Important Upcoming Dates
- October 24 – Leadership Team Meeting in Melanie’s room beginning at 2:30.
- October 25 – Early Release Day for students, dismissal will be 11:10 am.
- October 25 & 26 – Parent/Teacher Conferences. You will be receiving notices from your child’s adviser about scheduling times and dates for your conference.
- October 25 & 26 – Gorham School Department will sponsor a Flu shot Clinic at both the High School and the Middle School. For more information click here.
- October 30 – Picture retakes will be done.
- October 31 – Faculty Meeting in the Library beginning at 2:30. Food will be provided by the 7th grade.
- November 1 – The second meeting for a Conversation about Bullying Behaviors, 6:30 in the GMS Library.
- November 2 – 1st Quarter grades close.
- November 6 – Members of the ELA Curriculum and Assessment Committee (CAC) will meet at the Central Office from 8:00 am until 10:30. We will arrange for half day subs for you.
- November 7 – Leadership Team meeting in Melanie’s room at 2:30 pm.
- November 8 – PIE Meeting at 6:30 in the Library. We will be joined by our newly elected School Committee for questions and answers. Refreshments will be provided.
- November 9 – Report Cards will go home with students.
- November 12 – No School in celebration of Veterans Day.
By now, most parents should have received information from your child’s adviser about scheduling a time to meet on Thursday (Oct 25) or Friday (Oct 26) to discuss progress. The first quarter is coming to a close and this is a great time to stop and reflect on how well the year is going and what kinds of adjustments need to be made to help the child gain success.
What we don’t want parents to think, however, is that this is the only time that parents and teachers can “conference” about a child’s progress. Communication about a child’s progress is the most important thing we can do for our students. It really helps all of our causes when parents and teachers work closely to make sure our kids have success in school.
Again this year we will be holding our Flu Clinics at both the High School and the Middle School. We try to hold these during times that would be beneficial for our community of parents and staff, so we have planned to complete these during the Parent/Teacher Conference times. For more information about the clinics and what time the will be held, please consult our Middle School Web page here.
A Second Conversation on Bullying Behaviors
During the first meeting we had some great suggestions about how we can address these behaviors as a community. I think we decided that it truly does take a Village to educate our kids and we all recognized that this is a concern everywhere, and Gorham is no exception.
I have collected some resources that I will share here, that we can use to help frame our discussions. If you have any other information that you think could help our conversation, please send it to me and I will get it distributed to the community.
Looking forward seeing as many of you as we can on Thursday, November 1st.
Learning Team Work
I must really say that I am very impressed with the comments that many of the learning teams have about “The Fork Debate”. I think that everyone is beginning to see the point of the rather pointless reading. Dealing with the important items in each of these learning teams will be significant, but we can easily go astray if we dwell on the not-so-important items.
For those teams who still haven’t uploaded the notes, please do so soon. Also, for our work on Thursday, each team should choose a reading or video that they will discuss. We will have a protocol that we would like all teams to follow. The protocol will be uploaded to the wiki by Wednesday.
The Homework Dilemma
This has been an age old problem. I mean really, really age old problem. So old, in fact, that I remember my parents struggling with this dilemma (mostly because I refused to to my homework!) and whether it really provided me with additional learning, or was this work just “make-work” work that had very little to do with my overall learning in school.
There are several “camps” about this topic, ranging from those who believe that homework is essential to increased student achievement to those who believe that it has no impact on student achievement and is given just to retain power over students, and families.
On the web site Edutopia.org, Lisa Morehouse offers an interesting view of homework. Lisa is a former Middle School and High School teacher who is currently a journalist for Public Radio. She speaks to her homework protocols that she used during her teaching career at an urban school with issues around socioeconomic equity and a lack of resources for students.
The article is thought provoking and it does examine both sides of the issue with thoughtfulness and insight. You can check out the article here.
Chinese Language and Culture Opportunities
The School of Education and Human Development at the University of Southern Maine is offering several opportunities for adults and children to learn more about the language and culture of China. The University is hosting two faculty members from Jiang-Xi University of Science and Technology Chinese Language Center and they will offer Chinese for Beginners, a workshop for beginners with little or no knowledge of Chinese Language. This workshop will focus on Chinese phonetics, tones, basic words, grammar and sentence structure.
This workshop will be offered on Mondays and Wednesdays from October 22nd (tonight) through December 19. The workshops begin at 5:30 until 7:00 pm on the Portland campus of the University.
The Second workshop is creative handcrafts including paper cutting, Chinese knotting, card making. Participants will create a variety of fun craft items while developing their imagination and creativity.
This workshop runs on Tuesdays beginning November 20 and running through December 11, beginning at 4:00 pm until 6:00 pm on the Portland campus, as well.
For more information, please give me a call.
Opportunity Alliance Tip of the Month
A Gentle Reminder from School Kids
I came across this video that reminds us all to do our civic duty and vote on November6th. This Youtube video has gone somewhat viral, so forgive me if you’ve seen this.