Weekly Newsletter

March 23, 2023

Message from Principal Emma Liebowitz

Preschool and kindergarten registration packets were mailed this week. Please see information below. If you know a community member that may be interested in joing the Sanderson Academy community, please let them know they can call they office for a packet.

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Author Visit

Friday, March 24, 10am: Local author/illustrator Astrid Sheckels will be presenting to K-3rd grade students. Astrid will be selling signed copies of her books at the event. Caregivers are welcome to attend!


Wednesday, March 22 - All School Meeting at 2:15

Thursday, March 23 and Friday March 24 - 12:30 Release for Caregiver Conferences

Monday, March 27 - Representative Sabadosa visits at 10:00

Wednesday, March 29 - 1:50 Release

Link to Sanderson Academy calendar.

MCAS Information

Students in grades 3-6 will be taking the MCAS starting next week. 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!

English Language Arts

Tuesday, March 28 - 4th - Session 1

Thursday, March 30 - 5th - Session 1

Friday, March 31 - 5th - Session 2

Tuesday, April 4 - 4th - Session 2

Thursday, April 6 - 3rd - Session 1

Tuesday, April 11 - 3rd - Session 2

Tuesday, April 11 - 6th - Session 1

Thursday, April 13 - 6th - Session 2


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

Need flower bulbs?

Let’s think SPRING! 2nd and 6th grade students are selling flower bulbs! 6th grade is raising money for graduation and 2nd grade is raising money for a potential field trip in the late spring. Check out their online store!


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Health Office News from Nurse Loranna

Hello Sanderson community! I was asked to share this last flu and covid immunization clinic of the year which will be held at the Buckland Public Library. You can get a free $75 gift card! See below for more information:

Get Your Flu & COVID Vaccine at our Buckland Public Library Saturday, March 25th 11 am- 2pm. More information at https://frcog.org/project/vaccine-information/. Register online at frcog.org/covid (recommended, and walk-ins are welcome). Anyone over 6 months old may be eligible for a flu and COVID vaccine and can receive them at the same visit. Insurance card needed for flu vaccine. If uninsured, call public health staff at (413)-774-3167, or bring a $28 check. All COVID vaccines/boosters are no-cost. The bivalent (Omicron-specific) booster is available to those 5+ who received any other COVID vaccine at least 2 months ago. You're likely up-to-date and don't need a booster if you've had a booster since Oct '22 & are not immunocompromised. Get a free $75 gift card with any COVID vaccine or booster! While supplies last. Bring your ID, insurance card, and vaccination card!

Preschool News from Ms. Freeman

We are learning about our 5 senses and are having fun using our senses to play some games. We played a listening game, listening to a sound we may hear on a farm and then trying to guess that sound. We also used our sense of touch to play a texture matching game called Ruff’s House. Preschoolers especially enjoyed an activity using their sense of smell. A cotton ball with essential oil was placed into a vented container. Preschoolers tried to identify various scents using their sense of smell. Images of the scents were added and now the preschoolers can match the scents with the corresponding images! We will continue to have fun using our senses to help us learn about the world around us!

Preschool News from Ms. Melanie

Last week’s snowstorm left behind some magnificent mountains, just right for climbing and sliding. We worked together to smooth out an “otter slide”, chipping out the big chunks of ice and snow and tamping down the snow to make a fast track for snowsuit sliding. Great fun as the last of the winter begins to melt into spring!

Inside, we made some funny leprechauns using a variety of shapes, then added some real wool roving that was dyed into festive colors for beards and hair. They are a lively and jolly bunch, hanging in the hallway outside our classroom!

As we began to explore more about sheep and wool, we used more of the wool to make felt balls with our third-grade buddies. We used a technique called “wet felting” and the felt balls came out great! We are also learning to finger knit using wool and are making cute little sheep from wool roving. We are discovering that there are many things to do with wool!

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Kindergarten News from Ms. Sarah

Currently in math, we have introduced the concept of subtraction as “taking away” and learned about the minus sign to show this in horizontal subtraction equations. We played a game to practice writing subtraction equations and “The Forest Game” to practice noticing if it is a plus sign or a minus sign and then adding more or taking away our squirrels. In our math journal, we practiced counting backwards, as the answer to a subtraction equation should be a smaller number than what you started with.

First Grade News from Ms. Wyckoff

WOW! That was a lot of snow we got this week! We hope you all stayed warm and spent some time enjoying this late season snow storm. This week in first grade we have been focusing on turning the question around to begin to form complete sentences. In our EL curriculum we began reading the book Summer Sun Risin’ by W. Nikola-Lisa. After reading the story children were asked to write about the main character and setting of the story. The question asked “Who is the main character?” Children learned that the majority of what they need to turn the question around is already in the question sentence, so they would write: The main character is the boy. The same goes for the question “Where does the story take place?” The story takes place on a farm. This will be a skill that will be used throughout children’s schooling, so we will continue to practice this writing skill together so by the end of grade 1, children will be feeling confident in writing complete sentences!

This week also has us celebrating our 120th day of school! Although the 100th day is a big celebration school-wide, the 120th day is equally as exciting in first grade! By the end of the year, first grades will be able to count to 120, starting with any number less than 120, including 0 or 1. First graders will also begin to see that number families begin to repeat in numbers beyond 100. To celebrate, each first grader brought in a 120th day collection bag! Check out all the collections in the pictures below!

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Second Grade News from Ms. McMillan

That was a lot of snow we got last week! Hopefully that is the last of it and we can look forward to warmer weather. Speaking of warmer weather, be sure to check out our fundraising page! We are selling spring flower bulbs. I am hoping we can raise enough money to do a small field trip in the late spring. Here is the link to our website if you are interested in supporting us or helping us spread the word!


We are reading a book called, The Dog that Dug for Dinosaurs. We are breaking down the story by the beginning, middle and the end and summarizing those parts of the story. Once we are done with this story we are going to be reading about what paleontologists do, and will be looking at different fossil sites.

This week we are getting back into the groove of things. In math we are learning about word problems and talking about all the different ways we can approach the problem. Students are also making up their own word problems that they will get to display in the building for other students to solve. How would you solve this problem? Picture drawing? Number line? Mental math? We love talking about how everyone has a different way to get to the answer!

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Third Grade News from Ms. Carole

Third Grade recently used the flint corn we harvested last fall to make cornbread, and the reviews were favorable. After hanging the cobs from our lights to dry for five months, we took them down, plucked the kernels off the cobs, ground them up, and mixed them with milk, eggs, and a few other ingredients. It all baked up beautifully, and the kids were happy to enjoy the fruits of their labors.

We have been busy with buddy projects as well lately. Before our “snowcation” we dyed coffee filters to make “stained glass” shamrocks, which are now hanging in our south-facing window. This week we learned how to do felting with our buddies. Miss Julie gave everyone a handful of sheep's wool which, after an arduous rolling process involving warm water and dish soap, turned into beautiful felt balls. These are out for all to see in a display cabinet in the main lobby.

This week we welcomed bluebirds back to the campus, and we’ve been lucky to have a couple at our classroom window feeders. We also welcomed flocks of goldfinches and red-winged blackbirds. Such fun to mark these dependable signs of seasons changing!

Third graders will be taking the English Language Arts MCAS on April 6 and 11th, and we will be spending time next week learning about how to take those. Please make sure your child is available on those days and will not be arriving late or leaving early.

On April 7th, the day after our first day of MCAS, we will be spending the day in Northampton. First we will enjoy a tour of the Smith Botanical Gardens as we begin to think about our own gardening endeavors, and then we will be enjoying lunch together at Osaka. Permission slips for this special day will be coming home next week. We are still in need of a few chaperones for this trip, so please reach out if you are available. Thank you!

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Fifth Grade News from Ms. Johnson

Fifth grade has been studying about Earth’s place in the universe. They have been making models, doing experiments, keeping track of data, watching videos, and making models to demonstrate concepts like the phases of the moon, gravity, and how the earth rotates around its axis and rotates around the sun based on how we see constellations move across the sky and how the sun moves across the sky.

News from Ms. Prew

Please join me at the district Celebration of Learning at Mohawk Trail on Wednesday, March 29th! I will be with another district math teacher to share ideas and materials for you to enjoy math learning at home. Can’t wait to see you then! :) aprew@mtrsd.org

Library News from Ms. Wilson

Author Visit this Friday

Author Astrid Sheckels will be presenting to K-3rd grade students this Friday at 10 am! Astrid Sheckels is a local author and illustrator who has written many books and is well known for her award-winning Hector Fox picture book series. Her presentation will include a book reading, a behind-the-scenes slideshow of how she makes her books, Q & A, and book signing. If you know Astrid’s work, then you know what a special treat it is to have her join us. Learn more about Astrid and her amazing work here. Caregivers are most welcome to attend! If you would like to purchase one of Astrid’s books, you can send money with your child on the day of the presentation, or you can purchase a book through this link.

Library Fundraiser Postponed

Due to the snow storm, the “Sponsor-a-Book” library fundraiser has been postponed. It will now run from April 3 - 14. Keep your eye out for updates in the newsletter and be sure to check next week’s Thursday folders for more information. Thank you!

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Community Engagement and Enrichment Porgram News

Newsletter can be found HERE.
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Heath Free Public Library Community Survey

The Heath Free Public Library wants to hear from families in the community!

The library is conducting a voluntary survey and all ages are welcome to fill it out. We would like to find out what your needs and interests are and will use this information to guide decisions for specific library goals and activities as we develop a Strategic Plan.

Whether you use our library or not, your input is valued. The survey should take 5-10 minutes to complete and will be available until the end of March. Respondent names will be kept anonymous unless they indicate otherwise.

Paper copies of the survey are available for pick up at Sawyer Hall and our new location at 18 Jacobs Rd. An online version can be found on the library website and at this link: Heath Free Public Library Online Survey. Please feel free to contact the library with any questions at 413-337-4934 extension 7 or heath.library@gmail.com.


March Lunch Menu

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