The Buzz
School Community News
Issue #26
Friday, December 11, 2020
Important announcement
Due to staffing issues, The Gilbert School will remain in remote learning until the holiday break. Over the next two weeks a January return date will be determined. For further updates go to our website at this link.
Next Week's Schedule
Monday 12/14 and Thursday 12/17 (odd days) - All Cohorts (A ,B, C, and D) will all be distance learning. 

Period 1   8:00 - 9:15
Period 3   9:20 - 10:35
Period 5   10:40 - 11:55
Lunch     11:55 - 12:30
Period 7   12:35 - 1:50

Tuesday 12/15 and Friday 12/18 (even days) - All Cohorts (A, B, C, and D) will all be distance learning.

Period 2   8:00 - 9:15
Period 4   9:20 - 10:35
Period 6   10:40 - 11:55
Lunch     11:55 - 12:30
Period 8   12:35 - 1:50

Wednesday, 12/16 - All cohorts (A, B, C, and D) will be distance learning.

Period 1   8:00 - 8:40
Period 2   8:45 - 9:25
Period 3   9:30 - 10:10
Period 4   10:15 - 10:50
Period 5   10:55 - 11:35
Lunch     11:35 - 12:00
Period 6   12:05 - 12:45
Period 7   12:50 - 1:30
Period 8   1:35 - 2:16
Important Information
Dear Gilbert School Community, Faculty and Staff,
I am writing to you at this time to inform you that The Gilbert School has learned about four reported positive COVID cases in our Gilbert Community between December 5 and December 11, 2020. The last time that any of the individuals were in the building was November 19, 2020. No direct contact occurred in the building from these positive cases. We will continue to monitor these cases and any other potential cases as they arise and will inform you in a letter similar to this one of test results and pending action. Click here for more.
COVID-19 Protocols
COVID cases are increasing in the community. Symptoms can start out as being more subtle and can include: congestion, runny nose, sore throat, fatigue, and headache. If your child is experiencing ANY symptom, even if it is mild, they should stay home, do remote learning, and contact the school nurses so they are aware. Additionally, if your child has been exposed to someone with COVID they should not come to school. School nurses are available by calling 860 379-8521,, or
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!
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.
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.

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 Athletics
The Gilbert School at its original location at Park Place in the 1940s.
The Gilbert School opened in 1895 at its original location on Park Place. In 1897-1898, the school purchased land on Willow and Rowley Street for athletic fields. The original school building had its own gymnasium which was added in 1908 to the second floor of what was known as the Commercial Building.
Pictures from the 1942 Gilbert School year book showing football players at the old field at Willow and Rowley Street.
When the new school building opened in 1959, it included its own track and football field (eventually known as Van Why Field), along with a gymnasium. The second gymnasium was added later in a building expansion.
Gym class from 1965.
Alumnus of the Week
Josh Hubert
Class of 2013
What have you done since you graduated?: "In 2017, I earned my Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield. One year later, I earned my Master's Degree in Teaching from Sacred Heart. I was a member of the marching band for all four years, and I was also a drum major during my senior year. After that, I started looking for work. I was hired as a program director at the Torrington and Winchester Youth Service Bureau in January 2020. I have also volunteered as an EMT in Winsted and a volunteer firefighter for the Winchester Volunteer Fire Department."

Why did you choose that career path?: "I just wanted to find ways to give back to my community. I am always looking for ways to help someone in need. My life has been pretty great so far. I have parents who love me and a great support group. I've been able to get a quality education and I see that a lot of people may not have the same access to the quality of life that I have had access to. If I can do anything in my power to make someone else's life a little bit better, then that's what I'm going to do. That's why I chose working with both youth and the community."
What do you remember from your time at Gilbert?: "I remember a few things. One of the biggest parts of Gilbert for me was the band. Mr. Minnerly, or 'Min' as we called him, was a very great role model. I was able to be part of marching bands, concert bands, and jazz bands. I also remember having Ms. Lewis as both my Honors English teacher and my AP Literature teacher as well. Those were some quality times. I also keep in contact with a decent chunk of my friends from Gilbert over the years. We have a group chat once in a while."

What lessons from Gilbert have you applied to the real world?: "Always make sure you look out for your teammate. I was involved with soccer at Gilbert and we all worked cohesively pretty well. We didn't win all the time, but we knew how to have each other's backs. I was also part of the National Honor Society at Gilbert. From what I remember, I had to speak on integrity or character. I brought both of them through college and to my work. At the end of the day, you are only as good as you've treated people and you are only as good as your word. I try to keep my word, work hard, and be an all-around great person. I took those from Gilbert and ran with it."

What advice would you give to current students at Gilbert?: "Keep working at it. Tough times don't last forever, but tough people do. Don't let this pandemic, that one failing grade, or that one negative comment that someone made towards you determine the rest of your day, week, month, or year. It always gets better. You just have to keep pushing forward and aim towards the horizon because things do get better. It might seem bleak at the moment, but there is always someone out there willing to help. There's always something you can do to not only better your horizons but maybe also help others. In turn, it can have a trickle-down effect. Keep working toward your goals and it will all turn out okay at some point."
Teacher of the Week
Tina Keegan
Middle School Language Arts Teacher since 2011

Educational background: “I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Connecticut and my Master’s Degree from Central Connecticut State University. I'm currently in another Master's program for Curriculum and Instruction at St. Joseph's University.”
What do you like about teaching at Gilbert?: ""It's a small school and so I get to teach every single 7th grader in the building. We get to know everybody and it's small enough to where we can work with teachers easily and work as a team. I like that the administration is responsive to what teachers think is important and what they need. I think that is much easier at a small school than it is in a large school. I previously taught at an elementary school that was double the size of Gilbert. There were always lots of people that you never saw and didn't know at all. It felt like the administrators were removed from what they were doing. In a small school that is much different.

I like that a lot of the kids feel that they are part of a community, a Gilbert family instead of just being at an institution. To me, that makes the Gilbert School very special."

Why is Language Arts important?: "For starters, you need basic literacy when it comes to reading. These days, we have more information coming at us from more sources than ever before. We need to be able to teach children to analyze what it's saying. They need to have a higher level of reading comprehension than has been needed in the past. 

We also need to teach them to be critical of it, so they can evaluate their sources and see if they are getting correct information from different places. We all know about being attacked on social media, bias, and those kinds of things. To me, literacy is more critical than ever in the age of social media and the information age. As far as writing goes, there is still a need for people and adults to communicate with each other in meaningful ways. If all they know is how to text and write emoticons, they can't write a letter to their senator. It's one of the most important things that they need to be able to get to college and write an essay where they are developing ideas.

When it comes to developing their ideas and supporting them is critical to their success. Instead of just a short email, when you ask them to develop their idea they understand where maybe they don't have support for an idea and they're not sure if their opinions are valid.

It's another way for them to critique themselves and to develop their ideas more fully."

What do you think the best way is to learn about English: "One thing I tell them is to read because reading has been shown to improve their success in every subject. It also helps to create empathy for people. It has been scientifically shown that reading helps promotes empathy because it helps to see things from other people's perspectives. That's one thing I am very adamant about is encouraging them to read. Another thing that comes up a lot is encouraging them to ask questions so that they are part of the classroom and not just being handed things. They need to interact with knowledge. They should ask questions when they are not getting something or if they want to take something further.

How would you describe Gilbert to a stranger?: "I often tell people that it's difficult to describe because it is an independent school that functions as a public school. We educate everyone who walks through our doors and we are dedicated to that. But we also have a different type of character because there is a history of the school that is still important as the fact that the school was created to benefit the community. That is still its mission. To help the children of Winchester. So I talk about the history of the school when I talk about it to strangers. It's a small school that is more of a family where kids feel that they are connected."
Student of the Week
Shaun Clark
Age: 18

Parents: Laurel Clark and Paul Chenevert

Favorite classes: "Math and Science because I'm good at those classes."

Favorite extracurricular activities: "I am taking part in the high school partnership program at Northwestern Connecticut Community College, which is helping me get some college credits before I actually get into college."

What have you learned during your time at Gilbert: "That some classes are easier than others, but nothing is impossible if you focus on it.”

What are your future plans?: “Going to college for computer science or engineering.
'Tis The Holiday Season!
By Debra LaRoche Walls
Ben Nguyen from Vietnam
With the festive holidays nearby, Residential Coordinators; Cristina and David Rutherford, Samantha and Shayne Deschamps and Dean of Admissions, Debra Walls, invited their international students to join in the traditional holiday decorating of the residency hall Common Room. Boxes of decorations including a tree, ornaments, colored lights, candy canes, stockings, were all hung with care to add to the seasonal excitement. Holiday music filled the room adding to the mix of the magic of the season. Decorating concluded with hot chocolate, marshmallows and cookies followed by another fun Game Night.
 Ben Nguyen and Danielle Dao from Vietnam
For this week’s Game Night, one of Gilberts 2019 international graduates from Vietnam, Danielle Dao, currently a student at Eastern Connecticut State University, joined the group. While on her winter college break, Dani is staying with a local family and was warmly welcomed back to the dorm. This gave our 9th grade student, Ben Nguyen, also from Vietnam, the opportunity to meet for the first time in person. Last year, when Ben was offered acceptance to The Gilbert School international program, Dani offered to meet him on a Skype to talk to Ben about what it is like to be “a student from Vietnam while attending The Gilbert School”. A special bond was started and Dani and Ben have kept in touch for the entire year. It was another fun night filled with lots of laughter and good friendships both old and new.
Coach's Corner
By Athletic Director Buckley Morgan
The first day of Hanukkah was on Thursday, Dec. 10. I would like to take this moment to wish those who celebrate, Chag Sameach! I have one more piece of good sports news to share this week. The CHSCA selected Connor Marchand for the All-State Cross Country team. Congratulations to Connor, his coach, and his family. Very well done.

This will be a review of the grade requirements for playing sports at Gilbert. It is important to remember that we are an Education-Based Athletics program, meaning we are here to support and enhance the Gilbert student's education experience. For some students, sports are a critical component of their education. Without the motivation that is provided through sports, they would likely not perform as well in school. All students must maintain a 2.0 GPA or better and have NO failing classes to participate in the fields or courts. The following is an excerpt from the student-athlete handbook.

Marking period grades (not semester grades) are to be used in determining scholastic eligibility to participate in interscholastic athletics during any given marking period.
For the start of the school year, to be eligible for a Fall sport a pupil MUST HAVE RECEIVED CREDIT toward GRADUATION for ALL units of work for which he/she has not previously received credit. FINAL GRADE AVERAGES determine Fall eligibility, NOT 4th QUARTER grades.

Middle School Grade Requirements - At the middle school level, there is weekly monitoring of grades by coaches and school staff. Any time a middle school student-athlete has an F on their progress report, it can impact their ability to play in games. Game impact can be on a game to game basis or for a longer probationary period. 
Scholastic incompletes must be made up within ten (10) school days following the end of the marking period. INCOMPLETE GRADES ARE NOT TO BE CONSIDERED AS PASSING GRADES.

Scholastic failures cannot be made up for eligibility purposes in any manner until the next report card– except during an approved summer program.
Student eligibility will be determined for all students on the date that report cards are distributed, or on the fourteenth calendar day following the end of the marking period, whichever comes first.

If you have any questions or concerns about this week's topic, please feel free to email me at
Exercise: Make a Plan to Succeed
Last week I gave you some basic warmup exercises to do prior to your more active workout. This week I am focusing on having a workout plan. Your regular daily workout/conditioning is best centered around the whole body. If you like a more vigorous exercise with a focus on building muscle, follow these guidelines as well.

 Divide your body into thirds
Lower; legs, 
Mid; abdomen and hip flexors
Upper; arms and chest
Work on one section each day. This way you are doing muscle building exercises one day and allowing that part of your body to rest for two days before working again. Even if you are not interested in muscle building, you can still follow this schedule. You just will not push your muscles to such a vigorous workout.

Most sports rely heavily on your cardiorespiratory ability. With this in mind, it is good to include cardio in your workout every day. You can ride a bike, run, or do wind sprints. Spend at least 20 minutes working cardio. Time is more important than speed or distance. That will improve naturally.

A Sample Weekly Workout Schedule

         Monday: Leg day, and 20-minute bike ride
         Tuesday: Arms and Chest day and 20-minute run
         Wednesday: Abdominal day and 20-minute bike ride
         Thursday: Cardio Day (this could be playing a physical game with a sibling, such as basketball, tennis, etc.)
         Friday: Cardio and all body light day and 20-minute run

Following this schedule will reduce injuries that can occur when you do not have a good plan and overstress your body. Remember to always start and end your workout with a warmup/cool down using the exercises from last week.

The important message here is to have a plan and to follow that plan. You are more likely to get your coach's attention and get more playtime when you are able to demonstrate your agility and physical preparedness during practice.
Food Service Schedule Update
Pick up will start at 11:00 AM and end at 12:00 noon.

Pick up will be at the door entrance to the Cafeteria Kitchen. The door is by the dumpsters in the lower parking lot.

If for any reason you are unable to pick up during this time frame, please call the Food Service Director directly at 860-738-9304. At this time, we will set up a time that is more convenient for you, or possibly a different day.

All children of ages 18 or younger are eligible for one free Breakfast and one free Lunch.
Children do not need to be attending this school. This is a food pick up site. We are located at:

The Gilbert School
200 Williams Avenue
Winsted, CT 06098

This program will end on June 30, 2021

Meals are served Monday – Friday in school

Pick up days are Monday and Wednesday between the hours of 11:00-12:00

Types of meals served will be Breakfast and Lunch

Monday meal pick up will consist of five breakfasts and five lunches for each child. Being Cohort C or All student distance learning. Pick up for three days will consist of 3 breakfasts and 3 lunches for each child. Being Cohorts A and B.

Please take advantage of this program while we have it. When your child is not in school
learning but at home learning, they are entitled to a breakfast and lunch for the days they are learning at home. If you have any questions about the program please call the above phone number.
Google Classroom Cheat Sheet
Head of School Search Survey and Focus Groups
Attention Gilbert Alumni! We Want to Stay in Contact With You!

The Gilbert School
200 WIlliams Avenue
Winsted, CT 06098