MURSD District Update

From the Office of the Interim Superintendent

December 7, 2021

Dear Mendon-Upton School Community,

I hope that everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving Break and a great start to December. It is hard to believe in less than a month of school we will be entering the new year of 2022!

What I have noticed in the past month in my visits to schools is that we have collectively settled into our school routines. Our students are showing increased independence in their own learning and I've witnessed numerous collaborative, hands-on learning activities returning to our classrooms in full swing. Our elementary students have been hitting it out of the park with their StMath numbers which are the top five in the state and they have been thoroughly enthralled with the new Bridges curricular materials in math. Our middle school students have been full of positive energy as they work in groups in Grade 8 Civics projects, engage in a wide variety of book discussions in 7th grade ELA, and conquer financial literacy using the EverFI program. At the high school we saw the whole community come out to support our Nipmuc teams and pep band at the Battle of Pleasant St. at Fenway and our music programs are beginning their concert season this week. There are too many exciting activities to highlight all here, so please follow us on Twitter where we tweet regularly using #MURSD and #MURSDInspires to provide you with an insight into our schools.

This fall, we are thrilled to be able to bring back many of our school sponsored activities; however, please be mindful that all participants and spectators are still required to wear masks at these events. As we continue to prioritize the health and safety of our students, we have seen a gradual upswing in the number of cases that are consistent with the state increases. Please continue to help keep our schools healthy by staying home if you are sick and providing the necessary information to our nurses for contact tracing. If you are looking for up-to-date COVID information, it can be found on our COVID-19 Dashboard on our website. As local communities provide new vaccination clinic opportunities, we will share out the information as soon as possible for those of you who are still looking for vaccination locations for your student.

Wishing you a safe, healthy, and happy December and an even better 2022!

Warm regards,

Maureen Cohen, Ed.D.

This Week in the MURSD

Vaccine Booster Clinic

The Upton Board of Health will be hosting a COVID-19 booster clinic (Moderna) on Saturday, December 11th, from 9am-11:30am in the Media Center at Nipmuc. If you are interested in receiving the booster, please click here to register.

Vaccination Clinic for ages 5-11 December 8 2pm-6pm

A Vaccination Clinic for students ages 5-11 will take place at Northbridge Elementary School, 21 Crescent Street on Wednesday, December 8th from 2pm-6pm. Check out the following link to pre-register and for more information

Please click here for more information..

Calendar Highlights

  • December 4-12 Nipmuc Winter Wellness Week
  • December 6: School Committee Meeting 7pm
  • December 7: Nipmuc Instrumental Concert (Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble)
  • December 8: SI Advisory Board 6pm-Nipmuc PDC
  • December 8: Memorial PTO Meeting
  • December 8: Nipmuc Vocal Concert (Concert Chorus, vocal Ensemble, and Acapella)
  • December 10: Early Release (Teacher PD)
  • December 13: Miscoe PTO Meeting
  • December 14: 7th Grade Winter Concert
  • December 14: Clough PTO Meeting
  • December 15: 8th Grade Winter Concert
  • December 20: Miscoe 3D Printing Workshop
  • December 23: Early Release (No After School Program)
  • December 23: 2nd vaccine clinic at Miscoe
  • December 24-31: Winter Break (No School)

Please refer to school websites and newsletters for additional school events taking place.

3D Printing Workshop-Miscoe Hill MS

Miscoe Hill Inspired Innovation Center will be offering a pop-up 3D printing workshop for students and their families on Monday, December 20th from 6:00 - 7:30 PM. You will have the opportunity to design and print a small gift or ornament during the workshop. Seasonal treats will also be provided.

Space is limited, so please complete this form as soon as possible if you would like to attend.

Holiday Food Drive

A Holiday Food Drive through Project 351 is being held from December 6th to December 12th (approximately 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm each day) at the entrance of Nipmuc Regional High School.

Donated non-perishable food items will go to the United Parish of Upton Food Pantry, and monetary donations will go to the Mendon Food Pantry. A donation bin will be placed at the front entrance of Nipmuc.

Also to support our drive, we will also be hosting a small event at Nipmuc's front entrance on December 7th and December 9th at 3:30pm where you can drop off donations, buy food from our bake sale(proceeds going to the Mendon Food Pantry), and enjoy some holiday tunes!

We all hope to see you there!

With any questions:

Thank you from Project 351 members!

Lauren Scott, Jocelyn Graham, and Kayla Vallecillo

Bus Reminders

As we enter some colder weather and close to the mid-year point, we would like to provide some friendly reminders on our bus expectations. We know that students may prefer to stay inside the house during colder weather as they wait for the bus to arrive; however, it is backing up our routes and timing if busses are waiting for students to come from inside their homes.

  • In the morning, please have your students ready outside 10 minutes before the bus arrives.
  • In the afternoon, parents/guardians/caregivers need to be out and available for the drop-off of our elementary students.
  • Students need to be masked prior to entering the bus and follow the mask rules on the bus.

We appreciate your assistance in supporting these expectations ensure safe and efficient transportation for our students.

We want your feedback: Website

Website 2021 Improvements Feedback

As part of our strategic goals, we are working to improve our website communications so you have quick access to the information you need. Please add suggestions to the above link to help us in our website upgrades this year. Thanks in advance!

Food Service-Half-Days

With a few half-days coming up this month, this is a reminder from our food service director that on half-days, breakfast and lunch is only provided on full-days of school. However, for any families in need, please reach out in advance of a half-day to the school counselor, who will work with the food service program to confidentially provide a bagged breakfast or lunch.

Student-Family Handbooks

As part of our district's Tiered Focus Monitoring process we have added some updated policies and procedures to our handbooks to comply with updates in state regulations. As of December 13th, the updated handbooks will be available on our website.


This portion of the newsletter will be dedicated to celebrating all members of our school community who are difference-makers. If you have someone you would like to highlight that is making a difference, please let us know by using the link below. Some will be highlighted here and everyone will receive individual recognition.

YOU INSPIRE ME: Lisa Ryan, Memorial Elementary School Nurse

"Lisa is an amazing nurse. She cares deeply about the staff and students. She is one of the most knowledgeable, brilliant nurses I have known. She has been alone at Memorial School through the pandemic and she has been a rock star. She is at the busiest school by far. She just plugs through and does her job and is such a huge support to these students and their families. She is truly a hero in this pandemic."

YOU INSPIRE ME: Pam Maloney, ABA Tech

"Knowing that one of our students might be anxious in an after school enrichment, Pam stayed with this student to ensure that she was comfortable and supported. Pam went above and beyond the job requirement, staying after school hours voluntarily. This is only one example of how our STAR staff go above and beyond in support of our students. Their patience and professionalism does not go unnoticed."

YOU INSPIRE ME: Britt Kahler, Miscoe Hill Technology Teacher

"Britt always gives 100% for her students. She prioritizes her students social development and academic inquiry. Britt never gives up on kids, always is positive and is the ultimate team player."

YOU INSPIRE ME: Johanna Annunziata, Nipmuc English Teacher

"With the addition of new students to our school who currently only speak their primary language of Portuguese, Johanna has been a kind and welcoming force to these students. She has been teaching herself the language with the guidance and coaching of some of her bilingual students, research apps to assist with translation, and spends time with these students to help them know they are very welcomed at our school.Every day she models what it means to be part of a community, how to support someone, how to give of yourself for the betterment of others. Jo is a positive influence for students and teachers alike; she does all of this from the heart."


Send in your #MURSDInspires notifications and we will highlight some in our newsletters and we will send the messages to the recipients to let them know they make a difference. Thanks!

District COVID-19 Protocols

The following is the Fall 2021 District COVID-19 Protocols. School-specific protocols and FAQs have been developed and will be shared with families.