GCA Weekly Update

1/8/2021

Hello Spartan Community,

I hope you have had a good start to 2021. We have started the school year with minimal incidents and have stayed healthy. Hopefully, you have heard we are in hybrid through January. In this alternating hybrid schedule, you simply go to school every other day. If you were at school on Friday, you would stay home on Monday and vice versa. Every day a student stays home, they must log in to Buzz. Next weeks schedule for in-person is -

  • Monday, Jan. 11th - A - L

  • Tuesday, Jan. 12th - M - Z

  • Wednesday, Jan. 13th - A - L

  • Thursday, Jan. 14th - M - Z

  • Friday, Jan. 15th. - A - L

Please continue to monitor your child’s health before sending them to school. The way to keep school a safe place is to work together to keep COVID from getting in. That is one of the great aspects of our community, you are great to work with, and we can trust that you do your part.

Character Strong

Empathy is a topic that is central to SEL. In this week’s lesson, we kick off a multi-lesson focus on Empathy, Kindness, and Compassion. As an introduction, this lesson focuses on defining and helping students understand what empathy is. We are going to break empathy into three parts: Sharing, Thinking and Caring. Caring refers to what is often called Empathic Concern. It helps someone go beyond feeling or understanding what someone else is going through and motivates kindness or compassionate action. Our dare will be choosing a difference we have the most challenging time relating to and finding three facts about that person or group of people who might identify with that difference.

We STILL need Judges for the GCA Science Fair.

The 2021 GCA Science and Engineering Fair will be on February 12th, and it will be virtual this year. We will need between 20 and 30 judges to make this event happen. You will be able to do the judging on your computer at home. The only requirements are a college degree and an interest in helping these amazing GCA students. If you want to be a judge, contact Mr. Gillman at erik.gillman@gilbertschools.net.

Applications for New Students next year.

Applications for the 2021-22 School year is now open. We encourage siblings of current students to get their applications in now.


New Student Informational Meeting - Virtual

It is here. Pass this link onto prospective families.

AP Exam Payment Reminder

  • Payment is due by Jan. 25, 2021

  • AP Exam Fees will be $95 per exam.

  • Exams can be paid online through InTouch, as well as through the Cybrary (cash, check, tax credit).

  • If a student decides not to take the exam, a $40.00 fee will be charged.

  • Students who pay with tax credit will not receive a refund (It is a donation). Tax credit payments are due Jan 8, 2021.

  • Fee reductions are available for those who qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch Program. See your counselor for more information and/or Apply here: http://gilbertschools.schoollunchapp.com/.

  • Registration and payment for a 2nd semester course will be set for a April 26, 2021 deadline.

Parent volunteers are NEEDED to help with Teacher Appreciation lunches.

Please contact Michelle Sorensen ASAP if you’d like to be added to her list of volunteers. You can contact her via email or text.” Mnsorensen000204@gmail.com or 480-789-2195.

GCA Good Things

Eugenia Trakal is a Flinn Scholar Semi-Finalist. Her Finalist interview is coming in two weeks. Way to go Eugenia!

GCA PTO Information

GCA PTO is ready for YOU!!! The GCA PTO General Meeting will be held on the third Tuesday, every month, at 6 pm in room 303. We need your support to make our kids' GCA experience a positive and successful one. If you haven't already, please become a GCA PTO member by clicking HERE. As a GCA PTO member, you will be able to vote on how and what the PTO does and how funds are allocated. Get involved! Our GCA kids need you!

We can't wait to see you there and go over all the wonderful things we have planned for this school year!

***Following Gilbert Public Schools COVID-19 guidelines, all that goes on school property must cover their nose and mouth with a mask. You will not be able to attend the GCA PTO meeting if you are not wearing a mask.


Counseling Updates:

  1. Resources: Need help, try this link for the main site to several local organizations.

Community Information and Referral Services

Mental Health Counselor

Parenting during the Covid 19 Pandemic has been remarkably challenging. School closures, changes in schedules, lost opportunities, and reduced time for socialization have taken their toll on teen mental health. Many young people are struggling with feelings of anxiety and sadness. I often receive emails from parents asking how they can tell the difference between the typical sadness that can often present during adolescent development and a diagnosis of depression and how they may better support their child during this unique crisis.

Experiencing some feelings of sadness and worry is a normal part of human existence. Right now, our young people may be experiencing many different things that may make them experience these feelings. Due to social distancing measures, they may be feeling isolated from their friends, missing their normal routines and activities, and worrying if things will ever return to normal. Experiencing feelings of sadness and concern makes sense right now. Depression and severe anxiety are different from normal feelings of sadness and worry, not only in intensity and duration but also in their symptoms.

Symptoms to look for if you are concerned if your teen struggles with depression/ anxiety include physical complaints such as stomach aches and headaches, changes in appetite and sleep schedule, and social withdrawal. Other symptoms are isolation from parents and peers, academic decline, substance use, and an increase in negative self-statements, such as “I’m stupid!” or “I can’t do anything right!”. Most young people are likely to display one or two of these behaviors at some point throughout adolescence. However, parents should be concerned if these changes have occurred rapidly, are happening more consistently, or occurring all at once.

The good news is that you are not alone and that there are many effective treatments for depression and anxiety in teens. If you are experiencing concern for your child’s mental health, please feel free to contact me at nicoleta.alfaro@gilbertschools.net.

Make it a good weekend,

Mr. Hood