Middle School News December 3, 2020

December 4, 2020

Greetings to Middle School Families & Staff! I am loving this spring weather!!                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

All students must receive a flu vaccination by December 30, 2020 and evidence of that vaccination must be emailed, mailed, or hand-delivered to each student’s school nurse. Students who have not provided this evidence by December 18th must receive instruction remotely until such proof of vaccination has been provided to the school. 

New Staff Members

Ms. Kim Faro has moved from one of our building subs to a para educator position in Special Education. Ms. Faro lives in Townsend with her husband Jason, 2 daughters, and dog Bravo. She enjoys spending free time with her family, boating and bass fishing, collecting shells  at the beach, and watching all the New England sports teams especially the Bruins. Ms. Faro has worked with children in grades K-8 for the past 6 years. She is super excited to work at GDRMS!

Ms. Colleen Burback is now one of our building subs.

Mr. Glen Shapland is now one of our Special Education teachers. Mr. Shapland lives in Fitchburg. In addition to being an educator, he has worked with juvenile offenders on a remote island in Buzzards Bay, owned a frozen yogurt shop in Southern California, and was a credentialed media participant in a “Trial of the Century.”

Ms. Ashita Chowdhury has been a sub in the District, and we are pleased to announce that she will now be a para educator at the middle school! Ms. Chowdury lives in Groton with her family of four including a naughty, but beloved dog. She likes to spend her free time painting and engaging in other artsy activities. After working as a volunteer and a substitute and finding herself enjoying working with students, Ms. Chowdury is excited to join a full time position for GDRMS.

Hour of Code on December 10th

Computational thinking helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic, and creativity. And technology is transforming every industry on the planet. Students today should learn how to create technology, not just use it. By starting early, they’ll have a foundation for success in any 21st-century career path. On December 10th our students in grades 5-8 will take part in this world wide event, Hour of Code, thanks to our Science and Technology department! Trying an Hour of Code is a simple and fun way to introduce students to computer science, perhaps for the very first time. We encourage everyone to wear bright colors on Thursday, to signify our ‘bright futures’!

World Kindness Student Presentations: 

PRIDE      World Kindness       Thankful

Flag Captain?

We are looking for a middle schooler that would be interested in being in charge of taking down the flag on Monday-Thursday, prior to dismissal. Also, this captain could recruit and guide other students in the event of absence, or to share the days. If your child is interested, please have her/him email Ms. McCollumn, kmccollumn@gdrsd.org.

GD Boosters Sale

The new GD Athletics Boosters Holiday Spirit Wear store is now open!  Perfect gifts for the holiday in adult and youth sizes!!  Items will ship directly or can be picked up locally at J&S Business Products in downtown Ayer.  The store closes on Dec 9th.  



New Student Council Officers

After 7 speeches and 503 votes…


President:  Lucian K

Vice President:  Olivia D

Secretary:  Saanvi G

Treasurer:  Jacob D


Library News

December scavenger hunt, match Dec themes with a book title

Make a book suggestion/review in 20 words or less

View new books in the libraries!


Videos On!

Keeping a video off during a remote lesson may impact a student’s 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 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!


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.                 


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.


News from Lifetouch Pictures


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 

Diversity Club Information


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:  Why Parents Should Apologize When they Lose their Cool



News from the Counseling Department

Any  student  applying to a  technical or private school for next year will need to follow this  process  on  our  website:  

https://sites.google.com/a/gdrsd.org/gdrms-guidance-department/requesting-recommendations  Please allow  three weeks  for  the school forms to be completed.   Many  of these  schools have a submission date of 1/15/21 or  2/1/21,  so please pay careful attention to the deadlines.  Patricia Ascione


Operation Duffle Donation

Girl Scout troop 69090 is working on their Bronze Award, which is the highest award that a Girl Scout Junior can earn.    Earning the Girl Scout Bronze Award involves exploring our community, choosing a project, planning it, putting a plan in motion, and spreading the word about our project. 

After discussing many ideas and doing some research we have decided to plan a project that would help kids in foster care.   Did you know that there are 10,000-12,000 kids in foster care in Massachusetts? Many of these kids are in middle school just like us.  Often, they travel between homes with their clothing packed in a trash bag.  They need many basic items while in care like toothbrushes, tooth paste, socks and underwear. 

Our project is to set up a donation drive to collect these items and duffle bags so that foster kids can carry their belongings.  We would like to start the drive on Monday 12/7 by placing collection boxes at our school.  We are calling the project Operation Duffle Donation.  The drive will end on Friday 12/11. 

Operation Duffle Donation


Most Recent ‘GDRMS Has Pride Posts’

November 25, 2020   November 6, 2020 

November 20, 2020   November 13, 2020  


Upcoming Dates

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

Dec 9 – Grades updated in School Brains!

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

Dec 10 – Hour of Code – all students to take part! Everyone is invited to wear bright colors for our bright future!

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. 

Dec 23 – – Grades updated in School Brains!

Dec 24 – Jan 3 Winter Break – no school

Jan 6 – – Grades updated in School Brains!

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


P.R.I.D.E.: Determination: 


  • Be ready to learn
  • Don’t give up
  • Work hard