Boy Did We Miss the Kids! Thanks for Bringing Them Back to Us!

Gorham House of Pizza

We were all very saddened to hear about the devastating fire at the Gorham House of Pizza. Besides being a landmark in the center of town, GHOP is a vital part of the fabric of our community. I feel quite unqualified to discuss this, being relatively new to the town, but in all of my years in education, I have never encountered an individual or a business that put so much back into the town. I know that I can speak for all of us here at GMS, we wish Angelo and all of his staff the best of luck and we stand very ready to help out in anyway that we can.

Spring Sports Have Begun

All of our sports teams have been practicing since the first week in April and we are now ready to start the games. We were supposed to have games and a track meet today but the weather got the best of us (not that we are complaining since we had great vacation weather). If you happen to be at the school on any given afternoon, stop by one of our fields, I am sure there will be at least one game in progress be it softball, baseball or lacrosse. You can also check our website for a complete schedule of games.

Homework Club and After School Library

During this time of the year we have found that the use of Homework and after school library use drops significantly because we have so many students involved in other after school activities. So, we are going to cut back the days we offer both to two days per week, Tuesday and Thursday. Students can always make time to meet with their teachers after school for extra help on any day, with reasonable notice. We hope that this doesn’t cause too much of an inconvenience to anyone.

Busy Week Ahead

There is so much going on here at GMS this week that it is hard to keep track (fact is, it is hard for me to keep track…period!). So let me try to tell you all of the “goings-on”.

Tuesday, April 24, we have our annual evening for incoming 6th graders and their parents. During this evening we will try to explain what a typical day at the middle school will look like for your child, when they get here. We will have several 6th grade teachers, our School Nurse, Instructional Strategist, Guidance Counselor and, of course, both administrators. We will welcome your questions and concerns. The evening begins at 6:30 in the GMS Auditorium.

Wednesday evening, April 25th, our very accomplished Jazz Band will be performing in concert at the GMS Auditorium beginning at 6:00 pm. Our Jazz Band is just returning from a very successful “gig” in Massachusetts performing at the John Philip Souza National Honors Band Competition. All reports form those in attendance is that our band was fantastic and that our kids were very respectful and gracious guests. Well Done to Mrs. Mathieu and all of the chaperones and students.

Thursday Evening is very busy with the monthly PIE meeting for the middle school in the GMS Library beginning at 6:00 and the All Gorham Band Concert at the GHS Auditorium beginning at 7:00 pm, so, you can come to the PIE meeting and then head over to the High School. But, if that’s not your cup of tea, the Sebago Team is holding an Evening in Ancient Times in the 6th grade wing. This is a showcase of some great work our 6th graders have done while learning about ancient Rome, Greece Egypt and Mesopotamia.

Finally, Friday evening is GMS Night at The Sea Dogs. We have many things happening at the ballpark on this night, our GMS Chorus will be singing the National Anthem, several of our teachers will be honored by the Sea Dogs for their contributions to the community, Jason Lambert, 7th grade LA and Social Studies Teacher will be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. It should be a great night of fun and maybe a little baseball (given the way the Red Sox have been going!).

Odyssey of the Mind

A couple of posts ago I told you how proud we are of our students and teachers who competed in the state Odyssey of the Mind Competition. You may remember that Odyssey of the Mind is an international education program designed to encourage teamwork, divergent thinking and creativity. Our Students, Sam Roussel, Sam Martel, Teddy Lockman, Coleman Dowdle, Isaac Martel and Simon Roussel have qualified for the World competitions at Iowa State University. This requires fundraising on their part and they are very much in the process of doing this. If you would like to help these young divergent thinkers get to Ames, Iowa and the Iowa State University, please contact Diane Knott at 222-1220.

Spring Assessments

Each Spring we administer the Northwest Educational Assessment (NWEA). This assessment measures, to a certain degree, the growth of your child over the past year. The assessment looks at your child’s reading, math and language use and measures it against the last administration of the NWEA (last Spring). Our teachers use this information to help them form general ideas about how to best be able to “reach” your child, try to find books that will engage your child in reading or formulate a plan for helping your child better acquire language skills or math skills. These tests take about three days to administer, but the results of the assessment are immediate and available to all teachers. You will receive a report of how well your child performed by the end of the school year.

8th Grade students will be administered the Science portion of the MEA on May 10th. This is an assessment given to all 5th and 8th graders in the state of Maine and it measures proficiency based upon the standards articulated in the Maine Learning Results. You will receive a report of these results in mid-September.

Technology and your Kid (Part 5)

Dateline NBC has been running a series for the past couple of weeks titled My Kid Would Never Do That!, where they actually put students, or young people, in situations that call for them to make a rather quick decision about doing the right thing or the wrong thing. I know in my heart that there is something wrong with placing these kids in these kinds of situations, but I also know that doing this may save a couple of families the tremendous heartache when wrong decisions turn tragic.

So, what does this have to do with technology? I think it has everything to do with technology, with getting into an automobile with someone known to be under the influence, talking to strangers and giving them personal information and on, and on, and on.

It all comes down to Parenting 101. Always working with your children to help them make “right” decisions, being a role model for the behaviors you wish to see in your child.

One segment of the show last Sunday night dealt with texting and driving. In past posts I have discussed how the adolescent brain works 80 to 100 times faster that an adult brain and they can actually multi-task quite well on the tasks that they know quite well. That means that students can do homework and text and IM and listen to music and do so very well, because they know how to do all of these. However driving a one ton vehicle is new to most of them and so trying to accomplish texting and driving is difficult because they are new to driving and don’t know how to fully control the car.

The reporter pointed out, quite correctly, that when children see their parents texting while driving, then it becomes OK for them to do the same. While parents may say something like “Do as I say, not as I do”, to their kids, the child sees just the opposite and it becomes OK.

With technology, it is just the same, it is not a technology problem, it is a people problem. If parents deliver the right message, models the right behaviors to their children and sets limits for their children, the the results should be positive. But when parents capitulate to the whining of the child, or accept the notion that “all the other kids are doing it”, therefore it is OK, then the results will more likely not be what your want.

The final words spoken in the show was a message to parents, “Be A Parent, Not A Pal”. These are good words to live by for all of us. Raising a child to adulthood is the most difficult job any of us will ever do, and it is the most rewarding.

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