Upcoming Important Dates
March 28 – Teacher Workshop Day, No school for students.
March 28, 29 & 30 – GHS Production of Wizard of Oz.
April 2 – Early Release Day Students dismissed at 11:10 am
April 3 – 8th Grade Graduation Planning meeting
April 4 – 3rd Quarter Ends for students
April 4,5 & 6 – GHS Production Wizard of Oz
April 8 – Gorham Schools All Band Night, GHS 6:00 pm
April 11 – Student Grades available on Infinite Campus
April 11 – School Dance Sponsored by the 7th Grade
April 15 – Gorham School All Chorus Night, GHS 6:00 pm
April 17 – PIE Meeting, GMS Library 6:00 pm
April 18 – Spring Break begins at dismissal
Two weeks ago, in this space, I informed you all of the events that occurred here during the Friday Parent Teacher Conferences. I briefly mentioned how struck I was, that as we were all exiting the building, the Gorham Firefighters were rising into the building and into harms ways. Unfortunately, yesterday, in the city of Boston two of their brave firefighters lost their lives so that others may live. Their sacrifice has been credited with allowing many others time to escape the fire. So, I cannot just allow the work of our Gorham Firefighters pass with only a “glib” comment about racing in to danger. I also know we all appreciate the dedication of all our first responders, and I just wanted to extend to that family, the family of firefighters, our heartfelt thanks and our prayers during this time of sorrow and loss.
Music and Art in our Culture Day
Wednesday, April 2, our students will be treated to a Music and art in our Culture Day activities. Tracy Williamson has put together a great line up of performers and artists for our students to enjoy. The students have signed up for many of the workshops that will happen on this day. As we try to do with all of out themed early release days, I am including a roster of the performers and artists who will be conducting workshops. This should be a fun and engaging day for our kids as they, hopefully, see art and music in a different light. Here is a list of the offerings: Following is a list of workshops and presentations being offered on our Early Release Day. Everyone will have the opportunity to see the Gorham High School Concert Band presentation in the Auditorium and then choose three more small workshops to attend. ! !
- ART! ! ARTIST PETER RIMKUNAS! Illustrator, Video Game Designer, Animator are just some of the art forms that Peter uses. This presentation includes the artist’s background and examples of his creations.! !
- ARTIST DARALYN MCCOLL! Learn what it takes to be a designer! You will hear a brief description of the background of an artist and see many examples of her art made with different materials. Find out how you can be paid to create art for a company or own your own design company. Daralyn uses digital programs to create a variety of work and will have you help with making your own creation!! !
- “ANIMATION DOMINATION” – MRS. DAWSON! Bring your laptop for this fun and interactive animation session in the DEC! This workshop will focus on the art of animation and show you how to make stykz figures come alive using animation software. Class size limited to 15.! !
- “COTTAGE INDUSTRIES” – MR. CARPENTER! Selling your arts and crafts. Mr. Carpenter will talk about and demonstrate his own Cottage Industries including jewelry making, crochet, card making and painting.! !
- “MAKING SOMETHING FROM NOTHING” – MRS. HANLEY! For this session you will make art from little things that you might not think would make art. There will be supplies available here, but if you have any objects at home like charms, ribbons, cool kinds of paper, string, any little interesting things that you have saved but aren’t quite sure what to do with, bring them in and incorporate them into a piece of art.! !
- SCREEN PRINTING! Screen print baby onesies with Ms. Holden to donate to the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital. This is a great chance to learn how the screen printing process is done. Class limited to 6 students.!
- THEATER GAMES – GREG WATSON! In the world of theater, actors and actresses practice many different techniques to get them comfortable on the stage and able to easily play different roles. Theater games are a great way to practice that. During this session you will participate in improv, role playing games and other ice breaking activities where you can have fun and play different characters.! ! !
- LIGHTS UP! IMPROV WORKSHOP! Maine’s David LaGraffe from Lights Up! Improv and Portland Players is coming all the way to GMS to offer us this Theater Improv Workshop! You will spend time working with partners and in groups being silly and creating fun scenes. This is a great opportunity to work with a really fun and talented actor! Definitely not to be missed!! !
- DANCE! ! CONTRADANCE – KIM ROBERTS! Contradance is a folk dance that has become tradition in New England. Similar to square dancing, dancers are partnered up and listen to directions that are called out during the music. During the dance you have to mix up and switch partners when the caller calls it so you have to really listen and stay on your toes. Think Cha Cha Slide meets folk country. ! !
- HIP HOP DANCE – Jasmine Quarles DANCE STUDIO OF MAINE! Join some of the fabulous instructor’s from Gorham’s own Dance Studio of Maine and learn some hip hop dance moves you can show off at the next GMS Dance!! !
- BOKWA – Susan & Mike Sinnett STUDIO FIT! Bokwa is a new and completely different approach to movement. Bokwa participants draw letters and numbers with their feet while performing dance movements with a South African influence. Moving together to today’s most popular music, participants off all ages draw the Bokwa L, 3, J, K and dozens of other steps. Simply feel the music and freely move with the beat.! !
- MUSIC! ! AFRICAN DRUMMING – ANNEGRET BAIER! Work with renowned drummer Annegret Baier playing various drums and rhythm instruments to learn African songs and rhythms. This session was a favorite last year! ! !
- MARIMBA PLAYING WORKSHOP! Learn how to play marimba just like the Maine Marimba Ensemble with Matt Wasowski from the Gorham School of Music. Class size limited to 10. ! !
- BLUES SONGWRITING WORKSHOP! Learn how to write your own Blues song with Jim Svendsen from the Gorham School of Music. Choose a topic, write the lyrics and perform your song for the class.! !
- GORHAM HIGH SCHOOL ACOUSTIC COFFEEHOUSE & POETRY SLAM! Matt Murray is bringing Gorham High School singers, songwriters, guitarists and poets to GMS to perform their own original works. You will definitely recognize some of these artists!! !
- POP KARAOKE! Just how it sounds! Join Mr. P. in the 8th grade wing for a karaoke singing extravaganza. Limited to 30 students.! !
- GUITAR & SONGWRITER’S WORKSHOP! Learn and review some basic guitar chords and chord progressions and learn how to go about writing your own songs with GMS’s own singer/ songwriter, Mr. Lambert. If you have your own guitar, you can bring it in. There will be 10 guitars available to borrow.! !
- A CAPELLA WORKSHOP! Join Señora Krohn to learn how to sing in an a capella group. Sra. Krohn has lots of experience singing in a capella groups as you all saw in the Talent Show this year. She may even break out a little beat boxing if you’re lucky!! !
- JARA GOODRICH, HARP! Have you ever seen and heard a real harp up close? Not like a little cupid harp, but a really huge, 6-foot tall, orchestral harp with tons of strings? Professional harpist, Jara Goodrich, from the Portland Symphony, will be coming in to talk about this incredible instrument and play for you.
- WANT TO LEARN HOW TO PLAY AN INSTRUMENT?! So you thought you wanted to play an instrument, but never got the chance? You have been playing or singing but want to learn how to read music? Mrs. Mathieu & some of our talented GMS band students will demo all the instruments you can learn how to play right here in our school! It’s never too late to start playing an instrument!
- NEIL BOYER, OBOE! Join the extremely talented and well known, principle oboe player of the Portland Symphony to learn about the instrument, the hand made reeds, some of the types of music the oboe plays and the importance of the oboe to the orchestra. Mr. Boyer teaches oboe at USM and Dartmouth College and has played in the Vermont Symphony and the Portland Symphony. Possible guest appearances by some of his fellow players too!
GHS Production of The Wizard of Oz
Hopefully, all have purchased your tickets for the production of The Wizard of Oz, that Gorham High School students will be presenting beginning on Friday evening, March 28 and Saturday evening, March 29 at 7:30 in the GMS Auditorium. The Sunday matinee will begin at 2:30pm. Now, if you were unable to get your tickets for this weekend, don’t worry, you can see the production next weekend, as well, at the same times.
End of 3rd Quarter
I know i have said this before, and I am sure I will say it next year as well, but it is really hard to believe we have completed 3 quarters of this year. It truly does feel like we just started the school year and we still have so much left to do. In any event, the 3rd quarter does really end on Friday, April 4. That leaves just one more quarter left in the school year! Student grades for the quarter will be posted on the Infinite Campus system no later than the end of the day on Friday, April 11. If you are having difficulty in seeing your child’s grades on Infinite Campus, please give Terry Lamontagne a call at 222-1220.
Huh?? What is that, a typo? Has Riley really lost his mind?? For those of you who have Twitter accounts and may be regular users, the idea of a hashtag (#) is not something new. However, for those that are uninitiated in the hashtag is a method that twitter users can categorize their subjects. For example, on Thursday nights at 8 pm many educators, mostly from Maine, “gather” on Twitter to discuss a topic of interest. We send out 140 character tweets, some with links to other websites, about that topic. The 140 characters means that we must try to be concise in our entry (something I have great difficulty doing, no surprise to many of you, I know!). It is usually very interesting stuff and I really do learn quite a bit from my peers. Well, #PTchat is for parents and teachers to share what needs to be shared in order to better serve the students and our community. #PTChat happens on Wednesday evenings beginning at 9:00 pm (EDT) and usually runs for about an hour, but there are always those who post items regularly during the week using the #PTchat to make sure that it is visible to all interested in what’s going on with parents and teachers. Finally, as with any # category, you can “lurk”, which I do quite often, just to see what others are saying and doing to improve the relations between home and school. You do not have to “tweet” to be a part of the chat and learn from it. You can just observe. One warning I will offer you however, is that once you start, you will find that you have much to offer the group.
Preparing our Kids for Their Future
There was an article in the Boston Globe this week about students who are graduating from Massachusetts High schools are not prepared for the working world upon graduation from High School. This statement and story really surprised me because Massachusetts has long been held up as an exemplar of student achievement. In fact in the most recent PISA assessments released last fall, if Massachusetts were an independent country, it would rank in the top ten for student achievement. So, how can this be? How can a state who has reached such levels of student achievement not have their students ready for the work world? For answers, I turned to the Harvard School of Graduate Education and their Change Leadership Group. Tony Wagner, co-director of the Change Leadership Group, wrote an interesting article entitled, Rigor Redefined, in which he talks about what the CEOs of several large, multi-national companies are looking for in their employees. This is not something that we don’t already know, in fact, back in the late 1990s educators in Maine developed a set of skills that we all belied were necessary for our students to be successful. Back then we called them The Guiding Principles. Tony Wagner describes his conversations with these people who run these businesses as surprising in what they don’t want from their prospective employees as well as what skills and character traits they do want in the prospective employees.
“First and foremost, I look for someone who asks good questions,” Parker responded. “We can teach them the technical stuff, but we can’t teach them how to ask good questions—how to think.”
“What other skills are you looking for?” I asked, expecting that he’d jump quickly to content expertise.
“I want people who can engage in good discussion—who can look me in the eye and have a give and take. All of our work is done in teams. You have to know how to work well with others. But you also have to know how to engage customers—to find out what their needs are. If you can’t engage others, then you won’t learn what you need to know.”
I am including a link to the entire article that was posted this week on his web page. It is rather lengthy, but certainly worth the time and effort. Enjoy!