How To Make Parent/Teacher Conferences Interesting!


Upcoming Important Dates

March 18 – GHS Principal and Department Heads present to 8th Graders
March 18 – 8th Grade Parent Night for all students attending GHS next fall, 6:30 pm in the GHS Auditorium.
March 18 – Southern Maine Middle School Math Meet at GMS beginning at 3:00 pm
March 19 – Drugs 101: What Parents Need to Know, GMS Auditorium 6:00 – 8:00 pm
March 20 – PIE Meeting 6:00 pm in the GMS Library
March 28 – Teacher Workshop Day, No school for students.
April 2 – Early Release Day Students dismissed at 11:10 am

How to Make Parent Teacher Conferences Interesting!

For those parents and students who were present at their conferences on Friday morning, we all had an interesting and dramatic interruption, I would say!

It is not unusual for our teachers and students to respond to the sounding of the fire alarm, we routinely perform fire drills during the course of the year. The alarm goes off, announcements are made as to “an Alarm has been detected in the building” and we all very quietly and orderly exit the building. It is an easy routine and, for some students, it is a welcome break in an otherwise boring school day. But when it happens when we don’t have a school full of students and we have several hundred parents in the building for conferences, it become more than just a bit unusual.

I was just beginning our first parent conference of a morning that would be filled with several more parents of my advisees when the alarm started. My first thought was that our maintenance crew was doing some repairs and either accidentally set off the alarm, or they were testing the system. When no additional announcement was made, it became apparent that this was for real!

I am pleased to report that all of our teachers reacted exactly as they have practiced with the students many times. When questioned by parents, “do we really need to evacuate?”, our teachers reacted as trained and moved everyone out of the building and away from the fire lanes allowing for the emergency vehicles to gain quick access to the building.

The first responders did an amazing job! Each fire company knew exactly where they needed to go and they responded with clock-like precision in arriving at the pre=determined locations and setting up their command post.

I am happy to report that, while we did have a small fire in a heat pump for our geothermal heating system, it was quickly contained and no damage was sustained, except the heat pump itself.

Since it was a very cold March morning (haven’t we had too many of them recently?), the firefighters cleared our gymnasium so that we could bring the parents and students in from the cold. We had pulled out the bleacher seats for the comfort of the parents, students and teachers. Not that I was really surprised, but I think it was very interesting that the teachers and parents picked up the conferences that had been interrupted while standing in the gym. As parents were arriving for their scheduled appointments, they had been scheduled right through the day, teachers welcomed them into the gym and started conferencing with them there. Never missing a beat!

So, if you want your parent teacher conferences to be spiced up a bit, plan for a small fire in your heating system, make sure that the first responders come in with the appropriate amount of flair and sit back and watch your amazing teachers do what they do best!

So, Speaking of Conferences

If you were one of those parents who had your conference canceled by our little emergency on Friday, you child’s advisor should be contacting you about rescheduling for later this week of early next week. If you haven’t heard from the advisor by Thursday of this week (March 21st), please reach out to the advisor and attempt to reschedule.

No one plans for these types on disruptions to occur, but when they do, we try to work around them. It is always helpful that we have such a supportive community behind us.

Drugs 101:  What Parents Need to Know

On Wednesday evening, March 19 at 6:00 pm in the GMS Auditorium, beginning with a walk through model of a “typical” adolescent’s bedroom, Gorham Substance Abuse Counselor Claudine Emerson will present on what all parents should know about substance abuse of some adolescents and how some of our students have been able to “hide in plain sight” of their families the evidence of their substance abuse.

This very informative evening with help parents understand what types of substances are being abused by adolescents in general and in particular, what types of substances are being abused by some of our students right here in Gorham. Please make it an important part of your Wednesday evening.

PIE Meeting

As I mentioned in the past couple of post in the space, we are in the beginning stages of “transitioning” our 8th graders too the High School. This morning, Mr. record and several of the Department Heads from the High School visited the Middle School to explain the process and expectations that await them on their arrival at the High School in late August. Tonight (March 18), in the GHS Auditorium, Mr. Record will meet with the parents of our 8th graders to enlighten them on what they can expect next year as their children move on to the next phase of their academic journey.

On March 20, at 6:00 pm in the GMS Library, we will begin planning for the final Celebration of Middle School that we hold on the evening before the very last day of school. We kind of have most of the process down by now, but we want to be able to include the parents in the planning. Each year we always come up with some new ideas that make the evening special for the students.

So come and join us on Thursday evening at 6:00 pm in the GMS Library, and bring your ideas.

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