Upcoming Dates of Importance
- February 27 – Faculty meeting in the Library beginning at 2:30 pm.
- March 1 – Early Release Day, students will be dismissed at 11:15 am.
- March 6 – GHS Chorus in the Auditorium beginning at 9:30 am.
- March 6 – Leadership Team meeting in Melanie’s room at 2:30 pm.
- March 7 – Celebration of Middle School organizational meeting in the Library at 6:30 pm, all are invited to attend.
- March 8 – Principal Chris Record will address the 8th graders in the Auditorium at 8:00 am.
Faculty Meeting Agenda for Wednesday, Feb 27
- Review of Early Release Day activities
- Student day
- Music in our Culture
- Faculty day
- Learning Teams
- Student day
March 1 – Music in our Culture
This may seem a relatively simple statement, but, clearly, music impacts our lives everyday. Throughout the history of the human race, music has reflected how we have developed. Each generation can identify artists who have have left their signature upon the pages of time. Artists like Irving Berlin, Bob Dylan and, yes, even PSY, have etched their message into the mindset of time.
This day is intended to bring a small portion of how music has impacted our lives to our students. I am really looking forward to having our kids experience this day.
Periodically during the course of the school year, bullying behaviors rise to the top of the news cycle and the spotlight brightens upon this blight in the lives of our students and their families. While all attention seems to rise when a news story makes the nightly news or when a new book is published about the subject, our vigilance towards this behavior is always on “high alert”.
The Gorham School Department has a Code of Conduct that is defined by five words, Respect, Responsibility, Courage, Compassion and Honesty. When we deal with students who have acted in an inappropriate manner, we highlight these words with them each and every time we deal with these behaviors. Students leave our conversations knowing about what their role in the incident was and how it was not in keeping with our Code.
The one thing I do know is that schools cannot do this alone. In order for us to eliminate these kinds of behaviors, we will need everyone to help out, staff, students and families. Our Code of Conduct is something that we try to live each and everyday. I wish we were successful each and everyday.
As one might image, given that I am including this topic in this edition, bullying behaviors is back in the news. There is a new book entitled “Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Power of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy” by Emily Bazalon that takes a long, hard look at bullying and how kids don’t need to “stand up” to bullying to help those who are being bullied. Check out this clip from Emily:
I also came across a very powerful and touching video over the vacation that I want to share with you. This will definitely tug at the heartstrings (do hearts have strings????). Enjoy:
Music in our Schools Month
The month of March has been designated as Music in our Schools Month and we have plans to celebrate here at GMS. I have already mentioned that our March 1st Early Release day will be celebrating many of the different ways that music impacts our lives and our culture. Tracy Williamson has organized a great day of all different kinds of music for our students. Some examples of the offerings are:
The Jerks of Grass – Bluegrass music
Maine Marimba Ensemble – They have been here before and were a big hit with the kids.
African Drumming WorkshopStudio Soundtrack Recording and Mastering
Singer/Songwriter Skyler Clark-Hamel
Steel Drum Workshop
The Maine Steiners -A Capella singers from UMO
And lots, lots more. It should be a great day for our school.
Also, in the spirit of Music in our Schools Month, the Gorham High School Chorus will be presenting a short concert on Wednesday, March 6th from 9:30 – 10:30 for all of our students and staff.. We will be putting together a schedule for all teams on when they will attend.
I know that this cuts into the academic portion of our day, but I believe these types of events are just as important in the academic and cognitive lives of our students. I appreciate your patience and understanding!
Read Across America Day
March 2nd is the anniversary of the birth of Dr. Seuss and the NEA, along with schools across the country, will be observing the anniversary of his birth by celebrating Read Across America Day on March 1st.
We all can celebrate RAAD in very simple ways, just pick up a book and read. Check out this video of someone famous talking about RAAD:
While We’re on the Subject of Reading
March 6th is World Read Aloud Day. What is this you ask?
World Read Aloud day is to honor those 793 million people who populate the world who have not been given the privilege of learning how to read or write. Imagine that, 793 million people who cannot read or write!
World Read Aloud Day is about taking action to show the world that the right to read and write belongs to all people. World Read Aloud Day motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words, especially those words that are shared from one person to another, and creates a community of readers advocating for every child’s right to a safe education and access to books and technology.
We can do our small part by just picking up a book and reading to show the world that we believe in the right to read and write and that we will do our best to show the world’s children that we support their future. Please, pick up a book and read it out loud!
To register for World Read Aloud Day and to show your support visit: http://litworld.org/worldreadaloudday/
High School Transition
I say this every year, and every year it is true, but still hard to believe. We are at that point in the school year where we begin the process of registering our 8th graders for their Freshman year of High School.
The first event that is planned is a visit from High School Principal Chris Record on March 8th. He will meet with the 8th graders and talk about their careers at the high school and how they can get the most of their time there. He will have Department Heads join him as well as Guidance Counselors and they will answer any questions the students may have. Students will learn about how to register for their classes, what the requirements are for graduation and what classes Freshman must take.
The next event will be held on March 19th in the evening for parents and students. The event will take place in the High School Auditorium beginning at 6:30 pm. Again, Administrators, Department Heads and Guidance people will be available to answer any questions that parents and students have.
There will be many more events in the months of March and April to prepare the students for the transition to the High School. If you have questions about this process at any time, do not hesitate to call Ryan Watts. Ryan has been here at the Middle School on a part-time basis since the beginning of the school year getting to know the 8th graders better. He can help with all of your questions. He can be reached here at the Middle School at 222-1247.