March 11, 2022
March 11, 2022
Dear Mohawk Trail & Hawlemont Families,
Another week with lots of important information to share with you - so please take a moment to read through the S'Update. I know there are a lot of changes and information included here, so please reach out to me if you have any questions!
* Masks optional starting Monday, March 14
* MTRS students participate in M3 Challenge
* Community Engagement & Enrichment Program offerings (& April vacation camp!)
* It's time to GEAR-UP!
* BSE Book Fair
* Save the dates
* In the News
* School Spotlights
Masks optional starting Monday, March 14
The Hawlemont School Committee (on Monday, March 7) and Mohawk Trail School Committee (Wednesday, March 9) voted to lift the mask mandates in our school buildings in accordance with our local Boards of Health (BOH) and guidance and information from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), effective Monday, March 14.
What does this mean?
On March 14, mask wearing in our school buildings will be optional for all staff and students in our school buildings (except in the health office). However, our local Boards of Health strongly recommend the continued use of masks preferably N95, KN95, or KF94). The local BOHs will continue to monitor COVID-19 caseloads and status of variants locally, and the COVID-19 School Planning Task Force will continue to meet to review data and discuss the impact of COVID-19 on our district.
DESE continues to recommend that districts and schools adopt a layered approach to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in school settings. DESE and Massachusetts Department of Public Health continue to strongly urge all eligible individuals to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and booster and continue to support schools with vaccination clinics. Vaccination is our primary mitigation strategy. If you have not yet received your vaccine, please visit the COVID-19 Vaccine Finder page to find a site closest to you. We will continue to implement our layered mitigation strategies including participation in the statewide COVID-19 testing program, encouraging good hand hygiene practices, and staying home when sick.
Additionally, as of March 14, masks will no longer be required on school buses, per the updated guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH).
Throughout the pandemic we have focused on caring for others in all our school buildings. As we transition to optional mask wearing, we will continue to build upon our culture of caring and support all individuals in our school community who chose to continue wearing masks. Masks will remain available to anyone who wants or needs one while in our buildings.
What happens if we see COVID-19 caseloads spike?
If we should see a sharp rise in cases in our area, we can work with DESE to recommend a change to our mask procedures in response to the pandemic. However, if our local BOHs make any changes to their mask mandates, we must adhere to their guidance as our buildings fall under their purview.
Will there be changes in procedures for after school or athletics?
There will be no changes to our pool testing requirements for participating in any district after school or athletic programs. Only our mask procedures will change on March 14. Those who would like to participate in any district after school or athletic programs will be required to participate in the district’s pool testing program.
My child/ren aren’t currently signed-up for testing. Is it too late?
It’s not too late! If you have not yet signed your child/ren up to participate in any of our testing programs (pool, at-home, symptomatic in-school testing) and would like to, please contact our COVID-19 Nurse Leader Donna Weber via email.
As we have throughout this pandemic, we will continue to monitor, review, and assess the caseload data, science, and guidance provided to us to help keep our students, staff, and community safe. Information will continue to be available on our COVID-19 Information page on our district’s website, including caseload data and helpful information. And if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.
MTRS students participate in M3 Challenge
Last week, MTRS students Alex Lilly, Dennis Simmons, Mya Lesieur, Sean O'Dea, and Sophia Guy participated in the 14-hour MathWorks Math Modeling Challenge (M3 Challenge) - putting their math skills (and calculating endurance!) to the test.
WHAT IS M3 CHALLENGE?
From the website: "MathWorks Math Modeling Challenge (M3 Challenge) is a contest for high school juniors and seniors in the U.S. and sixth form students in England and Wales. Through participation, students experience what it’s like to work as a team to tackle a real-world problem under time and resource constraints, akin to those faced by professional mathematicians working in industry. Extra credits awards are available for teams who choose to write or employ outstanding code as part of their solution. The Challenge awards $100,000."
Learn more about the challenge (and the problem they tackled this year) here: https://m3challenge.siam.org/
Click below and watch the time lapse video created by the team to give you an idea of their day! ((THANK YOU to Sean O'Dea for editing and sharing this video!))
MTRSD Community Engagement and Enrichment Programs
Spring is just around the corner and we have a lot of fun things planned for the months ahead! Keep a lookout for our Spring enrichment information later this month–we have some great programs planned including youth field hockey, flag football, and archery!
Elementary Wrestling: MTRS wrestling coach Mark Biagini is offering a FREE after school wrestling program open to all district students in grades 3-6.
April Vacation Camp: The Hilltown Scout Camp returns this April to offer a Spring Splash vacation program. This program is open to all district students in grades K-6. Enrollment opens on March 25. Visit our website www.mtrsd.org/ceep for more information. *Scholarships are available for this program thanks to generous funding made possible by the Mary Lyon Foundation. Please contact Alia Woofenden at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or for additional information.
((Thank you Sophia Goodnow, MTRS communications intern, for this amazing flyer!))
Summer 2022: STAY TUNED! In the next few weeks, we be sharing information about our NEW summer program for grades K-8. Enrollment will open in April and more information will be available on the CEEP website soon!
It's time to GEAR-UP and get your MTRS gear!
MTRS Caregivers, sports-fans, and future families -- it's time to get your gear!
Spring sports are *just* around the corner and to get you geared-up for the season so you can cheer on your favorite teams sporting some blue and gold, we've launched a pop-up shop! Orders close on March 14--to be sure to get your gear! https://eastbaystore.com/OFTSD595
Book Fair ~ March 21-25 at Buckland-Shelburne Elementary
It's book fair time! Open to the community
Join us March 21-25 at Buckland-Shelburne Elementary and visit our BOOK FAIR!
Students can visit the fair during school hours throughout the week. Fair is open to the public Thursday, March 24 from 1-7 p.m. and Friday, March 25 from 1-4 p.m.
Questions? Please contact BSE Library Manager Lillian Whitsett at email@example.com
Save the Dates . . .
We have a LOT of wonderful things happening across the district over the next few months. Here are just few things to keep on your calendar! Be sure to check your school's calendar for additional events and details.
March 21 - Spring sports season begins
April 18-22 - April vacation
May 15 - MTRS student council tag sale
May 19 - Trailblazer District Wide Celebration of Learning
May 20-22 - MTRS musical, Bits of Broadway
May 26 - MTRS Spring Concert at BSE
May 27 - MTRS Prom
May 30 - Memorial Day
In the News . . .
MTRS Senior Kylie Lowell featured on Boston25 News!
MTRS senior Kylie Lowell was recently interviewed by Boston25 News and shared her experience with post-concussion syndrome. Click below to watch the news clip and hear Kylie's story. THANK YOU, Kylie, for sharing your story and helping to share insight on this important issue! (And thank you to classmate Alex Lilly for sharing the news link!)
Study links concussions to mental health issues in kids
The study looked back at ten years of data from 2010 - 2020, with researchers honing in on children, ages 5-18, who sought medical care during that period for concussions or orthopedic injuries - the latter group included for comparison purposes.
Colrain Central School
Our first graders at Colrain Central School have been reading, reading, READING! Be sure to ask your child about what they're reading in school. Have them share their favorite stories with you or grab a book and read together!
Mohawk Trail & Hawlemont ~ A GREAT place to learn & grow!
MTRSD Director of Communications