MTRSD S'Update

December 22, 2021

Dear Mohawk Trail & Hawlemont Families,

As we head into the final weeks of 2021, I want to say thank you to our entire community for the work we've done together this year. Even in the midst of a pandemic, we've accomplished much together--our students and teachers resumed some sense of 'normalcy' and returned to their classrooms; we've celebrated student successes and brought back some of the joy we held dear pre-COVID such as school gatherings, concerts, graduations; we completed our district's strategic plan, helping to set the priorities for the years to come; and SO much more.

Teaching and learning during a pandemic certainly threw us some curveballs in 2021, but as a school community we came together. And while we're still in the midst of this pandemic and all the challenges that come along with it, one thing remains: our entire community is dedicated to our students and their success. THANK YOU for helping to make our districts the BEST places to learn and grow.

And to close out 2021... here's the final newsletter of the year!

**Our S'Updates will be on hiatus until Jan. 7, 2022.**


* Reminders & Winter Break

* COVID-19 Updates: No spectators for MTRS athletics

* VaxBus returns to BSE on Dec. 23

* MTRS Capstone students spearhead donation drive to benefit Shriners Children's Hospital

* Hands-on learning with Anatomy in Clay Learning "Manikens"

* Simply PAW-some . . .

* Winter Enrichment programs announced; Hilltown Scout Camp returns in February

* School Spotlight

Reminders & Winter Break

  • Thursday, Dec. 23 is a HALF DAY
  • Winter Break -- Friday, Dec. 24 through Sunday, Jan. 2 (school resumes Monday, Jan. 3).
  • Wednesday, Jan. 5 is a FULL DAY

COVID-19 Updates: No spectators for MTRS athletics

As you have seen in our recent updates, COVID-19 caseloads have drastically increased in Franklin County over the past month. With the new, highly transmissible Omicron variant, we will NOT allow spectators at our sporting events for the remainder of this week, starting today (Dec. 22) and during vacation week. Over the next few weeks, we will continue to monitor regional and district caseloads and reassess the need for continuing with closed athletic events after the break.

We want to remain vigilant in mitigating COVID-19 in our schools while still providing our students with the opportunity to play sports this season. While spectators bring wonderful energy and excitement to our sporting events, we need to be mindful of the impact outside spectators have on our entire community. If you have any questions about this update, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly at


Additionally, with the winter break upon us, I am asking our families to remain committed to the FAB FIVE: vaccination (and getting your booster); wearing your mask while indoors; washing your hands; maintaining physical distancing; and staying home when you are unwell are the key mitigation strategies in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In order to keep our schools and communities healthy and safe, we all must do our part. And if you have any questions about COVID-19, please reach out to our district's COVID-19 Nurse Leader Donna Weber at

VaxBus returns to BSE on Dec. 23

If you have not yet received your COVID-19 vaccine or booster -- a reminder the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's VaxBus is headed back to Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School on Thursday, Dec. 23 from 2:30-6:30 p.m. To sign-up, please use this link:
VaxBus Flyer / FRCOG

Click this link to view flyer

MTRSD COVID-19 Information

Click here to visit the district's COVID-19 information page and data dashboard.

MTRS Capstone students spearhead donation drive to benefit Shriners Children's Hospital

Congratulations to MTRS seniors Tyler Matteson and Caitlin Upton for their successful fundraising campaigns to benefit the Shriners Children’s New England (Springfield) as part of their Capstone work! Today, Caitlin and Tyler traveled to Shriners to drop-off their respective donations just in time for the holiday season.

As part of her project, Caitlin hosted bake sales at school and solicited monetary donations from the community. Separately, Tyler hosted a toy drive (with drop-off locations at each of our district's elementary schools) to help to benefit the thousands of children who visit the hospital each year. Thanks to the incredible support and generosity of our entire community, Tyler was able to drop-off the large donation you see below (and PACKED a car full of toys!) and Caitlin handed over $300 in donations to be used by Shriners to help offset medical costs for patients.

WAY TO GO, Tyler and Caitlin! Your hard work and kindness will certainly bring smiles to MANY faces!

Hands-on learning with Anatomy in Clay Learning "Manikens"

MTRS students in Judy Licht's anatomy class recently had a chance to try out their new Anatomy in Clay Learning "Manikens" for a hands-on learning opportunity to build the human muscular system with clay and sculpting tools. These "manikens" provide students with a structural model where they can study and use clay to build systems of the human body including skeletal, musculature, nervous, cardiovascular, digestive, lymphatic and more. We can't wait to see their progress along the way!
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Capstone presentations

Earlier this month our senior Capstone students had an opportunity to showcase their work to-date via small group panel presentations. These formative presentations were a new addition to the program this year - giving students an opportunity to showcase their work so far, while also receiving valuable feedback from their panelists as they head toward project completion and prepare their final presentations (scheduled for next month).

Panel participants were given the opportunity to share their feedback and experiences with this new format. Capstone Coordinator Rachel Hoogstraten captured some of the amazing feedback that was shared -- check out what folks are saying about our awesome students and their work!

We are really excited to see their progress and the final presentations in January!

Girl standing at desk with laptop in front of her; standing in front of blackboard/visual presentation at front of the room. Student is masked and presenting her work.

Simply PAW-some . . .

Someone was super-excited to show off their amazing school ID this year! Lamby, our incredible MTRS therapy pup, is an important part of our school community. She's a hard worker and provides so much comfort to our students and staff here at MTRS. Lamby may be the one grinning in the photo, but WE are grateful for the smiles she puts on OUR faces when she's here.


Winter Enrichment programs announced; Hilltown Scout Camp returns in February

MTRSD Winter Enrichment
Be sure to check out Mrs. Woof's winter program offerings (for grades 3-12) including middle school band with Nick; babysitters course; MTRS snow club; elementary snowshoeing; and comic creations with Ezra! To view full program descriptions, visit OR click HERE for the latest newsletter.

Hilltown Scout Camp - REGISTRATION OPENS JAN. 8

Looking for a February vacation educational camp for your child/ren? We are happy to announce we're bringing back a fan-favorite as we offer our Hilltown Scout Camp's "The Wonders of Winter" program at MTRS! This program is open to all district students in grades K-6; space is limited (18 spots available). And thanks to generous funding from the Mary Lyon Foundation, we will be able to offer TWO scholarships for qualifying families. Be sure to head over to for more information and click below to view the daily line-up.


Colrain Central

The sixth grade has been learning about issues around food insecurity. This week they tried a new learning strategy called "hexagonal thinking." Students discussed the relevant vocabulary and ideas and arranged the concepts in ways that show connections between the different ideas. This activity helped the students think about the needs and solutions that they'd like to address as a class. Stay tuned to see what they come up with for their service-learning project!
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Mohawk Trail SEPAC Facebook Page

The SEPAC is a self-governing body (creates its own by-laws and operational procedures) and is open to all parents of children with disabilities and other interested parties. All are welcome.

Thanks for all you do to make Mohawk Trail and Hawlemont School Districts GREAT places to learn and grow!