Weekly Newsletter

May 4, 2023

News from Principal Emma Liebowitz

Your child(ren) may share when we have safety drills at school. On Tuesday, we had local and state police practice a lockdown drill during two of our lunches. Here is a list of other safety events that have occured in the 2022-2023 school year.

Fire Drill - 9/1 @ 10:30

Hold All Movement Drill - 9/12 @ 2:45

Safety Meeting - 9/13 @ 9:30

Epi Pen Training - 9/21 @ 2:20

Building Evacuation Drill - 10/11 @ 9:45

Bus Evacuation Drill - 10/20 @ 8:30

Safety Meeting - 10/25 @ 9:30

Fire Drill - 10/28 @ 9:30

Lock-Down Drill - 11/21 @ 2:10 (Ashfield EMS)

Safety Meeting - 11/22 @ 9:30

Lock-Down Drill - 11/29 @ 10:15 (State and Local)

Fire Drill - 12/1 @ 9:30

Lock-Down Drill - 1/9 at 1:30 (State and Local)

Safety Meeting - 1/10 at 9:30

Fire Drill - 3/3 at 9:30

Safety Meeting - 3/21 at 9:30

EMS Walkthrough - 4/3 at 10:00

Safety Meeting - 4/4 at 9:30

Fire Drill - 4/12 at 9:15

Lock-Down Drill - 5/2 at 12:25 (State and Local)

Bus Evacuation Drill - 5/12

Safety Meeting - 5/23

Pet Supply Drive

The fourth grade at Sanderson Academy, in coordination with Principal Liebowitz, is hosting a pet supply drive for the remainder of the school year. Your donations will be distributed to various local shelters and rescue organizations in need. Any food or supplies are welcome. Shelters are most in need of unopened wet/dry pet food and treats, bath-size towels, cat litter, new or gently used leashes/collars/harnesses, and toys. You can also donate various cleaning and office supplies or larger items like crates. Each item donated helps shelters stretch their dollars and help more animals and their owners. Thank you in advance for your generosity and support.

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May 8 -12 - Teacher Appreciation Week

May 10 - 1:50 Release

May 15 - 19 - Camp Keewaydin

Wednesday, May 17 - 1:50 Release

Thursday, May 18 - First Grade to Fish Ladder

Monday, May 22 - LEC at 3:30

Wednesday, May 24 - 1:50 Release

Thursday, May 25 - Story Telling/Drumming at 2:00

Friday, May 26 - Ed Pop the Magician at 2:00

Monday, May 29 - No School

Wednesday, May 31 - Fifth Grade to Wilder Homestead

Wednesday, May 31 - Second Grade to Farm

Friday, June 2 - Sanderson Arts Night starting at 6:00

Link to Sanderson Academy calendar.

Save the Date!

The Ohketeau Cultural Center will be presenting at the school on Thursday, May 25th. This program is supported in part by a grant from the Ashfield Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency. Parents and families are invited to join their children in an engaging, interactive opportunity to learn about the Peoples whose homelands have encompassed this area since time immemorial. There will be a few presenters of different ages! There will be Indigenous drumming, singing and storytelling. The presenters will also be dancing and all who are able and who would like to will be invited to take part.

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PTO News

Hello. During teacher and staff appreciation week (May 8 - 12) we'd like volunteers to cover recess and lunch (11:30 am - 1:30 pm) so our teachers and staff can take a break! Please sign up for ALL times you are available at this LINK. A paper copy will also be sent home. A schedule will be shared with you by May 5th. Please contact Katherine McCusker at mccuskerkj@gmail.com with questions.

Thank you!

Sanderson PTO

Local Good Vendors Needed!

The PTO is already thinking about the next Local Goods Catalog. If you or someone you know would like to offer a service or product in the fall catalog, please email Sandersonlocalgoods@gmail.com

MCAS Information

Below is the schedule. We ask that students get good rest and eat nutritious meals. If your child(ren) will be out on the day of testing, please notify the office as soon as possible. We also ask that you encourage your child(ren) to do their best. Thank you!


Thursday, April 27 - 5th - Session 1

Friday, April 18 - 5th - Session 2

Tuesday, May 2 - 6th - Session 1

Thursday, May 4 - 6th - Session 2

Tuesday, May 9 - 4th - Session 1

Tuesday, May 16 - 4th - Session 2

Thursday, May 18 - 3rd - Session 1

Tuesday, May 23 - 3rd - Session 2


Wednesday, May 24 - 5th - Session 1

Thursday, May 25 - 5th - Session 2

Health Office News from Nurse Loranna

We are changing gears here in the health office and moving onto puberty education and support of our growing children. This week 6th grade will have their puberty lesson as well as mandated scoliosis screening. I anticipate lots of giggling and hope that our students know they can come to me with any questions or concerns they may have now, and in the future. Within the next couple of weeks, 5th grade will have their turn!

My goal as a health educator is to provide students with the information they need to care for their bodies and understand the changes they will or have gone through, while being inclusive and shame free. Currently in Massachusetts puberty lessons are typically taught in 5th and 6th grade. Did you know that some children are going through puberty at much earlier ages than in the past? As parents, caregivers and educators of young children, it is important to be aware of this trend and to be prepared so we can best support the children in our lives. When children go through puberty at earlier ages, they may feel afraid and confused about the changes happening to their bodies. Talking about these changes before they occur can empower children to feel more prepared and less afraid when they do go through it. Please let me know if you would like any support about having these awkward but necessary conversations, I am very happy to help however I can! See the links for more information on this interesting trend:



Preschool News from Ms. Freeman

Many of us are hearing and seeing birds at home and all around our school’s campus. Preschoolers are very interested in watching birds on the feeders outside our classroom window. They use books and other classroom resources to help identify the birds they see.

We talked about how some birds have migrated back to the area now that spring has arrived. We talked about where birds live and some materials they use to build their nests. We thought about what it would be like to be a bird, and what materials we would use in our own nests. Using our thoughts and ideas, we gathered materials on campus and created nests. The photos show us gathering, using our collected materials, and our finished nests!

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Preschool News from Ms. Melanie

On our daily walks to the outdoor classroom, we have been noticing the effects of all the rain we have been having lately. The vernal pool is deeper than we have ever seen. We are wondering if the water will reach the sidewalk. As we cross the footbridge over the swamp on our way to the woods, we like to stop for a moment and watch the water rushing beneath the sturdy wooden planks. It is rare to see it moving so joyously in the typically still swamp. The air around us is fragrant and moist, and the green of the grass, leaves, and plants is getting more vibrant each day. We are looking forward to seeing the sun again, but the rain is lovely too.

In our indoor classroom, the baby chicks are growing big! We took turns holding them one recent morning. We cradled them in our hands, very gently, and they seemed to enjoy looking around at all the smiling faces. We sat in a ring on the floor and let them walk around, flapping their tiny wings now and then and running a few steps. We enjoyed watching them. They are getting so big that they will be ready to leave preschool soon to return to Pepin’s farm. This has been a wonderfully satisfying project, from egg to chick. We thank Pepin’s family for sharing them with us.

Kindergarten News from Ms. Sarah

This week in our social skills program, we explored how people can have different feelings about the same thing. We also talked about how we can be friends with and still play with people when we have different opinions about something, such as words to say to disagree in a respectful way.

To do this, we played a game where two students stood back to back and I gave them a subjective situation, such as trying a new food. The two classmates did a thumbs up/down vote if that is a situation they would feel comfortable with and they turned so that the group could see their votes. Then they faced each other to see if their opinions were the same or not. After, we role-played inviting each other to do the activity and how to politely turn down the invitation if it was not something we are comfortable doing.

Ms. Sarah and Ms. Veronica modeled the activity first and it turns out they will not be going scuba diving (Ms. Veronica’s preference) or cleaning together (Ms. Sarah’s preference) anytime soon!

First Grade News from Ms. Wyckoff

First graders finished the third unit in our Second Step program focused on emotion management. First graders learned how to recognize situations and physical body cues that signal strong feelings and demonstrate ways to calm down, such as belly breathing, counting and using positive self-talk. This week we will move into unit four, which focuses on solving problems. First graders will learn that when a problem comes up you’ll need to calm down then think of how to describe the problem or situation and then to think of a few different solutions to the problem.

Second Grade News from Ms. McMillan

2nd grade has been writing responses back to their Colrain pen pals this week. We worked on an outline, rough draft and are wrapping up final drafts before sending our letters out in the mail. In June, 2nd grade Colrain students will be coming to Sanderson for most of the day to visit and meet their penpal in person. They are all very excited for them to come and see our beautiful school and make new friends.

We have also been wrapping up our narrative writing this week. 2nd graders had to pretend to be a paleontologist. They had to pick out a digsite somewhere in the USA and then picked out a fossil that they wanted to write about. They are currently working on outline/rough drafts and will hopefully be starting their final drafts by the end of the week. This will be the end of our fossil unit and we will then be moving on to our pollinator unit and hopefully making time towards the very end of the year for our animal habitat unit.

Third Grade News from Ms. Carole

While some struggle to appreciate the soggy weather this week has brought, we gardeners are fine with it. Our soils are getting lots of nutrients, our water reserves are filling, and the beneficial microorganisms are multiplying. We will likely have plenty of hot, sunny days to come, but right now our land is getting what it needs.

Last week third graders planted many items that will be transplanted into our gardens once the danger of frost has passed. They are currently growing under a grow light in our room. We have two varieties of corn, squash, cucumbers, pumpkins, flowers, and herbs. We also have one variety of beets growing. Soon we will also be directly planting beans, carrots, peas, and onions. This week we worked with our buddies to clean up our fenced area and protect the borders with wood chips. Next week we will be building structures for the beans and peas to climb.

If you have not had a chance to check out our Seed Museum yet, it is in one of the display cases in the foyer. You will also see our paper flower garden we created with our buddies below Mrs. Wilson’s window.

Fourth Grade News from Ms. Lagoy

Fourth graders have been busy at work trying to finish up their study of U.S. geography. We are almost done with our work on the West Region and then students will be able to choose a state they would like to learn more about. Students will choose from a variety of projects that they can complete as they research their state. In math, we have concluded our work on identifying angles and are now working on identifying parallel, perpendicular and intersecting lines. Perhaps our most exciting work right now is our choose-your-own-adventure books. Students are eagerly finishing these and they are starting to line the halls in our wing.

Library News from Ms. Wilson

May is Asian/Pacific Heritage Month as well as Jewish American Heritage month. Here are some of the books we are reading in the library in recognition:


Come to the SEPAC meet-up! What is SEPAC? MTRSD’s Special Education Parent Advisory Council is a group made up primarily of parents of children with learning challenges and other disabilities, although local allies are welcome at meetings. SEPAC's goal is to support families and students' needs within the public school system and to work with the district to enact change, when needed.

If your child has a 504 or an IEP, or you are wondering whether they might need one, SEPAC can help you figure out who to talk to, what steps to take, what questions to ask and where to turn next at every step of the process. On Saturday, May 20, at 2:00 PM, we will be hanging out on the playground at BSE, with popsicles! Stop by, meet the interim group leaders, ask questions if you have them, and connect with other parents and allies.

Community News

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Guys and Dolls Jr.

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Heath Library News

Here is the link to Mass Cultural Council.
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May Lunch Menu

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