GCA Weekly Update


Hello Spartan Community,

One of our students, Astha Dedakiya, who has also been chosen to be a global peace ambassador by no coincidence, is heading up a relief “GoFundMe” page to send relief to India during their horrific battle with COVID. Her story is below, and if you are compelled to help, please use the link provided below.

I hope that you have heard about the emergency that is going on in India due to COVID-19. If you don't, then let me give you a brief overview :). These past few weeks have put India in a very dire situation. They are running low on medical supplies, PPE kits, oxygen tasks. Many people have little to no food, water, blankets, clothes, and many other essential items. With daily cases rising over 300,000 and thousands of deaths each day, India's people and healthcare system are struggling.

I have been raised there and go there every summer and so to see it crumble is terrifying, so for the past 2 weeks, I have been making boxes with food, water, and supplies and sending it to the poorest, most impacted states in India. I have sent 35 boxes to 3 cities and plan to reach a few more cities in the coming weeks. And because the focus has mainly been on vaccines and medical supplies, these boxes have helped many people!

That is why I started a GoFundMe page to raise donations and continue sending this help! All and any support help!!! :)So...




Thank you so much; I really appreciate it!

Latin Tutoring at GCA this Saturday

Come to room 125 (Ms. Vincent’s room), any time between 8 and 11 am, Saturday morning. Bring $5 for all the tutoring you need. Make sure you thank them for coming in on a Saturday to help you

Character Strong

Our final dare is to come up with a word to focus on for the next school year, define how important it is, and what actions can make it happen. That is an excellent opportunity for all of us to work on patience, kindness, gratitude, etc., those words we want to be.

Do you want to host a Foreign Exchange Student?

We are going to have two foreign exchange students attend GCA during the next school year. We have one family all ready house one of the students because they have done it once and had a great experience. If you are interested in hosting a foreign exchange student, please click on this link for more information and the AFS representative to answer any questions.

Teacher Appreciation Week is next week.

Send encouraging words to the teachers.

If you are interested in helping or want to contribute to this week, please contact Michelle Sorensen ASAP. You can contact her via email or text.” Mnsorensen000204@gmail.com or 480-789-2195

Gilbert Classical Academy Blood Drive

Monday, May 17th Bloodmobile in parking lot 10:00 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Faculty, Staff, Parents, and 18-year-olds can sign up at www.BloodHero.com code: classical

16/17 year old donors must download the minor donor permit from here or pick one up from Ms. Kalkman.

Minors can then sign up for a time slot online.

While those under 16 can't donate blood, your parents or neighbors can!

GCA Good Things

Based on their excellent finish in their category at the Arizona Science and Engineering Fair (AzSEF), Ananya Kodali and Joanna Joseph are invited to submit an application to be named one of the four Future Innovators of the Year or two Honorable Mentions honored at the Governor's Celebration of Innovation (GCOI). The GCOI has become the premier technology gathering of its kind in Arizona.

GCA group who were all awarded scholarships on Saturday from Friends of Gilbert Libraries.

We displayed boys’ soccer last week. This week we are showing girls soccer and basketball as well as boys basketball. Insignificant the end, see the link of all of our students on the All-Academic teams.

Girls Soccer- link- https://www.azpreps365.com/recognitions/soccer-winter-girls/3a/r6

All region 1st team: Carina Kalkman / forward.

All region 2nd team: Ruth Gailey/ defender. And Sophia Byrd/ midfielder.

Honorable Mention: Rachel Stout, Heidi Ulrickson, Sofia Anaya, Abby Beck, Kathleen Udall, Tess Bloxham & Payton Kloepping.

All conference HM: Carina Kalkman.

Boys Basketball- https://www.azpreps365.com/recognitions/basketball-boys/2a/r5

All-Region- 1st Team - Hyrum Sawyer

Honorable Mention - Luke Klingler, Justice Turley

Girls Basketball - https://www.azpreps365.com/recognitions/basketball-girls/2a/r5

All-Region - 1st Team - Sophie Shoemaker & McKenna Reagan

2nd Team - Canaya Smith

Honorable Mention - Zanna Brown & Kelsey Klauba

Most of our athletes showed up on the All-Academic teams. Go to this link to see the complete list of GCA athletes.

GCA group who were all awarded scholarships on Saturday from Friends of Gilbert Libraries.

GCA group who were all awarded scholarships on Saturday from Friends of Gilbert Libraries.


Our Spring seasons are winding down. Our Girl’s and Boy’s Tennis teams lost close matches during the first round of the state team tournament. Our top tennis players are playing individual matches today.

Our baseball team played this afternoon beating Arete 6-2. That win puts them in the playoffs and knocked Arete out.

We also have two golfers looking to qualify for the state tournament. Good luck Spartans!

GCA Music News

We are looking forward to some amazing concerts and events in the coming weeks! Please make sure the following dates that apply to you are on your calendar:

Thursday, May 6th- Orchestra Concert, 7 pm @MJHS, two guests per student admitted, live streaming available

Thursday, May 13th- Band Rehearsal @ MJHS. Please see Mr. Rossi's email from earlier this week with the details.

Thursday, May 13th- Guitar Recital, 6:30 pm @GCA Cafeteria

Friday, May 14th- Band Concert, 7 pm @ MJHS. Please see Mr. Rossi's email for more details about guests, live streaming available

Monday, May 17th- Music Awards Celebration, 2:30 pm on GCA Campus. All music students are invited! Awards, snacks, socializing, and games

Wednesday, May 19th- Choir Pops Special Acts Dress Rehearsal, select students, 2 pm @ MJHS

Thursday, May 20th- Choir Pops Full Dress Rehearsal, all choir students, 3 pm @ MJHS

Friday, May 21st- Choir Pops Concert, 7 pm @ MJHS, ticketing information to follow soon

Saturday, May 22nd- Choir Pops Concert, 3 pm @ MJHS, ticketing information to follow soon, live streaming available

Sunday, May 23rd- Baccalaureate, 1 pm @ MJHS, Advanced Vocal students perform

Wednesday, May 26th- Commencement, 6:30 pm @ GHS, select band and orchestra students perform

We are also excited to announce our first ever GCA Music Awards Ceremony, which will occur in the courtyard at GCA on Monday, May 17th, immediately after school. All awards recognitions will be removed from the May concerts to improve performance flow and concert length. Instead, we will have all three music programs present awards in this after-school ceremony, complete with snacks, socializing, and a team competition game following awards. The awards portion will be live-streamed and/or recorded for parents to view from work or home.

As always, please reach out to your child's music teacher if you have any questions!




GCA PTO Information

The next regular PTO meeting is May 18, 2021, at 6 pm. The GCA PTO General Meetings are held on the third Tuesday, every month, at 6 pm in room 303. We need your support to make our kids' GCA experience a positive and successful one. If you haven't already, please become a GCA PTO member by clicking HERE. As a GCA PTO member, you will be able to vote on how and what the PTO does and how funds are allocated. Get involved! Our GCA kids need you!

We can't wait to see you there and go over all the wonderful things we have planned for this school year!

***Following Gilbert Public Schools COVID-19 guidelines, all that goes on school property must cover their nose and mouth with a mask. You will not attend the GCA PTO meeting if you are not wearing a mask.

Counseling Updates:

Hello Spartan Families,

This week's letter comes at a time of celebration for our students and families. We can not express enough just how much it is a privilege to work with these kids and you on the next steps and chapters in their life. As the kids come home and talk about the College Signing Day events, Pep assembly lets it be a time that it continues your journey. We are entering a time of Advanced Placement testing for the next couple of weeks, graduation events, and end-of-year exams. We encourage you to use the resources given below to plan summer enrichment opportunities such as volunteering, workshops, and college visiting. I strongly encourage you to visit the Weekly Current News Resource link for an abundance of resources I have pulled together that are current. You might not get through them all, but I placed a small summary of what each is about, and they are primarily quick reads if you give them a look over each week to help in the parenting journey and planning.


Starting to plan for post-secondary education is a family event as much as it is an individual one. We suggest that if you have not used the GPS THRIVE program, we encourage you to visit this with your student and begin this process. It is never too early to create a plan and have alternatives. THRIVE is a College & Career Success Guide providing helpful timelines and resources to encourage students (and their families) to get the most out of their high school experiences, along with helping our students plan for their brightest futures. This resource guides all High School students to excel during their high school experience and beyond by assisting students in exploring college and career options with proven pathways to success.

​Community Information and Referral Services.

​Community Information and Referral Services. This link is a search platform for you to find several local organizations. There are many resources available in our community to help in this time of need.

Connect with us on Instagram at Spartansgo2college. Another resource for parents is joining the Counseling google classroom for High School and Junior High.

It is our pleasure to help you and your student, and we look forward to a great rest of the year.

Gratefully, Mrs. Lisa Raunig and Ms. Pier Obrien

Mental Health Counselor

With the testing season underway, it is very common to see an increase in stress and anxiety in students. It is normal to experience some nerves over upcoming exams. However, extreme feelings of anxiety and stress before and during an exam can have unhealthy results. Anxiety can be problematic when it prevents you from taking or doing your best on an exam, causes you to feel anxious all the time, or becomes extreme. Test anxiety is a combination of physical symptoms and emotional reactions that interfere with one’s ability to perform well on tests. Symptoms might look different from student to student, but the following is a list of possible symptoms students might experience.

Physical symptoms: Headache, nausea, excessive sweating, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, lightheadedness, and feeling faint. Test anxiety can also cause panic attacks, which are the abrupt onset of intense fear or discomfort in which you may feel like you are unable to breathe or like you are having a heart attack.

Emotional symptoms: Feelings of stress, fear, helplessness, and disappointment, negative thoughts (rumination about past poor performances, consequences of failure, feeling inadequate, helpless), mind going blank, and racing thoughts.

Behavioral/cognitive symptoms: Difficulty concentrating, thinking negatively, comparing yourself to others, and procrastinating.

Causes of test anxiety:

Fear of failure- While the pressure of doing well on an exam can be motivating, it can be detrimental to one’s self-worth if you associate the grade of the test with one’s value.

Lack of preparation- Waiting until the last minute or not studying at all can leave one feeling anxious and overwhelmed.

Poor test history- Not succeeding on the previous exam can cause anxiety for the next exam. It is important to remember to stay in the present moment when taking an exam so focus can be maintained.

High pressure- If a certain grade is needed to pass the class, it could increase test anxiety.

Perfectionism- Perfectionism is having extremely high-performance expectations for oneself. Research studies show that students who have high perfectionism and high self-criticism tend to have high test anxiety and do worse on exams.

How to reduce test anxiety: Before the exam-

Be prepared- Start studying a few weeks in advance so that you have enough time to prepare for your test. Space your studying out into smaller chunks over time.Make a study schedule and remain accountable.

Study effectively- Ideas for active studying include: -Create a study guide by topic. Formulate questions and problems and write complete answers. Create your own quiz. -Become a teacher. Say the information aloud in your own words as if you are the instructor and teaching the concepts to a class. -Derive examples that relate to your own experiences. -Create concept maps or diagrams that explain the material. -Organization and planning will help you to actively study for your courses. When studying for a test, organize your materials first and then begin your active reviewing by topic.

Engage in self-care. Take care of your overall health by eating well, getting enough restful sleep, incorporating exercise or movement into your day, and participating in relaxing and fun activities that you enjoy.

Create a calming worksheet. This is a paper that you can carry with you all the time and especially before your exam. On this paper you can put motivational quotes, why you are likely to succeed, breathing techniques, pictures of your supporters, and anything else that will keep you motivated without making you anxious. Create this several days in advance, when you are not stressed and anxious, so that you can turn to it if you do become anxious.

Immediately before the exam:

-Get a good night’s sleep (7-9 hours) the night before the exam. Your ability to think clearly and to deal with anxiety improves with sleep. -Avoid too much caffeine. -Gather all of the materials you need in advance, including a pencil, eraser, or calculator, so that you are not rushing around before the exam. -Play calming or familiar music to help you relax. -Don’t let the exam define you. Remember that your self-worth and intelligence does not depend on your performance on this one exam. -Give yourself a pep talk to reframe your anxiety as excitement. Telling yourself you’re excited will help you see the exam more positively and experience more positive emotions.

During the exam:

-Calm your body. -Breathe deeply from your belly. -Tighten various muscle groups, and then relax them. -Close your eyes and count to ten. -Sit comfortably: Sitting up, relaxing your shoulders, and being mindful of your posture can help you feel more confident and assertive and can make you feel less stressed and anxious. Research shows that slouching and hunching poses decrease people’s persistence and creativity when trying to solve complex problems and increase negative self-thoughts.

Calm your emotions and thoughts: -Focus on only the present moment to help you stay grounded. -Focus on yourself and what you are doing. Ignore other people around you, and don’t compare yourself to others.

As always, if you are concerned about your child’s mental health or in need of family support, please don’t hesitate to contact me at nicoleta.alfaro@gilbertschools.net.

Welcome to May,

Mr. Hood