The Gates Mills Gazette

Mrs. Tammi L. Bender, Principal

February 8, 2019

Valentine's Day

At 1:45pm the students will be celebrating Valentine's Day in their classrooms with parties sponsored by the PTC. Students are not permitted to pass out candy with their valentines. Instead of candy, please consider non-edible objects such as pencils, erasers or stickers. The PTC will be providing 'heartzels' and juice purchased through food service. Please do not send in any additional treats to share with the class.

PTC Newsflash

  • Family Fun Night was a success!! It was great to see so many of our Gates Mills families come out to enjoy a fun night of pizza and Bingo. Thanks to Tina Iacampo for coordinating the evening and all the volunteers who helped make it a success!

  • Mark your calendars for Thursday, February 14th, Valentine's Day! We will start the day with the annual PTO Valentine's Day Breakfast in the school gym from 7:15-7:50am. Pancakes, sausage, fruit, juices and milk will be served. Come enjoy a delicious breakfast with your favorite valentine!

  • Our next PTC meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 6th, at 6:30pm in the Idea Lab (school library). Please note that the February meeting is cancelled.

  • Citizen of the Day

    As part of the Gates Mills Way of recognizing students in a positive light, a Gates Mills Citizen of the Day is announced each morning. Listed below are the January recipients:

    Jacob E

    Paul F

    Lily C

    Weston S

    David R

    Jaswanth D

    Harmony H

    Rae'ven J

    Charlie G

    Colton C

    Lincoln G

    Giovanni I

    Christopher W

    Andrew G

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    Mr. D's SE Skills Guidance Updates

    I hope everyone has had a great start to 2019! I had the opportunity to work with all grade levels this week at Gates Mills. Here is what the kids worked on…

    Grades 4 and 5: The students and I took some time to do a Making the Connections lesson on Good Citizenship. We discussed what it means to be a Good Citizen, and the students worked in small groups to discuss four questions and write down what they do to be a Good Citizen. Following this small group work, the class and I discussed their responses.

    Grades 2 and 3: In these two grades this week, we continued our work on Friendships and the good qualities that help individuals make friends, keep friends, and get along nicely with others. This lesson focused on Non-Verbal communication, specifically facial expressions and body language. The students and I discussed how non-verbals are just as important as what you say to others and how you treat others. We also discussed what are positive and helpful non-verbals to support making friends, keeping friends, and getting along nicely with others.

    Grade 1: The students and I took time to read the story “The Turtle Story”. This story talked about the importance of kindness and getting along with others. It also revisited the use of the Turtle Technique which teaches the students go into their “shells” (cross their arms over their chest), say stop to themselves, take deep breaths, and tell the other person what they did and how it made them feel.

    Kindergarten: In Kindergarten, we took time to learn about the feeling of mad. We also read the story called “Twiggle Learns to do Turtle”, which discussed the feeling of mad but also taught how the students can calm themselves if they are feeling mad or upset. This strategy is called the Turtle Technique, which teaches the students go into their “shells” (cross their arms over their chest), say stop to themselves, take deep breaths, and tell the other person what they did and how it made them feel.

    If you ever have questions about one of my lessons, please feel free to email me at or call me at (440) 995-7427.

    Inside the Idea Lab with Mrs. Stephens

    The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of activity in the Idea Lab! We celebrated Groundhog Day in our burrows, utilized many Idea Lab materials in creative play, finished building our Lego Chess Set (thanks to Mrs. Hancock for donating this to our lab!), and read several great stories. Thanks to a generous anonymous donation, next week we will be getting new carpet in our Idea Lab! Due to the carpet installation schedule, our book check-out day next week will be on Monday.

    Last Monday in Idea Lab each class listened to the hilarious and heartwarming story of Brownie Groundhog and the February Fox. Students formed small groups then chose a medium with which to build their own groundhog den or burrow. Some students chose to build with big foam blocks, popsicle sticks, or Legos; some elected to create with modeling clay, Play-Doh, or Wikki Stix; and some opted to draw diagrams or pictures after doing research on the internet about the homes of groundhogs. Teamwork and cooperation were paramount this week in order to complete the model den or burrow in less than 30 minutes. At the end of each class, each group or individual shared their creation with their peers and illustrated various features such as the entrance, spy hole, waste chamber (bathroom), secondary entrance (predator escape route), sleeping chamber, and turnaround chamber. Not only did we use a variety of materials, students used a variety of perspectives from which to portray their groundhog’s home, such as from above ground, under the ground, and from the side.

    This week, in addition to a day of creative play, we started reading our March Book Madness stories in preparation for voting, which will begin in just a few weeks. If you’d like to know more about this fantastic Ohio-based program, check out and participate at home as well! We read Let the Children March and Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear. We used our new smartboard/whiteboard to show the characters’ locations in the United States and Canada, and follow the main character of Finding Winnie on his journey across Canada and the Atlantic Ocean to Europe. The students loved hearing these fictionalized versions of true events that happened in our world’s history.

    See photos below of some of our fantastic creations!

    February is Box Tops for Education Collection Month

    Parents, raid your kitchen junk drawers for those valuable little cardboard squares and send them in. The little coupons can be found on Kleenex, General Mills products, Ziploc bags and other products you probably buy already. Simply cut them off the box, trim them neatly and have your child bring them to school in a Ziploc bag. Please send them in by Friday, February 22nd. The collection bin is in the office. Also, please make sure the dates are not expired.

    Shoe Donations Needed

    Our PE department is looking for gently worn shoe donations, grades K-5. You can drop off the donations in the school office. Thank you in advance!
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    It's Cold Weather Time

    Please make sure your child is dressed appropriately to participate in outdoor recess (i.e., coat, hat, gloves, boots, snow pants, etc.). As stated in the handbook: All students are expected to go outside unless the temperature is below 20 degrees or the wind chill is below 10 degrees. Generally, if a child is able to ride the bus and attend school, (s)he should also be able to go outside at recess. The only exceptions are: a physician’s request, a written parent request for the day the child returns to school following an illness, or a request by the teacher or Principal.

    School Fees

    Fees for the 2018/19 school year are past due. Parents can log into Infinite Campus Parent Portal to view your student's fees; select "Fees" tab. You can pay your fees by selecting the "Payments" tab in the Parent Portal. If you need assistance logging on to the Portal, email: The fees are: K - $25 / Grades 1 - 5 - $42. If you have any questions, please call the school office (440-995-7500).

    Important Links

    Dates to Remember

    February 9 - Green Tie Gala: 6pm, Landerhaven

    February 13 - Staff PD - NO CLASSES

    February 14 - GM Valentine Breakfast - 7:15-7:50am, gym / Elementary Parties - 1:45pm

    February 15 - Gr. 1 to Innovation Center / Gr. 5 to Severance Hall

    February 18 - President's Day - NO SCHOOL

    March 8 - End of Third Quarter