BN - January 10, 2012


January 10, 2012

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: “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically...Intelligence plus character--that is the goal of true education." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

UPCOMING MEETINGS: The next meeting of the Gateway Regional School Committee will be January 11th in the Gateway library. 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, February 7th at 9:30 a.m. in the Superintendent's Office. New members are welcome to join this group, which is planning to start an upper level PTO, and supports district communications and volunteers. 

Four sixth graders
at Gateway Regional Middle
School have started a campaign to
purchase reflective vests and leashes
for the Westfield Regional Animal 
Photo of "Let it Shine" organizers 

'REINDEER GAMES' RECAP: The high school's annual Reindeer Games were held on the last day before the holiday break, and the seniors rose to the challenge. Article by Sr. Intern Crystal Tarris.

2012 VOCATIONAL SCHOOL APPLICATION PROCESS: Current Gateway students who want to attend Smith or Westfield Vocational Schools this fall must have their application into the Guidance Office by March 1st.

SCHOOL CHOICE PARENTS SURVEYED: Letters to parents living in the Gateway Regional School District, whose children are attending a different public school this year, were mailed out with surveys on January 9th.

BAND FRUIT DELIVERY NOTICE: Due to a problem with the fruit suppliers, the fruit that was sold through the band will now be delivered the 2nd week in February. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

HIGH SCHOOL SEMI-FORMAL: The Semi-Formal will be held at Tekoa Country Club in Westfield on Friday, February 10th from 6 - 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $38 per student and include a buffet dinner (salad, entrees and dessert), soda throughout the evening, and dancing. This is for grades 9-12. Sign-ups will be in the cafeteria during lunch from Monday, January 24 - Thursday, February 2nd. No one will be allowed to signup after 2 p.m. on February 2. Checks should be made payable to Gateway Regional High School. Students must have all financial obligations to the school paid before they can sign up. The Semi-Formal is an annual event sponsored by the Student Council.  

HS GUIDANCE UPDATE: The field trip to the Universal Technical Institute has been rescheduled to Thursday, February 16th. Students who are interested must turn in new field trip forms. There will be a Civil Engineering Career Chat on Thursday, January 12th in the Career Center. Please sign up in guidance ahead of time.

LITTLEVILLE WRAP-AROUND ON MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY: The Wrap Around Program will be open on January 16th from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parents must register in advance and are reminded to pack a lunch and two snacks. Anyone signing up in advance will be charged for that day, even if their children do not attend, as staff are assigned based upon the number of pre-registrations. Click here for a registration form.

RECORDERS FOR MUSIC CLASS: This month, 3rd and 4th grade students will start a recorder unit in music class, and all students need to have a recorder to participate. Mr. Sawyer will have new recorders for sale for $2.75. All payments must be in no later than Friday, January 13th. Students should bring checks made payable to Gerry's Music (no cash please). Recorders will be kept at school for use during music for the rest of this year. Students who already have a recorder are encouraged to bring it to school, as long as it is in good working order.

BAND BOOSTER MEETING: The Gateway Band Boosters will meet this evening (January 10th), in the band room. MS Boosters meet at 6:30 p.m.; HS Boosters meet at 7 p.m.

ELEMENTARY WINTER REMINDER: Students go outside for recess if the temperature is 16 degrees or higher. Please dress children appropriately. If they want to play in the snow (if we ever HAVE snow!) they MUST have boots, ski pants, jacket, and gloves/mittens. It is also advisable to have children pack an extra set of clothes to keep at school in case clothes get wet.

BUS COMPANY SAFETY REQUEST: The bus company has asked us to remind you to have students stand back away from the road at morning pickup, due to the road conditions this winter. They should wait until the bus is completely stopped and the door has opened, before approaching the bus. This is a safety issue.


12 EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY TRENDS TO WATCH IN 2012: From the Mind/Shift, How We Will Learn website--trends that are already underway but likely to see rapid adaptation and innovation this year. Among these: use of mobile phones in the classroom, and BYOD ("Bring Your Own Device"). So a double weblink this week with a link to an article in T/H/E Journal, "7 Myths About BYOD Debunked."
  • JANUARY CALENDAR HIGHLIGHTS: January includes two holidays (1/2 and 1/16) and two half-days (1/19 and 1/20).
  • JANUARY SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEETINGS: The Gateway Regional School Committee will meet on January 11th and 25th, in the Gateway library (2nd floor). Read the complete article for subcommittee meeting schedules and additional details.
  • ADULT EDUCATION NEWS: The Southern Hilltowns Adult Education Center (SHAEC) can help you with your New Year's resolution with a Free Nutrition 101 class, January 10th and 17th from 6-7:30 p.m. Call 685-1052 and leave a message to register. There are many exciting upcoming classes, including Cajun cooking, photoshop, jewelry making, and sewing from a pattern. (Donations of used irons, ironing boards, or portable sewing machines are sought!). Click here for the January calendar of courses.
  • CAREER CENTER OPEN THURSDAYS: The Career Center at Gateway Regional High School will now be open every Thursday during advisory. Stop in to look through all of the materials the center offers, including College Brochures/Booklets; Career Tips; Scholarship Books; and SAT study guides. 
  • HIGH SCHOOL SCHOLARS AND DUAL ENROLLMENT PROGRAMS NOW AVAILABLE: Westfield State University is offering opportunities for high school students to begin earning college credits. Stop into the Gateway HS Guidance Office for more information, if you are interested.
  • WINTER WEATHER CLOSINGS AT GATEWAY: Here is information on how students, staff and parents can find out whether or not school is closed due to weather.
  • 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 announces that the budget process will begin with a thorough review of the expenditure side--and the public is invited to participate. 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

                        © 2012, Gateway Regional School District