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April 25, 2017


Dear Friends of Gateway:

Here is this week's issue of Breaking News -- the e-newsletter of the Gateway Regional School District. We are always looking for feedback and ideas to improve the newsletter, so please feel free to contact us!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Monsters exist, but they are too few in numbers to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men, the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions.” – Holocaust Survivor Primo Levi

WEEK AT A GLANCE: Today is our final 2-hour early release day of the year (see the “Reminders” section for dismissal times); Bingo for Books for students PreK – 5 is tonight in the Middle School cafeteria from 6 – 7:15 p.m. School Committee meets tomorrow night at 7 p.m. On Thursday, Chester’s fifth graders head to Becket Chimney Corners for a two-day, intensive STEM program (with funding from the Gateway Education Foundation). On Friday morning—bright and early!—the high school band leaves for a competition in Philadelphia, returning Sunday. If weather permits, the baseball and softball teams both face Monson Friday at 4 p.m. at home. (A reminder to please check the sports calendar or Gateway athletics Facebook page for schedule changes due to weather). The Chester PTO Annual Spaghetti Supper and Raffle will be held Friday evening (see the Reminders) for details. GRHS Student Council launches their two week “Penny Wars” on Monday, May 1 (ending 5/12) during lunch and after-school in the swamp. (This is for spirit points and raises funds for the annual “Spring Fling”. Also on Monday, the Chester PTO meets from 6 – 7 p.m. and Blandford Town Meeting is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 2 is Valley Gives Day.  Click here for an April calendar.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE: The Gateway Regional School Committee will meet on April 26 at 7 p.m. in MS rooms 112/114. Agenda items include looking at the school calendar for 2017-18 and the school committee meeting schedule for next year. The public is welcome to attend.

Photo of NHS Members, 2017ELEVEN STUDENTS INDUCTED INTO NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY: “I’m confident that our next generation of NHS members will do great things in the upcoming year,” stated Vice President Cami Rock. (Article written by Communications Intern Rachel LeBarron).

‘PETER PAN AND WENDY’ AT GATEWAY MIDDLE SCHOOL: A cast of 22 middle schoolers take the stage on May 5 and 6 to present the classic story of the boy who never grows up, life in Neverland, and the visit from the Darling children. Tickets (at the door) are $3 for students and senior citizens and $^ for adults.

HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS SHARE LIFE STORIES WITH GATEWAY STUDENTS: “How is it that I am standing here today? How did I survive? We jumped from the moving train…”; thus began the testimony of Annie Bleiberg, a Polish Jew who survived Auschwitz. She was one of two speakers who recounted their lives during the Holocaust to Gateway students—when they were teenagers themselves.

THIRD TERM HONOR ROLL FOR HIGH SCHOOL: Principal Jason Finnie has announced the Honor Roll for the third marking term of the school year.

NEW (AND RETURNING!) DONORS SOUGHT FOR VALLEY GIVES DAY: The annual day of online generosity throughout Western Massachusetts is one week from today. Area non-profits are taking part and donations may be made anytime between now and May 2! Click here to donate!

SPORTS BANQUET TICKETS STILL AVAILABLEfor the brunch at 10:30 a.m. at East Mountain Road Country Club on Sunday, May 7.

GATEWAY TOWN MEETING DATES: Approval of the 2017-2018 Gateway budget will be on the warrant for all six member town meetings; four of the six must approve the budget for it to pass.

HEADS UP: COMMUNICATIONS SURVEY STARTS MAY 1! We continue our survey season with the launch of an online Communications Survey, running from May 1 – May 15. There will be separate surveys for parents, staff and community members. The survey is being conducted by an outside organization and all responses are anonymous. Help us guide the future direction of our communications efforts! The links will be in next week’s Breaking News and on the Gateway website “quicklinks” on Monday.

BINGO FOR BOOKS TONIGHT FOR PREK-5: This is a fun night out for kids AND parents; kids who attend can receive free books (thanks to the Gateway Education Foundation!). Tonight in the Middle School Cafeteria from 6 – 7:15 p.m. for students in grades PreK – 5. Bake sale items are appreciated!

CAMP CODY PARTNERING WITH GATEWAY EDUCATION FOUNDATION IN SPECIAL FUNDRAISER: Camp Cody, an overnight camp in New Hampshire for children ages 7 – 15, is offering a special that may interest families. A two-week session at Camp Cody (valued at $3,600) will be given to a family who donates $1,500 to the Gateway Education Foundation. This is valid for new campers only, and an additional $300 registration fee will apply: still, it results in a half-price session. We have THREE camperships available, which will be granted to the first 3 families who contact Wendy Long ( or (413) 685-1003). Click here for the Camp Cody brochure. This needs to happen quickly because camp is already filling up!

PARENTS POLLED ON BLIZZARD BAGS: Gateway parents are reminded to take an ONLINE SURVEY regarding our pilot year of Blizzard Bags. The survey is fairly brief but will gather vital information for tweaking the program (staff and students will have their own survey) if it continues next year. The survey closes May 1st.

LITTLEVILLE CALENDAR RAFFLE REMINDER: Winners will be drawn each day in May for prizes to local businesses, including free passes to the Eric Carle museum and Amelia Park Ice Arena, plus stores, restaurants, and gift items. Each calendar will be a $5 donation by cash or check (payable to Littleville PTO) and entries must be in by April 28. Click here for an order form.


HILLTOWN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE INTERFAITH INITIATIVE TO HOLD VIGIL IN HUNTINGTON; ALL INVITED: This hits home to Gateway, as many know, because both of the women  murdered by their partners in our hilltowns in the past 20 years were Gateway graduates and both had children attending Gateway schools at the time of their deaths. An Interfaith Candlelight Vigil will be held on Thursday, May 4 from 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Please join us in shining the light on the issues of Domestic Violence.  

HILLTOWN FAMILY CENTER NEWS: The Hilltown Family Center is sponsoring a “Very Hungry Caterpillar” Story Walk on Friday, April 28. (See the flyer for details).

ADULT EDUCATION UPDATE: On Tuesday, April 18 SHAEC is offering a workshop from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Google Calendar at the Russell Senior Center. Check out SHAEC’s Spring Newsletter for upcoming events, along with the April Calendar and Course List.


HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE: A LEARNING SITE FOR STUDENTS: International remembrances of the Holocaust are taking place this week throughout the country and the world. The US Holocaust Memorial Museum has tips for parents and teachers about how and when to discuss the Holocaust with children on their website. Among them: sixth grade or above, avoid simple answers to complex questions and do not teach or imply that the Holocaust was inevitable. Visit their website for more information, and for learning activities for students. 





IN CLOSING, this week's Superintendent's Corner is now posted. This week, Dr. Hopson asks for the help of parents, students, staff and community members as a number of upcoming surveys gather important input for next year’s planning. Read the complete column for more information.


Wendy V. Long, Editor

“Breaking News From Gateway”
Is published weekly by the Gateway Regional School District
12 Littleville Rd.
Huntington, MA  01050

For questions or feedback, please contact Wendy Long @ (413) 685-1003 or email

© 2017, Gateway Regional School District