The Buzz
School Community News
Issue #25
Friday, December 4, 2020
Important Letter to The Gilbert School Community
Dear Gilbert School Community, Faculty and Staff: 
I am writing to you at this time to inform you that The Gilbert School will remain in remote learning the week of December 7 through December 11, 2020. We will return to hybrid learning in the school on Monday, December 14, 2020. 

Through information received over the last few days and out of an abundance of caution, I believe it to be a prudent decision to stay remote until we can assess the spread of the Coronavirus in our greater community and to help stop any possible spread occurring at TGS. Click here to read the full letter.
Remote Learning Schedule for Next Week
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
A Legacy of Memorable Soccer Teams
From the 2013 yearbook
For decades, Gilbert has had a legacy of memorable boys and girls varsity soccer teams.
Class of 1997 Varsity Girls Soccer Team
Covid School Safety Guidelines
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 by taking 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!
COVID Testing
Community Health and Wellness Center, located at 10 Center Street in Winsted, will be holding COVID tests on Monday, Dec. 7 from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Please be advised, this is not a drive thru testing site, and individuals will need to line up outside for testing. The testing is free and confidential. For more information call 860-489-0931.
Alumna of the Week
Stephanie Kimball Knap
Class of 2011
What have you done since you graduated?: "I obtained my Registered Nurse and Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at Central Connecticut State University. I lived in Montana for three years where I worked as a float/urgent care nurse. I am currently residing in the Catskills of upstate New York working as a nurse within the school system and at a pediatric clinic. I am married to my best friend, Luke. I adore my two dogs, two cats, and 13 chickens! I also enjoy horseback riding. Luke and I would like to start our own homestead/hobby farm someday." 

Why did you choose that career path?: "To be honest, I don’t remember the exact reason I was led to nursing. The medical field is fascinating and a nursing degree is so diverse. I have always had a passion for women's, children's, and community-based healthcare. And, of course, I enjoy helping others in their time of need."
What do you remember from your time at Gilbert?: "I remember Gilbert as a small, hometown community. Most people at Gilbert had a long family history of Yellowjacket alumni where familial roots grew deep." 

What lessons from Gilbert have you applied to the real world?: "To never forget where you came from. The lifetime connections and friendships you gain are so valuable. Open your mind and experience the world outside of your comfort zone, but appreciate the foundations that created who you are today."

What advice would you give to current students at Gilbert?: "My late grandfather, James O’Meara, always told me 'be all you can be' after every one of our conversations together. That would be my advice to the current students. Be unapologetically yourself. Be the best version of yourself in all that you do. Be humble, be kind and enjoy the simple things in life."
Teacher of the Week
Jennifer Gilley
High School English Teacher since 2012 and Gilbert Alumna, Class of 1987

Educational background: "I graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1991 with a Bachelor's Degree in English. In 2011 I earned my Master's Degree in Secondary Education from the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford. I got a second Master's Degree from Trinity University in English Literature in 2018."
What do you like about teaching at Gilbert?: "What don't I like about it? I like it all! I like doing something that I feel helps people. I like the people I work with, including my co-workers, students, and administrators who all care. I also like the tight-knit feeling of Gilbert."

Why is English important?: "To me, there are layers of English. There is a literature component. When most people think of High School English teachers they think of 'imparting a lifelong love of literature.' That's fantastic. As English teachers, we love our literature. We definitely shed light on the human experience and help people to understand themselves better. But, English also has to do with clear communication that transcends literature. It moves across all disciplines. We learn to read, but we also read to learn.

Our writing precedes us wherever we go. Whenever you want to get a job or want to make an impression on someone, usually you need to send someone a piece of writing first. The ability to communicate clearly and to represent yourself, and to refine your voice so that people can understand what you are saying and where you are coming from. These things apply to everyone in all stages of life in every single discipline."

What do you think the best way is to learn about English: "Find something you are interested in. Whatever you are interested in, follow your interest. There is going to be so much written information, including text on the internet and in print, about anything you want to know. You can read about what you are interested in and learn more about it."

How would you describe Gilbert to a stranger?: "We say we are a family and, it may sound corny to some, but I do think we have a family atmosphere. We know each other and we support each other. We have an environment where students can shine in a small school atmosphere."
Student of the Week
Nicole Ladd
Age: 17

Parents: Melanee and Joe Ladd

Favorite classes: "My favorite classes are English and Anatomy. I like Anatomy because I want to be a nurse when I am older and it is a fun class. I like English because Mrs. Gilley makes learning fun and it's a good way to start my day."

Favorite extracurricular activities: "Volleyball and Cheer. I always like cheer because I always liked gymnastics growing up. Cheer is a great way to bond with new people and it's something that I enjoy doing because I wasn't forced to do it."

What have you learned during your time at Gilbert: "I have learned that I like small communities and small schools better. At a lot of bigger schools, no one knows each other. At Gilbert, you know your whole class and the class below you. When it comes to knowing people, you are always really close friends with each other. I like how close everyone at Gilbert is."

What are your future plans?: "I want to go to college in Florida and study nursing."
International Students Enjoying a Day in the Sun 
By Debra LaRoche Walls
Ben Nguyen Teeing up
What do you do when the weather on Sunday, November 29 is in the low 60's, the sky is bright blue and filled with lots of warm happy sunshine? You go out and enjoy a round of golf of course!

Residential Coordinators Cristina and David Rutherford, ESL Director, took international students, Frank Guan and Alan Wan from China and Ben Nguyen from Vietnam to Fairview Farm Golf Course in Harwinton, CT for a nine hole round of golf. The boys had a great time out in the fresh air enjoying the last golf day of the season. Golf carts made it easier to get around the course and the boys loved that. A great afternoon was enjoyed by all. 
Alan Wan, Frank Guan and Davd Rutherford 
Coach's Corner
By Athletic Director Buckley Morgan
There is a lot of exciting sports news to share this week. The Gilbert Boys Varsity Soccer team had a student-athlete that was named to the CSCA Class S All-State boys soccer team. Gilbert Flores is the first Soccer player in a long while to make All-State. The competition was pretty challenging within the Berkshire League and he not only won in his league but all across the state as well. Congratulations to Gilbert Flores and his family who never miss a game. Congratulations goes out also to Coach Cooke. 

Join me in congratulating Coach Fritch, Coach Lisa Brochu, and their entire Girls Volleyball team for tying with Terryville in winning the Ted Alex Award. The Ted Alex Award is awarded to the team that best demonstrates good sportsmanship throughout the season. The winner is chosen by the recomendation of all the Coaches and Captains in the Berkshire league for that specific sport. Coach Fritch is a new coach for us here at Gilbert. This was her first year as a Girls Volleyball Head Coach and every day she proves that she was a perfect choice for that position. She and Lisa make a great team together.

Since there are several weeks between the fall and winter season this year, it allows me a unique informatinal opportunity. In the next few weekly Buzz issues, I will present different components of the Athletics Handbook as well as some conditioning advice for our athletes to help them stay in shape. This week's topic is "Varsity Letter Requirements".
For a high school student to earn a varsity letter in an individual sport, they must meet the requirements for each sport individually as well as the requirements for the athletics department as a whole. 
Athletic department requirements: 
  • Must be academically eligible for the entire season 
  • Attendance at 95% of Practices - excludes school-related events and medical and legal absences. 
  • Attendance at 100% of Contests – excludes school-related events and medical and legal absences. 
  • 2 Acts of Community Service (2 hours each)
  • Good standing in the Gilbert community - no chronic suspensions ISS or OSS.
Each sport has its requirements and standards.
Ask the coach for further clarification.
Warm Up Exercises You Can Do At Home
During this break between fall and winter sports, athletes should be staying in shape. This week I will provide some warm-up exercises and in the next few weeks, I will share the exercises themselves. We are not guaranteed conditioning as a team, so before our practices, the best thing you can do is keep yourself prepared so you are ready to go 100% when and if practices start as scheduled.

Before you start with conditioning exercises, you need to complete a few warm-up exercises to prepare your body for the strenuous part of the workout. First, loosen your joints to increase blood flow to your muscles. Each of the following warm-up exercises has a very short video introduction. Don't assume you know how to do it correctly. Take one minute and confirm how to properly complete the exercise. Doing an exercise incorrectly can cause injury and can result in limited effectiveness. Warm-up exercises will also limit the risk of injuries during your more strenuous conditioning exercises.

Exercise #1 - Jumping Jacks for 30 seconds
Jumping jacks are an excellent way to boost your cardio. The exercise will increase blood circulation all over your body, control, and maintain blood pressure and get you going.
You can perform this exercise as you wish e.g. it can be overhead, in front of the chest, or across the body.

Exercise #2 - Squats for 30 seconds
Next, you need to mobilize your hips, and there’s no better way of doing it than through squats. You can perform different variations of the exercise to maximize the benefits. For example, you may just squat and hold or do reps.

Exercise #3 - Sit-Ups for 30 seconds
Sit-ups are a valuable exercise to build core strength, and improve muscle mass, balance, stability and flexibility. There are no rules to perform this exercise, as long as you are moving actively for 30 seconds. You can perform a traditional sit up, or get a hamstring stretch and reach through the toes.

Exercise #4 - C Skip in Place for 30 seconds
C Skip exercises help in establishing better body balance and rhythm. To perform this exercise, drive your knee up, lifting you off the ground, and then move it towards the outside.

Exercise #5 - Figure 4 Crab Bridge (5-10 reps)
Figure 4 Crab Bridge pose stretches and strengthens the glutes, back, and opens the chest and hip flexor. To perform this exercise, lie on your back with knees bent towards the ceiling and feet apart. Move heels close to hips. Cross ankle over the opposite knee, creating a figure-4 shape with the legs. Press into grounded foot and lift hips towards the ceiling. Perform 5-10 reps.

Exercise #6 - Half side Plank with Leg Abduction (5-10 reps) 
The side plank hip abduction is a great exercise that you can do to target the outer thigh.
To perform this exercise, tailor back a little, prop up on your left elbow with your left leg bent and right leg straight, and go through leg abduction with your head forward.
You should do these warmups every day before starting your conditioning exercises. Happy excercising!
Google Classroom Cheat Sheet
TGS COVID Assessment Guide
Travel Advisory
Travel/Holiday Plans

Christmas is just a few weeks away. Please remember if you travel:
1. Please check the travel advisory list for the current states that are on restrictions. Link is here:

The travel advisory had been updated to include Vermont. If you travel anywhere to places on the list, you must get tested within 3 days of returning to Connecticut. Please provide me with a copy.

The only places that are left that are NOT on the list are: New York, Rhode Island 
New Jersey, Hawaii.
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

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
Questions About Holiday Gatherings
Why is it important to be cautious over the holidays? I’ll only be around my family members who I trust.

Connecticut has been a national leader in our COVID-19 response efforts. However, as the country heads into winter, flu season, and into holiday gatherings – the risk of spreading COVID-19 has become higher, and even Connecticut is seeing a spike in cases.

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

The Gilbert School
200 WIlliams Avenue
Winsted, CT 06098