GVMS Weekly Update

October 21st, 2019

Garnet Valley Middle School

Achieving our best through creativity, compassion, and community.

GVMS School Community

This is a very busy week at the middle school. Please encourage your student to participate in Red Ribbon Week spirit days. We will end the week with a Fall Pep Rally and the 7th and 8th grade Halloween Dance. Also, we have the Schools to Watch organization joining us on Wednesday. We know the Schools to Watch team is going to see and hear about many wonderful learning experiences during their visitation. Our hope is to become a Re-designated Schools to Watch. On Wednesday night at 7:00 PM in the GVMS Auditorium, our district will be holding a Parent Information session regarding school safety as part of School Safety Week. Have a great week!

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

Links to Important Information

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

This Week is 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.

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Book Order For Our Visiting Author, Neil Shusterman, Due Soon!

Award winning author, Neal Shusterman, will be visiting GVMS on February 27th! We are selling a variety of his books through Children's Book World at a 20% discount. Any books purchased will be signed by Neal during his visit. The third book in his Arc of the Scythe trilogy will be released on November 5th.

All forms and payment are due 10/29 to Mrs. Cleary.


New Technology and Instructional Accommodations

We wanted to make you all aware of an exciting new technology we will be employing in our school this year. As some of you may know, Garnet Valley Middle School, like all schools have students that are unable to attend school for an anticipated and prolonged period of time due to medical reasons. In these instances, the school provides homebound instruction. The purpose of homebound instruction is to keep the student on track academically while they are temporarily out of school. Historically, homebound instruction has been provided in the home with one-to-one tutoring.

Recent advancements in technology have allowed for new, more engaging options for students in these situations. Through the use of a Double Robot or Kubi Robot, students can virtually participate in all aspects of educational programming during their absence. This includes complete access to daily classroom academic instruction and both structured and unstructured social interactions with their peers.

From time to time to accommodate the needs of students with medical needs, with the support of the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU), we will be using the Double Robot while they are out on medical leave. Using the web URL below, you have the ability to view a video that shares an example of how the robot has been used in a school setting.


The robot provides a secure live feed of the instructional day to the student. The video captured is not recorded or stored in any way.

We are excited about this technology and how it will support the individual needs of our learners at Garnet Valley Middle School. We welcome any questions or concerns you may have about the use of this device during the school day.

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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.

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.

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

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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

GV CTC Quick Tip # 7 The Teen Brain

Did you know?

The human brain is not fully developed until age 25. Our students do not have the same brains that adults have. Nor do they have the same brain that they had in elementary school. Emotions are bigger! Risk is more attractive! Reasoning is skewed! The Teen Brain has been described as a high-performance sports car with faulty steering and intermittent brakes.

The PAYS survey revealed that an average of 30% of students in 2015 and 26% of students in 2017, answered the following questions affirmatively.

  • They have done something that feels good no matter what

  • They have done something dangerous on a dare

  • They have done crazy things even if they were dangerous

Thinking back to your teen years, some of the above statements may feel familiar. Teens need to be open to risk in order to achieve their goals and make their way in the world with success. But what happens when teen risk taking is affected by ATOD (alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs)? Juuls and Vapes add even more danger to risk taking behavior.

Call to action…

Remember the teen brain and provide the support, limits, and belief in their future success and maturity that helps them see it also.

Click on the link below find out more about why teens do what they do, and how to help our teens make safer choices.


Garnet Valley Middle School

Achieving our best through creativity, compassion, and community.