December 8, 2009

Dear Friends of Gateway:

Here is this week’s installment of Gateway’s weekly e-newsletter.  As always, your feedback and suggestions are welcome.  Back issues of Breaking News and past Superintendent’s Corners are posted on the News Archive (under “general information” on the district website).  As always, your feedback and any suggestions for improvements are welcome.   

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:  “Hope is not a strategy,” – Mitchell D. Chester, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education


COMING EVENTS: A schedule of activities for the week ending December 18, 2009 is now posted.  (Items for this calendar should be submitted at least two weeks ahead of time!)

UPCOMING MEETINGS: The Gateway Regional School Committee will meet on Wednesday, December 9th at 7:30 p.m. in the Gateway Performing Arts Center. The Friends of Gateway have changed their standard meeting time to the SECOND Tuesday of each month, at 6:30 p.m. in the Superintendent’s Office. The Friends of Gateway will next meet on Tuesday, December 8 at 6:30 p.m. in the Superintendent’s Office. New members are sought and are welcome to join this group, whose goals include improving communications, parent involvement, and volunteerism in support of student achievement. The public is invited and encouraged to attend all meetings.


THREE H.S. MUSICIANS NAMED TO WESTERN MASS BAND: Three instrumental musicians from Gateway Regional High were named to the Western Massachusetts Music Educators District Festival Concert Band.

Left to Right: Samantha Levreault, Nichole Unger, and Austin Levreault

EFFORT AWARDS: Principals Todd Gazda and Kathleen McSweeney have announced the first term Effort Awards for Gateway Regional Middle School and for Gateway Junior High School.

HOLIDAY CONCERTS NEXT WEEK: Musicians attending Gateway Middle School, Jr. High School and High School will hold their holiday concerts next week in the Gateway Performing Arts Center.

“SECOND DOSE” ELEMENTARY CLINIC AT GATEWAY DEC. 16: Gateway elementary students, and their younger siblings, who received a swine flu (H1N1) vaccination at their school the week of November 9 are now due to receive their second dose. Second doses are recommended for children who are age 9 and younger. Every child (between the ages of 6 months and age 9) who received their first dose at a Gateway  clinic may return. The “Second Dose” clinic will be held at Gateway MS/HS complex, 12 Littleville Rd., in Huntington from 6 – 8 p.m. on Wednesday, December 16. There will be enough vaccine for all of the children who were immunized in our prior clinics. The clinics will remain open until 8 p.m., so there is no need for everybody to arrive early or for the start of the clinic! Parents must attend with their children. Questions may be directed to your elementary school nurse.

75 AREA RESIDENTS ATTENDED ANNUAL CONCERT/LUNCHEON: Hilltown residents were treated to a holiday concert and luncheon at the Gateway Regional school District on December 2nd This is the 18th year that the district has hosted this event for those age 55 and older.

SCHOOL-BASED HEALTH CENTER STILL HAS SEASONAL FLU VACCINE: Eileen Hirsch, Nurse Practitioner at the Gateway School-Based Health Center, reports that they still have doses of the seasonal flu vaccine for students. Both inactivated and live seasonal flu vaccines are available. Parents who want their child to be vaccinated for seasonal flu, please call the SBHC at 667-0142. Please note that the seasonal flu nasal spray vaccine (live) needs to be at least 28 days from the H1N1 nasal spray vaccine.

CD’S FOR ANNUAL 3RD AND 4TH GRADE HOLIDAY CONCERT: Anyone wishing to purchase a CD of the November 24th concert of third and fourth grade students, please complete this form and return it to Littleville Elementary School by December 11. All proceeds will benefit the elementary PTOs.

SCHOOL COUNCIL MEETINGS: Principal Kathleen McSweeney has announced that her two schools will hold their monthly School Council meetings next week. The High School Council will meet on Monday, December 14. The Jr. High School Council will meet on Wednesday, December 16. Both meetings will be held from 4 – 5 p.m. in the Principal’s Conference Room. New members are needed and welcome to attend.

TOYS FOR TOTS DRIVE UNDERWAY: If you drove through Huntington last Saturday, you may have encountered a voluntary “hold up”—conducted by members of the National Honor Society from Gateway Regional High School. Students are also collecting cash during school until December 11th. Funds will be used to purchase gifts for thirty one low-income families in the district (sixty six children). Please see a member of the National Honor Society or drop off your donations at the GRHS office.

PSAT RESULTS REVIEW ON DECEMBER 18: Juniors and sophomores who took the PSAT exam last fall will meet with GRHS Guidance Counselors Celeste Cianfrani and Carolynn Laurenza next week during advisory.  Counselors will introduce “My College QuickStart™, a free online personalized planning kit that will use each student’s PSAT results to take the next steps toward college, including a complete score report, a customized SAT study plan, a personalized list of colleges, majors and careers, and access to MyRoad™--a college, majors and careers exploration tool.

DECEMBER “CAREER CHAT” ON LEGAL CAREERS: Russell Dupere, Attorney at Law will host the December “Career Chat” with information on the education required, making contacts in the field, and careers in the legal profession. The December Career Chat will be held on Thursday, December 10 at 2:15 p.m. in the Career Center. Refreshments will be provided; students should sign-up in the guidance office.

CONWELL COOKBOOK PLANNED: The R. H. Conwell PTO is seeking best recipes for a cookbook fundraiser. Please email your favorite recipes to or drop them off at the R. H. Conwell office before February 1, 2010.


WEBSITE OF THE WEEK: Dedicated to helping Gateway parents raise strong, safe, healthy and high-achieving kids!

DON’T BE A VICTIM OF PHISHING SWINE FLU SCAM: The Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control both responding to a phishing (fraudulent email) scam currently taking place regarding H1N1, or swine flu. The email claims that users must create a personal H1N1 Vaccination Profile on the website. “The CDC has NOT implemented a vaccination program requiring registration on”, their website reports. Click here for more information on this and other health-related hoaxes and rumors. By the way, the individual who first reported this to DPH was Worthington’s Diane Brenner (Board of Health) who has been a key member of our pandemic planning group!


  • GATEWAY SCHOOL COMMITTEE TO MEET DECEMBER 9: The Gateway Regional School Committee will take a vote on the future of Gateway elementary schools, at its only scheduled meeting for the month of December.
  • WORKSHOP FOR GATEWAY FACULTY, STAFF: The Wellness Initiative will visit Gateway on Thursday, December 10th from 2:15 - 5:00 p.m., with information on identifying stressors and unplugging them this holiday season. Included will be identifying and reducing stress, brief chair massages (ongoing), healthy snacks, flexibility assessments and ergonomic presentations for proper lifting (at 2:15, 3 and 3:30), door prizes every 15 minutes, and take home copies of the Decision Care Guide Book to help manage your health. Family members of Gateway faculty and staff may also attend.
  • R. H. CONWELL FOOD DRIVE: Students at R. H. Conwell are collecting food for the Gateway Hilltown Food Pantry, as part of a larger community effort to collect 1000 food items for the pantry. These donations help local families who are currently struggling to provide adequate food to their children. Please be as generous as possible. The food drive will run from November 23 to December 21. Items may be brought to the school.
  • COORDINATED PROGRAM REVIEW TO BE UNDERTAKEN AT GATEWAY: Margery Gerard, Director of Pupil Services for the Gateway Regional School District, has announced that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will be conducting its Coordinated Program Review the week of December 7 – 11. Any member of the public may ask to be part of a telephone interview by the visiting team. Read the entire article for details.
  • SPRINGFIELD TECHNICAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE SAME-DAY ACCEPTANCE: Seniors at Gateway Regional High School can submit an early application to STCC on December 8th, and get offered acceptance that same day! A STCC Representative will be at Gateway on December 8 to meet with students headed for the college. Qualified students will be offered conditional acceptance on the spot. Students must prepare and bring a completed STCC application, official high school transcript and their MCAS scores to the meeting. Interested students should meet with their Guidance Counselor in November, and must sign up for a meeting slot with STCC no later than December 2. For more information, please contact Carolyn Laurenza at 685-1107 or .
  • WINTER WEATHER CLOSINGS AT GATEWAY: HOW WILL YOU KNOW? With winter fast approaching, it is time for parents and students to review how to find out if school is delayed or cancelled due to winter storms. In addition to your morning phone call, you can check the following avenues.
  • WINTER BUS STOPS--A THING OF THE PAST: The Gateway Regional school District has confirmed that bus stops that were eliminated for the 2009-10 school year will not be restored for the winter months.
  • SAVE THE DATE FOR ANNUAL SPORTS BANQUET: Students and parents who participate in Gateway Jr./Sr. High School athletic programs: the Gateway Athletic Booster Club has announced the date of the Annual Sports Banquet. This year, the banquet will be held at Tekoa Country Club in Westfield on June 2. Ticket information will be coming later in the school year. Please save the date for this special event!
  • APPLICATION FOR FREE AND REDUCED LUNCH: The application form is posted to our website. If you need assistance, please contact John Bergeron or Diane Meehan at 667-2203, who would be happy to help.
  • DISTRICT 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 early-release days.
  • WEBSITE ON THE FUTURE OF GATEWAY ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS: Parents of students in Gateway elementary schools have a new resource for information as the district grapples with tough economic decisions and the possible closure of some schools. Click here for the website.

The Superintendent’s Corner for this week is attached.  This week, Dr. Hopson highlights some of the challenging issues in the elementary consolidation question. Read the entire column for details!

Have a wonderful week!

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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

© 2009, Gateway Regional School District