February 9, 2012

Just a final reminder about the presentation on Monday night here at the Middle School. Drugs 101: What Parents Should Know presented by Claudine Emerson, Substance Abuse Counselor for the district. The presentation is ope to parents only and it will give us an overview of the kinds of substances that are currently being used by some of our students. The presentation will include a mock bedroom for parents to view up close and look for the hiding places some kids may use. The evening begins at 6:00 pm. Hope to see you there.

I am not sure if many of you have checked out the video links that I have included during the past couple of weeks. I promise you that they are incredibly powerful and enlightening. The Dateline NBC report reinforced the belief that our work to eliminate bullying from our schools is so important and very complicated. These videos can all be seen on Youtube and at the end of this post I have placed a link to the first 5 episodes of the series. The episode below is the last in the series and it follows the posting earlier today. I must tell you that today’s earlier post was a mistake. I am still learning how to maneuver around this, so please bear with me:

My Kid Would Never Bully 6/6

The University of Maine and the Maine Engineering Promotional Council are sponsoring Engineers Week 2012 on the campus of the University of Maine at Orono on Saturday, March 3, 2012 from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. This is open the students and their families who have an interest in Engineering. For more information and details on the day’s events you can go to this link: BrainPower: Inspiring the Future

Not that I need to remind many folks about this, but the mid-winter break begins on Friday, February 17 at end of the day. It is our hope that if you and your family are traveling that you have a safe journey. For the rest of us who are staying around town, let’s hope we don’t have a big snowstorm!

The School Committee, at the meeting on Wednesday night, approved the school calendar for next year. It is very similar to this year, not many noticeable changes. I have put a link to the calendar from our district web page: School Calendar 12-13

We have seen a bit of an uptick in the number of laptops being damaged by our students. We do understand that accidents do happen, but we are going to ask you to remind your children to be very careful with the devices. Some of the incidents that have occurred most recently are students spilling liquids on the keyboards. These devices have very sensitive sensors that will shut the device down when tripped. We have seen some motherboards get “fried” because of these spills. We do try to remind the students about caring for the laptops constantly, we just need some help from home as well.

Since I am talking about the laptops, I want to remind you that the students will not be able to take their laptops home over the vacation. We are not doing any uploading of applications during this vacation, but we will be completing an inventory of the devices and a spot check for breakage. We appreciate your understanding with this and we apologize for any inconvenience.

I know we haven’t even gotten to February vacation yet, but we are beginning to plan for the 8th Grade Celebration that will happen the evening before the last day of school. Now that I think of it, we haven’t even figured out when the last day of school will be… but we won’t let that stop us! So here are a few dates to keep in mind:

  • May 1st – Deadline for submission of pictures for inclusion in the end-of-the-year slide show. We are looking for one (1) baby picture and one (1) more recent picture of your child. In the past, some folks have used group pictures  as the recent version. Our goal is to make sure we have everybody in the slide show.
  • March 5 – 15 – Little Caesar’s Pizza Fundraiser. 8th grade students will be given sales kits to record their sales. I want to express that this is a voluntary activity and that no student or family should feel compelled to buy or sell. In the past two years this has allowed us to not have to hold other fundraisers to cover the expenses of decorations, DJ, food, etc.
  • June 1 – GMS School dance sponsored by the Principal and the committee. Funds from this event, which in the past has also been a step up dance for 5th graders, help to meet the expenses of the Celebration.
  • May 15 – Deadline for getting the Well Wishes and Slide Show Order form into the office. We make a number of DVDs of the Slide Show available for purchase by parents and family members as a keepsake of their time at Gorham Middle School. Order Forms can be picked up at the Main Office during the day.

I am sure that there will more events around the Celebration that we will need to communicate to you in the coming months, please watch this space.

All of the Episodes from Dateline NBC

My Kid Would Never Bully Episode 1
My Kid Would Never Bully Episode 2
My Kid Would Never Bully Episode 3
My Kid Would Never Bully Episode 4
My Kid Would Never Bully Episode 5

Hopefully these videos will bring about some great “dinner-time” conversations for many families. All of us at GMS are committed to making these kinds of behaviors non-existent in our school. Please call me or email me your comments and concerns, and if your child feels as though he or she is being bullied here, please let us know.

Until next time…

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