November 17, 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:  “I am a member of a team, and I rely on the team, I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion.” – Mia Hamm 

COMING EVENTS: A schedule of activities for the week ending November 28, 2009 is now posted.  (Items for this calendar should be submitted at least two weeks ahead of time!)

UPCOMING MEETINGS: At last night’s special meeting of the Gateway Regional School Committee, the committee voted in support of Dr. Hopson’s correspondence with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA); voted to request that the superintendent inform the MSBA of their vote to support Dr. Hopson’s response to the MSBA; voted to hear a complaint against an elected official; and voted to take no action against that elected official. The Gateway Regional School Committee will meet on Wednesday, November 18 at 7:30 p.m. in the Gateway Library (2nd floor). Agenda items include the 2009 Auditors Report; the 2011 Class trip to Walt Disney World Orlando; the Transportation Audit Report; a budget update, and the Elementary Advisory Committee Report. 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 meeting scheduled for November 10th was cancelled, due to swine flu clinics held at Gateway elementary schools last week. 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.   

GATEWAY GIRLS SOCCER TEAM WINS WESTERN MASS; GATEWAY BOYS ARE WMASS RUNNERS-UP: The Gateway Regional Girls Varsity Soccer Team won the Western Massachusetts Championship on Sunday with a 1 – 0 win over Granby. Playing immediately after the girls win, the Gateway Boys Varsity Soccer Team lost to the Lenox Millionaires 0 – 3, becoming the Western Mass runner-up. Next up for the girls: a game at 5 p.m. today against Sutton High School, to be held in Worcester. Click here for directions; Click here for more photos from Sunday’s games.

STUDENTS, TEACHER PREPARE FOR CONCERT WITH CHARLES NEVILLE: Sit back, relax and enjoy a range of student performances in the next week. You can see original one-act plays written by sixth graders and performed by professional actors this Friday or Saturday night (click here for details). And on Tuesday, November 24, come see the Gateway 3rd and 4th graders open for Charles Neville and the Skeletones! Both events at the Gateway Performing Arts Center.

SWINE FLU VACCINATION UPDATE: Last week, Gateway staff and area volunteers teemed up to conduct evening swine flu vaccination clinics at each Gateway elementary school. This week, vaccinations are taking place for students attending Gateway middle school, junior high school and high school, who have returned a consent form signed by parents. Area planners hope to conduct clinics for the general public next month—as soon as students are done and enough additional vaccine is available. Public clinic notices will be posted at town halls, in town libraries, on the community cable bulletin boards, and on the Gateway Regional School District Website’s swine flu page (

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.

ANNUAL CRAFT FAIR AT RUSSELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Get the jump on your annual holiday shopping (and stay for lunch) at the 13th Annual Holiday Craft Fair on Saturday, November 21 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

SCHOOLS CLOSED FOR THANKSGIVING BREAK: Students will have a half-day on Wednesday, November 25th, as they depart for the holiday recess. (Lunch will not be served that day). Details in the complete article.

LITTLEVILLE “HOME TEAM” SCHOOL REWARDS PROGRAM: Littleville Elementary School families are participating in a fundraiser whose main requirement is to make dinner! By using “Fast Fixin’” or “Fast Classics” fully cooked frozen chicken, beef or pork—and sending back the Home Team Logo from the box—families can earn 30 cents for each clipped logo. Details and flyers were in last Friday’s Red Folder.

R. H. CONWELL GIFT EXCHANGE: A holiday gift exchange will take place at the school in December. Parents and community members are asked to donate items that are in good condition, for this project. Items suitable for teenagers and men are in short supply!

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

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU THINK: WHY PARENT EXPECTATIONS MATTER: A study published in the Journal of Research on Adolescence found that adolescents whose mothers believed they would be more rebellious and take more risks reported higher level of high-risk behaviors than their peers, one year later. The findings were supported even after controlling for many other predictors. The article contains important advice for parents.


  • MS PLAYWRIGHTS ARE MAKING WAVES NEXT WEEKEND: Six one-act plays, written by sixth graders attending Gateway Regional Middle School, will be performed by professional actors from the Gateway Theatre Company on November 20 and 21. This semester’s theme is “Making Waves”. Tickets will be sold at the door (please read the entire article for more details).
  • EAC TO REPORT FINDINGS ON NOVEMBER 18: As part of the November meeting of the Gateway Regional School Committee, the Elementary Advisory Committee will present its findings on November 18 in the Gateway library (second floor). The public is welcome to attend.
  • SCHOOL COUNCIL MEETINGS: The Jr. High School Council and High School Council will meet next week. These meetings are open to the public.
  • NHS TO HELP THOSE IN NEED: Information from the Southern Hilltowns Social Service Center about how Gateway’s National Honor Society is helping families in the hilltowns this holiday season.
  • NOVEMBER CAREER CHAT: For a flyer on the November 19th “Career Chat” for students, click here. Students must r.s.v.p. in the Guidance Office.
  • FIRST TERM REPORT CARDS were issued on November 13 for Gateway Regional High School students.
  • WINTER ATHLETICS: The winter sports season begins November 30, 2009. All paperwork must be completed before a potential student-athlete may tryout. Please see Mr. St.Peter in the Wellness Center for details.
  • GATEWAY, TOWNS PREPARE FOR SWINE FLU VACCINATIONS: Area officials met on October 29 to put the finishing touches on plans for swine flu clinics for area children and residents. The first clinics will be held in the evening at Gateway elementary schools for younger students and their siblings. We are still seeking Volunteers ; forms may be faxed (667-8739) or emailed ( Swine flu information is also available on our website.
  • NOVEMBER IS CAREER MONTH: November is National Career Development Month, and the Gateway Guidance staff are ensuring that middle school, junior high school and senior high school students will benefit! This letter from our guidance office will give you an overview of the month. Click here for a calendar of events this month to help students plan their future.
  • GATEWAY TO HOST ELDERS FOR HOLIDAY CONCERT AND LUNCHEON: The Gateway Regional School District extends a warm invitation to area senior citizens for the annual event, to be held on Wednesday, December 2 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Doors open at 11 a.m.
  • STUDENT COUNCIL SPONSORING ANNUAL FOOD DRIVE: The Gateway Regional High School is sponsoring its annual Food Drive to assist local families. This event will also serve as a competition between the grades to see which class earns the most spirit points toward the annual Spirit Trophy.
  • COLLEGE FINANCING WORKSHOP ON NOVEMBER 24: Parents/guardians and students are invited to attend MEFA’s free comprehensive presentation on college Financing. The seminar will be hosted by the Gateway Regional High School Guidance Department on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 6:30 p.m. in the high school gymnasium. An experienced MEFA representative will discuss the financial aid process, and teach families how to apply for financial aid, compare financial aid award letters and seek available financing options. Participants will receive a seminar booklet which serves as a year round resource. There will be a question-answer period at the end. See the program flyer for rsvp information.
  • GATEWAY BANDS FUNDRAISERS:  The Gateway bands (5 – 7, 8 – 12) are selling Butter Braids and fruit to raise funds to support competitions and educational field trips. Click for order forms.
  • 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.
  • GATEWAY ALUMNI INVITED TO WORK SCHOOL COLLEGE FAIR: Graduates of Gateway Regional High School are invited to return the day before Thanksgiving, to speak with students about their post-graduate experiences at college, in the workplace, or giving military service to our country.
  • WORKSHOP ON SPEECH AND LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT FOR YOUNG CHILDREN: The Gateway Family Center is offering Caro Lambert, a Pediatric Speech and Language Pathologist from Lambert Speech and Language on Tuesday, November 24 at 10 a.m. at the Gateway Family Center. Lambert will give a workshop for parents on the typical developmental stages and ages for acquiring speech and language skills, as well as warning signs. Activities to promote speech, language, feeding and oral motor development will be discussed. Free and open to the public. Please register with Kim Savery at 667-2203 ext. 3 or email at
  • 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 667-2204, 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 looks back on an exciting soccer double-header held on Sunday, and thanks the many people who attended to support our teams—and give them a “parade” back to the school! 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