Gator Bites

December 19, 2022

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Upcoming Events at Gateway!

Monday, Dec. 19 at 6:30pm- High School Concert and Jazz Band as well as Chorus Concert at Gateway Performing Arts Center

Friday, Dec. 23 - Half Day of School

Monday, Jan. 9 - Picture Retake Day Chester Elementary

Tree Tapping: a wonderful experience for students at Chester Elementary School

Chester Elementary students participated in tree tapping and made their own maple syrup under the direction of STEM teacher Greg Baker. This was great fun, a wonderful educational experience, and ended in a yummy treat! Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen for our students through your donations, support, expertise, and enthusiasm!

Grants: The Good, the Bad and the Fabulous

Our central office staff have been working very hard to secure competitive grants to provide additional programming, supports, and benefits to our students and school community.

The GOOD NEWS about grants is that they provide opportunities, services, and support for students and staff that would be very difficult for us to fund with our district budget funds.

The BAD NEWS is that grant money is provided for very specific purposes that are outlined in the grant. These funds can't be used to supplant our budget or pay for things like electricity, staff (unless specified in the grant), etc. ALSO, grant money goes away. Some grants can be written to last for several years, however, if the specifications of the grant are not followed then that grant money will be lost. Also, if staff are hired with that grant money, once the grant goes away there is no guarantee that the staffing position can stay as there is not funding for that position any longer.

The FABULOUS NEWS is that these funds provide wonderful opportunities, new opportunities, and more support for our students and staff.

Thus far we have received the following grants:



Safe Schools-$10,000 - These funds are used to create and support positive school climates at each of our schools

Title I-$176,851 - These funds are used to support reading and literature instruction at our elementary schools

Title II-$27,156 - These funds are used for supporting mentoring of new teachers

Title IV-$11,452 - These funds are used to support all students in our district socially, emotionally and academically

ESSER II-$249,563 - These funds are used to address student learning loss during Covid

ESSER III-$1,184,989 - These funds are also used to address student learning loss during Covid

21st Century Supporting Additional Learning Time-$210,000 - These funds are used to provide free after school and summer camp programming at our Middle School

ASOST-$40,000 - These funds are used to provide free wrap around and summer camp programming at our elementary schools.

IDEA-$294,854 - These funds are used to support our Special Needs students throughout the district

Special Education Early Learning-$13,317 - These funds are used to support our Pre K programs

SEL & Mental Health-$85,000 - These funds are used to hire and retain our counseling staff

Integrating Social & Emotional Learning-$10,000 - These funds are used to support social and emotional learning at our schools

Expanded Learning-$100,000 - These funds were used to provide free summer camp programming last summer

Targeted Assistance-$15,000 - These funds are used to support staff professional development

STEM Internship Grant-59,500 - These funds are used to support high school students who will be completing 100 hours of internship in a STEM (Science Technology, Engineering, Math) field

IVAQ-$100,000 - These funds will be used for upgrades in air quality in our buildings

DPH Grants-$109,000 - These funds are used to hire and fund nurses as well as used for nursing equipment and supplies

Capital Skills Grant-$374,471 - These funds were used to update our welding shop into a State Of The Art shop.

Deadline This week! Nominate a teacher for Teacher of Excellence Award!

Gateway Regional has the pleasure of being invited to participate in determining one Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Award every other year through the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation. The awards are assigned to districts based on their enrollment, and this year is our year! Please complete the nomination form before December break!

Please consider nominating a teacher for this award. The nomination form can be found at this link. Nominations are due before winter break with the award recipient announced in late January/early February.

All elementary students: MASS DOT Name a Snowplow Contest

the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announced the launch of a new “Name A Snowplow” contest for statewide elementary school students in Massachusetts. The contest seeks to solicit names for 12 MassDOT snowplows that will be in service for the upcoming 2022/2023 winter season. The purpose of the contest is to celebrate the snow and ice season and to help recognize all of the hard work and dedication shown by public works employees and contractors during the winter season.

Applications for the Snowplow Naming Contest are due by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 23, 2022, and can be submitted by using an online portal at There is no limit to the number of applications that can be submitted per school. The contest winners are anticipated to be announced on Friday, January 6, 2023, and will be invited to participate in a scheduled snowplow unveiling event.

On the GRSD Mats and Courts

GRSD Sports Booster News:

The GRSD Sports Booster Committee now has officers!

  • President: Christina Kadzik
  • Vice President: Dawn Audet
  • Secretary: Jeanna Briggs (interim) Open position
  • Treasurer: Julieann Young

Next meeting in February/March

We are bringing back the Sports Banquet for all athletes! Mark your calendars for Tuesday May 30th for our Banquet. Location and Time: TBD. All sports included

The Booster Committee is asking that each winter sports family volunteer for 1 game during the season. In addition, Junior & Senior athletes are also encouraged to volunteer 1 game during the season as well.

Boys Basketball Schedule:

Monday 12/19/2022 Home St. Mary's (L) Gateway 5:00 PM 6:30 PM

Thursday 12/22/2022AwayPathfinder (L)Pathfinder5:30 PM7:00 PM

Monday 1/9/2023HomePVCICS (L) (V)GatewayN/A6:30 PM

Thursday 1/12/2023AwaySmith Voc (L)Smith Voc5:00 PM6:30 PM

Friday 1/20/2023HomePVCA (L)Gateway5:00 PM6:30 PM

Tuesday 1/24/2023AwayMt. Everett (C)Mt. Everett5:00 PM6:30 PM

Friday 1/27/2023AwaySt. Mary's (L)Westfield Middle School6:00 PM7:30 PM

Tuesday 1/31/2023HomePathfinder (L)Gateway5:00 PM6:30 PM

Friday2/3/2023AwayPVCICS (L) (V)Hampshire College (Robert Crown Center)N/A4:00 PM

Tuesday2/7/2023HomeSmith Voc (L)Gateway5:00 PM6:30 PM

Friday2/10/2023AwayPVCA (L)PVCA5:30 PM7:00 PM

Girls Basketball Schedule:

Monday12/19/2022AwayHopkins (JV)Hopkins Academy6:00 PMN/A

Tuesday12/20/2022AwaySt.Mary's (L) (V)Westfield Intermediate SchoolN/A6:30 PM

Thursday12/22/2022HomeHCSS-East (L) (V)GatewayN/A6:30 PM

Friday1/6/2023AwayFrontier (JV)Frontier5:00 PMN/A

Tuesday1/10/2023HomeDuggan (L)Gateway5:00 PM6:30 PM

Thursday1/19/2023AwaySci Tech (L) (V)Sci TechN/A7:00 PM

Monday1/23/2023HomePathfinder (L) (V)GatewayN/A6:30 PM

Thursday1/26/2023HomeFroniter (JV)Gateway5:00 PMN/A

Thursday1/26/2023HomePVCICS (C) (V)HomeN/A6:30 PM

Monday1/30/2023HomeHopkins (JV)Gateway5:00 PMN/A

Monday1/30/2023HomeSt.Mary's (L) (V)GatewayN/A6:30 PM

Thursday2/2/2023AwayHCSS-East (L) (V)First Baptist Church (E. Longmeadow)N/A7:00 PM

Monday2/6/2023AwayDuggan (L)Duggan5:30 PM7:00 PM

Thursday2/9/2023HomeSci Tech (L) (V)GatewayN/A6:30 PM

Monday2/13/2023AwayPathfinder (L) (V)PathfinderN/A5:30 PM

Wrestling Schedule:

Monday12/19/2022 HomeHCSS East (C)*Gateway 6:00 PM

Tuesday12/27/2022 AwayBerkshire HolidayMonument Mt. 9:00 AM

Friday12/30/2022 Away Tomkiel (T)Agawam 9:00 AM

Wednesday1/4/2023 Away Duggan (L)Duggan 7:00 PM

Wednesday1/11/2023 HomeSmith Voc (L)*Gateway 6:00 PM

Saturday1/14/2023 Away Taconic Invitational Taconic 9:30 AM

Wednesday1/18/2023 AwayPathfinder (L)Pathfinder7:00 PM

Saturday1/21/2023 AwayMt. Everett Duals (I) Mt. Everett

Thursday1/26/2023 Away Athol (C)Athol 6:00 PM

Saturday1/28/2023 AwayMountie Tournament (T)Mount Greylock 9:20 AM

GRHS 2022-2023 Yearbooks on sale

High School yearbooks are now on sale! The current cost is $50. This is the LOWEST offer of the year. The price will increase in December, so buy now! Our students put a lot of energy and effort into this beautiful, hardcover, 124 page, full-color book. Students can pre-order online at, or can bring cash or check to Mrs. Wing in the high school to reserve their copy.

Here is a direct link to our sales page:


* The Class of 2023 is currently selling gourmet cookie dough from Hot Oven Cookies to raise money for graduation and their senior trip. The cookie dough comes in 12oz pints and is available in a variety of flavors including "Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt" and "Lemon Dream Cheesecake." If you are interested please contact the HS main office for Mrs. Jennings or talk to one of our seniors to order your cookie dough. This fundraiser will run through 12/23.

Look Who's Hiring

SKI Butternut - is looking for all positions including ski instructors, lodge staff and more. Learn more and apply at Ski instructors do not have to be professionals - Butternut will train you.

Otis Ridge Ski Lodge - is also looking for all positions including ski instructors, lodge staff and more. Learn more and apply at Ski instructors do not have to be professionals - Otis will train you.

Wilderness Experiences Unlimited - is looking for swimming instructors. You don't have to be a professional swimmer - WEU will train you. Learn more and apply at

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What's Happening in our Community?

Gateway Gear Grinders Mountain Bike Team

If you have an 8 - 18 year old that is interested in riding mountain bikes? If so, come and join the Gateway Gear Grinders Mountain Biking Team! There are beginner through (almost) expert teams that make up the Gateway Gear Grinders and they would love for more riders to join the team. Check them out at Gateway Gear Grinders - aka G3!!

Upcoming Porter Memorial Library Events:

  • December Vacation Week Activities
Bouncing off the Walls! Tuesday, Dec. 27th 3pm-4pm. Make your own bouncy alls and let them fly in the gym.

Book Squirms: Family Party Wednesday, Dec. 28 at 10:30am. Parents and kids under 5 will have stories to read and songs tho sing as well as lots of toys to play with while adults get a chance to socialize.

Indoor Snowball Fight Thursday, Dec. 29 3pm - 4pm. Make a snowman popper, load it up with a pom pom "snowball" and let them fly.

Tutu Dance Party Make a tutu and dance through the library to music from the nutcracker.

Upcoming Russell Library Events:

  • On Tuesday, Dec. 27th and Thursday, Dec. 29th from 11:00-1:00 Miss Dawn will be hosting games and fun for all ages. You can challenge your skills with a Pom Pom Throw or Untangle the Skate Knot and play seasonal board games. The craft table will be open to create a beautiful seasonal craft. Every child that takes out a book will receive a treat.
  • Enjoy a brisk walk as you read along the seasonally themed StoryWalk® at Russell Public Library. Come into the library for a story related activity packet when you’ve finished.

Hilltown Domestic Violence Task Force:

If you or someone you know is being harmed by a partner, Hilltown Safety at Home can help (advocate cell 413-693-9977 or office 413-667-2203). You can speak with an advocate by phone or meet in person. Advocates can help you understand your options and can provide support. We all deserve to be safe and healthy, and to be in charge of our own life decisions.

A new helpline is also available for people who cause harm and want to work towards safety and change. A Call For Change Helpline, 877-898-3411, can be reached 365 days a year, 10am to 10pm.

$75 gift card for receiving COVID Vaccine

Massachusetts is funding "Get Boosted" clinics. They are designed to increase vaccine access in areas with low vaccine rates.

Click here to see a list of vaccine sites where you can get a $75 gift card for getting your first, second, or booster COVID vaccine. The list is constantly being updated, so check back if you don't see a clinic that is convenient to you. The gift card is only valid at the clinics/locations listed on the site.

Contact Info!

Please reach out to us if you have questions or concerns!

Chester Elementary School:
Principal Vanna Maffuccio

Littleville Elementary School:

Principal Andrew Samuelson

Middle School/High School:
Principal Jason Finnie

Assistant Principal Will Sullivan

Athletic Director Matt Bonenfant

Superintendent Kristen Smidy,