GVMS Weekly Update

October 16th, 2019

Garnet Valley Middle School

Achieving our best through creativity, compassion, and community.

Weekly Update

October 16th

GVMS School Community

Next week we will be celebrating Red Ribbon Week throughout the district. Red Ribbon Week is one of the many ways we look to promote awareness of the consequences of substance abuse among the our nation's youth. Red Ribbon Week focuses on the benefits of making healthy life choices. Below are the dates and daily themes:

Monday, October 21st: Red Ribbon History

  • Hand out ribbons, Ribbon History on announcements

Tuesday, October 22nd: “Celebrate RED Ribbon Week!”

  • Wear RED to school!

Wednesday, October 23rd: “Being Drug Free is NO Sweat”

  • Wear your sweats, show your support!

Thursday, October 24th: “Our Future is for Drug Free”

  • Wear a college shirt or dress for your future profession!

Friday, October 25th: “Team Up Against Drugs”

  • Team Apparel Theme Day

Schools To Watch - Community Update

Dear Garnet Valley Middle School Community,

In January of 2017, Garnet Valley Middle School was officially recognized as a "School to Watch!" Schools to Watch is a program developed by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform. In our original designation process, Garnet Valley Middle School joined a very select group of 38 exemplary middle schools across the entire state of Pennsylvania and only 400 middle schools nation-wide! This was a huge accomplishment and a direct reflection of our dedicated community, students, teachers, administration, and staff.

The Schools to Watch program, developed by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform, goes through a re-designation process every two years. We were asked to submit an application this past spring and apply for re-designation. The Garnet Valley Middle School Schools to Watch Team worked together to submit an application. Our application highlighted the new master schedule, the addition of an advisory period, student choice in our electives, and enrichment and intervention systems.

At the beginning of October, we were contacted by the Schools to Watch organization and invited to the second phase of this process. The second phase of this process includes a site visitation by a Schools to Watch team to assess our likelihood of being re-designated as a Schools to Watch. The visitation is scheduled on Wednesday, October 23rd. This is also Red Ribbon Week and a Spirit Week which we are excited to be sharing with the Schools to Watch Team.

Throughout the day, the Schools to Watch team will interview parents, staff, administrators, and also be visiting and observing classrooms. They may talk with students about their experiences at Garnet Valley Middle School. The Schools to Watch team will compile all of their data and determine if we have earned a place as a Re-designated Schools to Watch.

We will be notified as to our status sometime in early December. We will certainly keep you updated on our status. We are extremely proud to have made it this far in the process. Our entire school community continues to strive to do our very best. Thank you for all of your support.

Lisa Stenz, Principal

Gerry Weinhardt, Assistant Principal

Rick Martin, Assistant Principal

School Safety Week

Below is a paragraph from Dr. Bertrando's email that was sent out on October 15th.

The following is a link to a Parent’s Guide to School Safety in the event of a crisis situation. Parents can use this document for procedures and protocols that the district will implement, should an emergency situation arise. We are also scheduling a Parent Night to Learn About School Safety in the Garnet Valley Middle School auditorium on Wednesday, October 23rd from 7pm to 8pm. During the meeting we will go over a general overview of ALICE and also talk about a number of school safety topics.

Big picture

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 Library Expectations

With our new GOAL period, we have more interest in using our library during this time period. We recognize that GOAL is a great time to complete school work, homework, meet with team teachers, and focused time on students' academic goals.

We would like to remind our students that when visiting the library during goal time, students must follow the expectations below:

Students must sign in at the library iPad located at the front desk. Fill in students' first name and last name, GOAL teacher, and choose the reason for visiting from the following options:

· Working on a project or homework

· Reading in the quiet reading room

· Using a computer to work on school work

If you are just returning or checking out a book you don't need to sign in. If you have a cellphone (apply to 8th-grade students only), please place it in our phone bin on the counter and it will be returned once you exit the library. Please be sure to sign out when you leave.

We thank our students for their interest in visiting the library and accessing all of our resources.

Mrs. Cleary, Librarian

Links to Important Information

Be sure to click on the links below. Each link will provide you with more information about the specific topic.

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:


Raptor Information

The Raptor system is used to enhance our ability to monitor who enters our buildings by screening visitors, contractors, and volunteers. Upon entering a district building, visitors will be asked to present an ID such as a Driver’s License, which can either be scanned or manually entered into the system.

If a parent or guardian for any reason does not have a US government-issued ID, the school staff member can use any form of identification and manually enter the person’s name into the Raptor system. The Raptor system will check to ensure that registered sexual offenders are not entering our school campuses without our knowledge.

The Raptor system checks the visitor's name and date of birth for comparison with a national database of registered sex offenders. The registered sex offender database is the only official database checked by the Raptor system. No other data from the ID is gathered or recorded and the information is not shared with any outside agency. Once entry is approved, Raptor will issue a badge that identifies the visitor, the date, and the purpose of his/her visit.

Please adhere to the following regulations:

1. Enter the building at the main office door.
2. Go directly to the office, sign in through Raptor and inform the school secretary of your
3. PLEASE DO NOT GO to any area of the building without receiving permission from the office.
4. Do not attempt to go to a classroom to pick up a child. Students who are being dismissed early
will be sent to the office.
5. Return the visitor badge at the conclusion of your visit to sign out.
Big picture
Big picture

GVMS HSA Information

GVMS Box Tops for Education

GVMS is finally registered with Box Tops for Education!! It’s a super simple way to raise money for our school! And we no longer have to cut out the Box Tops & bring them into school! The new system makes everything so easy!!

Here is a link to the website!


Find Garnet Valley Middle School as one of the listed schools. Register online to raise money for GVMS. Download the app. Then start scanning the box tops! It’s that simple!!

Upcoming HSA Dates


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

*GVMS HSA Update *

7th & 8th Grade Halloween Dance

The 2019 Halloween Dance is Around the Corner: The 2019 7th and 8th Grade Halloween Dance is almost here!! We hope that all of our 7th and 8th graders will join us on Friday, October 25th! Get your costumes ready for a night of fun! Register your child for the event on the attached Google Docs link. Students can pay at the door or on My School Bucks!

We Need Your Help!
The 7th & 8th Grade Halloween Dance Volunteer Committee needs LOTS of help to make the event fun, safe, & successful for our kids! Please click on the link below to sign up to help with the event! Amy amount of time & support you can give us is greatly appreciated!!

HSA Meeting

Join us at our next GVMS HSA meeting on Monday, November 4th at 7:00 in the library. We'd love for you to join us as we help to plan & organize the upcoming events for our students and school community! Meetings usually last one hour. This is the perfect venue to find out how HSA helps support GVMS!

2019 Craft Fair

Save the Date - Saturday, December 7th is the 2019 GVMS Holiday Craft Fair! Pencil this fabulous HSA fundraiser into your calendar! we hope that you can come check out the fabulous vendors, shop for yourself and your loved ones, have lunch, hang out with friends, and have a wonderful Saturday raising money for our GVMS HSA! More details to come soon!!

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 #6 Binge Drinking

The results are back from the 2017 Pennsylvania Youth Survey for Garnet Valley’s 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th graders. We also have results from 2013 and 2015.

The results of this anonymous survey are self-reported and represent 83.9% of our students.

Did you know? Binge drinking behavior has been cut in half in Garnet Valley. Binge drinking is defined as 5 or more drinks in one sitting for boys and 4 or more for girls. “Binge drinking is actually extremely dangerous because consuming large amounts of liquid toxin at one time can lead to alcohol poisoning, rape, STDs, coma and the worst-case scenario, death...” Raychelle Cassanda Lohmann, MS, LPCS, Teen Angst, Psychology Today. 2013

In Garnet Valley, binge drinking declined from an average of 10% of students in 2013 to an average of 5% of students in 2017. But any percentage of students putting themselves at risk in such an extreme way is concerning.

Raychelle Cassanda Lohmann gives us four essential questions below that every parent/caregiver can ask to help prevent risky behavior.

Call to action… Let’s keep our students safe from harm by asking and getting answers to: The Four Essential Questions

1. Where are you going?

2. What are you going to be doing?

3. Who are you going to be with?

4. When will you be home?

Click on the websites below for more information.



Garnet Valley Middle School

Achieving our best through creativity, compassion, and community.