August 26 – First Teacher Day, GMS Auditorium 8:00 am
August 27 – Workshop Day, schedule will be forthcoming
August 28 – First Student Day (6th Graders only)
August 29 – All students return
August 30 – No School ( Long Labor Day Weekend)
September 2 – Labor Day (No School)
September 3 – School Pictures and Vision and Hearing Screenings (Schedule will be forth coming)
September 3 – GMS Open House 6:00 – 7:00 pm
September 4 – Faculty Meeting 2:30 in GMS Library
September 10 – 6th Grade Parent Meeting GMS Library 6:00 pm
August 26th Teacher Day
The morning will begin with a wonderful continental breakfast in the GMS Cafeteria at 7:30 until 7:55. The whole district portion of the program will begin promptly at 8:00 am in the GMS Auditorium with Ted offering opening remarks as well as introduction of new staff. At the conclusion of the whole district session we will move to the MS Library to begin our work for the day.
The morning portion of our day will cover the mandated basics, and as payment for suffering through the “mandated basics”, we will provide lunch with drinks and chips! For those of you who have been operating on a summertime schedule, which means that lunch might begin around 2:00, we will have our lunch at noontime til 1:00.
The afternoon sessions will be on building based work around Technology and Students, both mutually inclusive and exclusive (if that’s possible!). We should be done by 3:00 pm.
We will start promptly at 8:00 am in the GMS Library. Our agenda will include District Focus Points. We will make sure that all teachers have time to work in their classrooms before the end of the day.
All Special Educators will be meeting at the Central Office with Katie and Kathy to discuss issues central to Special Education. Special Education Department will provide lunch for all Special Educators.
August 28 – All 6th Graders
This is the first day for all 6th graders. For those of you who are parents of 7th and 8th graders, you have one more day to wait to get the kids back to school.
They will have quite a bit of time with their advisors and teams in the morning. Lunch will be served in the Cafeteria at 11:00 am, and we will extend the time for the students to make sure that there is plenty of time for the students to get the “hang” of how the Cafe works and a decent recess time.
Susie and I would like to hold an assembly in the Auditorium at 12:45 until 2:00 to meet the new “middle schoolers” and to talk about the “Toa of GMS”. At the end of the assembly, the students will return to their teams for dismissal.
August 29 – Everyone!
This is the first day of school for ALL GMS students (finally!). We will begin with an extended Advisory period until 9:00. After that time, we will run a schedule similar to a “1-Hour Delay” schedule. We will also run it as a Thursday schedule as well.
We will have worked with the 6th grade students to streamline lunch, but I expect that there may be some delays in the 8th grade lunch due to the 7th graders “getting back in the swing”, so 8th grade teachers, we may ask you to hold your students for a few minutes, if necessary.
August 30 – Take a Breath!
There is no school for students and teachers, so please enjoy the extended weekend knowing that when we return on Tuesday, it really does start!
You will notice several changes in access to the building over the next couple of month as we upgrade our security. As we have always done, all access doors will be locked at 8:15 am and unlocked at 2:30 pm. This means that parents who are coming to pick students up for appointments during the school day will need to be “buzzed” into the building. We realize that this will be different for many parents and we ask you patience while we work to make our schools safe for everyone.
There will be other changes in our security procedures as the year progresses and our contractors can “catch up” with the work. We will let you know of all of those as they are placed into service.
Student Laptop Deployment
We have developed a schedule for deploying the student laptops during the first days of school. As I mentioned above, these are not the same devices as we have had in the past and they will require a different method than we have employed in the past.
6th grade devices, the MacBooks, will be deployed by team on Wednesday, September 4. We will publish a schedule for when teams will bring their students to the Library.
7th grade deployment of the MacBook Air will happen over two days, September 5 and 6 in the Library. We will ask all Science Teachers to follow a schedule for students to receive all of the equipment and to demonstrate how to set up the machine. Each class deployment should take an entire period, so please plan accordingly.
8th grade deployment will take place on Monday and Tuesday, September 9 & 10. We will follow the same methods as the 7th grade. Exact times for both the 7th grade and 8th grade science classes will be sent out later next week.
MLTI Parents Nights
As we have since the MLTI program began 12 years ago (where does the time go!), we will need to hold the MLTI Parent night as required by our lease with the state of Maine. We will hold two meetings on Monday, September 16 and Tuesday, September 17 beginning at 6:00 pm both nights. You need only attend one of these evenings.
The new devices the 7th and 8th graders will be receiving will have different levels of security and oversight than the devices we have had in the past. We will be reviewing these rather large changes on this night and offering some tips on keeping your child responsible and respectful while online at home.
We will also review the changes in the district’s Laptop Protection Plan for the coming year. There are some significant changes to this plan as well this year.
Students will not be allowed to bring laptops home until after this evening and parents complete all of the paperwork and sign up for the Laptop Protection Plan.
GMS Open House – September 3rd
The annual GMS Open House will be Tuesday, September 3rd from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. This is a great opportunity for teachers and parents to “meet and greet” and show off classrooms. We will have lots of informational tables set up in the Foyer of the school to disseminate information about life at the middle school.
Food Services will be available to answer any questions parents may have about our different food plans for students, information about federal programs to assist families in making sure kids get nutritious (and tasty!) meals for lunch.
They will also provide cookies and drink for all attendees to the open house.
School Picture Day and Vision and Hearing Screenings – September 3rd
Teresa Merrill will also be performing Vision and Hearing screenings for 7th grade students and selected other students during this time.
I know that this can be very disrupting to getting a routine set for our students, but this really is necessary work for our school. Thanks for your patience.
We will be getting a schedule out to all next week.
Grade Level Parent Meetings
Recalling tho African adage that it takes a village to raise a child”, we are hoping to extend the involvement of our community in our school. To that end, we will be holding Grade Level Parent Nights during the school year to listen, inform, share and collaborate on way that we can ever improve the work we do with our children.
The first Grade Level Parent Night will be held for 6th grade parents on September 10 (Tuesday) at 6:00 pm in the GMS Auditorium. Please mark you calendars for this night and hopefully, this will be the beginning of a wonderful partnership in makig our school great!
Common Sense Media
As we approach the final days of summer and really begin to think about getting back into the routine of school, I want to remind you all about our very good friends at Common Sense Media. The offer some great ideas on how to get students ready for the routines of school, ideas on setting up study places for students and some really great ideas about keeping your child respectful and responsible while working in the online environment, plus so much more.
Check out their site at http://commonsensemedia.org
Enjoy these last days of great summer weather!