Each class has art instruction once a week under the direction of the art teacher. The art
program provides an exposure to a variety of art media. Students are expected to explore
various art forms applying their own level of creativity and imagination to each project or task.
The emphasis is on the process of their involvement with various art media. The classroom
teachers and the art teacher work to integrate art projects into the regular instructional
The BHRSD offers an enrichment program for students in grades 1-8 as a component of our
Response to Intervention (RtI) plan. The program is based on the School Wide Enrichment
Model that was developed at the University of Connecticut. The program offers three tiers of
service. First, there are the whole school activities such as assemblies. Then there are class
based projects and small group opportunities. Finally, there is a pullout program for students
who have demonstrated high achievement in academic areas.
Admission to the pullout enrichment program is offered to students based on a combination of
achievement test results, classroom achievement, and recommendations. The pull out program
features activities such as Literature Circles, Artifact Box, Continental Math League, and Word
Masters. At BHRSD, we make every effort to bring the benefits of the program to all students,
even if they are not in the pullout portion of the program. If a student is not selected in a given
year to participate in the pullout program, it does not mean that they will not be considered in
the future. Additionally, if a student is not in the pullout program, he/she has many
opportunities to participate in other Enrichment programs.
Instruction in English as a Second Language (ESL) is provided to Muddy Brook Regional Elementary School students who have been classified as English Language Learners (ELLs), by means of a state-mandated English screening test administered when the student enters the school system. All ESL instruction is provided by a BHRSD certified ESL teacher.
The ESL Curriculum has two main components. The first component is Academic Vocabulary. The goal of this instruction is to fill-in, catch up, support, and increase the academic vocabulary of our English Language Learners. The relevant vocabulary comes from subject area classroom teachers as well as state standards for each subject area and each grade.
The second component of the ESL Curriculum is Language Structure. This includes the structure of sentences as well as words and discourse as specified in the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks English Language Arts Language Standards.
Students receive direct instruction through either one:one instruction, or in small groups, with ample time for guided and independent practice of the material to be learned. Students demonstrate what they have learned through regularly administered written assessments, student projects, and a yearly state-mandated assessment designed to measure proficiency in English as a Second Language.
The children in Grades pre-K to 4 are allotted time to visit the library at least once a week The
Muddy Brook School Library/Media teacher prepares lessons that promote curiosity, a love of
reading and the development of research skills.
Singing, rhythm, theory, and music appreciation are taught to each class Prekindergarten –
Grade 4 by the music teacher. Our approach to music instruction is largely choral; we do,
however, make use of many of the Orff instruments – exposing children to areas of speech,
movement, song rhythms, and playing of percussion instruments. The classroom teachers and
the music teacher often integrate music with the regular instructional program.
Pre-kindergarten through Grade 2 students participate in a weekly group sing.
Grade 3 students have the opportunity to take group lessons on a string instrument and join the
Orchestra and/or the Grade Three Chorus. The Orchestra and Chorus meet weekly. Some
students, with permission of their teachers, sign up for both ensembles and alternate weekly
Grade 4 students have the opportunity to take group lessons in playing a band and/or string
instrument. They meet weekly as members of The MBE Band, Orchestra and/or Chorus.
Ensembles perform as part of the program of both the winter and spring concerts. Students
performing in more than one ensemble sign up in conversation with the music teachers and
alternate weekly practices.
We have an agreement with Gerry’s Music Shop to offer rental instruments. Parents/guardians
of students who wish to take lessons but cannot afford the rental program are invited to contact
Kim Chirichella, elementary music teacher, at 413-644-2350 or email@example.com.
The children at Muddy Brook have physical education each week taught by our PE teachers. The
program offers each child a chance to learn fundamental fitness concepts, to participate in
physical activities, to improve cardiovascular endurance; to learn social skills in cooperative and
competitive settings; to develop an enjoyment of participation in sport, fitness, cooperative, and
recreational activities; and to develop basic sport and recreational skills. The program is
designed for children to develop strength, endurance, speed, coordination, flexibility, poise,
balance, and a good sense of equilibrium.
Student Services (SPED)
- Special Education
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
- Homeless Education Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act)
Kathryn M. Burdsall, Director of Student Services
Betsy Baczek, Assistant to the Director of Student Services
The Student Services Department of the Berkshire Hills Regional School District provides a range of special education services in accordance with state and federal regulations to meet the needs of students with disabilities who are eligible for special education. While a variety of options are available to meet children’s educational needs, a goal of the District is the successful inclusion of children with disabilities in the general education classroom. Research and experience reveal that students of all ages benefit from socializing and learning side by side with their peers. The District strives to create safe, healthy classrooms in which all students can learn and benefit from skillful teaching, rich curriculum and engagement with their peers. The Student Services personnel work collaboratively with school based leaders and teams to meet the needs of all students, Preschool through Grade 12 (up to age 22).
School Adjustment Counselor:
Special Education Teachers/Liasons:
Sharon Connolly, Special Education Teacher (Mahalo Room)
Stephanie Kluka, Special Education Teacher (Aloha Room)
Jill Topham, Integrated Pre-Kindergarten Teacher
Jessica Louzon, Integrated Pre-Kindergarten Teacher
Leanna Pegorari, Special Education Evaluation Team Leader
Susan Teigen, Special Education Teacher
Richard Montano, Special Education Teacher
Burr Milliken, Special Education Teacher
Kimberly Cavanaugh, COTA
Kimberly Swarbrick, SLPA
Virginia Beck, Teacher of the Visually Impaired
Children at Muddy Brook receive technology instruction from the technology teacher in grades
During technology class students explore the following topics/activities: Lego robotics, digital
citizenship, application of digital tools and technology basics, word processing, age appropriate
keyboarding, presentation software, introduction to coding/computer programing, and online
All students in grades K-4 have the opportunity to come to “open lab” throughout the year to
work on special projects with their teacher.
Our comprehensive curriculum is designed to empower students to think critically, behave
safely, and participate responsibly in our digital world. Units focus on internet safety, privacy and
security, information literacy, and relationships & communication. Each designed to be
developmentally appropriate for each grade. Units consist of formal lesson plans, videos,
student interactive lessons, and assessments, as well as family outreach materials. A primary
resource for this work is Common Sense Media.
Students in grade 2 work with this introductory programing language developed by MIT, through
the use of their web based app on iPads. This program allows students to learn to think
creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively. As students code, they learn how to
create and express themselves with technology, not just interact with it. In the process students
learn how to create their own interactive stories and games.
Lexia is a comprehensive, technology-based reading program providing structured, sequential,
scaffolded instruction covering six areas of reading: phonological awareness, phonics, structural
analysis, automaticity/fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. This program is introduced in kindergarten and supported throughout 4th grade during Technology throughout the year. We
provide login information for remote access to the Lexia program from home as well.
Instruction in educational technology is given to students in grades 2-4 once a week.
Fourth Grade Chromebooks:
Starting in the 2017-2018 school year all fourth graders will have a chromebook assigned for
their personal use at school. Students will learn how to use the Google platform in computer
class, and they will use their computers as a tool class to access fourth grade materials across
subject areas, to create content and receive feedback.