Middle School News – November 25, 2020

November 25, 2020


Greetings to Middle School Families & Staff! Final grades for Quarter 1 will be viewable in School Brains after 3pm on November 25th. 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 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 State deadline.   


Library News

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


Reference Links:

Tutoring: GDRHS Honor Society Tutoring

Early Dismissals for Hybrid or Remote 

How to order lunch

GDRMS Website

GDRMS Library https://bit.ly/GDMSlibrary 

Videos On!

While there may be many reasons for having video off during a class, for many students this may impact their ability to participate actively in the learning experience. 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.


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!


MS Winter Sports Cancelled

Midland Wachusett Interscholastic League


Help for the Holidays



If you are a family with school aged children and are experiencing financial difficulties, please remember that the Community Children’s Fund can help with gifts, food and winter clothing. If you would like to experience the joy of giving during this upcoming holiday season, the Community Children’s Fund offers several gift giving options. To participate in either of these holiday traditions, receiving or giving, please contact Karen Tuomi at 978-877-6787 or email ktuomi@verizon.net. Confidentiality is strictly maintained. 


Picture Retake Sign-up

Picture Retake day will be on December 1, 2020. Pictures will be taken in each building on a sign-up only basis. Students in Remote Learning and Hybrid Learning will need to sign up for a picture retake to 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 8:30-11:45 am

Grades 7 & 8: 


 Grades 5 & 6:



Lifetouch Picture Company: If parents have any questions or concerns, please call our local office at 508-946-0777 (0) or email mvterritory@lifetouch.com, and we will be more than happy to assist!


Building an Inclusive Community

We are striving to build a community at GDRMS that is inclusive for all. This work is a continuation from work that was interrupted last year. In October, we welcomed Ms. Raquel Majeski, Lawrence Academy’s Assistant Head for Equity and Community Life. She spoke about developing our abilities to listen patiently, listen actively and to police one’s voice so that all may have their voice heard. Another measure that we are undertaking is to have shared readings and discussions. All teachers, counselors, nurses, specialists and building administrators are reading one of the books below,  and meeting in book groups in November, December and January. We welcome parents to read one of these books as well, feel free to share your thoughts w/Ms. McCollumn on a book to pass along to the group reading it:

  1. Blind Spot: The Hidden Biases of Good People
  2. Troublemakers: Lessons in Freedom From Young Children in School
  3. The Skin I’m In
  4. Building an Academic Community: The Middle School Teachers Guide to the First Four Weeks of School Year
  5. Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain
  6. White Fragility: Why it is so hard for White People to talk about Racism
  7. Not Light But Fire: How to lead Meaningful Race Conversations in the Classroom

Ms. Majeski has extended an invitation to parents and staff of GDRMS to enjoy a book talk series. DEI Community Read & Discussion. Use THIS LINK  to register.


Diversity Club is starting up again!

Diversity Club Information



Most Recent ‘GDRMS Has Pride Posts’

November 20, 2020   November 13, 2020       November 6, 2020            October 30, 2020  


Parent-Teacher Conferences

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

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.


SEL News Social Emotional Learning

Self – Management

In December, every student will receive a weekly lesson in this topic. The ability to successfully regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations, effectively managing stress, making a plan, monitoring that plan, making changes to stay on track, and reflecting on what worked, controlling impulses, and motivating oneself.  The ability to set and work toward personal and academic goals.

★Impulse control   ★Stress management       ★ Self-discipline    ★Self-motivation        ★Goal setting         ★Organizational skills

★Resiliency            ★Integrity  

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

5th Grade Self-Management Skills

6th Grade Self Management Tips

7th Grade Self-Management Tips

8th Grade Self-Management Tips



Upcoming Dates

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

Nov 25 – Grade 5 Quarter 1 Awards Zoom, 8:45am teachers will give students the link!

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. w/teachers; all afternoon independent work for students in grades 5-8

Dec 9 – Grade 7 Quarter 1 Awards Zoom, 11:05 teachers will give students the link!

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

Dec 11 – Sync learning in a.m. with teachers; all afternoon independent work for students in grades 5-8

Dec 18 – Sync learning in a.m. w/teachers; 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

Jan 4 – Ms. Arsenault returns!


P.R.I.D.E.: Integrity: 


  • Demonstrate honesty
  • Being able to own your choices
  • To do the right thing when no one is looking