BN - November 3, 2011

November 3, 2011

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 in the GRSD News Archive (under “News” on the district website).  As always, your feedback and any suggestions for improvements are welcome. 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship." - Louisa May Alcott, and also attributed to Aeschylus

UPCOMING MEETINGS: If you missed the October 26th meeting of the Gateway Regional School District you missed a report on the water main break by Facilities Director Brian Wing and our well operators Bernie and Noreen St. Martin (also, kudos from Dr. Hopson and Ms. Fisk to the three, plus Bruce Saunders, Joanne Frappier and Deborah Kuhn), plus a presentation from Principal Megan Coburn on the Littleville Mini-Course program. The next meeting of the Gateway Regional School Committee will be December 9th in the Gateway library. It will be the only meeting in November for the committee. The public is welcome to attend these meetings, which begin at 7:30 p.m. Please note that any questions or concerns should first be brought to the appropriate district staff member (i.e. a specific teacher, principal or Central Office staff member). The first agenda item of every school committee meeting is hearing issues that are not on the posted agenda.

The next meeting of the Friends of Gateway
will be Tuesday, November 8th at 9:30 a.m. in the Superintendent's Office. New members are welcome to join this group, which supports district communications and volunteers. 

PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES ON MONDAY: Students will not attend school on Monday, November 7th, so that staff can meet with parents.

SCHOOLS CLOSED FOR VETERANS DAY: All Gateway schools will be closed on Friday, November 11th for Veterans Day. Read the entire article for details on Wrap-Around availability.

: From the better-late-than-never department (!) here is information on how students, staff and parents can find out whether or not school is closed due to weather.

CHESTER STUDENTS COLLECTING SUPPLIES FOR SOLDIERS: Third and fourth grade students at Chester Elementary School have adopted thirty-two soldiers in Afghanistan, who have little or no family. Students are writing letters and collecting materials to mail to the soldiers later this month. They are allowed to send homemade mixed cd's, socks, insoles, AA batteries, baby wipes trail mix, tylenol, shaving cream, cheap flashlights (red lens) black or brown electrical tape, energy drinks, ear plugs, antibacterial wipes, protein bars, under armor (socks), deodorant, fly strips, ear buds, beef jerky, ibuprofen, disposable razors and duct tape. Donated items will be accepted at the school office.

SESSION II OF THE MIDDLE SCHOOL AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM: Beginning this week, students will have the program from 2 - 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Wrap around will be available from 5-6 p.m. for a fee of $4.00 per day (paid weekly); wrap around will also be available on Fridays from 2-6 p.m. This session's activities include Legos, Yearbook, Survivor, Dance, Music and Drumming, Art Club, Outdoor Adventure, Future Inventors, Ultimate Sports Thursdays, Blue and Gold Committee, and CSI Gateway.

UPCOMING COLLEGE VISITS: Students may make appointments through the Gateway Guidance Department, to meet with the following College Representatives as they visit Gateway: Franklin Pierce College at 10:45 a.m.; Johnson & Wales University at 11:30 a.m. on 11/3; Wheaton College at 1 p.m. on 11/3; and Mitchell College at 10 a.m. on 11/4.

SCHOLARSHIP WEBSITES: This week's Guidance Advisory Announcements has a list of 6 scholarship websites to consider, when looking for help with funding college.

ADULT EDUCATION UPDATE: Due to popular demand, SHAEC has extended its open computer lab times. In addition to Wednesdays from 3:30-5:30 p.m., residents can also drop in on Thursdays from 6-8 p.m. starting November 10th. We can answer question about email, the Internet, avoiding viruses, managing files, using basic software programs--even help you set up a laptop, if you're using one! Call 685-1052 for more information. SHAEC is located in Gateway Regional High School, and is a program of the UMASS Labor/Management Workplace Education Program. It is funded by a Community Development Block Grant from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development through the lead town of Russell, in partnership with Chester, Huntington and Middlefield.

TIPS ON PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES: The Harvard Family Research Project has created tip sheets for parents, teachers and principals on making this year's conferences the most effective ever! 
  • NOVEMBER CALENDAR HIGHLIGHTS: The month includes an early release day (11/1), Parent-Teacher Conference Day (11/7), a half-day (11/23) and three holidays (11/11, 11/24, and 11/25).
  • PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCE DAY ON NOVEMBER 7: Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held on Monday, November 7th, which is a "no school" day for students. Information on scheduling a parent-teacher conference went home in elementary red folders. Click here for information on scheduling a conference at the Middle School (grades 5 and 6). Letters are going home today with Jr. High Students, with information about how to schedule a conference. Jr. High appointments will be available from noon to 7 p.m. on November 7th. (correction - 12:30 p.m.).  Sr. High School conferences may be scheduled between 7:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. by calling Jeanene Iglesias, Guidance Secretary at 685-1107.
  • STUDENT COUNCIL'S ANNUAL FOOD DRIVE NOVEMBER 1-17: The Gateway High School Student Council's Annual Food Drive will be held from November 1-17. Students in each grade will be awarded Spirit Points for their participation. All types of non-perishable items are accepting. Student Council members will be accepting donations during high school lunch (12:23-12:48 M,W,F; 11:29 - 11:54 (T/Th) and after school in the Student Store.
  • CHESTER BOX TOPS FOR EDUCATION: A reminder to all parents/guardians at Chester Elementary School: the last day for submitting Box Tops For Education for the first collection period is Friday, October 28th. Chester's goal for this year is $1366, with $400 collected to date. Each box top is worth a dime. Be sure that each submission sheet (or bag, or envelope) has your child's full name and grade/teacher on it. The class with the most box tops at the end of the year will receive a party; their classroom teacher will also receive a gift card to purchase supplies. Be sure to include the expiration date on the box top (they do not count, otherwise). Additional collection dates will be late February and the end of the school year.
  • ATHLETIC BOOSTER CLUB SEEKS NEW MEMBERS: The Gateway Athletic Booster Club is in need of new members! Meetings are held on the first Sunday of the month at 6:30 p.m. in Stanton Hall (downtown Huntington). The Gateway Athletic Booster Club raises money to support the Jr./Sr. High School athletic program. Activities include running and staffing the concession stands and hosting the Annual Sports Banquet and Gateway Athletic Hall of Fame recognitions. Interested? Call Kath Mackechnie at 862-4710 for information, or just attend the next meeting on November 6th.
  • COLLEGE FINANCING WORKSHOP: Parents and students are invited to attend a free, comprehensive presentation on college financing, offered by MEFA on November 22, from 6-8 p.m. This event is part of the high school's annual College Awareness Week. Please RSVP to ensure handouts.
  • HOLIDAY HELP AVAILABLE FOR FAMILIES IN NEED: For the 18th consecutive year, the Gateway National Honor Society will be working with the Hilltown Social Services Center to help families provide holiday gifts for children up through age 12. Read the article for information on how to submit your confidential wish list.
  • ADULT EDUCATION UPDATE: SHAEC (Southern Hilltowns Adult Education Center) has announced two new classes in November. "Everyday Middle Eastern Meals" will be held in the kitchen at Middlefield Town Hall on November 8 and 15, from 5:30 - 7. Students will eat what they make! Sue Warner will be the instructor. "Digital Photography" will be offered on Thursday, November 3rd from 6-8 p.m. in the Gateway site; Robert Miller, instructor. Please register in advance at 685-1052.The Southern Hilltowns Adult Education Center announces their November Calendar of Courses.
  • GATEWAY ALUMNI INVITED TO WORK ANNUAL COLLEGE FAIR: Graduates of Gateway Regional High School are invited to return to Gateway the day before Thanksgiving to speak with current students about their college and military experiences.
  • SAT AND ACT TEST DATES: Click here for the 2011-2012 SAT and ACT test dates, which include registration deadline information.
  • GATEWAY SAFE SCHOOLS PLAN: In the event of an emergency at your child's school, please do not call or drive to your child's school. We need to keep phone lines and roadways clear in an emergency. Please remain by your phone and wait for information and instructions from school staff, which will be sent using our auto-dialer. It is important that parents keep school secretaries up-to-date with their contact information.
  • SCHOOL SAFETY HOTLINE: As part of our Safe Schools Plan, the Gateway district has a Safety Hotline (685-1050), which is checked regularly by the district's Security Monitor. The hotline is a voice mailbox that can be used to report harassment, drug or alcohol concerns, vandalism and school safety issues. The purpose of the hotline is to help keep Gateway schools safe for all.

                        IN CLOSING, this week's Superintendent's Corner is now published. This week, Dr. Hopson recaps the first week of the water main break. Read the entire column for details.

                        Have a wonderful week!

                                                                                                                 Wendy V. Long, Editor


                        To subscribe to this newsletter, send an email request to To unsubscribe, look for  information at the bottom of your e-newsletter.

                        “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

                        © 2011, Gateway Regional School District