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The original item was published from 4/1/2021 9:40:46 AM to 4/24/2021 12:00:02 AM.

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School - GMS

Posted on: January 7, 2021

[ARCHIVED] GMS Parent Newsletter - March 31, 2021

March 31, 2021

GMS Parents, Guardians, & Students:

Beginning on April 5th we will start a new phase of in-person learning. As of this date, students are either considered to be learning “in-person” or learning “remotely.” Those students who are learning “in-person” will be attending school 5 days a week from 7:30 am-1:30 pm. Those who are opting to learn “remotely” will also do so for all 5 days of the week.  Cohort Assignments were sent out via Plusportals last week. If your student is assigned to “Cohort D” which is fully remote, and you wish for your student to come into the building to learn, please call the Main Office and we will add you to our waiting list. If you are already on the waiting list, please wait for a call back from one of the GMS Staff before sending your child into school. As we add students to classrooms we need to ensure that there is adequate space and furniture to accommodate these changes. We appreciate your patience and flexibility as we continue to work through these issues. Please note that any student who comes to school on April 5th and is still marked Cohort D, will have to be sent home to learn remotely.  

Below are a few things to keep in mind as we transition to this new model:

  • As we will now be in school until 1:30 pm each day, the daily schedule has been changed. Please click HERE to view the new schedule. This schedule includes two Unified Arts blocks each day for every student. It also takes away the remote learning responsibilities in the afternoons. 

  • Bussing- Revised busing information will be sent out to you once we receive it.

  • Our starting time remains the same at 7:30 am. Please note that students may not arrive at school prior to 7:30 am as we can not allow students to congregate in front of the school building as they have done in past years.

  • Wondering what to bring to school?- This year students will continue to carry all of their belongings with them from one class to another; lockers will not be used. Students should come to school with the following items in a back/backpack: A fully charged Chromebook, the Chromebook charger, a refillable water bottle, a notebook/paper, pens and pencils and an extra mask or two.

  • Breakfast and lunch will be served daily and are free for all students for the remainder of this school year. Students wishing to have breakfast at school will take it as they enter the building, bring it to their first class of the day and eat it there. For lunches, we will be using both the cafeteria and the classrooms in order to ensure proper social distancing. Those students who are bringing a lunch from home will remain in the classroom to eat their lunches while those getting a school lunch will be assigned a seat in the cafeteria. Depending upon the number of students in a classroom getting school lunch, some of these students may be sent back to the classroom to eat their lunches in that location.

  • Mask policy- Anyone entering school property must be wearing a mask. Below is the GPS Face mask policy:

In accordance with policy EBCFA, Face Coverings, all Gardner Public School staff, students, and visitors, are required to wear a face mask or a cloth face covering in school buildings, on school grounds, and on school transportation, even when social distancing is observed.  Staff and students are required to wear their own mask into school each day.  The mask/face covering should be washed daily, at home, by hand or washing machine, and dried.  It must cover the mouth and nose and fit securely not allowing gaps or spaces around the outside edges.  The district has purchased “replacement masks'', which will be available for those needing a new one during the school day.  Should the mask become visibly soiled on the outside or not fit correctly, a replacement mask should be worn. 

  • Changes to the Attendance policy: Students who are designated as Cohort C (in-person learners) will be marked “Absent” if they are not in the school building on any given day even if they access their classes remotely, via Zoom. **If you wish for your student to attend school remotely, you must notify the school by calling the Main office. Their Cohort can then be changed to “D” and they will remain remote for the remainder of the school year.

 Please see the document linked below for more information regarding how this change will impact a student’s day. Please do not hesitate to reach out to the GMS Main office if you have further questions that are not addressed here.April 5th Reopening Q & A

Women’s History Month Spotlight-         During the month of March women who have made a difference in history are highlighted. The link below from the National Women’s History Museum highlights some of these women and their contributions

National Women's History Museum        

 MCAS testing-GMS will be administering MCAS tests in grades 5-7 during the months of May and June. Students in grades 5, 6 & 7 will take these tests in the areas of English Language Arts and Mathematics. Students in grade 5 will also be taking the Science subject area test. This year, there will only be  one test session for each subject area, not two as there has been in years past. As more information becomes available, it will be shared with you.

COVID Pooled testing-

In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have been working closely with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), and Project Beacon to implement a free COVID-19 pooled testing program for students and staff at our schools. Participation in pooled testing is highly encouraged, but not mandatory for staff or students. School nurse leader Becky McCaffrey has prepared a video to explain more about the process. You can view the video here.  

Please access more information regarding this testing Gardner Middle School Pooled testing Information

Dates to be aware of

April 5th- Change to a fully in-person learning model

April 19th-23rd- April vacation

The Gardner Recreation Department is hosting a Floor Hockey Camp beginning on April 5th and a Field Hockey Camp beginning on May 6th. Please see the fliers linked below for more information.

Floor Hockey Camp                

Field Hockey Camp

Please see below for an important message regarding this year's Summer Recreation program.  Should you have any questions, please email

See below for our pre-registration process for this year's Summer programming!  We are beyond excited to announce expansions in several aspects of our programming including, but not limited to: full and half day options, options for Kindergarten and first grade, meals, extended pick up and drop off, and an expanded assortment of activity offerings. 

The programming is available to Gardner residents, and GPS students who will be entering kindergarten through 7th grade next year.  Please note that space for our youngest group (K-1) will be extremely limited as we grow the program, so don't wait to pre-register!

The weekly core pricing of $25 (half day) and $50 (full day) provides access to a daily schedule of activities ranging from sports, to gardening, to arts and crafts, and much more.

Every week, we will be adding minicamp style clinics that students (grades 2-7) can opt into for a small fee, and spend their time on a specific activity for the duration of the week (more aligned with our camp experience from 2019).  These will become available as we progress towards our first day of camp, and available only to those who have pre-registered.

Some additional details:

  1. The programming will run weekly from 7/5 through 8/13

  2. Full day programming will run from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

  3. Half day programming will be available for grades 2-4 from 9am to 12pm, and for grades 5-7 from 1-4pm. 

  4. Kindergarten and first grade will have the option of either half day block, or full day.

  5. Extended pickup and dropoff will be available from 8-9am, and 4-6pm


Please click the link below for additional info, and the pre-registration questionnaire.

See the attached link and flier for our latest minicamp offering from the recreation department!  We will be hosting a 5 week football mini camp for students ages 5-12.  This is a non-contact, co-ed clinic for anyone interested in learning more about the game.  No equipment required

Contact Dan Forte at with any questions.


Trio Talent Search

Click the link below to learn more about the services offered through this program

Trio Talent Search

Healthy Minds is a youth conference scheduled for April 14, 2021 from 10AM-2PM. This is a virtual event sponsored by local agencies. Please see the flier linked below for further information.

Healthy Minds Youth Conference

Food Services 

Curbside to Go Breakfast and Lunch 

Please note that Friday, April 2nd is the last day for this service

   *  Rear of GHS 2:30 - 4:30 p.m.

The Wildcat Wagon Neighborhood Delivery for All Virtual Learners (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday):

This service will continue for our remote learners

* 1:10 - 1:20 pm Corner of Cross St. & Pine St.                 * 1:50 - 2 pm Manca Dr. Cul-de-Sac   

* 1:25 - 1:35 pm Monument Park                                        * 2:05 - 2:15 pm South Gardner

Keep Smiling and Go Wildcats!

Arthur Murphy, Principal

Gardner Middle School

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