The Buzz
School Community Newsletter
Issue #33
Friday, February 5, 2021
Since 1976, African American History Month, also known as Black History Month, has been a yearly celebration of achievements by African Americans. It is also a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in the history of the United States. A good website with resources for Black History Month is the Library of Congress website at Another website with resources is
Important Sports Event Information
In the interest of making the winter sports season as normal as possible and while staying within the required COVID guidelines, Gilbert is now able to allow one parent per athlete to enter the gym to watch a game. Only parents of Gilbert students will be allowed in the gym. Visiting team parents will not be able to attend games. While this is not ideal, it is an opportunity for parents of Gilbert athletes to support their child.

Each athlete has been given a ticket to bring home for one parent to use. The individual who uses the ticket for entry to the game must live in the same household as the student and must be an adult. Parents will present the ticket upon entry to the gym. Please note, the only entrance is the back entrance at the top of the ramp. 

We are able to allow one parent based on the current guidance and COVID levels. Please be aware that this could change if the COVID situation changes. For game schedules, visit the Gilbert website at Any questions contact the Athletic Director at

A Department of Public Health (DPH) approved that a mask must be worn at all times and social distancing adhered to. No gators, scarves, or unapproved masks will be allowed in the building.
Superintendent's Budget Recommendation
for School Year 2021-2022
Gilbert School Superintendent Anthony Serio has issued his budget recommendation for school year 2021-2022. The proposed budget is for $7,843,928, an $162,240 or 2.11 percent increase from school year 2020-2021. The proposed tuition for Winchester is $7,345,297, with International Program tuition at $347,306, and Hartland tuition at $17,375.

Schedule Monday, February 8 - Friday, February 12
Monday- Cohort A- Odd Day
Tuesday - Cohort B- Even Day
Wednesday- Remote 1/2 day schedule * See below
Thursday- Cohort B- Odd Day
Friday- Cohort B- Even Day
Important COVID-19 Update
COVID Update from the Nurse’s Office

The State of Connecticut is anticipating that the state will be experiencing an increase in COVID cases that is the “new variant.” What does that mean for you and your family? The UK variant of COVID is thought to be more contagious. Whenever you or your child is on campus, it is more important than ever to make sure you are masked properly. For a mask to be effective, please make sure it provides a close fit to the face, covering both the nose and mouth. Social distancing of at least 6 feet from other people is another tool in managing COVID transmission.

When should your child stay home from school?

Your child should stay home from school when:

They are not feeling well. Even if they just have the sniffles.

Someone at home is not feeling well and you think they could have COVID.

They have been exposed to someone who has had COVID. Even if they aren’t sick.

Someone at home is doing a COVID test because they think they have COVID.

Questions? Call us!  

Contact Information for the school nurses

Safer Ways to Enjoy The Super Bowl
Gathering virtually or with the people you live with is the safest way to celebrate the Super Bowl this year. If you do have a small gathering with people who don’t live with you, outdoors is safer than indoors. This year, choose a safer way to enjoy the game:

  • Host a virtual Super Bowl watch party.
  • Make appetizers or snacks with the people you live with to enjoy while watching the game.
  • Start a text group with other fans to chat about the game while watching.
  • Attend an outdoor viewing party where viewers can sit 6 feet apart.

If you choose to attend the Super Bowl or a large Super Bowl event, like a watch party, follow these steps to make yourself safer:

  • Call the venue to ensure that they have steps in place to prevent the spread of the virus.
  • Follow signage at the venue to allow for social distancing.
  • Arrive to the venue early to avoid crowding and congested areas.
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
TGS COVID Assessment Guide
Alumnus of the Week
Brooke Louis
Class of 2011
What have you done since you graduated?
"I went to the University of Hartford after I graduated. Originally, I was studying Physical Therapy, but eventually changed to Health Science and became a substitute teacher. I eventually realized that I wanted to be a teacher.

I earned my Masters Degree at the University of Bridgeport in Science Education. Presently, I work at Gilbert!"

How does it feel to be working at the same school you graduated from?
"It's weird, but it's also nice. My classroom is the same classroom where I sat in ninth grade and took Physical Science. I was literally in the students' shoes, so I can imagine exactly how they feel and what they go through because I was in their same position."

What do you remember from your time at Gilbert when you were a student?
"I remember being with my friends. My graduating class had only 56 students in it, so every student in the grade knew each other. Everybody was friends with each other. We did not have different groups. Everyone did everything together."

What lessons from Gilbert did you apply to the real world?
"Not being afraid to try new things, because high school is the time where you can try things, and see what you can do. There were classes at Gilbert that I took that involved what I thought I would do in life. For example, I took marketing, and it was one of my favorite classes. But it wasn't what I ended up going to school for or studying further. The things that I learned in those classes were some of the most important things to me because they had some of the most important lessons I could apply to my life."

What advice would you give current students?
"Try as many things as you can in your high school classes. Do not be afraid to change your mind about things. It is important to learn many different lessons in high school, because in the future, whether you go to college or go straight to a career, you already have many experiences and have learned many lessons. These experiences will benefit you and put you ahead of everyone else."
Teacher of the Week
David Gewanter
How long have you been working at Gilbert?
"The first time I taught at Gilbert was from 2015 to 2016. I came back in 2018. It has not been continuous years."

How long have you been teaching?:
"This is my fiftieth year of teaching. I've been retired six times from teaching and I keep getting called back. In those fifty years, everything has changed. One of the nicest things about Gilbert is that students have not changed as much as students in other places in the world. They have retained their kindness over the years. To me, they are more honest, direct, and real."

"Forty years ago when I was teaching at Simsbury High School, Principal Sojka was a student there. She was not in any of my classes, but at the time I was advising the high school's Outing Club, which included rock climbing, backpacking, and skiing trips. We would take weekend trips, but we also would take week-long trips either out west or to Europe to go skiing. During the first trip our club headed to Vail, Colorado. We skied for a week and my wife and I were the chaperones. Now she's my boss."

What's your educational background?
"When I first started, I was an Electrical Engineering major at Columbia in New York City. I did radar research there during the summer. This was during the Vietnam War era during the late 1960s. I was student deferred from the draft during that.

When I graduated, my student deferment ended. I had no intentions of getting shot at in the Vietnam War, so I changed from part-time to full-time work.

My work was funded by the Columbia University Electronic Research Laboratory, but it was done under a government contract that gave me a secret clearance. It was missile research and it kept me out of being drafted for the Vietnam War for the next three years until the war ended.

At that point, I left New York City and came to Connecticut. I became certified to teach and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made."

Why is Physics important?
"Most people don't recognize or believe this, but Physics is the most fundamental science. It's usually taught last in schools, unfortunately, because it usually has to be taught with lots of math, so schools wait for students to learn about math first. Physics underlies Chemistry, and Chemistry underlies Biology, and Biology is by far the most complicated science because it's the science of living things.

Physics is fundamental because it helps you understand how the world works. What makes it different from all of the other subjects is that there is no way you can ever memorize your way through a course like Physics. It just doesn't work. It's difficult for students to adjust to since they have gotten used to that mode of learning. Sometimes courses are about memorizing a bunch of stuff and spitting it out on command, then you promptly forget it as soon as you can and move on.

Physics is about developing intellectual tools for problem-solving. People who become skilled at Physics are skilled problem solves. They can apply the same tools they learned in Physics to hedge funds or anything else. These skills are in demand for lots of different reasons. Primarily because they learn how to become creative problem solvers through learning Physics."

How would you describe Gilbert to a stranger?
"It's a place where the needs are great, and the rewards are greater."
Student of the Week
Mason Goodell
Age: 17

Parents: Georgi Andrews and Scott Goodell

What are your favorite classes?
"Anatomy, Physiology, and Band. When it comes to Band, Mr. Minnerly has made music play a big role in my life. I've done a lot of extra events and performed with many groups. It's had a big influence on me. Anatomy and Physiology are the fields I want to go into. I want to do athletic training and I like learning about the human body."

What are your favorite extracurricular activities?
"Baseball, soccer, and marching band. For all three, you put a lot of time and effort in and it feels good when you succeed in all of them. Baseball and soccer have always been sports that I loved since I was a little kid. I love being active and playing sports. Playing music was introduced to me only a few years ago. But I love the competitions that I attend with the band."

What do you think you will remember the most when it comes to your education at Gilbert?
"The kindness of the faculty, staff, and relationships that I built with them will be what I remember most about Gilbert. The focus that the teachers bring to the classroom to push you and help you succeed is amazing. The environment of the school is very upbeat and positive and very good to be in. Gilbert is a good place."

What are your future plans?
"I have not chosen a college yet, but I am planning on going to earn my master's degree in Athletic Training. I've always been fond of learning about health and nutrition. I want to help others to reach their health goals and be in the sports industry."
Fall International Enrollment Is Underway
By Debra LaRoche Walls, Dean of Admissions
Fall enrollment has begun for the international program of The Gilbert School. At this time, applications are being accepted from around the globe for the fall 2021 academic school year. 

On Wednesday, February 10, Dean of Admissions, Debra LaRoche Walls, will have a Zoom interview with the first Russian student who has completed an application to the international program. The fifteen-year-old male is applying as a 10th grade student. Sergey Petrov shared in his application that his favorite subjects are Math, Chemistry and Biology. Sergey added in his essay, “I cannot say that there is any subject I don’t like. I like to discover the world and I believe that each school subject can help me.” 

Sergeys hobbies are swimming, football and playing basketball with his friends. It will be a great experience to talk with this fine young man in hopes of him joining The Gilbert School community this fall. He sounds like a perfect fit for Gilbert.

This flyer has been sent around the world to hundreds of contacts that have been made throughout the past several years. If anyone has a relative or friend inside or outside of the US who is looking to join The Gilbert School international program, please share this information with them. 

We always encourage prospective students and parents to go to our website, which opens up with the most beautiful video of our campus that was produced in the fall of 2019. The five-minute video shows aerial views of Gilberts campus, the Walker Soccer Field, classrooms, and highlighted areas of The Gilbert School. Our first student from Vietnam who joined us in 2019, Danielle Dao, is also featured. Danielle attended Gilbert for her senior year and is presently a freshman at Eastern Connecticut State University in Windham. She had an amazing year with us and shared that she wishes she joined in her junior year to have more experience with American schooling. She was a wonderful addition to the international program. 

This fall, we hope to add students from many new countries to our program. Since the international program began in 2013, we have welcomed students from France, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, South Korea, Vietnam, and China. It has been a wonderful culture learning opportunity for both the international students and the students of Gilbert. 
Coach's Corner
By Buckley Morgan, Athletic Director
I sit here writing this update as the snow falls and blankets everything in white. It is a clear reminder that we are in the winter season of Gilbert sports. Gilbert sports are now in week three. Unfortunately, Monday and Tuesday of this week were snow days and prevented the Gilbert teams from practicing on those days. Fortunately, the basketball teams started conditioning before the 19th of January and will meet the minimum practices required to participate in their first contest on February 8th.

Next week we will hold three competitions here in the Yellowjacket gymnasium. Please go to the Gilbert Athletics home page for current schedules at

All Gilbert home games will be live-streamed and available at

All the Berkshire League schools are planning to live stream their home games. We are currently getting all the live stream link information together and will post it to all The Gilbert School social media sites as soon as it is available.

In the interest of making the winter sports season as normal as possible and while staying within the required COVID guidelines, Gilbert is now able to allow one parent per athlete to enter the gym to watch a game. Only home parents will be allowed in the gym. No visiting team parents will be allowed at this time. While this is not ideal it is a step in the direction of normalcy.

Each athlete has been given one ticket to bring home for a parent to use. The individual who uses the ticket for entry to the game must live in the same household as the student and must be an adult. Parents will present the ticket upon entry to the gym. The only entrance is the back entrance at the top of the ramp. 

We are currently able to allow one parent based on the current guidance and COVID levels. Please be aware that this could change if the COVID situation changes. I look forward to a successful winter season. Success is not based on whether we win or lose but on how we play the game and how we complete the season. I look forward to seeing some of you at Monday night’s game against Housatonic Valley Regional. And let’s not forget the girl's Senior Night on Wednesday, Feb. 10.
Coaches Openings
Immediate Openings at The Gilbert School

Boys Varsity Tennis Coach – Spring 2021

All inquiries should be made to: Buckley Morgan , Athletic Director at
Food Service Schedule Update
Pick up is between 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

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 meals during this time frame, please call the Food Service Director, Ms. Lynn Metcalf, directly at 860-738-9304. We will be happy to set up a time or day that is more convenient for you.

All children ages 18 or younger are eligible for one free breakfast and lunch daily.
Children do not need to be attending this school to receive meals. Gilbert 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 am -12:00 pm.

Meals served are 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. Whether your child is in school or at home, 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 860-738-9304.
The month of February and moving forward pick up times will be Mondays 11:00-4:00PM, and Wednesdays 11:00-4:00 PM. For anyone who cannot pick up on Monday or Wednesday you will be able to pick up food on Tuesday from 11:00-4:00 PM.

Just a reminder that all children 18 years of age or younger are eligible for FREE FOOD. 
If a child goes to school 4 days out of the week, they are eligible for 1 day of food pick up
If a child goes to school for 2 days they are eligible for 3 days of food pick up
If a child is at home doing virtual learning they are eligible for 5 days of food pick up.
Each child will receive 1 breakfast and 1 lunch per day.

You can pick up food on the days and times above in the lower parking lot at the door next to the dumpsters.

If other arrangements need to be made please contact Lynn Metcalf Director of Food Services at 860-738-9304 or email at
Last week's WHOZIT: Gary Yadach identified this picture from 1972. The students in the picture are: Heather Smyth (Cappabianca), Carol Keeley, Sandy Soucy, George Mubarek, Deirdra Houlihan, John Russo, Tom Fulop, Sue Gauger, Sandy Youmatz, Joel Darelius, Sharon Sullivan, and John Russo.
Google Classroom Cheat Sheet
Attention Gilbert Alumni
We Want to Stay in Contact With You!

The Gilbert School
200 WIlliams Avenue
Winsted, CT 06098