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January 8, 2020
Dear Friends of Gateway:
Here is your latest issue of Breaking News for the 2020-2021 school year!
Quote of the week: “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” ~ W.B. Yeats
REMOTE LEARNING UPDATE: The Gateway district has worked diligently to open in a hybrid model and remain open during the coronavirus pandemic. Our success is due to a number of factors, including staff and students following all safety protocols, families working with the district to keep children with symptoms home, and the collaboration of our local boards of health.
We experienced two-days of totally remote learning for grades 7 through 12 in December due to a shortage of staff to cover our student needs in a safe manner. We continue to adjust our staff coverage to provide hybrid opportunities, but this is becoming increasingly difficult due to the reality that staff members who are exposed to COVID positive individuals must quarantine for up to 14 days and anyone who has COVID symptoms must remain out of the buildings until they get a negative COVID test (which often takes several days). It is very likely that at some time in the future, the district may have to have certain buildings go fully remote if the number of staff that must remain home reaches the level that we cannot adequately and safely cover having students in the building.
The agreement with staff that was developed allowing us to return students to in-person learning requires the district to monitor COVID positivity rates for our own six towns and all towns contiguous to our towns (a total of 18 towns/cities in total). Our agreed-upon COVID positivity rate that would force us to move to a remote learning situation for all students is five percent. To date, that level has only been reached during our recent holiday break, so has not affected our hybrid model. While we hope we continue with less than a five percent rate moving forward, it is likely that at some point we will exceed that level forcing the district to move to a fully-remote model of learning.
It is the district’s intention to make these fully-remote learning times as short as possible and to let families know the anticipated length at the time we notify them. For a shortage of staff, the time will hopefully only be a few days and will be based upon COVID testing and the ability of staff to return to work. For a positivity rate that exceeds 5%, we will remain in remote learning until the next state numbers are released that show the positivity rate has once again dropped to five percent or lower (state numbers are released each week on Thursday afternoon/evening, therefore we will be calling for remote learning for only a week at a time).
We all are hopeful that progress is being made on getting a handle on the pandemic that will eventually allow us to return to the regular, totally in-person education that we have been accustomed to but cannot predict at this time when that may be possible. In the meantime, we thank everyone for their help and understanding in this difficult time.
EBT BENEFITS: P-EBT benefits will be extended through the rest of this school year. If your student qualifies for Free or Reduced meals under the National School Lunch Program, then they would qualify to receive this extra financial help each month in the form of a P-EBT card. If you have not received this card, it may mean that your family does not qualify. This year the USDA extended free meals to all, but this may not necessarily qualify a family for this extra financial help. If you have not been receiving this P-EBT card and you feel your family would qualify, please contact Tasha Hartley at email@example.com or call (413) 685-1005. You may also send in a Free/Reduced meal application if you feel you would qualify through income. Families who qualify through income will be sent a notification letter by email or USPS as soon as possible.
MIDDLE SCHOOL & HIGH SCHOOL MAKE-UP/ RETAKE PICTURE DAYS:
1/22 (Cohort B)
1/25 (Cohort A)
*Remote students who wish to have pictures taken should contact the MS/HS office at 413-685-1102 to get more information on available times.
G&B Photography will be photographing students for portrait packages and the yearbook. This will be your special opportunity to purchase your school pictures! Please click the appropriate link below to order:
MIDDLE SCHOOL ORDERS : Web Password: 7B8T5Y7V
HIGH SCHOOL ORDERS: Web Password: 5B7P2P7U
Don’t forget to dress appropriately as the school dress code will apply.
Please direct all questions, concerns, or special requests directly to G&B Photography.
We are happy to help! (860) 265-1440
CHESTER’S LITTLE FREE LIBRARY: In November of 2020, the Title I staff at Chester Elementary had the idea to create a little free library so school families could have access to books for their students. Mike Harper, Wood Shop teacher at the time, was contacted to see if his class could help bring the vision to life. Using donated materials his Wood Shop class created a little library in the image of the Chester Train Station. The library is not in a fixed location right now and will only be available during the day (including Wednesdays while the custodian is in the building - early morning - at least noon). Books are available for Pre-K through 5th grade. Donation books are not needed at this time so no need to "take one, leave one." The staff is happy to be able to provide our students with books!
GRAND OPENING OF THE GATOR GEAR STORE: Just in time for shopping for the holiday season! Grand opening 25% Promo code is GRANDOPENING20 and is valid between December 4, 2020 until January 1, 2021.
LITTLEVILLE & CHESTER PARENTS: A friendly reminder that parents of students in grades 3-6 can view your child’s grades anytime using the Parent Portal. The Parent Portal provides families with easy access to student grades and information that is updated weekly by teachers. If you have not set-up your log-in information please contact Tammy Paiva at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DRESSING FOR WINTER: Winter is fast approaching and the temperature is dropping! However, many of our elementary students are not coming to school dressed for the cold weather. Just a reminder that we go outside twice a day for mask breaks and students need to have a jacket, hat and gloves. If we have snow on the ground, a pair of boots would be helpful too. Ideally, we would like our students to get outside for some fresh air as much as possible, but they need to be dressed appropriately to go outside.
HIGH SCHOOL YEARBOOK PICTURE SUBMISSION: High School students can submit candid photos for the 2020-2021 yearbook. The first deadline is January 1, 2021.
SUBMIT YOUR PHOTOS ONLINE LOG ON TO: images.jostens.com
- Enter Login ID: 415464782
- Browse to select the photo(s) you wish to upload, click on “Select My Images.”
- Enter information about the photo and provide contact information in case the staff needs additional information.
- Click “Upload Chosen Images.”
Seniors, check your Gateway Email for important yearbook information!
GATEWAY FOOD SERVICES UPDATE: We will continue curbside meals to go pickup every Tuesday & Friday from 2pm-6pm. Please sign up EVERY Monday for both Tuesday & Friday pick ups. Every Tuesday, meals will be provided for Wed/Thurs/Friday remote learning from home. Every Friday, meals will be provided for Mon/Tues/Wednesday remote learning from home. Families who have selected Full Remote Learning will need to come on both Tuesday and Friday to pick up meals for the other days of the week.
Inclement weather - In the case of inclement weather falling on a Tuesday or Friday and school is changed to a Remote Learning day, Curbside Meals to Go will not be available. Food Services would like to ensure that, not only staff, but our Gateway families stay safe.
INCLEMENT WEATHER (SNOW DAY) FAQ’S: If an ‘in-person’ school day needs to be cancelled due to inclement weather, the district will be moving to a “Remote Snow Day” where staff will teach all students remotely (a replacement to our Blizzard Bags).
GATEWAY'S MOBILE APP AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY & APP STORE
CURRENT SCHOOL CALENDAR: Key dates for phased return to hybrid in-person can be found on page 19 of the Full Reopening Plan here.
“Breaking News from Gateway”
is published by the Gateway Regional School District
12 Littleville Rd.
Huntington, MA 01050
© 2020, Gateway Regional School District