Student and Family Update

3/12/21

Dear Students and Families,

Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of when schools closed to in-person learning. In many ways it has felt like a very long time and in other ways I cannot believe it has been one full year! This week the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) released information regarding the return of middle school and high school students. DESE has identified April 25 as the start date for middle school grades 6-8 and has not yet identified a full in-person return date for high school students. As a regional 7-12 school, we are awaiting additional guidance from the state to determine if our students will return on April 25 or with DESE’s high school timeline.


In the meantime, in order to plan for a full return of our students, it’s essential to have accurate numbers and are asking you to please complete this form confirming how your child/ren will attend MTRS for the remainder of the school year. Please complete this brief, but critical survey for each child by Tuesday, March 16.


Important changes in the next phase of the Return to Learn plan:

  • Per the state’s latest mandates, districts will no longer be able to offer the hybrid option after April. A remote option will still be available for families who need it.

  • Students returning fully in-person will attend school Monday through Friday (five days).

  • Using DESE’s physical distancing guidance, we will adhere to a 3- to 6-foot physical distancing span in classrooms. The number of students returning will assist classroom teachers in determining the distance between students in their classrooms. In some classrooms it may be 6-feet; in other classrooms it could be a minimum of 3-feet.

  • Lunch: maintaining 6-feet of physical distance when masks are off

In-Person Return to Learn Family Survey

Complete by Tuesday, March 16, please.

Monday, March 15 is a Remote Day. Our WiFi hub will remain OPEN!

From Superintendent Stanton:


Thanks to our very own nurse leader Donna Weber’s tremendous efforts, we have secured a MTRSD/HRSD vaccination clinic for all staff for Monday, March 15th.

Our entire nursing staff will be providing support to the vaccination clinic.


This means we will have a REMOTE ONLY LEARNING DAY Monday, March 15th. There will be NO in-person hybrid program. Teachers may have different classroom schedules for synchronous learning times to accommodate their vaccination appointment so please check your Google classroom schedule over the next few days.



PLEASE NOTE: The MTRS WiFi hub will be open for students in 7 - 12.

Trailblazer Model Spotlight

We are excited to report that the MTRS School Committee voted to make Advisory a graduation requirement beginning next year. Advisory will still be credit/no credit, but now all the work you are doing in Advisory will be honored. We are currently working with Student Services to solidify the plans - stay tuned for more information.


We are also happy to report that we have taken feedback from students and faculty on how to make our Advisory program stronger. We have an Advisory Design Task Force working on creating differentiated lessons for each grade level, identifying grade-level themes to support our equity work, and for engaging more of our students to lead portions of our Advisory. Our Portfolio Task Force is also working with the Advisory Task Forces to get our Portfolio program up and running. You will begin seeing some of these changes this year and many next year. Thank you for providing your feedback and thank you to the educators involved in making our Advisory program even stronger.

Wednesday, March 17 is a late start day. Below is the schedule:

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Nurse’s Office Update

Please click here for information on BinaxNOW COVID-19 antigen testing in school.


This testing will provide our students, staff, and schools with an additional layer of safety during the pandemic. BinaxNOW testing is an opt-in program which allows school nurses to conduct on-site rapid COVID-19 testing on students or staff who become symptomatic while at school. It's a quick, easy way for staff to determine if they are handling a COVID-19 case OR a routine cold/allergy/illness/etc. Important to note: If your child is NOT feeling well, please do not send them to school for testing. As part of our FAB FOUR, you know that staying home when you are unwell is one of our major mitigation strategies in keeping our school community healthy and safe. Additionally, BinaxNOW testing is reserved only for those who become ill while at school.

Youth Baseball Information For Middle School Students

The West County Mantle and Koufax baseball summer leagues are looking for players! If you are interested in playing this summer, please email Bob Hinds: rohinds@rcn.com The league coaches are trying to get an idea as to numbers and how they can coordinate with the Little League players/coaches. Thank you for reaching out to Bob!

MCAS Testing

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has messaged the intention of schools to administer spring MCAS tests. MTRS administration is working now on a draft schedule for testing which will occur in May and June. We will message this out once we have a solid plan.


Senior Capstone Food Drive

MTRS senior Cody Ryder is hosting a food drive for the Community Action Food Pantries in Shelburne and Greenfield as part of his Capstone Project. All seniors take the Capstone course and learn how to direct their own learning on a topic of their choice to encourage you to think critically, solve challenging problems, and develop skills such as oral communication, public speaking, research skills, media literacy, teamwork, planning, self-sufficiency, and goal setting—i.e., skills that will help prepare you for college, modern careers, and adult life! Donation details can be found in Cody’s flyer: click here. Donations can be dropped-off in the bins outside the MTRS main doors now through March 19. Monetary donations are ALSO accepted; checks should be made out to Community Action Pioneer Valley and dropped off in the MTRS office (don’t leave them outside!). Thanks, Cody, for your work to support your neighbors in need!

Class of 2022 Fundraiser

We have the great opportunity to participate in the "Eversource, Change a Light, Change the World" online fundraiser. ALL (That's 100%!) of the money raised during the sales period will go to the class! And, the process is easy....


HERE IS THE LINK TO THE MTRS-JUNIOR CLASS FUNDRAISER!!!!


We would be so appreciative if you could take a look at the above link, and if you are able, to purchase some light bulbs, or better yet a Living Room Pack. You will see that there are really amazing deals. The price range is between $5.00 to $15.00.


When checking out PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be sure to fill in the name of our school (Mohawk Trail Regional School) and the name of the student to which you are buying from. (The student will earn prizes for the most sold!) If you do not know a student in the class, just write Mohawk Trail Regional School again for the student name.

Library News

Click here for the March edition of the Student Newsletter!

International Student Trip to Spain and Italy - Summer 2023

Have you ever wanted to travel abroad? Interested in seeing Spain and Italy? Mrs. Camarda will be hosting a student trip to Spain and Italy in June of 2023! Please read this flyer for more information and contact Mrs. Camarda at lcamarda@mtrsd.org with any questions.


Athletics Update

Fall II Sports registration is still open! Please follow this link to Family ID to register for Varsity Volleyball, Varsity Boys Soccer, Varsity Girls Soccer and Boys & Girls Indoor Track. All teams are open to students in grades 7-12. For more information contact Athletic Director Vouros gvouros@mtrsd.org


Yearbook

Yearbooks are a very special way to hold on to your high school memories for the rest of your life. Visit MTRS's yearbook page for more information on how to order your 2020-2021 yearbook. Seniors: Please be sure to send your senior photo and at least 3 other photos to ewillis@mtrsd.org. For more information for seniors, go here.


Congratulations to our MTRS Graduates, Brett & Killian

MTRS Graduation Celebration

District Updates

There is a lot happening district-wide as our elementary schools gear-up for a full in-person return to the buildings by April 5. Please be sure to check Superintendent Stanton’s weekly newsletter for important updates and highlights for the week.


If you missed the Virtual Town Hall last night for our elementary (Phase III) Return to Learn, you can watch it on our MTRS Facebook page OR head over to the district’s Vimeo page at www.vimeo.com/mtrsd and watch the replay.


And, remember to stay tuned to the district’s COVID-19 Information page for important district-wide updates and information, including a weekly update of the COVID-19 data dashboard: www.mtrsd.org/covid-19-information


Best,

Marisa