TFHS/GFMS Community Newsletter

November 8, 2019 Created by Principal Joanne Menard

In This Newsletter

  • Community Feedback Wanted on Proposed Graduation Date Change
  • Women in Engineering & Computing Career Day at University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Bus Evacuation Drill
  • John and Abigail Adams Scholarship Awardees
  • Late Bus Route
  • Remaining November's Half Days & No School Days
  • Dodgeball Tournament
  • Sports - HS Field Hockey Playoff Game
  • Sports - HS Volleyball Playoff Game
  • Warm Welcome at Parent-Teacher Conferences
  • 8th Grade Math Lesson
  • Deans' Grade Assignments
  • 9th Grade Lesson
  • Upcoming Dates for Musical
  • Resource Fair for GMRSD Families
  • Rise Up at GCC
  • PTO Meeting
  • District Wellness Committee
  • Monte's March
  • 8th Grade Fundraiser
  • 2019-2020 School Calendar
  • TFHS Yearbook 2020
  • GFMS Yearbook 2020
  • 8th Grade Social Studies
  • Academic Calendar
  • Rise Up Volunteers
  • Secondary School Improvement Plan (SIP)
  • Community Health Care Center of Franklin County Mobile Dental Service
  • Safe Schools Pledge
  • Book Fair
  • GFMS' Students of the Week
  • TFHS Bell Schedule
  • Halloween at TFHS
  • Halloween in Anatomy and Physiology
  • Gill-Montague Education Fund 2020 Annual Gala
  • 8th Grade Mummy Day
  • Box Tops for Education
  • Upcoming Dates at TFHS/GFMS

Community Feedback Wanted on Proposed Graduation Date Change


TFHS' School Committee Student Representative went to the School Committee and proposed a change in the graduation date for this year. Please see details below.


Schedule for Senior Class Finish


Currently scheduled:

Last day of classes – Friday, May 22

Finals - May 26, 27, 28 (make-up May 29)

Grad rehearsal - June 3, 4, 5

Graduation – Friday, June 5


An alternative proposal with a May 29 Graduation:

Last day of classes – Wednesday, May 20

Finals – May 21, 22, 26 (make-up May 27)

Grad rehearsal – May 27, 28, 29

Graduation – Friday, May 29


Please review and provide any thoughts you might have to myself at

joanne.menard@gmrsd.org by the end of school on Wednesday, November 13th. All feedback will be provided to the School Committee.


Thanking you in advance for sharing your thoughts!

Women in Engineering & Computing Career Day at University of Massachusetts Amherst

On Monday, October 28, 2019 Turners Falls High School was one of 26 schools across Massachusetts that participated in a program aimed at recruiting young women into the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields. There were 300 students enrolled for the day of planned activities to help students understand the fields of engineering and computing technology. This was the fourth year that our school has participated in the event with the help of the principal’s funding. Our day began with an address from the keynote speaker, Dr. Danjay Raman, who spoke to how she became a chemical engineer and how her profession has allowed her to have balance between family and career. She also shared many of the interesting projects that she has done. Then the rest of the afternoon our students participated in many different activities.

Bus Evacuation Drill

We will be holding our bus evacuation drill this coming Tuesday (November 12th) beginning at 7:25 a.m. This is done annually.

John and Abigail Adams Scholarship Awardees

Congratulations to our many John and Abigail Scholarship Awardees - some of whom are pictured below.


To be eligible for the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship, a student in the class of 2016 or after must:
  • Score in the Advanced category on one of three high school state assessment tests in English Language Arts, Mathematics, or STE (Biology, Chemistry, Introductory Physics or Technology/Engineering)
  • Score in the Proficient or Advanced category on the remaining two high school state assessment tests
  • Have a combined MCAS score on these assessments that ranks in the top 25% in their school district.

We are so proud of each of you! What an accomplishment!

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Late Bus Route

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Remaining November's Half Days and No School Days

Monday, November 11th: NO SCHOOL - VETERAN'S DAY OBSERVED


Wednesday, November 27th: Half Day due to Thanksgiving


Thursday, November 28th: NO SCHOOL - THANKSGIVING


Friday, November 29th: NO SCHOOL - THANKSGIVING BREAK

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Sports - HS Field Hockey Playoff Game

Sports - HS Volleyball Playoff Game

Warm Welcome at Parent-Teacher Conferences

On Thursday, November 7th, Mr. Gaffigan (Assistant Principal) greeted families at the evening parent-teacher conferences.
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8th grade math lesson

In 8th grade math classes, students collected data to test Vitruvius's claim that a person's arm span is equal to their height. Then, they made scatter plots of the data, drawing a linear model to represent Vitruvius's claim and then made statements about the accuracy of the claim based on our data and the meaning of data points above, below and on the linear model trend line. Two of the classes said the line was not very accurate and most data points were below the line, meaning the height was greater than the arm span (short arms). Once class had the opposite result, while they still said the line was not very accurate, they saw that most of the data points were above the line, meaning the arm span was greater than the height (long arms). We questioned in the fact that they are not all done growing has any impact on this data and wondered what it would look like for a group of adults. They also made residual tables to have a second way to look at and compare the data.

Deans' Grade Assignments

With the new administrative team, we have redefined roles for this year.

Dean Rebel McKinley (rebel.mckinley@gmrsd.org) is working with all grade 7, 9, and 11 students and families.


Dean Mike Duprey (mike.duprey@gmrsd.org) is working with all grade 6, 8, 10, and 12 students and families.


Please reach out to them with any attendance or disciplinary concerns.

9th grade lesson

9th grade students modeling the Nitrogen Cycle with the aid of some electronics.
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Upcoming Dates for Musical

This year's musical will be Matilda under the direction of Kimberly Rose.


Wednesday, November 13th: 3:00-5:30 p.m. - Auditions


Thursday, November 14th: 3:00-5:30 p.m. - Call backs


Friday, November 15th: 9:00 a.m. - Skype with GiaNina who played Amanda Thripp in the Broadway in the Broadway production of Matilda; cast revealed!

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Rise Up at GCC

The Rise Up class worked with the Outdoor Leadership Program at Greenfield Community College to develop communication skills through team building and persevered over the rock wall! It is amazing to watch these awesome kids support each other and push their comfort zones.
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PTO Meeting

The next PTO meeting will be held Tuesday, November 19th at 6:00 p.m. Hope to see you there!
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Monte's March

Jen Luciano and Jess Vachula-Curtis are coordinating Monte’s March teams from GFMS and TFHS again this year. We’d love to beat last year’s fundraising amount of $3,000 and would love support! Attached are pledge sheets for marchers, along with links to our online fundraising pages. Thank you so much for everyone’s support!!


High School's Monte's March team pictured below, along with pledge sheet.

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8th grade Fundraiser

Hello Parents and Guardians-

The 8th grade is starting their annual fudge fundraiser through Mo’s Fudge Factor. Please help your child sell fudge, we only have until November 26th. They got the forms this morning. If you have family far away or family/friends that would just rather order online, that is great. The website is: http://www.mosfudgefactor.com/fundraising.html. THEN, go to the drop down menu at the top of the page, it will say Great Falls Middle school 8th grade.

The money the students earn will go toward a field trip and field day events and treats at the end of the school year.

REMEMBER forms are due right before Thanksgiving break and the fudge will be in around December 13th (before the holiday break).

Thank you for your support and happy selling!


-The 8th grade teachers

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2019-2020 School Calendar

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TFHS Yearbook 2020

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GFMS Yearbook 2020

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8th grade social studies

From 8th grade Social Studies:

This fall, 8th Graders are working on an Action Civics Project to help fight food insecurity in our local community. Amanda Reynolds, Volunteer Coordinator from the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts came to speak with the 8th graders about food insecurity and the work the food bank does across Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden and Berkshire counties. Students were full of questions about how to make an impact! Students were encouraged to attend one of the monthly Family Volunteer Days, an opportunity to support hungry neighbors. 20 GFMS students will be participating in Monte's March on November 26 to raise money for the Food Bank. The 8th grade class will also be organizing GFMS's efforts in the district-wide food drive for Montague Catholic Social Ministries which will take place from November 25-December 20. They have set a school-wide goal of 800 donations! More information to come soon.

Academic Calendar

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Rise Up Volunteers

On Tuesday, November 5th, Rise Up volunteered at the Center for Self Reliance in Greenfield. We stocked shelves, sorted produce, packaged diapers, swept the walk and generally helped our local food pantry where folks can get groceries without checking their dignity at the door.
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Secondary School Improvement Plan (SIP)

We have been hard at work on our Secondary School Improvement Plan (SIP) at the administrative level. After it was presented, feedback was given by our Curriculum Coordinators and staff and then appropriate adjustments were made to the plan. I then presented it to the School Committee.


Here is the link to the PowerPoint presentation I made to the School Committee.

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Safe Schools Pledge

At last week's TFHS all school meeting, students presented to all regarding our "Safe Schools Pledge" which promotes a positive classroom environment.
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GFMS' Students of the Week

At our middle school Morning Meeting last week, four students were recognized with the honor of Student of the Week. Congratulations to all! We are proud of your hard work and good choices!

TFHS Bell Schedule

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Halloween at TFHS

Halloween in Anatomy and Physiology

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8th grade Mummy Day

8th graders used only toilet paper to wrap up their classmates as "mummies". Then they voted to see which mummy was the best.
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Upcoming Dates at TFHS/GFMS (11/11-11/22)

Monday, November 11th:

NO SCHOOL - VETERANS DAY OBSERVED


Tuesday, November 12th:

7:25 a.m. - Bus Evacuation Drill

7:45 a.m. - GFMS Morning Meeting


Friday, November 15th:

7:45 a.m. - GFMS Morning Meeting


Monday, November 18th:

7:45 a.m. - GFMS Morning Meeting


Tuesday, November 19th:

9:10 a.m. - TFHS Morning Meeting

6:00 p.m. - PTO Meeting


Friday, November 22th:

Community and Staff Newsletters Published

7:45 a.m. - GFMS Morning Meeting

6:00 p.m. - Rise Up Dodgeball Tournament

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Turners Falls High School

Great Falls Middle School

222 Turnpike Road

Montague, Massachusetts 01351


413-863-7200