GCA Weekly Update


Hello Spartan Community,

In the midst of the uncertainties around us, it was a great experience to witness a live orchestra concert with a live audience. I am looking forward to our band and choir concerts coming up on September 27th and 30th.

Today is Constitution Day. Between classes today, we had old fashion callers asking constitution questions for prizes. We also had a Constitution Kahoot at lunch. We hope we added some knowledge and value to students’ day as they gathered for a minute on their way to their next class.

PSAT Sign-up

I want to continue reminding everyone that we are administering the PSAT to ⅔ of the students Oct 26, 2021. If you have an 8th or 9th-grade student, please sign up for the PSAT 8/9. If you are in 11th grade, sign up for the PSAT 11. You can do this by clicking the button on your IC Parent Portal and paying the testing fee (PSAT 8/9 - $14, PSAT 10 - $0, PSAT 11(NMQST) - $20). PAYMENT DEADLINE OCT 15. There is a district program paying for our PSAT 10 for our 10th-grade students. However, we want all 8 - 11th-grade students to take this test. If the fee is going to be a hardship, please reach out to your counselor. All students qualifying for free or reduced lunch will receive a reduced rate. Make sure those who are eligible have their paperwork completed.

How will the PSAT help my school and me?

I am so glad you were thinking this question -

For each student - Once a student takes the PSAT, they will be registered on the CollegeBoard platform. This platform will monitor individual progress and pair your child with activities and Khan academy lessons that improve areas that need improvement. GCA will also use the data to assign CollegeBoard assignments that help prepare students for future AP, PSAT, and SAT assessments.

For the school, it tells us areas where groups of students need further support in improving their Math, English, and Reading skills. In addition, the PSAT 8/9 gives students a projected score for when they take the SAT. In the past, GCA students have scored over 200 points higher on their SAT than reported on their PSAT 8/9 projected score. For more information, watch - Why should my child take the PSAT?” or read “PSAT - Inside the test” We think this will help raise students’ SAT scores, which increases scholarships and college opportunities.

All 7th and 12th grades students will continue to attend school on that day. GCA Seniors will be hosting 7th-grade seminars that will help 7th-grade students with subjects like Math, Science, English, Social Studies, Latin, and organization. Teachers will be present and supervising the seminars. In addition, 12th-grade students can collect service hours, and 7th-grade students will get the specific help they need.

Saturday Latin Tutoring

Ms. Vincent will be holding Saturday Latin Tutoring this Saturday, September 18, in her classroom (room 125) from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Bring $5 to stay as long as you want. Students should come prepared with either homework to work on or specific questions or difficulties they need help with.

Character Strong

This week we shift gears into a couple of weeks of mental health. We are going to focus on well-being. First, there will be some myth-busting of mental health. Next will be a video and discussion about mental health and mental well-being. These discussions about mental well-being will be timely as we lead into the Signs of Suicide presentation at the end of the month. This awareness is going to be very beneficial to our students. I am so excited we are bringing mental well-being awareness to our students. It is an integral part of getting them ready for college and life after that.

The plastic bottle cap drive has begun.

The plastic bottlecap drive has begun. Save all of your bottle caps and bring them to your legion. The caps will be collected through legions to see who collects the most. They will then be transported to a facility that melts them down to reuse. The money raised will be to pay for children to receive cancer treatments in Mexico. The legions with the most bottle caps win their choice of a dress-down day, donut party, and the top 10 legions receive legion points.


Join our district Deaf and Hard of Hearing Department for this great fundraising event to help our students with hearing loss. See this flyer for more information on the November 6th event.

Student Health Assessments

It is crucial that you do the Daily Health Assessment every morning before sending your student to school. Do your part to keep our students safe. Thank you.


GCA ups Recycling Efforts

Our Transition Program is up-ing the efforts to recycle paper, aluminum cans, and plastic water bottles on campus. There are separate recycling bins all around the school and in the classrooms. Please separate the following recyclable materials in the cans listed below.

  • Blue cans - Paper and cardboard

  • Black/Green cans - Aluminum cans and plastic water bottles

  • Grey cans - all non-recyclable trash.

All recyclable materials will be picked up outside of classroom doors on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

GCA Good Things

Astha Dedakiya is doing some fantastic service to India and now helping kids in other countries. Here is her update - I just wanted to update you about the fundraiser I had started a few months ago (sending aid to kids in India). So firstly, I expanded our service efforts. In addition to everything sent to India, I have also sent aid to kids in Indonesia, Haiti, and Ethiopia! Also, Wednesday this week, I just surpassed raising $25,000, which is absolutely insane!!!

GCA Music News

A big congratulations to all the orchestra students who performed in the first concert of the year last night! It was a wonderful evening with a packed auditorium. Thank you to all the families and friends who attended to support these wonderful Spartans.

Up next:

Band concert- Monday, September 27th. Student call time is 6:30 pm; performance time begins at 7 pm. We are always looking for a few parents to help hand out programs and monitor the student section during the concert. Contact Mrs. Kalo with any questions or to volunteer.

Choir concert- Thursday, September 30th. The student call time is 6:00 pm. Concert uniforms should be coming home right away. Please refer to the music handbook for what pieces of the uniform the students will need to provide. Contact Mr. Gibson with any questions.

Please be prepared for each of the following items and policies about GCA music concerts:

  • Students need to arrive for the concert at their call time in the proper concert attire. See the Music Department Handbook for information on concert attire. A portion of the concert grade depends on promptness as well as proper uniform.

  • All students will be required to remain at the concert for the duration of the performance. Our performances are an opportunity for students to demonstrate their learning and an opportunity to learn from other ensembles. A portion of the concert grade comes from etiquette and behavior during other groups' performances.

  • Please refer to the Music Department Handbook for policies on concert attendance and being excused. Note that requests for an excused absence and a make-up assignment must be given to your music teacher TWO weeks prior to the concert.

  • All of our concerts will be performed at Mesquite Junior High School in the Auditorium. Please plan accordingly by taking your instrument and music home from GCA that day and bringing it to the concert at MJHS that evening.

FALL SPORTS ATHLETES: Please check your game schedule for the above concert dates. Start planning now how you will get from the game/meet to the concert. Talk with your music teacher about conflicts with your call time. We encourage you to compete in your game and perform in your concert on the same day and are willing to work with you. However, remember that the concerts are a required part of your semester’s final grade, so it is important that we work together to find the best solution for your situation.


We are in desperate need of a few more chaperones for our Anaheim trip! We have about three more spots for students but will need five more chaperones to meet our requirement to travel with these students. If you are interested at all in chaperoning, please contact your child's music teacher. Without enough adults, we will not be able to go on this awesome trip!

CHOIR STUDENTS AND PARENTS: Nearly all concert uniforms came home this week. Please try them on this weekend to check for how they fit. Report any dresses, jackets, or pants that are too loose or too tight to Mr. Gibson. Many dresses and pants will need to be hemmed, so it is important to check them now, so you have sufficient time to do that. Members of Lacones (Mens' Chorus) need to check the Music Department Handbook, linked above, for their concert uniform.

JUNIOR HIGH CHOIR STUDENTS: The district performance festival scheduled for September 24th has been canceled due to transportation issues. However, in lieu of that performance, a special guest choral conductor will come to GCA that day to work with those students. So wear your music T-Shirts that day in place of your polo and be ready for some awesome choir work!

Thank you to our Spartan family for the amazing support you are already showing our music students. We are very excited about the wonderful opportunities we will have this year!

GCA Counseling News

Kicking off the year is grade-level classroom visits. This week we saw juniors in their service-learning classroom and move into 10th and 9th grade Academic Workshop classes. In addition, we are launching our school-wide tutoring program. If your student would like to earn Service Hours or needs counseling, have them email their counselor or stop by. We are already starting the match process. As we get available trained tutors, we can assign to a student in need.

This year the Alpha is split by the counselor as follows:

Ms. O’Brien

7th – A- L,

8 and 9th – A - K,

10th – A - L,

11th – A - J,

12th – A - K

Mrs. Raunig

7th – M- Z,

8 and 9th – L- Z,

10th – M - Z,

11th – K - Z,

12th – L- Z

Mental Health Counselor

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

Take care of yourself and someone else,

Dan Hood


Gilbert Classical Academy