The Gilbert School E-News

January 2023

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Midterms are right around the corner, beginning Tuesday, January 17th, and ending Friday, January 20th. Exam dates are subject to change should there be snow days between now and exam week. Check the TGS website for the most current schedule.

Please remember, students must remain in the exam room for the entire two-hour period. They may NOT leave once finished with an exam. Students should bring a book/something to do when finished.



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Please Note:

  • If there is a snow day on Friday, January 13th, exams will still proceed in order beginning on Tuesday. Please plan accordingly!

  • If we have a snow day during the week of exams, the exam schedule from the snow day will be moved to the day school reopens. All exams will then proceed in order.

  • If we have a delayed opening Tuesday through Friday during exam week, the schedule will be as follows:
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  • Spanish 1 & Latin 1 8th grade students will not leave their exam for lunch. They will have an alternate placement lunch with the APs.

Click on the button below for five quick tips (courtesy of Siena College) to help ace your midterm exams!

Physical Science Students Engineer Arctic Survival Shelters

Over the past few weeks, the students in Coach Cooke's Physical Science class have been studying concepts of thermal energy, heat flow, and insulation as they apply to the construction of virtual and prototype survival shelters. Using the online learning platform called Whitebox Learning, students have been employing the engineering design process to build and test different survival shelters.

The real-life scenario deals with an earthquake in Alaska with four hikers trapped overnight in frigid arctic conditions. Students had to engineer a survival shelter dealing with the variables of surface area, R-values of different insulators, and hiker energy consumption. Once virtual shelters were in spec and all hikers "survived", students built prototype models in which they used hand warmers and Vernier surface temperature probes to measure the change in temperature over time as they took their prototypes outside. Some students even went as far as building their own survival shelters.

Move over Bear Grylls, there is a new reality TV show in the making!

Wingman Activity Sharpens Student Communication Skills

By Kim Fiducia, High School Counselor

In December, our Wingman students led the entire Gilbert School community in two fun challenges focused on strengthening communication and listening skills. The first was a contest challenge where students worked in teams to beat the clock solving ten different word puzzles.

During the second challenge, students took turns testing their abilities to describe and instruct their blind folded peers through the “Blind Artist” challenge. Participants gained a newfound appreciation for the skills needed to effectively command a group’s attention, articulate their thoughts clearly, listen closely, and ask clarifying questions, while trying not to make unfounded assumptions. We look forward to continuing to build students’ leadership skills and Gilbert’s robust school community in 2023.

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Middle School Counseling Updates

  • 7th and 8th grade students in great academic standing during Quarter 1 were celebrated in December. Those middle school students who received the 'Honors' or 'High Honors' distinction were invited to attend an ice cream social. Celebratory events for high achievements by students will continue to be planned as the year goes on.

  • The Northwestern Region 7 Vo-Ag and Oliver Wolcott Tech priority application deadlines have closed. An Oliver Wolcott “Initial Notice” will be sent directly to families in mid-February. NWR7 Vo-Ag acceptance notices will be sent directly to families in the Spring.

  • Career exploration and high school planning lessons were presented to 8th graders. Students completed the Career Key assessment on Naviance which helps them identify their traits, explore their interests, and match work environments and careers. Students also participated in discussions regarding their personality type/code, suggested careers, the importance of exploring their interests in middle school, and how to utilize their high school experience to support their end goal.

  • 8th grade students attended TGS presentations which showcased all that Gilbert's high school has to offer. Students met with core academic and elective teachers about their class offerings, what they’ll learn, and what to expect. Students also met with a panel of alumni (ranging from graduates of classes 2007-2019) from a variety of careers to discuss their paths to success, provide suggestions on how to make the most of their future, and how to take advantage of all that Gilbert can provide for them.

NJHS Snack Fundraiser

The National Junior Honor Society will be selling snacks in the cafeteria between exams during Midterms week. The proceeds will go to programs promoting literacy such as Read to Grow.

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“If you do the bare minimum, expect bare minimum results. You want to be great, work to be great. Nothing just happens.”

- J.J. Watt

It’s a GREAT year to be a Yellowjacket!

By Buckley Morgan, Gilbert Director of Athletics

Happy New Year! May this year be a healthy, rewarding and prosperous year for you. The holidays are now behind us and the Winter season is well underway. This winter Gilbert has some very motivated teams. The talent on the Gilbert teams is extremely good for having such a small number of players.

Both the girls basketball and boys basketball teams are doing well on the courts. Last month, the girls team played in the Bristol Central Christmas Tournament while the boys team played at Oliver Wolcott for the holiday basketball tournament. Both TGS teams won their respective tournaments last year, but did not fare as well this year. The girls and the boys record currently stands at 2-2. Both boys and girls student athlete numbers are low, making for a challenging JV season. The JV games throughout the winter season are scheduled, but some may have to be canceled due to low numbers. We have to play it day by day.

The Indoor Track team is practicing daily and are excited to prove themselves in this winter's track meets. They participated in the Robert Salisbury invitational on 30 December at Hillhouse High School. They did fair. The majority of the team is new and just developing their skills.

The Gilbert Cheer team is already proving to be great at what they do. We have a nice group of young ladies who are practicing daily and working hard to motivate our players and our fans. They also have a few contests lined up in which they will compete against other schools. We expect them to do well under the leadership of Coach Schibi and Coach Gagnon.

The Wrestling team includes seasoned wrestlers from last year with a few new wrestlers mixed in. In their last home meet they did not lose a single match. I do not believe a Gilbert wrestler has lost a match thus far this season. Unfortunately, low numbers prevent them from posting a wrestler in all 16 weight classes.

The Gilbert School Athletics Department has now made it possible for spectators to purchase tickets to our athletic events online. To purchase tickets, navigate to GoFan. Once on the site, search for The Gilbert School. All home games are listed there. Be aware that the vendor does charge a small fee. As always, we are still taking cash at the door. We are simply offering the online purchasing option for those who may find it convenient. We look forward to seeing you at the games cheering and supporting Yellowjacket athletes. Thank you for your support.

For Gilbert specific updates, and for up to the minute game results, navigate to and follow the TGS Athletic Department Facebook page, our Twitter page, Instagram, or visit the Gilbert Athletics webpage.


Contact the Gilbert Director of Athletics at: Middle school Athletic Director is Joshua Penn at: or call 860 379-3721.

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Gilbert to Welcome Four New International Students for January 2023

By Debra LaRoche Walls, Dean of Admissions

On Wednesday, January 18th, Debra Walls, Dean of Admissions and Tim Cronin, Director of the International Program, will be welcoming four new students at JFK Airport in New York. They will be brought back to the residency hall where they will be welcomed by their new international family of students and will begin classes on Monday, January 23, 2023.

Here is a little introduction about each of the new students:

  • Akinori Go, a sophomore, was born in China and was raised and lives in Japan. His interest is in the entrepreneurial program at Gilbert and has already begun making financial products for elementary and junior high students to learn more about investments. He sounds like a perfect candidate for Mrs. Poirier’s classes.

  • Miu Hasegawa, a freshman, is also from Japan. She is very creative with an amazing painting talent and interest in Theater. She has two older sisters and has traveled to Hawaii. In addition to her art, she loves being in her dance club and belonged to a Japanese modeling agency. She shared that she is looking forward to meeting new friends at Gilbert.

  • Jenny Lee, from South Korea, is the youngest new student joining us in seventh grade. She has a lot of sparkle to her personality and is very anxious to join The Gilbert School. She has taken taekwondo for the past seven years. She is also a piano player.

  • Youssef Nahali is joining us from Qatar as a junior. Studying one year in Florida last year, he is looking to be in a New England setting where he can continue his swimming practice. At 15, his greatest accomplishment was swimming in the Fina Swimming World Cup in 2019. He has traveled to many countries competing in swimming competitions. He will be seen daily at our local YMCA and working hard in his new classes at TGS.

Thank you for welcoming these talented new students if they are in your second semester classes. They have all come many miles and chose The Gilbert School to complete their high school diploma and all are looking to go on to an impressive college or university. Here’s to an amazing 2023 and second semester!

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High School Counseling Updates

  • The ASVAB assessment has been rescheduled to Friday, January 6th in the media center. We are excited to provide this multiple-aptitude battery that measures abilities and helps predict future occupational success in the military. ASVAB Post Test interpretation will take place on 1/25, 8-9:30am in the Library.

  • Mid-term exams are scheduled for January 17th-20th. Students should be preparing for final exams in semester 1 courses and mid-year assessments in year long courses.

  • Seniors are continuing to receive college admissions decisions. It is important for students to log into Naviance to indicate “accepted”, “denied” or “deferred”. Don’t forget to notify your school counselor regarding these decisions and add a pennant to the college acceptance wall for all college acceptances. We look forward to celebrating your successes with you!

  • Add/Drop for courses beginning in Quarter 3 starts on January 23rd and concludes after 3 class meetings for a semester long course and 2 class meetings for a quarter long course. See the add/drop policy in the program of study for additional details.

SENIORS: Scholarships

Check Naviance “Scholarships & Money” to see the scholarships that are coming in to Gilbert. See Mrs. Kirsch or your school counselor for assistance.

SENIORS & PARENTS: Free FAFSA Workshops For CT Residents

Reminder for Seniors!

The free online FAFSA application for the 2023-24 school year is open. Everyone seeking financial aid and scholarships needs to apply online. Be sure to note the FAFSA deadline for the colleges on your list.

Click on the button below to catch a free FAFSA workshop for Connecticut residents.

Financial aid professionals will be available to help students and families navigate the process of need-based federal aid. Those who sign up will receive a checklist of items that they will need and support to successfully complete the process. Click on the button for more info and to register for one of their events.

GRADES 9-11: SAT & ACT Test Dates

In spring 2023, 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.


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!

GRADES 9-12: Upcoming In-Person & Virtual College Fairs

Hundreds of colleges and universities from the US and worldwide will be ready and waiting to talk with you at an upcoming in-person or virtual college fair. Don't miss this free, one-day events for high school students and families. See the list of fairs below.

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Attention Students, Families, Faculty and Staff!

Ensure that you get a 2023 yearbook by purchasing yours soon. We will be submitting our final order in early March and after that, a limited number of yearbooks will be available for purchase on a first come first serve basis. You can purchase a yearbook directly from Mrs. Daniele or click here to order a high school yearbook online.

Attention Parents of Seniors!

This is the last call for personal ads. If you'd like to purchase an ad for your senior, please do so by midnight on Monday, 1/16. This is the final deadline and ads will not be accepted after this date. You can purchase an ad by contacting Mrs. Daniele directly at, or click here to purchase an ad online.

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News From The TGS Health Office

By Kelli Gilbert RN BSN, Director of Health Services

How can TGS help your family this winter?

Winter Coats

Need a winter coat? We have new and gently used coats available for anyone that needs one! Contact Mrs. Gilbert at 860 379 8521 x1431 or email at

Nutrition Backpack Program

Did you know about the nutrition backpack program? It is designed to assist families with additional grocery items to help on the weekends. Items such as cereal, pasta, sauce, rice, peanut butter, jelly, etc, are packed into a backpack and sent home with your child once a week, usually on Fridays.

Influenza and COVID Vaccinations

Influenza season is here! Please consult with your child’s pediatrician if an influenza vaccination is recommended for your child. COVID booster vaccinations are also available now if you would like your child to get a booster vaccination if they haven’t already.

COVID Update

We are continuing to see sporadic cases in all grade levels. Our COVID positive numbers have dramatically reduced in the past couple of weeks! Below is a chart on current COVID protocols.

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Important Dates to Remember

Early Dismissal (12:16 PM)


No School

1/16 - Martin Luther King Day

Mid-Year Exams


Club & Activity Day


Wingman Day


2nd Qtr./1st Semester ends


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