Gator Alley Newsletter
January 2024 Edition
What's Happening at GRMS/GRHS?
I hope everyone enjoyed a nice snowy weekend. It is finally starting to feel like winter in New England.
As we turn the page from 2023 into 2024, I wanted to share some of the awesome things that took place during the month of December. We had our annual Reindeer Games for the high school and our newly annual Snowperson Games for the middle school (pictures below). Our band and chorus were incredible in their concerts. The Middle School PTO had a very successful movie night that brought in many students and families from the community.
This month, Semester 1 is coming to an end. The week of January 22-January 26 will be midterms/final in the high school and the start of Semester 2. Students should be able to see their Semester 2 schedule on PowerSchool. If there are any problems, please see either Ms. Johnson (A-K) or Ms. Allen (L-Z).
We have a new staff member joining our middle school. Mrs. Jessica Barrett will be taking over as the middle school, school adjustment counselor. She started last week and we are thrilled to have her! Welcome Mrs. Barrett!
Calling Attendance Line:
If your student is going to be out of school, please be sure to call the attendance line at 413-685-1100. It is very helpful for us to know when a student is going to be out so we can update attendance more efficiently. Attendance calls go out at 9:00am from the school if your student is absent. If you call in an absence you will not receive this call.
Lost and Found:
Our lost and found is very full of hoodies, water bottles, hats, gloves, and more. If your student left something behind at school, please encourage them to stop by the lost and found located in the front lobby.
Important Notes and Upcoming Events:
-On January 4, VIP students celebrated World Braille Day! Students at the elementary and middle schools participated in learning about World Braille Day. Ms. Mason and 6th grader Sophia Zenchenko visited Mr. Rotenberg's grade 5 classroom and Mrs. Hyjek's grade 2 classroom to talk about Louis Braille, the Frenchman who developed the braille code for reading and writing we use today. Braille is based on a system used by the French army in the 1800s. Students had an opportunity to try writing out braille dots, learned about how people can read and write braille, and had a chance to get their names written out in braille on a Perkins brailler. We also got to talk about how languages all over the world have developed braille writing systems unique to their countries.
-On January 13th, Mrs Sullivan will venture to Boston with 6, 8th graders representing each of our district towns for the start of their year as an ambassador for Project 351.
-A team of 8 Gateway staff are headed to CA and AZ on January 22nd to visit a few innovative schools for the BARR Grant.
-The Culture Committee is organizing a student led presentation and discussion for students at the middle level that will be taught by middle and high school students.
-A team, led by Anne-Marie Fant is meeting Jan. 8 to begin planning this year’s open house on March 7, with the goal of creating a full community event.
Please make sure that students are charging their chromebooks at home or bringing their chargers to school. Most of our classes use computers regularly, so students need to be able to use their technology.
Dr. Sullivan, Interim Principal
Important dates this month
-Half day on Tuesday, January 16
-Middle/High School Council Thursday, January 18
-PTO Meeting Wednesday, January 24
Reindeer Games (High School)
Here are some photos from the Reindeer Games!
Final Reindeer Games Scores:
As an annual tradition Seniors entered Reindeer Games led by a classmate dressed as Santa on a sleigh the welding class fixed up this year. This year's Santa was Dalton Savoy.
Snowperson Games (Middle School)
Here are some photos from the first annual Snowperson games. Congratulations to Grade 6 on the win!!!
Come cheer on our Gator athletes this winter season! Here is the schedule for the remaining games.
We have some wrestling shout-outs to share:
Elijah Gilbert hit his 100th varsity win on 12/28 at the Agawam Phil Tomkiel tournament and ended up being the tournament champion at 165 lbs.
Lucas Gilbert placed 3rd at both the Holyoke KnightHawk Classic and the Monument Mountain Berkshire Holiday Classic.
Caiden Walker (106 lb) placed 5th at the Holyoke KnightHawk Classic and 4th at the Monument Mountain Berkshire Holiday Classic.
Jacob Johnson won his first varsity match against Mohawk.
Logan Papillon secured his first varsity win against Duggan Academy.
Our band and chorus had amazing concerts in December. Shout-out to all the student performers, as well as Mrs. Guertin (band) and Mr. Rose (chrous) for organizing such an outstanding performance.
Reminder from the Wellness Committee
How to Help Prevent the Winter Blues
- Helpful tips :
- Go for a walk/be outside while it's light out! Sunshine can help in a multitude of ways. Don't let the darkness get you down!
- Eat nutritious meals/snacks. This can help with your energy levels- as it's easy to feel tired or fatigued during this time of year.
- Example: Creating yogurt parfaits with yogurt, strawberries, blueberries, and granola!
- Enjoy some feel good and positive movies/books
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
- A Fragile Engagement by Allison Saft
- Movies: Leo, Sleepover, Paper Towns, 17 Again
- Mindfulness tip for when you're feeling tense or stressed: Gratitude Exercises
When you first wake up each morning, before you do anything, for at least 30 seconds do this morning contemplation:
- Remind yourself how lucky you are.
- Just decide that, "Im going to give it everything I've got, to make this day a beautiful day. I'm going to be kind to everyone I meet. I'm going to be gentle and sweet to everyone, even if they hate me. I love my life and I look forward to today".
Every day, before you get out of bed, remind yourself like this. It's a great way to start the day, to protect against the 'weeds' of negative thoughts.
Yearbooks are on Sale!!!
Yearbooks are on sale! The current cost is $55. Buy online or bring cash or check (payable to GRHS) to Mrs. Wing. Cost will increase at the end of January.
Attention parents of SENIORS: Consider purchasing a recognition ad to remind your student how proud you are of their big accomplishment! The deadline for these ads is February 8th!
Buy online here or email Mrs. Wing for details.
As a reminder, for reaching our goals in terms of engagement in the "Learn Phase" the following events are being planned for the spring.
-Cornhole Tournament (guided by Wicked Cornhole)
-Art and Graphic Design Activities
-Mobile Video Game Trucks
Middle School PTO Fundraiser
The PTO is also doing a Gift Card Fundraiser. I have added the link to join here.
https://www.raiseright.com/enroll?enrollCode=8F3LSK5WJVK7. There is also an app that you can download that is very user friendly.
The next PTO meeting is Wednesday January 24 at 8:00pm. If you have any questions, please reach out to the PTO President Kristina Schultz at firstname.lastname@example.org