BN - March 29, 2011

March 29, 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: "But what I like to sing mostly is blues and cabaret style," Moira Kelly

UPCOMING MEETINGS: The next meeting of the Gateway Regional School Committee will be April 13, 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, April 12th. New members are welcome to join this group, which supports district communications and volunteers.

The Gateway High School Music
Department will host its annual Cabaret concert on
Friday, April 8th at 7 p.m. in the Gateway Performing
 Arts Center. Tickets ($5 for adults, $2 for students
and senior citizens) will be sold at the door.

 Jazz Band photo
 Another jazz band photo  Show choir rehearsing

CHANGE OF PRINCIPALS AT CHESTER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Principal Candice Judd has resigned as principal of Chester Elementary School, due to personal health reasons. Middle School Principal Todd Gazda has been named as the Interim Principal.

EARLY RELEASE ON APRIL 5TH: Gateway students will have a two-hour early release on Tuesday, April 5th, part of a series of early release days to bring staff members together for training.

SPEC-PAC PARENT SUPPORT GROUP FOR APRIL: The GRSD Sped-PAC's Parent Support Group will meet on Tuesday, April 5th from 6:30 - 8 p.m. in the high school Career Center. All Gateway parents of children who have special needs are invited.

FINAL WEEK FOR GATEWAY PARENTS, STAKEHOLDERS TO COMPLETE NATIONAL SURVEY ON GATEWAY COMMUNICATIONS: Several weeks ago, about 1,300 Gateway parents and community members received an email with instructions and a link to the National School Public Relations communications survey. Gateway is one of 100 schools in the country selected to participate in this survey. We hope that you will take ten minutes and complete this survey. It will provide us with important information to guide the future of our communications program. The survey will close on April 1st. All responses will be anonymous.

ALGEBRA READINESS TESTING RESCHEDULED: The JRHS Guidance & Math Departments have scheduled the annual algebra prognosis testing for 7th grade students for Tuesday, March 29th. (Please note: due to MCAS testing, the date for testing has changed to April 4th.)

GATOR GRINS NEWSLETTER: Gator Grins, our portable dental care program through Hilltown Community Health Centers, has issued a newsletter with updates on the services that they currently offer and the number of students they are seeing! By enrolling your child in this program, nearly all of their dental needs--exams, fluoride, x-rays, cleanings, fillings, sealants and more--can be completed at school.

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 come!

COMMENT PERIOD FOR MASSACHUSETTS SCHOOL NUTRITION BILL: Wendy McCaul, Gateway's Food Services Director, has prepared a document that explains proposed changes to school nutrition standards, and how they might impact our students. Click here for this information. If you have an opinion about the proposed changes, you may email your testimony to (see Wendy's information for details on this) or attend the public hearing at Springfield College (3 p.m. on April 5th).

SAVE THE DATE FOR SPAGHETTI SUPPER FUNDRAISER: Chester Elementary School will be hosting a Spaghetti Supper fundraiser on Friday, April 29th. More details to come soon, but the event will include two seatings (5:30 and 6 p.m.) and a raffle drawing at 7 p.m.

April 1st will be a school spirit day: dress as your favorite sports team. Gator Grins will be at the school on April 4th. The PTO will meet on April 4th at 6 p.m. And the playground committee will meet at 9 a.m. on April 6th.


STUDENT OF CHARACTER - KAITLYN FAY: Nominated by Gateway Speech and Language Pathologist Beth Harmon, senior Kaitlyn Fay earned a nod as our second Student of Character for the 2010-11 school year. Fay has been co-editor of the yearbook for two years and is also a leader in Student Council. As a nominee recognized by ABC News 40 and the Republican newspapers, Fay has a shot at a four year scholarship to A.I.C., a new laptop computer and a savings bond.

  • HOOPS FOR HEART: In the past five years, the annual Faculty-Student Basketball Game has raised over $12,000 for the American Heart Association.
  • PRE-K AND KINDERGARTEN SCREENINGS: A reminder that district parents can call and schedule appointments for Kindergarten and Pre-School Screenings, which will take place in April.
  • SICK CHILD GUIDELINES: The Gateway nurses have assembled guidelines for parents to refer to, in deciding whether or not children are too sick to attend school.
  • 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 town.
  • CHESTER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL COUNCIL MEETING: The Chester Elementary School Council will meet on March 29th from 4 - 5 p.m. at the school. 
  • ASVAB CAREER EXPLORATION ASSESSMENT FOR JUNIORS AND SENIORS: The Gateway Guidance Department is offering the ASVAB exam for juniors and seniors on April 14th. Results of this 3-hour exam gives  insight into skills and talents each student has and possible occupations that match those abilities. Parent permission must be submitted by March 31st.
  • LITTLEVILLE FUNDRAISERS: The Littleville PTO is selling spring sweatshirts and scented pencils (or "Smencils") as a fundraiser.
  • 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.
  • COLLEGE PLANNING NIGHT FOR JUNIORS: The Gateway Guidance Department is hosting an evening workshop for high school juniors and their parents/guardians on how to plan for college. This event will be held on Thursday, March 31st from 6 - 7 p.m. in the Gateway Performing Arts Center.
  • SAVE THE DATE FOR CHILDREN'S FESTIVAL: The Gateway Regional School District is hosting a Children's Festival to celebrate children, families, teachers and all who work with and care about children, on Saturday, April 9th. More details to come, but for now--click here for the flyer.  
  • JR. HIGH STUDENTS LAUNCHING BENEFIT COLLECTION: Students from Gateway Jr. High School are gathering used books, gently used clothing, childrens items and are raising money to support "Cradles to Crayons"--a statewide organization that several students volunteered for as part of Project 351, held earlier this year. Read the complete article, then click here for a flyer with more details.
  • ASBESTOS STATEMENT NOW POSTED TO GRSD WEBSITE: Brian Wing, Gateway Facilities Director, has announced that the district has developed Asbestos Management Plans for all Gateway schools.
  • SPRING PLANT SALE: Spring plants are now on sale, as a fundraiser for the Sophomore Class. Orders are being taken March 15 - March 28. Anticipated delivery is Thursday, April 14th, with pickup at the school from 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. Click here for an updated order form.
  • MARCH SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEETINGS: The Gateway Regional School Committee will meet three times this month. 
  • 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 refutes some of the allegations about the Gateway 2011-12 budget, reported in last week's Country Journal. 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

© 2011, Gateway Regional School District