Weekly Newsletter

September 22, 2022

News from Principal Emma Liebowitz

Staff and students created their Hopes and Dreams. A binder with all our Hopes and Dreams is in the foyer. From these Hopes and Dreams, students created rules in their classrooms. Today student representatives gathered to create our school-wide rules. We will share these rules in our next newsletter.

News from the School Office

Reminder picture day is Wednesday September 28th. Remember to bring in your order form if you wish to purchase your pictures. If you place an order online, there is no need to return the form to school.

PTO News

Sanderson Academy is proud to present our 14th annual LOCAL GOODS 2022 fundraiser. Many hands went into making this wonderful catalog which offers locally crafted gifts and products.We hope you shop from this catalog and enjoy the items that our local area has to offer. Not only does a portion of the proceeds from every product go back to Sanderson Academy, all of the dollars spent will stay in our community and support our local artists, farmers, and business owners. We know from seasons past that the wonderful community support for The Local Goods Catalog has the potential to bring incredible vibrancy and programming to Sanderson Academy.


Thank you,

The Sanderson Academy Local Goods Fundraising Committee

Local Goods flyer

Can You Help at the Ashfield Fall Festival?

Please follow this LINK if you can volunteer some time at the Walking Taco booth at the Ashfield Fall Festival.

Events/Calendar

Wednesday, September 28: PICTURE DAY

Wednesday, September 28: 1:50 Dismissal

Friday, September 30: Third grade to Mt Greylock

Monday, October 3: Local Education Council meeting at 3:30

Wednesday, October 5: 1:50 Dismissal

Friday, October 7: Mountain Day

Monday, October 10: No School

Tuesday, October 11: Building Evacuation Drill

Wednesday, October 19: 1:50 Dismissal

Thursday, October 20: Bus Evacuation Drill

Wednesday, October 26: 1:50 Dismissal

Monday, October 31: Sugar Rush at 10:00


Monday, October 31: Costume Parade at 2:00


Link to Sanderson Academy calendar.

Health Office News from Nurse Loranna

Please know that we are unable to do covid testing at school this year unless a student can independently test themselves. Please continue to reach out if your child is ill or if they have mild symptoms and are tested at home; so we can keep our school as healthy as possible! Also, please let me know if you are in need of a test kit. Thank you!!


In other health news- starting this week I will begin my Mandated State Screenings for hearing, vision, and height/weight. I will be starting in Kindergarten then moving on to Preschool. I quite enjoy the 1-1 time with our student’s and often they are quite excited to come see how they are growing, get a sticker and have a sweet moment with Nurse Loranna! I always do screenings individually to respect their privacy and keep it a positive and fun time to look at their growth and check their eyes and ears. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions at all, or if you have any concerns about your child’s vision, hearing or growth :)

Preschool News from Ms. Freeman

On Friday, Preschoolers shared their thoughts and ideas about classroom rules. Many talked about the things we should not do including, not eating candy at school, not leaving toys out, and not hurting anyone. With help and guidance, we continued our discussion and talked about things we can do. We decided our rules should include the following: Be healthy, be safe, and take care. We will take care of our classroom, our school, each other, and ourselves.


This week we recognized Peace Day. Ms. Sue read, I AM PEACE, by Susan Verde, during Mindful Movement and helped us with yoga poses throughout the book. We also created several pieces of art incorporating a peace symbol. The photos below show some preschoolers decorating their peace sign.

Preschool News from Ms. Melanie

We had an opportunity to return to the wild apple tree in back of the school–this time with our third-grade buddies. The same tree that gave us the wonderful apples for our apple dolls, gave us even more. We shook the tree again and collected a whole basket of beautiful apples–what a generous tree! While one half of the group gathered with the wild apples, the other half gathered the big, beautiful apples from the apple tree in the garden–a lovely harvest. We carried all the apples inside and worked with our buddies, chopping the apples into small chunks for a yummy apple cake! Keeping with the apple theme of that morning, we also did a fun craft project–cutting out red, yellow, or green apples from construction paper and adding seeds–they came out beautifully!


In our indoor classroom, our apple dolls are drying perfectly, they seem to change each day as they shrink and dry. Next week, we will begin working on their costumes and soon they will be ready to display.

Kindergarten News from Ms. Sarah

In preparation for launching our phonics program, we learned about how writing was invented: People long ago could talk, but didn’t have writing. They wanted to be able to save what people said so they tried making a picture for every word. But there were too many words! Then they realized that our talking (in English) is made out of just 42-44 sounds. So they made pictures for the sounds instead. These pictures are called letters.


We also learned about words and sentences: Words are names for things and are written by putting together the letter pictures to show the sounds in the word. Sentences are complete thoughts and are written by words put together with a space between each word.


We introduced our writing boards with lines to help us when we are forming the letters to be tall, short, or with a tail. And we introduced our first sound /t/, in the beginning of the word “top”, spelled with the letter T, and also practiced writing the lowercase t.

First Grade News from Ms. Wyckoff

Our first module of our new ELA curriculum focuses on tools, what tools are used for and how they help us. We have now learned about cooking tools, math tools and science tools. One of our challenges this week was to see what science tool would work the best when dropping plastic beads into a cup. Children explored using a magnifying glass, eye dropper and tweezers. Before beginning the challenge children talked about their predictions about which tool would work best by using the “think-pair-share” protocol. First, children think of their ideas, share with a classmate then we share as a group. Children enjoyed exploring the materials and finding ways to make the different tools work. In the end most children felt the tweezers were the best tool for the job.

Second Grade News from Ms. Robertson

We started this week off by brainstorming rules for our classroom. We want to help everyone to do their best learning and to be successful, so we thought of rules that would foster a respectful, kind, and safe environment for all. We then took our rules and sorted them under the following headings:

  • Treating ourselves with care and respect

  • Treating others with care and respect

  • Treating our classroom with care and respect

The next step will be for our two class representatives to share our rules with the representatives from the other grades when they meet with Ms. Liebowitz on Friday to create schoolwide rules.


Our rules brainstorm tied in nicely with our literacy lessons as this week as we were introduced to the class discussion norms of “Listen with Care” and “Speak One at a Time”. These norms were shortened from the following learning targets:

  • I can listen with care when I participate in conversations with my classmates.

  • I will speak one at a time when participating in conversations with my classmates.


We practiced these learning targets as we read aloud the story What Does School Mean to You?, where students and teachers from around the United States shared their ideas of what school is and why school is important. As the thoughts of these students and teachers were shared, we stopped periodically to “Think, Pair, Share” with our partner what we had learned.


To begin our new math module, we made our own number racks. This math tool was then used in an activity called “Flash Attack”, where students were given a couple of moments to look at a number rack to figure out how many beads were being shown. The objective of this activity was to observe a given number of objects and to look for groups of 5 or 10 within that amount without having to count. For example, the number rack below shows 15 beads on the left side. Students may see 15 as one group of 10 and 5 extra (15=10+5) or they may see 15 as three groups of 5 (15=5+5+5). Being able to recognize a small group of objects without having to count each object is a skill known as subitizing and this skill is important to number sense development.

Number rack

Third Grade News from Ms. Carole

This week we started working on typing skills by using the Typing Club program. This is a program that can be used both at home and at school. Login information was sent home on Wednesday, and third graders can feel free to work on their typing skills on any device that has a keyboard and is attached to the internet. It is important to learn to type without looking at the keyboard, so if your child is doing it at home, please try to reinforce that concept.


We have also been working on cursive writing. So far students have learned the lowercase letters c, a, and d. They are showing tremendous effort and eagerness to learn this new way of writing familiar letters.


Next week we are looking forward to our first field trip to Mt. Greylock. As it is the highest point in Massachusetts, we are hoping for a day with clear skies and a beautiful view. Please make sure your child arrives at school on time on that day so as to not delay our departure. Permission slips are going home today and need to be returned by Monday.


Third graders also got to pick apples with their buddies this week. After that, we chopped them up and turned them into apple cake, which we shared with our buddies on the next day. Both classes found it delicious! We also did a fun apple craft project. Soon we will turn our remaining apples into applesauce as well!

Big picture
Big picture

Fourth Grade News from Ms. Lagoy

Our first unit in mathematics reviews mathematical concepts from third grade while introducing and establishing routines that will be used in fourth grade. I will be using this time to assess students’ skill level and plan future lessons based on this important review. Students will deepen their experiences with multiplication and division by investigating multiplicative comparisons, writing expressions to represent multiplication situations, and solving contextual problems. Another element that is new to fourth grade is an investigation of factors, multiples, and prime and composite numbers. Be sure to ask your kiddo about prime and composite numbers. They should be able to share two fun strategies that we use to distinguish between these new vocabulary words.

Fifth Grade News from Ms. Johnson

Fifth grade has been working on having a growth mindset in math. We have been watching YouCubed videos and doing tasks to go along with them. We have been finding out about how our brains learn and how having a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset makes a big difference. One aspect of a video we recently watched was about tips for solving math problems. They are 1- Draw it first, 2- Teamwork, 3- Experiment, 4- Look for different resources, 5- Start with a smaller case, and 6- Look for patterns. We will refer to these tips throughout the year. YouCubed resources are at www.youcubed.org. We have been using the Tasks dropdown menu on the homepage.

Sixth Grade News from Ms.Lilly

Last week we got a chance to meet with our kindergarten buddies for the first time! We had so much fun helping them make coffee filter butterflies and learning everyones’ names. We have also been working on our first science unit about our place in the universe. We went outside to recreate a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse and it took a little trial and error to find the right angles, but we did it!

News from Ms. Prew

Please join me at the next Local Education Council meeting to discuss the Title I Mathematics program here at Sanderson! I will offer updates for the 2022-2023 school year and also ask for your ideas on ways to improve our program. Additionally, we will review the Family/Caregiver Engagement Protocol to ensure we are providing the best support for our amazing students. For information on how to join, check out the meeting link below. I hope to see you there! aprew@mtrsd.org :)


LEC Mtg - Sanderson

Monday, October 3 · 3:30 – 4:30pm

Google Meet joining info/video call link: https://meet.google.com/qwf-dvfo-rtr

Or dial: ‪(US) +1 502-473-9571‬ PIN: ‪180 418 366‬#

Mindful Movement News from Ms. Sue

It is International Peace Day Wednesday, September 21st, and in Mindful Movement this week, the upper grades took peaceful, mindful walks on the Sanderson Trails and then created life sized peace symbols and lower grades created peace signs using paper plates and tracing their hands. All classes did a yoga sequence to promote peace within ourselves and those around us.

Speech and Language from Trish Aurigemma

Welcome back everyone! I hope you all had a restful summer and were able to enjoy the wonderful weather. This summer I enjoyed visiting family, my very first mission trip to Camden, New Jersey, and traveling to Savannah, Georgia with my friend.


This school year, I will introduce a segment called “Did you know…”? The topics will vary from one month to the next and cover a wide variety of issues that concern child development, health and safety. I hope you find them enjoyable and informative. Please let me you know if you have any questions. You can contact me at contact me by email at paurigemma@mtrsd.org or by phone at (413)628-4404 ext.222.


“Did you know… “


That it takes 50 pairs of muscles and many nerves work to receive food into the mouth, prepare it, and move it from the mouth to the stomach.


There 3 stages to swallow:

  1. Oral phase- the tongue collects the food and helps the food get ready for swallowing. This is seen when we chew food and sip fluid.

  2. Phyarngeal Phase- the tongue pushes the food or liquid to the back of the mouth. During this phase, the larynx (voice box) closes tightly and breathing stops to prevent food or liquid from entering the airway and lungs.

  3. Esophageal phase- This stage begins when food or liquid enters the esophagus, the tube that carries food and liquid to the stomach. This usually occurs in about three seconds, depending on the texture or consistency of the food.


Knowing this information is important to prevent choking. Here are a few ways to prevent choking at home and school.

We can all help to prevent choking by following these precautionary measures:

  • Cut food into small pieces.

  • Chew food slowly and thoroughly.

  • Avoid laughing and talking while chewing and swallowing.

  • Keep small items such as, marbles, beads, thumbtacks, latex balloons, coins, and other small toys and objects out of reach, particularly in children younger than 4 years old.

  • Prevent children from walking, running, or playing when they have food and toys in their mouth.

Music News from Mr. Ben Green

Hi all, Please enjoy these pictures of 2nd grade jamming out on our wonderful buckets donated by Mary Holloway.


Second graders drumming on buckets
Second graders drumming on buckets

Community News:

Vaccine flyer
Heath Fair Library Open House Information