The Middle View

A Publication of Garden City Middle School - October 2022

📌Principal's Message

Greetings Garden City Middle School Families!

As the leaves change and the weather grows brisker, things remain warm and lively at the middle school! We have just passed the midway point of our first marking period, and it's a great time to check in on how things are going. We have some mechanisms in place at the middle school to share with families what we're seeing—progress reports are recently released, NWEA scores are posted on the portal, and student grades are frequently updated on the portal, as well. But that's not the full story of our students and so newsletters like this one, so carefully cultivated and artfully crafted by Ms. Cafaro, and our other outreaches through ParentSquare are a great way for our families to get a taste of middle school life. Please take a careful look!

We view our relationship with our families as a true partnership and want to make sure that we're sharing what we're seeing and doing. We're also so deeply interested in hearing from our families! When you have insights about your child(ren) that you feel are valuable or that you feel may impact the way we connect, please, don't hesitate to share! Communication is key!

Connections are key too—and we are always looking to find ways to make those strong links with our students. It's early in the school year, but we have a lot of activities that are starting to gain steam. Auditions for the Spring musical will begin soon—and even if your child has never—not even once—been on a stage, they can audition to find their best way into the group! The fall athletic season is ending but the Winter I season is just around the corner—and there are so many great clubs to join! Each of these moments—the play, the team, the club—is a great way for your child to meet other similarly-interested children and staff members. Yes, it's early in the year, but once we head into the colder months, it can be difficult to foster the motivation to try something new. Let's try something new today!

So, things are starting to gain speed and we're having a wonderful time. Let's make sure that we're sharing with each other what we're seeing and experiencing—let's make sure we're taking advantage of the amazing opportunities before us—let's have a great fall and let's connect again on the other side of Thanksgiving!

⭐November 2022

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📌Spectator Policy at Athletic Events

Dear Parents,

The fall sports season is approaching playoffs. We appreciate everyone's support and attendance at athletic events. I would like to communicate the Nassau County Interscholastic Spectator Code of Conduct for athletic events:

  • Spectators are expected to refrain from using noisemakers (i.e. cow bells, horns, whistles). The use of noisemakers is prohibited at all events.

  • Spectators are expected to conform to accepted standards of good sportsmanship and behavior.

  • Spectators are expected to respect officials, coaches and players and extend all courtesies to them.

  • Spectators are expected to refrain from the use of crude, racist or abusive language or gestures with players, opponents, officials, or spectators.

  • Spectators are expected to obey the regulations of the school building and grounds.

  • Spectators are expected to understand that schools are responsible for the conduct of their respective spectators whether at home or away.

As always, we appreciate your understanding and cooperation. We look forward to seeing everyone cheering on the hard work and dedication of the student-athletes and their coaches. Go Trojans!

Ed Ramirez
Director for Physical Education,
Health Education & Athletics

📌Morning Routine and Dismissal

Proper supervision is critically important, and we want to make sure that all of our students are engaged, safe, and supervised early in the morning. The following process is in place for the beginning of the school day:

  • At 7:30 a.m. for students looking to participate in a teacher-led activity (extra-help, clubs, intramural sports);

  • At 8:05 a.m. for any other students. Students who are not attending a teacher-led activity must report directly to the cafeteria upon arrival.

If you are picking your child up from school, please be sure to collect him/her at a curb location. The parking lot is a dangerous place for students to meet parents as there are many cars moving during dismissal.

📌Beverages at GCMS

During the school day, hydration is important. Our students are active throughout their time in the building, and we want to make sure that everyone is taking good care of themselves. Please consider sending your child to school with a water bottle so that s/he can have water whenever they need it. Certainly, we have access to water fountains, too, but having a water bottle makes things easier. Additionally, we ask that parents not send their children to school with other beverages to carry throughout the day. Juices and the like are welcome in our cafeteria but coffee or energy drinks create significant disruptions to our learning–and often quite a bit of mess–and so we ask for your support in limiting beverages to just water for consumption during the learning day.

📌Breakfast and Lunch Menus

Find links to the breakfast and lunch menus on both the GCMS homepage and in the Parent's Directory under “Lunch at GCMS." Moving forward, monthly menus will be sent home via Parent Square.

📌Homework Help Club

The Homework Help Club meets in rooms 101 and 119 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from

3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. This is a great opportunity for any student to come and spend time with some of our fabulous teachers to help navigate challenging homework situations. Sentence structure going real bad? Area of a circle not quite a piece of pi for you yet? Maybe everything in Spanish class is all Greek to you. Whatever the problem, there is a solution at the Homework Club!

📌Order Your Yearbook!

It's never too early to order your copy of the 2022-2023 Garden City Middle School Yearbook, Spearhead!

📌Student Council Food Drive

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📌Parent Square Communication

The Garden City School District now uses ParentSquare for school communication, primarily with email, text, and app notifications. Here’s what you can do with ParentSquare:
  • Receive messages from the school via email, text or app notification

  • Choose to receive information as it comes or all at once with a daily digest at 6 p.m.

  • Communicate in your preferred language

  • Comment on school postings to engage with your school community

  • Direct message teachers, staff and other parents

  • Participate in group messages

  • Sign up for parent-teacher conferences

ParentSquare automatically generates an account for each parent, using a preferred email address and phone number. We encourage parents to access their accounts so they can download the mobile app and update their preferences on when and how they are notified. View the one-pager below for quick tips on how to manage ParentSquare notifications.

For more information about ParentSquare, view the ParentSquare Parent Webinar Recordings presented by our technology team.

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📌SCOPE Winter Enrichment Program

The SCOPE Winter Enrichment Program program will run on Saturdays from January 7 to March 18, 2023 at Stratford Avenue School and is open to all students in the district. There are a variety of classes for everyone!
Register for Winter Enrichment

See course catalogue and register.

🏫 In & Around GCMS

🧡Unity Day!

On Wednesday, October 19, 2022, Garden City Middle School celebrated Unity Day. During this national event, which was created by the Pacer Bully Prevention Center, students had the opportunity to engage in a variety of activities to promote a positive and inclusive school culture. The day started with a huge staff and student meet and greet with live music performed by marching band students. The Anti-Bullying Club gave out orange bracelets as they cheered each student’s arrival to school. During the day, students learned about this year’s 30 Days of Kindness Challenge, played Trivia during HomeBase, competed in Upstander Idol, signed a pledge, and listened to a presentation on the school’s GC Cares Community Service Program. Each grade attended two assemblies. One was by renowned author Jen Calonita and the other was by the District Attorney's office presentation, S.T.O.P. Then Send. Hundreds of posters, written in a variety of different world languages, were proudly displayed throughout the halls of Garden City Middle School. This year’s Unity Day celebration was truly a joint effort of adults and students coming together to help prevent bullying.

⭐New York Times Best Selling Author, Jen Calonita, Visits GCMS!

Jen Calonita is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of more than thirty books for teens and middle graders. Her books have sold more than a million copies and have been translated into 15 languages.

As part of Unity Day 2022, students had the opportunity to hear author Jen Calonita share her experiences with finding her voice as a writer. Ms. Calonita told the students that she always loved to write. She started writing in elementary school and never stopped. She wrote for her school journal, the school newspaper and eventually became a teen reporter! Her stories are drawn from experiences she had in her own life, especially what her life was like as a teen.

Read one of Ms. Calonita's A Fairy Tale Reform School short stories, "Jax of All Trades."

⭐GC Cares Program

On Unity Day, your children were given an introduction to the school's GC Cares Program. Each year, students are encouraged to earn at least 10 hours of community service. Hours should be logged on these forms from October 19, 2022, Unity Day, through April 28, 2023, Pay It Forward Day. Completed forms should be dropped off in the main office.

🚀Student Spaceflight Experiment Program

On October 19, 2022, our awesome 8th grade Student Space Experiment Team, Bridget Coviello, Isabelle DeNoto, Samantha Racich and Elsie Ross participated in a video conference with the experts who designed the space mini-lab they used for their project. During the conference, the team loaded their samples into the mini-labs for the flight and ground experiments. Today, the spaceflight mini-lab was sent for its final preparation for the launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida while control mini-labs were set up in the classroom. In addition to our students' experimental mini-labs, the two Flight Mission Patches that were drawn by Maggie Rogers (6th grade) and Sophia Cresciullo (8th grade) will also be flown to the International Space Station (ISS). The SpaceX-26, which will carry our students’ microgravity experiment and Flight Patches to the ISS, is scheduled to launch on November 18, 2022. However, launch dates are often shifted. We will keep you informed of the launch date the moment we know it, so we all can watch our students’ experiments and artwork go to space to orbit the Earth!

Picture inset and below: Space Mini-Labs with Students’ Flight and Control Experiments and their Set-up; October 19, 2022

⭐Kindness Counts!

Students are nominated for the “Kindness Counts” Award when they are caught in the act of committing a random act of kindness.

Congratulations to September's recipients: Aaron Li (not present in group picture), Jason Theodosopoulos, Gavin Macchio, Claire Arendt, Ashlyn Tarr, Fiona Bailey, Tegan Daughney (not present for group picture), Anna Padala, Emily Dombrowski, Fiona McCartney, Corey Ellis , Jacob Sierra , Nico Davi , Ethan Lo, Madelyn Gebhard, Kate Esposito, Sadie Brantuk, Molly Cannizzaro, Edward Wisell, Sofia Klocek, Anthony Grego, Eloise Pizzi, Emmett Mele, Cooper Glick, Gavin Sanz

⭐German Schultüten Fun

In the 6th grade German classes, the students created "Schultüten," which is a traditional cone- shaped container that students in Germany receive on their first day of school in first grade. The "Schultüten" is filled with back-to-school goodies like pencils, crayons and treats to celebrate the child's first day of school.

⭐Musical Auditions




Auditions are about to begin!

Auditions for the Spring musical are being held on November 7, 9, 15, and 17. Interested students should sign up via SignUpGenius on the Musical Google Classroom page.

The Music Box Players will present Disney's Descendants at Garden City Middle School on March 16-18, 2023 under the direction of Mrs. Kristen Aguilo and vocal direction of Mrs. Nancy Menges.

Disney’s Descendants introduces audiences to The Isle of the Lost, home to the daughters and sons of the world’s worst villains, about as far from a fairy tale as you can get. But for Mal, Evie, Jay, and Carlos—the children of Maleficent, The Evil Queen, Jafar, and Cruella De Vil, it is home! These villains’ kids have learned to survive on the challenging streets of the island to which their families have been banished for all time. Meanwhile, in the nearby shimmering kingdom of Auradon, the children of the most regal of royals from a Who’s Who of famous fairy tales enjoy a life of privilege and prestige. But when Ben, the son of Belle and her Beast (and soon-to-be heir to the Auradon throne) optimistically decides to open the barrier and invite exchange students to join Auradon Prep School, will it usher in a new era of acceptance, or spell certain disaster? Based on the runaway-hit Disney Channel Original Movie musical, this spectacular NEW stage production will feature many of your favorite showstoppers…AND the talented students of Garden City Middle School showcasing their song & dance skills LIVE! on stage!

⭐65th Annual Steuben Day Parade

On Saturday, September 17, 2022, Garden City Middle School and Garden City High School German language students marched in the 65th Annual German-American Steuben Day Parade in New York City. The students, and their teacher, Frau Rupes, as well as teacher chaperones marched up 5th Avenue from 67th to 86th Street.

The parade was named after Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, a Prussian-born General who served under General George Washington in the American Revolutionary War. It is held every year on the third Saturday in September and was founded in 1957 by German-American immigrants who wanted to keep the traditions of their homeland alive. The parade is an annual celebration of the great achievements of German, Austrian, and Swiss immigrants in the United States and has grown into the largest event of its kind in the United States.

The Steuben Parade brings together the entire German-American community. This includes marching bands, musical groups, costume weavers, and representatives of various clubs and organizations wearing their traditional German costumes or Trachten. The parade honors one or more Grand Marshals who are either American citizens with a German background or German citizens with a distinct relationship to America. After the parade, the Garden City students and their chaperones enjoyed ice cream treats outside the Guggenheim Museum and visited the Ancient Playground in Central Park. A fun time was had by all!

🎨Mrs. Biondi’s Art Corner

The Art Club has been divided into two sections. Please visit Mrs. Biondi's room (246) to find out when your section meets, or visit Mrs. Biondi's webpage. It's not too late to join, and enrollment is open all year!

Artist Tip of the Month: Painting A Still Life

Try painting a still life with three or less objects. Choose objects you like. It's difficult to give them the attention they deserve if you're bored by the objects. Choose one dominant object to be your focal point. Everything else should relate to that object. Once you've chosen several possible objects, try them in a variety of positions.

Light can greatly enhance or alter a still life. Try out different kinds of lighting: a single light source, colored light, dim lighting; light from above, below or from one side. Use highlights and shadows as a dynamic part of your design. Make preliminary sketches of the objects under different light to better understand how each relates to the others. This helps you construct a good composition!

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint,

and that voice will be silenced."

~Vincent Van Gogh

🍎PTA Meetings

We are saving a seat for you at our PTA meetings!

PTA meetings provide parents with school updates from our principal and teachers, as well as from our guest speakers. The meetings are a great way to learn what is going on in and around school.

Upcoming Middle School PTA Meetings:

Wednesday, November 16, 2022
7:30 p.m. - Virtual

Thursday, January 12, 2023
9:15 a.m. Location: GCMS

Wednesday, February 8, 2023
7:30 p.m. Location: GCMS

Tuesday, March 14, 2023
9:15 a.m.- Joint MS/ HS PTA Meeting Location: GCHS

Wednesday, April 19, 2022
7:30 p.m.- Location: GCMS

🍎2022 - 2023 Reflections

Theme: Show Your Voice

DEADLINE: All entries must be submitted no later than November 1, 2022. Reflections' drop off boxes have been placed in each school building.

Questions please email: For more information visit the PTA website.

🍎School Photos

Photo Make-Up day for grades 6-8 is Friday, November 4, 2022.

Click here for additional information about school photos

🍎General Membership Meeting

Topic: Tackling Eating Issues: Taking the Stress out of Meal Times

Date: Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Time: 7 p.m.

Location: Virtual Meeting

Our guest speaker is Allison Schear, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst since 2006. She has her master's degree in special education and general education from Touro College and is a certified special education teacher (B-2). Allison has worked with individuals of all different ages ranging from early childhood through adulthood. Previously, she served as the clinical director for an agency serving over 70 teens and adults with Autism. Allison joined the Helping Hands Family in June of 2021 as a Lead Behavior Analyst.

Click here to register.

🍎ZUMBA CLASS (Grades 5-7)

Date: Tuesday, November 8, 2022
Time: 11:00 a.m.- 11:50 a.m.
Location: St. Paul's Cluett Hall

When registering, please include the name and age of your student. The fee is $25 per child.

Cash or check will be collected the day of the class. For a free class, proof of GC SEPTA membership will be required.

Classes are brought to us by Backyard Players & Friends (BYP), an inclusive, arts-based community program that works to give every person a space to share ideas and experience openness, joy, and creativity. BYP believes that through inclusion there is diversity and strength. The program seeks unity without uniformity and diversity without fragmentation.

For more information, visit our website.

🍎Theater Games Class (Grades 6-8)

Date: Friday, November 11, 2022

Time: 11:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

Location: St. Paul's Cluett Hall

When registering, please include the name and age of your student. The fee is $25 per child.

Cash or check will be collected the day of the class. For a free class, proof of GC SEPTA membership will be required.

Classes are brought to us by Backyard Players & Friends (BYP), an inclusive, arts-based community program that works to give every person a space to share ideas and experience openness, joy, and creativity. BYP believes that through inclusion there is diversity and strength. The program seeks unity without uniformity and diversity without fragmentation.

For more information, visit our website.

Support Everyone - Join SEPTA today!

Our mission is to ensure a quality education for all students. SEPTA collaborates with parents, administration, and teachers to advocate for each and every student.

📚Garden City Public Library

🧡Community Service Opportunities

Take advantage of the wonderful community service opportunities at the Garden City Public Library! Garden City Middle School students are encouraged to earn at least 10 hours of community service. Hours should be logged on the GC Cares forms from October 19, 2022, Unity Day, through April 28, 2023, Pay It Forward Day. Completed forms should be dropped off in the main office.
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