Superintendent's Message
“Time hurries on. And the leaves that are green turn to brown.” (Simon and Garfunkel) Some things in life are pretty predictable, maybe because they are based upon the four seasons, which come on whether we want them to or not. With fall comes the blasts of color on the sides of the hills, crunching leaves, and the sweet smell of everything apple in the air - applesauce, apple cider, apple pie. Usually, fall brings some long standing traditions to the Groton community - sports, Homecoming, and a craft fair at the school to name a few. Unfortunately, we are having to postpone some of these regular scenes to later in the year. Last week, the Interscholastic Athletic Conference (IAC), of which Groton is a part, voted to postpone all fall sports until January 4th, 2021. We anticipate having three sports seasons for our student athletes this coming winter and spring. More information will be shared as the Section IV gets that information to the district athletic directors. 

Even without these typical traditions of fall, rest assured there are still plenty of constants to get us through. We will continue to provide structure to our families through a consistent instructional model, regardless of where students are. We will continue to offer opportunity for our students to be a part of a learning community where they are encouraged to build upon their sense of self. Finally, we will continue to strive towards our mission of ‘empower(ing) all students to reach their fullest potential and thrive in a diverse, ever-changing world.’

Welcome back, everyone!
~Margo Martin, Superintendent
Food Services
Thank you to our Food Services Department for keeping our students fed. This past spring, during the COVID closure, we delivered 73,346 meals! This summer we served a total of 7,304 breakfasts and lunches. We also added Fun Fresh Fridays that featured local fruit and vegetable dishes for kids to try along with a recipe. We had 700 kids participate. Feeding our bodies so our minds can grow!
Please help us continue to feed our students by clicking on the link below and completing the CEP School Meal program application. We need this info to be eligible for grants that allow us to feed all of our students for FREE - please do your part to help us continue to do so and send in the form today!
We appreciate your patience as we worked through a very detailed and complicated bus route schedule. A HUGE thank you to our bus drivers who make every day possible!
Bus drivers attended a safety training this summer on PPE and used the "safety bus" to practice evacuations with smoke, cutting seat belts and more.
Thank you for keeping our most prized possessions safe!
Thank you so much to our B&G crew and custodial staff for working hard to keep the buildings cleaned and sanitized!
Meet the New Faces of Groton...
Intellectual rigor mortis is one of the obstacles to greatness within schools. Just as plants and animals lose flexibility in their movements as they age in the biological world, new thoughts and ideas can be hard to see when we look rearwards in time, rather than forward.  

We cannot fear intellectual exploration if we are to meet the needs of ever-changing students in an ever-changing world. The experiences we are having now will aid us in developing the next iteration of teaching and learning. This COVID obstacle will become an opportunity for us to demonstrate our capacity to evolve with the times, remain culturally relevant, and provide the children of Groton with the experiences they deserve.

Now that we have two weeks under our belts, we are relentless in our commitment to continually push ourselves to innovate, remain passionate and positive. Thank you for your participation and support as we build an awesome future together. 
~Kent Maslin, Principal
Growing Our Grit
We believe in transparency and validating our students' voices relative to the work they are doing. New this year, students in grades 1-5 are engaging in reflective practices and evaluating their own weekly performances. Students are sharing their thoughts and opinions about how they are doing in class and identifying areas of focus for the following week. This helps students build grittiness and develop an internal accountability system. We are hoping it also helps strengthen the quality of the conversation between parents and their students about what they are doing at school!
The Science of Keeping Kids Engaged
Students are pumped to have science back in their school day and so is Mr. Brecht! The idea is to get students having fun and trick them into learning! Once a week students will participate in a variety of fun, hands-on experiments and learning activities that explore the wide of world of science. We are igniting curiosity and building inquisitive minds to grow the next generation of scientists!
The school year is off to a great start. The students have been so resilient and have stepped up big time to help the adults get through the start. The staff has been working hard to get the digital world up and running for our students. The solid start has given people a sense of reassurance and confidence that we can make great things happen this year despite any obstacles that may be thrown our way!
~ Scott Poreda, Interim Principal
Click here to read Linda Competillo's interview with Mr. Poreda: GHS Welcomes Interim Principal
It's No Picnic!
While the Building Trades students may be constructing picnic tables for the STEAM outdoor area - it is no easy task. Working from blueprints students are putting their skills to the test. It has been great to get back to the hands-on learning that they love so much!
Project Greenhouse
The Groton FFA chapter has been awarded another grant co-sponsored by the National FFA and Tractor Supply. They will collaborate with the STEAM program students, the advisory board and local partners to build a small heated greenhouse in the school courtyard. They will redesign the space for educational purposes and add a vegetable and herb garden to support the cafeteria.
Mosquito Madness
Students in Mr. Martin's Living Environment class are working with Cornell University to conduct research on Asian tiger mosquitos. Students built their own mosquito egg traps and are hoping to collect, hatch, freeze and study this species of mosquitos and share their findings with researchers from Cornell.
Counselor's Corner
It has been wonderful to see our students in person once again! The resiliency that they have demonstrated has been impressive. We wanted to share some tips and resources with you to help make everyone’s transition back to in person learning as smooth as possible. 

Ways both students and adults can cope with stress
Take care of your body: Try to eat healthy well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Learn more about wellness strategies at samhsa.gov.
Connect with others: Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships, and build a strong support system. 
Take breaks: Make time to unwind. Try taking deep breaths. Find time to do activities you enjoy. 
Seek help when needed: If distress impacts activities of your daily life for several days or weeks talk to a counselor, doctor, or contact the Crisis Line at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or 607-272-1616 (local number).

Other Resources:
If you or your child are interested in a check-in with a counselor, complete this form for non-emergencies: Counseling Check-In Request Form
We are so happy to have our students back in the buildings! We cherish being able to see their smiling 'eyes' and connect with them every day! Please click on the video below to enjoy the "Back to School 2020" photo montage of the first weeks of school.
Please remember to complete the daily screening before 7:30am to help us with a safe and smooth start to school each day!

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is more important than ever so be sure to complete your application today. College is expensive, don't miss out. Aid is awarded on a first come, first served bases so don't delay, get your aid today!

Visit www.studentaid.gov to find out more about how to apply. Also, check out Ms. Schmid's, our new school counselor's Google Classroom for more resources: vk5bfuz.
(607) 898-5301