Weekly Newsletter

February 15, 2023

Message from Principal Emma Liebowitz

On behalf of the entire Sanderson Academy, I would like to wish Ms. Jeannie Robertson a HAPPY RETIREMENT! Thank you for your years of dedication to your students! You will be missed!

Happy February vacation, Everyone!

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February 20 - 24 - February Vacation

February 21 - Sanderson Students Leave for Mexico

March 1 - 1:50 Release

Link to Sanderson Academy calendar.

Health Office News from Nurse Loranna

Hope you have a wonderful, restful-and especially- a healthy February break!! We are still seeing some cases of strep throat so I would recommend any sore throat, especially with a fever, should be evaluated for strep. Untreated strep can cause health issues so it is highly encouraged to treat with antibiotics. Stay healthy and hope you have a nice break!

Preschool News from Ms. Freeman

This week we read several books retold or written and illustrated by Jan Brett. We used the illustrations to help us learn more about the story and predict what would happen next. We loved seeing so many different animals in her stories and found a hedgehog in each book we read.

We were also extremely excited about Valentine’s Day! We loved mailing our valentines to our friends, and couldn’t wait to bring our mailboxes home to look at our cards and enjoy the treats! We made a variety of valentine crafts including, cutting out hearts, using heart shaped stickers, and painting hearts with liquid watercolors.

Kindergarten News from Ms. Sarah

In our social skills program, we started a unit on thinking strategies, as it is often how we think about a problem that determines if it sends us into an uncomfortable yellow zone or not. Last week’s mental strategy was to evaluate the size of the problem that is upsetting you and put it in perspective by comparing it to truly big problems. When you realize your problem is not so big, it helps you to make your reaction not so big either. This week, we learned strategy two, which is noticing our self-talk and if we are saying negative things (inner critic) or positive things (inner coach) to ourselves. Negative self-talk can make us more upset and positive self-talk can help us feel better.

First Grade News from Ms. Wyckoff

First graders have been patiently waiting to share their “magnificent thing” creations at all-school with the whole school! On Wednesday, first graders each took turns sharing what their magnificent thing was as well as how it helps us in our classroom. First graders did a wonderful job and we owe a big thank you to our fourth grade buddies! Just before all-school they came to our classroom to help first graders prepare. Fourth graders gave first graders pointers such as: use a speaker voice, be calm in line while waiting your turn and make sure you take your time. After practicing, buddies read stories together, worked on word searches and colored some festive Valentine pictures. First graders adore their buddies and always look forward to visiting with them. Thanks again fourth graders and awesome sharing first grade!

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Second Grade News from Ms. Robertson

This week before February vacation has been a busy one in second grade. Excited about the upcoming holiday to celebrate our friendships with others, we began our week by meeting with our preschool buddies to make valentines for the Sanderson staff. Tuesday afternoon found us celebrating our friendships, as our class exchanged cards with each other and then enjoyed some treats together. Wednesday was a highlight of our week, as our class hosted the All-School meeting on this day. We spent time each day rehearsing our parts, focusing on using our public speaking skills effectively, such as using strong and clear voices and having a stage presence. As we practiced for the final time on Wednesday morning, feelings ranged from feeling excited to being nervous, but in the end, the students did a fabulous job and can be very proud of themselves! (See below for some photos from our All-School presentation.)

With this being the last news article I write before I retire, I want to take a moment to say how wonderful it has been to be a teacher at Sanderson Academy for the past thirty-five years. Sanderson became my home away from home and the Sanderson community, past and present, grew to become a second family to me. It has been an honor to work with dedicated and hardworking staff members and a privilege to work with bright and talented students throughout my years. Thank you - staff, students, and families – I will miss you!

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Third Grade News from Ms. Carole

Third Graders have been learning about the parts of speech in Language Arts lately. We have learned that words have to be read in context to know what part of speech they are. For example, the word “live,” could be a verb or an adjective. Check in with your third grader and see if he/she can tell you about nouns, adjectives, and verbs. Adverbs are still to come!

We had a wonderful Valentine’s Day party on Tuesday, complete with an amazing spread of fruits, cheeses, and crackers. See the picture below. Thank you to families for sending in such a lovely selection! The kids had a great time opening their cards and thanking each other.

This week the class also made a book for Mrs. Robertson, who is retiring at the end of the month. Each student made a page in our class Retirement Guide. They included suggestions such as, “Drink lots of water,” “Visit with friends and family,” and “Go to Hawaii.” They also wrote about sweet remembrances from their days in second grade. We send her off with best wishes for relaxation and happiness.

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Fourth Grade News from Ms. Lagoy

You may have heard your fourth grader talking about Be Internet Awesome at home this week, or saw their certificate of completion. This is a multifaceted program designed to teach kids the skills they need to be safe and smart online. One of the resources, Interland, is a browser-based game that makes learning these skills interactive and fun. They provide learning experiences built around five foundational lessons: Share with Care, Don’t Fall for Fake, Secure You Secrets, It’s Cool to Be Kind, and When in Doubt, Talk It Out. This was developed by Google in partnership with educators, researchers, and online-safety experts at The Net Safety Collaborative and iKeepSafe.org.

Sixth Grade News from Ms. Lilly

Over the last week we’ve been up to a lot in 6th grade! We completed our study of Ancient Mesopotamia by learning more about the role of a scribe. We then practiced writing our names in cuneiform.

In ELA we’ve been reading the book The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. In this book the main character, William, begins designing a windmill to help his village. We get to experience the whole design process that William goes through to finally create his large windmill. We used our knowledge of the design process to build bridges for fun on Valentine’s Day. We thought about if we were to continue working on our bridges what we would do differently next time, just as William did in our ELA book.

Finally, in our Social Emotional Curriculum, Second Step, we’ve been learning about different kinds of bullying. Over the last few weeks, we’ve focused our time on discussing online bullying. Our class has discussed how it’s so difficult for adults to help with online bullying because we can’t always see it. We also discussed different ways to handle online bullying, such as: not resharing posts or pictures, blocking people, taking screenshots of conversations, taking time to think about what our response can be and not immediately retaliating, and finding adults they feel comfortable with to ask for help. I would encourage families to continue to have this conversation at home, as online bullying can be something that can start to occur this year and as they head off to middle and high school.

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News from Ms. Prew

This week I have some picture puzzles for you all! If you crack the codes, please email me. Enjoy! :) aprew@mtrsd.org
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Mindful Movement News from Ms. Sue

This being the week before our February break and also Valentine’s Day happening…I changed things up from our usual routine and created stations throughout the room! We had partner poses, Uzzle game, heart opener poses, heart breathing & mandalas, Ouisi game, calming corners, and stick together game. SO MUCH FUN!!

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Reading News from Mrs. Morey

Art inspired by the book Love Monster by Rachel Bright

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Parent Workshop

How to Effectively Communicate with your Student’s School Team

Monday, February 27th @ 5:30-6:30

Google Meet joining info

Video call link:


Or dial: ‪(US) +1 513-486-2530‬ PIN: ‪650 958 116‬#

Presented by Leann Loomis, Director of Pupil Personnel Services and parent representatives from elementary and secondary

Please reach out to Leann Loomis with any questions


413-625-0192 x1025

Mohawk Trail Elementary and Middle School Athletic Forum

WHEN: Friday, February 17th @ 6:00 p.m.

WHERE: Mohawk Trail Auditorium

WHO: Parents and caregivers of MTRS and Hawlemont School District students in grades 4-8

This event will be hosted by Superintendent Sheryl Stanton and District Athletic Director Greg Lilly. The focus of this forum is to develop open lines of communication regarding the status and future of our Mohawk Trail Athletic Department. This is an opportunity for our community to voice their questions and concerns regarding the District’s athletic programming, and hopefully gain a clearer understanding and vision of MTRSD athletics moving forward. If you are unable to attend the event, please reach out to Greg Lilly at glillyAD@mtrsd.org with any questions! Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you all there!

Literacy Communications Survey

Caregivers for students in grades K-8 are invited to share feedback about literacy-related communication. Please let us know how we are doing with sharing information about your student's literacy program and literacy learning.


Community Engagement and Enrichment News

This newsletter includes information about summer programming. Here is the link: https://www.smore.com/2105m

2022 School Report Card

Every year, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education releases a report card for each school and district in the state. Just as a student's report card shows how they are doing in different classes, school and district report cards are designed to show parents and community members how a school or district is doing in different areas. Report cards highlight a school or district's strengths as well as any challenges that need to be addressed in order to make sure the needs of all students are being met.

Massachusetts sees families and the community as important partners in a school's success and spent time listening to parents to make sure the report cards were designed as easy-to-use tools that provide meaningful information.

What is the purpose of the school report cards?

Massachusetts is required by federal law to annually produce information about school performance for families and communities. Just as a student's report card shows how they are doing in different classes, school and district report cards are designed to show parents and community members how a school or district is doing in different areas. Report cards highlight a school or district's strengths as well as any challenges that need to be addressed in order to make sure the needs of all students are being met.

What type of information can be found on the report cards?

The report cards provide a different way of looking at information related to overall school performance. They include information in a variety of areas that we heard from parents are important:

    • Student Enrollment and Teacher Information

    • Student Attendance and Discipline

    • Academic Opportunities

    • College and Career Readiness

    • MCAS Performance

    • School Spending

    • Accountability Information

How were families involved in the development of the school report card?

Massachusetts sees families and the community as important partners in a school's success and spent time listening to parents to make sure the report cards were designed as easy-to-use tools that provide meaningful information. We posted online surveys during the initial and final phases of the report card design process. In addition, we worked with parent advocacy groups across the state to host feedback sessions with parents, to see where we needed to make improvements before the report cards were released.

Why are the school report cards important to families?
The school report card is one of many pieces of information parents receive about their child's education. When looked at alongside other measures like the child's report card, MCAS scores, and classroom work and tests, it gives parents a more complete picture of their child's education.

How can the report cards be used by schools and districts?

Report cards are just one of many tools that principals and district leaders can use to identify which schools are doing well and which schools need more help. This will help to understand the strategies that are most effective in improving student performance and allow leaders to provide support to the students and schools that need it most.

Will the report cards change over time?

Yes! This is just the start. We will work with parents, educators, and community members to improve the report cards over time so they continue to meet the needs of Massachusetts families.

Sanderson Academy 2022 Report Card can be found at this LINK.

February Lunch Menu

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Baseball Sign-Ups

Follow this link to sign-up for baseball: https://forms.gle/aiuvHtZb3LdEWycMA