MTRSD S'Update

October 1, 2021

Dear Mohawk Trail & Hawlemont Families,

We've made it through our first month of school and it's wonderful to see our students back into their routines of learning and connecting with one another. Even during a pandemic, our students continue to do amazing work in, and outside, of our classrooms and we're very proud of their accomplishments.

This week we have a lot to cover, so here's what's happening in this issue:

* COVID-19 mask mandate updates

* COVID-19 School Planning Task Force updates

* MTRS seeks new principal

* Educators in action: Instructional Leadership Team prepares for the year ahead

* MTRSD strategic plan update

* Rural Roundtable - recap and links to full video presentation

* Food services supplies

* Community Corner: Buckland to host flu clinic

* School Spotlights: Colrain writers; Sanderson Mountain Day (photos)

COVID-19 mask mandate updates

Earlier this week the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley announced an additional month-long extension of the mandatory mask mandate for schools from Oct. 1 to Nov. 1. The full announcement can be read here:

As we have throughout this pandemic, any updates or changes related to COVID-19 are brought to the COVID-19 School Planning Task Force for discussion. This week the group discussed the updated state mandates, which will remain in effect. Prior to the start of this school year, the Mohawk Trail Regional School District school committee voted to keep our mask mandate in place, extending it beyond the state's mandate.

As more information is available or changes, I will be sure to keep our community informed. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to me directly at

DESE Mask Mandate Announcement

Click this link to visit the official DESE announcement regarding mask mandate extension through Nov. 1.

COVID-19 School Planning Task Force updates

Pool testing update:

There has been a slight delay in the roll-out for the pool testing program due to a back-up in providing supplies and training from the state's testing agency (CIC). COVID-19 Nurse Leader Donna Weber expects a trial roll-out for Mohawk Trail Regional School to begin around Oct. 7. According to Weber, when pool testing was offered by the state, they anticipated sign-ups to be around 800 districts. To-date, the state has received well over 2,000, thus delaying the roll-out process for numerous districts across Massachusetts.

As a reminder, POOL TESTING is required for athletics, extracurriculars, and before- and after-school programs. ALL information can be found on the district’s COVID-19 Information page at OR by clicking on the “Helpful Links” drop-down from any of the school websites. If you participate in one of the above activities (including coaches and volunteers) -- you MUST sign-up for testing! If you have any questions surrounding the process, procedure, or need additional information, please reach out to our district Nurse Leader Donna Weber at or Superintendent Sheryl Stanton at


Select: Consent Now → Mohawk Trail → (select your school)

For staff, coaches, or anyone over 18 years of age, please select “Sign consent form for yourself.”

For caregivers who need to give consent for their child/ren, please select “Sign consent form for a minor.”

If you are unable to complete the online sign-up/consent, please contact Donna Weber for a paper copy to complete.


Be sure to check our data dashboard on the district's COVID-19 Information page each week for an updated snapshot of COVID-19 cases for the state, Franklin County, and the district. IMPORTANT TO NOTE: District numbers are not exclusive to cases within the schools, but represent all community members from our nine towns.

Practice the FAB FIVE to help keep our communities healthy and safe!

Trust the facts and get the vax; wear a mask; wash your hands; practice physical distancing; and stay home when you're feeling unwell.

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MTRSD COVID-19 Information

Click here to visit the district's COVID-19 information page and data dashboard.

MTRS seeks new principal

The search committee for Mohawk Trail Regional School's next leader has now been formed. The committee will meet early next week to review applications and begin the process of narrowing down candidates for the interview process.

We're excited for next steps in the principal's search as this new leader will help students and staff continue to blaze their trails to excellence at MTRS. I will keep you updated as we go along and of any potential changes to our timeline.

Educators in action: Instructional Leadership Team prepares for the year ahead

Members of the MTRS instructional leadership team spent time on Sept. 29 planning and preparing for their roles as instructional leaders for the Trailblazer model this year. Below, our educators worked together to understand the role leadership plays in implementing the school's Trailblazer model and thinking about the ways they serve as leaders.

Empowering our educators to be leaders is important and has a direct impact on the student experience at MTRS. Educators help to lead professional development; take learning walks within the buildings to observe peer classrooms and ensure students "let the learning in;" and provide support to one another.

We're excited to hear more about the ILTs work this year as these educators take on this role and blaze THEIR trails at MTRS!

MTRSD strategic plan update

The MTRSD school committee continued their work in reviewing and providing feedback for the district's strategic plan at their professional development meeting on Sept. 28. With one last round of feedback from the committee, we'll be finalizing the strategic plan which will be presented and voted on at the committee's next meeting on Oct. 13.

I'm excited for the work ahead as our strategic plan outlines our district's core priorities and values; helping us to set a clear vision for our future. Once the plan has been presented at the school committee meeting, a copy of the final document will be included on our district's website.

MTRSD hosts rural roundtable listening session

Rural Roundtable held Sept. 23 at MTRS

Mohawk Trail Regional School served as the host site for Sen. Adam Hinds, Rep. Natalie Blais, and the Mohawk Trail Regional School District's Rural Roundtable listening session and discussion with the Rural Commission on Thursday, Sept. 23. The event brought state legislators, area superintendents, and local school committee / finance committee / select board members together for the day, both in-person and virtually, to discuss the critical issues affecting rural schools today. Banding together, the districts highlighted issues relative to the high costs of educating students in small and rural communities including inherent inequities in foundation funding and Chapter 70 aid, transportation, and special education. Members from the state legislature listened to constituents as they shared their stories and prospective solutions to these issues.

To watch the welcome/overview with Superintendent Stanton and wrap-up session with Sen. Adam Hinds, you can watch the full video below:

Rural Roundtable

Sanderson Academy celebrates Mountain Day on Sept. 27

Colrain first graders practice sentence writing

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Food services supplies: a message from our co-directors

The Mohawk Trail/ Hawlemont Regional School Districts Food and Nutrition Department

is asking for your patience and support as we navigate new challenges. As you may be

aware, we are currently faced with unprecedented shortages of food and packaging

materials, massive delays or cancellations of deliveries, and department labor

shortages. Nationwide shortages and delays have affected availability of certain food

items, leading to substitutions of menu items we’ve been able to offer regularly in the

past. These supply issues are occurring throughout the country and are especially

challenging for school systems, due to the quantity of meals we serve and the nutrition

standards we follow.

What does this mean?

As a result of these shortages, we may need to make quick substitutions to our menus based upon what we are able to acquire. We know that this affects students and we are doing our

best to provide updates about menu changes whenever possible and as soon as we identify an


Our priority continues to be providing your children with healthy, nutritious,

and appetizing meals at school. We love seeing them every day and appreciate

your support and patience as we continue to offer meals at no charge for all students.

A reminder: free breakfast and lunch will continue throughout the school year,

so please stick with us while we face yet another challenge. Your participation helps our

program stay strong, and we look forward to serving you!

--Debbie-Ann Plante and Tammy Wheeler

Mohawk Trail / Hawlemont Food Services Co-Directors

Food Services

Click here to visit the food services page on the district website. Links to school menus are located on this page.

Community Corner: Buckland to host flu clinic - Pre-registration is REQUIRED

A free flu clinic will be held on Saturday, Oct. 16 (time TBD) at Mohawk Trail Regional School. PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED and a COVID-19 self-screen is required prior to attending. Face masks and physical distancing also required.

For full clinic details and to pre-register, please visit the FRCOG website at: *Please visit the site regularly as information is updated frequently.


Please click here to visit the FRCOG flu clinic website for full details.

REMINDER: THIS WEEKEND ~ Colrain bottle and can drive

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Mark your calendars for Oct. 2!

Bring your bottles and cans to the transfer station OR the big shed at the baseball field in Foundry Village (this drop off location will be available until October 2 and checked daily). Your donations will help to raise funds for the 5/6th grade trip to Nature's Classroom.
Mohawk Trail SEPAC Facebook Page

The SEPAC is a self-governing body (creates its own by-laws and operational procedures) and is open to all parents of children with disabilities and other interested parties. All are welcome.

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