Celebrating Music, Culture and Student Achievement

topperMiddleUpcoming Important Dates

  • March 6 – Spread the Word to End the Word Day
  • March 6 – Leadership Team Meeting in Melanie’s room at 2:30 pm.
  • March 7 – Organizational meeting for 8th grade parents and the Celebration of Middle School in June. GMS Library at 6:30 pm.
  • March 8 – Mr. Record to address the 8th  Grade about transition to the High School 8:00 am in the auditorium.
  • March 8 – School Dance sponsored by the Odyssey of the Mind, I-Team.
  • March 13 – Faculty meeting in the Library beginning at 2:30 pm.
  • March 14 – PIE Meeting in the GMS Library at 6:00 pm.
  • March 19 – 8th Grade Parent Night in the Gorham High School auditorium beginning at 6:30 pm.
  • March 29 & 30 – The GMS presentation of the school musical Peter Panic
  • March 28 & 29 – Parent Teacher Conferences

Spread the Word to End the Word

100h-Alternate-Logo-DarkFor the past several years, students and staff of Gorham Middle School have taken a pledge to end the use of the R-word as a derogatory put down. Each year we seem to have more and more students get involved with this worthy cause. Wednesday, March 6th is the national day of Spread the Word to End the Word and we will again be asking our students and staff to consider taking the pledge to end the use of the R-word. We hope that many of our families will also join us in taking the pledge and having a conversation with your children about the use of the R-word as a put down.

To take the pledge to End the Word, you can go to the R-Word.org web site.

School Dance

I know that it seems like last week when we had our last dance, but we’ve had a couple of weeks plus a week of vacation since our last dance. This dance is being sponsored by the Odyssey of the Mind and the GMS I-Team. This dance will have a few different wrinkles than our other dances in that the I-Team will be offering some gaming options for students as well as some student-generated films from past GMS Film Festivals.

We remind all students and parents that all school rules still apply, but for this dance, we are encuraging students to bring with them their cell phones and personal gaming devices. We will have contests and competitions in designated areas for students who want to “game” at the dance. We will still not allow students t use their cellphones in the gym or the cafeteria.This should be a fun evening for our students and certainly, a different experience for our staff as well.

Finally, we ask that parents be prepared to pick their children up at 8:00 pm.

Little Caesar’s Pizza Fund Raiser

The Middle School is looking for an alternative fund raising idea to replace our annual LittleCaesars-logoMagazine Drive. We have been in contact with several fund raising folks to find a decent alternative that will reap positive rewards.

It is not that we are displeased with the Magazine Drive, it is just that it appears to have “run its course” with us. This year’s drive was very disappointing in the number of sales and in the involvement of the students. This Pizza Drive is something that we have done in past years on a much smaller scale. We have given some thought to examining how this will work on a larger scale.

As always, we are open to different ideas on fund raising for field trips and speakers and other events that will benefit our students and expose them to new and different experiences. If you have any ideas, please drop us a line or give us a call.

Celebration of Middle School Planning Meeting

On Thursday, March 7 we will hold the first meeting to organize the festivities for the 8th grade as they prepare to leave GMS and become High School students at GHS. We haven’t yet finalized the date of the last day of school, but we plan to hold this event on the night before. We have a celebration in the GMS Gymnasium for the parents and then the students have a dance in our cafeteria with food and drinks and wonderful decorations.

This first meeting will be to discuss committee formation for the different parts of this night as well as discuss ideas for a theme for the evening.

I hope that many of you can join us to help plan this fun night for our students.

Seeking Volunteers

We are seeking volunteers who would like to star in a series of videos that we will use later this year and next year to help our students better understand what proper digital citizenship looks and sounds like. We need to have about 4-5 adults and about 6 students who will act out different scenarios that will demonstrate the “do’s” and “Don’ts” of online behavior. We will need to do the filming after school and on a Saturday.

We will be operating on a very limited budget, but we will be providing a great lunch to those who volunteer. If you are interested in starting your acting career, or you just want to help out, contact Terri Dawson.

GMS School Musical

Please set aside the dates of March 29 and/or March 30 to come to the GMS Auditorium to PETERPANICsee the presentation of the school musical Peter Panic. A whole bunch of students (that’s the term I use when I don’t know the exact number!) have been working very hard after school learning lines and songs for this wonderful presentation of a school musical being presented and all of the problems that accompany such a presentation (huh?).

In any event, I am sure that our students, under the great direction of Sra. Krohn, will be in fine voice and will indeed entertain you. Circle the date and the time of 7:00 pm for an evening filled with fun song and hijinx.

8th Grade Transition Activities

I know I says this every year, and I really shouldn’t be surprised, but I does come up rather quickly after the February Break. What am I talking about? It is the time ofr us to make sure that our 8th grade students know as much as they can about their first year of high school.

We begin with Principal Chris Record coming to the middle school to address the students on the process of registering for classes. He really does a great job of introducing the kids to all of the great activities and different courses that will be available to them during their career. He will join us on Friday morning, March 8 in the GMS Auditorium.

On March 19th, he will have another meeting, in the evening, at the high school that will be for parents to ask questions about the courses that will be available to the students as well as any other questions that parents may have about the high school experience.

Please mark your calendars for 6:30 on Tuesday, March 19th.

Music in Our Culture Day

I would like to send out a huge “THANK YOU” (that’s about as big as I can get it with the fonts!) to Tracy Williamson of Music teacher and Chorus Director for the very successful Music in Our Culture Day.notes

I have spoken here several times about our early release days and how we try to give our students something more than a day full of shortened classes. Tracy organized a day filled with several professional musician who shared their music and the origins of their music with our students. The kids were treated to a great concert from several folks as well as learning about how music plays such a big role in our lives.

There were so many performers presenting to our kids I could not get to all of them, but here is a small sample of the music our kids got  chance to enjoy:

These guys came down from the University of Maine at Orono and they were a huge hit with both the students and the staff. They brought a capella music to our kids and we have been hearing that some of our kids want to start their own groups.

The Jerks of Grass are a local Bluegrass band that play at venues around southern Maine. As they entertained the kids with their brand of music they also told the kids about each of their instruments and how Bluegrass music developed as a purely American music form.

The session on African Drumming had all of the kids absolutely enthralled with the drums and the other instruments. All of the kids were amazed at how good they began to sound after they had just a little instruction.

This is just a small sample of the events our kids had a chance to see. Some other presentation showed our kids how music is used to create the desired emotions in the movie business, a guitar workshop run by our very own Mr. Lambert where kids go to play guitars and learned about how they impacted our history. We had a couple of local dance studios come in and teach our kids Latin dancing and some really cool hip hop moves. Can’t wait for the dance on Friday night to see our kids “bust” a couple of moves they learned.

Again, none of this could have even happened without the great work and dedication of Tracy!

Learning Team Work

After that great morning with our kids on Friday, all of our teachers undertook the monumental task of trying to make meaning out of all of the data we get from the state about the NECAP’s. From all reports, it was a beneficial exercise that will need a great deal more work. I have emailed to the 6th and 7th grade teachers the results from your last year classes. I do understand that you would love to have the names of the kids on those results, but FERPA keeps me from giving those to you. We will create more time for us to be able to continue the analysis of this data as well as draw the necessary correlations with our Learning Team work.

In the meantime, I came across these TEDx Videos that does a nice job of hitting most of the work of our Learning Teams, I hope you enjoy these videos.

This video could be a companion to the article “Lessons from Skateboarders”.

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