February 19, 2021 Gill School Update


February 19, 2021 Newsletter

Dates to Remember:

  • Monday, February 22nd -- First Day of In-Person Learning for Cohort A
  • Thursday, February 25th -- First Day of In-Person Learning for Cohort B
  • Thursday, March 18th & Friday, March 19th -- Early Release Parent Conferences


Dear Families and Caregivers,

We are eagerly anticipating the return of our students on Monday! It has been nearly a year since students have been in remote learning, and it is so exciting we are finally going to be in person.
Teachers and staff have been setting up classrooms, and we have been getting the spaces in the school ready, putting on the last finishing touches in preparation for students’ return.

Students in all the classrooms met with school nurse, Carol Varner, last week to watch a well-constructed “GMRSD Schools and Covid” video. The purpose of the video was to educate students on the changes that will be in place upon returning, and to reinforce Covid-related health protocols to keep them safe and healthy. Students had the opportunity to talk with nurse Carol and ask questions as well. I’d love to share it with all of you, so here is the link: GMRSD Nurses Covid Finmp4al. The video runs roughly for 22 minutes and is exceptionally well done. Kudos to the district nurses and all those that helped with this project!


I would like to share with you some additional information you may find helpful.


  • Students should arrive at school wearing a mask and will be expected to wear their masks for the whole school day except for mask breaks and lunch time (first grade). Please practice mask wearing so that your child is ready to follow the mask routines.
  • There will be changes to your child’s schedule particularly lunch/recess. We will no longer have one common recess hour that serves grades K-6. Instead, there will be one lunch/recess hour from 11:30-12:00 for grades 1-3, and another lunch/recess hour from 12:15-12:45. Teachers are currently working on updating their schedules and will share them with you soon.
  • Your child will need to bring their Chromebook to school each day when they are assigned to attend in-person learning. For health and safety reasons, a Chromebook case needs to be a personal purchase. Students in grades K and 1 will NOT be bringing chrome books back and forth when they are in person. Those chrome books will remain at home for the asynchronous and remote learning times.
  • We recommend headphones for each student to participate in LLI (Leveled Literacy Intervention), i-Ready, and Guided Reading Groups. This will need to be a personal purchase. Unfortunately, the school will not be able to provide them.
  • Some families have chosen to keep their child/ren remote. If you decide you would like to send your child/ren in for hybrid learning, you will need to call the Gill Main Office (413) 863 - 7457 and Nurse Carol Varner (413) 863-7458. Students will need to quarantine for two weeks before returning to in-person learning.
  • Please send them in any completed school forms for the office and school nurse when your student returns if you have not already done so.
  • Students will be required to wear masks outside at recess. They will still be required to be 6 feet apart for safety. Families are responsible for ensuring students come to school with clean masks.
  • Students in-class will be facing the same direction in desks 6 feet apart for safety. Protocols have been established for the school bathrooms and school passageways so that students/staff are remaining distanced from each other.
  • We will not be accepting donations of snacks for classrooms. Breakfast will be provided to each student free of charge. Any leftover breakfast can be saved by your child and eaten by them at lunch or taken home to avoid sharing food. There will be no community snacks for special celebrations, i.e., birthday cupcakes, etc. at this time. As a reminder, there are NO NUTS allowed in the district. The district become nut-free for the health and safety of many of our students.
  • Students who are remote and at-home will need to have cameras on and participate in live lessons from the classroom when assigned.
  • Drop off in the morning will begin at 8:30 a.m., and there will be adults outside at those times to help escort children in the building. Children should remain in vehicles until a staff member signals for them to come out. Students will not be allowed to exit the vehicle without a mask. We thank you in advance for your patience and flexibility as we get our new systems in place!
  • Students in grades K-5 are to enter through the exterior doors of their classrooms. Classroom doors will be staffed and marked, and walkways will be cleared. Staff will be outside to help guide students into the building. Sixth grade will enter through the front door, and there will be marks outside the front office for students to line up on to stay distanced. Students who arrive after 8:45, should line up by the front office on the marked lines and they will be escorted to classrooms.
  • Classrooms will have windows cracked daily at least ¼-½ inch. Students will need to dress for warmth with layers.
  • Specials will continue to be taught remotely for the time being.
  • Second grade students will be housed in the former technology lab/library spaced until floor repairs can be made to their classroom.

We are looking for donations of white paper towels and bottled water. We strongly encourage families to send their students in with a water bottle, as there is a hands-free water dispenser by the office. Drinking fountains will be closed, so we want to have some extra bottled water on hand to provide students.


My apologies for such a long message, but this is all especially important. I will be sending an additional update before Monday regarding lunches.

Enjoy your weekend!



Lisa Desjarlais