Student & Family Update
April 29, 2022
March 3rd, 2023
I hope that you are doing well.
Here is the newsletter for this week. In it you will find more details on the following and more:
- Wednesday was a bitter sweet day for us as we said goodbye and good luck to Leyla - we will miss you and come and visit us soon (See photo)
- Permission forms are needed from grade 8 families in order for students to participate in the GCC CIVICS field trip
- Mark your calendars for our district Celebration of learning - March 29th
- Rehearsals for Guys and Dolls have started - see below for more details
- Emily Willis was named as our 2023 District Grinspoon Award winner for Teaching Excellence
- Our new MTRS Promotional videos can be found here. We will also be starting our visits to grade 6 classes in our elementary schools. Please note, grade 6 step up day is set for June 9th
- Mary Lyon Foundation who are incredibly generous supporters of MTRS students and families have published their March newsletter. Please explore this here
Have a safe weekend
Important Dates & Information
March 13,14,16,17 - Grade 8 Civics week at GCC
March 15th - Equity Council Youth Leadership Summit at GCC
March 29th - District Celebration of Learning
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
Save the date -March 29th: District Celebration of Learning
National Honors Society
Now accepting applications...
National Honor Society (NHS) recognizes tenth through twelfth grade students who have achieved excellence in scholarship, service, leadership, and character. Students who maintain a 3.8 GPA are eligible to apply. Members of NHS meet regularly to plan service projects and activities in our community. We meet every-other Friday.
Applications due- March 3rd
Recommendations due - March 6th
NHS Honor Council (Admin and Academic staff) make decisions on entry to the NHS - after March 6th
Induction Ceremony - TBD in April
Fall application window - After Semester 2 for Juniors and Seniors who qualify
More information can be found at this link on our website. Alternately, reach out to Ms. White with any questions.
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.
This is a fantastic opportunity for students to work with their current grade 8 teachers as well as having the experience of speaking with GCC staff and community members in an authentic college setting. There will be no additional cost to families as bussing and food will be provided.
Students will attend regular scheduled classes from 7:45- 9:45 am at MTRS before traveling by bus to GCC where they will participate in classes and activities related to their grade 8 CIVIC action projects led by their regular MTRS teachers. Lunch will be provided and students will return to MTRS at 2:10 in time for regular dismissal at 2:20pm
Permission forms were shared with students and families before the break and again earlier this week and must be returned to the front office before students will be allowed to attend.
Students without signed permission forms will not attend the trip and will instead be provided with Grade 8 work and will be supervised at MTRS.
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.
This is an amazing opportunity for student leaders involved in social justice groups in Franklin County to connect, share resources, learn and discuss important topics, and hone leadership skills.
We are incredibly proud of our MTRS students for spearheading this initiative.
Student course choices for 2023/4
Courses and Scheduling process overview for 23/24 - Grades 8,9,10 & 11
On Wednesday morning, students listened to a presentation on course selection for 2023/24. Next Wednesday during assembly, students in grades 9, 10 & 11 will be making course choices in Aspen. Grade 8 will be making their course choices during social studies in the next two weeks.
I wanted to share the information with you so that you could have a conversation with your child about the next steps.
- 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
Please note that Ms. Ruggeri will be reaching out to Grade 8 families with details of a virtual information scheduled for next week.
Please reach out to Ms. Ruggeri (Grade 8) or Ms. Fulton (9-11) with any questions or concerns.
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 BSE 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!
Future Fair - College advisory panel
Watch the panel discussion from the comfort of your own home!
A huge thanks to Otis Wheeler and Falls Cable for recording the college panel discussion from our recent Future Fair event at MTRS. Start to think about your college and career options here:
Celebrate our Teachers!
Mohawk Trail’s Emily Willis Receives Grinspoon Foundation “Excellence in Teaching” Award
Mohawk Trail’s own Emily Willis was informed in a surprise ceremony at school Wednesday that she is a 2023 recipient of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Award.
“This is terrific recognition for Emily and very well deserved,” said Mohawk Trail Principal Chris Buckland. “She’s creative, she’s committed to her work, and she truly cares about each and every student.”
In nominating her for the award, colleagues described Ms. Willis, the school librarian, as actively involved in helping both students and teachers succeed.
“Emily is a resource and mentor to her colleagues in the district. She develops innovative curriculum, curates a diverse and student-centered collection, and has created a welcoming space for students to gather, learn and flourish. She supports teachers in all facets of the curriculum, provides professional development in instructional technology, creates events to bring students, experts and community together, and teaches students important transferable skills in research, digital literacy and coding.”
Ms. Willis was surprised and honored by the recognition.
“What I love most about teaching is creating an environment where students feel safe and seen,” said Ms. Willis, who is now in her 18th year teaching and her seventh at Mohawk Trail. “The library is a space where students can explore, collaborate, and create. It's also a place in the school where they can come to play a game, see their friends, or take a breath and make a cup of tea.”
The Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Awards program annually honors Western Massachusetts educators and seeks to motivate teachers at all stages of their careers to aspire to excellence. Winners are celebrated at three festive awards banquets attended by their families, colleagues, and friends, along with many dignitaries.
“My secret to being a successful teacher is to do my best to connect with students,” she said. “Whether it's greeting them when they enter the library, playing chess during lunch or introducing them to a book that I think they'll be interested in, how they feel while they are in the space is what they'll remember.”
*Mohawk Trail NewsFlash is a service of the Mohawk Trail Regional School District.
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
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
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 March 8th.
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 Feb 15th.
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 Mohawk Trail families! While the winter athletic season has come to a close, it is safe to say that our student-athletes went out with a bang!
This past Wednesday, our boys and girls alpine ski teams competed at the MIAA State Championship race at Berkshire East in Charlemont. While both teams ended up finishing as the top teams representing Western Massachusetts, our ladies thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and win the whole thing! Coach Brandon Boucias and his racers finished three seconds ahead of Eastern Massachusetts powerhouse Marblehead High to take home their second consecutive STATE CHAMPIONSHIP!!!
Freshman Addie Loomis continued her unstoppable ways and won an individual State Championship in the Slalom, and finished second overall in the GS! Teammate Emmy Sisum also had a banner day at the mountain finishing 11th in GS and 14th in Slalom. With all of our skiers returning next season, the sky's the limit for this special group of athletes!
Not to be outdone, our gentleman also took the top spot for WMASS competitors, and finished 5th overall in the State! Junior Weston DenOuden led the Warriors with a 3rd place finish in the GS and a 12th place finish in the Slalom!
Now that winter sports have wrapped up entirely, now is the time to register your student-athlete for SPRING SPORTS!!! Click HERE and complete your registration today! This spring we will be offering Baseball, Softball, Tennis, and Track and Field! Keep your fingers crossed for warm weather moving forward. See you next week!
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