The Week of Oct 23rd


Upcoming Important Dates

October 23 – Early Release day for students. Students will be dismissed at 11:10 am
October 24 – Parent Teacher Conferences begin at 3:00 pm until 8:00 pm
October 24 & 25 – Flu Shot Clinic at GMS and GHS (Check below for details)
October 25 – Parent Teacher Conferences begin at 8:00 am until 2:00 pm
November 8 – Final 1st Quarter Grades available in Infinite Campus after 3:00 pm
November 11 – Veteran’s Day – No school
November 15 – Teacher Workshop Day – No school for students

 October is National Bully Prevention Month

I think we all believe every month should be Bully prevention month, but there are folks who want to make the month of October and especially important time in our efforts to rid our communities of this scourge.

At Gorham Middle School we use our Code of Conduct every day to highlight how we expect our community to act. The words, which are more than mere words to our students, they are woven into the very fiber of everything we do. Respect, Responsibility, Courage, Compassion and Honesty are present throughout our school. In every interaction, our students are reminded of these words and what they mean and how they are used in our community.

But, we know that all of us are human and we are susceptible or prone to errors and incorrect decisions. So, I guess that’s why we have these kind of “months”, to remind us to be more vigilant about our Code of Conduct.

We also know that the school cannot do this alone, it really takes our whole community to raise our kids. With this in mind I remind you about our friends at Common Sense Media. They have tremendous resources for parents, teachers and students in helping to deal with bullying behaviors.

This link to Common Sense Media Cyberbullying toolkit is an excellent resource for parents and for educators to review. It offers so much information in how to effectively deal with bullying behaviors, whether your child is a victim, a bystander or the bully. Common Sense Media Bullying Toolkit

Confucius Institute

This is for parents of our 7th and 8th grade students who want to have their child considered for participation in the Program offered by the Confucius Institute. You may remember from past posts, we are offering to selected students an opportunity to study Chinese Culture and Language from Professors from Dongbei University who are visiting the University of Southern Maine as part of the Confucius Institute. This class will meet 3 days per week on, Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the remainder of the school year. The class will be held during our EICAL period. This will mean that students who are members of the band and/or chorus who meet on any of these days will not be able to participate in this opportunity.

If you would like your child to be considered for this great opportunity, please call the Main Office.

Common Core is Coming!

We are very busy getting ready for the full implementation of the Common Core State Standards in August. This may not seem like much, but it will require quite a bit of re-tooling for our faculty as we work to met the considerably higher standards expectation of the Common Core.

We have been working towards these standards for the past two and one half years with the knowledge that there would be these higher expectations of our students.

I will tell you, however, there are some people who have begun to question whether the shift in the direction to these multi-state standards is in the best interest of our students. I would expect in the coming months there will be considerable press from both sides of this issue, extolling the virtues of the Common Core and railing against the vice of the Common Core. Several states have already begun to discuss the retreat from these standards and there is considerable “buzz” in New York State about how poorly the students performed on the field test offered this fall (which, by the way, we have chosen not to participate in!).

As we meet with the faculty to conceive our plan for how we will respond, I want to assure all that we are keeping our focus on our students and not on which way the political winds are blowing or which of the policy makers have spoken the loudest this week. Our goal is, and always will be, preparing our students, your children, for the world they will inherit. Preparing them for success as learners, thinkers, collaborators, and positive citizens of their communities. If that aligns with what is expected of the Common Core, all the better!

I am including this link for your perusal as you try to familiarize yourself with the shift in how we will work with your children.

Flu Shots Clinics

As we have for the past several years, we will once again offer to our community the most recent version of the Flu Shots. Middle School students brought home in their backpacks information about how, where and when we would be offering flus shots. We will be trying to “piggyback” on the time parents will be around schools for Parent Teacher Conferences.

The following dates and locations have been set up;

October 23, 2013 at GHS back of MPAC for GHS students only 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM

October 24, 2013 at GMS GYM for K-8 students (Parents must be present with their child or an adult designated by the parent) and GHS students who could not attend at GHS in the morning from 4:00 PM-6:00 PM

October 25, 2013 at GMS GYM  K-8 students (Parents must be present with their child or an adult designated by the parent) 8:00AM-12:00PM

For more information on the flus shots, check out the district web page:

Save the Date

File this under the category of “It’s never too early”.

On Friday, May 9 it will be Gorham Middle School Night at the Portland Sea Dogs. We will have plenty of tickets available for sale (not now, later and we’ll announce how and when). Our Chorus will sing the National Anthem and we will select one lucky individual to throw out the first pitch.

We will have plenty more details coming as we approach the date, I am just including this now so you will save the date.

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