Monument Valley Regional Middle School
Week at a Glance and News and Notes
Note from the Principal:
Last week I had so much fun writing about what I saw in the week that I’m doing it again.  Our staff are just so amazing, and it is rewarding to witness their dedication.  This week I saw students delving into definitions to prepare for a unit on ecology and air quality.  I heard about students who went across to the elementary school to teach younger students for the Hour of Code, and about one student who wowed the elementary kids with a computer program written in the Scratch language.  I saw students experience a full language lesson, from soup to nuts, as they call an idiomatic expression: a direct lesson on how to expand language to make it more interesting to the reader, an activity to generalize the learning and then a performance that got the kids applying their knowledge to deeper understanding through theater.  I saw a student lead his football team at recess through careful playing of his position, and making sure that each of his peers rotated through the quarterback role.  I had a student help me at morning recess collect all of the balls in a fun game.  I watched a student focus on catching up on work in a guided study period in the library.  I heard about several other students who met with their teachers to make a plan to get more focused on academics, and ask for help from teachers.  I watched a math student get extra help from a teacher, and find joy in learning something he said he could never get.  I listened to a teacher set firm expectations for a student that helped the kid make a tough decision tp get back into learning.  I saw students playing games in a class at lunch to get ready for a field trip.  I talked with a group of students who asked to use a conference room during their lunch to keep working on a project.  I attended the most amazing Chorus concert where students sang spirituals and celebrated the work of WEB Dubois, an illustrious Great Barrington resident, ending the concert with a passionate rendition of “Rise Up,” a contemporary song where students shared how they would stand for the people that mean the most for them.  And I witnessed paraprofessionals at the concert helping students succeed who need the help to be fully engaged—all of our students have the opportunity to be a part of all learning.  I heard about the many middle schoolers who auditioned and were accepted to the Western District performance ensembles for Band, Chorus and Orchestra.  I talked with a staff member about how to support a family that needs help this holiday season.  I witnessed our nurse taking the extra time with a student who did not feel well, giving them the extra push to get back to class, and helping another wait until picked up to go home sick.  I saw kids eagerly getting to the gym for an after-school soccer program.  Our custodian and facility crew came in this weekend to deal with a broken water fountain.  Our school adjustment counselor made several home visits to connect kids and families to the supports at school.  Our cafeteria staff made one amazing turkey lunch this week, with pie! I met with our speech teacher to make sure we are getting instruction right for a student.  I collaborated with teachers on tuning up co-teaching to get the most out of our time with students.  I worked with one secretary on getting information correctly in our system to make sure we have access to the right supports for families, and with another secretary on staffing subs to make sure lessons are deployed the best possible way.  I saw a paraprofessional working with a student on a reading activity.  And I attended a professional learning experience to become more knowledgeable about inclusion of all students, and plan with my admin team.  Our assistant principal trained a new staff member on student support, and worked with a teacher on differentiating a set of lessons for best learning results.  I see these things every day, and it is truly amazing.  The faculty work very hard to make sure each moment works for your kids.  I continue to be inspired.
Parent-Teacher conferences were great. Thank you for coming, if you attended.  And thank you to the other families if you feel like you have enough information and connection already.  If you still have questions about your child now, or missed conferences and want to connect, 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 December 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 just in brief bursts with little context.
Have a good weekend!
Ben Doren
Week at a Glance:
Monthly Lunch Menu:
Monday, December 17
Regular School Day
Tuesday, December 18
Regular School Day
Wednesday, December 19
Regular School Day
Thursday, December 20
Regular School Day
Friday, December 21
½ Day of School
Student Council Food Drive
The student council would like to thank the MVRMS Community for their support during the food drive. We exceeded our goal of 1000 items and collected 1075 items.  Also Mrs. Cormier’s Advisory collected the most items and donated the cost of the Pizza Party back to the Food Drive!
Volunteer Facilitator Position
The Southern Berkshire Educational Futures (SBEF) group is an informal collaboration among the Berkshire Hills, Lee, Lenox and Southern Berkshire Regional School Districts.
The group is composed of school committee members and superintendents and has been meeting regularly.
SBEF is seeking a skilled and thoughtful volunteer facilitator to support monthly meetings and progress.
For more information or to express an interest in the role, email .  Include a letter of interest and a resume.
Yearbooks are available for pre-order!
Purchase at or download the order form and please make checks payable to: Monument Valley Activity Fund
Reminder from the PE Teachers
Although boot season is upon us, please remember sneakers are required for students in all PE classes.
Lost & Found
Please remind your child to check the lost & found.  This time of year we have mounds of sweatshirts and jackets that students take off during recess and leave behind.  All unclaimed items will be donated over the December break.
Lost Cell Phone
I still have one lost cell phone in the office. Please contact the office if you’ve been missing your phone.
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.
Flyers are available on our website at this link:
This week’s flyers:
No new flyers this week.
Last week’s flyers:
• Flying Cloud Institute:  Girls Robotics Club
Older flyers:
• Yearbook Order Form
• Stateline Youth Wrestling
• Hancock Shaker Village:  Shaker Holidays
• BSRCC—American Red Cross Learn to Swim Lessons
• Winter Soccer Clinics
• Ski Butternut Student and Family Season Pass Application
• Berkshire HorseWorks Initiative
• Golden Knights Basketball
• Housatonic Youth Basketball Registration
• Great Barrington 4H Club
• Blue Rider After School Program Flyer
• Butternut Basin 18/19 Ski/Board Program Application
Julie C. Duffin
Principal’s Secretary
Monument Valley Regional Middle School
313 Monument Valley Road
Great Barrington, MA  01230