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October 27, 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:  “Therefore, let us not despair, but instead, survey the position, consider carefully the action we must take, and then address ourselves to our common task in a mood of sober resolution and quiet confidence, without haste and without pause.” – Arthur Henderson

COMING EVENTS: A schedule of activities for the week ending November 6, 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 28, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. at Middlefield 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 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 EDUCATOR WINS PRESTIGIOUS AWARD: As one of only ten winners from nominations all over New England, Cheryl Boylan received the honored award for excellence in teaching children with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Gateway's Cheryl Boylan, with award from the Asperger's Association of New England.

SCHOOLS CLOSED NOVEMBER 2 FOR PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES: Please note this change in date from our original school year calendar, made due to high school MCAS retests scheduled by the state. Details in the complete article.

GRADE 5 – 12 HOUSEHOLDS SURVEYED: The long-awaited telephone survey for parents of students in Grades 5 – 12 took place on Sunday, October 25. A total of 41% of households responded to the survey. Survey findings will be presented at the October 28 School Committee Meeting.

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.

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

CAMPAIGN FOR A COMMERCIAL-FREE CHILDHOOD: Did you know that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends NO screen time for children under the age of 2? And that the Boston-Based Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood successfully filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission forcing companies to stop claiming that videos are educational for infants, resulting in a full refund to anyone who purchased a Baby Einstein DVD in the last five years.

REMINDERS:

  • 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.
  • ONLINE STUDENT GRADES AVAILABLE SOON FOR HIGH SCHOOL PARENTS: Parents/guardians of students attending Gateway Regional High School will soon be able to access their student’s assignments, homework, grades and attendance from home or the office.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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 explains the growing trend of unfunded mandates from the state and Federal government. Are they doing more harm than good in this economy? 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