BN - February 22, 2012

 February 28, 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: "I do believe that if you haven't learnt about sadness, you cannot appreciate happiness." - Nana Mouskouri

UPCOMING MEETINGS: The Public Hearing for the 2012-13 Budget will be on Wednesday, March 8th at 7:30 p.m. in the Gateway Performing Arts Center. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend. All budget documents are posted on the district website. Click here for an article on other School Committee Meetings in March. 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.

LESSONS IN LEADERSHIP:  "It was definitely life changing," said the Gateway Jr. High School student who attended the National Young Leaders State Conference in Boston earlier this month.  Photo of 7th grader Cami R.

DISTRICT STATEMENT FROM FEBRUARY 17 ACCIDENTThis press release was sent out at the end of the day on February 17th, along with a similar auto-dialed call to parents. 

BUDGET HEARING ON MARCH 7: Students, staff, parents, community members and town officials are all invited to the public hearing on next year's budget, at 7:30 p.m. on March 7 in the Gateway Performing Arts Center.

STUDENTS RAISE FUNDS FOR DOG SHELTER; 39 RECOGNIZED FOR "RESPECT": Students from Gateway Regional Middle School gave $236 and a donated reflective vest to Ken Frazier from the Westfield Regional Animal Shelter, earlier this month.

VOLUNTEER CELEBRATION ON MARCH 8TH: All parents and community members who give their time to Gateway students, staff and schools are invited to a special dinner on Thursday, March 8th. Please rsvp to any school office or to Wendy Long (685-1003, by March 1st.

EARLY RELEASE DAY MARCH 6: Students will have a two-hour early release on Tuesday, March 6 so that staff may attend training. Lunch is served on these days, but breakfast is not!Shortened school days have been used for the past 8 years, to offset the reduction in professional development funding from the state.

LITTLEVILLE MINI COURSES: NEW SESSION, MARCH 5: Principal Megan Coburn has announced that the next session of afterschool mini-courses at Littleville will begin March 5th. Packets are going home this week.

SCHOOL COUNCIL MEETINGS: The School Councils for Gateway Jr. and Sr. High Schools will meet on Wednesday, March 7. The Sr. HS Council will meet from 3:30-4:30 p.m. The Jr. HS Council will meet from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Both meetings will be held in the office conference room.

CHESTER PTO MEETING: The Chester PTO will meet on Monday, March 5 at 6 p.m. All are welcome!

YANKEE CANDLE FUNDRAISER FOR CHESTER PTO: With all of the power outages we've experienced in the past year, its a good time to restock your candle supply! This sale ends Friday, March 2nd. When ordering, please remember to include a 6.5% sales tax. Out of town relatives may view the brochure at

SMENCILS ON SALE: Littleville's PTO is offering Gourmet Scented Pencils, or "Smencils", which are made from 100% recycled newspapers. This fundraiser will continue to the end of the year. Orders will be filled as they come in, and checks must be made payable to Littleville PTO. Each Smencil is $1.00, in choices of Cinnamon, Grape, Black Cherry, Orange and Very Berry. Please indicate a first and second choice when you order.

ADULT EDUCATION UPDATES: The Southern Hilltowns Adult Education Center has posted their March Calendar. Please note that classes in Photoshop will be held on March 1 and 8; Sewing from a Pattern on March 6, 13 and 20. Please bring a portable sewing machine to this class. There is a $15 materials fee, which covers all three classes. Keep in touch with SHAEC by email (, watch our blog (, friend us on Facebook (Southern Hilltowns aec) or phone us (685-1052).


Here's one topic that we never want to need--helping your students through grief. (A couple of weblinks this week.) The first is from the Youth Leadership Academy, called Helping Your Students Deal With Grief and Mourning. The second website was done by Dr. William G. Hoy, who specializes in grief counseling. It features his report, "When Grief Comes to School." 

  • SOPHOMORE CLASS LEADS "NO TAN" PLEDGE: Gateway's tenth graders are trying to get 70% of the high school's students to sign a "no tanning" pledge by May 10, the date of the school's prom.
  • PARENTS, STUDENTS REMINDED OF VOCATIONAL DEADLINE: The March 1st deadline includes an interview with a vocational school admissions counselor, teacher recommendations, and submitting the application to the appropriate Gateway Guidance Office.
  • JR. CLASS HOLDS SPRING PLANT SALE: Click here for an order form, which must be in by March 23rd. The anticipated delivery date will be April 3rd.
  • SPAGHETTI SUPPER TO BENEFIT MS BANDS: The 5-7 bands are hosting a Spaghetti Supper before their March 9th Cabin Fever Concert. Tickets will be $5 if sold in advance, and $7 at the door. All are welcome. Advance tickets may be purchased by emailing Susan LeBarron 
    ( ).
  • SAVE THE DATE FOR 50'S DINNER: The Class of 2014 is holding a 1950's theme dinner on May 11th from 5-8:30 p.m. in the Gateway cafeteria. Details to come, but this event will be open to the community with door prizes, games for children, and music from the 1950's.
  • GatorRoo SAVE THE DATE: The GatorRoo Music Festival--a wonderful day of music from our elementary students--will be held Saturday, June 9th on Booster Field. More details to come!
  • UPCOMING THEATRE MINI-COURSE AT CHESTER: Chester Elementary School will present "The Gingerbread Girl" by D. M. Larson at 6 p.m. on May 31st in the Gateway Performing Arts Center. The play--including acting, vocal exercises, background study, sets, props and lighting--will be developed during an after-school mini-course starting March 5th. The mini-course will be held every Monday and Wednesday after school from 3:20 to 5 p.m.  All interested CES students in grades 2-4 can participate. Adult volunteers are greatly appreciated. Please contact Renee Butcher at (205) 383-9759.
  • ANNUAL VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION DINNER: The 8th Annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner for all parents and community members who give their time to benefit Gateway students, will be held on Thursday, March 8th. 
  • SCHOOL SAFETY HOTLINE: Students, parents and community members can leave a message on the Safety Hotline by calling 685-1050.
  • SAVE THE DATE FOR TALENT SHOW, TRYOUTS: The Annual Talent Show at Gateway Regional High School is scheduled for March 23rd. Tryouts will take place after school on Thursday, March 1st in the Gateway Performing Arts Center
  • 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.

                        IN CLOSING, two weeks of Superintendent's Corners are now published. This week, Dr. Hopson reflects on our caring school/community, which pulled together following the tragic February 17th accident. The previous week, Dr. Hopson addressed assertions made by officials from the town of Russell, concerning the Gateway budget. Read both columns for details.

                        Have a wonderful week!

                                                                                                                 Wendy V. Long, Editor


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                        “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