GVMS Weekly Update

October 1st, 2019

Garnet Valley Middle School

Achieving our best through creativity, compassion, and community.

GVMS School Community

We had a very successful week. On Wednesday, we conducted our first Advisory period. I know many, teachers, parents, and students, didn't know what to expect. Our advisory group ratio is 1 teacher to approximately 12-14 students. The students' advisor (teacher) emailed the advisor group by google email to communicate with students as to location and a teacher introduction. At the start of advisory, all students knew their room number as to where they were going and quickly found the location. Our teachers were out in the hallway greeting and welcoming students into their first advisory period.

During advisory, we walked the entire building. As we greeted the advisory groups it was clear that there was immediate positive energy, teacher-student connectedness, and apparent joy and happiness from all. There were varying engaging and collaborative activities which included team-building activities outside, painting kindness rocks, strengths, interests and get-to-know-you activities, group challenge tasks, and collaborative games. The hallways were completely empty during the advisory period which represents the significance and power of a middle school advisory period. The joy, connectedness, and positive climate was tangible. Our next advisory period is scheduled for Thursday, October 24th. We will continue to keep you updated on our progress.


Lisa Stenz, Principal


Gerry Weinhardt, Assistant Principal


Rick Martin, Assistant Principal


GVMS Student Item Drop-off

We have a few considerations to think about as we continue to maximize our expanded 57-minute classes. We are hearing from our teachers that the 57-minutes has improved engagement, opening, and closing of lessons, time to process, and expanded opportunities for student collaboration. In our discussions, we have learned that the number of school-wide announcements and interruptions to the classroom have disrupted the learning environment. In researching the concern, we have approximately 80-100 drop-offs in one day (i.e. gym bags, lunches, homework, instruments, etc.). We will always find a way to feed a student that forgot their lunch. Our teachers will work with you to improve your students' organizational planning for homework and projects.

We kindly and respectfully request that drop-offs are limited to critical needs. We are not calling into rooms or making school-wide announcements that interrupt the flow of instruction. We post all office pick up alerts for students on our TV screens in the cafeteria and hallways as a form of communication. Please note that the TV screens will be updated once a day before all the lunches. Any items dropped off after 10:00 will not show up on the TV announcements. Additionally, limiting the number of drop-offs will better prepare us for our own future front entrance renovation, similar to the high school's front entrance renovation. Thank you so much for your consideration.

GVMS Clubs

We will send out our 2019-2020 GVMS Club brochure and sign-up form this week!!

We apologize for the delay, but we have a few new clubs that were last minute additions! We are excited to share all of the different clubs we are offering this year with the community. We will email the Club brochure and Club Sign-up to all families by Wednesday, Oct. 2nd. We will also post the brochure and sign-up form on our website under the "Programs" dropdown.

The brochure will be playing all week long in the cafeteria during all lunches.

National German-American Week: September 30th and October 6th

About 44 million Americans claim German ancestry, making it the largest of the self-reported ancestry groups. Germany is a major trade partner and ally of the United States. To acknowledge American-German heritage and our close ties with Germany, Garnet Valley Middle School will celebrate National German-American week between September 30th and October 6th.

Check out the bulletin board near room 114 with a number of famous people who are of German origin. Look for signs in German for the restrooms and other places in the building.

October 3rd and 4th are "schwarz-rot-gold" day. Students will be wearing the German colors black, red and gold. Ask a German student to say something to you in German!

Also on Thursday and Friday, the 7th and 8th grade German students will be celebrating Oktoberfest, but all students can sample German food at lunch on Thursday, October 3rd..

Below is the featured menu:

Thursday, October 3

Hähnchensuppe mit Knödeln (Chicken and Dumpling Soup)

Würstchen und Sauerkraut (Franks and Kraut)

Kartoffelplätzchen (potato puffs)

Grüne Bohnen (Green beans)

Apfelstrudel (Apple pie)

Early Dismissal Notes

While School Messenger provides users with the option to submit early dismissals, our office staff is asking for a physical note to be dropped off in the main office.

Young Adult Library Access

The GVMS library's book collection is continuing to grow! If you would NOT like your child to check out books from our YA (young adult) section please fill out this form.


If you have any questions or would like further clarification, please contact Mrs. Cleary at clearye@garnetvalley.org.

After School Rachel Kohl Release 2019

We have worked with the Rachel Kohl Library Director, Susan Sternberg, to confirm that our middle school students may be released from our care and walk unsupervised to the Rachel Kohl Library after school or following after school clubs or practices. The Rachel Kohl Library Child Safety Policy and Code of Conduct can be found here:


If you would like to give your child permission to walk over to Rachel Kohl Library to be picked up, please read, sign, and return the attached form to Mrs. Cleary in the GVMS library.

Thank you for your continued support and we will continue to evaluate our after school guidelines and make improvements to the process if needed. We thank you for your patience and understanding in working with us to ensure our students’ safety.

Letter and Parent Permission Form:


Mathcounts Tryouts

The tests will be given on Thursday,September 19, 2019 and Wednesday, October 2, 2019. All tests will be given in the cafeteria at the Middle School. Testing will begin promptly at 2:30 and end at 3:30. Students need to bring a pencil and a calculator. Students must take both tests to have their scores considered.

Any student in any grade at the Middle School can take the tests.

Details can be found on Schoology:

Please join the course!!

The course code is J6KKB-V484X

Please direct questions to Mrs . Sohail at sohails@garnetvalley.org

School Counselors

With the addition of a fourth school counselor, we had to re-evaluate our system for creating counselor caseloads. Our main focus throughout this process was balance. Our new structure is a little more detailed than our previous structure, but it provides each school counselor with approximately the same number of students. Our school counselors are excited to see familiar faces, but are also looking forward to meeting their new students.

2019 - 2020 School Counselor Caseloads

  • Marisa Mahon - Last names beginning with A-Em
  • Wendy Xanthopoulos - Last names beginning with Ep-Ler
  • Madison Rogas - Last names beginning with Les-Rom
  • Christy Francart - Last names beginning with Ros-Z

Alma Access

All students should have access to their Alma account. Alma is our online student information system, which is where students can go to access their course schedule. Please let us know if your child is having issues logging into their Alma account. We can reset a student's Alma password, which would generate an email to their Gmail account with further instruction.

To access Alma, click the link below:


For more information on Alma, click the link below:


2019 PAYS Passive Consent Statement

This is the fourth year that the Garnet Valley School District is taking part in the 2019 Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS) sponsored by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs. The survey will ask questions about the behaviors of students in the 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th grades, including questions about school climate, violence, depression, bullying, and substance abuse. The results guide our efforts as a district and Garnet Valley Communities That Care to create programs that enhance our parent/guardian efforts and help our students to be their best.

As a parent/guardian, you have the right to opt your child out. Participation in this survey is completely voluntary. The survey is anonymous and confidential.

The survey will be administered during the school day, the week of October 21st for GVHS and the week of October 1st for GVMS. If you do not want your child to participate, please submit your request to Carolyn Falcone in writing to falconc@garnetvalley.org by September 26, 2019.

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GVMS Morning Drop-off Procedures

We encourage all families to utilize our transportation services for safety and efficiency purposes. However, if you need to drop your student off below are our AM Drop-off procedures:

  • Parents entering from Station Road will travel to the GVES and GVMS shared parking lot by taking a right and making a loop to the GVMS drop off location. Parents will exit back to Station Road.

  • Parents entering from Bob Mench Drive (Passed the Rachel Kohl Library) will travel to the left of GVMS and take a right and make a loop to the GVMS pool drop off location. Parents may exit to the right or left on Bob Mench Drive.

  • Parents may not park in the front parking lot and walk students across the BUS ONLY LANE into the school between 7:00 and 7:30. This poses a safety risk.

  • ALL BUSSES will be entering the campus from Station Road and enter the BUS ONLY LANE for Student Drop Off. The BUS ONLY LANE for Student Drop Off will only be for busses, so no other traffic will be allowed to go through. ALL busses will continue past GVMS and make a right onto Municipal Drive and exit onto Temple Road.

  • This traffic pattern will be in place from 7:00 to 7:30 during all school days.

We appreciate your cooperation in following all established traffic patterns.

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GVMS Afternoon Pick-up Procedures

We encourage all families to utilize our transportation services for safety and efficiency purposes. However, if you choose to pick your child up in the afternoon, below are our PM Pick-up procedures:

  • Parents can only enter from Station Road and will travel to the GVES and GVMS shared parking lot by taking a right and making a loop to the GVMS drop off location. Parents will exit back to Station Road.

  • Students who miss their bus will call and notify you that they missed their bus. Any student who misses the bus will remain in the office until they are able to be picked up.

We appreciate your cooperation in following all established traffic patterns.

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GVMS HSA Information

Upcoming HSA Dates


Monday, 10/14/19 - MOD Pizza Glen Mills = Eat Out All Day & Raise Money for GVMS HSA - 10:30 am - 9:00 pm

Friday, 10/25/19 - 7th & 8th Grade Halloween Dance 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm at GVMS

*GVMS HSA Update

Additionally, we had our first 6th-grade event on Friday. The Class of 2026 Spirit Night was a huge success! We had over 270 students participate. Thank you to all the volunteers who planned, decorated, and chaperoned our first event of the year. The time you spent to help create a fun and safe event for the students is very much appreciated! Thank you from GVMS HSA!

SAVE THE DATES: Monday, October 14th- Join us at Mod Pizza in Glen Mills on either or both days between 10:30 am and 9:00 pm & mention that you are supporting GVMS HSA! Mod Pizza will donate 20% of all sales throughout the entire day to GVMS HSA! You must mention that you are there for GVMS HSA before you pay for your meal to have the sale count towards our fundraiser!

It's Coming!! The 2019 7th and 8th Grade Halloween Dance is only one month away on Friday, October 25th at 7:00 to 9:00 PM! Keep an eye out for the flyer that will be coming out soon. It will include all of the ghoulish details for this mysterious evening of fun for our students! Start thinking about what you might wear because costumes are encouraged for this amazing event! Please not - no props with costumes and all students must be present in school on Friday.

Thank you to all of the volunteers who helped with Picture Day this year! It definitely would not have gone as smoothly as it did without all of you there to help out!! So a huge thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedules to come volunteer!! We are so grateful for all of you!

If anyone is interested in volunteering for any of our upcoming HSA events, there are endless ways to get involved! Please contact Missy Rosenthal at mmrosenthal@comcast.net or Andrea Romaniello at andrear.ed@hotmail.com for more information on volunteering this year at GVMS with our HSA! Or check out our HSA website at https://sites.google.com/garnetvalley.org/gvmshsa/home for more details!

We love our volunteers!!

Garnet Valley Communities That Care

Garnet Valley CTC Quick Tip #4 THC Truth

Did you know? THC is the mind-altering chemical found in marijuana. Is marijuana addictive? Contrary to common belief, marijuana can be addictive. Research suggests that 30 percent of users may develop some degree of problem use, which can lead to dependence and in severe cases takes the form of addiction.9 People who begin using marijuana before age 18 are 4 to 7 times more likely than adults to develop problem use.10 Dependence becomes addiction when the person can't stop using marijuana even though it interferes with his or her daily life. (NIDA 6/18) The current and often deadly trend of vaping/juuling THC carries additional risk for dependence and addiction due to the highly concentrated levels of THC. Also worrisome are the recent reports of lung damage and the deaths of young people who reported vaping/juuling THC.

Call to action… Click on the link below for more facts about marijuana and vaping/juuling THC from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.


Garnet Valley Middle School

Achieving our best through creativity, compassion, and community.