Monument Valley Regional Middle School

Week at a Glance and News and Notes

Update with Graduation Video and Summer Food Program Update

Note from the Principal:

Well, we made it!  So now it is officially the time to say, “Goodbye!,” for the school year, and, “Hello!!!,” to summer.  This experience in the past three months has been so mixed.  We had a regular school year up until mid-March, with the great ups and downs of the middle school experience.  And then the world got turned on its head with the international pandemic, where we all hunkered down in our homes to be safe.  We managed as best we could, learning a lot about learning in this new normal.  And in the midst of the social distancing and sheltering at home we became more aware as a nation that there is inequity in our communities, and we have a lot of work to do to make right on the promise of our country.  This is a lot for any adult to comprehend, and we had to support our students and your children, aged ten to fourteen, through this.  And many of us have other people in our homes, younger and more innocent, older and more experienced, who were going through this with us.  I have said this before, and will continue to repeat it: we are able to do so well as a learning community at Monument Valley because of our staff, our families and our wonderful students.  We believe that all students have the right to an appropriate education, and we followed that ideal.  We also know that if we have to continue doing education like this–away from the school building for all or part of the time that learning is happening–then we have to adjust: bring more rigor to the learning environment, make the experience relevant to our students and their lives, and build and maintain deep relationships with them.  We will work on that this summer to be prepared for whatever the fall’s return to school brings us.  For now, though, the educators at Monument Valley, the students, our families, all need a break.  We need to refresh, recharge, reconnect before we can reengage.

This week marked the last activities for students. Many met with their teachers, had a final Advisory conversation.  The eighth graders got to connect with their teachers for informal awards and advisories.  We held a fabulous graduation ceremony yesterday evening, and we got to see so many of you on the parade through the towns yesterday afternoon.  Today we saw off the eighth graders as they drove up to school to get their graduation envelopes.  So happy to see everyone and celebrate our community, and so sad to say goodbye until next time.

We will send our periodic emails through the summer with information on next year.  In a few weeks we may have a better idea from Massachusetts and our community leaders about what school can look like for the fall.  We will then develop tentative plans, and share the ideas with you.  Really we will know more in early August as the time for starting school draws nearer, we have actionable information to say what school will be like for the first weeks or months, and educators have had a chance to design the best learning experiences and situations for your children.

In the mean time please reach out to me at as I am eager to get feedback and answer questions.  Your appreciations and recommendations so far have been so important.  My (virtual) office continues to be open…

Thanks, and be well,

Ben Doren


Week at a Glance:



We had a great ceremony last night.  Here is the link to the folder with the Graduation Video that we recorded.  It also has the videos of the Community Forums.  Thanks for your patience Thursday night as we worked out some tech glitches with participants, and had to surf the hackers.  The video is just the best parts: the ceremony from the official start, and the audio of the students.  It is a special experience.

Summer Food Program Update

Click here for information on our summer food program.  We will continue to offer the food program all the way through the summer.  If you participate, just continue.  If you want to join or change some information with us, just click on the link to find out how to contact us via email or phone.


Pre-ordered yearbooks can be picked up with locker contents (see times below).  Yearbooks can be purchased then, as well.  Please bring $20.00 exact cash or check made payable to MVM Activity Account. Email if you need to schedule a different time.

8th grade pre-ordered yearbooks were included in the graduation packets.

Locker Clean Out Continues this Week

All lockers have been cleaned out and belongings have been placed into a bag labeled with the student’s locker # and name.  The bags are in the cafeteria and you will be able to pull up in the front circle of the school, check in with a staff member, then enter the cafeteria to pick up your bag.

We will allow four people in at a time.  All staff, parents and students must wear a mask and practice social/physical distancing.  No one will be allowed to enter the school building outside of the cafeteria.

Locker content pick up times for 5th-8th grades

Monday 9-11

Tuesday 10-12

Wednesday 9-11

Thursday 8-10

If these times do not work for you, please contact to arrange a different time.

Book Returns

There will be boxes in the cafeteria where library books and textbooks can be returned.

Chromebook Returns

There will be a table in the cafeteria for returned Chrombooks and CHARGERS.  Please return both!

Lost & Found

Please check the coat hooks in the cafeteria for any lost items.  Remaining items will be donated over the summer.

Field Trip Refunds

Field trip refunds are being processed.  Your refund will be mailed around mid-June.  If you do not receive your full refund please contact

Rising 9th Graders

Project Connection is offering FREE Virtual Summer Programs! These programs are a great way for you to stay connected with your friends, meet some current high school students and teachers BEFORE going into the High School!

Attached, you will see a flyer with brief descriptions of the programs we are offering from July 6th – July 30th. I have asked all program teachers to start programs AFTER 10am, per student request.

Please follow the link on the flyer, or the link below, to register for these programs. We have worked very hard to try and create something for EVERYONE so PLEASE let me know if we are missing something or if you have an idea for a program in the future!

Some programs have dates TBD and all dates and times are flexible. We want to know when YOU are available so you will be hearing from the program teachers soon.

Click HERE to Register!


Project Connection will be sponsoring a WEEKLY TOP 10 that all students AND staff can be involved in. Send in videos of a trick shot, music you have been working on, art work, tik toks, pet tricks, you name it! We are working on a voting platform for you to choose which videos you thought were the best!  More information on how to submit videos will be posted to the High School social media pages soon. The more entries we get per week the better!  If you have any questions, please reach out to Mr. Kelly (

YOU can have a say in the afterschool programs at Monument and we want to hear what you have to say! Please connect with Mr. Kelly ( to get involved in the PC Ambassadors – A group that meets to discuss what programs to offer and how to put them in place. Last year, our students created our first ever E-Sports program per request of 2 students. Bring forth your creativity and let’s build new programs together.

Memo to Parents of current 6th graders (soon to be 7th graders):

Reminder to complete the Massachusetts mandated immunization(s) requirements for entrance into 7th grade. Completed immunizations are required by the MA Department of Public Health for public school attendance. Students who are not in compliance with these state regulations must be excluded from school until the proper documentation of immunization(s) is received from a physician’s office (there may be a grace period this year due to the pandemic). The only allowed exceptions to required immunizations are a medical exemption (if a health care provider submits in writing that an immunization is medically contraindicated), or a religious exemption (if a parent submits a signed statement to the school stating that immunizations are contrary to their religious beliefs).

To comply with state regulations all 6th grade students should have a physical examination with their medical provider within the year prior to September 2020. During this exam any required mandatory immunization(s) should be obtained. This year may be a bit different due to the COVID virus and physicals may be delayed, but immunizations should still be obtained. All incoming 7th graders should have these required immunizations for the start of the school year. If you have already submitted a copy of updated immunizations to the Monument Valley Health Office – thank you.

Pat Harper, RN; for any specifics about your student’s immunizations on file.

Community Forums: Archived video and audio of the events!

I held Community Forums and we had a session on signing up for ninth grade classes.  They were well attended, and I appreciated those who could join us.  I also recorded the sessions in video and audio formats so you can watch or listen if you could not join.  The videos and audio files are in a folder at this link.  I start the session by welcoming folks and celebrating what we have accomplished, and continue by acknowledging how hard it is to make sense of this school closure.  I discuss what will be happening in the next weeks and to end the year, and where the district is with end of year activities like graduation and transitioning to the next grade.  If you have specific questions feel free to email me, as always, at  I will also hold another set of forums in a few weeks once we have more information from Massachusetss and our local leaders.

How much do we care about our students?  This much ———>

Here is the great news: The educators at Monument Valley miss the students so much!  And how do you know?  They showed them.  Please watch this video to see the heartfelt connection that the staff have with our students:  Many thanks to Katie Malone-Smith, our art teacher, for leading this and producing the video, and of course to our staff for snapping the pics!

Reminder about Important (updated) news from our School Nurse

Please see the information posted on our School Nurse’s (Pat Harper) website  It has contact information so you can connect with her for health questions as well as get COVID-19 updates.

2020-2021 School Calendar

Many of you have asked about next year’s school calendar.  You can find it here:

Reminder about Food Support available at the end of the week:

The District will be providing a week’s worth of food to families of our students in our district community every Friday.  These meals will be available to all students who would benefit from the service. Food will be distributed on FRIDAYS from 11:00am-2:00 pm ONLY AT THE MONUMENT VALLEY site.  If you need this resource and cannot pick up, we can deliver to you.  Email  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.


Flyers are available on our website at this link:

This week’s flyers:

  • Help with P-EBT Card Use

Last week’s flyers:

  • Summer Reading with GB Libraries

  • Glass Blowing:  MVM Virtual Field Trip

Older flyers:

  • Think Before you Click” Internet Safety Campaign

  • Ward’s offering Free Tree Seedlings to Youth

  • GB Babe Ruth Baseball 2020 Registration

  • French & Spanish Immersion Camps for rising 4-6 graders

  • Berkshire Cal Ripken Baseball Registration

  • GB Girls Softball Registration

  • GB Little League Registration Information

  • CANCELLED–Family Dance at Unitarian Universalist Church

  • SMArt Summer @ Flying Cloud Institute

  • STEM Summer @Flying Cloud Institute

  • Outdoor Explorer’s Club @ Flying Cloud Institute

  • Eisner Day Camp

  • RSYP:  RYSE Weeklong Summer Program

Julie C. Duffin
Principal’s Secretary
Monument Valley Regional Middle School
313 Monument Valley Road
Great Barrington, MA  01230
Attachments area