Middle School News November 19. 2020

November 20, 2020

Greetings to Middle School Families! It is hard to believe,  but the First Quarter is over already! Final grades will be viewable in School Brains after 3pm on November 25th. Thank you to staff for staying the course and being highly flexible in how we ‘do school’! FYI, this document is posted weekly on the GDRMS website, under News: https://gdrsd.org/gdrms/news/

Newsletter submitted by, Kathi McCollumn, GDRMS Principal: kmccollumn@gdrsd.org.

Flu Vaccine

The influenza vaccine is required for all Groton-Dunstable students Pre-K through Grade 12 regardless whether they are in hybrid or remote learning. Please email or fax a copy of your child’s flu shot to their school nurse no later than December 15, 2020 to allow for processing by the December 31st deadline.   

PTO News

Our Online Book Fair will be open from November 9th through November 22nd.  All proceeds from this year’s Fair will go to purchasing books for classrooms and the school library.  more information here:  https://www.scholastic.com/bf/gdrms.


Videos On!

By this point, I am sure many of you reading this post have found yourselves on a ‘zoom’ or other virtual class/meeting/interaction sometime over the past 9 months! When members of the group have their video off, it makes it more difficult to communicate and interact in a meaningful way within the virtual space. While there may be many reasons for having video off during a class, for many students this is impacting their ability to participate actively in the learning experience. It may or may not come as a surprise that middle schoolers might be doing a myriad of non-educational things while they are supposed to be on a zoom with the camera off! Our staff works incredibly hard to make the remote instructional experiences as meaningful as possible for all students. We acknowledge that there could be a genuine barrier for the video to be off, such as broken video [we have chromebooks available for students to borrow], worries about being on screen, need for movement or sensory breaks [if we could have a record of this our counselors can support], self-conscious or concern for home privacy [we can show you how to put up a digital screen]. If your middle schooler has a genuine need to have their video turned off, I urge you to reach out to myself or your child’s counselor to discuss this situation so that we can offer as much support as possible. Otherwise, students should have their video on during class at the discretion of the teacher. A teacher may deem parts of a lesson as times to ‘go dark’ for students. It is our expectation that students are actively participating in remote and hybrid environments. We will continue to partner with students and families to address barriers and to support students in these new learning environments. Thank you so much for your support as we continue to work together to grow our middle schoolers academically, socially, emotionally and technologically!


School Spirit Day!

GDRMS Student Council would like to announce that our first School Spirit Day will be on Tuesday, November 24, 2020! We will have a PJ/Dress Down day. Students in remote and hybrid learning  can post pictures of Spirit Day attire on the padlet shared by teachers. This is optional, but how fun would it be if the whole school participates?! Anyone who interested in participating in this event must agree to the following terms:

  1. You can only wear normal/everyday shoes (no slippers) if you are in school.
  2. You must wear something that is appropriate for school (no inappropriate graphics, words, etc.)
  3. You may have one stuffed animal as long as you are the only one touching it in school.
  4. No sleeping masks.
  5. As always, you will have to wear your masks in school.


Free Pizza Thursdays!

Our cafeteria will be handing out free pizzas in the  parent pick up dismissal line on Thursdays….check this out!! Free Pizza Thursdays!

Picture Retake Sign-up

Picture Retake day will be on December 1, 2020. This is for anyone that missed the first picture round, or for anyone dissatisfied with their original pictures. Pictures will be taken in each building on a sign-up only basis. So students in Remote Learning and Hybrid Learning will need to sign up for a picture retake so that we limit the number of people in each room during picture day. Here are the sign ups, please be sure to sign up in the correct grade slot starting at 8:30am and ending at 11:45am:

Grades 7 & 8:



 Grades 5 & 6:



Our picture company, Lifetouch, sent an email regarding customer service when I inquired as to why parents were not getting responses on phone calls: This email is being sent to let you know that we are experiencing some delays with our company’s customer service and chat lines.  The issue is currently being addressed, however, I wanted to make sure you had information at hand in case it lingered longer than we anticipated.  If your parents have any questions or concerns, please have them call our local office at 508-946-0777 (0) or email mvterritory@lifetouch.com, and we will be more than happy to assist!


Library News

Find some new book suggestions about  November’s themes of Gratitude, Veterans, Friendships and World Kindness! https://bit.ly/GDMSlibrary


Parent-Teacher Conferences

Teachers will send out specific schedules and sign-up opportunities. 

November 13 & 20: 

  • Students in grades 7 & 8  will have Async learning all day (students have independent work). Parents will be invited to sign up for parent teacher conferences.
  • Students in grades 5 & 6 will have typical Friday schedules with  zoom w/teacher in a.m. and  independent 

work in p.m

December 21, 22, 23: 

  • Students in grades 5 & 6 will have parent/teacher conferences. Grade 5 & 6 staff and students are remote: sync teaching (students zoom w/teacher) in a.m. and async (students have independent work) & conferences in p.m. 
  • Students in grades 7 & 8 will have full day remote schedules that follow typical Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.


Diversity Club is starting up again!

Diversity Club Information


STEM Week Challenge Winners!

Students from Groton Dunstable Regional Middle were chosen by industry professionals in the One8 Foundation and Mass STEM Hub team to be recognized for their submission to the STEM Week Challenge! Eighth graders, Alex B, Arya A, and CJ P were chosen as the second place award recipients for the 6-8 grade band challenge. Students were challenged to apply what they learned about human-centered design from Dell Technologies and Bionic Project, Inc. to design an adaptive device for individuals with paralysis, using an applied learning curriculum from Project Lead The Way and Innovative Learning Partners. 


Their fridge design incorporating a conveyor belt impressed the STEM experts who reviewed submissions from students across the Commonwealth. One piece of feedback that makes us all proud was: “You definitely had your user’s needs in mind, and went about designing a product that would not only be helpful to her but used readily available, affordable, and robust materials. That was a smart approach!”


In recognition of their hard work and standout ideas, our students have earned an exciting industry experience from STEM Week Challenge partners: An opportunity to present and discuss the winning adaptive device design with Dell Technologies executives! 


Last but not least, thank you to Ms. Dorothy Dwyer for participation in the STEM Week Challenge, providing students with an opportunity to tackle real-world problems and for submitting their work to further connect the classroom to the work professionals do every day. 



SEL News Social Emotional Learning

Responsible Decision Making’ 

In November, every student will receive a weekly lesson in this topic: The ability to make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on ethical standards, safety concerns, and social norms.  The realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and a 

consideration of the well-being of oneself and others.

★Identifying Problems         

★Analyzing Situations          

★ Solving Problems         



★Ethical Responsibility           



Here’s this week’s links that parents can use at home:  

Teaching Your Child To Be Ethical

11 Clues You Are Raising A Compassionate Child



Most Recent ‘GDRMS Has Pride Posts’

November 13, 2020       November 6, 2020 October 30, 2020                 October 23, 2020 


Reference Links:

Sign up for GDRHS Honor Society Tutoring

Early Dismissals for Hybrid or Remote 


Students [To be completed by parent for any early dismissal]

How to order lunch

GDRMS Website

GDRMS Library https://bit.ly/GDMSlibrary 


Upcoming Dates

Nov 9 – 22 –  Virtual Book Fair:  https://www.scholastic.com/bf/gdrms.

Nov 13 & 20 – Gr 7 & 8 Parent/Teacher conferences all day; asynchronous independent student work all day; Gr 5&6 typical Fridays

Nov 20 – Square One Art upload due square1art.com/shop/upload

Nov 24 – PJ or Dress down day for all!

Nov 25 – ‘Report Cards’ Live in School Brains 3pm

Nov 25 Half Day, All students/staff remote 

Nov 26-27 No school, Thanksgiving break

Dec 1 – Square One Art Parent ordering due 

Dec 1 – Picture Retake day for all students, more info to follow

Dec 4 – Sync learning in a.m. all afternoon independent work for students in grades 5-8

Dec 10 – Grade 8 Quarter 1 Awards Zoom, 11:50, teachers will give students in remote the link!

Dec 11 – Calendar says ‘half day’…it is actually a full day for students, just like typical Fridays.

Dec 18 – Sync learning in a.m. all afternoon independent work for students in grades 5-8

Dec 21, 22, 23 Parent Teacher conferences for students in grades 5 & 6; students zoom with teachers in a.m.; work independently in p.m.; Students in grades 7 & 8 will have a typical Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday schedule from home. 

December 24 – January 3 Winter Break – no school


P.R.I.D.E.: Respect: 


  • Demonstrate acceptance
  • Follow expectations
  • Think of others
  • Care for people and property