Superintendent Weekly Update

January 15, 2021

Dear Mohawk Trail & Hawlemont Families,

We've had a wonderful start to January! I've seen some really great work happening within our virtual classrooms throughout both districts. Our teachers have been working so hard to keep our students moving forward, engaged, and learning. Whether we're remote, hybrid, or fully in-person, our dedicated staff have kept us moving going throughout this pandemic. A shout-out to our custodians, food service, school secretaries, central office, administrative teams, and so many others who, since March, never left our buildings. My sincerest gratitude to everyone--staff, students, families, school committee, our communities--for your support, feedback, and tireless work in helping us plan and get to where we are today.

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

* MTRSD Return to Learn - Heading to Hybrid

* BinaxNOW Testing, COVID-19 School Planning Task Force Updates

* MTRSD School Committee Vote / Basketball


* Student & Staff Spotlights

Return to Learn - Heading to Hybrid (MTRSD FAMILIES ONLY)

We're FINALLY here, MTRSD families! Next Tuesday, our PreK-2 students returning via our hybrid model will head to their physical classrooms for the first time this year! It's been a long process of getting us here, but we're really excited for this next step and to see our students back in the schools.

Our school buildings are buzzing with anticipation for their return and we know that your children (and you!) may be feeling excited, anxious, and all the feelings in between. Please know that we are here for you. If you have any questions along the way, reach out to your school principal. We want to be sure this transition to hybrid is as smooth as possible; so don't hesitate to reach out!


Important reminders:


  • PreK-2 begin hybrid learning Tuesday, Jan. 19; Grades 3-12+ will begin Monday, Jan. 25.
  • Check email regularly for direct communication from your school including important updates, reminders, schedules, etc. You can also find updated information via principal newsletters on your school's website, so be sure to check there often.
  • Visit our district's COVID-19 Information page (www.mtrsd.org/covid-19-information) weekly to view our updated dashboard each week.
  • Updated Bus routes can be found at www.mtrsd.org/Transportation.
  • Follow the Fab Four to keep our community healthy - Wear your masks; wash those hands; maintain 6' of physical distancing; and remain home when you are unwell!

BinaxNOW Testing, COVID-19 School Planning Task Force Updates

Within the next few weeks, both Mohawk Trail and Hawlemont Regional School Districts will have the ability to conduct rapid antigen testing (BinaxNOW) for COVID-19 on any district student or staff (in-person/hybrid) that become symptomatic during the school day. An email to electronically give permission will be shared with you soon along with more information on this testing. This testing will give us the ability to detect a potential positive case more rapidly. Our Nurse Leader Donna Weber and the entire nursing team is committed to communicating with our families about this testing and what to expect. BinaxNOW testing is just one more way to help us do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

I continue to meet weekly (and more as needed) with the COVID-19 School Planning Task Force to review the state, regional, and local COVID-19 data and how it impacts our school community. New data was released yesterday (1/14/21) and while much of our state is seeing a significant trend in an upward tick of cases, in our region we've seen numbers remain very low. This is a true testament to our communities' commitment to health and safety! THANK YOU all for helping to do your part!

As I've mentioned before, the pandemic will drive our decisions and we must remain flexible with this ever-changing situation. I am in daily contact with our school nurse leader and FRCOG health agent to stay abreast of live data which affects our school community. If we begin to see data trending in a different direction; if numbers rise or our health agencies are unable to keep up with contact tracing, for example, then at that point we may need to make a shift in models. Right now, we're looking good!

MTRSD School Committee Vote / MTRS Basketball

A quick update from our MTRSD School Committee meeting this week. On Wednesday, Jan. 13, our school committee voted to approve Mohawk Trail Regional School varsity basketball for the winter season. The team will ONLY compete against other Franklin County teams and there will be strict COVID-19 precautions in practice. Basketball practice will begin on Jan. 25 when MTRS returns via hybrid. For additional details about the season, MTRS families should check their email for updates from Athletic Director Greg Vouros or reach out to him directly at: gvouros@mtrsd.org.

Student & Staff Spotlight:

Sanderson Academy Kindergarteners in Sarah Forbes' class have been FILLING up their gem chart this year (just LOOK at all that bling!), showcasing their class values: safe, friendly, responsible, brave, respectful, and flexible. At the end of each day, students share moments from throughout the day that reflect their class values. Students can give “gems” to other students and each celebration earns them a shiny gem on their chart. As you can see, Ms. Sarah’s students have been earning a lot of gems during their remote time! Ms. Sarah also uses “cheer cards” throughout the day to celebrate students and their work in the classroom/in discussions (you’ll notice, the cheer cards are quite punny). AWESOME job, Kindergarten!
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Thank you for ALL you do to make Mohawk Trail & Hawlemont GREAT places to learn and grow!

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