The Buzz
School Community Newsletter
Issue #42
Saturday, April 24, 2021
Students awarded for achievements in Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents Program
Four hard working Gilbert School students were recently honored in the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) Student Award Program. The statewide program gives recognition to outstanding students in schools all across the state.

This year’s award winners are:
Rebecca Dowling

Rebecca is a senior at The Gilbert School who plans to major in Political Science and Journalism to achieve her dream of becoming a White House Correspondent. While attending Gilbert, Rebecca has participated in many activities and held various positions such as President of the National Honor Society, Class of 2021 Co-President, Student Ambassador, Chamber Choir, Captain of the Varsity Soccer Team and Indoor Track. Additionally, Rebecca had the honor of participating in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's 2021 Student of the Year Program to raise awareness for blood cancer. In her free time, Rebecca likes to volunteer at the local dog rescue organization and enjoys staying active in her community. She is very thankful and appreciates all the opportunities and support she has received along the way.

Brandon Gonzalez 

Brandon is a senior at The Gilbert School. Brandon is a role model to all students by being a Student Ambassador and Peer Leader. He is also a member of the National Honor Society as well as an athletic participant in Track and Field. Brandon will be attending college after graduation, and he plans to major in Computer Science and Engineering with the hope of becoming a software engineer.
Lotus Robinson

Lotus Robinson is an eighth-grade student at The Gilbert School who is enrolled in all honors classes. When she was in the sixth grade, Lotus also received the 2019 Superintendent Award and was a member of the Talented and Gifted program where she, along with other members, gave a presentation at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Lotus is an active member of Student Council, the Yearbook Committee, Middle School Choir and Middle School Band. Lotus is very creative and musically talented. She plays many instruments such as flute, piano and bass guitar. Her dream is to become a bass guitarist in a rock and roll band. Outside of her classes, Lotus is busy producing and editing social media videos for Loose Leaf Tea Market, an organic tea company in Phoenix, Arizona. Lotus is also a digital artist with a growing social media following, and she loves to draw during her free time. 
Arian Gutic

Arian Gutic is an eighth grade student at The Gilbert School. He likes to be involved in as many clubs and activities as he possibly can. Currently, he is in the Middle School Student Council and the Middle School Yearbook Club. Arian is always helping his peers in the Middle School at Gilbert to have fun experiences but also to have rewarding educational experiences. As part of the Yearbook Club, he takes pictures of his classmates participating in school activities so that their memories will always be captured and displayed in their Yearbook. 
He always strives to achieve his personal goals, whether it is his personal best in swimming or in his achievement of honor grades. He received this Superintendent Award with full gratitude and looks forward to continuing to be a positive representative of The Gilbert School. 
This week's schedule April 26 to April 30
Vaccination clinic for Gilbert Students
We have worked with Charlotte Hungerford Hospital to set up an exclusive vaccine clinic for our students sixteen years and older. This opportunity to get vaccinated can take place on either April 28 or May 4, 2021 from 3:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. at the Torrington Armory. We sent out emails last week to all age eligible students with the link to access the MyChart registration form through Hartford HealthCare. There was also a survey to assist us with informing CHH with an estimate of students who may take the opportunity to use this closed clinic to receive the vaccine. The email containing the link also contains consent forms in Spanish and English for parents to sign for their child 16 and 17 years of age to get the vaccine. If parents can bring their child 16 or 17 years of age to the vaccine clinic that would be advised, but not necessary. Students ages 16 and 17 have one vaccine option, Pfizer.
Covid information
COVID today can present with one or many of the following symptoms:

  • Cough
  • Nasal congestion/Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Nausea/Diarrhea/Vomiting
  • Muscle Aches/pain
  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache

If your child exhibits any of these symptoms, please consult your physician if a COVID test is needed and PLEASE KEEP YOUR CHILD HOME. Don’t assume it is “just allergies”, “asthma flaring up”, or “change of season cold”.

When Should I Keep My Child Home?

When they are sick (even mild symptoms)

If someone in the house is sick 

If they have been in direct contact with someone who has COVID

Unsure? Keep your child home and call the nurses at 860 379 8521.
Department of Public Health, State of Connecticut
Travel Guidelines

The governor has discontinued the executive order regarding travel. However, the CDC and State of Connecticut still recommend the following regarding travel. Please consider testing after travel as it will help keep our schools healthy and open. The only exception mandating quarantining is for athletes who are attending sporting events in other states. This requires a 7 day quarantine with a negative COVID test or a 10 day quarantine without a test.

For individuals and families who are not vaccinated who choose to travel in the coming weeks (for spring break or otherwise) the following actions are recommended:

Continue to utilize all appropriate mitigation strategies while traveling (including mask wearing, distancing, symptom recognition, etc) regardless of whether the policies and procedures in place at your destination mandate them.

Before travel, review the current DPH and CDC recommendations for travel during COVID-19 and be sure to plan sufficient time for any necessary actions.

Follow DPH and CDC best-practice quarantine and testing procedures upon return including: 

Quarantining for a full 7 days, even with a negative COVID-19 test result obtained between days 3-5 or

Quarantining for a full 10 days without testing and

Continuing to monitor for symptoms during all quarantine periods.

Individuals or families choosing not to observe quarantine should at a minimum:

Get tested for COVID-19 after they return

Stay out of school until they receive a negative test result back from the laboratory

Be acutely and continuously aware of any symptoms of COVID-19 that they or their family member may develop in the two weeks after travel, and

Be prepared to immediately isolate/quarantine themselves if/when symptoms develop”

Please notify the school if your child will be on remote learning following travel. Thank you in advance for your support!
Scoliosis Screening

The State of CT requires that school nurses do scoliosis screenings for girls in grade 7 and boys in grade 9. If your child had a screening done by his physician during their regular physical examination, we do not repeat the screening. If we do not have a record of that on file, we will start doing scoliosis screenings the week of April 26 for any student who is in school. For students in Group C, please ask your physician to perform this assessment at their next physical examination. Scoliosis screenings are done in a private area and the nurses assess the back of the student for possible signs of spine curvature. The screening is only a screening. If there are concerns, the nurse will contact the parent and refer them to their physician for further evaluation.

COVID Updates

Allergies and COVID-If your child is experiencing upper respiratory symptoms, sore throat, etc., don’t assume it is seasonal allergies. Please consult your physician.

Family Members and COVID-If anyone in your family is getting tested for COVID because they are having symptoms, please keep your child home until that result is received.

End of Year Activities and Vaccination-Prom and Graduation are just around the corner. Vaccination prevents quarantining. Your child is considered fully vaccinated if they have received two doses and it has been over 14 days since their last dose. If your child is vaccinated and they are exposed to someone with COVID, they will not need to be quarantined.  
Vaccination Information

After April 1, anyone 16 and older can get vaccinated in CT

Schedule Your COVID-19 Vaccine

The state offers residents and workers several options for scheduling their COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

Option 1: Search for a Vaccine Site
Enter your address or zip code to view all the locations nearest you. You can also search for a specific provider to view associated locations.

Click on this link:

Option 2: Schedule by Phone
Prefer to schedule by phone? Select sites offer appointment scheduling via phone. Due to high volume, hold times may vary.
Please note that some vaccine sites allow phone scheduling through a direct clinic phone number. Search by location to view additional sites and scheduling options.

Vaccine Appointment Assist Line
Available 8:00am to 8:00pm EST, 7 days a week

Alumna of the Week
Jessica Battista
Class of 2011
What did you do after you graduated?:
"After I graduated I went to the Hartford Art School. In 2015, I earned a Bachelor of Science and Arts in Illustration and minored in Art History. After graduating, I got a job in Virginia on the Eastern Shore working for a company called New Ravenna. There I joined their marketing team and did photography work. While working full-time, I worked on illustration gigs by creating beer labels and helping to organize a beer festival that raised money for local educational programs. In 2018, I moved back to Connecticut and I have been a freelance artist full-time since then. Mostly, I work on beer labels and packaging design logos." 

Why did you become an artist?:
"Art has been a constant in my life as long as I can remember. Just for me, if I didn't find a way to make a career out of it, I would still find a way to justify making art. I found a way to turn something that I love doing into a career."
An example of Jessica's artwork
What do you remember from your time at Gilbert?:
"I remember being on the volleyball team, which was a lot of fun. I also participated in the musicals and plays. I also helped to design and paint the sets for those performances. Those were my favorite activities and it was a very great experience."

Do you have any other members of your family who went to Gilbert?
"Most of my family, including my brothers. My brother Chris graduated in 2009, while Jacob graduated in 2015."

What lessons from Gilbert did you carry with you into the real world?
"One of the things that I loved the most about Gilbert was it being a very small school. I liked learning in a tight-knit community like Gilbert."

What advice would you give current students?
"I think students should figure out what they enjoy doing most and try to find ways to continue doing that when they grow up. They should find a way to stick to what they love doing and find ways to turn it into a career."
Faculty Member of the Week
Diane Kirsch
Guidance Secretary since 2019
What's your educational and work background?
"I have an Associate Degree from Northwestern Connecticut Community College. I started at Gilbert three years ago. Prior to working here, I was a Per-Inquiry Program Manager for nine years at a small local internet company and before that an Office Manager at a local newspaper."

What do you think of Gilbert?
"Gilbert is a great place to work. Everyone is friendly and supportive of each other."

What is the favorite part of your job?
"My favorite part of the job is the people that I work with." 

Do you have relatives that attended or graduated from Gilbert?
"I grew up in town. I went to Gilbert and my children went to Gilbert."

How would you describe Gilbert to a stranger?
"Gilbert is more than just a small school. It’s a community with a lot of school spirit. Everyone goes above and beyond to help the students and each other."  
"What We did on our Spring Vacation"
By Debra LaRoche Walls, Dean of Admissions
Who doesn’t love a vacation, even if it’s just getting out and enjoying the great outdoors just miles away from your home? During this April vacation week, Residential Coordinators, Cristina and David Rutherford took the international students to several different venues for adventurous outings. 

On Saturday, April 17, Cristina and David Rutherford, took students; Bruce Zheng, Alan Wan, Frank Guan and Andrew Park to the Talcott Mountain State Park, Simsbury, located thirty minutes away for an adventurous hike. The familiar Farmington River Valley landmark of Heublein Tower sits atop Talcott Mountain, a long-wooded ledge that was named after the Talcott family. The 1,000-foot high landscape provides an amazing view of the Connecticut landscape. Hikers can enjoy a myriad of wildlife sights along the trails such as deer, rabbits, fox, and a wide variety of birds all in their natural sanctuary. The boys enjoyed getting out and hiking on the 1.25-mile-long walk to the Tower that took approximately 30 – 40 minutes to reach. 

Frank Guan and Andrew Park
Cristina Rutherford and Bruce Zheng
Alan Wan
After the hike, the boys were treated to a delicious Korean meal at Seoul BBQ that made the day a complete success.
Alan Wan and Frank Guan

On Thursday, April 15, Cristina headed with the students to the Mitsuwa Marketplace located in Edgewater, NJ. The Marketplace is a Japanese supermarket chain that is located in eleven other US states. Students Andrew Park, Frank Guan and Alan Wan were all looking forward to a two-hour ride enjoying the sights along the way. At the Market, the students were able to shop for traditional food selections of Chinese and Korean cuisine. Before heading home, the group enjoyed a traditional Japanese meal together. They had such a busy venture that they forgot to take a group photo. It was a long and enjoyable day for all. 

As they do, vacations go by quickly and it’s on to planning Saturday excursions until the end of school. Stay tuned as there will be more adventures to follow! 
Coach's Corner
By Buckley Morgan, Athletic Director
Spring season is in full swing and games are progressing as planned except in the event of rain. For the spring season we have Varsity Golf, Varsity Baseball, Varsity Softball, Varsity Tennis and Track and Field. The middle school is also playing Baseball and Softball. It is great to have the student-athletes outside and getting some exercise in the fresh air. I know they are loving it as well as the coaches. You might recall last year our Spring season didn’t really even get started before the March 13th closing of the school building.

Covid protocols are a little more relaxed for our athletes because they are outside and the spring sports are all non-contact sports. Of course things could change should the COVID environment change. It is my hope that we are on the downhill side of this pandemic. All coaches, spectators and players not currently in the action of play must wear a mask and socially distance from others. 

We are currently only allowing parents of Gilbert athletes as spectators at our spring sports competition. You can see the visitors policies for each of the Berkshire League schools by going to the Gilbert Athletics page and scrolling down to the bottom. I suggest you call the away school prior to traveling just to confirm there has been no changes to their policy.
Food Service Schedule May
April 22, 2021

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Students,

I hope this informational letter finds everyone safe, healthy, and excited about the beginning of having our students back to school four days a week. 

I would like to begin with the changes that will be made with the food pick up now that students will be starting to come back full time. As students begin to return to school four days a week with Wednesday being a cohort day, they will only be eligible for one free breakfast and one free lunch for the cohort day. This would be cohort group D. Students that choose to change or stay in cohort group C are eligible for five days of free breakfast and free lunch. Families that have been picking up food for students in cohort groups A and B will continue to pick up free breakfast and free lunch until their child/children have returned to school four days per week. Once they have returned they will be eligible for a one day pick up of one free breakfast and one free lunch. If they choose to move to cohort group C they will be eligible for five days of free breakfast and free lunch. 

Pick up times:
Monday pick-ups will begin at 9:30-12:30
Tuesday pick-ups will begin at 9:30-12:30
Wednesday pick-up will begin at 9:30-12:30

For the families that would like to pick up for five days please email or call Lynn Metcalf Director of Food Services at the email or phone number in the side bar. Please follow the same instructions if you would like to pick up for one day. Who is eligible for Free breakfast and Free lunches? Anyone 18 years old or younger, at home learning, toddlers, students that are at home learning and attend a different school can pick up food at The Gilbert School.

For more information, please call 860-738-9304 or email Lynn Metcalf. Director of Food Services.
Last WHOZIT from 1975!
Congratulations to Trudy Avery Furno and Lynn Schnier who identified everyone!
Google Classroom Cheat Sheet
Attention Gilbert Alumni
We Want to Stay in Contact With You!

The Gilbert School
200 WIlliams Avenue
Winsted, CT 06098