Here’s Hoping for a Quiet Week!


Important Upcoming Dates

January 20 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – No  school for students or teachers
January 23 – PIE Meeting GMS Library 6:00 pm
January 24 – Semester ends
January 24 – School Dance (rescheduled from Jan 17) Sponsored by the 7th Grade
January 31 – Semester grades updated on Infinite Campus Parent Portal
February 5 – Early Release Day, Students will be dismissed at11:10 am
February 6 – GMS Talent Show 6:30 pm in the GMS Auditorium

More on the Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey

Last week I began to report out some of the results of the Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey. All in all, the results for GMS are pretty encouraging. The results show that the number of our students who engage in dangerous or illegal behaviors tends to be rather small. That being said however, the results do show that about 30 of our students “over the past 30 days” from the date of the survey (last February) had “at least one drink”. It also reports that about 12 to 15 of our students, during that same period, had “consumed 5 or more drinks of alcohol in a row, within a couple of hours”. Finally, 39% of the students said it would be “sort of easy” or “very easy” to get alcohol.

I report these results, not to get everyone worried, but to stimulate the kinds of conversations that must happened between parent and child.

I am including a link to the National Institute of Health site called Making a Difference, Talking to your Child About Alcohol.

I will continue to add information about the survey in the coming weeks, as we continue to review the results. Should you have any questions about the survey results, please give me a call.

It Ain’t Easy Being a Tweenager! (or the parent of one!!)

This is not something that received great coverage in the MIYHS (mentioned above), but it is something that we see quite a bit of here at GMS, in many forms and in varying degrees. Anxiety in our students, at some level, is fairly prevalent. Whether students are concerned about a particular class or missing assignments, what other students think of them and how they feel they are being treated or some concern that have nothing to do with school but have the student worrying about a family member of loved one, it all adds to make the precess of learning very difficult. When students can’t learn, they tend to try to avoid the activity by not coming to school or being dismiss early.

As I write this, I am reminded of the old joke about the mother who goes into her son’s bedroom to wake him for school. As Mom tells little Bobby that he needs to get up for school, little Bobby says that no one likes hime at school and the teachers make home work too hard. He complains that the kids call him names and make fun of him behind his back, too. Amid the tears he asks his mother “why do I have to go to school today”? His mother looks him straight in the eye and says, “Because you’re the Principal, that’s why!”

We all know how stressful some days at school can be. We all know that, as a parent, we hurt when we send our child off to do something that they really don’t want to do. It is really hard to argue with your child the merits of getting a good education and creating a positive future when we see tears streaming down their cheeks, but we know they need their education.

We see this kind of behavior in enough of our students to know that we cannot turn a blind eye to the issue. We need to step forward and work with families to help all of our students be successful in Middle School.

We are beginning to organize an presentation for our February PIE meeting on February 27 at 6:00 pm in the GMS Library that will examine the roots of student anxiety and what we all can do to help our kids become more comfortable with school. I hope that you can circle the date on your calendar to come and participate in this event. More information will be forth coming.

Here are a couple of links to some resources: Teen Mental Health and Youth Anxiety BC Each link offers some explanations and lots of resources for parents and families.

…And Speaking of PIE Meetings

We are schedule to hold our annual PIE Meeting with the new Gorham School Committee on Thursday evening, January 23 at 6:00 pm in the GMS Library. This is a great chance to meet the newest members of the committee and converse with them about what your concerns and questions may be for how the Gorham School do. Please make an effort to join us.

And the Winner is…

As promised in our last post, I am publishing the last runner up winner in the James Madison Writing Contest sponsored by the Gorham Town Republican Committee that was held this past fall. We awarded the prizes just prior to the Christmas Break at a school-wide assembly in the gymnasium prior to the annual student/faculty basketball game.

A link to Nick’s Runner-up entry: Nick Pierson

Congratulations to all of our winners and to all of the students who wrote some wonderful essays and what makes America great.

Gorham Middle School Newsletter From Mr. Lambert’s 7th Grade Class

Mr. Lambert’s Stroudwater students have produce another great Newsletter that is chalk full of very interesting interviews and news stories, written by his students, about GMS. Each week, I try to write a bit in this blog about what goes on here at GMS and I can’t hold a candle to the work that Mr. Lambert’s students have done in this Newsletter. PLease take a moment to peruse the writing of these students and also gain some different insight into what actually happens at GMS. GMS Stroudwater Newsletter


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