October 13, 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:  Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” – World Health Organization, 1948


COMING EVENTS: A schedule of activities for the week ending October 23, 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, October 14, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. in Montgomery Town Hall. 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 October 13, when plans for district-wide fundraising and filing for a 501(c)3. 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.

REFLECTIONS ON FIRST YEAR AT GATEWAY: Public Relations Intern (and GRHS Senior) Kelly McCarthy presents this interview with Eileen Hirsch, our School-Based Health Center’s Nurse Practitioner, who reflects on her first year at Gateway.

Photo: SBHC Nurse Practitioner Eileen Hirsch, on the job at Gateway's School-Based Health Center.

OCTOBER 20 EARLY RELEASE: Students will be dismissed two hours early on Tuesday, October 20 for staff professional development.

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 CHARLES NEVILLE, WITH ELEMENTARY MUSICIANS: Elementary third and fourth grade students will give a pre-holiday concert on Tuesday, November 24 at 6:30 p.m., to be followed by recording artist Charles Neville and his big band at 7:00 p.m. in the Gateway Performing Arts Center. Students will also perform two numbers with Charles Neville. More details to come!

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

FLU AND YOU: As the vaccine for H1N1 becomes available, more and more conversations about this topic are taking place throughout the community. Having trouble deciding whether or not to get the H1N1 vaccine? Talk to your doctor. Look at the data. Consider joining our local Medical Reserve Corps, to get training on how to help in your community. Stay up-to-date with information from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Centers For Disease Control.


  • PARENTS TO BE SURVEYED ON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CLOSINGS: The Elementary Advisory Committee has announced that parents of school-aged children are being surveyed for input on the possible closing of some elementary schools for the 2010-11 school year.
  • SCHOOL COMMITTEE SCHEDULED TO HOLD MEETINGS IN 7 TOWNS: In keeping with past practice, the Gateway Regional School Committee will again meet in all seven Gateway hilltowns this year, to make public attendance easier for area residents. The next meeting of the School Committee will be at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 14 at Montgomery Town Hall. The school committee will hear public input on items not listed to the evening’s agenda during the first three minutes of every meeting. Click here for the year's schedule of meetings and locations.
  • 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!
  • GATEWAY OFFERS NEW ROUND OF LAPTOPS FOR STUDENTS AND COMMUNITY: Students, parents, staff and community members have the opportunity to lease or purchase a new industry standard Apple laptop. Order packages can be downloaded from today’s Breaking News, and will be available at the October 8 MS/JR/SR High School Open House. An informational meeting will held at 7:35 p.m. in the Gateway Performing Arts Center that night. Orders are due by October 15
  • COMMENT PERIOD CLOSING FOR CHESTER, LITTLEVILLE AND BLANDFORD ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS: Area residents are reminded that the deadline for submitting written comments regarding the future of Gateway elementary schools is approraching for Chester, Littleville and Blandford Elementary Schools.
  • CRANK UP THE HEAT FOR BLANDFORD ES RAFFLE: The Blandford Elementary School PTO is turning up the heat with a fundraiser that could fill your oil tank! Take one chance, or a few, and you could win 150 gallons of home heating oil to be delivered by Wheeler Oil of Chester. A donation of $5.00 is appreciated for each ticket. The drawing is on November 2, 2009 and just 200 tickets have been printed. The oil can be delivered anywhere in the Gateway towns. If you don’t heat with oil, or live outside the district, you can still win as the cash market value of the oil on the day of the drawing will be given as a prize to those who do not use oil or live outside the district. Contact any member of the Blandford PTO or call the school at 685-1350 to find out more. Money raised by the raffle will help the PTO contribute to field trips and educational enrichment programs for the students in Blandford.
  • NEW HIGH SCHOOL ATTENDANCE POLICY: High school families are probably aware that an attendance policy has been in effect for many years; however, students and parents/guardians should take note of the new guidelines in place this year.
  • 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.
  • FEES FOR 2009-10: As was reported earlier this year, student fees will be increasing for the coming school year.

  • 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 challenges of coping with change and a seemingly endless stream of bad news. 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 wlong@grsd.org

© 2009, Gateway Regional School District