April 26, 2011
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 in the GRSD News Archive (under “News” on the district website). As always, your feedback and any suggestions for improvements are welcome.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "A sorrow's crown of sorrow is remembering happier times." - Alfred Lord Tennyson
UPCOMING MEETINGS: The next meeting of the Gateway Regional School Committee will be May 11, 2011. The public is welcome to attend the meeting, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the high school library (2nd floor). Please note that any questions or concerns should first be brought to the appropriate district staff member (i.e. a specific teacher, principal or Central Office staff member). The first agenda item of every school committee meeting is hearing issues that are not on the posted agenda. The next meeting of the Friends of Gateway will be Tuesday, May 3rd at 9:30 a.m. in the Superintendent's Office. New members are welcome to join this group, which supports district communications and volunteers.
| Photos of the Week: Eric Champiney (right) will be remembered on Booster Field on May 13th, and the whole region is invited. NHS members (below) following induction.
FIFTEEN INDUCTED INTO NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY: Fifteen members of the Gateway HS Class of 2012--and three retiring staff members--were inducted into the Dana O. Webber Chapter of the National Honor Society on April 13th.
COMMUNITY INVITED TO CELEBRATE THE LIFE OF ERIC CHAMPINEY: The entire Gateway community is invited to the "Champiney Challenge" at Gateway Regional High School on Friday, May 13th, beginning with a community picnic on Booster Field at 6 p.m.. The Class of 2011 is sponsoring this event to honor their classmate Eric Champiney, who died of a pre-existing heart condition in 2005.
PROJECT BLUE AT GRHS ON THURSDAY: The Gateway Social Club is holding an Autism Awareness Day on Thursday, April 28th. Students have named this event "Project Blue". Several activities are planned throughout the day to spread information and awareness about the fastest growing developmental disability in the world. Students, staff and families from all schools are encouraged to wear blue to show their support.
OUTDOOR ADVENTURE AND EXPLORATION SUMMER CAMP: The Gateway Middle School After-School Program is offering a full day, four-week summer program to students who will be attending Gateway in grades 5, 6 and 7 in the 2011-12 school year. Click here for a pre-registration form.
GATEWAY SPED-PAC TO HOST "BASIC RIGHTS" WORKSHOP: This training will be provided by the Federation for Children with Special Needs, and is open free of charge to any parent in the area who has a child with disabilities. May 3rd from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. in the high school Career Center. Please register in advance.
CLASS OF 2014 TO HOLD DISNEY DINNER: A "Disney Dinner" will be held at the Blandford Country Club on Saturday, May 14th, to help the Class of 2014 defray the cost of their senior class trip to Disney World. Servers will be decked out in Disney costumes, entertainment will include high school students performing your favorite Disney tunes, and tables will be decorated a la Disney. Silent auction.
GATEWAY TO CONDUCT PHONE SURVEY: All student households will be contacted the week of May 1st to take part in a brief, anonymous telephone survey on technology resources at home.
IT'S AS EASY AS EATING SPAGHETTI! Final reminder on this week's Spaghetti Supper fundraiser organized by the Chester Elementary School PTO, on Friday, April 29th.
MIDDLE SCHOOL UPDATES: The GMS Talent Show will be held on Thursday, April 28th from 6:30 - 8 p.m. in the Gateway Performing Arts Center--no MCAS or afterschool program that day. Also, students who were caught being "Trustworthy" will be honored, along with Good and Excellent Effort awardees, at an assembly on April 29th.
CHESTER MINI-COURSE UPDATE: A reminder that mini-courses are being offered afterschool at Chester and Littleville Elementary Schools in the month of May. See details in the complete article in the "reminders" section (below). However, please note that two additional afterschool offerings are available at Chester: an Art Project Club will enable students to make custom T-shirts, birdhouses, stepping stones, and more. And an "All About Me" program will help students complete an autobiographical scrapbooking adventure! (These two courses are in addition to the gardening and robotics courses described in the article).
ANNUAL SPORTS BANQUET: Student athletes,
coaches and parents should put Wednesday, June 1st on their calendar for
the Annual Sports Banquet, which recognizes all high school sports
teams from the 2010-2011 school year. The event will take place from 6 -
10 p.m. at Tekoa Country Club. Ticket prices will be $25 for adults,
$10 for athletes, coaches and children under 12. More details to come!
GATEWAY STUDENT ARTISTS INVITED TO 5TH ANNUAL HILLTOWN SPRING FESTIVAL: Gateway students up to age 13 are invited to participate in the Kids-Made Craft Bazaar at the 5th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival on Saturday, May 14th at the Cummington Fairgrounds. Kids can show, sell and barter their hand-made crafts and arts. Participants must pre-register.
WEBLINK OF THE WEEK:
NATIONAL TAKE BACK PRESCRIPTION DRUGS DAY: Every day, 2,500 teenagers use prescription drugs to get high for the first time--and most of the drugs being abused are obtained from families and friends. Old medications must be disposed of properly to avoid impacting the environment and water supply. Do you have old prescription and non-prescription medications hanging around? Dispose of them safely at one of the sites identified in Hampshire or Franklin County, this Saturday (April 30th) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is a free collection day and completely anonymous. (Items that cannot be accepted include needles, syringes, IV bags, lancets, thermometers, chemo drugs and no liquids of any kind.) Click here for a flyer with more information.
- GATEWAY FEES MAY NOW BE PAID ON-LINE:
Gateway parents/guardians and students may now pay for many student
expenses--including their school lunch, athletic fee, Wrap Around
program fees, or even their high school yearbook--online!
- GATEWAY ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS TO OFFER SPRING MINI-COURSES: Littleville
and Chester Elementary Schools are offering afterschool mini-courses
during the month of May to their students at no charge. Students may
select from a menu of choices ranging from dance lessons to robotics.
- SOUTHERN HILLTOWNS ADULT EDUCATION CALENDAR FOR APRIL: If you
read last week's Breaking News, you know that the Southern Hilltowns
Adult Education Center (SHAEC) has moved into room 152 of Gateway High
School (685-1052). Click here
for a calendar of April classes and events. SHAEC will have an Open
House on May 11th at 5:30 p.m. to show the community their new site!
- CHESTER CALENDAR RAFFLE: The Chester PTO is sponsoring a calendar
raffle fundraiser, where an item will be drawn each day in the month of
May. Prizes include gift cards from a range of businesses, including
restaurants, stores, ski areas and hair salons! Each chance is $5, and
can be purchased from any PTO members, from the school office, or at the
Spaghetti Supper on April 29th.
- CLASS OF 2011 TO HONOR CLASSMATE WHO DID NOT LIVE TO SEE GRADUATION: "If
he were still alive, he'd be the first one to organize this event for
somebody else," said Gateway senior Jeremy Tanguay. The entire community
is invited to this very special event on May 13th.
- ANNUAL TOWN MEETINGS: In
addition to voting on next year's school budget, voters at this year's
Annual Town Meetings will consider a proposal that would fix Gateway's
"One Man, One Vote" issue. The link gives a list of the meeting dates by
- MCAS TESTING IN MARCH, MAY AND JUNE: Testing has already begun
for the annual Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) in
all Gateway schools, affecting students from grade 3 and older.
- SAVE THE DATE FOR GRADE 4 ORIENTATION: Fourth
grade students from Chester and Littleville Elementary School will have
tours and special orientation activities during the school day at
Gateway Regional Middle School on Wednesday, June 1st. More details to
- GATEWAY SCHOOL SAFETY HOTLINE: A
reminder on one way to report harassment, bullying, drug or alcohol
concerns, vandalism, and school safety issues, as a way to keep Gateway
schools safe for all students.
- HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS SCHEDULE ONLINE: Softball and baseball seasons are underway. For a look at all of the home and away sports contests this spring , click here (may be found at www.highschoolsports.net).
IN CLOSING, we have two weeks of Superintendent's Corners for you. Last week, Dr. Hopson wrote about the many changes that have taken place in the field of education, and how past models of educating students are no longer practical, or even legal. This week, Dr. Hopson explains why the assessments for some towns increased, while others decreased--although the assessments for all 7 towns combined are up less than 0.02%. Read the entire column for details!
Have a wonderful week!
Wendy V. Long, Editor
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