January 25, 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: "An educated person is one who has learned that information almost always turns out to be at best incomplete, and very often false, misleading, fictitious, mendacious--just dead wrong." - Russell Baker
UPCOMING MEETINGS: If you missed the last meeting of the Gateway Regional School Committee, you missed a vote to
return a total of $349,703 to the towns (excess of five percent of the
operating and budgeted capital costs) with the request that the towns
set that money aside to offset assessments for the FY'12 budget. The next meeting of the Gateway Regional School Committee will be Wednesday, January 26th at 7:30 p.m. in the library of the Gateway campus. Agenda items include the discussion on One Man, One Vote with town officials, to help determine which option is brought before the voters this spring. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend School Committee meetings, as an important way to learn more about how the district operates. 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. The next meeting will be Tuesday, February 1, 2011. New members are welcome to join this group, which supports district communications and volunteers.
SCHOOL COMMITTEE RETURNS FUNDS TO GATEWAY TOWNS: The committee voted on January 19th to return a total of $349,703 to the district's seven member towns, with the request that the towns set that money aside to offset the FY '12 budget.
SCHOOL CLIMATE PAC MEETING RESCHEDULED: The January School Climate Pac meeting (postponed from the January 18th snow day) will be held tonight at 6 p.m. in the Superintendent's Office.
SPED-PAC PARENT SUPPORT GROUP MEETING FOR FEBRUARY: The GRSD Sped-PAC's Parent Support Group will meet on Tuesday, February 1st from 6:30 - 8 p.m. in the high school Career Center.
'FAFSA DAY MASSACHUSETTS': The Gateway Guidance Department was unable to secure a financial aide expert to reschedule the FAFSA Help Night (originally scheduled on the January 12th snow day). Counselors are encouraging all families to go to the "FAFSA Day Massachsuetts" event, held at various locations throughout Western Massachusetts this month. (Details in the complete article).
LITTLEVILLE SCHOOL SPIRIT SWEATSHIRTS ON SALE NOW: Click here for an order form! A range of styles to choose from.
"WORDS CAN HURT": This week marks Massachusetts' "No Name Calling Day" (fourth Wednesday in January) as stated in the Commonwealth's 2010 Anti-Bullying Legislation. The current edition of "Weekly Reader" describes how kids themselves are standing up to bullying, and has tips for the role that teachers and parents can play.
- VOCATIONAL SCHOOL APPLICATION PROCESS ANNOUNCED:
As in the past, students interested in attending Smith Voke or
Westfield Voke in the 2011-12 school year must complete an application,
gather teacher and counselor reccomendations, and meet with an admissions
counselor at the voke--and hand in required documentation by March 1,
- COMMUNITY MEMBERS SOUGHT FOR TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE: Some background in technology is preferred, but not required of committee members.
- JANUARY SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEETINGS (REPRISE): Last
week's snowstorm forced the postponement of the January 12th School
Committee meeting to January 19th. Town officials are invited to the
1/26 meeting to discuss One Man, One Vote.
- CHESTER PARENTS LEAD PLAYGROUND EFFORT: "How
can we call recess enjoyable when our children have only one set of
swings and one basketball hoop to share among 150 students?"
- LITTLEVILLE NOTES: Parents are reminded that staff members are
not on duty until 8:40 a.m. Students who are dropped off prior to 8:40
will be sent to the wrap around program (fees charged) to ensure
- 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.
- ELEMENTARY MUSIC NOTES: In February, 3rd and 4th grade students
will begin working with recorders in music class. Teacher Paul Sawyer
has recorders available for sale at $2.50/each. Payments were due on
Monday, January 24th. If paying by check, please make check payable to
Gerry's Music. Students who already own a recorder are encouraged to
bring that in to use, but please put your name on it. Questions? Email Mr. Sawyer (email@example.com)
- 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!
- AFTERSCHOOL MCAS PROGRAM FOR HIGH SCHOOL STARTS THURSDAY: Support
for students preparing for the English Language Arts MCAS exam (or
retest) this spring, will begin afterschool on Thursday, January 13th.
Additional programs will be held later this schoolyear for mathematics
and science/technology. This program is free of charge
and runs from 2:10 - 4 p.m. on Thursdays (late bus available). First
priority to juniors and seniors who have not yet passed the exam; 2nd
priority to students who scored at warning/needs improvement or failing
on their last exam. Please RSVP to Mr. Tichacek (firstname.lastname@example.org, or
- BAY PATH 'DECISION DAY' AT GATEWAY: Katelynn
Shea, Bay Path College admissions officer, will be at Gateway Regional
High School on Wednesday, January 26 to conduct a 'Decision Day' for
seniors who want to apply to this private, 4-year women's college in
Longmeadow. Seniors who hand in an application, SAT or ACT scores, and a
transcript will receive an admissions decision by the end of the day.
Interested students should sign up in the guidance office and meet with
their guidance counselor beforehand to gather necessary materials.
- ALUMNI INVITED TO SHARE INSIGHTS: The Gateway Regional School Committee has invited alumni from the Classes of 2006-2010 to take an online survey and provide feedback on their educational experience.
- 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.
- CHESTER WRAP AROUND WINTER DETAILS: The Chester Wrap Around
program, which is in its first year of operation, will adhere to the
following when school is delayed, canceled or released early due to
winter weather. Wrap Around will start at 9 a.m. on delayed start days,
to allow time for the parking lot to be cleared. If children are
released early due to weather, and your child is scheduled to be at Wrap
Around that day, your child will be kept at school until you pick them
up (as close to dismissal time as possible). If school is canceled,
children from Chester Elementary School are welcome to join the
Littleville Wrap Around Program (but please note details on how that program operates on snow days). Please speak with Mrs. Sanderson if you
think you will pursue that option. The Littleville Wrap Around Program
number is 685-1340 (Mrs. Melinda Slowey).
- SAVE THE DATE FOR SEMI-FORMAL: The Gateway Regional High School
Student Council is sponsoring the Annual Semi-Formal dance, to be held
on February 4th from 6 - 10:30 p.m. at Tekoa Country Club. More details
- LITTLEVILLE RECYCLING FUNDRAISER: The Littleville PTO is
conducting a recycling fundraiser. Protect the environment by donated
used items (cell phones, digital cameras, laptops, digital video
cameras, ink jet cartridges, MP3 players and more). Items may be dropped
off at the school on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays and this will be an
- 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 www.highschoolsports.net).
- 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 discusses the district's response to a Facebook posting made by a student in December, and the media's coverage last week. Read the entire column for details!
Have a wonderful week!
Wendy V. Long, Editor
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2011, Gateway Regional School District