Gator Bites

November 14, 2022

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Upcoming Events at Gateway!

Saturday, November 19 10am-3pm- Littleville Holiday Bazaar- Come join us for a fun-filled day of crafts, food, and community building in the halls of Littleville Elementary School. Events for this day will include: crafts, a variety of vendors with items for sale, a silent auction, raffles, a bake sale and baked potatoes and homemade hot soups for lunch!

Wednesday, Nov. 23-Half Day of School

Monday, Nov. 28 MS/HS Picture retake day

Tuesday, Nov. 29 Gateway Education Foundation Giving Day Help the Gateway Education Foundation fund innovative and enhancing programs submitted by Gateway staff by giving to their annual fund. The link is in the story below.

Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 9:15am- Senior Citizen Brunch and Concert (see invitation above)

Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 6:30pm- Middle School Concert and Jazz Band as well as Chorus Concert

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

Friday, Dec. 23-Half Day of School

Ninth Grade, Class of 2026 Fundraiser

The class of 2026 will be selling Mason Jar Cookie Mixes and Chex Grams at the Littleville Craft Fair this weekend. The Jars are self explanatory, but the Chex Grams are a new concept! People will be able to order a message to be delivered to a high school student in school on the day before winter break. The message will be fixed to a bag of white chocolate covered Chex mix.

Class of 2025 Fundraiser

Help support the class of 2025 by order from Fun Pasta. There is pasta shaped as different sports, animals, college logos, and more. They also have soups, chilis, holiday gifts and gourmet packs. Boy, is it fun to shop and Fun Pasta! Click here to order:

COVID Test Kit Distribution

This year, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is providing COVID test kits to all students and staff before the holiday break. Test kits will be distributed prior to Thanksgiving break. Students and staff are encouraged to use their test before returning from a break, but they can be used anytime. Test kits expire in January of 2023. S

Middle School Wright Flight Program: students get ready to literally TAKE OFF

Twenty seven 7th and 8th grade students took part in the Western Massachusetts Wright Flight Aviation I Program this fall. This is a 10 week program that meets for one hour each week. In addition to classroom instruction from a variety of pilots and experts in the aviation field, students took two field trips. The first trip was to the New England Air Museum to learn about the past and present in aviation. The second trip was to Advance Manufacturing, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, and to visit the The 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes Air National Guard Base where they got up close to the F15 Eagle Fighter Jet. The program culminates with each student getting "behind the control stick" of a real plane and flying over Westfield (the flight instructor is there too😊)!

The mission of the Western Massachusetts Wright Flight Program is to educate students from grades 7 through high school level in the history of aviation, its future, the significance of aviation in the development of technology, its global impact, and the many careers in the aviation industry. The program emphasizes the importance of setting goals, developing plans to attain those goals, and understanding the need to develop skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. The program also seeks to recruit and integrate students of diversity into the aviation industry.

We hope to offer another class in the spring to both middle and high school students as well as offer Aviation II next year.

The Gateway APP is live again!!

With the transition to a new website earlier this year, we temporarily lost the APP connected to our district. It's back, and it's now live! The app will give you immediate access to Gateway news, calendar and contact information as well as lunch menus and notifications from the school (weather delays, school cancellations etc).

To enable notifications on your phone, click on the ‘more’ button at the bottom right of the screen. Click on the ‘Notifications’ text at the top of the menu. The app will ask you if you would like to enable notifications; please select ‘allow’. Once you have allowed notifications, simply slide the button next to ‘Snow days/delays’ to the right and notifications will be sent to your phone.

If you have any questions, please contact the Technology department at

You can locate the APP by following one of the links below:



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Elementary, Middle School and High School Bands are Thriving

Elementary Concert Band: Students at Gateway's Elementary Schools can start band in the 5th grade. These students are learning how to make sound on their instruments with Mr. Goodwin, our elementary band teacher. Basic instruments like the clarinet, saxophone, flute, trumpet, etc. are introduced during this year.

Middle School Concert Band: The 6th grade band is learning and expanding. The 6th grade band members are able to branch out to try new and more complex instruments like saxophone, bass clarinet, and french horn. Our 6th grade band members are learning to listen to each other while continuing to learn new notes as as well as reading more complex music.

Our 7th & 8th grade band is continuing to grow! These students are working on more complex pieces, transitions from note-to-note and more advanced note sequences. The 8th graders have been great peer mentors to the 7th grade band members.

Middle School Jazz Band: In addition to the concert band, we have a middle school Jazz Band. Typically this has been available for seventh and eighth grade band students. However, this year, many of our 6th grade band members have joined as well. Our MS Jazz Band is twice as large as they were last year!

High School Jazz Band and Concert Band: Our high school bands rehearse every other day and and working extremely hard on very challenging music that will be played at the Senior Citizen Brunch as well as our Winter Concert (see below for dates and times).

A huge CONGRATULATIONS goes out band members, Sean Forgue and Evan Forgue. These two band members auditioned for Massachusetts Music Educators Senior District Music Festival's Concert Band. This Concert Band features high school musicians from around the Western Massachusetts and is equivalent to an All Star Band from Western Mass. Both Sean and Evan earned a spot in the Western Mass Senior District Band. Congratulations again to Sean and Evan!

Last week, all of the Band students were fortunate to be able to listen to and watch a special performance of the Reed Quintet from University of Massachusetts. They came specifically to visit and perform for our Gateway band students.

Upcoming Concerts:

* Our 7th - 12th grade bands and choruses will be performing at the Dec. 7th Senior Citizens Brunch and Concert at 10:00 in the Gateway MS/HS Cafeteria.

* Mark your calendars for Dec. 13th at 6:30 pm. On this night, our 5th - 8th grade concert bands, jazz band and chorus will all be performing at the Gateway Performing Arts Center in our high school. There will also be a bake sale and poinsettia raffle at the concert.

* Mark our calendars again for Dec. 19th at 6:30pm. The HS Jazz Band, Chorus and Concert Band will perform along with a special staff/alumni quartet performance. Again, there will be a bake sale and poinsettia raffle at the concert.

All are welcome to all events, there is no charge

Chester 5th Grade Poets Getting Published

Last year, Ms. Heather Cabral's fourth grade students wrote poems and submitted them to Pine Tree Poetry Publishing Company. Recently they learned that four of the students, Lyla D’Astous, Haylee Hussey, Steven Savoy and Ronan Brady who are now in fifth grade will have their poems officially published in this year's Pine Tree Poetry Collection. Congratulations to these young poets!!

On the GRSD fields

CONGRATULATIONS to 9th grader Alexandra Henrichon. Alex qualified for the Division 3 State Championships and will be racing this weekend at the state finals at Ft. Devens. Good Luck!!

Winter Sports Signups just went live! Our wrestling and basketball coaches are getting geared up for a great season. All sign-ups are online on our Gateway Regional School District website. The sign up deadline is Nov. 18th and practices will start on Nov. 28 Go to the site, click on Departments, click on Athletics and you'll find the link. It's right here as well:

Link to the Winter Sports Calendar of Games/Matches: Come and support our Gators!!! Here is the link to our Winter Sports Schedule:

MS/HS Counseling Corner

Please click here for the latest newsletter from our Counseling Department:

Holiday Help Boot Drive a Success

The Holiday Help Boot Drive by students from Gateway's National Honor Society was held last weekend and raised over $2500 to help Hilltown Families over the holidays. The campaign is still live. If you'd like to donate please click here:

Gateway Education Foundation - Funding educational endeavors that enhance and inspire our students at Gateway regional School District

The Gateway Education Foundation (GEF)is a non-profit organization that funds projects/programs/activities designed by Gateway teachers and staff that are supplemental to their curriculum of study. Members of the GEF include current teachers, community members, school committee members, parents, former students and school administration. Staff at the four Gateway Schools ( Littleville Elementary, Chester Elementary, Gateway Middle School and Gateway High School) can write a Funds For Learning Grant to the GEF to get funding. The GEF, looking at its finances goes through all grant applications to decide funding.

Recent projects included:

- Kindergarteners gardening and hatching baby chicks

- Middle and High School students developing new skills through Broadway performance workshops and summer music camp.

-Brand new books and supplies making it into the hands of students during the pandemic

-Virtual field trips delighting and informing students when regular field trips were off limits during the pandemic

-Weekly subscription to Weekly News for Littleville's second grade students. Students thoroughly enjoy this "magazine" that includes many interesting topics, current news and online access to even more activities and extensions.

Please help the GEF continue to fund enhancing and enriching opportunities for students by participating in Giving Tuesday on November 29. Information is below:

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Gear Up for the Holidays

Gator Gear from the littlest Gators to adult sized Gators is on sale! Click here to see the many, many options and sales going on in preparation for the holidays!

Snow Day Process

This week, Superintendent Smidy sent out a notification to families about how a snow day or delayed start is determined. You can view that information here.

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:

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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 Huntington Library Events:

The Huntington Library is thrilled about the start of their Rocket STEM Program! Please see the flyer above and call (413) 667-3506 to reserve your future astronaut a seat!

Upcoming Blandford Library Events:

Mark your calendars for Dec. 3rd when the Blandford Public Library will have their Annual Library Cookie Party. where there will be fun activities or everyone For the younger kids the party will run from 10:00am - 12 noon. The younger kids will be decorating Gingerbread cookies, reading a book and doing a craft. This is a drop-in event. In addition, teenagers there will be Gingerbread House Decorating (must RSVP one week in advance) from 12 noon - 1pm and the Adult Cookie Party (must register one week in advance, bring 2 dozen cookies to share and your recipe) will run from 2pm - 3pm.

Annual Community Coat Drive The annual Hilltown Coat Drive will be benefiting It Takes and Village and the Hilltown Community Family Center. This drive was started in 2012 by Rachel LeBarron and is being continued by her younger sister Bella Lebarron who lives in the Hilltowns. There will be a box in the Gateway Regional HS/MS lobby for the coat donations.

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,