Great Falls Middle School

GREAT FALLS MIDDLE SCHOOL     

222 TURNPIKE ROAD MONTAGUE, MA 01354  Telephone (413) 863-7300  Fax (413) 863-0298

Christopher Barnes, Principal

Kristen Schreiber, Assistant Principal

August 15, 2022

Dear GFMS Parents/Guardians,

On behalf of the teachers and staff of Great Falls Middle School, we welcome you to the 2022-2023 school year!  We hope that your family has had a relaxing and enjoyable summer and we look forward to seeing your students very soon.  At GFMS, we are excited to begin the year, and we look forward to working in partnership with you to ensure that our students can reach their highest potential. 

When we began the school year one year ago, we were focusing on getting back to operating in a more normal manner.  This year, we will continue to move things forward, and some of our areas of focus will include: analysis of student writing across the curriculum, establishing tiered supports for academics and to address social emotional health, finding opportunities for more clubs and activities, and continuing to invigorate school pride through events and activities.  We have much work to do, but we are excited to get started.  Enclosed in this mailing you will find important information about school supplies and other helpful reminders, along with important dates that will help us get started. 

Important Dates to Begin the Year:

  • Wednesday, August 24th from 5:00-6:30 p.m.: Middle School Orientation for new incoming 6th and 7th graders, and any other new M.S. students
  • Thursday, September 1st - First day of school for all grades (7:45-2:25) 
    • GFMS students will report directly from the buses, or drop-off area, to the theater by using the main entrance to the building. GFMS staff will be positioned to direct students to the theater and their grade-level seating area. Students will be provided with a schedule of classes for the day, as well as locker assignments and other necessary information. Teachers will be actively assisting our students in becoming acclimated to the building and their schedules.    
  • Tuesday, September 13th:  Student Photo Day
  • Thursday, September 22nd:  GFMS Open House, 5:00-6:30 p.m.

COVID Guidelines:

As was the case during the second half of last year, students will not be required to wear masks.  All students are certainly permitted to wear masks, and parents and guardians will be making that determination with their kids at home.  Each family’s decision will be respected by all members of the school community.

Bus Transportation:

The bus routes continue to be finalized, and we will have them up on the website (gmrsd.org under the “parents” tab) as soon as possible.  There is no “sign up” for bussing, and students who attend TFHS and live at least 1.5 miles from school will be included in the bus routes.  The routes are being built according to our enrollment in each building, and once the routes are compiled, they will be posted on our website for families to view.  Late bus service may begin the second full week of school, but more information on that will be coming. 

Meals at School:

Governor Baker signed into law a one-year extension of School Meals for All for the 2022-2023 school year. We are officially a “universal meals” school, which means that all students will receive free lunches.  Every student in MA who would like a school breakfast and/or lunch will receive meals at no cost to their family. Families will continue to have the option to put money on student accounts through PayForIt.net.  Details can be found under the Parents tab on the district website. PayForIt.net can be used to pay for a second lunch, but we will no longer be offering la carte items.  All students will receive a bar code for their lunches, and our middle school students will be able to put the bar code on their agenda book.  The menus will be online for community members to view.  

Family Communication: 

We will continue to utilize PlusPortals to support home-school communication. All of our communication will be managed through PlusPortals, so please be sure that we have the most current email address and phone number on file so that you are able to receive all of our communication.  Parents can access PlusPortals by using the link under the Parents tab on the district website, or by going directly to the web address, which is www.plusportals.com/GMRSD. If you need assistance in accessing your PlusPortal account, please call our main office at 413-863-7300. If you do not have internet access, please notify the main office so that we can provide you with paper copies of our communications. We will also be using our Facebook page and the website (gmrsd.org) to post information, updates, and photos.  I will be in regular communication with families, and I would encourage families to reach out to me or Mrs. Schreiber with any questions or concerns. 

School Supplies:

On our website, you can find a list of requested supplies for each grade level in the middle school.  At GFMS we understand that purchasing supplies may be difficult.  Please let us know if that is the case, and we will support your child by providing what is needed.      

Supporting Your Child:

While we recognize and admire that our students are progressing towards independence, guidance and support by both family and school staff is essential to their success.  To this end, please be sure that your child is on time and prepared for school each day.  We will be utilizing our automated telephone system to call the primary number listed for a student who is marked absent, unexcused, or tardy unexcused, each day before 10:00 a.m. Calls will begin in the second full week of school. If you need to report an excused absence, please call 413-863-7300. 

Please contact the school with any questions. We look forward to welcoming new students on August 24th and to seeing you at Open House on September 22nd.

Sincerely,

Christopher Barnes                                                                             Kristen Schreiber

Principal of Secondary Education                                                      Assistant Principal

Christopher.barnes@gmrsd.org                                                         Kristen.schreiber@gmrsd.org

 

 

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