Weekly Newsletter

May 11, 2023

News from Principal Emma Liebowitz

Most of the fifth grade and some students in sixth grade are headed to Camp Keewaydin next week! We know they will have a wonderful time and will have many stories to tell!

Dress for Success Reminders

As the weather changes please keep the following guidelines (from the Student Handbook).
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SAVE THE DATE - Arts Extravaganza!

Save the Date! Friday June 2nd at 6pm will be the Sanderson Academy Arts Extravaganza - music, art, live demonstrations and a bake sale! All families are invited to participate and celebrate the creativity of our students. Each grade level will be performing songs with our music teacher Ms. Cherry. Instrumental music students will perform with Ms. Julie. The halls will be filled with student’s visual art from their work this year with Ms. Carolyn. Students will be demonstrating and teaching make-and-take art projects to all ages. The 6th grade will have a bake sale to fundraise for graduation. Come support our students and have some creative family fun!

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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Some items we already collected!

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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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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

Greetings from the health office! As with many changes in seasons, we are seeing an increase in illnesses here at school. Please continue to keep your sick child home and reach out to me for guidance, thank you! It is highly recommended to test with an antigen test to rule out covid, best practice is to test upon symptom onset and again in about 48 hours and before returning to school. So far we are seeing mostly colds and minor GI illnesses, but it is always great to be cautious as illnesses do spread quickly in the school environment. And just to keep it interesting and to keep us school nurses on our toes, it is also the time of year when seasonal allergies are bothersome. Allergies can present similarly to illness, but there are some key differences such as itchy eyes, post nasal drip and dark circles under the eyes which are common in seasonal allergies and not very common with a cold virus. Seasonal allergies will not have a fever or muscle aches but illness often will. Over the counter allergy medication can help with seasonal allergies, but not with an illness. Some ways to reduce allergens in the home environment are washing bedding more frequently, keeping windows closed, vacuuming rugs more frequently and trying to avoid allergens if possible. If you have concerns about your child’s allergy symptoms, it is helpful to get allergy testing to identify their triggers. One practice in the area that is highly recommended and provides great care is AIANE(Allergy and Immunology Associates of New England) at this site:


See the attached articles for more in depth information about managing seasonal allergies and some key differences with illness and allergies. Allergies or illness?

Tips for managing seasonal allergies

Preschool News from Ms. Freeman

This week we created a fishing area in our dramatic play center. We added a rocking boat with life vests and some fishing equipment. We worked together as a group and painted a larger water area for the fish after some noticed the original area was too small. Preschoolers love the boat and are doing well taking turns with the new materials!

Preschoolers have also been busy with Mother’s Day projects this week. They are so excited and can’t wait to give their gifts!

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Preschool News from Ms. Melanie

It’s been a busy time in pre-k! We have begun planting seeds and placing them under the grow lights in our classroom. We made signs for the garden to identify our plants. The seedlings under the grow lights are already up and thriving! Soon, we'll be transferring them into the garden–suddenly, it’s really spring! We have also been working on special Mother’s Day gifts to bring home to our moms for their special day.

In our outdoor classroom, we have been working hard on our fairy houses, adding new things and changing them each day. They are looking magnificent!

Kindergarten News from Ms. Sarah

In our literacy program, after finishing our class book about what foods people eat that come from trees, we took a closer look at our vocabulary word: depend. Then we introduced the topic for our independent books—what animals eat from trees. We reread the part of our book Be a Friend to Trees that taught us about what animals eat from trees and then students made organizers choosing three animals from the book and matching them with their food. Then we wrote our own books with a focus page that tells our readers what they will be reading about (“Animals eat lots of food from trees.”), three detail pages with the examples we chose on our organizers, and a closing statement page (“Animals depend on trees.”) Tomorrow, we will be sharing our trees song and our completed books with each other and a few guest staff members.

First Grade News from Ms. Wyckoff

In math we began a new unit titled: Figure the Facts with Penguins! In this unit first graders will tell,write and solve a variety of addition and subtraction story problems as well as write equations to match the problem. In one of our first lessons children played a game called “I have….I need” where double ten-frame cards were shown and children needed to identify how many they had and how many more dots were needed to make 20, after they were introduced to a new workplace called Spin to win bingo! In number corner we are focusing on adding and subtracting 10 to any given number and then creating an equation to match- for example if our frog Tad is on number 54 but then he takes 2 hops of 10 and then a step backwards he would land on 73 (54+20-1=73) In first grade we carefully track our days in school and we have now celebrated our 15th decade day! It’s hard to believe we have less than 30 days of school to go!

Second Grade News from Ms. McMillan

2nd Grade has finished our fossil unit. They worked hard on writing their narratives. They had to pretend to be a paleontologist at a dig site looking for a rare fossil. This was a challenging piece of writing, but they all did amazing with it. We are working on our pollenation unit now. This week they were given pictures of different seeds, buds, and vegetables/fruits to sort. They ended up sorting the different pictures by the plant and its life cycle. We also did a mini science unit on seed dispersal. We had to figure out how a Koa seed from Hawaii could travel thousands of miles to a different island.

In Math, we are looking at what 1,000 looks like. We worked together to chain 1,000 chains together. We predicted how long it would be. Would it be bigger than the classroom? Bigger than the gym or cafe? The answer was yes! We are now figuring out how we could measure the chain by feet and inches. The class worked together to figure out the most straight way to get to the answer. They were given just two rulers and had to work together to solve the answer with the minimal tools they were given. They figured out that measuring a chain off 100 was a sufficient amount to solve the rest of the problem. They found that if they found the total feet for 100 chains then they can multiply that by 10 to get the answer!

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Third Grade News from Ms. Carole

Third graders had a wonderful trip to Hancock Shaker Village last week. They enjoyed touring all of the buildings, seeing the blacksmith do his magic, and visiting with all of the animals. We are very grateful to the adults who traveled with us and helped make the day special.

In math we have been tackling different concepts to prepare for next week’s MCAS. We have had some exposure to and practice with Line Plots, and we worked on third grade terminology around polygons. Do you know the difference between a parallelogram and a trapezoid? We have also begun learning what division is and its special relationship to multiplication. Feel free to toss out some multiplication facts and see if your third grader can turn those numbers into a division fact.

This week we have been getting the outdoor gardens underway. We built the pea trellis and planted peas beneath it. We also built the bean teepee and planted those at the base. We are eager to see those sprouts come up. Onion sets, too, were placed in a neat row in the ground. Our indoor plants are growing quickly under the grow lights. Soon we will begin hardening them off and getting them ready for outdoor life.

With our buddies we added pollinators to the mural we made last week. If you enter the foyer of the building, look for the fun flower garden below the library window, and see how many pollinators you can find.

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Fourth Grade News from Ms. Lagoy

Students in fourth grade are very excited to begin their independent state research next week! Be sure to ask your kiddo which state they will be researching. This is a fun and engaging project to end the year with. Next week we will also begin studying weathering and erosion. This is a wonderful science unit to do after we have finished studying the United States. Students will be able to draw on all that they have learned about landforms across the country as we study weathering and erosion.

Thank you to everyone who has donated to our Pet Supply Drive. Principal Liebowitz was able to deliver our first bags of goodies to a local organization. We already have two more bags ready to go!

Sixth Grade News from Ms. Lilly

Sixth grade is done with MCAS for the year! The class worked very hard and should be very proud of themselves. In ELA we are working through our last book, Two Roads. We have been spending time gaining knowledge about this new topic of American Indian boarding schools. Throughout the month of June, Sanderson Academy will be participating in a STARS Grant about Indigenous People. This pairs wonderfully with our last ELA unit and will allow us to gain so much knowledge about this topic. In math we have wrapped up our geometry unit and are moving on to Decimal Operations. We’ve already worked on this a bit to prepare for the MCAS so this should be a quick unit to move through. In social studies we are studying different Pharaohs from Ancient Egypt. We first looked through 4 Pharaoh’s resumes then selected which Pharaoh each student felt was most interesting. The students are currently researching all about their Pharoah and then will create a Flipgrid presentation. In Science, we are continuing to learn about plant and animal cells and will begin a project students will be completing at home that will be due in June. Finally, in Second Step our social emotional learning program, we have been discussing managing our emotions and how we react when dealing with emotions that tend to take over our brain. We’ve especially been discussing how this can impact our social interactions online and how they can make smart decisions when dealing with online chats, comments, etc.. Please make sure to sign-up to bring in a baked good for the Arts and Music Show at Sanderson on Friday, June 2nd. I sent an email and sent home a hardcopy of all the dates and important events going on in sixth grade over the next month. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions!

Art News from Ms. Hawthorne

We are looking for some parent volunteers to help with 2 projects. Students are painting the Buddy Bench on the playground and it needs to be repaired, sanded, and primed. We need a few adults and power tools. Depending on availability of volunteers we can schedule after school on a Friday or a Saturday for a couple of hours.

We also need volunteers to help prepare and hang art for the upcoming art show. Contact Carolyn Hawthorne if you are available to help. chawthorne@mtrsd.org.

Library News from Ms. Wilson

Robots have invaded the library! This week and next, Sanderson students have the opportunity to explore robots during their library time. First through third graders will practice creating algorithms and sequences using Bee Bots (borrowed from BSE), and fourth through sixth graders will be using Sphero Robots, which were available to use during the Celebration of Learning. Students have been having a blast learning how these robots work, and I’m having a blast learning right alongside them!

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District Library News

Newsletter link: https://www.smore.com/dru08

Community News

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Heath Library News

Here is the link to Mass Cultural Council.
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Looking for Girls on the Run Volunteers for the Fall

Please call the school if you are interested in volunteering. Thank you!

The impact of a Girls on the Run volunteer coach is as boundless as it is beautiful. Girls on the Run inspires life-changing transformations in girls when they need it most, and this is in large part thanks to our amazing coaches. Check out this video!

As a coach, you will also reap countless benefits, including deepening your leadership skills, finding joy in helping others, learning new perspectives – just to name a few!

Girls on the Run coaches are:

  • Trained to lead small teams (15 girls and 3 coaches) through engaging lessons that build confidence, inspire healthy habits and foster meaningful connections
  • Not required to be runners or athletes
  • Fully prepared and supported by GOTR
  • Available for practice x2 week for 90 minutes for the 10 week season. Mid Sept-Mid Nov. Days of practice decided by the coaching team.
  • Compassionate and empowering leaders who want to support the next generation of change-makers.

Our coaches bring our evidence-based curriculum to life and are at the heart of what makes Girls on the Run one of a kind. At every practice, their encouragement inspires girls to activate and reach their limitless potential. See what girls from Western Mass said about GOTR last season.


  • We provide coaches with all the training and supplies necessary, so prior experience is not required!
  • You do NOT need to be a runner.
  • Lead the way for more girls in your community and watch your own life transform.

If you have any questions about our program, its impact or volunteering, please contact us. Ready to get started as a coach? Click here!

With gratitude,


Coleen Ryan (she/her/hers)


Program Manager

Girls on the Run Western Ma

16 Center St, Suite 318, Northampton, MA 01060

(P) 413-374-3436


May Lunch Menu

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