MTRS Athletics Newsletter 9/20/21
MTRS Community and Sports Fans!
MTRS Athletics is off to a fast start as we enter week three of the Fall Sports Season!
Inside this weeks Newsletter:
*Upcoming Home Schedule
*Update on Pool Testing for Athletics
*Sport by Sport Updates
*MTRS Athletics Community Group Update
As always if you have any suggestions/submissions for a future newsletter, including pictures, please don't hesitate to reach out.
Greg Vouros, MTRS Athletic Director
HOME GAMES THIS WEEK
Field Hockey vs Mahar - 3:30 PM
Middle School Soccer vs Mahar - 3:30 PM
Golf vs Pathfinder @ Edge Hill Golf Course - 3:00 PM
Varsity Soccer vs Franklin Tech - 4:00
Volleyball Triple Header vs Greenfield MS/JV/Varsity - 3:30/4:30/5:30
Varsity Football - Greenfield vs Frontier - 7:00 PM - Veterans Field @ Greenfield HS
***Pool Testing For Athletics***
Superintendent Stanton shared with our Mohawk Trail school committee a proposed update to our district’s COVID-19 mitigation strategies which was discussed and approved at the school committee meeting on Sept. 7.
After discussing with our Nurse Leader Donna Weber, FRCOG health agent Randy Crochier, and COVID-19 School Planning Task Force at length, pool testing has been added as an additional mitigation strategy to continue to help keep our school community healthy and safe during this pandemic. Thanks to our entire community’s efforts to follow mitigation strategies, including our FAB FIVE (vaccination; wearing masks; frequent hand-washing; physical distancing; and staying home when unwell) throughout the pandemic, COVID-19 caseloads in Franklin County remain low. ALL information can be found on the district’s COVID-19 Information page at www.mtrsd.org/covid-19-information OR by clicking on the “Helpful Links” drop-down from any of the school websites.
Abbott-BinaxNOW and Surveillance “Pool” Testing Program
With the arrival of the more highly contagious Delta variant, the Mohawk Trail Regional School District’s position on pool testing has changed since last spring. This is due to the significant increase in transmissibility of the Delta variant, as well as the likelihood of vaccinated individuals being asymptomatic should they get COVID-19. In order to keep our school community healthy and safe, the COVID-19 School Planning Task Force and Administration determined pool testing would be another mitigation strategy to complement the FAB FIVE: vaccination; mask wearing; washing hands frequently; physical distancing; and staying home when unwell. MTRSD has been accepted into the state’s COVID-19 testing program including BinaxNOW and weekly surveillance “pool” testing program. The program is funded by the state at no cost to the District.
The testing program will begin in late September once the District receives all necessary supplies. To implement the testing program, the following protocols were discussed and approved by the Mohawk Trail School Committee on September 8, 2021. Under the pool testing program:
Any MTRSD student or staff member may voluntarily elect to be tested weekly for COVID-19 using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) pooled testing procedures outlined below. A PCR test is a diagnostic test that determines if you are infected with COVID-19 by analyzing a sample to see if it contains genetic material from the virus.
Any MTRSD student or adult involved with district before- and after school programs, athletics, or extracurricular programming will be required to participate in the weekly testing program.
Pool testing will be administered in school buildings. Under the surveillance pool testing protocol, MTRSD school nurses will administer the tests, which involve collecting anterior (shallow) nasal swab samples from a group (or “pool”) of 6-10 individuals. These samples will be combined and sent to Cambridge Innovations Center Health (CIC), a Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) contractor, to conduct the lab analysis. The PCR test results will be available for review by the District Nurse Leader within 24-48 hours.
The Results: What Happens Next?
If a pooled sample generates a positive result, each individual in the pool will have a second anterior nasal swab and a BinaxNOW test performed at the school.
– If results from the second individual test are negative, the individual will continue to attend class or regular duties without any limitations.
– If results from the second test are positive and the individual is a student, the student’s caregiver will be notified of the need for immediate pick-up.
– If results from the second test are positive and the individual is a member of our district staff, the employee will be notified immediately and asked to leave the school building.
**The District Nurse Leader/COVID-19 nurse and/or the local Board of Health will contact the caregiver/individual to review isolation requirements for the positive person per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), and DESE policies.**
When a positive case is identified, contact tracing begins immediately to determine those deemed a “close contact.” Close contacts are defined as individuals who have been within six-feet of a COVID-19 positive person while indoors for a cumulative of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
All close contacts who were exposed within the school community (at school, on a bus, etc.) are able to participate in the “TEST and STAY” protocols.
What is “Test and Stay?”
The Test and Stay program allows those who are identified as a “close contact” and exposed within the school community (students, staff, coaches) to test immediately for COVID-19 using the BinaxNOW antigen test. Testing is conducted by the school nurse upon their arrival at school each day for one week (7 consecutive days). BinaxNOW test results are available within 15 minutes.
If the person deemed as a close contact remains asymptomatic and continues to test negative daily, they may continue performing and participating in regular school activities. This allows for a safe way to monitor close contacts and increase time in the classroom.
If you have any questions surrounding the process, procedure, or need additional information, please reach out to our district Nurse Leader Donna Weber at email@example.com or Superintendent Sheryl Stanton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TO SIGN UP ONLINE: https://www.cic-health.com/consent/ma?district
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.
This link will direct you to the online signup page. Please see instructions above
Click here to visit the district's COVID-19 information page which includes the district's data dashboard; links to the virtual town hall presentation materials and video broadcast; and more!
This Tuesday 9/21 the teams will travel to Monson High School for a Tri-Meet with Monson and Pope Francis!
A busy week ahead includes games versus league rivals Mahar, Smith Academy, and Westfield
Come check out Thursday's game vs Franklin Tech - 4:00 PM at the MTRS Stadium!
The team will look to continue its early season success with a four-match week on tap!
Middle School Football
Athletics Community Feedback Group
The MTRS Athletics Community Feedback Group met on Thursday September 16.
The group is undertaking a number of projects including helping to connect our MTRS athletes with our elementary schools in the district. In an effort to showcase MTRS Athletics and make a connection to future students, plans include an upcoming visit to Buckland-Shelburne Elementary by MTRS Athletics Community Group members and volleyball athletes Octavia Crawford and Elly Patnode! More details to come on this visit/program that we will continue to build and expand throughout the district.
The group is also in the process of conducting a facilities assessment and looking at making smaller, more immediate improvements to help bolster the athletics experience both inside and outside of the building. We have already initiated this process and small but noticeable improvements have already been made this fall as a result of our community group discussions.
In the coming months, the group will reach out to the wider school community for feedback, as we continue to help bolster our athletic programs, by upgrading fields/courts/facilities.
We also welcomed MTRS Senior Athlete Mya Lesieur to our meeting last Thursday in an effort to further her upcoming Senior Capstone Project! Mya contributed to a discussion about sports participation numbers/trends at MTRS and we will work together to present data throughout this school year.
In addition, the Athletics Community Feedback Group has worked together to create a student-athlete survey to be utilized at the end of each sports season. This important survey will be sent electronically and will help each student-athlete share critical feedback about their athletics experiences this Fall.
Nick Brown - Boys Varsity Soccer Coach, Alumni
Octavia Crawford - Student, Athlete
Kristin Howard - Parent
Tina Miller - Parent and Youth Sports Contact (Soccer, Baseball)
Elly Patnode - Student, Athlete
Angela Schatz - MTRS Teacher, Parent, and Alumni
Mandi Summers - Booster club Executive Board Member, Parent
Jess Thompson - Parent
Greg Vouros - MTRS Athletic Director
ARBITER SPORTS & ARBITER LIVE
Please reach out to MTRS Coaches or AD Vouros with any questions!
Coach's Corner - The 2021 MTRS Fall Coaching Staff
Head Coach: Joe Chadwick
Assistant Coach: Mark Rabasco
Head Coach: Ashley Walker
Middle School Football
Head Coach: Doug McCloud
Head Coach: Lewis Goodnow
Head Coach: Nick Brown
Assistant Coach: Tom Massa
Assistant Coach: Oscar Cassin
Varsity - Sherri Lannon
JV - Katelyn Gaffigan
Middle School - Kendra Canaday
MTRS Athetics Core Values
At Mohawk Trail Regional, our athletes, coaches, and fans are:
These six key qualities are the pillars of our athletics program and something we're especially proud of at MTRS.
DID YOU KNOW . . .
Functional Fitness Workouts at MTRS!
All MTRS Students, Athletes, and Staff are encouraged to attend!
For more info please reach out to Coach Boucias, Coach Loomis, and AD Vouros