The Buzz
School Community Newsletter
Issue #43
Friday, April 30, 2021
This week's schedule May 3 to May 7
Remaining Schedule for Semester
May 3-7     Spirit Week

May 12     High School Band/Choir Concert    

May 21     Half day. No Lunch * This is a change in the calendar
                                        Rock Pop Ensemble Performance  

 May 27    Junior/ Senior Prom- Crystal Peak, Winsted
                                        (No outside guests)

May 28    Remote Learning Day * This is a change in the calendar

May 3-26   AP Exams


June 1     National Honor Society Induction - ODD (Tuesday)

June 2     Remote Wednesday

June 3     EVEN DAY

June 4-10  High School Exams

June 4-6   "Snoopy" the school play

June 9     8th grade Promotion

June 10    Senior Night 5 - 8 pm

June 11    Graduation 5 pm 

**More detailed information regarding these events will be given soon.
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 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 can be 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

COVID rates are Decreasing, Why do we still have School Restrictions?

Governor Lamont has made several changes to COVID restrictions. So, why do we still have to follow the rules at school? Sometimes, there are different sets of rules for schools to follow and outside of school. An example of this is traveling. If you travel as a family on vacation, you no longer MUST quarantine and test. It is recommended, but not required. However, an exception to this rule for schools is that you have to quarantine if you are traveling for a sporting event in another state. Schools are also continuing to quarantine students who are identified as direct contacts to someone diagnosed with COVID. During this time, students may continue to remote learn. If a student is identified as direct contact and is involved in sports at TGS, they may return to in person academics after a ten day quarantine and return to athletics at 10 days if they have a negative COVID. If you are vaccinated, or have had COVID in the past 90 days you are exempt from quarantining.

Are colleges requiring COVID vaccines?

We are hearing of many colleges requiring students to have proof of COVID vaccination prior to starting. It is anticipated that many more will require it. If you are a senior and will be planning on attending college, please discuss vaccination with your parents and find out what your college will require.

Alumna of the Week
Molly Robitaille
Class of 2015
Molly at her music therapy practice, just after she was hired by the company in 2019.
What did you do after you graduated?:
"After I graduated from Gilbert in 2015, I attended Molloy College in Rockville Centre, New York to study music therapy. I chose Molloy because it was a small school with a very family-oriented feeling, just like I was used to at Gilbert.

The location didn't hurt, either-it was a 30 or so-minute train ride from midtown Manhattan, and about a 20-minute drive from the beach. I took advantage of both of those things a lot during my time at Molloy. After I graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Music Therapy in May 2019, I accepted a full-time position at Music Therapy Connections, a wonderful private practice in Springfield, Illinois. I provide music therapy services and piano lessons to well over 100 amazing people each week through group and individual music therapy sessions and piano lessons at our clinical space, at a local school, and an inpatient pediatric behavioral health facility."

Why did you pursue a career in music therapy?:
"When I began to think about my future in 10th grade, I was a little unsure about what exactly I wanted to do. I was heavily involved in the music department, performing in the band, marching band, choir, theatre department, and even jazz band my senior year, so it seemed natural to choose a music career, but up until 12th grade I thought my only options were music teacher or performer, neither of which sounded like 'me.' I was also very involved with the Northwest Special Olympics swim team all four years of high school, and I knew that I wanted to work with people in some way. When I started seriously considering colleges in 12th grade I had settled on occupational therapy but even that didn't sound like it was exactly what I wanted to do. Somehow I found out about music therapy, and after a brief moment of "Wait... is that a real thing??" I knew it was the career for me. After getting to college and beginning my training as a music therapist I knew I was right where I was supposed to be, and my current job has only solidified that feeling!"
Molly facilitating an early childhood music therapy group class pre-COVID-19 pandemic
What do you remember from your time at Gilbert?:
"The music! I wouldn't be where I am today without Mr. Minnerly and Mr. Atkins. For such a small school, the music department was outstanding. Mr. Minnerly and Mr. Atkins went above and beyond for us and provided us with so many unique and wonderful opportunities, from performing at Infinity Hall in Norfolk with the choir and jazz band to participating in multiple marching band competitions a year to our music department trip to Washington, D.C. to perform and sightsee. And, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention 'calzone Fridays,' when we'd be let out of the band a little early to run down to the cafeteria to get in line for one of the delicious homemade calzones!"

Do you have any other members of your family who went to Gilbert?:
"Yes! My parents, Astrid (Haskins) Robitaille and Ray Robitaille, graduated in 1989, my aunt, Sue (Robitaille) Napierata, graduated in 1990, and my grandmother, Lyn (Desmond) Robitaille, graduated in the 1960s."

What lessons from Gilbert did you carry with you into the real world?:
"In all honesty, the first thing that popped into my head for this question was Mr. Minnerly's motto, which he had taped to the wall in the band room: "To be early is to be on time. To be on time is to be late. To be late is unacceptable." I have always carried that saying with me! Another lesson that Gilbert helped me learn is to always be kind to others. This felt like such a big part of what Gilbert was all about. I was always met with kindness and understanding from everyone at Gilbert, teachers, staff, and students alike, and I extend that same kindness and understanding to the people I work with now."
Molly facilitating an early childhood music therapy group class pre-COVID-19 pandemic
What advice would you give current students?:
"I have a few pieces of advice! Follow your passion! If you're interested in something, chances are Gilbert has a club, extracurricular, or class that would cater to that passion, whether it's sports, music, art, or something else. Get involved with an existing club or extracurricular, try to start something new if you can't find one that aligns with your interests, or explore a topic that may be a little outside of your comfort zone. I am not a sports person at all, but my freshman year I joined the swim team and it turned out to be one of the best decisions ever and something I came back to year after year! I certainly wasn't Michael Phelps but I had a ton of fun and became friends with people I might otherwise not have known.

If you choose to go to college, take the time to find and choose a college that is the best fit for you and your interests/goals, whether it's somewhere local or in a different state. Gilbert is a small, family-oriented school, and if that appeals to you, keep it in mind as you're looking at colleges. I chose a small school because I didn't want to feel 'lost in the crowd' but if a bigger school appeals to you, go for it!

It's okay to not know what you want to pursue as a career. Talk to people in the industries or occupations you're interested in and see if you can imagine yourself in this role in 5 or more years. And finally, if college isn't your plan right now or ever, that's okay too! Be kind, show compassion, and never stop learning."
Faculty Member of the Week
Lee Ramthun
Lee, her husband, along with seven of their nine grandchildren last summer on
a Lake Michigan beach.
Where where you before you started work at Gilbert?:

"My husband and I are both from West Michigan. We ran his family's dairy farm for several years, but then decided it was time to sell the cows and move on. My husband is now an engineer for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, which is an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). After a brief stint in Kansas, his job brought us to Connecticut."

Why did you choose to be a building substitute teacher?:
"I have a Bachelor's Degree in Applied Mathematics from Michigan State University.  I had been volunteering with the FFA back home in Michigan and enjoyed working with the kids. While we lived in Kansas I substitute taught and enjoyed it. It was a good fit for me because I have summers and holidays off and can go back to West Michigan to spend time with the rest of our family, especially our grandchildren. My youngest son, Casey Ramthun (2010) enrolled at Gilbert the same time I started working here.  At first, I was going to work at other schools as well, but Gilbert keep me so busy I ended up only working here with them eventually making me a building sub.  

I really like working with the kids.  When I was younger I didn't think I'd have the patience to teach, but now that I'm a mother and grandmother I found my patience has grown and I enjoy it."

What do you think of Gilbert?:
"Gilbert reminds me a lot of my own high school. It was a combined high school and middle school, and a little bit smaller. It feels like a family and everybody looks out for each other. Students can always find a mentor. There's always a teacher they can find in the building to be a mentor and a guide. . That's why it feels like family. The fun part about my job is that no two days are the same. One day I might be in the math department, the next the library or the office and then the next day I'll be in the English Department or the gym."

How would you describe Gilbert to a stranger?:
"It's a very welcoming school where kids can find not only a good education, but also good role models and people who can help them guide to the next stage of their life."
Student of the Week
 Madison Perry
Age: 18

Parents: Lisa and Paul Perry

Favorite classes:
"Band, choir and music theory. I plan to be a music teacher someday, and music has been my passion for my entire life. Those classes have been the most enjoyable for me."

Favorite extracurricular activities:
"I love marching band and theater. Marching band is like a family to me where we come together every day during the fall. Theater combines everything that I love, including singing, dancing and acting."

What will you remember from your time at Gilbert?:
"I will remember my music department classes and extracurricular classes. I will also remember Mr. Atkins and Mr. Minnerly because they are the reasons why I want to go into music education."

What are your plans for the future after you graduate?:
"I would like to be a music teacher in an elementary school. I will be attending the University of Connecticut in the fall, majoring in music education."
Athlete of the Week
Avalon Laracuente
Parents: Nicole and Jermaine Laracuente

Age: 17

"I only play tennis for Gilbert. But I also ski outside of school."

Why did you chose to play those two sports?:
"I chose tennis because I had some friends that played. I felt more comfortable playing with people I knew. I got into skiing because it is a way for me to make new friends."

What have you gotten out of playing those two sports?:
"I made more friends from playing on the school's tennis team. I think I also gained confidence after winning matches. It lead me to feel a little more outgoing, especially in the school environment."

What is your strategy for those two sports?:
"Not to overthink. Sometimes I tend to overthink and I tend to mess up. I try to stay focused on what I am doing in the present moment and just try to have fun because that's what it is really all about."

What is your advice for people who might want to get into tennis, and skiing?:
"Just go for it. Don't wait and be insecure about it. Sign up, get to know the coaches, practice, and you are good."
Honoring the Honors
By Debra LaRoche Walls, Dean of Admissions
International Program students Ben Nguyen and Andrew Park
Imagine being fifteen years old and traveling alone half way across the globe to a country that you have never been to before, speaking a different language, to meet people you have never met and trusting them to help you begin their educational dream. That is what both Ben Nguyen from Vietnam and Andrew Park from South Korea did this past fall. Both boys’ parents put their trust in our international program and today, both of the students continue to be on the honor roll list after completing their third quarter at Gilbert. 

Their days are full of a true appreciation for our American classroom system and myriad of course offerings. Each day they can be found in their rooms working hard on their school work to maintain honor grades. 
International Program students Alan Wan and Frank Guan
In addition to Ben receiving high honors and Andrew receiving honors, eleventh graders from China, Alan Wan and Frank Guan also maintained both honors and high honors for the quarter. Our international music student, eleventh grader, Bruce Zheng from China, was honored with making “All State” Music, as he was one of four highly selected talented students from Gilbert’s music program to receive this award. 

On Wednesday, April 28th, the Residential Coordinators, Cristina and David Rutherford, Shayne Deschamps and Dean of Admissions, Debra LaRoche Walls, all celebrated the achievements of these fine, hardworking students with a certificate. An ice cream social followed the award celebration. How proud each of the students’ parents must be as they wind down their first school year. I know the international team is very proud to have each of these students as an integral part of the Gilbert school community. Now it’s on to Quarter 4. Keep up the great work students! 
Coach's Corner
Spring Has Sprung!
But Lets Talk Football!
By Buckley Morgan, Athletic Director
It sure is nice to have spring finally arrive. I hope you all are getting out and enjoying this great weather. For parents, one great way to get out and enjoy the weather is to attend some of our high school sporting activities. If you are unable to make it to the game, you can always follow the scores on the CIAC website at: 

I would like to talk about fall sports for a minute. The Gilbert/Northwestern football team is potentially moving to the Naugatuck Valley League, most likely after the 2021/2022 football season. This is still in the coordination phase. This move is something that our two previous Athletic Directors and the football coach have wanted to do for some time. With Sacred Heart in Waterbury closing, an opening is created in the NVL for us to slip into. This would not be the first time Gilbert (NW) has moved conferences. Before becoming an integral and successful part of the Pequot conference for the past 30+ years, Gilbert was part of the Northwest Conference. We believe we could make the transition to NVL football with the same success as when we moved to the Pequot Conference. 

Geographically, it makes sense to play in the NVL, as well as have the GN football program as a member due to our close proximity to many of the NVL schools. As a class M size program, we believe we could compete with a majority of the programs in the NVL. On another note, we are looking at adding Housatonic to our Coop with Northwestern. Housatonic is looking for a home for their 4-5 players and would like to join us. We could use the additional players and welcome them. This new coop is still in the planning stages right now. We plan to have the Coop completed prior to the 21/22 football season.
We offer a friendly reminder that all spectators attending any of our spring games are asked to properly social distance themselves from non family members. Please wear a mask if this is not possible. Our coaches and athletes will still be wearing a mask outdoors for the immediate future. The Student-Athletes and the Gilbert school greatly appreciate all of our parents who attend the games and we want you to continue attending. We hope to review our current spectator policy in May to possibly allow visiting team parents to attend competitions. We can only do that if the current COVID policies are being followed. 
Thank you for supporting your student-athletes and the Athletics program at The Gilbert School. We look forward to seeing you at the games. 
Athletic Accolades
Felicity Flores and Connor Marchand will be recognized among 363 student-athletes honored at the 2021 CAS-CIAC Virtual Scholar-Athlete Banquet. The banquet will take place this Sunday at 6:30 p.m. The show can be seen live in the following places:

 * Fox 61 TV

It will also be available for on-demand viewing on the CIAC YouTube page after the livestream.  
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 1979!
No one guessed correctly! (sorry)
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The Gilbert School
200 WIlliams Avenue
Winsted, CT 06098