MURSD District Update

From the Office of the Superintendent

March 2, 2023

District Highlights

March 2, 2023

Dear Mendon-Upton School Community,

I hope this newsletter finds you all well and that you had a nice break (and recent snow day) with your families. We are crossing our fingers that after the next storm that is expected to come in this weekend, that we will start to see signs of Spring soon. I'm not going to lie, but adding meteorologist to the resume is definitely not the most fun aspect of this job, unless the timing works out perfectly. Safety is always our first priority, but some of the storms can be tricky with timing. :)

Despite having one week of break in the middle of February, this past month was filled with amazing learning opportunities and endless highlights we could share. I hope you can forgive the long list of images above, but we have so many different snapshots of learning and joyful experiences, I didn't want you to miss out on seeing some of the examples across the district. Please continue to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more frequent updates.

In the above examples, and then highlighted again below in the press release, you will see some of the outcomes of our Inspired Learning Day Design Challenge, which took place on February 9th. The ultimate purpose of the event was to create meaningful connections and understanding of our district's Portrait of a Learner Competencies (also listed below). One theme that is resonating from our current strategic planning meetings is the recognition of how quickly the world, employment, and technology are changing. We are recognizing that the traditional mode of schooling, which was built during the industrial age, will not quite cut-it for the skills our students and your children will need for the future.

Additionally, not only has PK-12 education become more complex and comprehensive in providing what our students need, (especially in a post-pandemic world), it also is set in a new context which requires adaptability as well as re-examination of what we view as the purpose of schooling. As we re-examine our goals, we do sincerely hope that you, as community members will partner with us in this re-examination through our strategic planning process and feedback. We are already moving to increase opportunities for students to engage in authentic and meaningful work with relevance and real-world connections. We also know that while much of our focus in the past was set purely on content-based standards and standardized assessments, in fact our students' success is so much more than what single tests can measure. Therefore, we are moving to create a new narrative alongside our students, which also celebrates and includes their interests, curiosities, passions, and voice in their learning.

When I think broadly about the Mendon-Upton Regional School District story, it is an easy story to tell. What do I see when I walk through the doors of our schools? I witness evidence of kindness weeks, civic action projects, partnerships with local groups, celebrations of academic progress, engaging project-based learning, focus on well-being, collaborative conversations, and so much more.

As we are a little bit beyond the mid-year point in the year, it is an honor to be a part of the Mendon-Upton School Story, which is an incredible one, filled with passionate educators, staff, leaders, and families who are dedicated to our mission.

Warm Regards,

~Maureen Cohen

Superintendent of Schools

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Strategic Planning 2023-2028

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The Mendon-Upton Regional School District commenced the strategic planning committee in January with a representative group of stakeholders from across the district including, teachers, administrators, parents, students, staff, and community representatives. Our planning process will take place through the end of this school year.

Ultimately our goal is that the next five-year plan will continue to strive to bring a bold vision about learning in a modern context and giving our students what they really need to be successful in an ever-changing world. As we continue to bring our mission of "Empowering all learners to thrive" we will evaluate our progress so far, initiate new objectives to further bring our mission to life and to foster the Portrait of a Learner competencies for all our learners.

We continue to seek feedback on the future of the district. Thank you to all of you have already completed the feedback survey or participated in our open focus group sessions. If you would like to contribute your ideas, there is still time. Please complete the following

Parent/GuardianFeedback Form to provide input into our visioning process.

In the News

Health Updates

Mendon Health Clinic

Saturday-March 4 from 10am to 2pm

Location: Miscoe Hill Middle School

Available to all Mendon Residents and Town Employees Looking to Receive:

  • Covid-19 Vaccination 1st Shot
  • Covid-19 Vaccination 2nd Shot
  • Covid-19 Booster Shot

New State Behavioral Health Help Line

The Department of Mental Health has launched a new Behavioral Health Help Line that people can call or text at 833-773-2445. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week in more than 200 languages. The help line can help individuals and families navigate the behavioral health system and access treatment, including mobile crisis services. District and school leaders are asked to please share this resource with staff, families, and students, where helpful. For more information, please see the FAQ. Anyone with questions or concerns about the help line can email the help line director at

District Events

Upcoming Events

  • February 27- School Committee Meeting
  • March 1- Spanish Immersion Advisory Board
  • March 2- Read Across America
  • March 6-School Committee Meeting
  • March 4- Covid 19 Vaccination Clinic for Mendon Residents
  • March 5- Miscoe Ice Skating Event at Blackstone Valley Ice Plex
  • March 8-7th/8th Grade Band/Chorus Vertical Concert
  • March 14- Spring Sports Information Night
  • March 15- Deadline for 8th Grade to submit Nipmuc Course Selection
  • March 17- Teacher PD, No School/ Full Release for Students
  • April 4/5- ELA MCAS (Memorial)
  • April 6 - Miscoe ELA MCAS
  • April 11- Miscoe ELA MCAS
  • May 9- Miscoe Math MCAS
  • May 11- Miscoe Math MCAS
  • May 15- Miscoe Science MCAS (Grades 5 & 8 Only)
  • May 16- Math MCAS (Memorial)
  • May 18- Miscoe Science MCAS (Grades 5 & 8 Only)
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This portion of the newsletter will be dedicated to celebrating all members of our school community who are difference-makers. If you have someone you would like to highlight that is making a difference, please let us know by using the link below. Some will be highlighted here and everyone will receive individual recognition.
You Inspire Me: Casey Rhodes and Heather McCourt

They put hours of hard work into preparing for awesome events like the Winter Carnival. Our students had a blast at all of the STUCO created carnival events as well as the face painting, concession stand, and prize table. Casey and Heather foster growth in leadership and responsibility as shown by our 7th/8th grade STUCO members assisting in a smooth running carnival and whole school assembly. In addition, Casey and Heather build strong relationships with their students that last beyond Miscoe. It was great to see some former STUCO members from the high school volunteer at the carnival. Thank you for all you do for our students and staff!

You Inspire Me: Linda Cote, 5th Grade Teacher

She embodies the belief that we all own all the kids, and she strives to make each feel they belong and are valued. In her practice, she stays current on research based best practices. She implements them in her classroom and collaborates with her team so they can do the same. Despite the challenges this year's fifth grade presents with post COVID, she remains positive, patient and enthusiastic in the classroom. I feel inspired observing her work, whether it's in her classroom, with her team, or in a mixed group during a faculty meeting.

You Inspire Me: Erin Ellis, Nipmuc Science Teacher

Erin works tirelessly for the benefit of our students. she comes into work early (6:45am) to offer before school help and stays late every single day (sometimes until 5 or 6) to tutor students, give extra help, and offer test corrections where she sometimes has to reteach material. Erin is a seasoned Marine Biologist and her depth of knowledge in Biology is met by no other teacher I have ever met. Erin teaches by a variety of means including direct instruction/notes, projects, hands-on labs, and more. This variety caters to a wide range of students. Erin knows each of her student's needs by heart. While Biology can be a tricky subject, the number of students who go back and thank her for the knowledge she gave them is unreal! She has formed great connections too-with a number of students who find her and her room their "safe space". Please, please recognize Erin-she deserves it more than anyone knows!

Mendon-Upton Regional School District Store

We have partnered with a local business to begin offering some Mendon-Upton clothing items. You can use the following link to order Mendon-Upton gear.