I Forgot to Give This Post A Title (Now it has one!)

Student Handbook is up Online

It is really hard to believe that three years ago (yes, I am ashamed to admit this!), we would spend almost $1,500 to include our handbook in our student planners. And, before that, our secretaries would spend several hours of copying, using reams and reams of paper, so that we could get enough copies of our Student Handbook ready for the first day of school.

Now, we can revise the handbook and get it up on our website at little or no cost. Isn’t Technology Great?!?
We have put the handbook on the Middle School Page and you can check it out, in fact we ask that you review the Student Handbook with your child at your earliest convenience. So, how do you find it?

Start at: www.gorhamschools.org

and look for the [Middle School] in the Navigation bar Go to the bottom of the Middle School page and you will find this icon

Click on this icon and you will be at our handbook.

We welcome any and all comments about our handbook and we hope you find it easy to use.

How to Find Important Forms on our Web Page

I am sure that you all have experienced this one time or another with your child forgetting to bring home important documents that need your signature and need to be returned to school the next morning. I promise you we have and we have tried to help you at home so that you and your child can have a stress free night of sleep.

On the GMS Web Page you will find an item in the navigation bar on the left hand side of the page entitled “Important Documents”. There you will find all of the documents that were distributed during the first days of school and required you to sign them and send them back to your child’s adviser. All you need to d i print them off and sign them and send the in with your child and you both can get a good night’s sleep.

GMS Presence on Twitter Grows

We are slowly moving into the 21st Century as more of our academic teams are finding their way into the “Twittershpere” (I do realize that using the term “Twittershpere” may make me sound silly!). The teams that are currently using Twitter to communicate with their students and parents are:

Monhegan Team @monheganteam www.Twitter.com/monheganteam
Eagle Team @eaglelaketeam www.twitter.com/eaglelaketeam
Harraseeket Team @harraseeket www.twitter.com/harraseeket
and the Middle School is @gorhammiddlesch www.twitter.com/gorhammiddlesch

Check out each of these and keep up with what is going on at the Middle School.

MLTI Nights a Huge Success

This past Monday and Tuesday night, we had great turnouts for our annual MLTI Information Nights, so I want to thank you all for supporting our efforts of bringing technology to our students. I am also aware that your children probably “badgered” you all unmercifully to make sure that you didn’t mess up their chances for bringing their laptops home.

One item I hoped I stressed strongly enough and delivered the message to parents and students alike, is that parents do control their child’s ability to continue to bring the devices home. We have a saying with our students that “with great access comes great responsibility”. If you believe that your child is not living up to that responsibility, we will work with you to help them meet their obligations.

Terri Dawson, Technology Integrator at the Middle School, did a great job on highlighting the need for our students to understand the importance of their “digital footprint” and “branding” themselves. She pointed out that the power of the “send” button is quite potent, and it is impossible to retract something that has been sent. She reminded all of us present that these “footprints” will always be available to someone in the future.

We will be uploading Terri’s presentation on to our Middle School web page by the end of this week. Check out our page to find it at http://gms.gorhamschools.org

From Our Friends at Common Sense Media

Besides forgetting to give this post a title, I also forgot to include a great video from the good people at Common Sense Media about Common Sense Tip for Digital Generation Parents. The video is about 6 minutes long, but it really does offer a very common sense view toward technology and our kids. I, fortunately, reared my children just as things like Instant Messaging and Text Messaging were just “cutting their teeth”. I am very thankful that I am not facing the challenges of raising children today. But, thankfully, we have groups like Common Sense Media to help. I hope you enjoy this and can take something from it.

First School Dance of the Year

The GMS Gym will be “rockin’ and jivin” (does anyone say this anymore????) to the sounds of DJ Mr. P on Friday night from 6 until 8 pm. The dance is sponsored by the GMS Student Council and the cost is $5.00. There will be refreshments available at the Snack Shack. We do remind all of our students , and parents, that all school rules still apply, especially our rules about cell phone use and our dress code.

The night should be a fun one with some really special surprises by DJ Mr.P, with some great special effects and some very updated, yet appropriate, tunes for the students to enjoy and dance to. (I am thinking my idea about a waltz contest might not be appropriate.)

All Day Kindergarten Public Forum

The School Committee will hold a public forum on Thursday evening beginning at 7:00 pm in the Burleigh Loveitt Council Chambers at the Gorham Municipal Center. The Committee will be hearing from citizens of Gorham about whether or not to expand the present half day Kindergarten to all day Kindergarten. All citizens are invited to attend and add your voice to the debate.

Another Date to Circle on Your Calendar

On Thursday evening, October 11, GMS will hold a “conversation” about how we, as a community, can reduce the instances of bullying and cyber bullying. Almost daily through out this country, and other countries as well, children are suffering needlessly at the hands a few. They are experiencing the loss of the personal power because of unkind, unthinking individuals and groups.

The Gorham Schools all have a Code of Conduct that is centered on all of us taking personal responsibility to act in Respectful, Responsible, Compassionate, Courageous and Honest manner. This Code is woven through everything we do, both academically and socially within our schools. Our students are encouraged and expected to behave in accordance to the definition of these words.

The statistics are clear about bullying and we are not immune from this type of behavior, in fact, I would say that we are right about at the norm, but that is not good enough for our kids. So, please join us for this evening, which will be the first in a series of these events to begin the conversation abot ridding our school and community of this scourge.

We will meet in the GMS Auditorium beginning at 6:30 and we will have some refreshments. I look forward to meeting with all of you.

Algebra at the Middle School

We are now entering year 5 of our Algebra “experiment”, offering a High School level Algebra 1 to selected students who demonstrate “algebra readiness” through the Orleans-Hanna Algebra Readiness Assessment and 7th grade teacher recommendation. Our first group of students are now seniors at GHS and we now have enough information about the impact of the Algebra course at GMS to look at any necessary adjustments.

To accomplish this, I would like to convene a committee of GMS faculty, GHS faculty 6-12 administration and parents to review the data from our firts few years and make any changes we deem necessary. If you are interested in serving on this committee please call me at 222-1228. I would expect that we would begin meeting in mid October and meet 3 to 4 times before we would be ready to make any recommendations.

I look forward to having parents join us in this review.

4 thoughts on “I Forgot to Give This Post A Title (Now it has one!)

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