The Buzz
School Community News
Issue #20
Friday, October 30, 2020
The Gilbert School Celebrates its 125th Anniversary
The Gilbert School was founded "for the improvement of mankind by affording such assistance and means of educating the young as will help them to become good citizens."
–William L. Gilbert, Founder
The school was founded in 1895 as the result of the bequest of William L. Gilbert who, in his will, left funds for the “establishment and maintenance of an institution of learning to be known as The Gilbert School.” He directed that the school should give instruction “for the improvement of mankind by affording such assistance and means of educating the young as will help them to become good citizens.”
The original Gilbert School building at Park Place in Winsted. The building is now used as part of Northwestern Connecticut Community College's campus.
The school opened on September 10, 1895, with Dr. John E. Clark as its principal, a faculty of seven teachers, and a student body of 143 pupils. It was located on Park Place East, the current site of Northwestern Connecticut Community College. In September 1959, a new school was built on Williams Avenue on the grounds of the former W. L. Gilbert Home with funds from the Gilbert Trust at no cost to the town.

Over the next few months, The Buzz will include columns about the history of The Gilbert School.
Online breakfast and lunch ordering now available
Dear Parents/Guardians/Students,

Beginning November 2, 2020 you will be able to go online and order Breakfast or Lunch to be picked up or eaten at school. All you need to do is get onto the online ordering website, set up an account and add your child/children, and you are on your way. Here is how it is done! I took the liberty to go to the website and go thru all of the steps to set up an account, so here is what you need to do:

  1. Log into Online Ordering at, this brings you to the sign in page.
  2. Click on Don’t Have an Account? Sign Up Now.
  3. Once your account is set to go, you will sign on. You will be brought to the Welcome Page.
  4. Here you will see a box with a plus sign. Under the plus sign you will see Add a Child. Click on Add a Child.
  5. You will be brought to another popup asking you to Add a Students Information. You will need to click on pick school, scroll down to The Gilbert School and click on it. Once you have chosen the school you need to enter students name, first and last, student’s ID#. Each student was given an ID card at the beginning of the school year with a barcode and their ID# on it. This is all you need for setting up the account. If you only have one student at The Gilbert School you are done with the process, if you have another student to sign up repeat steps 4 and 5. 

Also beginning November 2, 2020, each student at lunch time will be given a bagged breakfast to take home for the next morning. This would be a great way for your student/students choose what they would like put in their bag to bring home. Click on Breakfast to get to the Breakfast ordering menu, and choose from the breakfast items on the menu for that day.

Thank you for your time,
Lynn Metcalf
Director of Food Services
The Gilbert School

Important Schedule Update
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!
Alumna of the Week
Allison Battista
Class of 2012

What have you done since you graduated?: “After I graduated high school I went to the University of Connecticut. I studied Psychology there for four years. I graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. Afterward, I decided that I wanted to move abroad. I found a job in Madrid teaching at a bilingual school. I taught English there for about a year. Then I decided that I wanted to continue my education and become a school counselor.

I moved back to the United States and I got my Masters Degree in Counseling from Boston University.”

What do you do now?: “I work at Cohasset High School in Cohasset, Massachusetts as a school counselor. It's very similar to Gilbert and a very small school. I like it because it is a good fit for me."

What do you remember from your time at Gilbert?: “Some of my favorite memories are really about the school spirit aspect of Gilbert. I loved playing on the volleyball team for four years. Some of the friends that I made on that team are my closest friends today, and that is very important to me. The school spirit weeks were always so much fun. When we designed the school spirit wall and had pep rallies, those are some of my favorite memories.”

One of my favorite courses that I took was a cross-disciplinary course that was taught by Debra Lewis and Wendy Sultaire. It was an American history and literature crossover class. We got to learn the history alongside the literature and how art was influenced by what was going on at the time and how everything was connected to current events. It was a very cross-disciplinary course and I liked that broad perspective. It was an innovative course and I remember it being very collaborative and creative. It made an impact on the kind of student that I became. I would connect ideas from different classes to get the bigger picture."

What lessons from Gilbert have you applied to the real world?: "The value of community. It's something that I found at Gilbert and I try my best to emulate out in the community. At the smaller school that I am at now, one of my efforts has been to find and develop opportunities for students to build friendships, and build school community through volunteering, sports teams, or things like that. That is something that I think is effective for kids. That is what Gilbert did well for me. I am part of a community where I can contribute in meaningful ways.”

What advice would you give current students?: “Work hard on your academics. Ask your teachers lots of questions. They have so much knowledge and experience. Take electives that you find interesting and important. The best classes sometimes end up being the classes that you are interested in. Take advantage of all of the opportunities in the clubs and sports that the school has to offer."
Teacher of the Week
Timothy Hoffman
Social Studies and History teacher since 2014

Education: “I earned my Associate's Degree at Northwestern Connecticut Community College. Then I earned my Bachelor's Degree at Central Connecticut State University. I am currently working on my Master's Degree at Southern Connecticut State University.”

What do you like about your job?: “Working with the kids and the staff. I love the idea that you can shape students' knowledge and their skills to let them have a better life going forward. To me, Social Studies are the basics of understanding how to be civic-minded. It's an education of how citizens affect government and how government affects the lives of citizens. Students are all going to be voting soon so it would be very good if they understood the structure and function of government.”

What do you like about Gilbert?: “It's my home. I graduated from Gilbert in 1996. I grew up in Winsted and it's my home.”

How would you describe Gilbert to a stranger?: “It's a big family. Everybody knows everybody. We're a very small and close-knit community.”

Student of the Week
Miranda Brennan
Age: 17


Parents: Joseph and Tamara Brennan

Favorite classes: "I'm enrolled in some classes at Northwestern Connecticut Community College right now and I love my environmental science class. At Gilbert, I like the yearbook group. With the environmental science class, I feel like I am learning about things that I can apply to my life. I have also learned about how much we affect the environment. The yearbook class is a class that I have always wanted to be in since I was a freshman. It's always exciting to create memories that will be with us for the rest of our lives."

What are your extracurricular activities?: "Normally I would do fall and winter cheer, but fall cheer was canceled."

What have you learned during your time at Gilbert?: "I've learned about how a small community can be a good thing. I always thought going to a small school would be kind of boring, but I like knowing everyone, including personally knowing all of the teachers."

What are your future plans?: "Currently I'm applying to around seven colleges. I don't know where I'm going yet exactly, but I'm thinking about majoring in pre-law or going into a pre-law program."

How would you describe Gilbert to a stranger?: "A close-knit community."
Athlete of the Week
Gilbert Flores
Age: 17

Grade: 12th

Parents:  Ingryd and Gilberto Flores

Sports: Soccer, basketball, and softball

Why I like sports:  "I like the action and being active in sports."

What have I gotten out of sports:  "I've gotten great advice from my teammates and they really helped me a lot as a person. They've all helped me a lot with life skills and helped me gain confidence in myself."
What advice would you give anyone starting out in these sports?: "The advice that I would give is that they should all work hard. Always listen to your coaches, your parents, and keep working. Always be patient and work hard."

Anything you would like to say about your coaches and your teammates?:  "I appreciate the advice that my coaches and my teammates have all given me throughout the years. They have all given me guidance that will help me in the future. I appreciate all of them and would like to thank them."
Coach's Corner
By Athletic Director Buckley Morgan
Week four in Gilbert sports was a challenging week for most of our teams. We played some top teams and although we gave it our all it just was not meant to be our week. The exception is the Boys Cross Country team. They are having a great season this year with some top-notch runners. They are currently 5-1 for the season. I expect next week to be a more positive week for Gilbert athletics, not counting the potential for rain. I would just like to remind our athletes: It's not whether you win or lose but how you play the game. Sometimes the biggest loss presents the best character in our athletes. 

Coaches of winter sports are starting to prepare for their season. Currently, there are signup sheets in the main office for Boys and Girls basketball. Any and all 9-12 grade students interested should go sign up. Your coaches will be contacting you in the next couple of weeks. We are planning on starting conditioning on November 12th assuming all goes as planned. Remember with this Covid looming we never know for sure how our future will turn out. Also this week the Girls Volleyball team will hold their senior night recognition on Wednesday the 28th. Two parents per athlete are able to attend the volleyball games here at home. Madison Perry will sing the national anthem for us. She sang at the Girls Soccer senior night and did a fantastic job. Happy Halloween and have a safe Halloween night.
Sports Results
Monday 10/19
Boys Cross Country dominated Shepaug with a score of 18-37
Girls Cross Country Lost to Shepaug
Girls Volleyball Lost to Northwestern Regional 0-3

Tuesday 10/20
Boys Soccer in hard-fought battle lost to Litchfield 3-5
Girls Soccer lost a challenging game to Litchfield 0-3

Thursday 10/22
Boys Cross Country beat Nonnewaug 25-30
Girls Cross Country ran as individuals against Nonnewaug and took 3rd and 4th
Girls Soccer lost to Regional 0-3

Friday 10/23
Boys Cross Country against Oliver Wolcott Tech was postponed
Girls Cross Country against Oliver Wolcott Tech was postponed
Boys Soccer at Nonnewaug was a loss 1-9
Girls soccer at home against Nonnewuag was a loss at 0-6
Senior Night at Volleyball game
The accomplishments of seniors were celebrated at Senior Night, which was held at the Yellowjackets home varsity volleyball game on Wednesday, Oct. 28 against Nonnewaug High School.
Eliana Bouchard with her parents Jason and Marie
Madison Fritch with her parents, Jared and Marci
The team gave it their all, but lost against Nonnewaug by a score of 0-3.
Abbey Beecher ready to bump the ball
Felicity Flores puts the ball back in play
Nicole Ladd ready to return the ball
Trail of Terror a Scary Favorite
By Debra LaRoche Walls
Bogart, Sebastian, Ana Karen, Laura from Mexico

On Saturday, October 24, Residential Coordinators of the Gilbert International Program, Samantha and Shayne Deschamps, chaperoned four international students to the Trail of Terror, Wallingford. Keeping within the program's COVID guidelines of attending outside events for safety, this excursion was perfectly fitting for the Halloween season.
Students who joined the scary evening were two new siblings to Gilbert, Sebastian and Ana Karen Ahumada Villa from Mexico, their parents, and Leo Xu and Alan Wan from China
Leo Xu and Alan Wan
Trail of Terror 2020, Fear of Art, ongoing for 26 years, is nestled in the woods at the end of a road and offers a world of fright and fantasy. It originated to be a home haunt by the overseer and today has become a professional non-profit haunted attraction. It is set on four acres of forest with 100 volunteer performers that entertain for one month of weekends in October. 

The international students and RC’s who were brave enough to attend the one-hour freight tour, gathered in small groups of six people per group. It was an evening of screaming, excitement and a traditional favorite for the fall season.
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