Jaguar News

Friday, November 20, 2020

Gentry Families,

If there was ever a time to celebrate Thanksgiving, it would be this year. Our country has faced a pandemic, a social movement, and an election within a span of 8 months. As I said at the beginning of the year, the way our children view what’s going on in the world is often shaped by the adults in their life. I think it’s critical we talk to our children about the realities of what’s going on, but also have balance in those discussions. I know it’s a cliche to discuss what we’re thankful for at Thanksgiving, but I do think this year it means a lot more based on our current situation. Among a multitude of things, I’m thankful for our partnership with Gentry families during this challenging time. I hope your family has a wonderful Thanksgiving, and we look forward to seeing your child back in class after the break (Don’t forget we still have school next Monday and Tuesday).

Here are some quick announcements:

  • With the start of 2nd quarter and with new core classes, many students are treating this like the start of the year and are off to a slow start. I encourage students to get off to a fast start this quarter. It’ll be harder to climb out of a hole later.

  • I know I’ve said this before, but I would check your child’s Schoology to see what assignments have or have not been completed frequently. I realize parents are busy, but it takes me less than 5 minutes to look at my son’s Schoology.

  • If you have a question about your child’s learning, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher now. It would be better to clarify something now rather than later.

  • If your child is struggling in a class, make sure you ask them if they talk to their teacher during class work time or during office hours on Wednesday. Students should also use advisory as a resource to monitor their progress in all classes.

  • I know I’ve mentioned this before, but when communicating with elective teachers or waiting for graded work from them, please allow for more time than you would from a core teacher. Our elective teachers have 100-300 students at one time and teach 2-4 different preps. Core teachers have 50-60 students at one time and teach 1 prep.

Have a great weekend and Thanksgiving Break!

Grab and Go Meal Service

Grab and Go Meal Service information has been updated with the remainder of our fall and winter schedules. Click here for the complete listing of updated information including pick up times and address locations.

Please keep in mind:

In-person and Grab and Go meals provided by CPS Nutrition Services will not be available during the upcoming days when school is not in session (including district snow days) and when school is closed for the Thanksgiving and winter breaks.
November 25-27 - Thanksgiving Break
December 23 – January 4 - Winter Break

Share the Love

Gentry PTSA would like to share the love this season by helping provide a special holiday meal and gift for some fellow families. We are also planning a virtual celebration with surprises to our well deserved teachers and staff. If you are interested in helping us make this happen, please consider donating, by mailing a check to Gentry PTSA at GMS (4200 Bethel Street) or by sending a venmo donation by Friday, December 4. We appreciate your support helping shine some light during this holiday season! You all are the BEST!

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Thanksgiving Break

Just a reminder that school will not be in session November 25-November 27 due to the Thanksgiving holiday. We will not be sending out a parent newsletter next week due to this break. Our next parent newsletter will be sent on Friday, December 4th.

We are so grateful for each and every one of you and all that you do daily to support students, our faculty and school! We, quite simply, could not do this without you. Enjoy your time off!

Attention Former Rock Bridge Elementary Parents

If your 6th grade student has an iPad that they received from RBE last year, it may have a missing part inside. If you are having trouble with the iPad charging, you are likely missing this piece. If the iPad slips around inside the case, you may be missing the piece. Please bring your iPad and case by Gentry sometime and we will check it for you and insert the piece. These accidentally got left out last Spring when they were being assembled!

Media Center Minute

Schoology Parent Alerts – Did you know that you can receive alerts from Schoology when your student fails to turn in an assignment? Since we have just started a new quarter, you might want to start this now. Schoology offers 2 types of alerts for parents to choose from. To learn more about the alerts and how you can enable them. Follow these directions.

Updating Student iPad - The district will release iOS 14 for students to update their devices on Monday, November 23, 2020. We suggest that all students do this over the Thanksgiving break. iOS 14 will help their apps run smoother on their iPad. Please encourage your student to take a few minutes to do this. The update will probably take 20-30 minutes to complete.

Thankfulness Jar - Our students are thankful for so many things! This month we are having a contest to win a copy of the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, "The Deep End". Students need to go to their Schoology course and open the form from the media center to enter. On the form, they just need to enter their name and what they are thankful for. The drawing will be on Tuesday, November 24th.

Teachers of Hope and Promise Award

Worley Street Roundtable, a community nonprofit organization, is excited to sponsor the fourth annual Teachers of Hope and Promise Award. This recognition is to reward teachers for their excellent work. In this trying time, it’s particularly important to let teachers know how much we appreciate them. We are proud that the students nominate their teachers for this award. There will be one winner in each middle school and high school. Teacher winners will be awarded a certificate and a personal check for $500. Deadline for nominations is January 11. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Doris Litrell at .

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Supply Pick Up for Rotation 2 Classes

If you still need to pick supplies up for your student for rotation 2 classes, please feel free to contact us (214-3240) so we can make arrangements for you to retrieve them.

Gentry Masks- From our PTSA

Mask up with a GMS logo mask! Protect yourself and those you love during the holiday season!
  • Venmo $10 to Gentry PTSA using the QR code below and be sure to type the word "mask" in the description.
  • Or mail a check for $10 to Gentry Middle School (4200 Bethel Street) made payable to Columbia Public Schools. Please include your student's name and the word "mask" in the memo section of your check.

Our PTSA will arrange for a contactless pick up at Gentry once the orders have been filled. More details to follow regarding pick up.

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Columbia Values Diversity Celebration- 4th-12th Graders

Each year, the City of Columbia runs a student writings program as part of our Columbia Values Diversity Celebration. While the 2021 celebration will be a virtual experience in January, we will still be hosting the student writings. Students from 4th-12th grade are invited to write on our 2021 theme: Where We Stand. We would love to have your 4th-12th grade student participate!

Student submissions are due by December 11. Full guidelines and writing prompts are listed on our online submissions form:

Selected submissions will be included in a digital booklet and three students will be picked to read their submission on video. We will share the booklet and video as part of our virtual Celebration in January 2021. The promotional flyer is below.

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Speedcubing Club

Is your student interested in speedcubing? Or are they interested in just learning how to solve a Rubik’s Cube? Then the RUBIK’S CUBE CLUB might be the spot for them! We will meet twice a month over Zoom. If they're interested, please e-mail Mr. Renaldi at

Upcoming PTSA Meeting

The next virtual PTSA meeting before the winter break will be held Wednesday, December 16th at 6:00 pm. The Zoom link will be posted in this newsletter just prior to the meeting. We would love for you to join us!

Attention Parents of 8th Grade Students-Reminder

Please have your student head to this link: 8th Grade Weekly Homework Document each week to review the homework that has been assigned by their teachers. Teachers will email parents and students once a week as well to elaborate and communicate any necessary information. Please have your student reach out to their teachers if they have any questions or concerns. Go Jaguars!

Future Dates to Remember

11/25-11/27- School Not in Session Due to Thanksgiving Break

12/10- Student Grades Posted onto Home Access

12/16- PTSA Monthly Meeting via Zoom @ 6:00 pm

12/23-1/1- Winter Break

1/4- School Not in Session Due to a Teacher Collaboration Day

1/18- School Not in Session Due to Martin Luther King's Birthday