The Buzz
School Community News
Issue #19
Friday, October 23, 2020
Students in Gene Michaud's Outdoor Pursuits class enjoying the outdoors near Gilbert on Monday, Oct. 19.
Important Schedule Update
Tuesday, October 27th: SAT EXAM will be administered at The Gilbert School. Cohorts will be separated throughout the building. Students in grades 9-12 NOT taking the exam will be working independently from home. Middle School students will follow a regular schedule. Cohort A in the building while Cohorts B and C will have remote learning. Students taking the exam may leave after the exam is completed. Students leaving school early after the exam must provide their own transportation.

Thursday, October 29th: PSAT EXAM will be administered at The Gilbert School. Cohorts will be separated throughout the building. Students in grades 9-12 NOT taking the exam will be working independently from home. Middle School students will follow a regular schedule. Cohort B in the building Cohorts A & C remote learning. Students may leave after the exam is completed. Students leaving school early after the exam must provide their own transportation.

Election Day, Tuesday, November 3: All students 7-12 will be learning remotely
and following the remote learning schedule for an EVEN DAY. See Schedule below:

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!
Alumnus of the Week
Jordan Smith
Class of 2008

What have you done since graduating?: "Right after I graduated I went to Holy Cross in Worcester for my undergraduate degree. I graduated in 2012 from Holy Cross and went on to work at Notre Dame High School in West Haven as a Theology teacher. Then in 2017 I was hired by St. Joseph School in Trumbull to be the director of their on campus ministry and mission. I do all of our retreat programs and orientation programs, and I provide counseling to our students. I love being at St. Joseph's and this will be my fourth year. I am finishing my master's degree from Boston College in Educational Leadership in May. I've been pretty busy in education, and I manage real estate properties on a part-time basis."

What do you remember from your time at Gilbert?: "I think about the community that we had at Gilbert. It was great for me because the classes were small. I remember the teachers being so supportive and willing to engage us as people. As an educator and a campus minister, person to person contact, forming relationships, and community building is really important, I was looking back at my time at Gilbert, this is probably why I understand it. It's all important in my job now because I experienced it as a student. Deb Lewis, who is currently your Associate Principal for the high school, was an English teacher while I was at Gilbert. I had her twice and she was one of my favorite teachers because she connected with me and my friends. We really had a chance to know that our teachers were like regular people. We enjoyed engaging and being with them, either in the classroom or after school. I was going through some old papers the other day and it just so happens I found a stack of emails that I printed out back then. My grandfather passed away in 2008.  I had an email that I sent to all of my teachers when he died, letting them know I would be out of school that day. The teachers' responses were so kind and so genuine. That's really what I take from Gilbert. It's about fostering community."

Do you have any good memories from your time at the school?: "When I was there, one of my fondest memories every year was building the Homecoming Wall, which was always a blast. Homecoming was always a great time. When I was in the marching band, we would always play our show during the football game. We got to go to the game and the dance afterwards, but building the wall was always the highlight of the fall. Especially during my senior year."

What advice would you give current students?: "It's really important to make high school, college, and your job meaningful. You need to create good relationships with people. Form meaningful relationships with your teachers. If you are a student, get to know your teachers, stop in after school, and make an extra effort to get to know them outside of the classroom. As a student, we often separate our teachers from ourselves, and only interact with them in the classroom.. Some of the best advice is delivered during those out of classroom moments. For me, it's a lot of time spent on retreat, service projects, and things like that. But get to know your teachers outside of your classroom. They may become mentors to you.Eventually, down the road they may become friends of both you and your family. They will watch you grow and be successful at your job. I think that it's probably something that I would tell every one of my students. If you like the people you work with because you got to know them, go out of your way to make good relationships."
Teacher of the Week
Karri Moran
Karri's father Tom, mother Nancy, Karri Moran, her brother Kraig, sister-in-law Missy, and brother Keith.
Mathematics teacher 7th grade,
middle school Mathematics Club advisor since 2012

Education: "I got my undergraduate degree of Elementary Education and Math in New Hampshire at New England College. And then I got my master's degree in Mathematics at Connecticut State University."

What do you like about your job?:  "I think that every day is different. You can have a really bad day, and you kind of wipe it clean. And then the next day, you are back to normal having a good time. When you are having a bad day, kids know and they want to make it better for you. The kids that I work with are some of the most heartfelt and amazing kids. They know what it's like to make others feel better and they want to."

What do you like about Gilbert?: "It's a family. I know we are small which probably adds to the fact that it's so much of a family. I can go to an administrator, or a colleague, and say 'Hey, this is what's going on.' and they are there. They come back to me and say 'What can we do to help?' Everybody wants you to be the best person you can be, the kids as well. Gilbert just thrives on the fact that it is a family. Everybody feels like they are part of the family."

How would you describe Gilbert to a stranger?: "It is a small community with a lot of heart in the Litchfield Hills. For some people, the Litchfield Hills is out in the middle of nowhere. It's a family with a lot of heart. I know that everyone says this, but I really do work with some of the best people. We realize that it's not about subject matter, it's about having kids learn lessons in life that will get them further. It's also about how to be a better human being. In the end, it's about caring for one another."

Student of the Week
Ryan VanDyke
Age: 17

Grade: 12

Parents: Phyllis and Louis VanDyke

Favorite classes: "Right now my favorite classes are Broadcast Production, Digital Graphics, and Intro to Law. They're fun classes and I have the most freedom in them to express what I want to do."

Extracurricular activities "I play football for the Gilbert-Northwestern varsity team, and I also play outdoor and indoor track. Football has always been my favorite sport. When it comes to indoor and outdoor track, I like jumping hurdles and I'm pretty good at it."

What I have learned during my time at Gilbert: "I learned that Gilbert is a very good school to go to and that you can make a lot of friends when you take part in sports."

Future plans: "To go to college and major in Criminal Justice and become a police officer."

How would you describe Gilbert to a stranger?: "I would say that Gilbert is a very good school to go to. There's a lot of friendly people here. The athletics are great and so are the teachers. There's a variety of classes that you can take and you can take pretty much whatever interests you."
Athlete of the Week
Abbey Beecher
Age: 17

Grade: 12

Parents: Scott and Lori Beecher

Sports: Volleyball, basketball, and softball

Why I like sports: "I have always been involved in playing sports since I was little because I grew up with both of my parents playing. My mom played volleyball and my father played softball. I found a passion for basketball. To me, my parents are my bigger inspirations for me to do what I do."

What have I gotten out of sports: "I've gotten to learn about how to be more of a team player. Also, I've learned how to communicate better with people. I've gotten to meet all of these friends through all the years I've played. Sports have also made me a better person in general. Being the captain of the basketball team last year, and the captain of the volleyball team this year, has helped me a lot."
What advice would you give anyone starting out in these sports?: "I would tell them to always try your best and always put 110 percent into everything you are doing. Never give up if things are not going your way."

Anything you would like to say about your coaches and your teammates?:  "All of my coaches have taught me something new. My teammates have all pushed me to where I am today.”
Coach's Corner
By Athletic Director Buckley Morgan
Halloween is just around the corner and I am wondering what our future holds? Will it be “trick” or “treat”? With this COVID we just never know for sure. What I do know is this: We have completed three weeks of after school athletics. We have about three weeks more to go for the completion of the Fall regular season on November 7th. Then begins the Postseason for fall sports. Final plans for postseason are being ironed out as I write this update. All our athletes and coaches are doing an outstanding job under very challenging conditions. We have not had any cases of COVID here at Gilbert. In part, that may be luck but I also believe it is due to the commitment of our athletes, coaches, students, staff, and parents to follow the COVID protocols.

Our boys cross country team is having great success with a 4-1 record thus far. That is with only five boys on the team. Unfortunately, our Girls cross country only has two girls and as a result, they are not able to effectively compete. But those two girls have as much heart as their opponents' entire team. The Gilbert Boys soccer is doing a respectable job with a record of 3-2-1. The girl's soccer team is fighting strong with a record of 1-4 and seven games still to go. There is plenty of time to turn it around. The Gilbert Girls Volleyball has been challenging their opponents but they currently have a record of 2-4. Their new coach has been doing a great job with her team. 

The Boys Soccer and the Cross Country teams have had their Senior Night. Girls Soccer will be recognizing their seniors on Thursday October 22nd at Walker Field before their home game against Northwestern Regional High School. There is much more to see between now and November 7th. 

Plans for Winter sports are in the working phase at this point. Assuming no COVID issues appear, basketball is looking promising and wrestling is not off the table at this point, a plan is in development for them too. The current schedule shows practice for Winter sports to begin on November 21st. Finally, each of our sports teams is creating an informational video to share with potential student-athletes and their families. I encourage you to watch them all. I am sure they will be very informative. We are looking to post those videos around mid-November. We will keep you posted.
Sports Results from Third Week of October
October 13
Girls Volleyball lost to Wolcott Tech 0-3

October 14
Boys Cross country ran against Housatonic Regional and won
Girls Cross Country ran against Housatonic Regional and lost
Boys soccer won at home against Terryville 1-0
Girls Soccer lost at Terryville 0-6

October 15
Boys soccer lost at Northwestern RHS 0-8
Girls Volley Ball won at home against Terryville 3-2

October 16
All Games were rescheduled due to rain.
International Students Golf Day
By Debra LaRoche Walls
International Program Student Frank Guan
On Saturday, October 3, Director of the ESL Program and Residential Coordinator, Mr. David Rutherford, chaperoned three of the international students to a golf outing afternoon. The three students, Frank Guan, grade 11, Alan Wan, grade 11 and Ben Nguyen, grade 9, shared a fun day of a round of nine holes together at Fairview Golf Course in Harwinton.
David Rutherford and International Student Ben Nguyen
Each Saturday an international event is planned for the students that is optional. Ben and Alan were first time golfers while Frank has played with his father for several years in China.
International Student Ben Nguyen
Everyone realized the fun and frustration the sport of golf can be, however, each of them enjoyed being out in the fresh air and the fall foliage beauty along the course. The boys had such a great time that they are ready to head back to the course in the weekends ahead. 
International Student Alan Wan
Google Classroom Cheat Sheet
TGS COVID Assessment Guide
Travel Advisory
Travel/Holiday Plans

Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner. Please remember if you travel:
1. Please check the travel advisory list for the current states that are on restrictions. Link is here:

2. If you choose to travel, please make sure you follow the travel guidelines-test three days before, or three days after arrival back to Connecticut or quarantine for 14 days. Information needs to be completed and faxed to the State of CT. 

3. Be smart, really think through and plan your holiday plans. Most of the recent outbreaks are associated with extended family gatherings or friends-specifically, people thinking that they didn't have to mask around extended family and friends. 

COVID Testing

If you get a COVID test. you should get a PCR test. This is having about a 2 day turnaround time now. The rapid tests have a high false negative response. If you are testing for travel, you need to submit your test to the State of CT and it must be a PCR test.
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
Attention Gilbert Alumni! We Want to Stay in Contact With You!

The Gilbert School
200 WIlliams Avenue
Winsted, CT 06098