“Gateway Gator Bites”
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May 6, 2022
Dear Friends of Gateway:
Thank you for your support of all our amazing staff last week! We appreciate the hard work and love they put into their positions to ensure our students can receive a high-quality education.
This week, we are seeing an increase in absences across the district–please continue to be diligent about the proper precautions to slow the spread of illnesses including the flu, COVID, and stomach bugs. It is important to communicate with our school nurses so they can support keeping our schools a healthy and safe place to be! That reminds me–school nurses’ day is May 11! A special shoutout to our incredible school nurses at Gateway Regional!
We welcome your comments and questions! Please reach out to your child’s school principal or Superintendent Smidy.
UPCOMING EVENTS: Click here to see the website calendar. Click here for the spring athletics schedule.
Mon. May 9 - 3rd grade MCAS
AP Calculus Exam
JV Baseball vs. Pathfinder - 4 pm
JV Softball at South Hadley - 4 pm
Tues. May 10 - 3rd grade MCAS
JV Baseball at Smith Voc - 4 pm
Wed. May 11 - 4-6th grade MCAS
School Committee - 7 pm
Varsity Baseball at Smith Voc - 4 pm
Varsity Softball at St. Mary’s - 6 pm
Thurs. May 12 - 4-6th grade MCAS
JV/Varsity Baseball at WTA - JV at 5 pm, Varsity at 7
Fri. May 13 - Kindergarten Screening at Littleville
Varsity Softball at Putnam - 4 pm
NEW CHESTER AND LITTLEVILLE PRINCIPAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Superintendent Smidy is pleased to announce the two new principals at Gateway Regional starting in the 2022-2023 school year. As you may know, the district's structure is shifting to have an assigned principal at each elementary building instead of the shared leadership positions. This structural shift will be supportive of the on-site needs of students, staff, and families for each community. The change does not require additional funding.
The principal for Chester Elementary School will be Vanna Maffuccio! Ms. Maffuccio is currently the Intervention and Data Specialist in the district for grades 5-8 and formerly worked as an elementary teacher in Pittsfield Public Schools.
The principal at Littleville Elementary School will be Andrew Samuelson! Mr. Samuelson is currently an elementary literacy coach for Northampton Public Schools and has experience as a building-based principal for the Tantasqua Regional School District.
Both Ms. Maffuccio and Mr. Samuelson have Gateway email addresses--feel free to reach out to them to welcome them to our amazing district!
Chester Principal Vanna Maffuccio: firstname.lastname@example.org
Littleville Principal Andrew Samuelson: email@example.com
KINDERGARTEN SCREENINGS: Any child turning age 5 before September 1st, 2022 should register for kindergarten screening. Children residing in Russell, Montgomery or Huntington should contact Littleville Elementary at 413-685-1301 to register for an appointment on Friday, May 13th. Children residing in Chester, Blandford or Middlefield please contact Chester Elementary at 413-685-1361 to register for an appointment on Monday, May 16th.
6TH GRADE ACADEMY INFORMATION Superintendent Smidy shared more information with 5th grade families regarding what they can expect with the 6th grade academy next year. You can view her letter to 5th grade families here.
FALL SPORTS SIGN-UPS: Fall sports sign-ups are open for cross country and soccer. If you have a student in grades 7-12 who is interested, visit grsd.org and check under the athletics tab for more information.
BEST BUDDIES 5K: A huge THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the Best Buddies 5k. We had 170 individual people sign in, plus multiple middle school and elementary classes joined us which would bring our total to well over 200 people participating in this event!! On top of that dozens of people were out cheering on our walkers. Half of our participants were able to complete the 5k (3.1 miles), with one student going on to complete a 10k (6.2 miles)!!! You could see the pride and excitement when someone reached their individual goal. It really was amazing to see all the different groups of students come together to achieve the same goal which is what Best Buddies is all about!
Hilltown Mobile Market: The goal of the Mobile Market is to increase food access in the Hilltowns, while decreasing the economic and transportation barriers that often stand in the way. We are working with 15 Hilltown producers and aggregating products like milk, cheese, meat, eggs, pantry items and produce, which is then delivered to 16 rural locations spread across the Hilltowns. We accept SNAP, HIP, WIC, Senior Coupons, and credit cards.
If you would like more information feel free to ask or visit our website https://www.hilltownmobilemarket.info/
Gateway Education Foundation Event! Trivia Night on May 14!
Save the date for a night of trivia and fun! All proceeds will benefit the Gateway Education Foundation. The event will be held at Strathmore Park in Russell. Music from 4-5pm and trivia begins at 5! Tickets are $20 per person or $175 for a table that can hold a team up to 12. The link to purchase tickets is here.
SAVE THE DATE!
There are lots of exciting events coming up, so save the date!
PreK and Kindergarten screenings are scheduled the week of May 9 and May 16
National Honor Society Induction is Wednesday, May 18.
We will be hosting a senior citizen brunch and music concert for all our communities on Thursday, May 19.
HS Prom is Friday, May 20.
Chester on the Track community event is Saturday, May 21.
The Littleville craft fair will take place on Sunday, May 22.
Last day for seniors-May 27
Gateway Night at the StarFires Game is Tuesday, May 31.
Graduation is Friday, June 3.
Chester Step Up Day is also Friday, June 3.
Littleville Step Up Day is TBD.
Last two days of school-half days- June 13 and 14
LOCAL AND STATEWIDE COVID DATA: The MA Department of Public Health puts out COVID data for our local towns and counties on their statewide data dashboard. COVID reports will also include school district information regarding positive cases and close contacts.
CHANGES FOR 22-23 SCHOOL YEAR
Planning is already underway for next school year! There are a few important changes for you to be aware of.
Sixth Grade Academy
The sixth grade was moved to the elementary schools during the pandemic for a number of reasons. Starting in the 2022-2023 school year, the sixth grade will return to the middle school in a special academy model. The start and end of school time will follow the middle school schedule, and the times of specific classes will be determined based on a gradual release plan to support the transition from elementary to middle school. More information will be shared with 5th grade families, and we are excited to implement the 6th grade academy next year!
During this school year, we developed a waiting list for our preschool programs. We decided to open a fourth preschool class to be able to accept all students who were on our waitlist. For the 22-23 school year, we will continue with four preschool classrooms. There will be a full day and half day options at Chester and a full day and half day options in Huntington. One of the Huntington programs will stay in the high school to work with our Chapter 74 early childhood program. We are hopeful that by engaging as many students into our early childhood programs as possible, they will stay Gators through their senior year!
Vocational Programming Expansion
Speaking of our chapter 74 programs, we are excited that Martha Clark will be shifting her position from middle and high school assistant principal to the district’s Programs and Communications Coordinator. This position was formerly the Communications Director for the district, but it is now reimagined to include the promotion and development of our vocational programs and after school programs. Like other district’s vocational programming, we will begin to accept students from other towns on a tuition basis to our welding and early childhood chapter 74 programs.
Vision Programming Expansion
We will also begin accepting students into our special education program for students with vision loss on a tuition basis. We have many unique resources and qualified educators available to support students with vision loss as we have done for students who are already enrolled at Gateway, and accepting a limited number of students from other districts with this particular disability will strengthen our existing programming.
LAST DAYS OF SCHOOL-The last day of school for all students will be Tuesday, June 14. Both Monday June 13 and Tuesday June 14 are half days. The last day for seniors is May 27.
SUMMER PROGRAMMING INFO: Summer will be here before you know it and Gateway offers several options for all ages! Click here for more information. The deadline for summer camp registration for 5th - 10th grades and Wrap Around is next Friday, May 13.
STUDENT COMPETITION TO NAME OUR SUMMER PROGRAM!: Superintendent Smidy is looking for a student to name our new summer program! The winner will get four tickets to the Westfield Star Fires Game on Tuesday, May 31, AND will get to throw out the first pitch! May 31 is Gateway Regional night, so save the date!
Submit ideas for names to Superintendent Smidy by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
LITTLEVILLE CRAFT FAIR: Littleville Elementary School’s Outdoor Craft and Vendor Fair - Sunday, May 22, 2022. 10:00am-3:00pm Come join us for a fun filled day! Events will include: crafts, vendors, silent auction, raffles plus baked potatoes, hot soups and a bake sale!
PRE-K INFO: Preschool screenings for next year will occur on Wednesday, May 18th all day & on Friday, May 20th in the morning. Screenings take approximately 45 minutes.
Contact Steph Conway in the Pupil Services Office via email at email@example.com if you want to be added to a mailing list to receive more information.
We are NOT yet scheduling screening appointments. You may call Steph Conway between Wednesday, April 27 and Thursday, May 5, 2022 at 413-695-1017 to schedule an appointment; Please do not call early.
Contact Susan Rhoads at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have specific questions about the preschool.
Both full and half day programs will continue to be offered; specifics regarding the location, staffing, and configurations of next year’s preschool programs will be forthcoming. Children currently in the program do NOT need to be screened.
As a reminder a child must be 4 years old on or before September 1, 2022 to be eligible for full day preschool.
LITTLEVILLE & CHESTER MCAS TESTING: Students in grades 3-6 will be taking the ELA MCAS the week of April 4-7. Math MCAS the week of May 9-12, and the Grade 5 STE MCAS May 17-18.
MIDDLE SCHOOL & HIGH SCHOOL MCAS TESTING:
Students in grade 8 STE MCAS will be May 17&18.
Students in grade 10 will be taking the Math MCAS on May 17&18
Students in grade 9 and some 10 grade students will be taking the STE/Bio MCAS on June 7&8
MAY GATOR STORE PROMO: Sport a fresh new look and score a great deal! Use code MAY22 and take 15% OFF for any order $70+ at your Sideline Store. Save on brand new custom apparel, hoodies, caps, and accessories across the entire site. Deal ends 5/31 so don't delay. To use the code, visit the Gator Store.
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“Gator Bites” is published by the Gateway Regional School District
12 Littleville Rd.
Huntington, MA 01050
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