Superintendent Weekly Update

May 14, 2021

Dear Mohawk Trail & Hawlemont Families,

We have a lot happening across the district, here are the highlights this week:

* Annual Town Meetings

* COVID-19 School Planning Task Force Update

* MTRS Athletics - Spectator Reminder

* Superintendent Monthly Virtual Update (May 2021)

* Mohawk Trail & Hawlemont Literacy Planning Survey for Caregivers

* New Federal Broadband Discount for Students and Families

* DID YOU KNOW . . .

* Class of 2021 Senior SHOUT-OUTS

* School Spotlights

Annual Town Meetings

Town Meeting season is now in full swing!

We apologize for any confusion in our last update regarding dates and times. Looks like some dates/times shifted from the last time we had received information (so sorry!). BE SURE TO CHECK WITH YOUR TOWN for the most up-to-date information!

For those who have already held meetings, THANK YOU for your support!

ALL town meeting materials will be found on our district website-->Business Services page. Information is updated almost daily as we quickly approach our next meetings.

Again - thank you in advance for your support! If you have any questions about the budget or the information on our handouts, please do not hesitate to contact me (

COVID-19 School Planning Task Force Updates

Some exciting news was shared this week with the APPROVAL of a COVID-19 vaccine roll-out for children ages 12+. Vaccines are now readily available and are being offered through doctor's offices and CVS. If you haven't yet had an opportunity to schedule your vaccine and would like to do so, visit the links below for additional information:

FRCOG website or

REMINDER TO MTRS students aged 16+ who already have been vaccinated: Don't forget to update your vaccine records to include your COVID-19 vaccine with the school nurse. Simply bring your vaccine card (or copy of your card) to Nurse Harrison to keep on file.

As always, if you have any health/COVID-19-related questions, please don't hesitate to contact our Nurse Leader Donna Weber ( or reach out directly to our partners at FRCOG, (413) 774-3167, ext. 153.

COVID-19 Vaccine Location Information

Click here to visit vaccine listing site

MTRS Athletics - Spectator Reminder

MTRS Sports Fans!

A friendly reminder of our district’s COVID-19 protocols: ALL athletes and spectators are still required to wear masks and physically distance when participating or attending events at MTRS, even outdoors.

Spectators, regardless of their vaccination status, are also required to wear masks and adhere to physical distancing (and should be watching from designated spectator areas).

We’re really excited to welcome guests back to our fields and know that adhering to the FAB FOUR and following these procedures will help to keep our athletes playing this season!

Superintendent Virtual Update, May 2021

Mohawk Trail & Hawlemont Literacy Planning Survey for Caregivers

We need your voices!

The Mohawk Trail and Hawlemont Regional School System is planning to rework our approach to literacy in grades PK-8 so that our programs, teaching approach, and support for students are consistent in all schools and are based on research about how children learn to read.

We would like the input of caregivers to support this process. Please complete these questions based on your child's experiences* in the Mohawk Trail / Hawlemont Regional School System.

The survey has been extended until Friday, May 21.

*This is a great time to talk with your child (or children) about their experiences in English Language Arts/Literacy at school! If you are unsure how to answer a question, please ask them for their input.

To complete the survey, visit:

Mohawk Trail & Hawlemont Literacy Planning Survey

CLICK HERE to complete this brief survey!

New Federal Broadband Discount for Students and Families

This week we learned there is a new, temporary federal program to help eligible families pay for internet service during the pandemic. If you are struggling to afford your monthly internet service, the Federal Communications Commission’s Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB Program) may be able to help! Visit for more information.

Who is eligible?

Households with a child who is approved to receive free or reduced price meals under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or the School Breakfast Program (SBP), including children who attend schools participating in U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), are eligible for the EBB Program.

CLICK HERE for eligibility info & apply!

Links to the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program website.

Did You Know . . .

Feedback groups are an important piece of the Mohawk Trail Regional School's Trailblazer model. Many of the wonderful things happening in our school are a direct result of the numerous stakeholder groups we host. These groups provide feedback; share ideas; and help move our school forward with initiatives. With our collective voices and numerous stakeholders at the table to talk through changes or decisions for our school, we are able to work together toward growth and success for MTRS!

Community stakeholder groups (comprised of students, staff, caregivers, and community members) include our:

  • Trailblazer Community Group
  • Equity Community Group
  • Athletics Community Feedback Group

And internal stakeholder groups (comprised of students and staff):

  • Advisory Task Force
  • Portfolio Task Force
  • Schedule Task Force
  • Equity Council
  • Principals Advisory Cabinet
  • Instructional Leadership Team


We are SO excited to celebrate the Mohawk Trail Regional School Class of 2021 as we countdown to graduation slated for Saturday, June 5!

Earlier this month, MTRS Principal Mendonsa shared a link with students to our senior shout-out / celebration form. Graduating seniors are encouraged (nudge, nudge) to complete the form so we can celebrate Y-O-U! We're proud of you and want to shout it from the roof-tops!

Be sure to follow @mohawktrailregional on Facebook and Instagram to see the full Senior Shout-Out postings (including their favorite quotes... what's next...) throughout this month!

Congratulations Class of 2021 Nicole Bellows Greenfield Community College & Work (MTRS logo with graduation cap) Photo of Nicole standing next to tree
Congratulations Class of 2021 Ella Ussailis College to study music (MTRS logo with graduation cap) photo of Ella crouching, looking at camera


MTRS Blaze Your Trail black and white logo

Don't Forget - LIKE & SHARE Our Content!

Help us keep our community informed! Follow our schools on social media; share our school and district newsletters! Visit our websites! Check out our Vimeo page! There are so many ways to see what's happening around our district and in our schools.

We're proud of our students and our schools and hope YOU are too!

School Spotlight: Buckland-Shelburne Elementary

A shout-out to BSE School Psychologist Catherine Halberg for being included in this recent New York Times piece sharing "tips for taming back to school anxiety"! You can read the article here:

5 Tips for Taming Back to School Anxiety - NYTimes

Click here to read the full article.

Tree Planting with Franklin County Technical School

Buckand-Shelburne Elementary fifth graders in Mrs. Unaitis' and Ms. Paquin's class recently planted a tree on our school grounds with the assistance from Franklin County Technical School's landscaping students.

The tree was generously donated to BSE by Franklin County Tech for our students' hard work on the state's Arbor Day poster contest this year (see our March 19 newsletter / school spotlight if you missed it!)

THANK YOU to FCTS landscaping teacher Mark Amstein and his students for this beautiful tree and sharing your knowledge with us!

School Spotlight: Colrain Central School

Last week Colrain Central preschoolers got a special treat getting to watch the North River get restocked!
preschoolers circled around someone holding a net with a fish inside

School Spotlight: Sanderson Academy

Last week Sanderson Academy Fifth graders created Rube Goldberg machines (a chain reaction-type machine or contraption designed to perform simple tasks in an indirect and overly complicated way). This fun STEM project can be created at home too!
Big picture

How FUN! Here's the World's LARGEST Rube Goldberg machine!

World's largest Rube Goldberg machine lights up Christmas tree

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