February 22, 2010

Dear Friends of Gateway:

Here is this week’s installment of Gateway’s weekly e-newsletter. Back issues of Breaking News and past Superintendent’s Corners are posted on the News Archive (under “general information” on the district website). As always, your feedback and suggestions are welcome  

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:  “Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” – Abraham Lincoln


COMING EVENTS: Schedules of activities for the weeks ending February 28, 2010 and March 6, 2010 are now posted.  (Items for this calendar should be submitted at least two weeks ahead of time!)

UPCOMING MEETINGS:  The February 10 meeting of the Gateway Regional School Committee was cancelled due to school being closed for weather. The Gateway Regional School Committee will meet next on Wednesday, February 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the high school library (2nd floor). The Friends of Gateway group is changing their meeting time! Starting February 2nd, the group will begin meeting on the FIRST TUESDAY of each month, at 9:30 a.m. in the Superintendent’s Office. We are holding an extra meeting on February 23 at 9:30 a.m. (Superintendent’s Office) to continue plans for the Annual Volunteer Dinner. We welcome new members to this group, whose goals include improving communications, parent involvement, and volunteerism in support of student achievement. The public is invited and encouraged to attend all meetings.




REBECCA WANCZYK NAMED NEW PUPIL SERVICES DIRECTOR: Rebeccalyn Wanczyk of Hadley, Massachusetts will replace retiring Director of Pupil Services, Margery Gerard, this summer.

Rebecca Wanczyk will move from Elementary Assistant Principal to Pupil Services Director later this year.

GATEWAY FOOD SERVICES DIRECTOR EARNS NATIONAL CREDENTIAL: Wendy McCaul, Food Services Director for the Gateway Regional School District, has earned the title School Nutrition Specialist (SNS), the highest credential in her profession.

PUBLIC HEARING ON THE 2010-11 GATEWAY BUDGET: Superintendent David Hopson has announced that the Public Hearing for the 2010-11 school year budget will be held on Wednesday, March 3 in the Gateway Performing Arts Center, starting at 7:30 p.m.

REPUBLICAN NEWSPAPERS NAME ALL SCHOLASTIC TEAMS: Congratulations to the 14 Gateway athletes named to All scholastic Teams for fall sports by the Republican Newspapers. In Division III Boys Soccer, Jr. Sam Cummings was named to the First Team; Jr. Gabe Craig, Sophomore Gabe Richardson and Sr. Joe Simonowicz were named to the Second Team. In Division III Girls Soccer, Jr. Erika Mason, Sophomore Chelsea Merritt and Sr. Moira ieciak were named to the First Team; Sr. Kirsten Huff, Jr. Tara Spencer and Jr. Regan Teixeria were named to the Second Team. Sr. Jessica Hopson was named to the Academic Achievers Team for girls soccer. In Division II Cross Country, Jr. Levi Ward was named to the First Team for boys; Freshman Katie Clark was named to the Second Team for girls.  Freshman Madison Graham was named to the Second Team for gymnastics. Congratulations to these outstanding scholar-athletes.

AVERY, SICO AND LEBARRON TAKE TOP HONORS IN 7TH GRADE POETRY SLAM: George Avery, Sierra Sico, and Charlotte LeBarron earned top honors in this year’s annual Poetry Slam.

HONOR ROLLS: Principal Kathleen McSweeney is pleased to announce the honor roll for Gateway Regional High School and Effort Awards for Gateway Regional Jr. High School, for the second term of the 2009-10 school year.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS WILL CLOSE INTRA-DISTRICT SCHOOL CHOICE FOR 2010-11: Students will be assigned to Littleville and Chester Elementary Schools next fall on the basis of their town of residence, so that staff and materials can be distributed in a planful way for the fall.

CHESTER ELEMENTARY STUDENTS ARE COLLECTING “PENNIES FOR PATIENTS”: Students at Chester Elementary School are collecting spare change to support an organization that fights blood cancers.

CABIN FEVER CONCERT ON MARCH 5: Instrumental Music Director Beth Guertin has announced that musicians in grades 5 – 7 will hold their annual Cabin Fever Concert at 7 p.m. on March 5.

LAST CALL FOR VOCATIONAL SCHOOL APPLICATIONS: This is the final reminder to parents of students living in the Gateway hilltowns, that vocational school applications must be submitted to the Gateway guidance office by March 1st, in order for students to be eligible.

AFTERSCHOOL MATH HELP STARTING: Worried about your high school student passing the MCAS exam? This program has been HIGHLY successful in preparing students for the high stakes exam.


JUNIOR CLASS FIELD TRIP TO COLLEGE FAIR: The Gateway Guidance Department is offering a field trip for members of the junior class, to the National College Fair at the Big E on Monday, March 8. One bus will be going; therefore the first 43 students who return their permission slips and $2 will be able to attend. All slips must be turned in by March 1.


ADVANCE TEE-SHIRT SALES FOR THE R-WORD DAY: Gateway Regional High School students will again lead a school-wide awareness day to end the “R-Word”. Click here for information on ordering a tee shirt ahead of time, to wear on March 3rd!

ENGINEERS TO SPEAK AT FEBRUARY CAREER CHAT: The February “Career Chat” will feature Mr. Andrew Tacke (Mechanical Engineer and Gateway alum!) and Mr. Eric Weiss (Environmental Engineer), who will speak with interested students about careers in engineering. Students should sign up in Guidance by February 23rd.

BLANDFORD SPAGHETTI SUPPER: If you like spaghetti and want to support a local elementary school, please join us for a benefit dinner! The Blandford Elementary PTO will hold a spaghetti supper at the school on Saturday, March 20 from 5 – 6:30 p.m. Tickets ($6 for adults and $4 for children 5 to 12 years old) may be purchased at the door. Children under age 5 are free. Profits from the dinner will be used for field day and enrichment programs for Blandford students. This is a fun, community event so bring your neighbors and friends to enjoy good food and to socialize. As in the past, the dinner will be prepared by caterer Staci Iglesias.

CHOIRS TO SELL EASTER PLANTS: The high school choirs will be selling Easter Lilies, tulips, hyacinths, regal geraniums, hydrangea and pansy pots. Plants may be picked up at Gateway on Monday, March 29 from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. Click here for an order form. Orders and money must be in by March 15.

WEBSITE OF THE WEEK: Dedicated to helping Gateway parents raise strong, safe, healthy and high-achieving kids!

TEACHING KIDS ABOUT THE CENSUS: The Census bureau has developed an instructional web site about the 2010 Census for schools, families and children. These materials are designed to sharpen kids skills in critical thinking, reading comprehension, history, math, geography, and data and map analysis. As the 2010 Census questionnaire arrives at YOUR home, discuss the importance of completing and returning this document. It is important to the school district and its member towns that all families complete and return their questionnaire, as funding for towns and schools relies on some of this data.


  • CLASS OF 2012 NINTENDO WII RAFFLE: The Class of 2012 is raffling off a Nintendo Wii over the next few weeks. Raffle tickets ($1 each) will go on sale on February 10, with the drawing on March 1. Tickets will be sold during lunch and can also be purchased from any Class of 2012 member at any time.
  • GATEWAY REVERSIBLE WINTER HATS FOR SALE: Warm, reversible winter hats are available for sale in the high school, middle school and Littleville offices. They can be purchased during lunch or after school for $13. Click here for a photo. This is a fundraiser for the Class of 2013.
  • SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP SHIRTS AVAILABLE: Anyone wishing to purchase a "Gateway Regional 2009 Western Mass Champs" shirt may click here for an order form. Orders should be turned into Gary St.Peter at the Wellness Center by February 26.
  • NEW SCHOOL START TIMES ANNOUNCED FOR 2010-11 SCHOOL YEAR: The Gateway Regional School District voted to approve a change in school starting and ending times for the 2010-11 school year, at its January 27 meeting. The changes were made in accordance with recommendations from an independent transportation audit, conducted by the Massachusetts Association of School Business Officials (MASBO).
  • NEW DATE FOR LEGISLATORS MEETING: The annual meeting between district and town officials and our state legislators has been changed from February 4th to March 15. The House will be in session on February 4th.
  • ELEMENTARY TRANSITION UPDATES: Transition planning is now underway regarding the consolidation of Gateway elementary schools. Details will be announced as they occur, and we are building a new website for parents, staff and community members. Information will also be announced in Breaking News each week, so please encourage every elementary parent you know to subscribe! Please email subscription requests to gatewaynews@grsd.org.
  • FRIENDS OF GATEWAY TO THANK SCHOOL VOLUNTEERS: The Sixth Annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner for all parents and community members who serve our schools will be held on Thursday, March 11, with dinner served from 5 – 7 p.m. in the MS/HS cafeteria.
  • SAVE THE DATE FOR ANNUAL SPORTS BANQUET: Students and parents who participate in Gateway Jr./Sr. High School athletic programs: the Gateway Athletic Booster Club has announced the date of the Annual Sports Banquet. This year, the banquet will be held at Tekoa Country Club in Westfield on June 2. Ticket information will be coming later in the school year. Please save the date for this special event!
  • APPLICATION FOR FREE AND REDUCED LUNCH: The application form is posted to our website. If you need assistance, please contact John Bergeron or Diane Meehan at 667-2203, who would be happy to help.

In closing, the Superintendent’s Corners for the past two weeks are now posted. Last week, Dr. Hopson addresses some of the most frequently asked about items: bus routes, safety drills, bullying and next year’s assessment to the towns. This week’s column reports on the transition process involved in closing 3 schools and moving staff, equipment and materials into their new classrooms. Read both columns for details!


Have a wonderful week!

To subscribe or unsubscribe to this newsletter, please send an email request to gatewaynews@grsd.org


“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 wlong@grsd.org

© 2010, Gateway Regional School District