Dear Families,
This year we’ve been thinking about the role of homework in students' and families' lives. Teachers, parents, and our school council have wrestled with the questions:  Why and when do we assign homework?  How can homework best support connection between home and school? How will it develop student’s passions and interests?  What choices can we offer families to support a range of educational and family needs?  How can our tutoring and after school programs connect with and best support student passion, growth and achievement?  The conversations have been wonderful and we are ready to share the results.

Homework Vision Statement
The purpose of homework at Muddy Brook is:
  • to inspire conversations and connection between home and school
  • to support students in building a strong reading habit and a life with books
  • to collect information to further projects at school in all subjects
  • to support students' fluency in math and reading in a context that offers students and families choice. For example, a student might study math facts using digital games, flash cards, or other resources provided by teachers. Families will choose the resources they find most appealing to meet learning goals.
We believe in all students reading nightly to build their skill, background knowledge and love of books and learning. To this end, we are assigning reading logs to help the reader, family, and teachers see progress and define and support emerging interests and passions. We believe it makes sense for students to document independent reading and time being read to.
At times we will ask students to gather information at home to support projects at school. Each grade level will also share goals around skills students are expected to acquire in mathematics. For example, third graders are responsible for learning multiplication facts to 10 x 10. Our third grade team will share a variety of resources for practicing and talking about facts and it will be up to families to choose the resources that are most appealing for them whether they are digital, flash cards or something different.

Please do share feedback and thoughts as we implement this vision. 

Hygiene Notice!

Please read the information below from Nurse Becki. Many students have been out sick this week. To prevent the spread of germs at school, we are turning off water fountains next week. Our custodial team is also thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting Muddy Brook over the weekend.  

Please send your child to school with a personal water bottle next week. We will also have water available for students who are unable to bring their own.


 Mary Berle, Principal
MONDAY, February 6
8:00-8:30 a.m.                    Chess Club
TUESDAY, February 7
2:00 p.m.                             Ski Butternut
6:00-8:00 p.m.                     Cub Scouts
WEDNESDAY, February 8
8:00-8:30 a.m.                    Chess Club
10:00-10:30 a.m.                All School
THURSDAY, February 9
8:00-8:30 a.m.                    Ukulele Club
FRIDAY, February 10
Spirit Day – Heritage Day
8:00-8:30 a.m.                    Unicycling
12:30-2:00 p.m.                  Grade 4 – Author, Patricia MacLachlan (Library)
Every Tuesday - Berkshire Hills Chess Club – all levels and all ages invited!
5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

February 20-24 - Winter Break
March 10 - No School; Professional Development Day
March 11 - Family Day at The Norman Rockwell Museum
March 24 - Half Day
April 14 - No School; Good Friday
April 17-21 - Spring Break
May 5 - Half Day

A Note from the Health Room
Muddy Brook has had numerous cases of students and staff who are ill with flu-like symptoms and gastro-intestinal symptoms.  It’s important to know the difference between influenza and norovirus symptoms as there has been at least five confirmed cases of the flu and one confirmed case of norovirus. Both are very contagious.  Influenza is spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing.  Norovirus is spread by touching surfaces or objects and eating food or drinking liquids contaminated with the virus. 
  • Common symptoms of the flu include fever, headache muscle and body aches, chills, sore throat, exhaustion and dry cough.  Children may also have nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. 
  • Norovirus causes acute gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines) and infected persons can feel extremely ill with diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain/cramping and may also experience headache and fever.
Steps to keep you and your child healthy:
According to the CDC the best way to prevent influenza is to get a flu vaccine.  There is no vaccine available for the norovirus.
Talk to your child about practicing good health habits:
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
  • Cover mouth and nose into the inside of the elbow or with a tissue when sneezing or coughing
  • Avoid touching the “T-zone”-eyes nose and mouth
  • Avoid sharing drinks, water bottles, eating utensils and cell phones
Prevent spreading illness to others:
  • Keep your sick child home from school until he/she has been fever free for 24 hours (without the use of fever reducing medication.)  It is important for your child to get rest and drink plenty of fluids.
  • At home, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, toys and commonly shared items.  Wash contaminated clothing or linen immediately with detergent at the maximum available cycle length and then machine dry.
Mr. Kalish is in search of a few parent volunteers from March 13 through the end of the year from 8am-8:30am for Chess Club.  If you are interested, please email  Thank you!
BHRSD does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, sex, gender, gender identity,
religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or homelessness.

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Muddy Brook Regional Elementary School · 318 Monument Valley Road · Great Barrington, MA 01230 · USA

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