Superintendent Weekly Update

May 7, 2021

Dear Mohawk Trail & Hawlemont Families,

We did it! ALL of our district schools are now back to full in-person learning! I truly want to express my sincerest appreciation for everyone who helped to make this happen. We did this together with a common goal--to get our students and staff back to in-person learning safely.


MTRS students experienced their first full day of in-person learning on Monday and are off to a great start and our elementary students celebrated one month of in-person learning this week. Time is flying by and before we know it, we'll be at the finish line for the end of this crazy school year.


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


* Educator Appreciation Week

* MTRS Return to Learn

* Town Meetings

* MTRSD to Offer Summer Programming

* Strategic Planning Update

* COVID-19 School Planning Task Force Update

* MTRS Class of 2021 Class Gift

* DID YOU KNOW . . .

* Walkathon Slated for May 22

* School Spotlights

Educator Appreciation Week

Educator Appreciation Week

There are not enough words to showcase the sincere gratitude I have for the incredible educators in our district. Over the past year, our educators have consistently risen to the challenges they were presented with in trying to keep our students engaged in learning during a worldwide pandemic. Being forced into a remote environment and having to make drastic changes to the way they presented their lessons--to combating technology and connectivity issues--and then shifting again to a hybrid model before returning to full in-person teaching. It's been QUITE the year.


I know I'm a bit biased, but we truly have the BEST educators and staff in our districts who give all they have to our students, families, and this incredible school community.


While Educator Appreciation is publicly celebrated once a year during this week, to our educators: YOU are appreciated EVERY day... not just on one week each year. You're the heart of our learning community and we thank you for your tireless work on behalf of our students.


To our generous families, PTOs, and community members who have helped to bring a smile to our educators this week -- thank you. Thank you for supporting these incredible humans and their work. Our community rocks!

MTRS Return to Learn

Our Mohawk Trail Regional School students and staff celebrated their first week back fully in-person. On Monday, MTRS welcomed students back into the physical buildings and are doing a wonderful job adjusting to their new normal. MTRS' return brings ALL of our district schools back to full in-person learning and we're so grateful for everyone who has been part of this process to make it a reality.


It's been an incredibly trying year for everyone, but the energy in our buildings with the return of students has been amazing. MTRS spring sports are now underway and I encourage our community to come out to the fields to support our student athletes (practicing physical distancing and wearing your masks is required)!

Annual Town Meetings

It's TOWN MEETING season! We will be making our rounds to annual town meetings to present our budget. We've kicked-off already with Plainfield (THANK YOU Plainfield residents) and have several meetings in the upcoming weeks. Below is a list of upcoming meetings. Additionally, you'll soon be able to find all of our town meeting hand-outs on our district website-->Business Services page; stay tuned!


HEATH

May 8 at 9 a.m.


HAWLEY

May 10 at 7 p.m.


CHARLEMONT

Awaiting confirmation of date—stay tuned!


ASHFIELD

June 5 at 10 a.m.


BUCKLAND

June 5 at 10 a.m.


SHELBURNE

June 12 at 1 p.m.


COLRAIN

June 16 at 5:30 p.m.

Mohawk Trail Regional School District Summer Programs (logos of MT and Hilltown Scout Camp) with school picture in background

MTRSD to Offer Summer Programming

We're excited to share that our district will provide educational and enrichment summer camp programs for grades K-2, 3-6, and middle school students this summer! Additionally, high school students will have the opportunity to take courses at a local college or work as camp counselors within our summer programs.


MTRSD Summer Program Coordinator Alia Woofenden (AKA: Mrs. Woof) needs YOUR feedback! Please take a moment to complete this brief survey to share your programming needs / what you'd like to see offered: https://forms.gle/cFTpifzgQgVWXbreA


Stay tuned for more information! If you have any questions or would like to connect as a community partner with Mrs. Woof, please reach out to her directly at awoofenden@mtrsd.org.

Strategic Planning Update

After a slight pause, our district strategic planning has resumed with our consultant, TMS. The strategic planning team is currently evaluating a draft outline of the district's goals and strategies and we expect to have a preview of this draft for the school committee in the next month. Feedback and revisions will continue throughout the summer with the goal of having a finished plan by August as we kick-off the new school year.


I'm really excited about these next steps as we align our district to these goals and outline our future!

image of COVID-19 virus microscopic

COVID-19 School Planning Task Force Updates

I'm excited to share we've once again seen a DECREASE in state and county COVID-19 cases and am happy to report a decrease in district cases as well. Thanks to your continued diligence in practicing our Fab Four, combined with the mitigating strategies in our schools, we continue to help keep our students, staff, and community healthy and safe.


VACCINE REMINDER: If you haven't yet had an opportunity to get your COVID-19 vaccination and want one, our friends at FRCOG have shared with us that vaccines are now readily available and easy to schedule! Visit the FRCOG website or www.mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine to learn how you can schedule your vaccine today!


FOR MTRS students aged 16+ who 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.


IF YOU ARE FULLY VACCINATED, please be sure to read through the updated state guidance to help you navigate social settings safely: www.mass.gov/guidance/guidance-for-people-who-are-fully-vaccinated-against-covid-19


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

COVID-19 Vaccine Location Information

Click here to visit Mass.gov vaccine listing site

MTRS Class of 2021 Gift

The Mohawk Trail Regional School Class of 2021 recently planted an Eastern Redbud Tree as their class gift to the school. The tree was planted in the school's courtyard and we can't wait to see it expand it's roots and grow alongside our incredible students! THANK YOU, Class of 2021 for your thoughtful gift to our school!
Mohawk Trail Regional School Class of 2021 Gift

Did You Know . . .

MTRS offers a variety of interdisciplinary courses! Our Trailblazer model encourages educators to collaborate across disciplines to “blend” courses and academic areas to create new perspectives. Students are given the opportunity to engage with the content in non-traditional ways; helping to make connections across the curriculum. Many college-level courses are considered interdisciplinary. These blended courses promote creative thinking and problem-solving skills.


Below are pictures of our Artglish (a combined Art and English class) students working collaboratively in their class this week. MTRS Visual Art Teacher Rachel Silverman explains:


"In class we discussed the socio-economic setting of our current novel, Montana,1948 to uncover some of the important social injustices that influence the characters in the book. Students were looking at a political cartoon and decoding the meaning as part of this class discussion on why some forms of discrimination can be hard to recognize. This activity will prepare students to engage in a multi-day unit how racism and colonialism impact Native Americans today."

Class of 2024 Walkathon Slated for May 22

Community members - our students need YOUR support!


The Class of 2024 will lace-up their sneakers and make their way to the MTRS track on Saturday, May 22 to raise money for their class and the Baystate Health Foundation! Forty percent of the proceeds of this fundraiser will be donated to the foundation to help offset medical costs incurred during the pandemic.


Our incredible 9th grade students will be walking to fulfill both those needs--helping them to plan for their future needs to offset costs of annual events while impacting their community in a meaningful way.


While the walkathon isn't open to the general public, we hope you can share your support for our students by making a pledge today! To sponsor a walker or donate to their fundraiser, visit: https://sites.google.com/mtrsd.org/walk4health/homepage *Note from their class adviser: the pledge form is linked to the site, and checks are made out to MTRS.


((See flyer below created by MTRS Class of 2024 President Sophia Goodnow))

mtrs walkathon flyer saturday may 22 information and QR code

#BlazeYourTrailatMTRS

MTRS Blaze Your Trail black and white logo

Community Corner

4-H Garden Competition open to all students ages 5-18! See flyer below:

For more information, please contact memcdermott@umass.edu

4H Garden Competition image of flyer. Competition for ages 5-18 contact memcdermott@umass.edu for full details

School Spotlight: Sanderson Academy

In this video, we'll give you a peek into a typical school day as we've transitioned to full in-person learning at Sanderson Academy. We are so excited to have students back in our physical classrooms learning, growing, and adjusting to our "new normal." Thank you to our incredible students, staff, and families for being with us on this journey!

Welcome Back, Sanderson!

School Spotlight: Colrain Central

Colrain Central 5th Graders continue to hone their journalistic skills with another edition of the North River News! If you haven't had a chance to subscribe to their paper, don't miss out!

Colrain Central 1st Graders Create Self Portraits in Art Class!

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