MTRSD S'Update

November 19, 2021

Dear Mohawk Trail & Hawlemont Families,

As we head into Thanksgiving week, I wanted to take a moment to share how grateful I am for this community--our amazing students who show up EVERY day ready to learn; our dedicated staff who lead boldly in our classrooms and throughout our buildings; and our kind, caring families and community members. I've said it before, but I feel fortunate to live and work in a place where people truly care about our schools and one another. We have an AMAZING school community--and for that, I thank YOU.

With just a few more days until our Thanksgiving break, this is the last update until we come out of our mashed potato... turkey... and pumpkin pie haze, post-Thanksgiving.


  • Wednesday, Nov. 24 is an EARLY RELEASE day
  • Thursday, Nov. 25 and Friday, Nov. 26 there is NO SCHOOL

* Save the Date - Budget season virtual town halls

* Hawlemont update from Lindsay and Sheryl, 11/19/21

* COVID-19 updates and VaxBus information

* Family Literacy Night a success with students and families

* Data still needed for state reporting

* Mohawk Trail gear-up sale!

* Capstone students seek community help for projects

* Winter hiking equipment fundraiser

* Parents Night Out - Friday, Dec. 3

* School Spotlight: Hawlemont Regional

* School Spotlight: Colrain Central

* Community Corner: Youth Basketball - Hilltown League

Save the Date - Budget season virtual town halls

Budget season is upon us and we're in the initial stages of building our FY23 budget. As discussed in the budget subcommittee meetings over the past year, we continue to improve our budgeting process -- including increasing our dialogues earlier in the process with our towns and community stakeholders.

We will be hosting a virtual town hall with our town select and finance committee chairs, town administrators, and budget subcommittee on Monday, Nov. 29 at 6 p.m. This meeting will be recorded.

Additionally, we will be hosting an MTRSD Caregiver Virtual Town Hall which will be live streamed to our district's Vimeo channel on Tuesday, Nov. 30 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Questions can be submitted in advance using this form.

CAREGIVERS - Submit your budget questions!

Caregivers - please click this link to submit your question in advance for the Nov. 30 virtual town hall.

Hawlemont update from Lindsay and Sheryl, 11/19/21

We want to share with you, our Hawlemont Regional families, how much we appreciate the opportunities we have to work with your children. While these are challenging times, they are also filled with the joy of watching our students learn and grow every day.

You may have heard that there was a vote taken by the Select Board of Charlemont to close Hawlemont Elementary School. We want to let you know that there is a process that must be followed and many steps that need to be taken to close a school, especially a school in a regional school district such as Hawlemont. We will be working closely with the Hawlemont School Committee and our town partners as the discussions regarding Hawlemont Elementary unfold. To be clear, there have been no discussions amongst the Hawlemont School Committee to close the school. There are many ways for you to stay informed and engaged. Come to school committee meetings and if you can’t make it, be sure to watch them using this link

We have many wonderful things happening at Hawlemont! We have hit the ground running with our Bridges Math, EL education and other literacy initiatives. We also have had our HAY programs getting up and running again with HAY, class, barn chores, weaving, farmers market and so much more. We have added to our PBIS (positive behavioral interventions and support..think GRIT), our recess and playground expectations, student feedback forms for how they feel at school (grades 5 and 6 specifically) and added the BRYT program to support students who need additional behavioral support. The staff at Hawlemont continue to be dedicated to the students in the building as we love seeing them learn and grow. --Principal Lindsay Rodriguez and Superintendent Sheryl Stanton

COVID-19 updates and VaxBus information

The COVID-19 School Planning Task Force continues to meet weekly to review data and potential impacts to the school community, as well as discuss new COVID-19 information as it becomes available. COVID-19 Nurse Donna Weber continues to conduct weekly pool testing; and has been working alongside our local health agents to identify positive cases and notify "close contacts" when there are potential exposures within our community.

This week the task force received notice from FRCOG that COVID-19 caseloads in Franklin County are on the rise. According to FRCOG Regional Health Agent Randy Crochier, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's COVID-19 tracking map now lists Franklin County as a high risk for community transmission. Additionally, Crochier noted that mid-week, his health office at FRCOG noted "more new cases than in any single day since this pandemic began." This is a striking contrast to the low caseloads we saw over the past several months.

Put simply, our regional caseloads are going in the wrong direction. With Thanksgiving just a few days away, please remember that we're still very much in the midst of battling this pandemic and we must remain diligent in following your mitigation efforts (our FAB FIVE) in order to keep our schools and community healthy and safe. If you haven't yet received your vaccine, or your child has just become eligible - remember you can make your appointment in one of the convenient Franklin County VaxBus locations (thank you to the DPH and FRCOG!); wear your mask; wash your hands; maintain physical distancing when feasible; and stay home when you are feeling unwell. We need our entire community to work together to bring our caseload numbers back down. Together, when we all do our part, we help to keep our schools healthy and safe.


REMINDER: the COVID-19 VaxBus will be making a stop at Buckland-Shelburne Elementary on Dec. 2. A NEW location has just been added! The VaxBus will also be at Sanderson Academy on Tuesday, Nov. 23 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.


To register for BSE VaxBus, click here:

To register for Sanderson Academy VaxBus, click here:

Questions? Need additional information? Please contact Donna Weber, our district's COVID nurse, at OR contact FRCOG for additional information.

**PLEASE NOTE - with the holiday next week, our district's COVID-19 data dashboard will not be updated until the following week.**

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VaxBus Flyer & Registration

Click here to view the flyer and sign-up!

MTRSD COVID-19 Information

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

Family Literacy Night a success with students and families

This week we hosted our first district-wide Family Literacy Night at Mohawk Trail Regional on Wednesday, Nov. 17. The evening, hosted by the MTRSD Community Engagement and Enrichment Programs in partnership with the Mary Lyon Foundation and It Takes a Village, gave caregivers and children an opportunity to enjoy a night of literacy FUN!

A special shout-out to the amazing MTRS student volunteers who served as our building tour guides, read aloud leaders, and literacy-themed game coordinators in the gym. We couldn’t do events like these with support from all these amazing folks. And we can't wait to do this AGAIN next year!

Data STILL needed for state reporting

Families ~ we need YOUR help! While breakfast and lunch is free for everyone this year, filling out free and reduced lunch forms helps our district to qualify for additional funding through the state, which in turn is a benefit to all of our students. If you haven't yet filled out your forms this year, please reach out to your school's front office staff if you need another copy!

Our district receives this additional state and local funding to support learning for students whose families are identified as "low income." The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) identifies most of these students already, by identifying students who receive public assistance, but not all.

As a reminder, the information you provide (on this form and any supporting documentation) will be maintained by the district and only used by the district or DESE to verify household income to determine the state and local funding we receive.

IMPORTANT: This Supplemental Low-Income Data Collection Form is not an application for free or reduced-price school meals. Please refer to the School Meals Household Application in order to apply for those benefits.

This is a voluntary process. Families are not required to submit this information. If you need assistance completing any portion of the form or gathering other required information, please contact your building principal or front office staff.

Mohawk Trail gear-up sale!

It's that time of year to show your school and district spirit! Looking for something to get for the holiday season? Know an alum that would LOVE some new gear? NOW is your chance to place an order through our athletics fundraiser and get your MTRS gear! This pop-up shop is open now through Nov. 22. Order online and get your gear delivered RIGHT to your door!

Visit the EastBay store here:

And... stay tuned! In the upcoming months, MTRS will have a permanent online and physical swag shop so you can get your gear whenever you need it!

MTRS pop-up gear sale - CLICK HERE TO ORDER

Link directs you to EastBay online sales for MTRS gear.

Shriners Children's toy & donation drives in full swing for Capstone students

MTRS seniors Tyler Matteson and Caitlin Upton continue to collect toy and monetary donations to benefit the Shriners Children's Hospital in Springfield.

Toy drop-off locations for Matteson's project are located at each school in the district. Please bring your new, unwrapped toy donation to any of our schools through Dec. 10! Help Tyler in his Capstone quest to bring joy to children at the hospital this holiday season! Questions? Need additional information about donating? You can contact Tyler directly at

For those who would like to make a monetary donation, you can support Caitlin Upton's Capstone work as she aims to raise $1,000 via direct donations (cash or check) OR supporting her bake sale during school lunches (we're looking at you, fellow students!). For those who would like to support her work, please reach out to Acting Principal Diane Zamer to learn more -

A sincere thank you to those who have supported our students in this work!

Winter Hiking Equipment Fundraiser!

MTRS Community & outdoor enthusiasts: Ms. Brown is raising funds to help purchase some winter equipment for a new trail walking class at MTRS this spring. Equipment will also be used by our MTRSD Community Engagement and Enrichment Programs to provide fun, outdoor experiences for our district's elementary students. If you'd like to help support Ms. Brown's project, head over to her DonorsChoose page to make your donation. Be sure to use the code LIFTOFF at checkout to double your donation (up to $50)!

Winter Hiking Equipment Fundraiser

Click this link to visit the project page & donate today!

THANK YOU, Posada Grill!

A HUGE thank you to Posada Grill for sponsoring our Parents' Night. Out event on Dec. 3! Thanks to generous support from businesses like Posada Grill, we're able to offer Parents Night Out for FREE!

Caregivers, please consider stopping at Posada Grill for a bite to eat while your children hang-out with us for Parents Night Out (and be sure to thank them for being a sponsor)!

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In the News

In case you missed our announcement last week, click on the links below to our new principal announcement at MTRS!
MTRS taps Smith Academy head as new prinicipal

Click here to read the Recorder article.

WWLP Coverage / Buckland named new MTRS principal

Click here to read the WWLP coverage.


School Spotlight: Hawlemont Regional

(Top photo): Hawlemont fifth graders working on weaving with community volunteer Sue Gruen. (Bottom photo): PreK students use their engineering skills to try to make the see-saw move and lift their friend!
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School Spotlight: Colrain Central

In case you missed it - the NORTH RIVER NEWS is back! Our budding student journalists debuted their latest issue on Nov. 12, complete with mini biographies of "people who have made a difference." Be sure to check it out here:
North River News - 11/12/21

Click here to read the CCS North River News

Service learning reflection . . .

Did you know that reflection and celebration are key elements of service learning? Earlier this month, Colrain Central third graders celebrated what they've learned about helping pollinators and created projects to reflect on their learning.

GREAT job, third graders with your important work in helping to make your community a wonderful place!

students sitting at desks and wearing face masks, working with clay projects

Community Corner: Youth Basketball - Hilltown League

Sanderson team - contact Greg Lilly at
BSE team contact Fred Redeker at
Colrain team - contact Toby Bassett at
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!