BN-November 30, 2010

November 30, 2010

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: "Time spent with cats is never wasted," - Sigmund Freud

UPCOMING MEETINGS: The Gateway Regional School Committee will meet on Wednesday, December 8th at 7:30 p.m. in the library of the Gateway campus. The public is welcome 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, December 7th. New members are welcome to join this group, which supports district communications and volunteers.

Photos from Kindergarten Thanksgiving Sharing at Littleville and the Alumni College Fair at the HS.
 Photo of Kindergarten SharingPhoto of Kindergarten Sharing at Littleville College Fair Photo 
  2nd College Fair Photo 3rd College Fair Photo Final College Fair Photo

SIXTH GRADERS EXPLORE CAREERS: As part of a program spanning over three months, sixth graders at Gateway Regional Middle School are taking an in-depth look at their possible futures.

Principal Todd Gazda has announced the school's "Excellent and Good Effort Awards" for the first marking period.

STUDENTS LAUNCH SERVICE PROJECT TO BENEFIT CAT SHELTER: "It's a lot of work, meetings and coordination," said one student, when interviewed about the collection effort to benefit the Westfield Homeless Cat Shelter.

Students will have a two-hour early release on Tuesday, December 7th, to bring staff members together for training.

DECEMBER PARENT SUPPORT GROUP MEETING: The Gateway Special Education Parent Advisory Committee is holding a Parent Support Group meeting on Tuesday, December 7th from 6:30 - 8 p.m. in the high school Career Center.

DECEMBER SCHOOL COUNCIL MEETINGS: The Gateway Regional Sr. High Council will meet from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. on December 8th. The Jr. High School Council will meet from 4:30-5:30 p.m. on that same day. Both meetings will be held in the Jr./Sr. High School conference room.

SBHC UPDATE: The Gateway School-Based Health Center still has flu vaccine available for both staff and students. Please contact the School-Based Health Center at 667-0142 to schedule an appointment. A $20 fee will be charged for staff, to cover the cost of purchasing the vaccine.

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

DOSOMETHING.ORG: This website is geared for teens who want to make the world a better place and are looking for ideas on how to do just that! The website includes the "Act Now" matrix--a framework for social action that helps teens plan a soup to nuts campaign that increases the likelihood of success. Our own "Kitty Committee" used it to plan the fund and goods drive for the Westfield Homeless Cat Project (see article, above). The organization's goal is to activate 2 million teens in 2011.


  • CHESTER HOLIDAY CRAFT NIGHT: Parents and community members are invited to 4 Main St. in Huntington on November 29th to make crafts for the student's holiday shopping event later in December. Also, a special thank you to Wheeler Oil for participating in this year's Warm Your Home raffle, in this PTO update.
  • GATEWAY MUSICIANS HOLD "FRIENDS AND FAMILY" NIGHT AT FRIENDLY'S: Friendly's Restaurant in the Westfield Shops will host a benefit on November 30th to raise funds for Gateway musicians to compete in Hershey, Pennsylvania later this school year.
  • DECEMBER SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEETING: The Gateway Regional School Committee will hold one meeting in December, on December 8th in the Gateway campus library.
  • BRUNCH, NOT LUNCH! More details on the menu and schedule for this year's Annual Holiday Concert at Gateway, where hilltown residents (age 60+) will be treated to a delicious brunch and student concert on December 1st.
  • PENNY SOCIAL FOR GATEWAY CHOIRS: The Gateway Choirs are hosing an old-fashioned penny social in the Gateway cafe on Friday, December 10th.
  • WINTER WEATHER CLOSINGS AT GATEWAY: Actually, experience has shown that schools can be closed for a variety of reasons! Whatever the reason, read the complete article to be sure you know how to find out if school is cancelled or students are dismissing early.
  • NOVEMBER SCHOOL COUNCIL MEETINGS: Read the complete article for the dates and times of each school's Improvement Council meeting. Please note that Chester Elementary School needs parents from Blandford and Chester to join.
  • 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.
  • SCHOOL SAFETY HOTLINE: As part of the district's ongoing commitment to school safety, a school safety hotline is in place for all schools. Anyone wishing to report harassment, bullying, drug or alcohol concerns, vandalism, and school safety issues can call 685-1050.
  • TRANSPORTATION UPDATE: Parents/guardians and students are reminded that all Gateway school buses are now at 75% capacity or higher. As a result, we can no longer issue passes to guest riders from other buses.
  • 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. 
  • HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS SCHEDULE ONLINE: For a look at all of the home and away sports contests this fall, go to and enter "01050" for the Gateway HS Sports Calendar.

IN CLOSING, this week's Superintendent's Corner is now posted. This week, Dr. Hopson recaps the public flu clinic, community resource fair and public hearing on the district's Bullying Plan--all held on November 17th. Read the entire column for details!

Have a wonderful week!

                                                                                         Wendy V. Long, Editor


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