GCVS Newsletter Issue 5

Feb 28, 2019

A message from the Executive Director

Dear GCVS family,

Welcome back from winter break! I hope everyone was able to relax and recharge, and maybe do something that you’ve been wanting to do. These breaks in our routines are good for us, and they help use get ready for learning in the spring, where we have a lot of opportunities, events, and event some testing. At GCVS, we’re ready to work hard through the spring.

We have some MCAS retesting right around the corner for high school students, and there are other scheduled MCAS dates later in the month. We know these tests can be stressful for some students, and our teachers and Family Engagement Coordinators are here to help. There are also practice tests available so students can be comfortable with how the test is run and they know what to expect.

We’re also starting our Student Spotlights this month. We’ll be highlighting achievements in and out of school by our students and alumni. This month, we’re pleased to tell you about a recent graduate who has been accepted into an exciting internship program. She’ll start that in May after she graduates from college and we wish her the best of luck! If you know of any student achievements that we should know about, please let us know.

Our first PTO meeting was held on Tuesday, and everyone is starting to get comfortable in their roles, with the PTO’s goals, and with how the group will work. Everyone is welcome to join us in our meetings (held every week at 4:30 p.m.), and we will keep you informed in our newsletter as well. If you’d like to take part in the PTO, you can also email Family Engagement Coordinator Nancy Oliviera at to find out how you can help.

In the meantime, stay warm and if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call us or email!

All the best,

Salah Khelfaoui

Upcoming Learning Coach Meetings

Every month, our schools host meetings for Learning Coaches, which can help with the learning process, specific challenges, and technology. Each grade level hosts their own meeting, sometimes with specific subject areas. The times and days are below.

Grades K-5 Power Hour – Developing Good Behavior in Your Child

Monday, March 4 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Grades 6-8

Friday, March 1 from 8:30am – 9:30am

Grades 9-12

Monday, March 11 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Student Spotlight

Royyale Clay, Class of 2017

Royyale Clay, GCVS Class of 2017, graduates from college this spring and has been accepted into the 2019 cohort of the Hack.Diversity internship program.

Hack.Diversity recruits underrepresented, high-skilled minority computer science and engineering students into the city’s fastest-growing companies, and accepted students go through career and internship coaching before being placed in a paid internship.

High School MCAS Retest Reminder! The retest will be March 4-8, and students testing have been notified.

Other MCAS test dates coming up this month and next are:

  • Grade 10 English – March 26, 27
  • Grades 3, 4, 5 English – April 1
  • Grades 6, 7, 8 English – April 9

Make sure you bring a lunch on testing days. Your time at testing will count towards your school attendance each testing day.

Students can benefit from practicing their test taking before the date of the test. It’s important for students to become familiar with computer-based testing and the reference sheets available to them.

The practice site is here:

Please spend some time with your students helping them to feel comfortable before testing.

John Porcino Storytelling at Gardner Public Library – March 8, 2019

Grades K-5 can join us for the magic of storytelling with John Porcino, who will then lead us into writing a personal narrative. This fun and education meet-up will be a group collaborative session with embedded coaching, so your learners will get the most out of their time here.

Students will share their insights about finding the stories they need to tell and why they need to tell them, how to use their voices and their bodies, and how written stories are different from spoken stories. The writing of their stories will begin on this day and will be further developed by classroom teachers.

We hope you can join us at the Gardner Public Library on March 8th from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at 55 West Lynde Street, Gardner, MA. To sign up, fill out the form here.

Old Sturbridge Village Trip – April 26, 2019

We’re meeting at Old Sturbridge Village on April 26th and we hope you can join us!

The day begins at 10 am, with activities and events scheduled through 2 pm. There will be plenty of time to explore on your own, and there will also be teacher-led educational activities and lessons throughout the day. Lunch will be on your own.

The cost for GCVS students in grades K-8 is FREE, and each chaperone will be expected to pay $15.00. Admission for non-GCVS siblings is $10.00. Please submit a check to GCVS by Friday April 12th.

We hope to see you there! In-person attendance is not mandatory, however it is counted. If you do not plan on joining us in-person, students will need to be present virtually. A link will be provided closer to the day of the trip.

Please fill out the form here to indicate if you are going to join us!

Pi Day Virtual Event – March 14, 2019

GCVS Grades 6-12 will celebrate Pi Day on 3/14/2019 with a Pi Day activities led by our math teachers throughout the day, culminating in a teacher from the middle and high school being pi’ed at the end of the day! Some of the activities will include:

  • Kahoot math games
  • Pi-ku/Pi-Word Challenges
  • Math lessons about the significance of pi in the natural world
  • Pi-Line Graphic
  • Pi Coloring

To participate in the event, students can visit on March 14. Only students who participate can vote for the teacher who get’s pi’ed!

Don’t Forget

Setting up Canvas

If you have not yet set up an account for yourself in Canvas, please do so! We use Canvas as one of the primary ways we communicate with our families.

If you need help, the steps to help get your account up and running are here: