GCA Weekly Update


Hello Spartan Community,

For this update, I would like to say a few words about gratitude. So often, we look around at others and what they have and feel the anxiety of not having something they have. We always put a measuring stick up against someone else and fall short in some area. So this weekend, I encourage you to talk with your family about what you do have, what you have accomplished, and let someone know you are grateful for them.

GCA Picture Retake Day will be on Thursday, October 28, 2021. We had it on the calendar for September 28th, but photographers will be here on October 28th.

PSAT Sign-up

I want to continue reminding everyone that we are administering the PSAT to ⅔ of the students Oct 26, 2021. If you have an 8th or 9th-grade student, please sign up for the PSAT 8/9. If you are in 11th grade, sign up for the PSAT 11. You can do this by clicking the button on your IC Parent Portal and paying the testing fee (PSAT 8/9 - $14, PSAT 10 - $0, PSAT 11(NMQST) - $20). PAYMENT DEADLINE OCT 15. There is a district program paying for our PSAT 10 for our 10th-grade students. However, we want all 8 - 11th-grade students to take this test. If the fee is going to be a hardship, please reach out to your counselor. All students qualifying for free or reduced lunch will receive a reduced rate. Make sure those who are eligible have their paperwork completed.

How will the PSAT help my school and me?

I am so glad you were thinking this question -

For each student - Once a student takes the PSAT, they will be registered on the CollegeBoard platform. This platform will monitor individual progress and pair your child with activities and Khan academy lessons that improve areas that need improvement. GCA will also use the data to assign CollegeBoard assignments that help prepare students for future AP, PSAT, and SAT assessments.

For the school, it tells us areas where groups of students need further support in improving their Math, English, and Reading skills. In addition, the PSAT 8/9 gives students a projected score for when they take the SAT. In the past, GCA students have scored over 200 points higher on their SAT than reported on their PSAT 8/9 projected score. For more information, watch - Why should my child take the PSAT?” or read “PSAT - Inside the test” We think this will help raise students’ SAT scores, which increases scholarships and college opportunities.

All 7th and 12th grades students will continue to attend school on that day. GCA Seniors will be hosting 7th-grade seminars that will help 7th-grade students with subjects like Math, Science, English, Social Studies, Latin, and organization. Teachers will be present and supervising the seminars. In addition, 12th-grade students can collect service hours, and 7th-grade students will get the specific help they need.

Saturday Latin Tutoring

Ms. Vincent will be holding Saturday Latin Tutoring this Saturday, September 25, in her classroom (room 125) from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Bring $5 to stay as long as you want. Students should come prepared with either homework to work on or specific questions or difficulties they need help with.

Character Strong

We are going to focus on well-being. Mental health and well-being are synonymous, while mental illness and well-being coexist. You can have good mental well-being while still struggling with mental illness. The more we increase our well-being, the better we can treat mental illness. Our well-being impacts how we think, feel, and act. It plays a role in how we handle stress, how we engage with others and make choices. So it is a big deal. This session will go deeper into what makes up our emotional, mental, and social well-being. This awareness is going to be very beneficial to our students. I am so excited we are bringing mental well-being awareness to our students.

The plastic bottle cap drive has begun.

The plastic bottlecap drive has begun. Save all of your bottle caps and bring them to your legion. The caps will be collected through legions to see who collects the most. They will then be transported to a facility that melts them down to reuse. The money raised will be to pay for children to receive cancer treatments in Mexico. The legions with the most bottle caps win their choice of a dress-down day, donut party, and the top 10 legions receive legion points.


Join our district Deaf and Hard of Hearing Department for this great fundraising event to help our students with hearing loss. See this flyer for more information on the November 6th event.

Spanish Club Chipotle Fundraiser

Come get dinner and support the GCA Spanish Club. The fundraiser is at the Chipotle at 1084 S Gilbert Rd from 4-8 PM on Tuesday the 28th. See the flyer for details.


Family Night at the volleyball game this Friday! Support our Lady Spartans as they take on Santan foothills. The high school games start at three, four, and 5 pm. Any fans wearing their family T-shirts can get a free Chick-fil-A sandwich. Don’t have a family shirt? Purchase one through the athletic office for $15. GCA students can get into the game for one dollar with ID. Hope to see you there.

Shout out to Swim and Dive this past week!

We swam super well, had a ton of best times, and came out victorious! Here are the results from the meet:


Gilbert Classical: 44

Florence: 33

Morenci: 6


Gilbert Classical: 55

Morenci: 19

Florence: 17


On Friday and Saturday, many chess team members competed in the State Individual Invitational Tournament against players from across the state. In the varsity section, two GCA students placed particularly well - Alan Andrade placed 6th overall in the state, and Zachary Schlimgen placed 4th overall in the state.

GCA Music News

What an amazing first quarter it has been! We are anxious to present our final two concerts this week and prepare for the 15th annual Winterfest next quarter! Please see below for more information about this awesome event.

Band concert- Monday, September 27th. Student call time is 6:30 pm, performance time begins at 7 pm. We are always looking for a few parents to help hand out programs and monitor the student section during the concert. Contact Mrs. Kalo with any questions or to volunteer.

Choir concert- Thursday, September 30th. Student call time is 6:00 pm. Concert uniforms have been assigned, and come home. Be sure to check the hem on those dresses and pants this weekend! Please refer to the music handbook for what pieces of the uniform the students will need to provide. Contact Mr. Gibson with any questions.

Please be prepared for each of the following items and policies about GCA music concerts:

  • Students need to arrive for the concert at their call time in the proper concert attire. See the Music Department Handbook for information on concert attire. A portion of the concert grade depends on promptness as well as proper uniform.

  • All students will be required to remain at the concert for the duration of the performance. Our performances are an opportunity for students to demonstrate their learning and an opportunity to learn from other ensembles. A portion of the concert grade comes from etiquette and behavior during other groups' performances.

  • Please refer to the Music Department Handbook for policies on concert attendance and being excused. Note that requests for an excused absence and a make-up assignment must be given to your music teacher TWO weeks prior to the concert.

  • All of our concerts will be performed at Mesquite Junior High School in the Auditorium. Please plan accordingly by taking your instrument and music home from GCA that day and bringing it to the concert at MJHS that evening.

FALL SPORTS ATHLETES: Please check your game schedule for the above concert dates. Start planning now how you will get from the game/meet to the concert. Talk with your music teacher about conflicts with your call time. We encourage you to compete in your game and perform in your concert on the same day and are willing to work with you. However, remember that the concerts are a required part of your semester’s final grade, so it is important that we work together to find the best solution for your situation.


We are still searching for four more chaperones for our Anaheim trip in January. If you are interested at all in chaperoning, please contact your child's music teacher. Without enough adults, we will not be able to go on this awesome trip!

Congratulations to our junior high choir students on a great at-home festival experience today. Students worked with a special guest choral conductor today and gained valuable insight about their music making. Ask your child what new concepts or techniques they learned today!

CALLING ALL GCA MUSIC PARENTS: The 15th Annual Winterfest is less than three months away on December 11th! Winterfest is our annual music concert and fundraiser. The entire campus is transformed into a fair and concert venue that day. We have games, vendors, auction items, food, and, of course, performances by ALL of our music ensembles. It is a wonderful day and one of the very few traditions that have been a part of GCA since it first opened. However, we need YOUR HELP! We cannot have a successful event without parent support to organize and run our auction, food, and vendors. We are also always looking for help on the day of the event with moving equipment, running sound, and operating booths. If you are interested in helping us, please plan to attend a virtual Zoom meeting on Tuesday, October 12th at 7 pm. The link for this meeting will be sent out next week. Come find out how you can help. There is something for everyone, no matter your experience, to do!

Thank you to our Spartan family for the amazing support you are already showing our music students. We are very excited about the wonderful opportunities we will have this year!

GCA Counseling News

Kicking off the year is grade-level classroom visits. This week we saw juniors in their service-learning classroom and move into 10th and 9th grade Academic Workshop classes. In addition, we are launching our school-wide tutoring program. If your student would like to earn Service Hours or needs counseling, have them email their counselor or stop by. We are already starting the match process. As we get available trained tutors, we can assign to a student in need.

This year the Alpha is split by the counselor as follows:

Ms. O’Brien

7th – A- L,

8 and 9th – A - K,

10th – A - L,

11th – A - J,

12th – A - K

Mrs. Raunig

7th – M- Z,

8 and 9th – L- Z,

10th – M - Z,

11th – K - Z,

12th – L- Z

Mental Health Counselor

If you are concerned about your child’s mental health or need family support, please don’t hesitate to contact me at nicoleta.alfaro@gilbertschools.net.

Take care of yourself and someone else,

Dan Hood


Gilbert Classical Academy