Friday, April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024


Griffin Memorial School News


April 12, 2024
GMS Families,  

         Well there was no snow this week, so there's that... As I have said the week before the week before is usually pretty difficult on many. The need for a vacation is real, but there is still one more week to go. We are so impressed by all the progress that has been made. We were able to see fourth graders go on an amazing race and also make their own podcasts in writing. As we begin to wrap up this year there is still a lot to be learned and accomplished and we hope to highlight some of those things here in this newsletter.

         We hope you all get a chance to get to CHS's performance of Clue this weekend. Our friends at Campbell have worked so hard and it is going to be great weekend of performances.

          Remember to wear your Blue and Yellow on Monday to support our local runners of the Boston Marathon, Kristen Patten, Chris Patten, and Thomas Cantara. We are all so proud of you.

         We hope that many of you are able to make our next Coffee with the Principal, next Friday at 9:00. Come for some coffee and casual conversation.

         Finally, Tuesday is looking like great weather for a Ballerina...

Be Well, Be Curious, and THRIVE,
Dan Mitchell, Principal
Maura Clinton-Jones, Assistant Principal

Upcoming Dates
April15, 2024Wear Blue and Yellow
April 19, 2024Coffee With the Principal 9:00 AM
April 22- 26, 2024Spring Vacation

GMS News

2024 GMS Field Day

Well it's that time of year again....we are busy planning our GMS Field Day 2024!!  It's hard to believe we are already at this point!  I am attaching an amazon wish list of items that we were hoping to have donated.  These items are used for all our kiddos and the art projects that they do on that day!

Thank you in advance for your support!!!

Field Day Committee

Melissa and Kristin

Town Spring Carnival

The Campbell National Honors Society is excited to announce this year's chapter project: We will be hosting a Town Spring Carnival on April 14th from 10am-2pm! Located at Campbell High School, the side track and field. 

We will have loads of games and activities for kids to participate in, raffles, food, and more! 

THIS WILL BE A CASH ONLY EVENT!!! (very sorry for the inconvenience).

Admission will be $5 for students and $10 for adults (children must be accompanied by an adult). Each student will be given 5 tickets to play games upon admission! Tickets for raffle and extra tickets to play games will be 1 for $1, 5 for $3, 10 for $5, and 25 for $10. 

The profits from this event will go to the Boston Children’s Hospital.

We are also happy to announce that we have Smokin' Spanks coming to be our food vendor for the event!

We’re planning for this event to be a huge success, and hope many of you plan to come out!

Pre School Registration

Registration for the Preschool-aged program at GMS will begin on March 17th.

         The Litchfield Early Childhood Education Program is an inclusive preschool that provides the opportunity for typically developing three and four year old children and children identified as having special needs to learn and play together. Our preschool program will vary slightly from year to year based on student and district needs. 

        Children who are not identified as having special needs may be enrolled in the two half-day program on a space-available tuition basis. Tuition for the 23-24 school year was $125.00 per month. Tuition rates for 24-25 have not yet been set, but will be announced shortly.  

Kindergarten Pre-Registration 

           Go to the Litchfield District Web page and click the "Student Registration" icon in the middle of the page. There are a number of documents required as part of the process. The documents should be emailed to:        

          If your child is currently enrolled in our 4yr old PK program, you do not need to re-register for Kindergarten. Please be sure to share this with any family that you know has a kindergartner for next year but may not already be connected to GMS.

Pre-Registration for the 24-25 Pre School program will begin March 17th.

News from the SAU/ Superintendent

News from the PTO

Color Run Planning

Who is excited for a Color Run at GMS?? We are in the initial stages of planning the 1st Annual GMS Color Run for GMS students and their families! We would love for you to help us to make this event a success, therefore we are starting up a committee to plan this amazing event to be held on May 31st. Please join us for our next planning meeting on Wednesday, April 17th at 5:30pm on Zoom. Hope to see you there! Link will be posted on the GMS PTO FB page on 4/17. Sweetheart Dance We are excited to announce the Sweetheart Dance is scheduled for May 3rd. Our next planning meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 18, 2024 at 6pm via google meets. If you are unable to make the meeting but would like to help, please reach out to Katie LaBrie and/or to Erika Charbonneau at If you are interested in donating an item, please click here. We look forward to another successful dance! 

Teacher & Staff Appreciation Week

This year Teacher & Staff appreciation week will be May 6th-10th. We are currently collecting vases that would hold 18-24 flowers! If you’re interested in donating an item to help make the week a success, please click here. If you’d prefer not to shop, we are also accepting Venmo donations and those can be sent to @sarah-vasil-1.  Please contact Sarah Vasil at with any questions.

May PTO meeting

Please join us for our next meeting on Tuesday, May 14th at 6:30pm via Zoom. We hope you will join us as we hear updates from Mr. Mitchell and Mrs. Clinton-Jones as well as updates about the PTO events and happenings! At this meeting we will also be voting for all board positions for the 2024-2025 school year as well as  discussing the upcoming spring events and activities. We hope to see you there!

Monthly Newsletter - April 

Be sure to read our monthly newsletters where we will highlight important dates and upcoming events, and we'll introduce you to our Executive Board and Coordinators.

Attention all GMS Volunteers

For the 2022-2023 the GMS community volunteered over 2300 hours!! We'd like to keep track of volunteer hours again this year. We are currently using a Google form to track. Please be sure to enter any time you may have spent volunteering this school year. Some examples include baking for the back to school breakfast bash, volunteering in the library, planning/coordinating an event, shopping for items to donate, etc. Thank you to our volunteers for all that you do!

Calling all Fourth Grade Families 

Current Year Photos

Our fourth graders have been a part of so much these past 8 months - Finding Nemo, Pumpkinfest, field trips, soccer, football, basketball, baseball, dance, Girls on the Run, Boys Night Out, scouts, book club, Lego club, student council, chorus, etc. Please help us capture these memories in the yearbook! Submit your favorite photos from the year here. Please be sure to read the form instructions on acceptable photos. Thank you to all who have submitted so far!

Yearbook Ads

Each year the GMS PTO is proud to present each of our graduating fourth graders with a yearbook that captures memories from their last elementary school year at no cost to families.  In an effort to support our publication we are soliciting advertising partnerships with local businesses.  Please see the letter linked below and consider sharing it with your workplace or submitting an advertisement for your family-owned business.  Thank you for your support!

GMS Yearbook Ad Form 

**All of this information and more may be found on our Facebook Page: GMS PTO NH 2023-2024.**

News from the Community

Community News

Pontine Theatre’s stage adaptation of “Robert Frost’s New Hampshire”, will be presented on April 26 th at 6:30 p.m. at the Litchfield Community Church Presbyterian. The program includes Frost’s early poems about life in New England settings and the difficulties of rural farm life. Robert Frost was a Pulitzer Prize winner and a poet laureate. He had lived in Derry and Franconia, New Hampshire where he wrote much of his poetry. The National Endowment for the Arts is a sponsor along with the Litchfield Historical Society and the Litchfield Community Church.

Healthy Kids Running Series

Healthy Kids Running Series is an all inclusive 5 week cross country inspired race series to encourage children to "get up and go." There are races for kids ages 2-14, including a challenger division for individuals with special needs. We run on Sunday afternoons starting May 5th. To sign up or for more information visit our website

Repeated News/ Long Term Info to Know

From the Health Office

Though we are through the darkest days of winter and warmer weather is drawing near, we are still experiencing the throes of cold weather virus’s and “bugs”. Many of your students, and many of the staff, have been experiencing various cold, flu and GI illnesses that seems to be sticking around. Our COVID policy has been updated to reflect the most up-to-date CDC guidelines, however our school policy regarding fever, vomiting and diarrhea remain unchanged. We understand the frustration and inconvenience of illnesses, however, we ask that you take your student’s complaints seriously and consider keeping them home until they are feeling better and/or the following criteria are met.

As of March 1st, 2024 CDC released updated recommendations for how people can protect themselves and their communities from respiratory viruses, including COVID-19. The new guidance brings a unified approach to addressing risks from all respiratory viral illnesses including COVID-19, flu, and RSV. The updated guidance recommends that when you are sick stay home and away from others return to normal activities when, for at least 24 hours, symptoms are improving overall, and if a fever (greater than 100.4 o F) was present, it has been gone without use of a fever-reducing medication. In addition, if your child has nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea unrelated to respiratory symptoms, please keep your child home and away from others until symptoms are gone for 24 hours. 

Please do not hesitate to call or email with any questions or concerns.

Be well & stay healthy,

Alexa Romanello, BSN-RN

(603) 424-5931 ext. 1108

To help you organize and plan for this year, we have created a list of all of our intended Spirit Days. We will remind you as they get closer, but in order to prevent the scramble that sometimes comes with these days, we hope to give you as much time as possible to prepare. The days can be found HERE. These flyers are also available on our Facebook and Instagram pages for your reference.

School and District Text Messaging 

You can take advantage of our Text Messaging Service. Our school utilizes the SchoolMessenger

system to deliver text messages, straight to your mobile phone with important information about events, school closings, safety alerts and more. You can participate in this free service* just by sending a text message of “Y” or “Yes” to our school’s short code number, 67587.

You can also opt out of these messages at any time by simply replying to one of our messages with “Stop”.

SchoolMessenger is compliant with the Student Privacy PledgeTM, so you can

rest assured that your information is safe and will never be given or sold to anyone.

End 68 Hours of Hunger and the Litchfield School District 2023-2024

The End 68 Hours of Hunger Program and Litchfield Schools are pleased to inform you about a free, confidential food program which provides students with meals from Friday after school until they return to school on Monday morning.  If meeting the weekend nutritional needs of your child is challenging at this time, we would like to help meet that need.  All food is non-perishable and easy to prepare.  If your child has any food allergies, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate this need.  Nut products are included for those who are not allergic, but children are informed that they are not to open the bags until a parent can review the contents. 

Each week, bags containing food will be provided to students at school.  Students will bring the bag home on the bus or by whatever mode of transportation they have at the end of the day.  If you prefer, parents may pick up the bag at school. 

If you’d like to sign up for the program or need additional information, please contact Taryn Staples, School Social Worker, at

Absence Reporting 

At Litchfield School District, one of our greatest priorities is ensuring that all our students arrive safely at school each and every day. 

To enhance our existing absence-checking procedure, we are introducing a new, more efficient student absence reporting system called SafeArrival.  This new system will reduce the time it takes to verify student attendance, make it easy for you to report your child’s absence and easy for staff to respond to unexplained student absences. 

With SafeArrival, you are asked to report your child’s absence in advance using any of these 3 convenient methods:

  1. Using your mobile device, download and install the SchoolMessenger app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store (or from the links at The first time you use the app, select Sign Up to create your account. Select Attendance then Report an Absence.

  2. Use the SafeArrival website, The first time you use the website, select Sign Up to create your account. Select Attendance then Report an Absence.

  3. Call the toll-free number 1-833-516-0370 to report an absence using the automated phone system.

These options are available 24 hours/day, 7 days a week.  Future absences can be reported at any time. 

In addition, we will use the SchoolMessenger Communicate automated notification system to contact parents whose child is absent when the absence was not reported in advance. The automated notification system will attempt to contact parents at multiple contact points until a reason is submitted for the absence. If our system is unable to reach the designated contacts, office staff will follow up. 

If you report your child’s absence in advance using the SafeArrival toll-free number, website or mobile app, you will NOT receive these notifications.

Starting March 4, when we return from Vacation, please report absences in advance using SafeArrival instead of sending notes or calling/emailing the school.  

Starting March 4, staff will begin using the SafeArrival notifications to let you know if your student is absent (when you haven’t reported the absence in advance).  

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we implement this new system.

***Please Note that Sign Up may not be available until early next week***

SafeArrival Sign Up

SafeArrival FAQs

SafeArrival Report an Absence

Morning Drop Off Procedures

During the morning drop off, both buses and cars will utilize the big loop. As vehicles pull in please pull as far forward until all cars have stopped. Then you can let your child out of the car. Please then wait until the cars in front of you move before pulling forward. Please DO NOT pass a stopped car or stop at the front door if there is space in front to pull forward. We also ask that you avoid parking in the parking lot and walking your child to the door, this adds pedestrian traffic to car traffic. Our attempt is to make this a safe and fluid process. We understand that some back ups do occur, but this procedure ensures safety of all and limits the length of any delay.

Pick Up Procedures

Those utilizing parent pick up are asked to fill in the large loop at the designated time. Please have the colored pick up slips that were sent home, as these act as verification for our staff. If you arrive early for your designated time, you will be directed to a waiting line in the parking lot until your group time.

Pink Group (Last Names A-G): 2:45

Yellow Group (Last Names H-O) 2:52

Blue Group (Last Names P-Z) 3:00

Buses: 3:10 targeted departure 

229 Charles Bancroft Hwy. Litchfield, NH 03052

(603) 424-5931

Past Editions of the GMS School News can be found at:


April 12, 2024

  Griffin Memorial School News At GMS, We THRIVE    April 12, 2024 GMS Families,            Well there was no snow this week, so there's...