January 19, 2010

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 on the News Archive (under “general information” on the district website). As always, your feedback and suggestions are welcome  

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:  “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” – Frederick Douglass


COMING EVENTS: A schedule of activities for the week ending January 29, 2010 is now posted.  (Items for this calendar should be submitted at least two weeks ahead of time!)

UPCOMING MEETINGS: If you missed the January 13 meeting of the Gateway Regional School Committee, you missed: approval of the Class of 2011 senior trip to Walt Disney World, a budget forecast for FY ’11, and the vote to consolidate elementary schools (see below). The Gateway Regional School Committee will meet on Wednesday, January 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the high school library (2nd floor). 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 group is changing their meeting time! Starting February 2nd, the group will begin meeting on the FIRST TUESDAY of each month, at 9:30 a.m. in the Superintendent’s Office. We welcome new members to 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.  



SCHOOL COMMITTEE VOTES TO CONSOLIDATE ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS: The Gateway Regional school Committee voted 13 – 3 to consolidate its elementary schools to improve education and save money.

Russell Elementary School, one of three schools that will close under consolidation.

FRIENDS OF GATEWAY TO THANK SCHOOL VOLUNTEERS: The Sixth Annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner for all parents and community members who serve our schools will be held on Thursday, March 11, with dinner served from 5 – 7 p.m. in the MS/HS cafeteria.

CHARLOTTE’S WEB PERFORMANCE AT LITTLEVILLE: Pioneer Valley Performing Arts (PVPA) High School treated Littleville Elementary School students to a performance of Charlotte’s Web. The recap, written by public relations intern Kelly McCarthy.

BAND BOOSTERS TO MEET: The next meeting of the Gateway Band Boosters will be Monday, January 25 in the band room. Middle School/Jr. High School boosters will meet at 6:00 p.m. High School boosters will start at 6:30 p.m. New members are sought and are welcome to attend.

CENSUS BUREAU LOOKING TO HIRE STUDENTS: Students who will be 18 by March are eligible for part-time work. All employees must pass a test that will be offered at Gateway afterschool on January 25th in the Career Center from 2:30 – 4 p.m. Interested students can get a practice test from the Guidance Office. If interested, please call Paul Dunleavy at 413-238-5819 for more information.

HALF-DAY EXAM AND BELL SCHEDULES: Principal Kathleen McSweeney has posted the schedules for high school mid-year exams (or semester finals) on January 21 and 22, and the bell schedule for Gateway Jr. High School and High School on January 20th--the first day of exams.  

‘DOCTOR FOR A DAY’ PROGRAM ON MARCH 24: The Hampshire District Medical Society will host the annual event, which matches high school students who aspire to be doctors with a practicing physician mentor for the day. High school juniors and seniors must apply and submit two letters of recommendation; applications are available in the guidance office. The society must receive applications by February 5; guidance staff recommend completing applications no later than January 29.


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

HELPING CHILDREN THROUGH CHANGE: The consolidation of Gateway's elementary schools means change for every elementary student in the district. Operation Military Kids (and who knows more about change than the children of active duty parents?) has a great resource for parents on how to support their children through the coming elementary transition.


  • SOME GATEWAY BUSES HAVE NO ROOM FOR GUEST RIDERS: Due to changes in several bus routes this year, a number of school buses are now at full capacity and can no longer transport friends of students in grades 5 – 12.
  • GATEWAY SCHEDULE FOR WEEK STARTING JANUARY 18: A holiday and two half-days for students are on tap for the week starting January 18th. UPDATE ON 1/13/10: THE LITTLEVILLE WRAP AROUND PROGRAM WILL BE CLOSED ON JANUARY 18 DUE TO LOW ENROLLMENT FOR THAT DATE.
  • SESSION II OF AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAM EXTENDED: Afterschool Program Coordinator Shannon Madden has announced that the second session of the program will be extended until February 5. The third session will begin on February 8. More information will be posted in an upcoming edition of Breaking News.
  • JANUARY SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEETINGS: The school committee will meet on the first and third Wednesdays in January and will determine the future of elementary education at their January 13 meeting.
  • VOCATIONAL SCHOOL APPLICATION PROCESS: Parents of students living in the Gateway Regional School District are advised that applications are now available for students interested in applying to vocational school. Those applications must be submitted by March 1, 2010.
  • MID-YEAR BUS CHANGE ANNOUNCED: Due to a decrease in the number of Grade 5 – 12 students served by some bus routes, the Gateway district is reducing the total number of buses being used. Effective January 4, 2010, some students will be reassigned to new buses and bus stop times. Those families were sent a letter late last week. Click here for the addresses effected.
  • R. H. CONWELL LITTLE CAESARS PIZZA FUNDRAISER: Orders will be delivered in time for Super Bowl Weekend! Orders and money are due Friday, January 16. Delivery will be Wednesday, January 27, with pickup between 4:30 and 5.
  • CONWELL COOKBOOK PLANNED: The R. H. Conwell PTO is seeking best recipes for a cookbook fundraiser. Please email your favorite recipes to zeus405@aol.com or drop them off at the R. H. Conwell office before February 1, 2010.
  • 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.


In closing, the Superintendent's Corner for this week is attached. This week, Dr. Hopson recaps the meaning that the historic vote on elementary consolidation has for students, parents and staff. Read the full 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 wlong@grsd.org

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