also discussed and practiced a more efficient strategy of finding the difference, which was to make one jump from the endpoint to 10 and then to make another jump from 10 to the second endpoint. The distance of the two jumps is then added together to get the difference. Using the previous example of finding the difference between 7 and 16, we can make a jump of 3 from 7 to 10 and then a second jump of 6 from 10 to 16. We then get the difference of 9 by adding 3 and 6 together. (Second grade families can look in their child’s Thursday folder to see work in this area.)

We have also been continuing our work with place value and two- and three-digit numbers. We have been using place value pieces (hundred squares, ten sticks, and one circles) to build numbers and to identify how many hundreds, tens, and ones are in these numbers. We have been introduced to writing numbers in expanded form (ex. The expanded form for 57 is 50+7 because there are 5 tens and 7 ones in 57.) and have worked on identifying numbers that are ten more and ten less than a given number.

We have also started the next unit from our social emotional curriculum (Second Steps) on empathy. The first lesson in this unit focused on identifying feelings and classifying feelings as comfortable (ex. happy, proud, excited) and uncomfortable (ex. angry, frustrated, sad). To assist us with identifying how another person is feeling, we practiced reading a person’s facial expressions and body language as we thought about the situation (ex. getting separated from a family member in a store, doing well in a soccer game). When we can identify and understand how another person is feeling, we can have empathy for them.

math calendar

Third Grade News from Ms. Carole

Third grade is often the first year a child gets to be a “Big Buddy” at Sanderson Academy, and it is a very important shift for these kiddos. We talk with them about how buddy time is different when you’re the older kid, and we do a lot of reflections after our times with our buddies as well. For those students who do not have younger siblings at home, the seriousness of the responsibility can be particularly startling at first. Whatever the activity we are doing, the beautiful thing the teachers get to witness every year is the way third graders naturally fall into the role of caretaker and role model when called upon to do so. This week we enjoyed a few sledding and snow-play times with our preschool buddies, and the third graders were incredibly thoughtful, patient, and generous throughout these interactions. They’ve learned the nuances of getting a shy three or four year old to talk, they helped with the many zippers and details of snow gear, and they reliably did whatever their preschool friend wanted to do, regardless of their own desires. When you get a minute, check in with your third grader about his or her preschool buddy times and hear about it all. We are ever grateful to Ms. Melanie for trusting us with these wonderful little friends!

Students and staff sledding at Sanderson Academy

Fourth Grade News from Mrs. Lagoy

Fourth graders have been busy writing new goals for the year. They have written an academic goal, a personal goal, and a goal from our social emotional learning. For each goal, they have written a thoughtful paragraph including why this is important to them, the steps that they will take to reach their goal, and how they will know when they have achieved their goal. I have been most impressed with the thoughtful reflection each student has taken while working on this project. Their goals are an honest reflection of themselves. Check back in next week for a photo of our completed bulletin board. Here is just a snapshot of our “4th Graders are Rocketing into the New Year and Reaching New Heights” bulletin board:

fourth grfade goals project

News from Ms. Prew

In last week's newsletter I linked a website with a ton of great games to play using just cards! This week I have two articles to share with you: games that use dice! Younger kiddos, check out this link for a bunch of fun games using just dice! Older kiddos, click here for some more challenging dice games. Enjoy. :) aprew@mtrsd.org

Instrumental News from Nick Lawrence

Thank you to all parents and students for their flexibility and understanding as we continue to navigate yet another wild year! Unfortunately, students are unable to play wind instruments if they are considered a COVID-19 ‘close contact.’ Though disappointing, I am grateful to Nurse Loranna, all the staff, and all the students for working to keep us all safe.

In other news, we are changing our schedule for lessons. My hope is that this new schedule works for the students, teachers, and new after-school programs at MTRS. Teachers are aware of specific times, but here is the basic schedule:

Mondays: Clarinet (2 groups), Trombone

Wednesdays: possible make-up lessons for absences and holidays

Fridays: Flute, saxophone, percussion

This new schedule goes into effect next week (starting 1/31). Of course, things often change, and I will be in touch via email (nlawrence@mtrsd.org) if they do. Thank you to everybody!! Happy Practicing!!

From the Ashfield Park Commission

The Ashfield Park Commission is looking for input. They are looking for community support and input as they plan for the next decade for the Ashfield Beach and Park. Please complete the survey by following this LINK.

MTRS VIRTUAL EVENT: What is a Trailblazer?

Are you a current or prospective family interested in learning more about our Trailblazer work? Do you wonder, "What is the Trailblazer model?" and how does it prepare students for the future? Are you a caregiver to elementary-aged children who will attend MTRS in the future? If so - this virtual event is for YOU!

WHEN: Tuesday, Feb. 15

6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Join us for this virtual event and hear from current MTRS students who are blazing their trails at MTRS. We will provide you with an overview of our Trailblazer model and students will answer your questions–what does it mean to be a Trailblazer at MTRS? How are we preparing students for life post-high school? Hear from our students about our innovative, hands-on learning opportunities, internships, Capstone work, and more!

Space is limited! Please use this form to RSVP by FRIDAY, FEB. 11 to reserve your spot and submit your questions in advance! Virtual meeting log-in information will be provided (via email) when you register.

**IF YOU HAVE ALREADY RSVP'd to Principal Buckland for this event, you do not need to complete this form.** Questions? Contact MTRS Principal Chris Buckland at cbuckland@mtrsd.org.