Student & Family Update
April 29, 2022
November 18th 2022
Good afternoon everyone,
It is amazing to think that we are almost at Thanksgiving already - time really flies when you are busy!
Before you read on to see what has been going on at MTRS, please be reminded that Wednesday 23rd is an 11:30am dismissal and that the schedule can be found below.
Please also note that an automated call goes out at 10:30am to the families of students who have not been marked present in advisory at 7:41. Thank you in advance for supporting your child to arrive at school on time, be in the appropriate class at this time and sign in late with Ms Kathy if they arrive after 7:41am.
Students and staff have been asked to complete a feedback survey on their experiences in Q1. I will ask for care provider feedback on the year so far at the end of Q2/ S1. Summative results will be shared with students, staff and the school committee at upcoming school committee meetings. Thank you in advance for your feedback!
Finally, in the effort to support students being in class as much as possible, students are asked not to go to the bathroom during the first 10 minutes or last 10 minutes of class - when key instruction and clarification of the lesson concepts and skills take place. Bathroom breaks are fine thereafter with a teacher issued pass. Thank you for helping support us with this.
Wishing you a safe upcoming break
Important Dates to Remember
November 23rd - 11:30 dismissal
November 24th & 25th - Thanksgiving Holiday (No school)
December 9th and 10th - Winter Play: 7:30pm both days
December 15th - Photo retakes (This is a change from the November date previously shared)
December 21st - MTRS Winter Concert: 7pm
December 23rd - 11:30am dismissal for Winter Break
January 3rd (Tuesday) - First day of school after the Winter Break
RSV, Flu and COVID
The Commonwealth, the Northeast and much of the US are seeing increases in respiratory illness in infants and children. Some of these infants and children are requiring hospitalization for support with breathing and hydration. Emergency departments and other acute care health facilities have been managing significant increases in the number of patients requiring care.
Most of these illnesses are caused by respiratory viral infections, including common seasonal viruses like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), rhinovirus and enterovirus, and influenza. Infants and children may be particularly susceptible to seasonal respiratory viral infections during the 2022-2023 fall and winter because they have had limited previous exposure to these respiratory viruses. We anticipate that there could be more respiratory illnesses as RSV continues to spread and influenza season ramps up.
The Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics want to remind parents and families about steps to take to prevent illness and stay healthy this season:
Vaccinate your children ages 6 months and older against influenza as soon as possible.
Vaccinate your children ages 6 months and older against COVID-19; children 5 and older who had their primary series more than 2 months ago should receive an updated COVID-19 booster as soon as possible.
Remember, you can get a COVID-19 vaccine and flu shot at the same time.
If your infant has been offered treatment with protective antibodies due to their prematurity or another condition, keep on schedule with their monthly treatments.
Practice hand hygiene frequently with soap and water or hand sanitizer. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, or if a tissue is not available, cover them with an elbow, not a hand.
Clean high touch surfaces in your home frequently with household disinfectants.
Keep children home from daycare or school who have fever, especially with a cough, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, congestion, runny nose, or sore throat, until they are fever-free for 24 hours without medications that reduce fever.
Avoid social gatherings if you or your children are ill.
Contact your pediatrician or healthcare provider if you believe your child needs medical care. Your provider can offer advice on whether your child needs to be evaluated in person, tested for COVID or flu, and the best location (doctor’s office, urgent care, emergency room) for care.
Thank you for doing all you can to keep you and your family healthy during this fall and winter season.
Dr. Estevan Garcia, Chief Medical Officer
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Our Equity Council is hitting the road!
Monty’s March: Nov 22nd
Please help the students and teachers of the MTRS Equity Council raise money for the Food Bank of Western MA! We'll be marching the last leg of the two day route with Monty and his team and our goal is to raise two thousands dollars to support our local community. Please donate by scanning the QR code or clicking this link. Thank you for helping us make sure that all of our students and their families have the food they need to learn and grow!
Community First Leaders at MTRS
Project 351 is a youth service nonprofit organization that develops a rising generation of “community-first” leaders. We wish to create extraordinary change by entrusting the hearts, hands, and minds of unsung heroes and quiet leaders.
One 8th grade student from each of the 351 towns is nominated to be an Ambassador. This year’s Ambassadors are:
EL Education and Wit & Wisdom
The district Literacy Leadership Team is excited to share more about our newly adopted literacy curriculums, EL Education and Wit & Wisdom:
The EL Education curriculum is in place in K-6 classrooms across our districts. EL Education believes student success is based on mastery of knowledge and skills, character, and high-quality work. Some of the underlying principles of the program include equity for all learners, communication, collaboration and respect, student engagement, and student ownership of their work. In K-2 the emphasis is on oral language development. Students are engaged in daily read-alouds, songs, and poems. In Grades 3-5 students are working on reading complex text, writing, and exploring real-world issues. Sixth graders will be exposed to current topics and texts that encourage students to contribute to a better world, putting their learning to use as active citizens working for social justice, environmental stewardship, and healthy, equitable communities.
In middle school, for 7th and 8th grades, we are using the ELA curriculum from Wit & Wisdom, which has strong literary choices, art integration, and, of course, a focus on deep reading and writing skills. We have also implemented a WIN (What I Need) literacy period two days a week where students are grouped based on their reading comprehension needs (as determined by assessments performed three times per year). This period is focused on increasing reading comprehension for all students from most beginning to the most advanced.
To support strong curriculum implementation, and to monitor student progress, our teachers work in teams to learn about the curriculums, reading instruction and their students. Teachers engage in professional development from curriculum specialists, Hill for Literacy consultants, and our district Literacy coach. We have district-wide data meetings five times per year to focus on student outcomes. Instructional leadership teams in each school use learning walks to observe classroom instruction and identify areas for instructional improvement and celebration.
In the coming months we will be looking for your feedback about the communication you’ve received about the literacy work in the district. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher or principal if you have any questions about the new curriculum or literacy learning, in general.
Do you have photos from Homecoming that you would like to add to the Yearbook?
Light up the Fairgrounds
Help create and make a display installation at the light up the fairgrounds in Greenfield. Commit to a few days after school to design and build the display. If you want to help Friday during activity time meet in Ms Silverman's room. Snacks will be provided!
We need volunteers to help with our fall/winter performances. Can YOU help?
We are very excited to have a fall/ winter performance here at MTRS!
We are in need of volunteers to make this and all performances successful.
We will need-
Snack bar volunteers ( and donations for this if possible)
Clean up after performances
And maybe a few forgotten things!
None of these volunteer positions will keep you from watching full performances.
Please pitch in to help the cast and crew. Contact Miss Eva at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information . Thank you!
Tiered Focused Monitoring Review
During the week of December 13, 2022, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Office of Public School Monitoring (PSM) will conduct a Tiered Focused Monitoring Review of Mohawk Trail and Hawlemont Regional School Districts. The Office of Public School Monitoring visits each district and charter school every three years to monitor compliance with federal and state special education and civil rights regulations. Areas of review related to special education include student assessments, determination of eligibility, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team process, and IEP development and implementation. Areas of review related to civil rights include bullying, student discipline, physical restraint, and equal access to school programs for all students.
In addition to the onsite visit, parent outreach is an important part of the review process. The review chairperson from the Office of Public School Monitoring will send all parents of students with disabilities an online survey that focuses on key areas of their child’s special education program. Survey results will contribute to the development of a report. During the onsite review, the Office of Public School Monitoring will interview the chairperson(s) of the district’s Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC). Other onsite activities may include interviews of district staff and administrators, reviews of student records, and onsite observations.
Parents and other individuals may call Marc Oldenburg, Public School Monitoring Chairperson, at 413-314-6703 to request a telephone interview. If an individual requires an accommodation, such as translation, to participate in an interview, the Department will make the necessary arrangements.
Within approximately 60 business days after the onsite visit, the review chairperson will provide the (district or charter school) with a report with information about areas in which the (district or charter school) meets or exceeds regulatory requirements and areas in which the (district or charter school) requires assistance to correct or improve practices. The public will be able to access the report at http://www.doe.mass.edu/psm/tfm/reports/.
Bus Drivers urgently needed!
Serve Safe Certificate?
Course at MTRS on 15th & 16th November
Are you interested in becoming servsafe manager certified? We are offering a course here Nov. 15th & 16th for anyone that is interested. See the flyer below and email email@example.com to enroll today.
Snow Club is back this year. Students who are new to snowboarding and skiing can get access to Berkshire East by signing up for this club. Check out the flyer below for more information.
Do you have an elementary or middle school student interested in learning Spanish? Check out this after school class offered at the Ashfield Library and is open to all interested students. NOTE This is not a school sponsored event.
Alia Woofenden "Mrs. Woof"
Liaison for Community Engagement and Enrichment Programs
Mohawk Trail Regional School District
24 Ashfield Road, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370
How can you get involved in MTRS?
We want to hear your voice!
Local Education Council (LEC)
This meets virtually every second Wednesday of the month between 3:45 and 4:30pm. More information can be found here
The virtual joining information is as follows:
PIN: 741 012 215#
Outdoor Advisory Committee (OAC)
This meets every second Wednesday of the month between 5 and 6pm. In the winter we will be virtual. In the Spring and Fall we will be in-person.
Outdoor Advisory Committee- Virtual
Wednesday, December 14th · 5:00 – 6:00pm
Google Meet joining info
Video call link: https://meet.google.com/ysh-dgqv-jvz
Or dial: (US) +1 470-210-0524 PIN: 190 585 623#
Please explore the OAC page on the website and have a look at the list of initial projects we gathered from surveying students, staff and community as well as OAC priorities created from this initial list.
As was the case last year, I will hold regular virtual office hours. You don’t need an appointment to come and talk with me and share your thoughts on what goes on at MTRS. I will try to be available for the whole 60 minutes but can't always guarantee it at our busy school.
Second Friday of each month: 8:00 to 9:00 a.m.
Meeting ID: meet.google.com/jtz-yhet-ipo
Phone Number: (US)+1 (813) 773-5581
PIN: 636 883 303
Third Friday of each month: 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Meeting ID: meet.google.com/sru-mshz-rht
Phone Number: (US)+1 (218) 301-2866
PIN: 136 064 523
The Athletic Department has A LOT going on in the next couple of weeks!
First and foremost, we are starting to run out of time to get our athletes registered for winter sports! If you have not completed this process yet, please CLICK HERE to get your student signed up! Please remember that your student must have a recent physical (last 13 months) in order to begin practices on November 28th! If you have any questions regarding this process, don’t hesitate to reach out to District Athletic Director Greg Lilly!
On Saturday, November 26th, the Mohawk Trail Athletic Department, in collaboration with the Mohawk Trail Athletic Association, will be hosting the 1ST ANNUAL MOHAWK TRAIL ALUMNI CELEBRATION! The event will feature two alumni basketball games, food, raffles, and a ceremony honoring the Mohawk Trail Class of 1978! In addition, we will be selling off vintage Mohawk Trail uniforms that are no longer in use! All proceeds directly benefit your Mohawk Trail Athletes! We are looking for both adult and student volunteers to help out with the festivities. Please contact Greg Lilly or Jenn Pease if you are interested in lending a hand!
Special Education Updates
Mohawk Trail SEPAC Member and Parent
Do you have a question about your child, their services, or resources specific to your needs? If you or someone you know would like to be added to the private list and receive emails and event notifications, please send an email to: MOHAWKSEPAC@gmail.com Please indicate your email, title (such as parent of a student with IEP/504), District, Interested Party or other)
Disclosure: SEPAC maintains the list of contacts and keeps the information private. This email is maintained by a parent and volunteer. Our goal is to respond in a timely manner. We will get back to you as soon as we can. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.
MTRSD Director of Communications