Monument Valley Regional Middle School

Week at a Glance and News and Notes

Note from the Principal:

Greetings from a snow day.  This is the Berkshires, so March is unpredictable.  This was a good week back from vacation.  I love this time of the school year for learning.  Between the two vacations is the sweet spot for the school: students are used to routines and expectations, and the draw of summer vacation and the end of school are not upon us yet.  This is a great time for students to be engaged and productive.  Our teachers and paraprofessionals are working hard to keep pace with our eager learners, and pushing your children to figure out how they learn best.  We had a professional development day with each academic department over the past few weeks, working on alignment from fifth to eighth grade.  I am amazed at the collaboration in our teams, and the impact it is having on our instruction.  In English classes students are learning how to read for information and craft writing using a process that promoted self-regulation—the way students figure out how to do work independently and effectively.  In Social Studies we are teaching students a thorough research process that builds in complexity from year to year.  Exploratory teachers are piloting a review of students’ Habits of Mind, looking for the ways that students engage and develop their craft across the Exploratory Arts.  The Science team is implementing the Next Generation standards, showing students the relationship between making a claim about the world and using evidence to make a reasonable argument.  Math teachers are studying perseverance, one of the most important qualities of mathematical practice, seeing how students stick with problem solving and work with peers to make sense of the abstract world.  As I get into classrooms I see the results of this collaborative work: teachers are using similar techniques and tools, especially academic language, to coach the students.  And the students are responding—the big reward will be in the coming years as students enter classrooms with skills and tools already aligned to the program year to year.

Sadly, this is also a time that we have to reflect on safety in schools.  We take our responsibility for safeguarding your children at Monument Valley very seriously.  We do drills with students to practice after procedures, and discuss with them why we practice.  We have supports in place for students to share their feelings and concerns, and a good connection to families when we or you feel like a student needs more support.  We also collaborate with many community partners to expand our effectiveness and reach to help children.  Recent events in the country have heightened peoples’ awareness, and we want to respond.  The district will be holding a forum in the next weeks to inform families about our approach to safety, and answer questions.  As always, I encourage families to reach out to me if you have questions or concerns about our school.

Have a good weekend.

Ben Doren



Week at a Glance:

Monthly Lunch Menu:


Monday, March 5

Regular School Day

Screens & Teens Parent Group 8:00-9:00am


Tuesday, March 6

Regular School Day


Wednesday, March 7

Regular School Day

8th Grade Program of Studies Night @ MMRHS 6:30-8:00


ThursdayMarch 8

Regular School Day


Friday, March 9

No School Today—Full Day Professional Development


Community Discussion on Safety

Please hold Monday 3/12 at 7pm for a community discussion on school safety at Monument Valley’s Cafeteria.  We hope to have a panel discussion with local professionals and students.  Additional details and panelists to follow.


Chorus Cabaret

Hello, families of Monument Valley!

The 3rd-8th grade choruses of Berkshire Hills have been working extremely hard to prepare an exciting event coming up in two short weeks. On Thursday, March 15th, starting at 6:30 PM, we will host our first Muddy Brook-Monument Valley Chorus Cabaret, titled “That’s Amore!” held in the Monument Valley cafeteria. It will be a grand night of music, solos, a dinner fundraiser, and a silent auction. Doors open at 6 PM.

We invite you to attend! The show is free, but there will be several fundraisers going on. All proceeds will go directly to the choral and music programs of MB & MV. Enjoy a scrumptious Italian dinner with us – fill out this pre-order form to guarantee dinner for you and your family: All details are on the form.

Email me at if you have any questions.

-Sunhwa Reiner, choral director


Washington DC Trip Fundraiser Donations

Please see the letter on the Eighth grade Washington DC Trip Calendar fundraiser in the flyer section.  We are looking for families to help us collect donations for the raffle.  The fundraiser is a major way for families to reduce the cost of the trip for their children.  Donations can be sent to the attention of Ben Doren or Christine Lucy.


Big Y Education Express

If you are a Big Y shopper, please go to and register for Education Express.  It is a simple way for our school to earn valuable school supplies.  See flyer below for step by step instructions.


After School Floor Hockey with Mr. Vittum

February 26 – April 18


Mondays Grades 5 and 6

Wednesdays Grades 7 and 8

Students must be picked up at 3:30

Please sign up with Mr. Vittum


Ready Set Go! With Mrs. Mason

Is an intramural activity offered after school that focuses on large group games including team sports and cooperative games for all students. It runs from 2:45 -3:30 from February 26 – April 18. Mondays are reserved for grades 7/8 and Wednesdays are reserved for grades 5/6. Students must have rides planned ahead of time for a 3:30 pick-up. Please email or see Mrs. Mason with questions.


A Message from the School Nurse

Dear Parent/Guardian for Grades 6 and 8 Students:

According to Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 71, Section 57, all children in grades 5 through 9 receive postural screening during the school year. The purpose of postural screening is to find early signs of possible spinal curvature problems (scoliosis) during the rapid growth of adolescence. It is not a diagnostic service but a program to identify young people who may need further evaluation. If the condition is detected early and appropriately treated, progressive spinal deformity may be prevented.

Monument Valley Regional Middle School will begin doing annual postural screening in late February 2018 during Physical Education classes. Students will be reminded of their scheduled time for screening the day before. The screening test is very simple and can be performed in less than a minute. It is done in privacy unless students prefer to be together. Your child’s back is observed while he/she is standing and bending forward. You will be contacted if there is any reason to have your child examined by a physician. The majority of students exhibit no findings.

Please call Pat Harper, School Nurse at 644-2324 with any concerns or questions. Students will be expected to participate in this screening unless a parent/guardian sends a note to the school nurse excusing their child, along with a copy of a medical note stating that a postural screening has been done within the past 6 months.

Please note: a letter for grade 5 students was sent home with the recent report cards detailing when postural screening is scheduled for them, and grade 7 completed this screening last month.

Note: To assure a view of the spine, students expose their backs during screening. It is recommended that boys wear a shirt that can be easily removed, and that girls wear (or bring) a sports bra, or bathing suit/camisole type top.


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.



Flyers are available on our website at this link:

This week’s flyers:

  • Boys Lacrosse:  Gr 5/6 & 7/8 @ BCD
  • Lee Youth Lacrosse
  • Great Barrington Little League registration
  • Red Cross Swim Lessons/Adapted Swim @BSRCC
  • Camp Hi-Rock
  • Spotlight on the Arts
  • Babysitting Course

Last week’s flyers:

  • Eighth grade Washington DC Trip Calendar fundraiser
  • Blue Rider Stables Winter Spring After School Flyer
  • Vacation Week/ Family Friendly Exhibition Norman Rockwell Museum
  • BSRCC Crafternoons
  • BSRCC Survey:

2 weeks ago:

  • Big Y’s Education Express

Older Flyers:

  • Berkshire Lingua Summer Language Program
  • The Flu:  A Guide For Parents
  • BHYSC Spring Travel Soccer
  • Girls on The Run
  • MVRMS Yearbook Order Form


Julie C. Duffin
Principal’s Secretary
Monument Valley Regional Middle School