Breaking News

May 27, 2015
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: "Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people." - Harry Emerson Fosdick

SCHOOL COMMITTEE:  The Gateway Regional School Committee will meet on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. They will host a reception for Gateway staff members who are retiring and those who earned honors this year (see article below for details) from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. in the Gateway courtyard. All are invited to attend. Agenda items for the meeting include presentations on Mass 1to1 and the student trip to Costa Rica; a Kindergarten age waiver request; vote on solar energy; discussion on taping meetings/minutes, Worthington withdrawal, Bond Refinancing, a recommendation to establish a Regional Transportation Fund; MASC Arbitration Request; FY '16 School Committee Schedule; Approval for the Superintendent to attend the ASBO Conference; Wired West; and District Treasurer Authorization. This meeting will be held in rooms 214/216 (the second floor double classroom) in the junior high school. 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). 

THE COMING WEEK AT GATEWAY:  The School Committee's "Staff Honors Reception" is tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the Gateway Courtyard; the School Committee meets at 7:30 p.m.; senior final exams begin today and run through Monday; the Middle School holds a spirit week next week; Chester's Kindergarten Screening is Monday, June 1 (by appointment) for children from the towns of Blandford, Chester and Middlefield; and the Chester PTO meets at 6 p.m. that evening.

BUDGET UPDATE: Huntington Town Meeting is Monday, June 1 at 7 p.m. at Stanton Hall. Three towns (Blandford, Middlefield and Montgomery) have passed the budget; Russell defeated the budget. One more town needs to pass the budget and the mitigation funding has to come through for Blandford's vote to count in the affirmative. For staff and parents who live in the district, here is a listing of Annual Town Meeting Dates. The Gateway 2015-16 Budget is now on the district website ("FY '16 Edited Budget Document" published on 4/17/2015).  

 Photo of C. Bisbee  Photo of H. Green  Photo of C. Pease  Photo of K. Piangerelli  Photo of D. Zobel
 GOLDEN ACHIEVEMENT FINALISTS ANNOUNCEDPrincipal Jason Finnie has announced the five finalists for the 2015 Golden Achievement Award: Cory Bisbee, Hannah Green, Casey Pease, Katrina Piangerelli and Dominick Zobel. The finalists were selected by the senior class; the winner will be determined by a vote of the faculty and announced at the Sr. Awards Assembly on June 3.
 ANDREWS, MACDONALD AND ROTENBERG RECOGNIZED FOR TEACHING EXCELLENCEThe three were honored at a celebration hosted by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation at the Log Cabin Restaurant on April 29.

Photo: front row (L to R): Steven Andrews, Emily MacDonald and Asher Rotenberg, this year's PVET recipients. Back row: Principal Megan Coburn, Administrative Assistant Stacy Stewart, Superintendent David Hopson, and Assistant Principal Amy Fouracre.
 Gateway's PVET honorees and staff

GATEWAY ASMW TEAM ADVANCES TO QUARTERFINALSThe high school's "As Schools Match Wits" team has had a stellar season this year, finishing the regular season in 4th place and advancing to the quarterfinals, to air on WGBY at 7:30 p.m. on June 6.

FIRST GRADERS SHARE POETRY AT POET'S TEAFamily members visited the school to hear the poetry written by their children, then all went to the cafeteria for a tea party!

SUMMER WRAP AROUND AT LITTLEVILLEWorking parents will have access to a full day, structured and fun program located at Littleville Elementary School this summer, which begins on June 29 and ends on August 14, and is available for a minimal cost.

FOUNDATION OFFERS SUMMER FFL ROUND OF FUNDING: The Gateway Education Foundation has notified all Gateway staff members that they are offering a special round of funding for a project to take place over the summer months. The Foundation's Board of Directors voted at their May 18 meeting to sponsor another summer project, making this the third consecutive year. Last year, Littleville Elementary School ran a literacy program in July and August; one outcome was a 38% increase in participation in the Huntington Public Library's Summer Reading Program. Applications are due by Friday, June 5.


THE BENEFITS OF MUSIC EDUCATIONClick the title to go to this article on the PBS Parents website, and learn more about research showing that music education boosts I.Q., helps with language development and spatial-temporal skills and even leads to improved test scores! And don't miss this year's GatorRoo Music Festival--a celebration of music and our youngest students on Booster Field, Saturday, June 6. See details below.


  • ALL INVITED TO GATEWAY STAFF RECEPTION: Students, staff, families, alumni and community members are all invited to a special reception in the Gateway courtyard on Wednesday, May 27 from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m., which honors retirees, Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching recipients, and Wendy McCaul, Massachusetts Food Services Director of the Year. Please note that Gerrie Kennedy and Irene McCusker are unable to attend tonight.
  • GRADUATION, SENIOR AWARDS COMING UPThe Class of 2015 will graduate on Friday, June 5 in a ceremony on Booster Field (weather permitting) starting at 6 p.m.
  • GATORROO MUSIC FESTIVAL JUNE 6The annual celebration of music and children will be held on Booster Field (next to Gateway Regional High School) on Saturday, June 6 starting at 5 p.m. Elementary students K-4 from Chester and Littleville will perform for parents and the community. 
  • 2015-16 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDARClick the title for a downloadable file of next year's school calendar.
  • ADIRONDACK CHAIR RAFFLEThe woodshop department is raffling off adirondack chairs (click the title for details). Chairs are also available for sale. Monies raised will help pay for woodworking supplies for the shop.
  • SPACE IS STILL AVAILABLE IN JRHS CAMP (MS Camp is Full)Students currently in grades 6-8 are eligible to take part. Click here for a registration form. 
  • GATEWAY KINDERGARTEN SCREENINGAny child living in the six Gateway hilltowns that will be part of the 2015-16 school year (Blandford, Chester, Huntington, Middlefield, Montgomery and Russell) who will be age 5 on or before September 1, 2015, is asked to schedule a Kindergarten Screening with their elementary school.
  • WORTHINGTON WITHDRAWAL BLOG ON GATEWAY WEBSITEA new blog on the Worthington Withdrawal has been added to the Gateway website and is linked from its home page. Parents, students, staff and community members are invited to view the blog posts and share their comments.
  • VHS TO DVD-R CONVERSIONThe 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 HILLTOWNSHilltown 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 community members 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, this week's Superintendent's Corner is now posted. This week, Dr. Hopson credits the Gateway teachers and staff on "walking a tightrope with very little in the way of safety nets." Please read the entire 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

© 2015, Gateway Regional School District