OPENS FOR STUDENTS ON
SEPTEMBER 2ND: Teachers will return on
Monday, August 31 to make final classroom preparations for the opening
of school for students on September 2nd. This year, we welcome the Class
of 2022 into our Kindergarten classrooms!
FALL SPORTS TRYOUTS BEGIN AUGUST 27: Tryouts
for the soccer, cross country and gymnastics teams begin on August 27.
Read the complete article regarding times and required paperwork.
JR/SR HIGH SCHOOL ORIENTATION ON
AUGUST 27: Orientation for students entering grade 9 will be
held on August 27 at 9 a.m. in the Gateway Performing Arts Center.
Orientation for grades 7 and 8--Gateway's new Junior High School--will
begin at 11 a.m. in the Gateway Performing Arts Center. Parents and
guardians are invited.
WHAT’S NEW FOR 2009-10? Here are a few highlights
on what’s new for the 2009-10 school year! In the elementary schools,
Blandford and Chester Elementary Schools are planning to open Parent
and Community Centers later this year, and plans are underway
for a Wrap Around Program (before and after school) at
R. H. Conwell Elementary School. Due to the reorganization of the Middle
School and Jr. High School, the Middle School Afterschool
Program will now serve grades 5 and 6, although there will be
mentoring opportunities for 7th and 8th grade students. Registration
packets will be going to homerooms the 2nd week of school and the
program will begin Monday, September 21st. The afterschool program will
run Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, with late busses
from the Gateway complex (for grades 5 – 12) at 4:15 p.m. on
Mondays and Thursdays again this year. With the new school year comes a new
high school attendance policy, which reduces the number of
unexcused absences allowed each semester to 7 days (formerly 10 days).
There will be more information out on all of these in the coming weeks.
schedule has been posted
on the district website, and is scheduled to be printed in the August 27
of the Country Journal.
INCREASED: As reported previously,
meal prices are going up for the 2009-10 school year, to address rising
food prices and delivery surcharges. Breakfast will be served at all
Gateway schools at a cost of $1.25. Elementary lunch will cost $2.00;
Middle and High School lunches will be $2.25. The cost of milk will be
menu is posted on the district website, and the September
menu will be posted in the last week of August. Please note that lunch
is not served on half-days, but will be served on the two-hour early
release days for staff professional development.
Students may qualify for
free meals based on family income eligibility. The APPLICATION
FOR FREE AND REDUCED LUNCH has to be resubmitted every
year (one per family), and is now posted on the district website for
anyone wishing to get a head start on school paperwork! These forms will
also be sent home on the first day of school. Families are urged to
apply for this important benefit, as nutrition is a crucial element for
student success and health! Also, the district qualifies for additional
funding and increased grant opportunities when all eligible families
participate. Anyone needing help on this form is urged to contact John
Bergeron or Diane Meehan at 667-2204, who would be happy to provide
Middle and High
School students may pre-pay into a cafeteria account in their name.
Students scan their student I.D.’s at each meal and their account is
deducted accordingly. Students will be told when their account is
getting low so they can arrange another deposit. Students who qualify
for free and reduced lunch also swipe their student I.D.s; this system
helps protect the privacy of all students and families.
CORRECTION TO AUGUST 2ND
STORY IN THE REPUBLICAN NEWSPAPER: The Sunday Republican
reported on August 2nd that Gateway was eliminating Elementary Art. This
was an error and was corrected in the Republican on August 4. Gateway
elementary schools will still have art for the coming school year.
Elementary Art was one of a number of items listed for potential cuts
earlier this year in anticipation of reductions in state funding. In the
end, we did not have to cut that far down the list in order to balance
the 2009-10 budget.
FEES WILL INCREASE FOR 2009-10: As was reported earlier
this year, student fees will be increasing for the coming school year.
CALENDAR FOR THE SCHOOL YEAR: The district calendar
for the coming school year is posted on-line, and contains Open House
Dates, parent conferences, holidays, vacations, graduation and student
GATEWAY SAFE SCHOOLS PLAN: The Gateway Regional
School District has worked with area law enforcement and emergency
services personnel to develop its Safe Schools Plan, which encompasses
school safety research and best practices from throughout the country.
As a result, all buildings have a single point of entry while school is
in session, visitors must sign-in, Middle and High School students and
staff wear I.D. badges, and the schools conduct periodic fire, lockdown
and evacuation drills.
Perhaps the most
important thing that parents need to remember regarding school safety is
this: please do not call your child’s school during a school emergency,
so that we may keep phone lines open for emergency communications. In
such an event, information would be provided to parents using the same
means as announcing
school delays or cancellations: the district website, area
radio stations, and announcements posted to a dedicated phone line.
Another important part of
the Safe Schools Plan is the 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
UPDATES ON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CONSOLIDATION: Events have continued to unfold through the summer
as parents, community
members, the Elementary Advisory Committee and School Committee continue
explore the feasibility of reorganizing elementary schools, with a goal
becoming more cost efficient and improving educational opportunities for
H. CONWELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CLEARED ITS FIRST
HURDLE toward becoming a Horace Mann Charter School. PUBLIC
HEARINGS will be held in each elementary school, beginning on
August 26 at Russell Elementary School. The Chester
Hearing will be September 2. Please read the articles for
guidelines. For more information on this issue, please go to the
Website, and check back frequently—especially after the
HOW TO FIND THE FALL HIGH
SCHOOL SPORTS SCHEDULE: The high school sports schedule for fall
sports is posted online at www.highschoolsports.net
. Fall season tryout schedules are already posted on-line. Home games
will continue to be posted in the “Week at a Glance” column of Breaking
TEN TIPS FOR A SMOOTH FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL: These tips are perfect
for young children, and some of them might work well for tweens and
teens! Help your child have the best first day of school ever this year,
with these tips!