Celebrations, Social Networks, Robotics, #Nobull, Grubs & Sea Dogs

8th Grade Celebration

OK, I believe we have a plan, or plans that will work for all of us, parents, school and kids (not necessarily in that order).

We have reserved the GHS Auditorium and Gymnasium for the evening of June 12. If we use the Auditorium our students will be seated on the stage for the evening’s events. We will have the risers set up on the floor for the Chorus, who will sing the National Anthem and a couple of numbers special for the 8th graders. Our Band will set up on stage for their performances and then quickly break down so we can move forward with the rest of the program.

If we use the Gymnasium, which has a seating capacity of about 400 people more than the Auditorium (800), we would set up with a small stage in one end of the gym wit chairs for the students and family, as well as having all of the bleacher seats available for families.

We have secured the appearance (providing all work of the Legislature is complete) of our State Representatives to present the Citizenship Awards. Finally, Mr. Record will speak to the students welcoming them to the High School as the Class of 2016.

Then, we will have the students move to the Middle School for the Dance that will warp up their experience at Middle School. Parents will have the afternoon to decorate the Cafeteria and Foyer.

Given that we must move from our usual venue (Our Gymnasium), I think that this will work our great. I want to thank all of you who have contributed your thoughts and ideas for this solution. I know that deviating from our normal course can be trying, but, in true Gorham fashion, we came together to provide the best for our students.

GMS Robotics Team

Jake Bear, Alex Ousback, Connor Sweatt, Ben Bellantoni, Elizabeth Klatt, and Avery Arena are pictured holding their awards from last Saturday’s Robot Track Meet in Kennebunk. A 1st place trophy for the Delivery Robot and 2nd place trophy for Slope Climbing Robot were won by GMS.

Last post I mentioned how well our Robotics Team did in a competition last weekend at Kennebunk High School. What I wasn’t able to do was to show you our Robotics Team, and now I can. I mentioned that the kids took first place in the Awesome Delivery Competition and second place in the Awesome Slope Climbing Competition, but I didn’t know until today that all five of the robots that GMS students entered into the competition received the “Gold Standard”. Great work to all of the participants.

Purchasing Yearbooks Online

Last week we sent order forms home with your students that provided a link for parents to purchase yearbooks through our provider online. Believe me, this is a real convenience for parents and for the school (not necessarily in that order!). By using the online ordering system, we eliminate (we hope) the possibility of any order being misplaced. It also gives you a copy of the order for your records in the event of some problem arising.

I would expect that for those folks who are uncomfortable with ordering online, we have a plan in place for you to purchase the same way we have in the past.

I know these yearbooks are very popular with the students. If you have nay questions about how to order, give the office a call at 222-1220.

Portland Sea Dog Visits GMS

On Monday, April 30th< Portland Sea Dog catcher Jason Hernandez visited GMS and met with several student in many different classrooms. The students were able to ask Jason questions about being a professional baseball player and what it was like to be the catcher for Josh Beckett and Jon Lester.

Jason spoke to the students about the importance of education in doing anything in life. He talked about his own education, he attended Rutgers University and plans to complete the couple of courses necessary for his degree during this off-season. How important his teachers and coaches were in influencing is decisions to pursue a professional career in baseball. He also reminded several of our students who want to pursue professional careers that their education is their back up plan in the event that they get hurt or don’t make the team.

Also, as a final footnote on the evening at Hadlock, I am including a link to see out GMS Chorus performing at Hadlock Field, opening the game with the singing of the National Anthem. I hope you enjoy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1vDsZ_j0zw

The GMS Student  Handbook

Each year we review our Student Handbook to make sure that we have kept it current with the changing laws of the state of Maine and the Federal Department of Education. I know that each of you receive a notice at the beginning of the year asking that you read and review this handbook with your child to make sure that everyone has a common understanding of the rules and regulations governing the Middle School.

It is that time of the year and I think, since we are trying very hard to communicate with parents through this blog, that we ask for your input as well.

We understand that in order for an organization to function effectively, there needs to be a set or mores or acceptable practice expected of all of us. With that in mind, I don’t want this handbook to be a proclamation by us without the requisite input from all stakeholders,including students (which we will get to here at school).

So, I have included a link to our Student Handbook for you to review and ask that if you have any comments that you make them to us. You may comment directly through this blog, or you can email me at robertr@gorhamschools.org.

Pesticide Spraying at GMS

Our Facilities & Maintenance has contracted with a company to come in over this coming weekend to spray a pesticide on our athletic fields. You may have noticed that the fields have been posted with yellow signs warning all of this and asking that you stay off of the fields until Monday.

I have been assured that by Monday all of the chemicals will have leeched into the soil and will pose no threat to our students on Monday, when they return.

Fire Attack School

If you should come by the school over this coming weekend, you will notice a plethora of emergency vehicle around the campus. No, we will not be under attack or on fire, it is just the Gorham Fire Department’s annual Fire Attack School. Fire Departments from all over come to Gorham for this very popular event, so please, stay calm and know that our public safety folks are just learning new ways to keep us safe.

NWEA Testing

Last week I announced that we would begin NWEA testing this week. Well, we ran into a bit of a snag and had to postpone it for a week. So, we’ll try again on Monday and hope that any of those gremlins that were around last week have gone. (Maybe the pesticide will take care of them!)

Scholastic Warehouse Sale

Did you know that Scholastic Books, a premier book publishing company, has a warehouse in Saco? Did you also know that a couple of times a year they open their doors to the public and offer for sale many thousands of titles at an amazingly reduced rate? Well, they do and their next sale begins this week. If you are interested in going, check out this link for directions to the warehouse, hours of the sale and some great coupons. Scholastic Books

More on Technology and Kids (and some adults, as well)

Social Networking continues to find its way into the news on a daily basis. Unfortunately, some of the news is absolutely horrific in that the medium is being used to attack innocent, young people. Earlier this week a group of students from Lewiston High School marched and rallied against those who would use the medium to launch hateful attacks against their peers.

Evidently, at Lewiston, Leavitt and Edward Little High Schools, some students have felt the brunt of these hateful attacks through a Twitter account. As with most ignorant and cowardly people, these folks have chosen the anonymity that an account a Twitter can afford. Bravo to those students who are taking a stand against these attacks.

Which brings me back to the idea that we need to do a much better job at educating the public, and specially our students, in how to effectively and positively use social media.

I heard recently one very simple rule to use when defining digital citizenship. If you are not contributing in a positive manner to the furtherance of the subject, then you are not being a good digital citizen.

Of course that holds true for face-to-face conversations and goes with the old saying that my mother used with me, and I am sure many mothers used, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”.

Great words to live by in the real world as well as the virtual world.

Until next time…

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