BN-October 19, 2010

October 19, 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: “We never understand a thing so well, and make it our own, as when we have discovered it for ourselves." - Rene Descartes

UPCOMING MEETINGS: If you missed the last school committee meeting, you missed discussion on the format for minutes, the first quarter expenditure report, the election of budget subcommittee members, a presentation on grants, and continued deliberation on one man/one vote options. The Gateway Regional School Committee will meet at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 27 at Chester Elementary School. 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 typically holds their meetings on the first Tuesday of every month at 9:30 a.m. in the Superintendent's Office. Due to a conflict in schedule, the next meeting will be Tuesday, November 9th. New members are welcome to join this group, which supports district communications and volunteers.

Anatomy & Physiology Students Present Research: Students in Cyndi Jensen's A&P class gave formal presentations of their research findings, to assess their learning on the integumentary system.

Kaitlyn Hirtle and Sara Pandolfino pack up their laptop following their presentation on Melanoma.

 Photo of two student presenters

CINDY BOYLE TO WORK WITH STUDENTS, STAFF AND PARENTS AT GATEWAY THIS MONTH: Well-known for her work with youth and organizations around Internet safety and bullying, Cindy Boyle will be at Gateway Regional Middle School, Jr. High and High School for three days next week. In addition to visiting 5th, 7th and 11th grade classrooms, Ms. Boyle will hold a special after school workshop for staff and parents/guardians.

PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES ON NOVEMBER 1ST: All schools in the Gateway Regional School District will be closed on Monday, November 1st for Parent Teacher Conferences. Details in the complete article.

ANNUAL HALLOWEEN DANCE AT CHESTER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Chester Elementary School students are urged to put on their coolest Halloween costume, and parents are invited to help at this annual FUNdraiser.

CONGRATULATIONS COACH ESTELLE AND THE GATEWAY GIRLS SOCCER TEAM: Gateway Girls' Soccer Coach Stephen Estelle earned his 200th career win, during a 5 - 0 win over Athol last week. Congratulations to Coach Estelle and his team for this achievement!

LITTLEVILLE BANKING: Littleville Elementary School's student banking program will begin October 21st. To participate, children must have an open savings account at United Bank. Bank days will occur once a month at school (usually on the 2nd Thursday). To participate, send  their savings book, a deposit slip that is already filled out, and the money being deposited in a sealed envelope with their name and teacher's name on the outside of the envelope.

MIDDLE SCHOOL NOTES: Picture retakes for 5th and 6th grade students will be Wednesday, October 27. A special "Boo Bash" after school event will be held from 2 - 5 on Friday, October 29th and will include an open gym and movie.

JR/SR HIGH SCHOOL PHOTO RETAKES: Grynn & Barrett will return on October 27 to photograph students who were absent on Picture Day, along with any student who wishes a retake of their package. If you are having a retake, you MUST return the entire package (with no photos missing) to the photograph on the 27th. Please sign up in the office for retakes, and you will be called out of class at the appropriate time.

JUNIOR CLASS FUNDRAISER: Ever feel like supporting your school has never had enough class? The Class of 2012 is selling royal blue polo shirts with a Gateway Gator screen print. Adult sizes (S, M, L or XL) are $20 each. Larger sizes (XXL, XXXL) are $25. Order forms are available from Ms. Lavigueur or Mr. Tichacek. Orders are due by October 22nd and checks should be made payable to Gateway Regional High School.

STUDENT COUNCIL MEETING: The high school Student Council will meet on Thursday, October 21st at 2:15 p.m. in Room 241.

SENIOR NIGHTS: The Gateway Cross-Country Team held their senior night recently. The remaining sports teams are scheduled to have their "Senior Nights" as follows: Boys Soccer, October 20th at 6 p.m. against St. Mary's High School; Gymnastics on October 27 in a tri-meet against Agawam and Minnechaug High Schools; and  Girls Soccer on October 28 at 6 p.m. against Ware High School. Senior nights are usually held on the final home event of each season, and include a brief recognition of the senior athletes on the team.

UPCOMING COLLEGE REP VISITS FOR HIGH SCHOOL: Berkshire Community College, noon on 10/21; Wheaton College, 1 p.m. on October 28. This schedule is subject to change and students should check frequently for additions. Students should sign up in the Guidance Office in advance.

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

NATIONAL CHEMISTRY WEEK: This week marks National Chemistry Week and this year's theme is "Behind The Scenes With Chemistry". Exploring the role that chemistry plays in entertainment--think magic and special effects--the American Chemistry Society (ACS) and its members have lots of neat activities on the web this week. Anne Marie Helminstine's Chemistry Blog has links to some wonderful activities, such as magic tricks, homemade special effects, and how hollywood makes fake snow or Luke Skywalker's "landspeeder" move above ground (see the NOVA upper elementary link for that one!). Remember to select age-appropriate activities and to supervise children when doing some of these learning activities at home!


  • EARLY RELEASE DAY ON OCTOBER 19: All students will be released two hours early for staff professional development. Release times in the complete article.
  • GRADE 8 BON TON FUNDRAISER: Eighth grade students, parents and staff will be at the Westfield Bon Ton store on October 23 from noon to 2 p.m. to sell coupon booklets and raise funds for the Class.
  • OCTOBER SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEETINGS: This article has more information about this month's school committee meetings.
  • LITTLEVILLE FUNDING FACTORY (r) RECYCLING PROGRAM: Littleville Elementary School is participating in this free fundraiser. Please donate your empty printer cartridges and used cell phones to the school. They will recycle them through the Funding Factory to earn new playground equipment, books and other items for the school. Last year, more than 300 million cartridges were thrown away and 30 million cell phones were tossed or replaced. Help the environment and help Littleville!
  • 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 provides updates on a number of items, including MCAS results, student transportation, One Person/One Vote, a possible "Union" school in Worthington, and the public forum for the draft bullying plan. Read the entire column for details!

Have a wonderful week!

                                                                                         Wendy V. Long, Editor


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Is published weekly by the Gateway Regional School District
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