The Gilbert School E-News

September 2021

Dear Parents and Students:

It is an honor to serve as The Gilbert School’s Head of School in the picturesque Litchfield Hills here in Winsted, Connecticut. The Gilbert School is a unique and wonderful 7-12 comprehensive middle/high school.

I truly believe that educating your children is a collaborative process and it is my goal to promote that collaboration all in an effort for the benefit of the students at The Gilbert School. As we strive for excellence in our school, it is my hope that we chart our path forward in a purposeful and collaborative manner. We share in a mutual goal of providing an academically rigorous experience where all students are challenged at their level and leave The Gilbert School with fond memories and the skills and tools to be successful in their next journey. The only way for us to overcome the challenges we face in educating today’s children is to come together as a learning community and let ourselves be driven by the supposition that everything we do is not about what we teach, but about what our students learn. To do that, we must be willing to learn, grow, and evolve ourselves. There are several tenets that I strive to live and lead by they are what I call the Pillars of C.

The Pillars of 5C’s

  • Kindness/Compassion
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Consistency
  • Commitment to Excellence

We as leaders, educators, mentors, and adults must lead with kindness. It needs to be the bedrock of how we conduct ourselves. It is through leading by example that our students will see that kindness can lead the day.

No single institution more aptly serves as a symbol for a community's values than its schools. Therefore, it is incumbent upon district and school leaders to build collaborative partnerships with the community wherever possible.

Educators find their direction by collaborating with their peers to examine and analyze student work, and other data. The information gleaned from this examination and analysis is used to impact and direct future lessons for better student performance. Proud, confident, and effective educators feel directly responsible for student learning, and hold themselves accountable for their students' academic growth.

Raising and educating a child in the 21st Century requires a collaborative partnership between the family and the school. It is imperative that students, parents, and educators are linked through common goals and effective communication.

Trust with all stakeholders is built by consistency and transparency. The school and its personnel must strive to build and maintain trust with those that they serve. It is through consistent communication, teaching practices, and approaches where we as a learning community will grow and reach our goals of educating every child and preparing them for whatever comes after life at The Gilbert School.

Lastly, we as a staff are committed to excellence and providing the best education to your

I look forward to our collaborative partnership in the most important of endeavors… Education of your child.


Greg P. Shugrue

Head of School

New Faculty and Assignments

A new school year has started and I’m happy to report that we have had an exceptionally smooth opening. Students and staff have acclimated well and seem to have gotten back to the routine of school.

Congratulations to Mr. Patrick Cooke. Mr. Cooke is Department Chair of the Science department and teaches primarily the 9th graders that take Physical Science and has been named Gilbert School's Teacher of the Year! This is a well-deserved honor to a wonderfully dedicated teacher.

With any new school year comes change. Please join us in welcoming the following new teachers and Staff:

  • Samantha DesChamps - Main Office Receptionist

  • Judy O'Brien-Jones - Main Office Secretary

  • Stephanie Singleton - English

  • Connor Masten - English

  • Nikita Tarabara - English

  • Vanessa Zeskand - English

  • Tammy Johnson -Special Education

  • Lyndsey Bumci- Special Education

  • Jason Cerbone - Social Worker

  • Jeanine Affie - Math

  • Magdalena Kruk - Spanish

  • Jessica Pelletier - Spanish

The Gilbert School is a wonderful school that offers tremendous opportunities for our students in and out of the classroom. I hope to see you all out and about at the many exciting events to come this year. Here’s to a happy and successful school year!

Open House is Thursday, 9/9

This year’s Open House will be held on Thursday, September 9, 2021. In an effort to increase parent participation and make things less formal we are introducing a new and fun way to hold Open House. TGS will hold Open House BINGO. Here’s how Open House BINGO will work.

Directions: When a child’s parent/guardian arrives at school they will be given a copy of their child’s schedule and a BINGO card. The parent/guardian visits the various locations denoted on the BINGO card in the order of their choosing. Have your child’s teacher or the person at the designated location initial your BINGO card. Turn in your completed BINGO card to the main office at the end of the night for a chance to win the raffle prize. Have fun traveling around TGS and getting to know your child’s teachers and all the things that make TGS a special place for your child.

The evening will start at 6:00 p.m. in the Librbary for all parents/guardians of our seniors. This Senior Planning presentation will address preparing for life after TGS. (NOTE: Parents/guardians of seniors must attend the Senior Planning seminar in order to enter the raffle drawing)

Open House for all other parents/guardians will start at 7:00 p.m.

If you have more than one student at TGS you may choose to fill out more than one BINGO card.

We look forward to meeting you on Thursday, September 9th.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach me at

Or at 860-379-8521

PowerSchool Registration Instructions

Unsure how to set up your PowerSchool account? No problem! Follow these simple steps:

  1. Begin at The Gilbert School Webpage
  2. From the Parent dropdown menu, choose PowerSchool
  3. Click on the PowerSchool logo
  4. Click the create an account button
  5. Completely fill out the form

(The Access ID is your child’s student ID number, and the Access password is the first 8 letters of your child’s last name.)


  • At least 7 characters
  • At least one uppercase and one lowercase letter
  • At least one number
  • At least one special character (!,$,&,*, etc.)

Should you need assistance, please contact

Spirit Week & Homecoming

I've got spirit, how 'bout you?

It's time to show that Yellowjacket spirit! - Spirit Week will be the week of October 4 - 8 will be filled with dress-up days, class contests, and wall building! The Homecoming Court will be announced at the Homecoming Game versus Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby on Saturday, October 9 at 11:00 am.

TGS Clubs & Activities

What is Club & Activity Period?

The Gilbert School offers a special program of co-curricular, non-athletic clubs and activities that meet during the school day and/or after school. Once per month, the daily schedule is changed to offer an activity period during the school day Club & Activity Schedule. Our first Club and Activity Period will be on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 (B-Day).

Days before the Club and Activity Period a list of all clubs and activities will be posted throughout the school as well as discussed in Advisory for students to become familiar with what is being offered. On September 21st, the students will attend the club and activity period of their choosing. Our October Club & Activity Period will be on Thursday, October 21, 2021 (A Day). It will be on this day that the students will have the opportunity to try a different club and activity should they choose. On November 16, 2021(B-Day) student make their final selection and will remain in that club/activity for the remainder of the year.

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September Athletics News

All fall sports have started practicing and preparing for their first Berkshire League contest or Pequot League for Football. The student-athletes are all very excited to be practicing and working on their skills. Registration for fall sports will remain open until the 1st of September. If you are interested in joining any of the fall sports teams you must enroll soon on Family ID. Fall sports include the following:

HIGH SCHOOL - Boys & Girls Soccer, Boys & Girls Cross Country, Girls Volleyball, Cheer, Golf

MIDDLE SCHOOL - Boys & Girls Soccer, Boys & Girls Cross Country

The Fall contest season will begin with Yellowjacket golf taking on Regional on Sept 2nd, at Greenwoods Country Club here in Winsted. On Sept 9th. Boys Soccer will take on Litchfield at Walker Field also here in Winsted, while the girls will play Litchfield at their home field. Girls Volleyball will also have their first contest of the season playing the Terryville Roos in the Yellowjacket Hive (Main Gym).

Middle school sports will start the first week of September. They are very anxious to get going as well. The student-athletes, athletic department, and faculty are all looking forward to an energetic, fun, and exciting athletic season. We can’t wait to see you all there cheering on your student-athlete and the rest of the Yellowjacket team. Questions? Contact the Gilbert Director of Athletics at: or call 860 379-3721

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Grades 8-11 Students: PSATs are October 13

PSAT testing will take place in school on Wednesday, October 13th for all grade 8, freshmen, sophomore, and junior students. More information to follow. Registration for the PSAT is not required.

SENIORS & Parents: Post-Secondary Planning Event

Seniors and parents are invited to join the TGS Counseling Department for Senior Planning Night on Thursday, September 9 at 6:00 pm in the Library. The evening's seminar will focus on the college application process. Military and career education will also be briefly discussed.

GRADES 9-11: SAT & ACT Test Dates

In spring 2022, all junior students will be participating in the Connecticut SAT School Day here at The Gilbert School (date to be announced). However, any student (not just juniors!) can register online to take the SAT and/or to take the ACT throughout the year - as many times as you choose. Additional testing dates are listed below. Like anything else, the more you practice, the better you'll get!

*Please note that The Gilbert School is no longer a testing site and will not be hosting SAT testing on alternate dates.

GRADES 9-12: Upcoming Virtual College Fairs

It's never too early to start exploring college options! Hundreds of colleges and universities from the US and worldwide will be ready and waiting to talk with you at these upcoming NACAC Virtual College Fairs:

  • Sunday, Sept. 12: Signature Fair: 1-6 p.m. ET
  • Tuesday, Sept. 28: Northeastern US Fair: 4-8 p.m. ET
  • Sunday, Oct. 3 Signature Fair: 1-6 p.m. ET
  • Thursday, Oct. 14: Midwest US Fair: 5-9 p.m. ET
  • Sunday, Oct. 24: Signature Fair: 1-6 p.m. ET
  • Tuesday, Nov. 2: Arts & STEM Fair: 4-8 p.m. ET
  • Sunday, Nov. 14: Signature Fair: 1-6 p.m. ET

Don't miss these free, one-day events for high school students, transfer students, and families. Go to to see the list of participating colleges. Then log in on any fair date to attend Zoom sessions, text your questions, and demonstrate interest... all waithout leaving home. It's a great way to connect with hundreds of collegs in a short amount of time to learn about majors, scholarship, and more.


Khan Academy, in conjunction with College Board, is offering free customized SAT prep based on a student's performance on the PSAT. Generated SAT practice is tailored specifically to focus on those areas in which the student requires the most practice. Click on the button below to find out more information!

AP Students

Our AP courses are in full swing. Students completed summer work for each course and are already starting to progress through their rigorous college-level curriculum. Fees for the mandatory AP tests (required for the course) will be due to Mrs. Fiducia soon; listen for the announcements on when and where to turn in your payments. Those students who pass the test will be refunded money back as an incentive from Gilbert. Also, most colleges accept scores 3 and above for college credit (check specific university/college requirements for credit). Students who take AP courses in high school are proven to perform better academically in post-secondary programs than those who do not. If you have any questions about AP courses, please contact your school counselor.

For 2022 testing information and dates, please see the following link from College Board:

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From the Office of the W. L. Gilbert Trust International Program

By Dean of Admissions, Debra LaRoche Walls

It is with great joy that The Gilbert School will be joined by five new students from several new countries this fall. There will be a total of seventeen new and returning students who will be living in the residency hall located on the schools picturesque 120-acre campus under the guidance of Residential Coordinators Christina and David Rutherford and Samantha and Shayne Deschamps.

The five new students will be joined by two students Evan Zhao, grade 11 and Kevin Li, grade 12, both from China who began with Gilbert through the online program and will be attending classes for the first time. We welcome both Evan and Kevin to our school community. We are also grateful to have ten outstanding returning students who continued their studies with the online program while flight bans were taking place last year.

For new students to Gilbert, we are honored to have Richard Sebastian, grade 10 from Jakarta, Indonesia, Carlos Garcia, grade 10 from Monterrey, Mexico and Jhonatan Silveira, grade 11 and Luiza Magalhaes both from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Our fifth new student, Justin Chen, grade 10 is the brother of our recently graduated student, Peter Chen from China. This is the first time our program has had students from Brazil and Indonesia joining us and we wish all of the new students the very best as they begin their educational journey at The Gilbert School.

During the school year, they will be attending planned events each Saturday to visit a myriad of sight seeing ventures. In addition, the students are very interested in joining Gilbert’s soccer and basketball teams along with club and activity offerings to add to the fabric of the school. Several of the students have already joined the local YMCA.

Thank you for reaching out to welcome all of our new and returning international students to our Gilbert family. These children have all come many miles to learn, grow, and enjoy all that our community has to share and teach them. Let’s make their experience one that will be cherished and remembered for years to come.

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Dress Code

Now that school is in full session it's important to remember the TGS has a standard for acceptable dress and grooming. In order to promote a positive learning environment, The Gilbert School supports these standards for safe and appropriate student dress; nothing in this policy is intended to infringe upon students’ freedom of expression or their religious beliefs.

  1. Headwear: All headwear will be removed prior to entering school and must be placed in the student’s locker or where outer garments are stowed for the entire school day.
  2. Blouses/Shirts: Blouses/shirts should be constructed so that theywill not allow exposure of any portion of the waist, hips, midriff, or exposure of the chest.
  3. Skirts/Shorts/Dresses/Pants: Skirts, shorts, and dresses should have hemlines that are mid-thigh. (At TGS, mid-thigh is defined as: while holding arms down at one’s side, the mid-thigh is at the end of the finger-tips.). With safety as our primary concern, pants should be worn to stay close to the waist; undergarments should be completely covered.
  4. Outdoor Garments: All outdoor garments will be placed in the students’ locker immediately upon entering the school and will remain there for the entire school day.
  5. Shoes: Safe footwear must be worn at all times.
  6. Attire: Attire that displays indecent language, pictures or symbols that contain sexual references, or that advertise or encourage the use of drugs, tobacco products, alcoholic beverages are prohibited. Messages of violence or gang allegiance are prohibited. Pajamas, slippers, blankets and other lounging attire are not allowed.
  7. Accessories: Students may not wear accessories that could cause injury to others or that are substantially or materially disruptive of the education process.
  8. Flags of any type may not be worn or carried around school.

The school administration and faculty are responsible for the implementation of this policy. Exceptions to the above dress standards will be considered for medical reasons, special events and cultural beliefs or to promote school spirit as determined by the school principal or his/her designee. Students and/or sponsors wishing to request special exceptions must have permission from the school administration prior to the activity. When the above stated standards have not been met, any or all of the following will occur:

  1. Individual counseling;
  2. Sending the student home to change and return to school;
  3. Parental conferences;
  4. Suspension for insubordination (refusal to change and/or follow the directions of the administration/designee).

Reference: Policy 5132

Connecticut Laws for New Drivers

A reminder for those students who drive to school: with driving, comes new responsibilities. Connecticut State laws state that newly licensed individuals, for the first year of driving, are not allowed to have any passengers with the exception of immediate family members. We ask that you not come on campus with other students in your car. You risk losing your license and you risk losing the privilege to drive on campus. For more information on teen driving restrictions, visit the Connecticut DMV website.

Information for Families on the Advance Child Tax Credit

The Internal Revenue Service needs the help of Connecticut school districts in publicizing IRS Advance Child Tax Credit payments. Advance Child Tax Credit payments, up to $250 per month per qualifying child ages 6 – 17 and up to $300 per month per qualifying child under age 6, started in July and will go through December 2021. Most taxpayers will receive these payments automatically. However qualifying families who did not file a 2019 or 2020 tax return must either file those returns or use the IRS non-filer sign up tool to receive Advance Child Tax Credit payments. Please share these flyers (in English and Spanish) with families to ensure qualifying families receive this information and support.

Yearbooks Are On Sale Now!

2022 High School Yearbooks are on sale now!

Early Bird Pricing - $55 until Friday September 17th

Fall Pricing - $65 until November 30th

Prices increase to $75 on December 1st

To order High School Yearbooks: visit and enter Gilbert as the school name or contact Mrs. Wood at

  • Senior Parents and Guardians - Personal yearbook ads are available until November 1st! Personal ads for your students are a great way to support them and show them how proud you are of all their accomplishments! Ads can be purchased and created on the yearbook website, or you can submit physical ads and payments to Mrs. Wood.

Network Use Agreements

Please bring in your signed network usage agreements as soon as possible. This will allow students to receive their Chromebooks quickly before or after school, or during advisory. Completed forms should be submitted to the IT Department. If students need another copy please visit the Main Office before/after school, or during a study hall.

Senior Portraits

The next round of senior portraits is coming up on September 29th and 30th! Be sure to schedule your appointment (or see Mrs. Wood for assistance). Students should also start thinking about which senior memories they would like to include in their senior section of the yearbook. Email with any questions.

  • Scheduling links and personal ID codes were sent home via email from Prestige and Mrs. Wood. If you have any trouble scheduling your photo, please contact Mrs. Wood. All seniors will choose two pictures for the yearbook: a headshot and a more informal portrait for their memory page. Seniors, please remember to login and select your two photos after your proofs arrive!

Healthy Food Guidelines & Free Breakfast/Lunch for All Students

Parents, click on the button below to view the parent letter from TGS Food Service Director Lynn Metcalf relative to Free Breakfast and Free Lunch for all students, and other important information for school year 2021-22.

Free Covid-19 Vaccination Clinic

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Important Dates to Remember

No School

9/6 - Labor Day

Open House


Early Dismissal

9/15 - all students will be dismissed at 12:16 pm

Activity Day


Senior Picture Days

9/29, 9/30, 10/1

Spirit Week

10/4 - 10/8

Homecoming Game

10/9 vs. Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby 11:00 AM

Underclassmen Picture Days

11/1 & 11/5 (More information to come!)

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