It Appears that Fall has Arrived


Upcoming Important Dates

September 24 – 7th Grade Parent Night GMS Auditorium 6:00 pm
September 24 – Fall Sports Pictures after school, before practice
September 25 – Maine Harvest Lunch in our Cafeteria
September 25 – Odyssey of the Mind Informational Night GMS Library 6:00 pm
September 26 – Gorham Arts Alliance Audition Call  GMS Auditorium 6:00 – 8:00pm
September 29 – Local & Legendary: Gorham-Windham in the Civil War  Great Falls School 1:00 pm
October 1 – 8th Grade Parents Night GMS Auditorium 6:00 pm
October 2 – Early Release Day students dismissed at 11:10 am

A Reminder to 7th Grade Parents

Because of my faux pas on last week’s post, I wanted to make sure that all 7th grade parents who plan to meetingattend our 7th Grade grade level parents meeting, it will be on Tuesday night (not Monday as initially posted), September 24th in the GMS Auditorium. These meetings are a new initiative for us in our attempts to have much better relations with our parents.

We have a couple of items on our agenda that we would love to discuss, but, please know that we are open to all concerns of those who attend. (That’s why we have a start time, but not and end time!)

  1. Technology Concerns – We have deployed the new laptops to all of our students and they will be bringing them home soon. Let’s talk about Digital Citizenship, what it is and how we all work towards adding positively  to the conversation. Also, how can we help parents as their children navigate the open waters of cyber space.
  2. Home/School Communications p How can we make sure that our parents and community know what is happening with their children while they are here? What are some ideas that have worked in the past with other schools, or with schools that you have heard about?
  3. Fund Raising – I am very appreciative of all of the work that our parents do to make sure that we have the resources to do our job. I am also very aware that we are constantly asking our community for more. Can we accomplish our goal of raising funds while also providing something of value to those who participate, something that gives social opportunities for the community?
  4. Anything else parents would like to discuss

This may be an overly aggressive agenda for one night, but that would mean would have a reason to meet again in a few weeks or months!

Looking forward to seeing as many people as possible (we do have 385 seats in our auditorium!).

Casting Call from the Gorham Arts Alliance

Are your children interested in acting or being a part of the theatre? Then they should get to the GMS Auditorium on Thursday, September 26th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.

GMS Version of American Top 40

AT40I have these vague recollections of a radio show called America’s Top 40 with Kasey Kassem where he would count down what America’s young folk were listening to and buying for the past week. I vaguely remember the anticipation of wondering what band would make it to number one.

Well, we have our own version of AT40, not sure what we’ll call it right now, but we’ll find a catchy name soon. For now, we’ll list to top 10 songs requested by our students for playing at the dance this past Friday night. Special thanks to Mr. Parvanta for compiling.

  • 1. Katy Perry – Roar
  • 2. Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball
  • 3. One Direction – Best Song Ever
  • 4. Imagine Dragons – Radioactive
  • 5. Ylvis – The Fox
  • 6. Macklemore – Can’t Hold Us
  • 7. Avicii – Wake Me Up
  • 8. Sage the Gemini – Gas Pedal
  • 9. Robin Thicke – Blurred Lines
  • 10. Austin Mahone – What About Love

If you’re a parent and you know all of these songs, you probably spend too much time in the car with your kids!!!

Of Bullies and Victims

TeachingToleI am willing to wager that if I asked a crowded auditorium (say, our auditorium) filled with parents to raise their hand if they thought their child was a bully, I would see very few, if any hands raised. I would expect nothing less! All of us who have experienced the trials of raising a child believe that we have raised our children to be kind and compassionate. And yet, we have headlines from all over about behaviors that we call bullying.

I don’t think for a minute that any of kids wake up in the morning with the idea that they are going to target another student in our school!

There are several definitions of bullying. Some definitions have been devised by politicians in response to public outcry about bullying in schools. Some definitions have come as a result of the media reports and some definitions have come from those who have spent years studying the topic of bullying. Adrienne Van Der Valk, a writer and editor for the periodical Teaching Tolerance, offers some insight into the topic in her article that appears in the Fall 2103 issue of Teaching Tolerance.

The title of the article, there are no bullies: Just Children who Bully and You Can Help Them. In this article, she gives two conditions that must exist for behaviors to qualify as bullying:

  1. The aggressor must intend to hurt or intimidate someone less powerful.
  2. The behavior must be repeated.

There are time when I wish I could communicate better with the written word, fortunately, there are people like Ms. Van Der Valk who can do it7 so much better than I. So, I am including a link to her article from Teaching Tolerance for you to all read. I hope that it helps to give us all a better understanding of this subject.

There are No Bullies: Just CHildren WHo Bully and We Can Help Them

Maine Harvest Lunch Program

This coming Wednesday, September 25th, GMS Students will be treated to a lunch made entirely of locally grown products. We will be getting tomatoes and corn from Fenderson’s Farm in SacoLope, apples from Randall Orchards in Standish and our beef will be locally grown by Bisson Farms in Bath.

We take great pride in using our local farmers for much of our produce for as long as we can. It is great to know where our food is coming from and it helps our kids learn to appreciate the work that our local farmers do for all of us.

Odyssey Of the Mind Information Night

OM LogoDiane Knott, Gifted and Talented Coordinator, has informed me that there will be an informational evening on Wednesday, September 25 from 6:00 to 7:30 in the GMS Library. At this evening event, parents will learn how the Odyssey of the Mind Problem Solving program helps encourage students team work, risk-taking and divergent thinking skills.

Parents and students are encouraged to attend this meeting.

Thank You to all for Attending the MLTI Parent Orientation Night

I know that there was significant pressure being applied by your children to make sure that parents attended the Orientation meetings so they could get their laptops and be able to take them home. I also know that it is a great inconvenience to all of you to have to take the time to attend this evening. So, let me just say “Thank You” to all of you who attended this night. I hope that we gave you some good information that you can use.

If you have questions or need more information, please call me or, if you want correct answers, Terri Dawson at the school.

An Idea that is Running Around in My Head!

IdeaOver the years I have had several parents make the comment, “I try to help my child with math and s/he says ‘That’s not the way my teacher said to do it’, so I just give up.” I also expect that there are many of you who have experienced the same things over the years with your kids.

So, here is this idea that is running around in my head.

What if we, Gorham Middle School, set aside and evening where we could have some of our teachers offer parents some help in how parents could offer homework help to their kids? Or, our tech people help parents with some technology questions with their kids new computers.

I think that there are lots of things we could offer with our faculty and with several community members. We would not have to limit the offerings. We could also find a way to provide child care for parents as well. One idea would be to hold a school dance for the students who are middle school age. For younger students, we could provide a movie in our auditorium or some games designed and run by our middle school students.

If, and that is a big IF, you think an idea like this makes sense, please send me an email or give a call. This will require a great deal of planning and support from our community.

Target has extended the Deadline to Vote

I will be keeping this entry in the blog until the last possible day of the promotion because this can be some real money for our school. I will try to keep this kind of commercialism to a minimum in this blog.

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 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 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

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

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