Middle School News – September 11, 2020

September 11, 2020

Greetings to Middle School Families! 

We are closing in on the 9/16 start date. I was talking to a friend of mine that is not in education and she asked me, ‘how’s it going?’ I tried to explain to her that we are reviewing, re-thinking, re-arranging, re-structuring pretty much every single thing that happens in the course of a school day! Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to do this work so that we can make this school ‘year of possibilities’ a physically, emotionally, socially, and of course educationally safe and meaningful experience for all! GDRMS Opening Guidelines. The rest of this issue is jam packed with information for returning to school!

Fifth Graders & New Students

If you missed the Spring Grade 5 virtual orientation, or are new to our school. Here is an intro link on our website: https://sites.google.com/gdrsd.org/welcome-to-gdrms/home

Supplies & Schedules

Here is a reminder about Back to School Supplies! Hybrid and Remote Schedules for students entering grades 5-8. All student schedules have been uploaded in School Brains. You will be able to see schedules and teachers now. Students in Learning Centers and Interventions now have schedules in as well, they will attend these classes during some of the IA blocks each week. 

Bus Information

Please share this video on bus protocols with your middle schooler if he/she will be riding the bus this year. 

Arrival & Dismissal Locations

There are specific entry and exit locations for each grade level. Please review this map with your middle schooler! Here’s a video version of the map!


As you know, everyone in school will need to wear a mask for most of the day (except mask breaks). Here is a video to share with your middle schooler if they need some guidance on this requirement. Masks. Mask break times may include: lunch time, recess time, outside PE, and additional bits of time that teachers are able to allow a student to step into the hallway or near-by spaces. 

Picture Day

September 18th – Parents of students in our Remote Learning Model are invited to sign up for a time slot to come into school for an annual school picture. Picture Day Sign Up [Remote Learning Students only]. We hope to coincide picture times with meeting core teachers where possible!

September 21st – Students in our Hybrid Learning Model will have their annual school pictures taken by homeroom. 

Integrated Arts [IA]

In order to limit student movement in and across buildings, we have assigned IAs as noted below. This year, students in grades 5 & 6 will take PE, STEM, Digital Technology, Study Skills, Communications, Music, Art and Genius Hour; students in grades 7 & 8 will take PE, Project Lead the Way, Spanish, Music, Wellness, Art and Journalism. Since we are not able to hold in person Band or Chorus classes safely, any student interested in Band or Chorus will have the opportunity to take those courses REMOTELY, once per week from 2:40-3:20. Sign-ups for band and chorus will begin shortly!


This year, students in school will eat lunch in the cafeteria and homerooms, alternating weekly in each. In order to keep students safe while eating in homerooms, we will have to make some of our classrooms peanut and tree nut free spaces. I realize this may be difficult, but students and staff with peanut and/or tree nut allergies can be impacted by touch and inhalation. The following homerooms will be nut free during the weeks that they are eating in classrooms: Grade 5 = Mr. Gannon and Ms. Osterholtz; in Grade 6 = Ms. Connery, Mr. Robinson, Ms. Copeland, and Mr. John; in Grade 7 = Ms. Masse, Ms. Perreault, and Ms. Witt; in Grade 8 = Ms. LaPierre, Ms. Mitchell, Ms. Pflanz, Mr. Bennett, Ms. Blydenburgh, and Mr. Humphrey. 

PTO News

The first day of school this year feels more important than ever to boost our community! Get out those art supplies and join us in creating messages of encouragement for each of the GD school campuses.

Step 1: Create a homemade yard sign with attached post/stake to push into the ground for the campus(es) of your choice: Boutwell, FloRo, Swallow Union, MS, or HS.

Step 2: Deliver your sign(s) to the campus you picked on Tuesday, 9/15 between 4:30-6pm

Let’s surround our staff and students with love when they arrive on the first day of school. Spread the word! Need help delivering your signs? Email: maireadorpen@gmail.com

We Need You!

We are looking for a lunch/recess monitor to help out Mondays-Thursdays 11am-12:30 pm, $12/hour! If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, please email kmccollumn@gdrsd.org

Upcoming Dates

Sept 16 – First Day of School for all!

Sept 18 – Picture Day for students in Remote Learning Model

Sept 21 – Picture Day for students in Hybrid Learning Model

Sept 23 – Grade 7 Core/IA Virtual Open House

Sept 24 – Grade 5 Core/IA Virtual Open House

Oct 1 – Grade 6 & Grade 8 Core/IA Virtual Open Houses

Oct 12 – No School Columbus Day

Oct 13 – No School, Professional Development



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