O'Maley Family Focus

September 20, 2021

Please remind students to bring masks to school!

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Dear O’Maley Families,

Despite the partial weeks, we have settled into a regular learning routine at O'Maley. Students are acclimated to their schedules, and are smoothly transitioning from academic to specialist classes and back, from lunch to recess and vice versa, and among the six days of the schedule rotation. Part of the week includes an advisory block and a flex block. Each of those occur every 6 days. Advisory topics follow a research-based social-emotional learning curriculum and will also attempt to include our students' voices so that we are facilitating discussions about topics that relate to our community directly. Flex block enables teachers to work with specific groups of students to reteach, facilitate "catch-up" or to provide an extension.

Please read on for important information for this week. Contact me at any time with questions or concerns.


Principal Lynne Beattie

Topics in this issue of Family Focus:

  • Parent/Guardian Help Needed
  • Upcoming Events
  • O'Maley Academy Sign-ups
  • COVID-19 Update
  • 2-Liter Bottles needed for art
  • Schoolbrains Community Portal Login instructions

September 30 - O'Maley Open House 6:00-8:00 pm In Person

Please Help!

On behalf of our custodial staff and admin team I am soliciting your assistance with challenges that are facing schools nationwide, and particularly our middle school age group: TikTok Devious Licks and the Paqui Once-Chip Challenge are two social media challenges that are plaguing some O'Maley students and as a result, our school overall.

The Paqui One-Chip Challenge (Link Here) is a challenge in which kids are encouraged to eat a chip made from both the Carolina Reaper and the Scorpion peppers. There is a single chip in a coffin-shaped box. They are so hot that many people end up getting sick to the point of vomiting (sometimes repeatedly and for quite a while) after ingesting the pepper. Please remind your children never to take a challenge related to ingesting ANYTHING. The coffin-shaped box does not seem to send a strong enough signal or dissuade kids.

The TikTok Devious Licks (Link Here for Info) challenge is impacting our school in a much more destructive way. The challenge is to steal or damage school property, then post an image or video on social media. We have had several instances of this occurring with damage to soap dispensers, sinks and toilets. When we are able to identify the offenders, we are assigning serious consequences as well as requiring financial restitution for the repairs. Please remind your children of the seriousness of vandalism and the silliness of following a social media trend!

Thank you for your help.

Upcoming Events

  • Friday, September 24, School Picture Day
  • Thursday, September 30 - 6:00-8:00 pm - O'Maley Open House
  • O'Maley Academy Programming begins October 4th
  • Tuesday, October 5, Early Dismissal at 11:00 am - Staff Professional development
  • Tuesday, October 19, 6:00-8:00 pm - Instrument Rental/Pick-Up Night in the O'Maley Cafe
  • Thursday, October 21, Early Dismissal at 11:00 am - Parent Conferences 12:00-2:00 & 6:00-8:00 pm
  • Thursday, October 28, Early Dismissal at 11:00 am - Parent Conferences 12:00-2:00 pm

O'Maley Academy Begins October 4th!

COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 at O'Maley: There are no new cases of COVID-19 this week. Since we started school August 31st there has been a total of one case reported at O'Maley with no close contacts at school. As in the past, we will continue to contact students, families, and staff who may be close contacts in order to keep the community safe. See the new GPS COVID Dashboard for updated data each week: https://backtogether.gloucesterschools.com/updates/dashboard-covid-cases

Masks & Distancing:
Per the Massachusetts DESE and the Gloucester School Committee, all students and staff will be masked in GPS buildings except at lunch or mask break when they are socially distanced at 3 feet or more until at least October 1. Masks are not required outdoors. For details on our health and safety protocols district wide, please visit the GPS COVID Guidance and Updates website at https://backtogether.gloucesterschools.com/.

We are having many instances of students forgetting to bring masks to school. While we will provide them in the event that students do not have them, please be reminded that it is the famiiy's responsibility to provide masks for their students.

Clear 2-Liter Bottles Needed!

We have an upcoming opportunity to work with artist Marilu Swett from the Boston Sculptures Guild. Marilu has proposed a sculpture project having students create individual lanterns that as a whole will formulate a collective light show. You can help! Please save Clear 2 liter bottles for us, send them into school and to the art teachers. The projected date for construction is October 12 and 13th.

Schoolbrains Portal

Our Schoolbrains Community Portal will be opening for all students and families shortly. Information about the portal, what you will find there, and how to login is below.

Parent Letter re. Schoolbrains Community Portal

Link to the Schoolbrains Community Portal Login

Student/Guardian How-to

Drop Off & Pick Up

As you know if you have been to O'Maley, there can be a great deal of traffic at drop off and pick up. If you MUST drive your child to school, PLEASE turn into the parking lot next to the rink and continue along the side to drop off and pick up your child.


  • park along Cherry Street
  • stop along the island or on the Cherry Street side of the parking lot
  • drive up over the hill and in front of the school
  • encourage your child to run across the street or parking lot to reach your vehicle

Following these directions will keep traffic moving, will prevent buses and other vehicles from being blocked, and most importantly, will keep everyone safe.

Students should NEVER run across the street or parking lot to or from cars.

Thank you for your help to keep everyone safe.

Free Breakfast & Lunch Every Day

No need to pre-order. Students can enter the cafeteria for breakfast at 7:20 and order lunch directly from the kitchen upon arrival at their designated lunch time.

Students at O'Maley have 15 minutes to eat lunch and 15 minutes of recess outdoors; in inclement weather, recess is held in the auditorium or gym.


  • Communication and Contact Information: Communication is essential for our ongoing partnership. Please be sure to keep your email address and phone numbers up to date in the student information system by informing the office if there are changes. Almost all communication from O’Maley will be electronic. If you do not have an email address, please let us know so that we can send you hard copies or a link to documents via SMS text messages.