Breaking News

October 21, 2014
Dear Friends of Gateway:

Here is your new 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: "The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it." - Woodrow Wilson

SCHOOL COMMITTEE:  The next school committee meeting will be Wednesday, October 22 at 7:30 p.m. at Chester Elementary School. Agenda items include a presentation on Title I and IIA grant programs and curriculum updates by Joanne Blocker; the FY'16 Budget (including school supply costs and parking fees); sub-committee reports; the Worthington withdrawal, Superintendent's Goals, School Committee Self-Evaluation and Boys' and Girls' State discussion. Parents, staff and area residents are always welcome! 
The first agenda item of every school committee meeting is hearing issues that are not on the posted agenda. (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). 

COMING UP AT GATEWAY: Cross Country Sr. Night is Tuesday, 10/21 at 3:45 p.m. (best viewing from Littleville Dam); the School Committee meets at Chester Elementary School Wednesday (10/22) at 7:30 p.m.; Grades 5-8 band members and families get to enjoy the "Bandster Bash" on Friday, 10/24 (info below) and Chester ES families will have a Halloween Dinner Dance that same evening from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.; Chester and Littleville families are invited to "Bingo for Books" on Wednesday, 10/29 from 6-7 p.m. in the Gateway Cafeteria.

STUDENTS HEAR FIRST PERSON ACCOUNTS ON '55 FLOODSArea residents visited 8th graders on October 8 to provide first-hand accounts of their experience of the 1955 floods, which ultimately led to the building of Littleville Dam. It was part of a series of activities this month based on local history and dam engineering.

Photo (right): Bill McVeigh and Joyce Platt shared their experiences of the great floods of 1955 with Gateway JRHS students.
Photo of local speakers
 STUDENTS MOBILIZE TO SUPPORT DEMOCRACYStudents at Gateway Regional High School put together a campaign to raise awareness on recent events in Hong Kong and to show support for the pro-democracy protesters half a world away. (Article by Sr. Intern Casey Pease)

Photo (right): The main entrance to the school has been papered with words of support for the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
 Main entrance to Gateway

VOLUNTEER HANDBOOKS ON-LINE: The Gateway Regional School District welcomes the contributions of its many volunteers, as fundraisers, tutors, committee members, chaperones and more. Please be advised that volunteers must sign an annual Volunteer Agreement (located in our Volunteer Handbook) and will undergo criminal background checks every 3 years. Click here to get to our Volunteer Information page.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OP ED: The Southern Hilltowns Domestic Violence Task Force (of which Gateway is a member) has released this opinion piece on the recent, high profile cases of Domestic Violence in the U.S., as part of Domestic Violence Awareness month.

SAVE-THE-DATE FOR SENIOR CITIZEN BRUNCH/CONCERTArea residents aged 55+ are invited to the 23rd Annual Sr. Citizen Brunch and Concert on Wednesday, December 3. Doors open at 9:15 a.m.; brunch will be served at 9:30 a.m. and the concert follows at 10:30 a.m. (Article by Sr. Intern Charlotte LeBarron).

"BANDSTER BASH" OCTOBER 24: Band members in grades 5-8 and their families are invited to the annual Bandster Bash this Friday. Costumes are optional. Dinner is at 6 p.m. ($5 for a pasta and salad supper plus Halloween and pumpkin games). The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. (musicians not coming to dinner are asked to arrive by 7 p.m.). Costumes are optional.

CHESTER HALLOWEEN FAMILY DINNER AND DANCE: Sponsored by the PTO and featuring music by the Okey-Dokey DJs, all Chester Elementary School students and their families are invited. Admission is free and students need to be accompanied and supervised by an adult (no scary costumes please!). Families are asked to pre-order a hamburger ($4) or hot dog ($3) meal and to consider pitching in to help with set-up, clean-up or other roles.

LITTLEVILLE 'CRAZY HAT AND HAIR DAY': Littleville will be celebration Crazy Hat and Hair Day on Friday, October 31. All students and staff are welcome to wear their hair crazy or their favorite crazy hat (no masks please). Join in the fun!

BINGO FOR BOOKS ON OCTOBER 29: All Chester and Littleville ES families are invited to take part in Bingo for Books next Wednesday evening, from 6 - 7 p.m. in the Gateway cafeteria. Students will play BINGO and win free books; parents/guardians/grandparents will learn strategies to help children improve their reading. 

SPED PAC MEETING NOVEMBER 4: Pupil Services Director Alice Taverna has announced that the Special Education Parent Advisory Council will meet on Tuesday, November 4 at 6:30 p.m. in the Career Center (2nd floor, High School).

UPCOMING COLLEGE VISITS: The following colleges will be available to meet with students in the Gateway Career Center: Friday, 10/24: University of Maine, Farmington at 8 a.m.; Framingham State University at 10 a.m. and Lesley University at 1 p.m.; Monday, 10/27: MCLA at 10 a.m.; Tuesday, 10/28: Bay Path University at 11:45 a.m. and Mildred Elley at 1 p.m.; Friday, 10/31: UMASS/Amherst at 11:30 a.m. Interested juniors and seniors should sign up ahead of time in Guidance.

GATEWAY FAMILY CENTER NEWS: Calling all Monsters! Join the October 31st StoryWalk featuring Maurice Sendak's classic book, "Where the Wild Things Are" with related activities for families. To be held in Blandford and sponsored by the CFCE Grant through Hilltown Community Health Centers.

SOUTHERN HILLTOWNS ADULT EDUCATION CENTER: Upcoming workshops include: a Positive Reinforcement Dog Training Class will be held Wednesday, October 22 from 6-8 p.m. in SHAEC's Gateway classroom (this class is for people, not Fido!); the Community Garden clean up and pot luck has been moved to Monday, October 27; and a two-part ETSY workshop (for those interested in buying or selling unique goods in this online marketplace) will be held from 3-5 p.m. on October 28 and 29 (also in the Gateway classroom). Click for the October Calendar and Course Listings for more information.


"SCHOOL BUS SAFETY MONTH": October is National School Bus Safety Month. Lecrenski drivers are conducting bus evacuation drills this week to make sure that students know how to be safe on a bus and what to do in an emergency. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration's website has tips and activities to increase bus safety. The most dangerous time for students? When they are getting on and off of the school bus.

  • FALL SPORTS SENIOR NIGHTSAthletic Director Gary St.Peter has announced the Senior Nights for Gateway's soccer and cross country teams. 
  • TICKETS GOING FAST FOR HEATING OIL RAFFLEWinter weather is fast approaching and the Chester PTO still has raffle tickets--but act quickly, because they are going fast!
  • VHS TO DVD-R CONVERSION: The Gateway News Network (GNN) is once again holding a fundraiser for new equipment by converting home videos and educational videos from VHS to DVD.
  • QUICKLINK TO THE HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS SCHEDULEThe Gateway sports schedule is posted on the high school website this year, in the "Athletics" drop-down menu.
  • DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICES AVAILABLE IN THE HILLTOWNS: Hilltown Safety at Home (HS@H) provides a part-time domestic violence Advocate to hilltown residents who call 413-559-8039. If you need help in an emergency, call 911 or the Safe Passage hotline at 1-888-345-5282.
  • GATEWAY SCHOOL SAFETY HOTLINE:  Students, parents, staff and communitymembers are reminded that any school safety concern can be reported to our hotline by calling 685-1050.
  • 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. Parents are advised to keep school secretaries up-to-date with their contact information.

IN CLOSING, the latest Superintendent's Corner is now posted. This week, Dr. Hopson provides an update on the Worthington withdrawal. Read the complete column for details.


                                                                                         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

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