Middle Gate Elementary School
7 Cold Spring Road, Newtown, CT 06470
Middle Gate Minute
A Bi-Weekly eNewsletter
Edition: May 18 2016

Parent Teacher Association 
PTA Comments or Suggestions?  
Important Notes: Notes
Free screening of "Screenagers" tonight - Thurs May 18
Middle Gate Madness Friday May 19
(some dates are tentative and subject to change)
May 18:
"Screenagers" Edmond Town Hall

May 19 (rain or shine):
Middle Gate Madness
First Talent Show!

May 20 
MG Bridgeport Bluefish

May 23

PTA Meeting - PTA Board meeting to elect new officers

May 23
Aerial Photo -
student's should wear blue 
May 24
Ben's Bells Mural Installed

May 25 

School of Excellence Survey Part 2 Due

May 26 
Scholastic Book Fair 
Buy 1 Get 1 FREE! 

June 2
Fourth Grade Celebration

June 5 
Field Day
(June 6 Rain Day)
Yearbooks Handed out 

June 15
Last Day of School
(updated every newsletter) 
Quick Links  QuickLinks 

Contact us
PTA Phone: (860) 532-0464
2016/17 PTA Board of Directors
Vice President
Corresponding Secretary:
Jennifer Castagna
Assistant Treasurer:
Yearbook Photos:
Thursday May 18 7:00pm - 9:00pm Edmond Town Hall

Please mark your calendars for this special event. This showing is being funded by the Newtown PTA's and tickets are no charge. We would like to get as many people to go see this as we can. I saw it with my son and it was very informative and really left an impression. Hope to see you there.
Award-winning SCREENAGERS probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including the director's own, and depicts messy struggles, over social media, video games, academics, and internet addiction. Through surprising insights from authors and brain, scientists' solutions emerge on how we can empower kids to best navigate the digital world.
For ages 10+, the screening will be followed by a panel of local medical and psychiatric providers as well as law enforcement officials.
Are you watching kids scroll through life, with their rapid-fire thumbs and a six-second attention span? Physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston saw that with her own kids and learned that the average kid spends 6.5 hours a day looking at screens. She wondered about the impact of all this time and about the friction occurring in homes and schools around negotiating screen time-friction she knew all too well.
In SCREENAGERS, as with her award-winning documentaries on mental health, Delaney takes a deeply personal approach as she probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including her own, to explore struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through poignant, and unexpectedly funny stories, along with surprising insights from authors, psychologists, and brain scientists, SCREENAGERS reveals how tech time impacts kids' development and offers solutions on how adults can
empower kids to best navigate the digital world and find balance.

When: Friday May 19
Time: 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Where: Middle Gate School (Rain or Shine)
Cost: $5/person / $20 Family Max cost

Lots of fun things to do! This is one of Middle Gate's big fundraisers of the year. 
We are still in desperate need of volunteers to run all the stations for MG Madness. Here are some spots available:
Cake Walk (help set the kids up and then help them get their cake if they won) -  
5:30 - 6:00 still needs help
Raffle Tickets/Ticket Sales
6:30 - 7:00
7:00 - 7:30
Still need people at 5:30 - 6:00 and 6:00 - 6:30 and 6:30 - 7:00 and  7:00 - 7:30
Dunk Tank (Collect Tickets)
6:00 - 6:30 and 7 - 7:30
Popcorn/Soda Sales
5:00 - 5:45 
5:45 - 6:30
6:30 - 7:15
Collect Money at Food Vendor
5:30 - 6:00
6:00 - 6:30
6:30 - 7:00
Updated Survey Information - Please re-do the survey

Hello Middle Gate Parents!
As part of our School of Excellence application for the CT PTA, we asked you to complete an on-line survey a few months back. Our results were excellent. I believe almost every question received a response of "excellent". Thank you!

As the second part of this process, we needed to address anything that wasn't outstanding and needed improvement. Fortunately, we didn't have any of those. However, we had two questions that had a response of Unknown. I didn't know the answer either so I found out and want to share this with you.
  1. Our school provides interpreters for all meetings and events, when needed.
    1. The answer is: our school WILL provide an interpreter if requested. Also, with the advances in technology, teachers are able to have their emails, etc. transcribed into the language needed to help the family.
  2. Our school and PTA translate communications into the school's major languages.
    1. The answer is: that these CAN BE transcribed via computer if this was needed/requested.
While I believe these questions may be directed towards schools with a large population of English as a second language students, I was very happy to find out that families that really need this extra assistance would get it at Middle Gate.

Also, this brought us to a great idea and Mr. Geissler is working on it! We are looking at possibly getting a painting near the front lobby that has the word "Welcome" or something like that, in a bunch of different languages. We thought that would be really great for all the kids/parents to see and also learn some new words!

We will continue to keep you posted on our School of Excellence status. I have promised Mr. Geissler that I will continue this application to completion which should be by August 2017. Thank you.

Please take a few minutes to complete the survey a second time with the information from above:

From Mr. Geissler's Email

As you know, a "road" has been paved to provide access to our lower parking lot.  The purpose of this new access way is to support the student drop off process.  Our new signs have been installed and we are ready to open the road.  Our new morning drop off process will go into effect on  Monday, May 22.  We will have additional support for the first few days as we transition to this new process.  We will also use the remaining days of school to observe the routine and make any necessary adjustments for 2017-2018.  Below is a review of the background, process, and link to a visual representation of the traffic pattern. 

Building access for arrival (for buses and drop off) starts at 8:55am and the school day begins at 9:05am.  Too often, the lineup on Cold Spring Road results in a delayed start to operations (attendance, lunch count, morning announcements) and/or children being late to school.  Within this lineup are several buses transporting children who now need to wait to begin their day. To address this matter, the new access way will be utilized for the express purposes of alleviating this logjam and ensuring a smoother start to the school day.  The main entrance will be utilized for buses and staff only during morning procedures.  All drop off and/or visitors will use the new access way following the process below. 

All cars entering the MGS parking lot with the intention of dropping off a child/children for the start of the school day will need to enter using this access way.  The road will lead you into the lower parking lot where you will proceed towards the "main" driveway.  Taking note of traffic in this area (including incoming staff), you will turn left into the upper parking lot.  You will then follow the regular process by advancing through the cones to the designated drop off areas (by the stairs).  Staff supervision will assist your child(ren) to cross and enter the school, and all cars will depart using our one exit point (watching for buses of course!).  Please click on the following link to download a visual of the drop off process.  New driveway for drop off VISUAL.docx 

Important Notes:
1. The access way will operate to serve drop off only.  Although entry to the building begins at 8:55am, this access way will be in operation from approximately 8:40am-9:05am.  It is our hope that opening the access early will prevent traffic buildup.  Entry at all other times can take place via the main entrance. 
2. Please be sure to leave space before you turn into the upper parking lot.  We have staff who work with children during school hours and arrive at this time.  They will need to access the parking lot in order to report on time.
3. We also added STOP signs to make exiting the campus safer.  These are located where the upper parking lot merges with the bus/fire lane and at the end of the lot (turning out to Cold Spring Road).  In addition, we added Not An Exit signs on the reverse side of the main entrance.  We have had close calls in each of these areas and hope the new signs will increase safe practices. 
We appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we transition to this new arrival process.  Please feel free to contact me directly if there are any concerns or questions.

Thank you,
Tuesday May 23 9:15 am - MG Cafeteria
The General PTA Meeting on May 23rd will start promptly at 9:15 a.m. as we have lots to cover. Michelle Ku will be there speaking about the School Start Time Committee and we will be voting in next year's board members. Thank you to Gabrielle Joshpe who has stepped up to be the board Secretary. We are still in need of a treasurer. Please let me know as soon as possible if this is something you feel you would be interested in. Being on the board is really a great way to help advocate for our school and our children.

Directory Chairperson Needed For Next Year!

This person is needed to put together the Middle Gate Directory for next year.  You would work with Laura Altieri in the main office as well as the PTA Membership Chair to put everything together.  Gregg Baimel has the files and can explain the process.  All of this can be done from home so this is a great opportunity for anyone who works or can't help during the day.  Knowledge of Excel is helpful.  If you are interested please contact Gregg Baimel at greggbb@gmail.com for more info.

PTA Treasurer Needed For Next Year!
The  treasurer position involves putting all expenses and deposits (checks written and deposits made) into a spread sheet program. For each PTA General Meeting a financial update should be provided by printing out the statement to be presented at the meeting.
The Aerial Photo will be at MG on May 23rd at 10:20 a.m. (right after the PTA General Meeting).  We are asking everyone to wear dark blue, light blue, denim blue, basically any shade of blue like that.
Buy one get on FREE!
Our BUY 1 GET 1 FREE book fair is coming up soon. I have our Scholastic representative coming to Middle Gate to help set it up and give some training on using the register ! If you can help set up or think you may be interested in coordinating this event in the fall, its a good time to get info!

We will be in room 31, Friday May 26 starting at 9:30am!

Any help is always appreciated!
Fourth Grade Celebration is June 2nd right after school
The yearbooks will be distributed to the 4th graders that day (Friday) and the following Monday the rest of the school will get their yearbooks. The committee chair-people are Debbie DeBlasi and Jill Baimel. We are trying to put together a video showcasing pictures of the 4th grade students.

So if you would like your students picture included in the video presentation, (we would especially love photos of them in Kindergarten!), please email them to: mg4thgradeparty@aol.com

More information to follow! Thank you.

Date: Sunday, June 4th, 2017, 2pm
Venue: Waterbury Palace, Webster Hall
Audience: 2,600 seat capacity
Ticket Sales: Waterbury Palace Box Office
Website/info: chasingthemusic.org

Carter and Ilaria Brey and Rebecca and Stephen Kowalski have forged a strong friendship in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy. This event is an expression of this friendship and the Brey's desire to support the the Kowalski family in memorializing Chase through the Foundation.
The CMAK Sandy Hook Memorial Foundation presents "Chasing the Music", a classical music event featuring Saint-Saens' "Carnival of Animals" performed by members of the NY Philharmonic and friends of Carter Brey. This will be an exceptional event bringing world renown musicians to entertain the audience of adults and youth in Chase's memory and in support of the CMAK Foundation.
In the spirit of Chase and the mission of the Foundation, CMAK will use the event to introduce youth to classical music. The event will consist of two sessions. First, eleven musicians will perform Saint-Saens "Carnival of Animals" where each movement represents a different animal. This famous symphony was originally composed by Saint-Saens for school children. The youth invited will be able to view this performance produced for their enjoyment. They will depart the theater at intermission. After intermission, Carter Brey will select movements of his choice to entertain the adult audience remaining.
The performance will be followed by a reception in the Palace atrium where participants will be able to meet some of the performers.
Thank you to the people who already stepped up to volunteer committees for next year and those that have expressed interest in being on the PTA Executive Board for next year!
Here are the candidates we have so far:
President: Amy Habboush
Vice President: Jessica Sachs
Assistant Treasurer: Meredith Campbell Britton
Secretary: Gabrielle Joshpe
Corresponding Secretary: Jen Doyle 
If you are currently chairing a committee or event, please PM deborahadeblasi@gmail.com to let me know if you will continue on next year in that role, or if we need to find someone for that position. I tried to list the committees I knew people expressed willingness to run and people who indicated they would stay on for next year. 
So far we have:
  • Kindergarten Bus Run/Bus Buddy Program - Jessica Sachs
  • Trunk or Treat - Nadia Comstock 
    • (need additional people for this committee for 2017 - 2018)
  • Holiday Boutique  Committee: Frances Sorger Wengart. Tammy Figueroa, Michelle Haley, Donna Petersen (Logan Butler's Grandma), Kathleen Shope.
  • Square One Art: Christine Tisi
  • Middle Gate Madness: Jennifer Sinapi and Christine Tisi. 
    • We would really like more volunteers for this committee so you can shadow it this year and help on the committee 2017-2018. 
  • Library Volunteer List: Lauren Pickard
  • Diversity Day: Jennifer Chaudhary 
  • Sock Hop: Cale McCausland
  • Spirit Wear: Roxann Monaghan (We need someone to shadow Roxann for the 2017-2018 school year)
  • Muffins with Mom:  Lindsay Knauf, Emily Howard
  • Used Book Sale: Kim Marks and Kathleen Shope
  • Teacher Appreciation Week: Melanie Raslan
  • Middle Gate Yearbook: Kelley Michael
  • Parents Night Out and Silent Auction: Kelley Michael 
    • (we need someone else on this committee for the 2017-2018 school year)
  • Kindergarten Registration: Jen Chaudhary 
    • (We need someone else on this committee for the 2017-2018 School Year)
  • Publishing Center: Jen Chaudhary 
    • (We need someone else on this committee for the 2017-2018 school year)
  • Box Tops for Education: This can be done from home. We need new chair people for  2017-2018
  • Room Parent Coordinator: Beth Guerrera
  • Cultural Arts (Assembly reservations) -  can be done from home - We need new chair people for 2017-2018
  • Scholastic Book Fairs (Fall and end of school year) - We need a new chairperson/chair people for 2017-2018
Most events/committees do not take a big investment in time but give a lot back. We have all the information you need to be successful and make it an easy volunteer spot to take over. You are never alone on any volunteer events, there are plenty of people to help or to give you helpful hints and ideas.
You can make a big difference in the educational experience of your child and all the students and staff at Middle Gate by being involved as much or as little as you want. There are so many ways to help.

I am working hard to fill all the positions for next year for the new PTA President. This way they do not have to spend their first months in office trying to set all this up. It will hopefully allow them a smooth transition with as much already in place as possible.

Thank you.
Debbie DeBlasi

Summer is quickly approaching!!

If your child has been recommended for summer support, don't forget to register him/her.

If you need additional information feel free to contact us at Newtown Summer Schools/Newtown Continuing Education, 203-426-1787  or continuinged@newtown.k12.ct.us