Weekly Newsletter

May 18, 2023

SAVE THE DATE - Arts Extravaganza!

Save the Date! Friday June 2nd at 6pm will be the Sanderson Academy Arts Extravaganza - music, art, live demonstrations and a bake sale! All families are invited to participate and celebrate the creativity of our students. Each grade level will be performing songs with our music teacher Ms. Cherry. Instrumental music students will perform with Ms. Julie. The halls will be filled with student’s visual art from their work this year with Ms. Carolyn. Students will be demonstrating and teaching make-and-take art projects to all ages. The 6th grade will have a bake sale to fundraise for graduation. The library will be holding a 50/50 Raffle and Bookplate Sale. We are also asking for donations for a food drive to support local families in need. Come support our students and have some creative family fun!

Before/After Care News

Before and after care will be closed the last week of school June 20 -22. Please have your bill paid by June 21, 2023 at the latest! Thank you.

Pet Supply Drive

The fourth grade at Sanderson Academy, in coordination with Principal Liebowitz, is hosting a pet supply drive for the remainder of the school year. Your donations will be distributed to various local shelters and rescue organizations in need. Any food or supplies are welcome. Shelters are most in need of unopened wet/dry pet food and treats, bath-size towels, cat litter, new or gently used leashes/collars/harnesses, and toys. You can also donate various cleaning and office supplies or larger items like crates. Each item donated helps shelters stretch their dollars and help more animals and their owners. Thank you in advance for your generosity and support.


Monday, May 22 - LEC at 3:30

Wednesday, May 24 - 1:50 Release

Thursday, May 25 - Story Telling/Drumming at 2:00

Friday, May 26 - Ed Pop the Magician at 2:00

Monday, May 29 - No School

Wednesday, May 31 - Fifth Grade to Wilder Homestead

Wednesday, May 31 - Second Grade to Farm

Friday, June 2 - Sanderson Arts Night starting at 6:00

Link to Sanderson Academy calendar.

Save the Date!

The Ohketeau Cultural Center will be presenting at the school on Thursday, May 25th. This program is supported in part by a grant from the Ashfield Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency. Parents and families are invited to join their children in an engaging, interactive opportunity to learn about the Peoples whose homelands have encompassed this area since time immemorial. There will be a few presenters of different ages! There will be Indigenous drumming, singing and storytelling. The presenters will also be dancing and all who are able and who would like to will be invited to take part.

Big picture

Local Good Vendors Needed!

The PTO is already thinking about the next Local Goods Catalog. If you or someone you know would like to offer a service or product in the fall catalog, please email Sandersonlocalgoods@gmail.com

MCAS Information

Below is the schedule. We ask that students get good rest and eat nutritious meals. If your child(ren) will be out on the day of testing, please notify the office as soon as possible. We also ask that you encourage your child(ren) to do their best. Thank you!


Thursday, April 27 - 5th - Session 1

Friday, April 18 - 5th - Session 2

Tuesday, May 2 - 6th - Session 1

Thursday, May 4 - 6th - Session 2

Tuesday, May 9 - 4th - Session 1

Tuesday, May 16 - 4th - Session 2

Thursday, May 18 - 3rd - Session 1

Tuesday, May 23 - 3rd - Session 2


Wednesday, May 24 - 5th - Session 1

Thursday, May 25 - 5th - Session 2

Health Office News from Nurse Loranna

May is mental health month so I wanted to write about this important topic. Mental health is just as important as physical health and supporting our children's mental health and reaching out for additional help when needed is so important. Our current fast paced lifestyles can make this incredibly challenging, but we can push against that and slowly, we may find meaningful change occurs. We must advocate for children who may not have the language or understanding of what they need. It can be very challenging to assess children for mental health concerns since they are so rapidly changing and growing, and go through normal stages of development that can be tricky to navigate and understand. Reaching out for additional support can go a long way, we are not meant to do this alone! Other barriers to receiving mental health care can make it even harder; barriers such as access to care, stigma, location (rural areas in particular), and time. Early diagnosis and treatment provide better outcomes and understanding of how to support children with mental health concerns, it is never too late to reach out. Also- modeling at home ways you can support your own mental health will go a long way in supporting children’s mental health and resilience while helping them learn important coping skills and emotional regulation. As the popular metaphor goes, “you must first put on your own oxygen mask before helping others around you put on theirs.” A powerful and meaningful way we can support our children’s mental health is by supporting our own, and focusing on ways we can care for ourselves, too. See the PDF below for more information:

Children and mental health-is this just a stage?

Preschool News from Ms. Freeman

This week we read, Grow Flower Grow, by Lisa Bruce. It’s a story about a child finding a plant in a pot and trying to get it to grow by feeding it some of their favorite foods. Frustrated when the plant does not grow, they throw it outside where the plant gets plenty of sun and rain. A beautiful flower blossoms at the end. It was a great story to help us discuss what plants need to live and grow. We will use this information to help us plant seeds and work in our garden.

The biggest news of the week is our eggs are hatching! We were so fortunate to see the first chick hatch on Wednesday morning, so baby chicks are on our minds. Baby chicks were incorporated into our pretend play and news was shared as soon as families arrived for pick-up. We brainstormed a few names such as Fluffy, Lilly, Sunny, Rubble, Sunbutter, and Ensley. Minnie and Mickey Mouse made the list too. The room was filled with excitement and curiosity! We look forward to more chicks hatching, seeing them out of the incubator, and being able to hold them.

Big picture

Preschool News from Ms. Melanie

We have been talking about what plants need to grow: water, sun, and soil. We tried an experiment using bean seeds, a glass jar, paper towels, and water. We stuffed the paper towels into the jar, placed bean seeds around the towels, and misted them with water. We wondered if the bean seeds would sprout without soil. We thought we might trick the seeds into thinking the paper towels were soil–and we were right! Our seeds sprouted! We check them each day and we drew pictures of them in our nature journals. They are growing fast! Outside, we have started planting in the garden. We planted lovely flowers and a long row of peas. It is so wonderful to be back in the garden!

Kindergarten News from Ms. Sarah

In science, we measured our plants for the last time before bringing them home. (Students have been growing cat grass.) We recorded our observations in our plant journals. We also checked on our seedling experiment of no sun, no water, and no soil one last time and will now give them everything they need to be healthy. (The kids were concerned by our mistreatment of the seedlings so we will make it right by reversing the experiment.) Students also completed a sequencing activity to review how fruiting plants make flowers, which turn into fruit, and inside the fruit is the seed. And we checked on how our tadpoles are growing--no legs yet! We have lots of experiments going on to help us learn about the needs of living things!

First Grade News from Ms. Wyckoff

First graders are gearing up for our field trip to Great Falls Discovery Center and the fish ladders on Thursday! To prepare, children learned about anadromous fish, which are a group of fish that are born in freshwater, migrate to the ocean and then return to the same freshwater (in this case the Connecticut River) to lay their eggs. We look forward to learning and seeing so much more! In our SEL program- Second Step we are focusing on fair ways to play. First, we listened to a song titled: “The Fair Ways to Play Song” which focused on three ways to play fairly- trading, sharing and taking turns. We then met two first graders- Jharell and Julian who were having a problem during indoor recess. To help us decide what Julian should do we looked at our “Problem Solving Steps” poster which has the acronym - STEP - S:say the problem, T:think of solutions, E:explore consequences and P:pick the best solution. Some of the solutions first graders came up with were- Julian could ask Jharell to trade toys, Julian could ask the teacher to set a timer so they could take turns or they could work together to create something cool with both toys. Great problem solving first graders!

Third Grade News from Ms. Carole

Third graders spent time on Monday getting the edge of Three Sisters Garden reset and grass free. They worked together to dig up and roll out all of the rocks. Then they removed the grass and dug a trench. Next the spent five minutes stomping around in the trench to pack down the dirt and discourage the grass from growing there. Lastly they rolled the rocks back into place, and now it looks great! This will make it a much cleaner garden this year with a lot less weeding to be done.

On Wednesday we went for a lovely hike through the woods without buddies in preschool. It is always a joy to spend time with them and listen to the sweet conversations they have together. The third graders take tremendously good care of their younger friends, and it is a joy watching them all grow together.

Thursday third graders are taking the first of two days of the Math MCAS. Students have been preparing for this and are ready to go. They have also been learning how to use the online tools for the assessment.

We are all looking forward to a good day on Friday doing community service, taking care of the Ashfield Lake with the Ashfield Parks Commision volunteers.

Big picture
Big picture

Fourth Grade News from Ms. Lagoy

Fourth graders were eager to do some work with our science standards this week! We learned about volcanoes and where they exist in the world. Click this link to view some amazing pictures of active volcanoes. Show these to your child; it’s guaranteed to be a conversation starter about what they learned! We also learned about different kinds of volcanoes and how the thickness of the lava can explain the shape and eruption pattern of the volcanoes. Using lava made out of water and flour, they tested how different lavas create different shapes and trap gasses differently. We solved the mystery, “Why do some volcanoes explode?” You can support this week’s learning by watching this high definition video of lava flowing in Hawaii with your child. See if you can figure out the shape of the volcano that’s producing the lava. (Hint: the lava is pretty thin so it doesn’t trap the gas very well.) We also explored how environments on Earth have changed over time, and how sedimentary rock preserves a record of those past environments. Students observed images of fossils found in a canyon and used those fossil’s characteristics to find clues about what that landscape was like long ago, and how it changed over millions of years. To extend your child’s learning, talk together about the changes you’ve seen over time in the place where you live. Wonder together about what existed in your favorite places a million years in the past, or how those places might look different a million years in the future. Have fun!

Find a fourth grader and ask them to explain what they are doing in this science experiment and what it helped them to discover about volcanoes:

Big picture
Big picture

Sixth Grade News from Ms. Lilly

Over the last week of school the sixth graders have been using microscopes to check out different plants and animals and identify different organelles they notice when looking through the microscope. It was super fun to see and hear their reactions as they looked at different slides. In ELA we are cruising through our final book, Two Roads. This book has allowed us to have really great conversations about how the characters in the book are developing as well as different character’s perspectives. In math we are reviewing decimal operations. Finally, in our social emotional learning curriculum, Second Step, we’ve been discussing big emotions and how we use different strategies to control those big emotions. This week we discussed different strategies we can use depending on where we are, whether we’re at school, home, or online. Some strategies the sixth graders came up with are taking deep breaths, asking for a break or taking a walk, listening to music, or having a conversation with someone instead of jumping to conclusions. Hopefully these strategies will be carried over to their home life!

Baby pictures: If you have not yet sent in baby pictures for the yearbook please do by the end of the week.

Bake Sale: Please sign up to bring an item to the bake sale during Arts night at Sanderson on June 2nd. You can email me what you’d like to bring.

Big picture

Band News from Ms. Julie

The Band Together concert is coming fast! Our band students will be joining with other district school bands and the Shelburne Falls Military Band on Wednesday evening–May 24th at 7 pm at the BSE Bandshell. This is an exciting opportunity for our band! We hope you will save the date, bring a lawn chair, and come enjoy some great music next Wednesday evening!

Art News from Ms. Hawthorne

We are looking for some parent volunteers to help with 2 projects. Students are painting the Buddy Bench on the playground and it needs to be repaired, sanded, and primed. We need a few adults and power tools. Depending on availability of volunteers we can schedule after school on a Friday or a Saturday for a couple of hours.

We also need volunteers to help prepare and hang art for the upcoming art show. Contact Carolyn Hawthorne if you are available to help. chawthorne@mtrsd.org.

Library News from Ms. Wilson

Students are continuing to enjoy Sphero Robots and Bee Bots in the library this week (Even Ms. Liebowitz’s foster dog Cream Puff was intrigued!) Be sure to ask your child to explain how they used the robots! We will be passing them onto Colrain Elementary next week. Next week we will turn our focus to Digital Citizenship and talk about books as “windows” and “mirrors.”

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture


Come to the SEPAC meet-up! What is SEPAC? MTRSD’s Special Education Parent Advisory Council is a group made up primarily of parents of children with learning challenges and other disabilities, although local allies are welcome at meetings. SEPAC's goal is to support families and students' needs within the public school system and to work with the district to enact change, when needed.

If your child has a 504 or an IEP, or you are wondering whether they might need one, SEPAC can help you figure out who to talk to, what steps to take, what questions to ask and where to turn next at every step of the process. On Saturday, May 20, at 2:00 PM, we will be hanging out on the playground at BSE, with popsicles! Stop by, meet the interim group leaders, ask questions if you have them, and connect with other parents and allies.

Community News

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Looking for Girls on the Run Volunteers for the Fall

Please call the school if you are interested in volunteering. Thank you!

The impact of a Girls on the Run volunteer coach is as boundless as it is beautiful. Girls on the Run inspires life-changing transformations in girls when they need it most, and this is in large part thanks to our amazing coaches. Check out this video!

As a coach, you will also reap countless benefits, including deepening your leadership skills, finding joy in helping others, learning new perspectives – just to name a few!

Girls on the Run coaches are:

  • Trained to lead small teams (15 girls and 3 coaches) through engaging lessons that build confidence, inspire healthy habits and foster meaningful connections
  • Not required to be runners or athletes
  • Fully prepared and supported by GOTR
  • Available for practice x2 week for 90 minutes for the 10 week season. Mid Sept-Mid Nov. Days of practice decided by the coaching team.
  • Compassionate and empowering leaders who want to support the next generation of change-makers.

Our coaches bring our evidence-based curriculum to life and are at the heart of what makes Girls on the Run one of a kind. At every practice, their encouragement inspires girls to activate and reach their limitless potential. See what girls from Western Mass said about GOTR last season.


  • We provide coaches with all the training and supplies necessary, so prior experience is not required!
  • You do NOT need to be a runner.
  • Lead the way for more girls in your community and watch your own life transform.

If you have any questions about our program, its impact or volunteering, please contact us. Ready to get started as a coach? Click here!

With gratitude,


Coleen Ryan (she/her/hers)


Program Manager

Girls on the Run Western Ma

16 Center St, Suite 318, Northampton, MA 01060

(P) 413-374-3436


May Lunch Menu

Big picture