Middle School News – January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021


Greetings to Middle School Families & Staff! Wow has two weeks in 2021 almost passed already! Stay positive! Think about gratitude every day … did anyone try a ‘Gratitude Jar’ at home? 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.


Hybrid “Taking a Remote Day”

We have seen a slight increase in the number of unexcused hybrid student absences. For some of these the reason provided for the absence was that the student “decided to take a remote day”. This is not how the system is designed to work. We will certainly work with students who cannot be in school for a valid reason, but simply staying home because that is the preference on that day is not an excused absence whether or not students participate remotely on that date. We have the option of being able to move students, permanently, to remote learning if we need to. If a student misses too many “in-person” days in a quarter they may need to shift to fully remote participation. Thanks in advance for your cooperation.


News from the Cafeteria

Lunches are free until the end of the school year! That includes lunches for remote learners! Please call 978-448-6155 x3108 for details. Let us take  lunches off your meal planning plate! Water and milk are available for purchase for thirsty students.

Harvest of the month – Apples!  Did you know that there are 7,500 varieties of apples in existence throughout the world—2,500 of which are grown in the United States.  If you want to try a different variety of apple once a day, it would take you approximately 20 years to try them all! Submitted by: Patricia St. Laurent Food Service Director


Commissioners of Trust Funds 

Thank you to students, staff and parents for the donations and continued support of the Community Children’s Fund through Project Mitten. The Fund was able to provide 23 families with food and clothing, along with holiday gifts for 57 children in our community. Future donations can be made to the Town of Groton and mailed to the Commissioners of Trust Funds, 173 Main Street, Groton MA. 01450 Karen Tuomi, Executive Director. 


News from our Library

Click on the library link. Open and copy  JANUARY’S “GUESS THE EMOJI BOOK TITLE QUESTShare your answers and your own Emoji Title with Mrs. Hourani and Mrs. O’Neill.  Stay tuned for a surprise.



Bus News

If your middle schooler rides bus #4 to school, starting on Tuesday, January 19th, the bus will begin arriving about 10 minutes later than it has been. This change, by Dee Bus, is to decrease the amount of time that the bus with students is waiting at the middle school to discharge students. 

SEL News Social Emotional Learning

Social Awareness

In January, every student will receive a weekly lesson in this topic. ‘The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures.  The ability to understand social and ethical norms for behavior and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.’

★Perspective-taking          ★Empathy         

★ Appreciating Diversity   ★Respect for Others     ★Peer Pressure ★Stereotyping        ★ Encouragement/Listening    

Here’s this week’s links that parents can use at home: Technology at Home: Developing the Social Self


Cell Phones

Cell phones are incredible tools, no doubt about it! So are cars, but we have very clear rules around their use in society for the safety of all. Did I just make a leap? No, I did not. Students in school are here for learning, not for using their phones. If they need to call parents or be called by parents, our offices are equipped to support this. When students are using phones without adult permission or supervision, we have no way of knowing what purpose or content they are exploring. If parents/teachers want to make me be the meanie, by all means, please do! This is the statement that has been in our handbook for two years: ‘Student cell phones that are in use anywhere on campus during the school day without teacher permission are subject to the following: First Offense, phone given to administrator, student may retrieve at the end of the day; Second Offense, phone is given to administrator, parent must retrieve at their leisure; Third Offense for the year, phone is given to an administrator for the rest of the year.’ 



Staff Shout Outs

We love to share positive ‘shout outs’ during our faculty meetings. If you would like to send Kathi McCollumn a shout out for any of our staff members, please do so before January 20th, when we have our next meeting, and we will read it aloud for all to enjoy!! kmccollumn@gdrsd.org.


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




Recent ‘GDRMS Has Pride Posts’

January 7, 2021             December 17, 2020

December 23, 2020        December 10, 2020



Upcoming Dates

Jan 15 – Sync learning in a.m. w/teachers; all afternoon independent work for students

Jan 18 – No School, Martin Luther King Jr.

Jan 19 – If you have shout outs for staff, email Kath McCollumn!

Jan 20 – Grades updated in School Brains!

Jan 22 – Sync learning in a.m. w/teachers; all afternoon independent work for students

Jan 29 – Last day of Quarter 2 – all work due!

Jan 29 Sync learning in a.m. w/teachers; all afternoon independent work for students

Feb 3 – School Brains Grades updated

Feb 5 – Sync learning in a.m. w/teachers; all afternoon independent work for students

Feb 5 – 2nd Quarter ‘Report Cards’ Live in School Brains after 3pm

Feb 12 – Sync learning in a.m. w/teachers; all afternoon independent work for students

Feb 15-19 – No School, No Classes

Feb 26 Sync learning in a.m. w/teachers; all afternoon independent work for students





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