It’s Heeeeerrrrreeee!

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.

Opening Days of School

I know that no one really wants to hear this, (OK, the kids don’t want to hear this!) but school opens for 6th grade students on Wednesday, August 29th and for everyone on Thursday, August 30th. We will then be sufficiently tired enough to make the weekend an extra long weekend over the Labor Day weekend, and then we head into the school year.

We look forward to our new 6th grade students and we have a very busy day planned for them on the 29th. The students will have an extended period for lunch. This is so that we can get our new folks acclimated to how our cafeteria works. You would be surprised how many differences there are between the way the middle school cafeteria operates and the elementary school cafeteria operate. So we are going to take some time to make sure that they are as comfortable as they can possibly be in a new setting.

Their teachers will have lots activities for them during the day. They will have a tour of the building and get to meet all of the Allied Arts teachers and get comfortable with where the 7th and 8th graders are.

It should be a great day for the kids and I guarantee they will be very tired when they get home.

Volunteers at GMS

Each year we have several parents and community members volunteer their time to help our students and teachers by coming in to school to read to students, make copies of papers for teachers, chaperone dances and field trips. Volunteers are so important to allowing us to do many of the activities that make school so much better for our students. We are so thankful for our volunteers and we can always use more.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer at any one of the schools, the good folks at Gorham Adult Education have planned several training sessions for those interested. Here are the dates and times at each school:

Narragansett – Wednesday, September 12th at 9:00 am
Great Falls – Tuesday, September 11th at 9:00 am
Village – Monday, September 10th at 9:00 am
Gorham Middle School, Tuesday, October 2nd at 6:30 – 7:30 in the GMS Library
Gorham High School,Tuesday, Dec 4th at 6:30 – 7:30 in the GHS Library

For more information please call Heidi McGouldrick, District Volunteer Coordinator for the Gorham Schools at 222-1117.

Important Dates for the Middle School

We have some dates that you will want to circle on your calendar for events at the Middle School.

September 4 – GMS Open House from 6:30 – 7:30 pm.
September 10 & 11 – MLTI Parent Night for 7th & 8th grade students
September 13 – School Committee Public Hearing on All Day Kindergarten at the Municipal Center 7:00pm
September 14 – First School Dance of the year 6:00- 8:00 pm in the Gym

The First Days of School

These first days of school are always very angst filled mornings with trying to get back on to a school year schedule and put aside all of those wonderful mornings of “sleeping in”. Making sure that everyone has all of the tools they need to have a successful day at school, having a good breakfast and prying people out of their chairs and start the long trek to school through all of the tears… and that’s just the Principal!

In all seriousness, however, this can be a very difficult time for students coming back to school. Everything that I have read talks about getting into a routine very quickly, with predictable times for homework, playtime and bedtime and what time to awake. Also, having a good breakfast is very important, one that is well balanced, so that the body has fuel to make it through the day.

The sight of students coming into school with highly caffeinated drinks like Monster and such, is troubling in that it does provide a “jolt” to get students going in the morning, but the after effects of such drinks on their young bodily make-up can be negative.
Let’s hope for a great school year and if you have any questions of comments, please send them our way.

Here’s a Question for All of Us

Regina Dugan directs the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Department of Defense innovation engine responsible for creating and preventing strategic surprise. Recently (March 2012) she spoke to a gathering at the TED Conference in Long Beach, California (march 2012). The topic of her talk was “What would you attempt if you knew you would not fail?”

I found this talk to be incredibly interesting in that she challenged us to find an invention that did not suffer failure, many times over, before it succeeded. As the head of DARPA, she leads the charge in trying to find ways to make what seems impossible possible.

Normally I would upload the video here bit this file is so large and is very difficult to download, I am just going to insert a link to the site. I hope you enjoy, the video is about 25 minutes long, but the last 5 or 6 minutes are questions and answers. What would you attempt…

Tips for Starting Middle School

As a middle school, we belong to the Association for Middle Level Educators (AMLE) and each year they publish a list of tips for parents of students entering the middle level. Personally, I found this year’s list to be the best that they have ever published and I would like to pass on some of the tips that pertain, not just for those entering middle school, but for all parents of students this age.

Their first suggestion is to to think ahead and prepare yourself for the occasional conflicts that will inevitably arise with your child. What are the truly important things for you, is hairstyle more important than homework or curfew versus occasional crabbiness? If you think about these possible conflicts before they occur, you will be better able to handle them. Get an idea of those things that you are willing to negotiate and those that are non-negotiable.

Break down larger jobs into smaller parts. Kids definitely can feel overwhelmed by tasks that are too large.

I know that this is easy to say, but hard to do, but remind your child often about appointments coming up, deadlines and due dates for school projects. This will help you plan for the inevitable requests for supplies to finish that social studies project or the making of 85 cupcakes for that class party tomorrow morning. (Do schools still let classes have class parties with sweets?)

Friendships in the middle school are about as solid as foundation built with Jello. They shift and change and sometimes collapse in a matter of minutes. There will be days when your child will come home and report that no one, and I do mean no one, like him/her. In fact they will report to you that not only don’t their old friend like them, they HATE them! Then tomorrow comes and the friendship is back on an even keel and “it was just a misunderstanding”, “we fixed it”!

This is the lesson that our kids need to learn, not all friendships stay wonderful, they have their ups-and-downs. Our kids need to learn that one problem does not ruin a relationship.

The last tip is my favorite, and it is so true. In the eyes of our kids, parents have all the power. We don’t have to prove it to them all the time. This is where those items that you have decided are non-negotiable are tested and it is best to save that ultimate power for those times.

However, as my wonderful daughter has reminded me on several occasions, she will decide what nursing home I will go to, so I better be nice now!

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