November 3, 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:  “Are you washing your hands frequently? It’s not just a health issue, it’s a moral issue. We collectively have to slow the spread of this virus for the health and safety, not just of our family, but of others.” – Dr. Margaret Chan, World Health Organization

COMING EVENTS: A schedule of activities for the week ending November 14, 2009 is now posted.  (Items for this calendar should be submitted at least two weeks ahead of time!)

UPCOMING MEETINGS: :  If you missed the last meeting of the school committee, you missed a report on the Elementary Advisory Committee (EAC) parent and staff surveys and updates on the possibility of  elementary school consolidation. The EAC Survey Report and Additional Comments from elementary parents is now posted on the EAC Website. A motion to vote no to consolidating schools and develop a budget to send to the towns that supports all five elementary schools failed. The Gateway Regional School Committee will meet on Wednesday, November 18 at 7:30 p.m. in the Gateway 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 will next meet on November 10. 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, 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 (wlong@grsd.org). 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.

PARENT SLOTS STILL AVAILABLE FOR ONLINE GRADES TRAINING: Parents who wish to have online access to their child’s academic progress must attend a mandatory training to learn how to use the system and obtain their username and password. This opportunity for parent involvement in education will be open to high school parents starting November 13.

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.

SCHOOLS CLOSED FOR VETERANS DAY: All schools in the Gateway Regional School District will be closed on Wednesday, November 11 for Veterans Day. The Gateway Wellness Center will be closed. The Littleville Wrap Around Program will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., with advance registration.

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.

GATEWAY ATHLETIC BOOSTER CLUB MEETING: The Gateway Athletic Booster Club will meet at Montgomery Town Hall on Sunday, November 8 at 7 p.m. The Booster Club is actively looking for new members to support the Jr./Sr. High School athletic program. If you cannot attend but CAN help, call Deb Lariviere at 667-3121.

CHESTER ELEMENTARY “WISH LIST” : Chester Elementary School teachers and staff have assembled a list of needed items for the school and classrooms.

“STOP & SHOP”PERS CAN BENEFIT HIGH SCHOOL: If you shop at Stop & Shop, you can earn points for Gateway Regional High School by signing up for the A+ Bonus Bucks program. Log onto www.stopandshop.com/aplus to register online or call 1-877-275=2758 to register your card over the phone. Once you register, each shopping trip earns cash for the school when you use your Stop & Shop Card. The ID # for Gateway Regional High School is 07688.

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

ONE STOP FLU FACTS:  The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has a wealth of information about H1N1 (Swine Flu), the latest on the vaccines, and how to care for people who are ill. The DPH Swine Flu BLOG presents “Commonwealth Conversations” about issues related to H1N1.

REMINDERS:

  • 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 claurenza@grsd.org .
  • CONWELL FUNDRAISER: R. H. Conwell’s PTO is selling Yankee Candles. The brochure for this fundraiser can be viewed online at www.yankeecandlefundraising.com. The sale ends November 2, 2009 and those ordering should use Customer # 990018743. Items will be delivered by December 11.
  • 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.
  • SAVE THE DATE: CHARLES NEVILLE, ELEMENTARY STUDENTS TO PERFORM: Third and four grade students attending Gateway elementary schools will hold a concert on Tuesday, November 24 at 6:30 p.m. in the Gateway Performing Arts Center. At 7 p.m., Charles Neville will perform with The Skeletones, and will do a couple of numbers with the children.
  • 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.
  • CONWELL PTO SEEKS SUPPLIES FROM FAMILIES: The R. H. Conwell PTO is soliciting supplies and materials that are needed for the school. To view a complete list, click here
  • 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 ksavery@hchcweb.org
  • 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 reflects on the state’s most recent round of budget cuts; if you think that Gateway schools and towns weren’t directly affected, think again! Read the entire column for details!

Have a wonderful week!

To subscribe or unsubscribe to this newsletter, please send an email request to gatewaynews@grsd.org

 

“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

© 2009, Gateway Regional School District