Superintendent Weekly Update

January 29, 2021

Dear Mohawk Trail & Hawlemont Families,

This week we welcomed MTRS hybrid students in Grades 3-6 and MTRS students back into our buildings! We officially have two weeks of hybrid learning underway in the MTRSD! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR EXTRA EFFORTS IN MAKING BOTH REMOTE LEARNING AND HYBRID LEARNING WORK! These are such challenging times and we have all done amazing things to make sure our students have the best possible experience as we live through this global pandemic. At no other times do the values of community and courage mean more than today.

In the Hawlemont Regional School District, we continue to work with our FRCOG health agent and District Nurse Leader to address concerns regarding protocols and procedures specific to COVID-19 notifications. Stay tuned for more information in the week to come. The next HRSD school committee meeting will be held on Monday, Feb. 1 at 4:30 p.m.

And with that... here's what's happening this week:

* FY22 Budget Season

* Strategic Planning

* COVID-19 Info Page & Resources

* School Events & Happenings

* School Spotlight

* MTRS 7th Grade STEM

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FY22 Budget Season

Governor Baker's budget was released just this week on Jan. 27, pushing our typical budget preparation timeline back a few weeks. We are in the last stages of finalizing the entire budget for presentation to the budget subcommittees, school committees, and public hearing. Stay tuned for dates and times!

MTRSD Strategic Planning

Last month, I shared we kicked-off our district's strategic planning process (in case you missed it, you can read the press release here). Preliminary planning work, or Phase One (Discovery), continues with the district leadership team and our next steps involve community feedback and engagement. A survey will be shared with our community by our strategic planning consultant, TMS, by mid-February. Stay tuned to your email; our social media outlets; and websites for a link to the survey once it has been released.

This survey will be followed by the creation of community stakeholder groups who will provide us with critical feedback needed to identify long-term district goals; our action steps; outline the resources needed; and identify benchmarks to measure our success.

We anticipate Phase One will run through mid-February with Phase Two (Identification) to kick-off during the last week of February. My goal is to be in Phase Three (Action & Accountability) by the end of March/early April have a completed strategic plan developed by spring so we can begin implementation.

We're looking forward to working together in this process and hearing your feedback and visions for our district!

COVID-19 Info Page & Resources

Each week our COVID-19 information page ( is updated with the latest state, county, and district data (our data dashboard) as well as with links to important state and local resources. Want to learn more about the timeline for the state's COVID-19 vaccine roll-out? Interested in volunteering to help at vaccine sites? Visit our webpage for all the info you need!

Practice the FAB FOUR & Keep Our COVID-19 Numbers DOWN!

Remember to continue to practice the FAB FOUR--wear your mask; wash your hands; practice physical distancing; and stay home when you are unwell--to help keep our communities SAFE!

School Events & Happenings

Elementary families: it's REPORT CARD time! Please keep a look-out during the first week of February for your student's report card. For additional details relevant to your school, be sure to check your school's newsletter.

MTRS families: Term 1 grades are now available to view in Aspen (as of Jan. 25).

Food Services / Lunch Program:

As a reminder to our families, ALL school lunches are free to all children ages 18 years old and younger for the academic school year (through June 30, 2021). Please check with your individual school for lunch menus and pick-up times.

Please note, families who use the Mohawk Trail Regional School (MTRS site) drive-through lunch pick-up program--the pick-up time has shifted and is now held 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. All other program pick-up times remain the same.

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School Spotlight: Colrain Central

Students at Colrain Central have been having some good ole' fashioned fun and exploration in the snow! We love seeing our students learning and having fun together again. Be sure to head over to the school's Facebook page to see what students are up to this week!

MTRS 7th Grade STEM

Mohawk Trail Regional School 7th Grade STEM students recently finished creating National Parks projects (complete with models, videos, posters, websites and multimedia presentations) and are now participating in the Fluor Engineering Challenge--a paper tower competition where students enter for a chance to win $1000 for their school or local charity. The goal? Build a tower as tall as possible with only paper and tape and balance a can of food on it for 60 seconds. The fewer sheets of paper used and the taller the tower is, the higher their score. To learn more about the challenge, visit: Below are examples of tower submissions and a recently completed National Parks project.

Hawlemont Regional School HAY Program

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In-person Hawlemont students conduct water testing in their fish tank. As part of the HAY program, students are raising trout (for the second year!) which will be released in the Hawk Brook and Mill Brook this spring.

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