The Buzz
School Community News
Issue #17
Friday, October 9
David Lukowski running for The Gilbert School's Yellowjackets Cross Country team against Northwestern Regional High School on Friday, Oct. 2.
School Week Schedule
For the fifth week of the school year, there is no school on Monday, Oct. 12.

Students in Cohort A will report for in-person classes on Tuesday, Oct. 13, and Wednesday, Oct. 14. They will work remotely on Thursday, Oct. 15, and Friday, Oct. 16.

Students in Cohort B will work remotely on Tuesday, Oct. 13, and Wednesday, Oct. 14. They will report for in-person classes on Thursday, Oct. 15, and Friday, Oct. 16.

Students in Cohort C will work remotely all week but not alone on Wednesday, Oct. 14.

All students, teachers, and staff must wear a mask when present in the school building!

The Gilbert School requires all students and staff to wear masks. These may be paper, disposable masks or cloth masks. We do not allow masks with external vents, gaitors, or bandanas. If you need assistance with masks, please do not hesitate to contact the school nurses-we are here to help! For more information on mask guidelines click here.

Attention parents: help us screen for COVID symptoms take your child’s temperature! 

The Gilbert School wants you to help us with screening students for Coronavirus symptoms. Please screen your children before you send them to school! If they display ANY symptoms, please keep them home!

Remote and hybrid learning will be part of this semester. We anticipate there may be some technological glitches. However, we will work on any solutions to any disruption to remote learning. We ask that you please be patient with us as we go through this unusual opening of school!

The Gilbert School fully intends to deliver the best education to our students in this school year!
New Spectator Policies for Sports
The Gilbert School had an outstanding first week of sports. We may not have won all the athletic events but our parents have certainly been winners by willingly following the Covid guidelines. Thank you to all of our Gilbert parents for following all the Covid policies. The sooner we can get this behind us the sooner we can get back to normal. We still are not at a point where we can let our guard down, but as we move forward and things continue in a positive direction, we will be able to gradually implement discretionary increases to our spectator policy. 

Beginning with our home Volleyball game on Tuesday October 13th we will allow two parents per athlete into the gym. The parents will receive a special pass that allows them access to the gym for Volleyball games. This policy is only for our home parents. NO visiting fans at this point in time. We ask that the parents enter through the gym back door at the top of the ramp. We will post a sign to clarify the proper entrance. All persons in the gym are required to wear a DPH approved mask (no gators, scarfs or single ply material) and to maintain social distancing at all times. Those who do not comply will be asked to leave.
Attendance at all outdoor games, meets, and events will be by personal invitation only. Specifically, only parents or legal guardians of student-athletes will be allowed to attend the contests. Each athlete has been given two passes that are good for the outdoor fall season. Everyone in attendance at outdoor athletic events must properly wear a mask and keep a proper distance from others (spouses not included). Those who do not follow these requests will be asked to leave. 

We ask that you understand these decisions are made in the interest of keeping our students and our community healthy and we appreciate your support of your student-athlete and The Gilbert School Athletic Department. Please contact the Gilbert Athletic Director with any questions.

Alumna of the Week: Alesia Vaccari
Class of 2002

What have you done since graduating?: "After graduation, I attended Springfield College in Massachusetts. I got my Bachelor's Degree in Athletic Training and I was a four-year volleyball athlete there. Then I graduated and went back to school for my Massage Therapy Associate's Degree at Springfield Technical Community College in Massachusetts. I wanted to pursue massage therapy and I got my 200-hour yoga certification as well.

I thought I wanted to pursue a career in holistic yoga and massage, but I missed volleyball so much.

I had the opportunity to be the assistant coach at Clarkson University up in Potsdam, New York. I was there for two years and I fell in love with coaching there. I had no idea that this is what I wanted to go into. I knew I wanted to do something in athletics and I thought I wanted to help athletes prevent injuries. But I missed the game so much that I got the coaching bug.

When I was there I worked with an amazing head coach and helped take that program to the next level. We were Coaches of the Year and our team made the first NCAA appearance in the team's history. From there, I got my first head coaching job at Simmons College, which is in the Fenway area and an all-girls institution.

I was there for three years and I took their program to the next level. We tripled our wins from my first season and we got Coaches of the Year when I was there.

From there, a job at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts opened up.

I was like, 'I'll just go for it.' It's an amazing academic institution and the team plays in the best conference in the country. I was fortunate enough to get the job. I went into the job just thinking that I was going to get my feet wet with the interview process. I've been at Brandeis since 2014. We were coaches of the year in our conference two years ago. And I am going into my sixth season. I love the athletes that I get to work with. And also the university and what they stand for with social justice, and inclusion. And I am working with amazing student-athletes."

What do you remember the most from your time at Gilbert?: "I remember so many good times. I was fortunate enough to play sports for my mother, coach Mary Ellen Vaccari, who was a teacher as well. The community that is present in the hallways, and how the teachers really get to know the students. The pride of the athletics. How it provided you with a great base for the future with my work ethic and how the teachers helped me find it.

School was never easy for me. All of the teachers I had really worked hard with me for me to understand my information and to prepare me for college. It was really special having my mother in the hallways and being able to go to her. My siblings were at my school when I was there. And my brother was there as well."

Any good memories?: "The pep rallies were always awesome. We won a state championship one year and we were runners up my junior and senior year. Just some of the memories on the volleyball court. Obviously, the friends that I made, the homecoming and the school dances. I was Laurel Queen one year. That was always fun to think about, to go back and watch the parade. Gilbert offers a great environment of support. Also, the leadership I developed has helped me to get to where I am at right now."

What advice would you give current students?: "Ask for help when you need it. That's something I always tell my student athletes. When you are having trouble, or when something doesn't feel right, or there is something you don't understand. Also, always look to do things that make you step outside your comfort zone. Especially with what we are dealing with right now due to the pandemic and everything else. I think the more uncomfortable we are, the more that can help shape us up for the adversity that we face in the future.”
Staff Member of the Week: Lynn Metcalf
Director of Food Services since 2014

Education: Graduate of Joel Barlow High School in Redding.

What do you like about your job?: “I love everything about my job. The most important thing that I love about it is being able to see students eat healthy and fresh foods.

Why is good nutrition important for students, teachers, and staff?: "If they are not hungry, they will all pay attention more while they are in class. Students will end up getting better grades. I believe that working with foods that don't have preservatives in them is much better for the students and for the teachers than eating foods from out of the box that have too many preservatives in them."

What do you like about Gilbert?: "I think it's a great place to work! It's not like any place I have ever worked before. It's all family where everyone backs you up. This year since the epidemic has started, the communication has gone very well between me and the administration. It's really turning out to be a very good year."

How would you describe Gilbert to a stranger?: "It's a great school and you should have your kids come here!"
Student of the Week: Victoria Zhovkly
Age: 17

Grade: 12

Parents: Nadia and Vladimir Zhovkly

Favorite classes: "I love history and I love computer science. History I have taken every single year and I love interesting stories and historical events."

Extracurricular activities: Computer science and government.

What I have learned during my time at Gilbert:To speak my mind and not be shy. Also, how to be a leader."

Future plans: "I want to go to college, go to medical school and become a nurse."

How would you describe Gilbert to a stranger?: "Gilbert is a school of opportunities. It's welcoming, extraordinary and not like any place else. I love Gilbert and I have gotten to know very nice and warm hearted people."
Sports Spotlight on Volleyball
Gilbert Volleyball Coach Marci Fritch and her daughter, senior and volleyball team member Madison Fritch
This is the first year as a varsity volleyball coach for Marci Fritch, who this year took over for long time coach Cindy Fixer, who retired this year after more than 35 years as a coach.
Marci graduated Gilbert in 1998 and her daughter, Madison, plays on the team.
"So far we are doing great this season," Marci said. "While we have lost the two games we have played [up to last week], the players have exceeded my expectations with both of them. I think that, in order to win, we need to communicate more. The girls need to really call the ball a lot, fill in some gaps that they have been staying away from. I think once we get those two skills under our belt, everything will be okay."
Kate Reisselmann puts the ball over the net with Madison Fritch ready to assist
Fritch said that the players are giving their all in each game. "I'm just looking forward to a great season with them," she said. "I want them to have fun."
Senior co-captain Nicole Ladd getting ready to receive the volleyball
Sports Results from First Week of October
Oct. 1
Boys Varsity Soccer schooled Thomaston with a score of 4-1
Girls Varsity Soccer Loss to Thomaston 0-6
Girls Varsity Volleyball had a close set of losses with Northwestern 0-3

Oct. 2 
Boys soccer lost to Wamogo at home 1-4
Girls Soccer lost after a tough fight at Wamogo 0-1

Cross Country Results Boys
Final Score for Boys: Regional 27 VS Gilbert 32
Thomas Reeves Placed 2nd with a time of 19 mins, 14 sec
David Lukowski placed 3rd with a time of 19 mins 17 sec.
Connor Marchand placed 4th with a time of 19 mins, 21 sec

Cross Country Results Girls
Final Score for girls: Regional 15 VS Gilbert 50
Gabby Sustache Came in 8th with a time of 28 mins, 28 secs
A Talk With New International Program Student
Ben Nguyen

Debra LaRoche Walls, Dean of Admissions for the International Program of The Gilbert School recently had a talk with their new 9th grade student, Ben Nguyen from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Here is how the conversation went: 

How are you doing living in the US? 
“I am doing good. The weather is getting colder and there are many beautiful trees with colors. Everyone here is nice to me. I like how large the supermarkets are. I am trying many different foods here. I tried a burrito and it was really delicious. I like spicy foods.” 

How are your classes going at Gilbert? 
“It’s good. I am making friends who are helping me when I don’t understand things. The teachers are helping with all my questions. I do ask the teachers a lot of questions. There is a lot of homework but I am asking my dorm friends to help me out. After homework I get to go out and play basketball on the outside court. That is fun.”
Do you miss Vietnam? 
“Yes, sometimes I miss my traditional food and family but I have family here in Hartford and I am getting used to the new food I am eating here in America. Now Gilbert is my new family.”

What would you like to tell your friends back home in Vietnam about how you are doing at The Gilbert School? 
“It is really good. If you want to have a chance to come to the US, I think you will like it. Don’t be worried about anything because everyone will help you. I really like The Gilbert School and you should choose it.” 

How is it living in the dorm? 
“Everyone in the dorm is nice to me. The food for dinner is delicious. My RC’s help me with my homework, my Chromebooks and they visit with me. The building is very clean. My bed is soft. I can play UNO with the boys at the dorm. On weekends I go to see my Uncle and Aunt about 40 minutes from here in Hartford. I can stay with them and eat traditional foods from home.” 

Ben plans to attend The Gilbert School for all four years of high school. He is so happy at Gilbert that he is talking with friends back home in Vietnam to join the school next fall. “It is such a joy to see how well Ben is adjusting to his new life in Winsted and at Gilbert,” says Ms. LaRoche Walls. “He is a joy to talk with and he loves making friends, working on his homework and playing video games on weekends with his friends back home in Vietnam. It appears to be a seamless transition for such a young boy who is so many miles from home. I admire his strength and positive outlook on all the new things he is enjoying here at Gilbert. It is an honor for me to be a part of his educational journey. I am so happy he wanted to be here in our international program.” 
Athlete of the Week: Caleb Goodell
Caleb, a senior and co-captain of the Yellowjackets soccer team has been playing soccer for 10 years. “I just love it because it brings just a thrill to my mind,” Caleb said. “It’s a very intense and fast-paced game. You always have to know what’s next when you’re playing.” This season, Caleb is playing as the team’s goalkeeper.

“I love the thrill of being a goalkeeper because you are making saves,” he said. “Diving for the ball brings such a thrill in my mind, especially because I have 10 other guys out there on the field I get to work with. We all have a positive attitude and we get to have a great time.”

Caleb said that keeping a positive attitude is key to playing soccer. “Yes, there have been times where balls go into the net, but I don’t think about it because I think about what’s happening next instead,” he said. “I just think about making the next save and forgetting about the negative. It’s all about concentrating on the positive.”
Caleb spoke highly of the team’s coaches, including Head Coach Patrick Cooke and Assistant Coach Charles Harbach. “They both have always given us great motivation and they always know what to say to motivate us,” Caleb said. “Our team is like no other. We always work together, never yell at each other, and we’re always positive. I am grateful for everyone around me, including my family, my friends, and my team.

Coaches Comments: “Caleb is one of the hardest working student-athletes at The Gilbert School. I have had the pleasure to work with him in baseball and soccer over the past few years. He shows up every day and gives 100 percent of his attention and effort for 100 percent of the time. Tough to say that about a lot of people, let alone teenage student-athletes. His role as a student and an athlete should serve as a model for others to follow. His commitment and dedication to a program are unwavering and undivided. He looks out for his teammates before he is ever worried about himself, a reason why Caleb was named a Captain for the 2020 fall soccer season. Patiently waiting in the wings as a goalkeeper on the soccer team for 3 years, Caleb has become one of the better goalkeepers in the Berkshire League this year and a reason why the 2020 Yellowjackets have gotten off to a solid start. His leadership on and off the field will lead the Yellowjackets to new heights this season."
Google Classroom Cheat Sheet
Free Breakfast and Free Lunch to All Students
Beginning September 14, 2020, The Gilbert School Food and Nutrition Services Program began serving FREE LUNCH and FREE BREAKFAST to all of the students at The Gilbert School. The Gilbert School Food and Nutrition Services Program is able to do this for our students on behalf of the USDA extending the SSO Program (Seamless Summer Operations). Click here for the full story.
Gilbert School Food Services Information
The following links include important information about Gilbert's Food Services Program:

Breakfast and Lunch Available for Virtual Learners
Lunches are available for pick up for students who are taking part in remote learning Monday through Friday at the school. Students can also pick up grab and go breakfasts at the school as well. For more information contact Food Service Director Lynn Metcalf at
TGS COVID Assessment Guide
Travel Advisory
Attention all parents and students and families taking trips outside of Connecticut:

The Gilbert School wants to remind you that if you travel to one of 35 locations on Connecticut's travel advisory list, when you come back to Connecticut you must self-quarantine for 14 days. You have to self-quarantine before the start of school.

Attention Gilbert Alumni! We Want to Stay in Contact With You!

The Gilbert School
200 WIlliams Avenue
Winsted, CT 06098