The School Year has Begun

topperMiddleImportant Upcoming Dates

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
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
September 16 & 17 – MLTI Parent meetings in the GMS Auditorium 6:00 pm
September 20 – School Dance in the GMS Gymnasium 6:00 to 8:00 pm

August 28

back_to_school_56th Grade students have the whole school to themselves for the entire day! You remember that during step up day last year your child received their team assignment and met their teachers for this year. Well, it’ this year! Where did the summer go??

We, teachers and staff, have been meeting for the past two days making plans for the first day of school. I am happy to report to you that all of our teachers are ready and raring to go. Floors have been waxed, boards have been cleaned, classroom bulletin boards have been decorated all in anticipating of our newest middle school citizens arriving.

August 29

All students return to the Middle School for the start of a Brand New Year. We can hardly wait to see all of our new students. The day will be a full day for students with an extended Advisory Period so that the Advisory Groups and new team mates can get to know each other.

Give to GMS with Target.com

This is clearly filed under the category of shameless pandering by a Principal seeking funds to do our work, but this appears to be something that can really help us fund some activities that we could not cover in our very austere budget. So here goes…Target

Visit http://givewith.target.com/school/5098 GiveWith.Target.com to vote for our school.
This year, Target will give money to schools all over the country for one simple act: a vote. Our school needs just 25 votes to earn a $25 donation from Target. But that’s only the beginning. For each additional vote, our school will get $1 more. So please remember that, although the gesture is small, the rewards are potentially huge. Go to [ http://givewith.target.com/school/5098 ]GiveWith.Target.com to vote for Gorham Middle School once a week through September 21 or until Target has given away all $5 million. And please forward this email to your friends. Vote and see rules at [ http://GiveWith.Target.com ]GiveWith.Target.com.

You can only vote once, but you can vote multiple time on different devices.

Long Labor Day Weekend

The traditional end of summer weekend promises to be be great weather for all of those hammocklast activities of “freedom”. Cookouts, fishing trips, family gatherings and last walks on the beach (although, the weekends are still great for all of that right through October!), should be in many folks’ plans for the long four-day weekend.

When we return from that wonderful respite, after two grueling days of work (tongue planted firmly in cheek here!), we will begin to long journey of learning, actually a quest more than a journey, that will bring our students to wondrous places facinating people with some incredible stories.

A very long way to say enjoy the Official End of Summer Weekend and please be safe.

Picture Day – September 3

When students return to school from the aforementioned wondrous weekend, we will be framepic_homeholding our annual picture day for all students. We do this as early as we possibly can to make sure that we have time for re-takes for those not satisfied with their first pictures. Doing this early allows us plenty of time to make sure that you have pictures to give to your family members as presents during the holidays.

We will also be performin our annual vision and hearing screenings during this time. Normally, this is reserved for our 7th grade students, but occasionally we have to “catch up” with a few new 8th graders, as well.

Laptop Deployments

mlti-logoAs many of you may have heard, the state of Maine has again renewed the MLTI program for the next four years. This means that all of our 7th and 8th grade students will be receiving new MacBook Airs laptops. Our 6th grade students will be receiving the devices that had been used by 7th & 8th graders, but significantly upgraded from their previous life.

Laptops will be deployed to students beginning on Wednesday

No students will be able to bring home any device until after all meetings have been attended and all paperwork is completed and turned into the office. There is a required meeting for all Middle School parents on either Monday, September 16 or Tuesday, September 17. The meetings will begin at 6pm in the GMS Auditorium. We will look at the new devices for 7th and 8th grade parents and we will look at the new operating system (OS) for all of the computers.

We will also take this time to talk to parents about safety of our students while using technology. This is a very important topic with lots of great resources for parents to use with their children at home. There will also be some tips we can provide to parents so that they can “keep an eye” on their child’s comings and goings on line.

Looking forward to seeing all on this very important night.

GMS Open House

open_house_icon_55924September 3rd is going to be a very busy day for our teachers and students. Beside having our “real” first day of school (possibly with homework!), students will be bringing their parents back to school to introduce them to their new teachers and to show off their new classrooms.

We look forward to meeting all of our parents on this night. The Open House will begin at 6:00 pm and run until 7:00 pm. We plan to have lots of information available for our new and returning parents. There will be information on how to volunteer in our schools, our homework club and after school library availability as well great information about our school lunch program and much, much more.

Please circle the date of September 3rd to join us for this fun night.

Grade Level Parent Meetings

Something new that we would like to start this year at GMS are regular meetings withCLIPART_OF_15182_SM_2 parents of each grade level. Our first meeting will be Tuesday, September 10 at 6:00 pm, with parents of 6th grade students. Initially, we will schedule the meetings for the Auditorium, but, if necessary, we can move to a more appropriate location. These meetings can cover a myriad of topics from technology to Common Core, from the changing nature of their child to ideas about fundraising.

We hope that people will find these nights beneficial and informative and that these sort of events will make our school community a better place for our kids.

We will also be holding similar meetings for parents of 7th grade and 8th grade students later in September on Tuesday the 24th and Tuesday October 1st.

I hope you can all join us on these evenings…

Report Cards, Progress Reports and Infinite Campus

For the past 5 years, we have been using Infinite Campus (IC), a student information system that is as all encompassing as a system can be. IC tracks our attendance, heath issues, student grades and progress as well as family demographics.report2

For the past 3 years all of our teachers have been religiously entering into the IC Grade Module, the progress of students through their classes by placing the appropriate grades achieved on all of the student assignments. The teachers are required to enter their grades at least weekly so that parents can be assured that their child’s progress is as up-to-date as possible. Many of our teachers enter grades more often than once a week, so some are actually “live” grades.

Also for the past 3 years, we have made the Grade Module available to parents by means of a user name and a password. This Portal allows the parents, and students, to see how well they are achieving in each class, what work has been collected by the teacher and what work, if any, may be missing. By checking this Portal on a regular basis, students and parents can keep up on their progress and where any problems may arise.

Because of this Portal, we have found it to be extremely redundant (and expensive) to produce paper copies of all these reports available through the Parent Portal. Beginning with the October Progress Reports, we will no longer be printing copies of the reports for all students. Parents can view the reports through the Parent Portal on the IC System.

If you do not have access to the Internet, we can produce and send out to parents “hard” copies of reports. Please call the Guidance Office to make this request.

Hopefully, this will allow parents to remain current with their child’s progress and save our school a few dollars on paper and printing costs. As always, if you have any questions about this, please give me a call at the office.

One thought on “The School Year has Begun

  1. Love this blog and all the information it contains! Makes it easy to slide everything into my calendar at one time for the month. Looking forward to using the Parent Portal on IC. Great job!

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