Monument Valley Regional Middle School


Week at a Glance and News and Notes


Note from the Principal:


We had our first full week of school in a while, along with some outdoor recess!!!  It felt good to have a normal week, which means lots of energy and a lot or work getting done.  It was great to get around the building this week seeing students so well engaged, struggling with challenging work or really enjoying their classes.  As I have said before, this is a great time of year for learning as students are clear on what we are doing and know the expectations of their grade.


Below is a repeat of last week’s missive, as it has important information on Parent Teacher Conferences and our Advisory Council.


Parent Teacher Conferences

At this point in the year most of you have already checked PowerSchool, and many of you use it as a tool to keep current on your child’s achievement.  Most of our students, especially in the upper grades, use PowerSchool as a way to track their assignments and stay current on what they need to complete.  We encourage you to use PowerSchool, as it is the WAY to understand who your child is progressing through the year.  If you need assistance connecting with PowerSchool please contact Debra Spence, our Guidance Secretary, at school or via email at and she can help you set up your account.  We have moved away from a family knowing a grade or how a child is progressing only a few times a year from the Report Card, to being able to understand how  your child is progressing on a regular basis.  This is a major shift that has occurred over the past four years in assessment at MV: we are moving away from high-stakes summative assessments like tests and end-of-quarter mega-projects, to a performance based assessment program.  Teachers collect information weekly on your child’s growth and publish the information on PowerSchool.  We also value the types of assessments that show us the deeper understanding of units of study—they are called Performance Assessments, and are the essays, lab reports, research paper, math projects, compositions, performances and presentations that show us that your child can apply their understanding in new contexts.  All of this is shared in PowerSchool as well as other online resources that teachers may use such as Google Sites or Google Classroom.  Please make PowerSchool a regular visit for you and your family.


Here are some links so you can access easily:



Grade Level portals for current class information:


Parent Resources:


You will notice that now have direct links on our school website to the grade level pages for assignments and current units of study in your child’s classes.  This is now an easy way to find out what the homework is tonight, what the project is this week and what resources are available to complete work.  We also have parent resources for information on the community and collaboration.


We have Parent Teacher Conferences coming up in a few weeks—the evening of 1/18 from 6:00-8:00, and the afternoon of 1/19 from 12:30-3:00.  The conferences help families who need a few minutes to discuss their child’s performance.  If you have questions about your child now please reach out to the teachers or the teaching team via your child’s advisor.  You can also always reach out to our Guidance Counselor, Kevin Costello, via phone or at, if you are concerned about your child’s progress overall.  You are expected at the conferences in January only if you have questions that you want to discuss or if you want more information on your child.  If you have enough information from PowerSchool, or have gleaned the understanding you need from emails and connecting with teachers, then you do not have to attend.  We are shifting to a culture where important information is shared throughout the year, and not in brief bursts with no context.


Parent Advisory Council

The Parent Advisory Council has been going well.  We meet monthly, and it has worked out to have two options for attending—one in the morning and one in the afternoon after school.  The next Parent Advisory Council meetings are on Tuesday, January 16, from 3-4 pm, and also on Thursday, January 18, from 8:30-9:30 am.  The Thursday meeting date is a switch, as we have a Professional development activity with teachers on the date originally planned earlier in the week.  Please mark your calendars and join us—we need your input and feedback.   This next set of meetings will focus on the vision for the school for the next five years, students and electronic devices, and the budget for next year.


Have a good (and dry) weekend!


Ben Doren




Week at a Glance:

Monthly Lunch Menu:



Monday, Jan. 15

MLK Jr. Holiday

No School today


Tuesday, Jan. 16

Regular School Day


Wednesday, Jan. 17

Regular School Day


Thursday, Jan. 18

Regular School Day

Parent-Teacher Conferences 6-8pm


Friday, Jan. 19

½ Day of School –11:30 Dismissal

Parent-Teacher Conferences 12:30-3:00


Attendance Reminder

Please be reminded that if your child is going to be absent or late to school to please contact the school.  You may do this either by e-mailing and or by calling the school at 413-644-2300.  Please leave a message if no one answers.  This will help us in knowing that your child is safe and cut down on the numerous phone calls made to verify your child’s whereabouts and tracking of attendance.  Thank you in advance for your cooperation!



Girls on the Run

If you are interested in helping to coach Girls on the Run during the Spring, please contact Jessica Oakley at  See flyer on our website.



School Phone Calls

The phone system at Monument Valley and Muddy Brook was recently updated.  You may notice that calls from the school now show up on your caller ID.  All calls from MVRMS or MBRES will show up as being called from 413-644-2300.  If you call that # or use your “Call Back” feature you will get the middle school.  If a staff member calls regarding your student, they will leave a message so you’ll know who was trying to reach you.  Please check your voicemail before calling the school, as it is difficult for the secretaries to know who was trying to reach you.  Please remind your children to leave a voicemail if they call you from school, so you’ll know what they need and can leave a message to be passed along to your child.



Flyers are available on our website at this link:


This week’s flyers:

  • Kilpatrick Program Flyers:  Swim America/Unique Sports Offerings
  • BSRCC:  February Freeze Flyer


Last week’s flyers:

  • Girls on The Run
  • Springfield Thunderbirds


2 weeks ago:

  • Boy Scouts Troop 23 Christmas Tree Recycling


Older Flyers:

  • Homework Group at CHP
  • MVRMS Yearbook Order Form
  • Butternut 2017/18 Ski/Board Program

Julie C. Duffin

Principal’s Secretary

Monument Valley Regional Middle School

313 Monument Valley Road

Great Barrington, MA  01230