The Building is Beginning to Wake Up!

The Month of August in the Life of a School

If a school building had feelings (and I’m not sure it doesn’t!), the worst day in its year would be the final day of school in June. There really is something different about the building the day after the kids leave. Most of us would (and do) sigh a sigh of relief as the hordes of children board those big yellow buses for the final time. But the building is almost audible in its sigh, and it is not a sigh of relief, but a sigh of sadness.

These days, as our maintenance crews work diligently at polishing and painting and scrubbing, the building seems to know that its summer of dormancy is about to end and the kids and teachers are soon going to be walking the hallways and sitting in desks and the classrooms will be filled with wonderful new information and learning, and kids.

It never fails to amaze me how dedicated a group of professional educators we have, for that matter, how dedicated teachers are everywhere. Being the spouse of an educator, I know firsthand how much summer “vacation” teachers put into planning for students in the coming year, professional re-generation and professional learning. Our teachers here at GMS are just as dedicated. Over the course of the summer, teachers have been busy working on summer projects for the school district, attending professional workshops and, when we allowed them back into the building, working in their classrooms getting ready for the return of the students. We are indeed very fortunate and grateful for our teachers.

Class Supply Lists

I am not going to report the entire list of the supplies that teams have requested of their students this week. You can fid the entire list for all teams on last week’s post. You can get to that post here.

All Day Kindergarten Public Meeting

I am posting this message from our School Committee direct from the Gorham School District Web page regarding the Public Hearing concerning All Day Kindergarten.

The Gorham School Committee respectfully invites the citizens of the Town of Gorham to attend a public forum on the question of whether or not the Gorham School Department should consider expanding the present Half-Day Kindergarten Program to an All Day Kindergarten Program, at some time subsequent to the 2012-2013 school year.
This forum will be held on Thursday, September 13, 2012 @ 7:00pm in the Burleigh Loveitt Council Chambers at the Gorham Municipal Center.

First Days of School

The first day of school for 6th graders is Wednesday, August 29th. This day is reserved just for the 6th graders and we will have several activities to get the accustomed to the middle school on this day.

The rest of the students will come on Thursday, August 30th. Both days are full days of school, with students arriving no later than 7:55 and being dismissed at 2:10.

There is no school on Friday, August 31st or Monday, September 3rd as we celebrate the Labor Day weekend and the official end of summer, UGH!

#gorhamms Twitter Feed

We are trying to increase our ability to communicate with our community of parents, teachers, students and citizens to become the best school we can.So, we have set up our hashtag (#gorhamms) on twitter to make sure that we get your questions and comments. In order to make sure that we receive your comments just add the hashtag (#gorhamms) to your tweet and we will get and, hopefully respond within 24 hours to your comment.

How Do I Get My Child Interested in Reading?

Many of our students are voracious readers and would never be caught without their books close by. But, then we have several students who just don’t seemed to be very interested at all in anything the resides between the covers of a book. How do we get those kids interested in reading, an activity that they will engage in throughout their lives, whether for pleasure, for learning or for work? Where can I find a place that will help me guide my child into the activity of reading for pleasure?

OK, you know I have a suggestion or two. First, I would like to share a little research about reading. Did you know that if your child reads 30 minutes a day for a year, they will increase their vocabulary by 3,000 to 5,000 words? Pretty impressive for an activity that is enjoyable and will barely break a sweat!

So here are my suggestions. Our friends at CommonSenseMedia.org have a great selection of books, categorized by grade level and age and even by topics. You can check them out at http://www.commonsensemedia.org/book-lists.

Also, a great source for some interesting reads I found while “cruising” my Twitter Feed is Children’s Book Almanac by Anita Silvey. Anita reviews children’s books for the Book Horn and figures she has read over 125,000 children’s books during her career. In her daily entries, she highlights a book-a-day with a synopsis of the book along with some interesting facts about the author. This is a great place to look for interesting and engaging books for your children, regardless of their age. Check it out here: http://childrensbookalmanac.com/

From the Maine Center for Disease Control (MCDC)

Maine, like many other states, has been experiencing an increasing number of pertussis (whooping cough) cases over the past year. During January 1 – August 17, 2012, 381 pertussis cases have been reported to Maine CDC from all 16 Maine counties. This number far exceeds the 82 reported pertussis cases during the same period in 2011 and the total number of reported cases that year (205). In Maine, the majority of cases have been in those aged 7-19 years.

Pertussis is a highly communicable, vaccine-preventable disease that can last for many weeks. It is transmitted through direct contact with respiratory secretions of infected persons. Classic pertussis symptoms include intense coughing fits, whoop, and  coughing until vomiting. Vaccinated cases of pertussis often have a milder course of illness with only a long cough duration.

During the opening days of school you will receive lots of papers to complete and return to school, among them will be information regarding vaccinations. I will ask that you please examine you children’s health records for completeness of vaccinations.If you have any questions about what is necessary, please call Teresa Merrill, our School Nurse.

Some Important Dates at the Beginning of the Year

I do want to remind all Parents that the Annual Gorham Middle School Open House is Tuesday, September 4th from 6:30 – 7:30 pm. This is a great opportunity for you to meet your child’s new teachers and to see the classrooms where your child will work for the year. This is very early in the year and a good chance to get off on the right foot for all of us!

Our annual MLTI Parent Nights will be Monday, September 10th and Tuesday, September 11th. These evenings are required by the folks at MLTI if you wish you child be able to bring their laptop home.

I promise to keep this evening short (and sweet), but attendance is required.

On Thursday, September 13th, the folks from Hockmeyer Studios will be at GMS to take our annual school pictures. You will receive an order form before the date of the pictures with information on how to order picture packages. I want to remind you that there is no obligation for you to purchase any packages from the studio.

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