Superintendent Weekly Update

March 19, 2021

Dear Mohawk Trail & Hawlemont Families,

With March well underway, the next few weeks are going to be a whirlwind as we gear-up for our elementary students to return to our physical classrooms five days per week and continue to plan for Mohawk Trail Regional School's next phase in the Return to Learn. We have another packed update this week, so here's a snapshot of what's in this edition:


* MTRSD Return to Learn Phase III UPDATE

* COVID-19 School Planning Task Force & Vaccine Clinic Update

* MTRSD Strategic Planning Updates

* MTRS Spotlight: Amelie Rowehl named recipient of 2021 Superintendent's Award

* MTRS Class of 2022 Fundraiser

* School Spotlights: Buckland-Shelburne Elementary

MTRSD Return to Learn Phase III Update

As we begin to make final adjustments to our Return to Learn Phase III Full In-Person return for our students, I want to remind those families who have not yet indicated how their child will attend school for the remainder of the year to PLEASE be in touch with your child/ren's school by Monday, March 22 (this Monday)!


Your responses are critical for our Return to Learn planning as we gear-up for a full in-person return for elementary students on April 5, with more guidance to come from the state regarding a return for Mohawk Trail Regional School. In the interim, we need all district caregivers to respond to those surveys so we can continue planning.


As a reminder, you can review our Return to Learn Phase III plans (found on our COVID-19 Information page HERE) for details and if you missed our elementary virtual town hall, you watch the replay on the Mohawk Trail Regional School facebook page (www.facebook.com/mohawktrailregional) or district's Vimeo channel, www.vimeo.com/mtrsd We anticipate hosting a virtual town hall for Mohawk Trail Regional School in the upcoming future, so stay tuned for details!


If you have any school-specific questions, or you have not yet indicated your plans for how your child/ren will continue learning with us, please reach out directly to your building principal. Thank you so much for your timely attention! We appreciate it!

COVID-19 School Planning Task Force & Vaccine Clinic Updates

This week, thanks to the hard work of Donna Weber, our district's nurse leader, our school nurses, the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, and Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) we were able to successfully arrange for a vaccine clinic for our Mohawk Trail and Hawlemont district staff on Monday, March 15.


I again want to share how incredibly grateful I am these community partnerships and dedication to making vaccines more readily available for those in Franklin County, especially our educators! The staff and volunteers at FRCOG have been working tirelessly to provide increased access to vaccines in our region. Stay tuned to the FRCOG website regularly for local updates and information about COVID-19 vaccines.


Other helpful resources include this new vaccination site finder specifically for Franklin County: https://franklincountymavaccine.org/ AND the state's new pre-registration portal: https://vaccinesignup.mass.gov/


The COVID-19 School Planning Task Force monitors state, local (county), and district COVID-19 cases each week and discusses potential impacts to our school community. Once again our caseloads remain low, keeping our district holding steady in the grey category. Thanks to our community commitment to practice the FAB FOUR in addition to our mitigation strategies, we continue to see no impact to our current in-person learning community. You can review the latest dashboard at www.mtrsd.org/covid-19-information.

Big picture
MTRSD COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic, 3/15/21

There may be a vaccine, but we STILL need to practice our FAB FOUR!

Remember - it's still SO important to practice the FAB FOUR to help keep our community healthy & safe - Wear your mask; wash your hands; practice physical distancing; and stay home when you are unwell!

MTRS National Honor Society Thanks Our District Nurses

Mohawk Trail Regional School National Honor Society members Stella Clark, Laney Celli, Amelie Rowehl, Mya Lesieur and Kyle Henry this week presented our district nurses with bouquets of gratitude for their dedication and hard work. THANK YOU to our incredible nurses who work tirelessly to keep us healthy & safe!

*Thank you to our thoughtful NHS students for helping to spread some cheer; to Roxanne Trombly for creating the beautiful arrangements; and the Mary Lyon Foundation for their generous funding!

MTRSD Strategic Planning Update

A few weeks ago I mentioned that we would be taking a brief pause in our strategic planning process as we continue to quickly adapt to our accelerated Return to Learn deadlines. Our strategic planning partners at TMS are compiling results from our community survey (thank you again to those who shared feedback) and we expect to review data once we've moved into our next phase in the Return to Learn process. While our timeline for this process will need to be slightly adjusted, we are dedicated to continuing with this planning in the months ahead. Stay tuned for more details in the weeks ahead!

DID YOU KNOW . . .

Through the Mohawk Trail Regional School's Trailblazer model, the advisory program provides our students with a sense of COMMUNITY, CONNECTION, and BRAVE SPACE to become the best versions of themselves?


Embedded at the start of each student's school day, advisory provides them with an opportunity to connect with a trusted adult at MTRS; create stronger bonds between classmates; helps them establish routines and learn goal-setting; while also providing them with valuable life skills for college and career readiness.


Advisory is an important part of a student's day at MTRS and while the kick-off to the program during a mostly remote year has been a challenge, it's proved to be helpful in keeping students connected even when they aren't physically in the same space. Want to learn more about the exciting opportunities our students have at MTRS or see our students in-action? Follow the school's official Facebook and Instagram pages @mohawktrailregional!

MTRS Spotlight: Amelie Rowehl named 2021 Superintendent's Award recipient

The Mohawk Trail Regional School District is pleased to announce Amelie Rowehl, of Hawley, as the Mohawk Trail Regional School’s (MTRS) 2021 Superintendent's Award recipient.


Rowehl is a stand-out in her class as a committed student, athlete, and valued member of the community. Ranked first in her class with a 4.54 grade point average, Rowehl consistently challenges herself both in-and-outside the classroom taking Advanced Placement courses while balancing school, sports, and working at her family business.


An avid skier, Rowehl has been a valued member of the MTRS alpine ski team since seventh grade. She’s also an active member of the school’s Social Justice Club and National Honor Society, and currently is planning for college post-graduation. With her sights currently set on Wellesley or Mount Holyoke College, she already has been accepted to the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her ultimate goal is to major in political science and one day attend law school to become an immigration lawyer.


“I’m really honored to be a recipient,” said Rowehl. “I’ve been working hard throughout my high school career and to receive this recognition . . . it felt really rewarding. There are so many students in my class who have worked hard and I feel really lucky to be recognized; that people noticed all the hard work I’ve put in.”


Rowehl said she’s among a group of hard-working and committed MTRS students and credits them for helping to push her in her studies.


“I have amazing classmates,” she said. “The top five in our class all heavily contributed to my commitment to school and challenged my ways of thinking.”


Mohawk Trail/Hawlemont Regional School Districts Superintendent Sheryl Stanton said Rowehl is an excellent example of how hard work, dedication, and determination can help students achieve their goals and be the best version of themselves.


“Amelie is a student who consistently took advantage of the opportunities at her fingertips while at Mohawk Trail Regional School and pushed herself toward academic excellence,” said Stanton. “She’s a shining example of the type of students we have in our schools and we are so proud to have her represent our district this year as a Superintendent’s Award recipient.”


Thinking back on her time at MTRS, Rowehl said she is grateful for her teachers and classmates for helping to make her into the person she is today and for the opportunities available to her while at MTRS.


“They offer a variety of classes—there are AP classes in almost every class which really helped to prepare me for the challenges ahead,” said Rowehl. “The teachers at MTRS are definitely special; they’re supportive, flexible, and helpful.”


While Rowehl likes to credit so many people for helping her to achieve her academic success, those around her attest to her academic dedication and overall work commitment; a true asset to the school and community.


“Amelie is an outstanding member of our school community,” said Mohawk Trail Regional School Principal Marisa Mendonsa. “Her commitment to our school community through her participation in athletics, clubs, as well as her strong academic output and focus on issues of social justice, make her an excellent candidate for this award. We are incredibly proud of her accomplishments and the legacy she has left at MTRS.”


MTRS College and Career Counselor Sara Neuenschwander agrees, noting Rowehl’s work ethic both in the classroom and beyond is to be commended.


“Her level of academic achievement is exceptional,” said Neuenschwander. “She is remarkable in her work ethic, giving 110 percent and more to every class, activity, or sport; and she is just as dedicated to her family, friends and work.”


Rowehl is a proud member of the Mohawk Trail Regional School Class of 2021 and will graduate as valedictorian in June.

#BlazeYourTrailatMTRS

MTRS Class of 2022 Fundraiser

The MTRS Class of 2022 is hosting an "Eversource Change a Light, Change the World" online fundraiser to benefit their class - with 100% of the sales going directly to the class!


Here's how you can support our students:

Click on the button below to check out the variety of products offered through the fundraiser. When making your purchase, in order for the class to receive credit for their sales, please indicate MOHAWK TRAIL REGIONAL SCHOOL in the form. It will also ask for a student name -- if you know a member of the class and would like to give them credit for the sale, include their name. Don't know a member of the Class of 2022, but still want to support the fundraiser? Simply indicate the school name where student name is listed.


Orders are accepted through March 24 and will be shipped directly to you.

MTRS Class of 2022 FUNDRAISER

Click this link to order now and help support the Class of '22!

School Spotlight: Buckland-Shelburne Elementary

Mrs. Unaitis' and Ms. Paquin's fifth graders recently participated in an Arbor Day poster contest sponsored by the DCR Urban and Community Forester of Massachusetts. This years theme for the state-wide competition was "The Trees Out Our Window." Student submissions were then judged by BSE staff who voted for the poster they felt best fit the theme and submission requirements, with the winning poster sent to Boston for the statewide competition. What a tough choice BSE staff had to make--ALL of these submissions are incredible! We have some talented artists in our district!


This year's selection for statewide consideration is the first poster below (from left), winter scene with sap buckets. CONGRATS to all our students who worked hard on their submissions! WELL DONE & way to represent our district and your school!

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