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The original item was published from 9/24/2020 9:21:29 AM to 10/31/2020 12:00:03 AM.

News Flash

School - GMS

Posted on: September 24, 2020

[ARCHIVED] GMS Parent Newsletter - September 23, 2020

September 23, 2020

GMS Parents, Guardians, & Students:

As week 2 of remote learning comes to a close the majority of our students and families have had success with using Zoom and Google Classroom and are reporting that they are having a positive learning experience.  Thank you for your continued patience as we make changes in response to questions and concerns.

Open House at GMS: Open House at GMS will look different this year.  Each teacher will be creating a visual presentation to share with our students and families remotely.  These videos/slideshow presentations will be linked to one document and shared on Wednesday, September 30th.  This document will be sent out through Plusportals and also shared on the GMS website.  After receiving the document, please take a few minutes to go through the postings of your student's teachers with him/her.

As always, please call the GMS Main Office (978)632-1603 if you have any questions.

Attendance: Teachers are taking attendance in each class, every day.  It is now a state requirement  for all schools that are using a remote learning model to code students as “Remote Present” or “Remote Absent.” 

  • Change: After the first academic block, a One Call will be sent out for any students who did not log in for that class.

  • If your child is sick, and is unable to participate in remote learning on a particular day, you should call into the GMS Main Office at (978)632-1603 and leave a message alerting us to the fact that your child is sick for the day.

  • If your child has an appointment during the school day and will be absent from class, please call the Main Office to let us know this so we can document the absence appropriately.

Unified Arts classes: The UA classes at GMS this year include: Gym, Fitness, Art, Music, STEM and Robotics. 

  • Update: The next two week cycle of UA classes will be starting on Monday, September 28th and will run through Friday, October 9th.  Students should be checking their school email for messages from these newly assigned teachers.  These emails will contain the codes to join their Google classrooms. “A Block” teachers will also have these codes and will help direct students to their new classes on Monday, September 28, 2020.

Grading- This year we are moving to a Standards-based grading system which will be consistent across all grade levels and classes.  This system will give parents and students a clear picture of where a student is in relation to grade level standards in each academic area.  The score chart below shows the grades students will be receiving on formative and summative assessment.

  • Formative assessments are those that are frequent and ongoing and are completed en route to mastery. These assessments should be considered as “checkpoints” on students’ progress and the foundation for feedback that is given. While feedback is given on these assessments and entered as  grades, these grades are not given any weight in the final grade.

  • Summative assessments are completed after the learning experiences and usually require students to demonstrate mastery of all the essential understandings, though they can be explored over several different tasks. Summative assessments account for 100% of the final grade.

  • The system that will be used to grade these assessments is described below.




The student shows an in-depth understanding of the material by independently and consistently demonstrating extensions of their knowledge of the standards.


In addition to a 3.0 score, the student demonstrates in-depth inferences and applications within the standards with partial success.


This level represents students who are independently able to meet the standards assessed.


In addition to a 2.0 score, the student can correctly identify some concepts and/or vocabulary, and/or use some skills of the standards independently.


Students at this level understand foundational material, but cannot make connections among ideas or demonstrate their learning without support.


The student demonstrates understanding of all 2.0 elements with help and has an independent understanding of some 2.0 elements.


The student is able to demonstrate an understanding of all of the foundational material with support.


The student demonstrates understanding of some 1.0 elements with support.


 Even with assistance from the teacher, the student shows no understanding of the material.


Missing Work

Progress Reports and Report cards will be using the categories listed below to communicate a student’s performance in relation to the grade level standards.



Exceeding Expectations

  • This level represents students who can independently and consistently demonstrate extensions of their knowledge of the standards.

  • Students can create analogies and/or find connections, integrating areas of study.

Meeting Expectations

  • This level represents students who are independently able to meet the course’s core standards.  

  • Students who are performing at this level understand and use concepts and/or vocabulary and/or skills independently. 

  • These students understand not just the “what,” but can correctly explain and/or demonstrate the “how” and “why.” 

Partially Meeting Expectations

  • The difference between a “Not meeting expectations” and a “Partially meeting expectations” student is the ability to demonstrate some understanding. 

  • At this level, a student can correctly identify some concepts and/or vocabulary, and/or use some skills of the standards.

  • Students at this level cannot make connections among ideas or demonstrate their learning without support.

Not Meeting Expectations

  • Students are beginning to identify concepts, develop vocabulary, and/or use skills. They are unable to make connections among ideas or extend the information within the standards.  

  • While instructors may expect all students to perform at this level at the beginning of instruction, subsequent practice should lead to increased levels of performance.

Enrollment & Health forms- You will be receiving the enrollment verification form via email this week.  Please check to see that the information is correct.  You will either need to accept the information as is, or update it. We are also including the mandatory health forms and the acceptable use of technology.  These forms will need to be filled out, saved and then uploaded.  We appreciate your cooperation with updating our information systems.  

PlusportalsIf you did not receive this newsletter via an email from Plusportals, we do not have a valid email for you.  Please call the Main Office at GMS to rectify this ASAP. (978)632-1603.  Plusportals allows you to check grades, look for missing assignments, is how Progress reports and Report cards are shared and also provides an easy way to contact your student’s teachers.

Having trouble finding time to check Plus portals?

Sign-up using the directions below and a weekly email will be sent to your inbox with graded assignments and current averages for each class.

 After you log in to the Plus Portals page, click on your name at the top right corner.  A drop down menu will appear:

Click On - E-Mail Notifications and follow instructions.     

Be sure to check off YES to receive automatic notifications, how often you would like them, and the information you'd like to receive. 

You can provide one or two email addresses to have the notifications sent to. 

Be sure to click on SAVE at the bottom of the page

Food services

Curbside To Go Breakfast & Lunch Meals for All Virtual Learners (M-F):

  1. Rear of GHS 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

  2. Front of Waterford 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

The Wildcat Wagon Neighborhood Delivery for All Virtual Learners (M-F):

  1. 10:30 a.m. Manca Dr. Cul-de-sac

  2. 10:50 a.m. Corner of W. Broadway & Prospect st.

  3. 11:10 a.m. Corner of Cross St. & Pine st.

  4. 11:30 a.m. Monument Park

The Wildcat Wagon School Delivery for On Campus Learners (M,T,Th,F):

  1. Morning Session Students will receive meals delivered to their classrooms, with Breakfast to eat on-site and a Lunch to take home:

    1. GHS 9:00 a.m. 

    2. GMS 9:30 a.m.  

    3. Elm 9:50 a.m.  

    4. Waterford 10:10 a.m.  

  2. Afternoon Session Students will receive meals delivered to their classrooms, with Lunch to eat on-site and a Breakfast to take home:

    1. GHS 12:15 p.m.  

    2. GMS 12:55 p.m.  

    3. Elm 1:15 p.m.  

    4. Waterford 1:35 p.m. 

Curbside to Go Dinner for All Gardner Students (Virtual & On Campus) (M-F):

  1. Rear of GHS 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Farmers to Families Produce Boxes (M-F):

  1. GMS 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Some Side Notes....

  • Breakfast & Lunch is Free for All students until, at least, Jan. 1, 2021 (Due to a waiver from USDA announced on Mon. 8/31). However, families should still continue to complete and submit their annual Free & Reduced Lunch Benefit Form (to Jenn Vickrey). 

  • All Menus for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, can be found at:  

Keep Smiling and Go Wildcats!

Arthur Murphy, Principal

Gardner Middle School

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