BN - February 8, 2011

February 8, 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: "Before I got married, I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children, and no theories." - John Wilmot

UPCOMING MEETINGS: If you missed the last meeting of the Gateway Regional School Committee, you missed a review of One Man, One Vote options. The next meeting of the Gateway Regional School Committee will be Wednesday, February 9th at 7:30 p.m. in the library of the Gateway campus. 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 Friends of Gateway meets on the first Tuesday of every month at 9:30 a.m. in the Superintendent's Office. Due to snowstorms, the February meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 15. New members are welcome to join this group, which supports district communications and volunteers.

VOCATIONAL APPLICATION DEADLINE REMINDER: Students and parents considering a vocational school or program for the 2011-12 school year, MUST have their applications in by March 1st.
Photo of Aaron Whitaker in welding shop

HATS ON FOR "PENNIES FOR PATIENTS": The middle school's change drive to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is ongoing, but had a special boost last Friday.

SCHOOLS TO CLOSE FOR WINTER VACATION: All schools will be closed February 21 - 25 for winter break. Read the complete article for details on the Gateway Wellness Center and Littleville Wrap Around Program details.

DOCTOR FOR A DAY APPLICATIONS: The Hampshire District Medical Society is again sponsoring their annual "Doctor for a Day" program. Juniors and seniors interested in becoming a physician should pick up an application in the high school Guidance Office, for a chance to spend a full day shadowing a real physician! Applications, including two letters of recommendation, are due to the Society by February 18, 2011.

CHESTER BANK DAY: Students are reminded that the February "Bank Day" for Chester Elementary School is February 11th.

GATOR GRINS AT LITTLEVILLE AND CHESTER: Hilltown Community Health Center's dental outreach program 'Gator Grins' will provide a dental education program on February 8th for Littleville Elementary School. On February 15th, the program moves to Chester Elementary School. Students at Chester who were served in the past will automatically go onto the schedule. Parents of students who are new to the program can contact Kiirsten Cooper at 667-3009 ext. 239, or email her at to enroll. Gator Grins thanks the Colgate Company for donating products to support the program!

Chester Elementary School will hold a school spirit day on February 9th, to celebrate the 100th day of school for this school year.

NOTE TO BAND BOOSTERS: A reminder that the band boosters meetings are scheduled for tomorrow evening. If enough people rsvp, Mrs. Guertin will plan to introduce her long-term substitute to the parents. If school is cancelled or students are released early due to snow, the meetings will be held on Wednesday evening. Grades 5-7 boosters meet at 6 p.m.; grades 8-12 boosters meet at 6:30 p.m. Please try to attend as this will be Mrs. Guertin's last meeting before her leave of absence.

FEBRUARY IS NATIONAL PARENT LEADERSHIP MONTH: Parent leaders are a vital part of the Gateway Regional School District--from serving on district-wide committees (School Committee, Educational Foundation Planning Committee, School Climate PAC, Sped-PAC, Friends of Gateway) to supporting specific schools or student groups (School Councils, Gateway Athletic Booster Club, Band and Choral Boosters, Chester and Littleville Parent Centers and PTOs, and the Chester Playground Committee) parent leaders are an incredible asset to our schools and district. This week's weblink is from the PTO Today (Helping Parent Leaders Make Schools Great) on 9 Special Event Ideas to Spice Up Your Year! (Check out the number that our PTOs and parent groups already do for Gateway students).  Please thank a parent leader TODAY for their valuable contributions. What would we do without them?

ALL volunteers in the Gateway Regional School District (everyone mentioned above plus chaperones, bakers, room parents, etc.) are reminded that this year's Annual Volunteer Dinner will be Thursday, March 10th from 5 - 6:30 p.m. at Gateway. All are invited!  More details soon.


  • MIDDLE SCHOOL OFFERING AFTER-SCHOOL INSTRUCTION: Principal Todd Gazda has announced that the middle school will hold an afterschool instructional program for 5th and 6th graders on Mondays and Thursdays, starting February 7th.
  • 2ND DAY OF LATE BUS FOR GATEWAY COMPLEX: Beginning February 7th, the Gateway Regional School District is offering a second day of late buses on Mondays.
  • JUMP ROPE FOR HEART AT LITTLEVILLE: February is American Heart Month, and Littleville Elementary School will be working with the American Heart Association again this year, on their annual "Jump Rope For Heart" program.
  • UPCOMING SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEETINGS: The school committee will meet on Wednesday, February 9th this month. A public hearing on the 2011-12 budget and "One Man, One Vote" will be held on March 2nd in the Gateway Performing Arts Center.
  • FEBRUARY SPED-PAC MEETING: The Gateway Regional Sped-PAC will meet on February 8th in the HS Career Center, from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. (More information in the complete article).
  • SAVE THE DATES FOR PRESCHOOL AND KINDERGARTEN SCREENINGS: Preschool screening will be held on April 4th at Littleville Elementary School. Kindergarten Screening will be held for children living in the towns of Huntington, Montgomery, Russell and Worthington on April 14th at Littleville Elementary School. Kindergarten Screening will be held for children living in Blandford, Chester or Middlefield on April 14th at Chester Elementary School. More information will be coming soon, including the ages of eligible children and how to schedule an appointment.
  • CHESTER SCHOOL COUNCIL MEETING: The Chester Elementary School Council will meet on Tuesday, February 8th from 4 - 5 p.m.
  • GATEWAY BAND BOOSTERS TO MEET: The Gateway Band Boosters will meet on Tuesday, February 8th. Parents and supporters of band members in grades 5 - 7 will meet at 6:30 p.m. tin the bandroom. Parents and fans of students in grades 5 - 12 will meet at 7 p.m. Agendas will include fundraisers to support special programs for students, so please help!
  • FEBRUARY CAREER CHAT ON REAL ESTATE AND BUSINESS: Certified Realtor Phil Pless will be at the Gateway Career Center on Wednesday, February 16th, to speak with interested students about careers in real estate and business. Students should sign up in guidance in advance, and plan to bring their lunch to the Career Center that day.
  • FLU VACCINE STILL AVAILABLE: The Gateway School-Based Health Center reports that flu vaccine is still available for staff and students. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health weekly flu report for last week shows that flu and "ILI" (Influenza Like Illness) rates are running about average for this time of year, are expected to peak in late February or early March, and are likely to continue through April.
  • COMMUNITY MEMBERS SOUGHT FOR TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE: Some background in technology is preferred, but not required of committee members.
  • LITTLEVILLE WRAP AROUND SNOW DAY PROCEDURES: Littleville's Wrap Around program will be open on Snow Days, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The fee will be $30 for one child; $50 for two children; and $70 for three or more children (from one family). If no one arrives by 9 a.m., Wrap Around will close.
  • SAVE THE DATE FOR 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 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: The boys basketball team had their season opener last night. Don't miss another boys or girls basketball game, wrestling meet or alpine skiing race! For a look at all of the home and away sports contests this winter, click here (may be found at
  • ONLINE ACCESS TO STUDENT GRADES FOR PARENTS/GUARDIANS: Parents/guardians of students in grades 5 - 12 can now monitor their student's assignments, homework, grades and attendance online.
  • The Application for Free and Reduced Lunch
  • STUDENT FEES FOR 2010-11: Information on student fees for parking and athletics, and building use fee information are posted in this article. 

IN CLOSING, this week's Superintendent's Corner is now posted. This week, Dr. Hopson updates readers about our current snow day status and announces the release of the 2011-12 Gateway Budget, which is now posted on the district website. Read the entire column for details!

Have a wonderful week!

                                                                                         Wendy V. Long, Editor


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