Weekly Newsletter

January 6, 2022

News from Principal Emma Liebowitz

Welcome to 2022! We hope you had a happy vacation week and a great start to the new year. As we continue to see increased COVID-19 cases, we know that you may have questions. Please reach out if you need clarification about exposures, testing and/or returning to school after revocery. Thank you for continuing to do your part to keep our community as safe as possible.


Wednesday, January 12 - 1:50 Dismissal

Monday, January 17 - No School

Wednesday, January 19 - 1:50 Dismissal

Wednesday, January 26 - :50 Dismissal

Link to Sanderson Academy calendar.

Health Office News from Nurse Leader Donna Weber

With the highly transmissible Omnicon variant circulating, I HIGHLY suggest signing up for the weekly Covid-19 surveillance testing if you haven’t done so already. The link to sign your child up to be included in testing every Tuesday is:


“Pool” testing works by testing 6-10 swabs at a time. The people that provide the samples do not even have to be in the same room. Only the health office and District Nurse Leader, Donna Weber, are aware of who is in each vial (pool). If a “pool” ends up positive, all people in that pool are tested immediately with a rapid test in order to identify who is positive. If everyone turns out to be negative, everyone would be tested again the following day to confirm that it’s negative. We do not notify individuals when we have to test everyone from a pool, called reflex testing, because we typically need to do contact tracing from the identified positive. You would only be contacted if your child is positive or ends up being identified as a close contact. If you have any questions, please contact Donna Weber at dweber@mtrsd.org

Health Office News from Nurse Loranna

Hope everyone had a happy and healthy holiday season. As I’m sure you are aware, covid cases are rising significantly across the country. Now is the time to be especially cautious about any symptoms that come up, please reach out to me if your child has any concerning symptoms and keep them home. Protecting our most vulnerable in the community is incredibly important.

I’m grateful to say- as a school community- we have done excellent with this- thank you!

Symptoms to monitor for are: fever and/chills, body aches, loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, sore throat, headache, significant nausea, vomiting/diarrhea, runny nose, cough and fatigue.

We typically do our pooled testing on Tuesdays and results usually come in 24 hours. See below for more info on this. Thank you for your continued efforts in keeping our school and community safe!

Check out this helpful link regarding what to do if you test positive. *The guidelines stated here are for the general public- school guidelines may be a bit different* https://frcog.org/contact-tracing/

Preschool News from Mrs. Freeman

Everyone is doing well transitioning back from our winter break. Preschoolers are remembering our rules and routines. They are enjoying the company of friends, helping each other, and making great play choices. Our Bakery in the pretending area continues to be popular. Preschoolers take on different roles in the bakery and are creating amazing looking treats with playdough! The photo shows some delicious cookies and some hot chocolate.

Art activities also remain popular. Preschoolers always look forward to group projects and activities. This week we had fun using glue and glitter. With limited colors and containers of glitter, preschoolers did an amazing job sharing, taking turns, and asking each other to pass certain colors to them! The photo shows some preschoolers involved in this activity.

Big picture
Big picture

Preschool News from Ms. Melanie

Preschool News from Ms. Melanie: What a delight it is to be back together again! Our indoor classroom changed a bit while we were away. There is a new “bakery” in the dramatic play area with a mixer, baking pans, cupcakes, doughnuts, and whoopie pies, along with a lovely tea set, just right for impromptu tea parties. There are new stuffed animals on the shelves, new puzzles and magnetic building tiles at the “table toy” area, a light table with see-through building blocks, and new arctic animals with trays of natural materials to create wintertime scenes on the science table. On our first day back, we welcomed a new classmate to our group and our preschoolers enjoyed showing her around our classroom, introducing her to their favorite activities, and exploring all the new materials together for the first time. Our outdoor classroom has changed as well. The mud by the bridge is finally frozen and the ground is hard and still. Activity in the mud kitchen has changed from making mud cakes out of squishy mud, to chipping ice out of the sink. We are dressing in layers, with warm mittens and hats, and we are looking forward to some good snow for sledding! Welcome back and welcome winter!

Kindergarten News from Ms. Sarah

Our big focus this week was getting reacquainted with our kindergarten class family and welcoming a new friend. We shared our hopes & dreams for wintertime at school. We revisited our class promise, values, and expectations that help us work together. We did a skit activity in which small groups of students acted out situations in which they were showing how to follow one of our class expectations and the rest of the group guessed which expectation they were presenting. And we reviewed our many routines that help our days run smoothly. It has felt so great to be back together again!

First Grade News from Mrs. Wyckoff

First graders are here to wish you all a very happy new year! As we return to school following our break we are revisiting routines, rules and expectations for our day at school. First graders did a fantastic job remembering exactly what to do when transitioning between activities! They have already earned 6 Lucky 7 tokens this week and are well on their way to earning a whole class reward for following our classroom rules and expectations! The new year gives us the opportunity to reflect on the past year as well as set new goals for the upcoming year. During language arts, we began by reading a story titled I Promise by LeBron James. A story about kids making promises to themselves and thinking about the hard work it takes to achieve those goals.

First graders then took a look at their hopes and dreams from September to see if they had achieved their goal yet. Many were excited to share that they had achieved their goal and were ready to set a new goal or promise! This was also a wonderful opportunity for first graders to see how far they have grown as writers since September - how they form their letters to their spelling and knowing how to stretch their words out as they write. As a class we have grown in so many ways and are looking forward to so much more in the second half of first grade.

Big picture
Big picture

Second Grade News from Ms. Robertson

As we change our calendars from 2021 to 2022, we are also changing our Number Corner activities as we usher in the month of January. This month our daily calendar focuses on picture graphs and bar graphs and related equations. For example, if a picture graph shows six dogs and four cats, a related equation might include 6 – 4 = ____ to answer a question such as, “How many more second graders prefer dogs to cats?” We are also exploring fractions and probability as we do a daily data collection activity with tiles. When we did this tile activity on January 3rd, we pulled 3 tiles (for the third day of the month) out of a bag that contained 15 blue tiles and 15 red tiles. We then discussed how zero out of the three tiles were red (0/3) and three out of the three tiles were blue (3/3). We also discussed whether less than half of the tiles were red, exactly half the tiles were red, or more than half of the tiles were red, and concluded the activity by recording the data on a graph. We also continued our math work with place value with an activity called Scoop, Count, and Compare, where we estimated how many scoops of beans we would need to get close to the target number 125. After scooping out our beans, we counted them into groups of hundreds, tens, and ones. When we had our total amount, we compared our total to 125 and then found the difference between them.

The new year also finds us beginning a new Fundations unit, where we are learning about base words, suffixes, and parts of speech. We are focusing on the endings –s, -es, -ed, -ing, -er, and –est and discussing when to use them. For example, the endings –er and –est are used when we are comparing things. For example, if we are comparing the length of two pencils, we can add the suffix -er to the base word short to show that the red pencil is shorter than the yellow pencil. Or if we are comparing the heights of three or more people, we can add the suffix -est to the base word tall to show that the oldest daughter in the family is also the tallest. We are also learning about parts of speech by identifying base words as nouns, verbs, or adjectives. During our theme time this week, we are turning our focus from our map of the United States to a map of Massachusetts, where we will be identifying local towns, the state capital, and the states that border it.

Third Grade News from Ms. Carole

Third graders started the new year by getting underway with a typing project. They have finished writing their reports about a wild animal of Massachusetts, and now they are learning how to type them in a Google Doc format. There are many details around punctuation when typing a report, and third graders are learning quickly how they all work. They are also making good use of the suggestions that pop up when dealing with uncertain spelling or sentence structure. They are excited to see the many paragraphs line up on their screens as they quickly learn why it is important to use all ten fingers when tackling a keyboard.

Fourth Grade News from Mrs. Lagoy

Fourth graders have really hit the ground running in this new year. I came back to school expecting to revisit our classroom expectations and spend time interactive modeling our routines and procedures, but your kiddos remembered EVERYTHING we spent the first six weeks learning and practicing.

We are wrapping up our novel studies this week. Students will do a final formal writing project next week and then, we are on to our next novel, Glory Be. During writing, we will also be revising our hopes and dreams and creating a new bulletin board: Rocketing into the New Year. In this rewrite, students will have an opportunity to reflect on their academic goals, as well as a personal goal focusing on the skills and strategies we have been learning during our social emotional learning time.

It is so exciting to be teaching math again. During our Number Corner time, students are working with money and fractions on a number line. Just yesterday, students were making amazing observations about fractions. Be sure to ask your students how we can use the relationship between the numerator and denominator to determine the value of the fraction. During Bridges, we learned a really interesting multiplication strategy called Doubling and Halving. As we progress through the unit, students will gain more confidence in using this strategy and be able to show you how it works.

Fifth Grade News from Ms. Johnson

Fifth grade has started working on their memoirs recently. We have focused on leads and including thoughts and feelings into our writing. Plus we have reviewed lessons from the previous unit that will apply to this genre of writing. We have also started learning about how to punctuate dialogue to include it in our memoirs. Wow, there are a lot of rules around dialogue.

In social studies, we have been learning about the American Revolution. We have learned about the causes of it and the viewpoint of each side. We have used a variety of sources. We have watched videos, read nonfiction and historical fiction pieces, looked at some primary sources, and done a few small projects, both individually and in small groups.

Sixth Grade News from Mrs. Lilly

Happy New Year sixth grade families! Sixth grade is off to a great start in this new year. I want to give all of the students a lot of credit for coming back to school with a positive attitude, flexible mindset, and willingness to accept change. We have spent this first week back reviewing rules and procedures that make the classroom run smoothly. We have also taken time to make an expectations contract. We brainstormed ideas about how the students want to be treated, how teachers want to be treated, and how to handle conflict. After we looked back at how everyone wants to be treated and found a lot of similarities. We took those similarities and created our contract, we then all signed the contract. We have also spent some time this week learning about different countries around the world and how they celebrate New Year’s. Each student picked a country to research, recorded important facts, and created a poster. We then listened to each student share about the country they researched. Finally, I just want to remind all sixth grade families that the sixth graders have a book report due Friday, January 14th. The information for the book report can be found on Google Classroom. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns as your child starts a new journey with a new teacher!

News from Ms. Prew

HAPPY NEW YEAR Sanderson Family! In the spirit of celebrating 2022, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics released a 2022 version of The Year Game. "For many years mathematicians, scientists, engineers and others interested in mathematics have played "year games" via e-mail and online. We don't always know whether it is possible to write expressions for all the numbers from 1 to 100 using only the digits in the current year, but it is fun to try to see how many you can find. This year may prove to be a challenge." To check out all of the components of the The Year Game, click on the tabs on the left named "Rules", "Activity Sheet", and "Manipulatives". How many expressions can you come up with? Enjoy! :) aprew@mtrsd.org

Music News from Mr. Green

Hello Sanderson!

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Mr. Green, and I will be taking over the general music classes from Mrs. Fitzgerald. Although change can be challenging, especially in the middle of the year, I am very excited to be joining the family here. I am confident that the students and I will be forgiving of each other as we make this transition. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. I look forward to sharing my unique musical experiences and perspective with the community here, and know we have much to look forward to in the new year.

Yours in harmony,

Mr. Green


News from Ms. Trish Aurigemma

Happy New Year and Welcome Back Sanderson Families!

From now to the end of the school year my newsletter entries will provide families and educators a breakdown of language development skills for children from the early elementary age to 6th grade and then I will include a few fun activities that can enhance any child’s language skills. Each month's entry will focus on one of the following age ranges such as, 3 - 4 year olds, 5 to 6 year olds, and 7-8 year olds, 9-10 year olds and finally 11-12 year olds.

Language Development for children from 3-4 years in age: The following information was found on the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) Website . Language is something children acquire as they grow and learn. Language is primarily viewed in two ways. One way is how we understand and hear language and the other is how we use language, such as talking or signing.

In the area of understanding, children who are in the 3 to 4 year age range respond when you call them from another room, follow basic one step directions, understand basic color words and shapes and can identify different family members.

Children can use language by answering simple who, what, and where questions, begin to use simple rhymes, use pronouns, plural nouns, and speak using nearly correct grammar and articulation in a 3 to 4 word sentences. They also enjoy talking about what they have experienced in their day using several sentences to connect their thoughts.

It is amazing how much a child can do in such a short period of their life. The best way to develop language is through interaction. Here are a few fun activities to help your child boost their language skills for listening and speaking.

  1. Story telling and retelling- read a story with your child, then have them tell it back to you. Ask a few questions about the characters and setting and how the characters and your child feel about the story.

  2. Bake with your child. This gives you and your child a chance to experience and talk about different textures. Your child will also have opportunities to follow simple directions.

  3. Get Musical with your child. You can make instruments out of everyday objects, and create musical patterns (rhythm). Your child will practice their listening skills by repeating your pattern and visa versa.

I hope you find this information helpful and as always, if you have any questions feel free to contact me. Next months entry I will discuss the language development of 5-6 year olds.

Girls on the Run

Please contact Principal Emma Liebowitz at eliebowitz@mtrsd.org for more information.
Big picture

News from Community Engagement and Enrichment Programs

The newsletter can be found at this LINK.

Community Event

Check out this opportunity!
Big picture