BN - April 10, 2012

 April 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: "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe." - Andy Rooney

UPCOMING MEETINGS: The next School Committee meeting will be on Wednesday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the high school library. Agenda items include presentations on the History of the Hilltowns (by teacher Dawne Piers-Gamble and her students), new Federal and State Nutrition Guidelines, an update on the Gateway Education Foundation, continued discussion on Non-Union Staff, and the FY'13 Calendar. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend. 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.

NHS INDUCTION ON APRIL 25: The 48th Induction Ceremony of the Dana O. Webber Chapter of the National Honor Society will begin at 6 p.m. in the Gateway Performing Arts Center.
 Photo: Hannah Pease and Chelsea Merritt "Tap" Gateway junior Emily Potorski, for induction to the NHS.
Photo of NHS "Tap Day" 

$1700 RAISED FOR AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION: Middle school students and staff raised the donation at their annual "Hoops for Heart" fundraiser on March 29th. 

COME TO THE "CABARET": Gateway's annual Cabaret--showcasing the high school's Show Choir and Jazz Band--will be held on Friday, April 27 at 7 p.m. in the Gateway Performing Arts Center. Admission (at the door) is $4 for adults and $2 for students and senior citizens.

COLLEGE PLANNING WORKSHOP FOR HIGH SCHOOL FRESHMEN AND SOPHOMORES:  The Guidance Department is hosting an evening workshop for ninth and tenth graders and their parents/guardians. The earlier families start planning, the better!

LITTLEVILLE KINDERGARTEN SCREENING: Children who will be age 5 on or before September 1, 2012 from the towns of Huntington, Montgomery, Russell and Worthington will be screened at Littleville on Monday, April 30, by appointment. There will be no school for current Littleville Kindergarten students that day.

CHESTER PTO SPAGHETTI SUPPER The school's annual Spaghetti Supper and Raffle will be held on Friday, April 27. Dinner seatings at 5:30 p.m. and at 6 p.m. Read for details on advance admission prices and wonderful raffle prizes!

USED LAPTOPS AVAILABLE FOR SALE: Gateway is pleased to offer used laptops to students and parents, at a cost of $50 and on a first come, first served basis. These Macintosh iBook G3's are 8-10 years old, and are currently operational for email, basic web browsing and basic word processing. Please read the article for details. Click here for an ordering form. 

SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE TO GATEWAY SENIORS: If you are a senior (or the parent/guardian of one) be sure to check out the local scholarship booklet available here or in the Guidance office. Many scholarship deadlines are around the corner and there have been a low number of applicants for many of the scholarships. April 15th and May 1st are two key upcoming deadlines. These scholarships are open to those attending community college as well as four-year colleges.
The Chester PTO is offering a Prize a Day for the Month of May, and winners remain in the drawing for the entire month, even after they win a prize. Each calendar chance is $5, and must be purchased by April 30. See any Chester PTO member or Andrea in the school office to purchase.

MIDDLE SCHOOL TALENT SHOW AUDITIONS: Talent Show auditions began on Monday, April 9 but continue on Thursday, April 12 at 2 p.m. The final Talent Show rehearsal is May 2 at 2 p.m. The Talent Show will be held on Thursday, May 3 at 6:30 p.m.--so Save The Date!

REMINDER TO PARENTS/GUARDIANS OF CURRENT SIXTH GRADE STUDENTS: Before entering the seventh grade, Massachusetts State Law requires that all students have verification of TD or Tdap (not more than five years old), the full report of a physical examination within the year prior to entering 7th grade, and the second dose of Varicella. Documentation may be brought to the nurses office by your child, mailed to the school nurse, or faxed to 413-667-3048. Over the summer, documentation may be mailed to the school with attention to the school nurse.

GATEWAY FAMILY CENTER UPDATE: The Gateway Family Center will host Rae Griffiths from "Teaching Creatures" on Friday, April 13, during their regular drop-in Play To Learn Group from 10 a.m. to noon. Rae is an annual favorite with her fun, engaging and educational live animal programs. She will present the "Story Stars" program with the live animals featured in the stories she reads. In the past, we have met hedgehogs, turtles, snakes, lizards and more! Everyone will have an opportunity to meet the animals and learn where they are from, what they eat, and how they became a part of Rae's life. Funded by the Massachusetts Children's Trust Fund, this event is free and open to the public. Located at 9 Russell Road (Route 20) in Huntington. For more info, call Kim at 667-2203 extension 3.

ADULT EDUCATION UPDATES: The Southern Hilltowns Adult Education Center (SHAEC )is offering a four-part Keyboarding/Typing Skills Workshop (4/24, 4/25, 5/1, and 5/2). These classes are offered free of charge and will be held at SHAEC's site at Gateway Regional High School.  Please call 685-1052 to register.


HELPING YOUR CHILD(REN) SUCCEED IN SCHOOL:  This website--Bright Hub Education--has a great page on four simple things that parents can do to help their children succeed in school: 1) Establish a daily routine; 2) Share information with teachers and school staff; 3) Monitor homework; and 4) Express expectations for achievement.

  • BULLYING INFO ON GATEWAY WEBSITEA new section of the Gateway website has been developed for those interested in the topics of bullying and school climate.
  • "MINUTE TO WIN IT" FUNDRAISER ON APRIL 13Gateway's Social Club is hosting its first annual, "Minute to Win It" competition, based on the television game show that has contestants completing 60-second challenges for a chance at some great prizes! Admission (at the door) is $5. (Article by Intern Sara Pandolfino)
  • SPRING BREAK: Schools will be closed APril 16-20 for Spring Break. Read the complete article for the Wellness Center and Littleville Wrap Around schedules that week.
  • 50'S THEME DINNER: The Sophomore class is hosting a 50's theme dinner in the Gateway cafeteria on Friday, May 11 from 5 until 8:30 p.m. People are welcome to arrive at any time and stay for as long as they would like. Menu includes hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, french fries, root beer floats (and other beverages) and a sundae bar. Entertainment will include a costume contest, 50's music, live performances, carnival-style games for children, door prizes and a 50/50 raffle.
  • SHIPMAN MEMORIAL FUND: A dedicated fund has been established in memory of former Gateway teacher--and Tech Director of the Gateway Performing Arts Center--Rob Shipman. Rob was a history and social studies teacher who taught at Gateway Middle School from 1974 until he moved to the high school in 2002. He retired from his teaching duties in 2008, but stayed on to continue managing the auditorium. This fund will be used for improvements to the lighting and sound in the Performing Arts Center. Anyone wishing to donate may send a check, made payable to the Gateway Education Foundation (with Shipman Fund in the memo line), c/o Wendy Long, 12 Littleville Rd., Huntington, MA  01050.
  • OUTDOOR ADVENTURE SUMMER CAMP: Gateway Middle School's After-School Program invites students to take part in an Outdoor Adventure & Exploration Summer Camp. The came is full day (9 - 4), Tuesdays through Thursdays, July 10 - August 2. It is open to students entering grades 5, 6 and 7 this fall. Click for a camp flyer or a registration form. Read the complete article for details.
  • SAVE-THE-DATE FOR PRESCHOOL SCREENING: Parents living in the Gateway hilltowns are invited to register their 3 and 4 year-old children for a developmental screening, provided free of charge. These will be held by appointment at Littleville Elementary School on Monday, May 7 from 8:30 a.m. to noon.
  • CHANGES TO GATEWAY WELLNESS POLICYFood Services Director Wendy McCaul has announced that the law has changed regarding food and nutrition at schools, which will impact food brought from home for classroom parties. The Wellness Policy needs to be revised to reflect these changes, and parents are sought to serve on an advisory team for the revision. 
  • 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 4, the date of the school's prom.
  • 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!
  • SCHOOL SAFETY HOTLINE: Students, parents and community members can leave a message on the Safety 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. It is important that parents keep school secretaries up-to-date with their contact information.

                        IN CLOSING, this week's Superintendent's Corner is now published. This week, Dr. Hopson reports on some of the more common misconceptions about the 2012-13 Gateway budget. 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