Dear Monument Valley families,

This update is short and sweet. It is good to feel like we are staying in touch, so I want to email you every day. I am also still receiving many emails a day from families with questions, with appreciation and with concerns. Thank you. It is important to keep the communication flowing two ways.

Tomorrow we will continue to have the lunch/breakfast pick up service. We will also have food sacks available for folks who need support over the weekend. Please let us know if you want this support. Details and contact info is below, as I copied the missive from yesterday for your reference.

The website for MVM Teams is updated regularly with new ideas for Enrichment or tools for families to get through this extraordinary time. Please use it as a resource, and send me ideas and feedback. The notes I have already received have been helpful. We will be sending more updates next week as we organize for the week of 3/30 to get you activities for your kids to do.

Please remember to be safe, practice social distancing when you and your kids are in public, and stay in touch. We do best as a community.

Til tomorrow, thinking of all of you…

Ben

*****
From 3/18:

I hope all continues to be well with your family in this extraordinary time. I want to make sure you have updated information on a regular basis, which for now will be daily. School will be closed for three weeks, and we are scheduled to return on April 6, 2020, as per Governor Charlie Baker. There will not be activities for students or families, nor access to school or district buildings, during this time period.

Below are reminders about food resources and enrichment activities for students and families.

I have received some inquiries about access to the building. At this point all district buildings are closed and sanitized. We have a small crew working on food service, administration and maintenance. There is no access for students, family or even general staff. Once we have a better understanding of safety in the community we will have a clearer idea of when folks can gain access. If you need something from a locker at school, please let me know so I can keep a list of requests. I have also received some inquiries about refunds for canceled field trips. At this point we are depositing all collected funds, and will be refunding families for canceled trips once we know a secure return date. We will likely be able to refund all payments, but possibly have to pay some deposits to vendors. I will know more once the situation in the region and country becomes more regular.

We want to make sure that families are safe and secure, and that students have the ability to maintain their education through this situation. Please reach out to me at ben.doren@bhrsd.org if you have any questions, concerns or want to share information. The more we do this together, the better off we all are. The situation is developing every day. I will continue to update you regularly, which for now will be daily. Next week I expect we will have a better idea if this school closure will extend, and what we will do about your children’s education. For now please be safe, stay at home, practice social distancing and access health care professionals if necessary. We want everyone as safe and healthy as possible when we return to school. Please reach out to me with any questions or concerns.

Thanks, and be well,

Ben

*****

Reminder about Food Support available daily and at the end of the week:
The District will be providing lunch, along with breakfast for the following morning, to students in our district community beginning tomorrow. These meals will be available to all students who would benefit from the service. Food will be distributed daily from 11:30am-12:30 pm at Monument Valley Regional Middle School, where you will drive up to the front circle to pick up. If you need this resource and cannot make it to Monument Valley for pick up, we will have other pick up locations – in front of the West Stockbridge Town Hall, behind the Stockbridge Town Hall, in front of the Housie Dome and behind the Great Barrington Fire Department. Please stay in your car and the meals will be brought to you.

We also will be distributing boxes of food to families who think they will need resources in the next week. We plan on doing this weekly. Details on how we will distribute will be shared on Thursday. In the meantime, please let me know if you are interested in receiving a box, or share this information with a family who needs a box. At this time we can only distribute boxes of food to families with children in our district. There are resources in towns for food support as well, such as the People’s Pantry in Great Barrington, for families or individuals who do not have children in our district.

Reminder about Enrichment activities available to students:
Each teacher has developed about eight activities for kids to do to keep them busy. The Grade Team and Exploratory webpage on our school’s site also has good links for resources that can be helpful to you: more enrichment resources, several links on how to talk to your kids about the Coronavirus, and a link to the BMC Information Kiosk online. While students are home in the next few weeks they can access enrichment resources for learning on each of our school websites. The work for Monument Valley is at this link:

Grade Level Teams and Exploratory Links

On the webpage you will find a link to get to your child’s class websites. The websites for each Grade Team and for Exploratory classes have two sections. One is for the “Marching Work” and the other is for “Blizzard Bags” on each site, and students can complete all of these over the next several weeks. Each school is providing enrichment activities for students to do so they can stay current on important skills and content. The activities are aligned to our current curriculum. The work is not for any particular credit, but like a summer reading assignment, the activity will keep students fresh and ready to return to school. Feel free to supplement with ideas and activities you think are relevant and will be interesting to your child. We have also provided helpful links to other learning resources that might interest students.

*****
Ben Doren, Principal
Monument Valley Regional Middle School
313 Monument Valley Road
Great Barrington, MA 01230
(413) 644-2300
mvrms.bhrsd.org