Colrain Central School News

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November 4, 2022

A Note From Mrs. Looman

  • On November 29th, we will be conducting an announced lockdown drill. Much like fire drills, this allows us to practice what to do in the event of an emergency. Prior to the drill, teachers will discuss it with their classes, explaining what will happen and what students will need to do. This is all done in a developmentally appropriate way. The police will also be available after the drill if any student has questions or wants to talk with them.
  • Staffing update: This week we said goodbye to our music teacher, Mr. Green. He has taken a position with a musical talent agency and is very excited for his next adventure. I am currently in the process of working to hire a new music teacher. I've conducted a couple of interviews but will have to piece together substitute coverage until I am able to permanently fill the position. Unfortunately, this also means that, for the moment, instrumental lessons will need to be on hold. I will keep you posted and let you know as soon as we are able to resume them.
  • Below you will see information about a couple of different opportunities for students to be a part of a basketball team. The Colrain Basketball Registration link is for students in our school in grades 3/4 and 5/6 to participate on teams that play within the district, under the leadership of Kristin Richardson. The other is for a traveling team in grades 4-6 for which students must try out. Please read the information carefully to see if you are interested in having your child participate.
  • Do you have any extra clothes or shoes that you no longer need? Nurse Viney can always use donations, especially sneakers and winter gear in the health office.

Specialist's Scoop, Rachel Glick, Special Education Teacher

Have you ever wondered what it takes for children to learn to read? Sometimes children seem to be “born” to read, other times it can be much, much harder. The truth is that no one is born with the wiring required for reading - our brains were not designed for reading the way they are designed for sound. Readers must learn to weave together many skill areas in order to read well. A psychologist named Steven Pinker describes it this way: “Children are wired for sound, but print is an optional accessory that must be painstakingly bolted on.”

In 2001, a reading researcher named Hollis Scarborough created a model to share with parents to illustrate the skills required in this painstaking process. This model is now widely used to help educators and parents understand the complexity of reading. Below is a picture of this model that shows the two main functions (Language Comprehension and Word Recognition) and the “strands” that children must acquire to become expert readers.

The strands of the rope that represent Word Recognition (greens/blues) are usually the skills that children spend the most time learning in the early grades of elementary school, though the Language Comprehension strands (reds/golds) are integrated in the classroom as well. As children progress through the school years, students shift from focusing on basic word reading to developing their background knowledge, vocabulary, verbal reasoning and other complex Language Comprehension skills required for expert reading and writing. When a child struggles continuously with one or two strands of the “rope” over the years, this may be a sign of a deeper learning issue. Teachers and service providers will work together with parents to learn more about the student and to provide an appropriate intervention to address the specific challenges.

You can use Scarborough’s model to help understand how your child is learning to read, too. Feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher, our school’s reading specialist Jennifer Martin, special education teacher Valerie Lively, or myself, Rachel Glick, special education teacher,, with any questions you might have about Scarborough’s reading rope or your child’s reading progress.

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PTO News

The next PTO meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 8th at 3:30. All are welcome.

From the Massachusetts Department of Public Health

November 1, 2022

Dear Families,

The Commonwealth, the Northeast and much of the US are seeing increases in respiratory illness in infants and children. Some of these infants and children are requiring hospitalization for support with breathing and hydration. Emergency departments and other acute care health facilities have been managing significant increases in the number of patients requiring care.

Most of these illnesses are caused by respiratory viral infections, including common seasonal viruses like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), rhinovirus and enterovirus, and influenza. Infants and children may be particularly susceptible to seasonal respiratory viral infections during the 2022-2023 fall and winter because they have had limited previous exposure to these respiratory viruses. We anticipate that there could be more respiratory illnesses as RSV continues to spread and influenza season ramps up.

The Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics want to remind parents and families about steps to take to prevent illness and stay healthy this season:

  1. Vaccinate your children ages 6 months and older against influenza as soon as possible.

  2. Vaccinate your children ages 6 months and older against COVID-19; children 5 and older who had their primary series more than 2 months ago should receive an updated COVID-19 booster as soon as possible.

  3. Remember, you can get a COVID-19 vaccine and flu shot at the same time.

  4. If your infant has been offered treatment with protective antibodies due to their prematurity or another condition, keep on schedule with their monthly treatments.

  5. Practice hand hygiene frequently with soap and water or hand sanitizer. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, or if a tissue is not available, cover them with an elbow, not a hand.

  6. Clean high touch surfaces in your home frequently with household disinfectants.

  7. Keep children home from daycare or school who have fever, especially with a cough, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, congestion, runny nose, or sore throat, until they are fever-free for 24 hours without medications that reduce fever.

  8. Avoid social gatherings if you or your children are ill.

  9. Contact your pediatrician or healthcare provider if you believe your child needs medical care. Your provider can offer advice on whether your child needs to be evaluated in person, tested for COVID or flu, and the best location (doctor’s office, urgent care, emergency room) for care.

Thank you for doing all you can to keep you and your family healthy during this fall and winter season.

Dr. Estevan Garcia, Chief Medical Officer

Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Dr. Mary Beth Miotto, President
Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics

upcoming events

11/4: 12:30 dismissals for Conferences

11/6: Suburban basketball tryouts

11/8 PTO meeting 3:30

11/9: 6th grade STEAM day at MTRS

11/11: No school in observance of Veterans Day

11/15: LEC meeting 3:30

11/20: Colrain basketball registration due

11/23: Roger Tincknell Performance, 12:30 dismissal

11/24 & 11/25: No school in observance of Thanksgiving

11/28: Drawing for the cordwood fundraiser for 5/6th grades

11/29: Lockdown drill

11/30: Picture Retake Day

November early release dates:

12:30 dismissals: 11/4, 11/23

1:50 dismissal: 11/16

From MTRSD Special Education Department

During the week of December 13, 2022, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Office of Public School Monitoring (PSM) will conduct a Tiered Focused Monitoring Review of Mohawk Trail and Hawlemont Regional School Districts. The Office of Public School Monitoring visits each district and charter school every three years to monitor compliance with federal and state special education and civil rights regulations. Areas of review related to special education include student assessments, determination of eligibility, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team process, and IEP development and implementation. Areas of review related to civil rights include bullying, student discipline, physical restraint, and equal access to school programs for all students.

In addition to the onsite visit, parent outreach is an important part of the review process. The review chairperson from the Office of Public School Monitoring will send all parents of students with disabilities an online survey that focuses on key areas of their child’s special education program. Survey results will contribute to the development of a report. During the onsite review, the Office of Public School Monitoring will interview the chairperson(s) of the district’s Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC). Other onsite activities may include interviews of district staff and administrators, reviews of student records, and onsite observations.

Parents and other individuals may call Marc Oldenburg, Public School Monitoring Chairperson, at 413-314-6703 to request a telephone interview. If an individual requires an accommodation, such as translation, to participate in an interview, the Department will make the necessary arrangements.

Within approximately 60 business days after the onsite visit, the review chairperson will provide the (district or charter school) with a report with information about areas in which the (district or charter school) meets or exceeds regulatory requirements and areas in which the (district or charter school) requires assistance to correct or improve practices. The public will be able to access the report at
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