MLTI Student Conference

As I sit in my office writing this entry, I have 14 of my students enjoying themselves at the 2012 MLTI Student Conference on the campus of the University of Maine at Orono. You need to know that these select students, all members of our I-Team or our Robotics teams, arrived at school long before they usually would in order to catch the bus (yes a yellow bus!) for the more that 3 hour ride.

We have been follow the conference from a Twitter feed and #MLTI2012 and all of the breakout sessions sound so great, I am really feeling left out! One of our students tweeted that he was really looking forward to the next presentation. Now, I know that most of you don’t know this young student, but to hear this student say “he can’t wait to learn something new”, well that is just music to my ears.

We are quite fortunate to have a couple of very brave and dedicated teachers willing to ride for such a long time in a yellow school bus (Gorham to Orono according to Mapquest is 145 miles and 3hours by car, so you can add another 45 minutes by yellow bus!)

GMS PIE Meeting

This is very difficult for me to admit, but it is something that I need to face! We do not get (give or take one or two regulars) anyone to attend our PIE Meetings. There I said It!

I would like to try something different. Bear with me as I try to explain.

The use of Hashtags (#) on Twitter allow us to specialize a conversation. So I have set up #GMSPIE on Twitter for that use. We can set a time, anytime, where we can sit, in the comfort of our own home and carry on a conversation about our school. It does require that you have an account on Twitter.

We will have our next PIE Meeting and first Twitter PIE Meeting on Tuesday, May 29th at 6:30 pm. You can join us live in the Library or you can join us virtually on Twitter at #GMSPIE.

Hope to see you there.

8th Grade Celebration of Middle School

Plans are really coming together for this event (good thing, it’s only two weeks away!) to make this a truly eventful night for our students and their families.

We will hold the “Parent” portion of the evening in the Gorham High School Gymnasium, as ours is being used for the Municipal Elections. We will begin promptly at 6:00 pm and we hope to finish at about 7:00 to 7:10 pm. There will be time for parents to take pictures and some travel time back to the Middle School for the “student”portion of the evening, a wonderful final dance in the GMS Cafeteria that will end by 10:00 pm. We do ask that parents be prepared to pick up their children at that time (mrs. Hanley and I have to be back at school by 7:00 the next morning!)

We do remind all families that the “student” portion of this evening is reserved for the 8th graders. We do not allow them to bring dates from other schools or GMS schoolmates in 6th or 7th grades.

Sue Bertin and Susan Emerson have been contacting parents of 7th graders to help to provide food for the snack portion of the event. We look for things like chips and Salsa, veggie platters, sweets and other kinds of things 8th grade boys and girls would enjoy. We have ordered a few 6 foot long submarine sandwiches, which have been very popular in the past.

Let’s hope we have great weather for the event, not too hot or too cold and no rain please!

Student Placement and Step-up Day

Our Support Services personnel, Dawn Weber and Heather Kilborn, have been very busy placing students on teams and in classes for next school year. Each student will receive their placement on June 12th, district step-up day.

We know that some children will leave school on Tuesday upset at where they are placed. They will come home and report to you that they have no friends on their team, or that their best friend in the whole world is placed in a different advisory. We recognize that this may appear to be the end of the world, but we can assure you it isn’t.

Students at each grade level will have plenty of social time here at school, from the beginning of the day, to EICAL period and lunch, there is lots of time for meeting up with friends from other teams.

It is important for all to know that we painstakingly read each of the Parent Placement Questionnaires that you so painstakingly took the time to complete and send in.

It is the goal of Gorham Middle School to create teams and classrooms that are representative of the entire school.

Should you wish to talk about your child’s placement, we ask two things from you:

  1. Please wait a few weeks before you make your requests to change teams, as friendships do often change over the summer (for that matter over the weekend, sometimes).
  2. You are familiar with the District Protocols for requesting a change of team.

Here are the reasons that we would consider a change of team for any student.

1. Prior (first hand) negative experience with the teacher.
2. Prior negative experience with a sibling.
3. Peer conflicts (i.e. restraining orders, etc…); combinations to avoid
4. Some significant connection out of school that mitigates them not being together (he’s my uncle, he’s my neighbor)

Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast

On Tuesday, May 29th, the Middle School is hosting a breakfast for our many volunteers to commemorate School Volunteer Week, We do hope that many of you who take time away from your very busy schedules can drop by so that we can formally say “Thank You for all of the great work you do for us.”

We will have coffee, juice and some sweet (very low fat) eats for all to enjoy. Breakfast will begin at 8:00 and run until 9:00, and no, you don’t need to stay the whole time, it would just be nice to see and to formally say thanks.

Gorham Middle School Holding the Annual Step up Block Party (And Dance!)

Each year, at the end of the year, we invite the 5th graders in Gorham Schools to join all of the current Middle School students for a celebration. We have a DJ who plays great music for listening and dancing pleasure, a Bounce House for all of the students as well as other features that make the evening memorable and a great way to end the school year.

This year, we will have our friends from the Canine Commitment bringing over some of the available pups ready to be taken home to a loving family, and part of the proceeds from the event will go to help them continue their work.

I know our current Middle School parents know this already, but for our newcomers, we want to stress that these events are meant for fun. We discourage (actually, we do more than discourage), that students need to have a “date” to come to this dance. Nothing could be further from the truth! Students are encouraged to come, enjoy all of their friends, make some new friends and play at being kids for the night. These kids will have plenty of chances to act like grown ups when they become grown ups. Right now, we need them to be kids!

The cost of the even is $5.00 and there will be a snack bar open with lots of good (and, yes, very healthy) snacks that they can purchase. There will be a vendor selling Dippin’ Dots, and ice cream like treat, with those proceeds going to the Canine Commitment, as well as lots of other stuff to do. We do ask that you please be prepared to pick you child up at 8:00 pm promptly.

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