75 Degrees ??? Can This Be Spring?

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Important Upcoming Dates

April 15 – Gorham All Chorus Concert GHS Auditorium, 6:00 pm
April 17 – School wide Pizza Fundraiser sales due in the office
April 21-25 – Spring Break
May 9 – GMS Night at the Portland Sea Dogs 6:00 pm

GMS Night at The Sea Dogs

Friday, May 9th will be our annual GMS Night at The Portland Sea Dogs, the Double A affiliate of the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. OK, I know that you all know that the ‘Dogs are the affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, but it really feels good to write that part about being the “World Series Champions”. Even though they just dropped 3 of 4 games in the Bronx!

Anyway, each year we have our evening at the ‘Dogs where our Chorus sings the National Anthem, we have some lucky GMSer throw out the first pitch and we all have a great night at the ballpark.

We have General Admission tickets on sale at the Main Office of GMS for a discounted rate of $4.00. We only have a limited amount, so I would advise you reserve early. Just call Kristen of Laurie to reserve your seats.

MLTI Laptops Remain at School during Vacation

As we do at each of these breaks during the school year, we try to use this time to complete upgrades and complete an inventory of the devices. The upgrades are necessary to improve our security of the devices and the inventory helsp us keep track of the machines as well as uncover any damages that may have happened since our last inventory.

Hopefully, the weather will be so great during this vacation that all of our kids will be outside playing in the fresh air that they won’t miss their computers. In any event, we do hope that everyone has a great break and is ready to come back ready for the “Final Stretch”!

Its Spring and that means Dress Code Review

Lord knows we have waited long enough for the nice spring weather to arrive, and, we know what that means, as well. With this nice weather comes the need for us to be more than just a bit note mindful about what our students wear each day to school.

Below, I have copied what we have in our Student Handbook about our dress code:

Students are to dress in a manner that will not distract, disrupt or be hazardous to their safety and well-being. Parents should be involved in setting standards of dress and grooming for their children. However, if the student, by dress or grooming is interfering with the educational process or is not dressed conducive to the activity, appropriate action, involving the parents will be taken.

The following will not be permitted in school:

  • Shirts, tops, and dresses should cover the entire back and midriff and should be buttoned appropriately; students wearing spaghetti straps should have no exposed undergarments, as exposed undergarments are considered inappropriate for school.
  • Suitable footwear should be worn at all times. Socks, bare feet, or slippers are not considered safe or suitable footwear.
  • If students wear shorts they should be worn at the natural waistline, be of a length no higher than mid thigh, and should not expose underwear.
  • All pants should be worn at the natural waistline and belted if necessary to keep them at natural waistline.
  • All skirts and dresses should be of a length no higher than mid thigh.
  • Hats, caps, chains, headbands, and bandannas cannot be worn in the building.
  • Students may not wear clothing or jewelry that depicts obscene, vulgar, or sexual, promoting illegal activity (tobacco, drugs, or alcohol), libel, fighting words or other expressions that could cause a disruption.

Note: Administrators will make the final decision regarding clothing/accessories of a questionable nature.

 

And for those who would like to see our dress code in action, here is our world famous Dress Code Police video from our student Film Festival of 2 years ago:

Proficiency Based Education

I have written in this space several times about the coming shift, starting with our current 8th grade students, to a new way that schools will operate in the future. You may remember a video I placed in this space about standards and why we need them. It is a short one, so here it is as a reminder:

Now the state has decided that students need to demonstrate more than the ability to put in “time in a seat” in order to be granted a diploma. Students will need to create a “body of evidence” of their learning over their school careers in order to be granted a diploma. We are still working on how all of this is going to work and what it will mean for us and for our students.

One thing that we will be doing in the month of May will be holding parent meetings to explain and discuss what all of this will mean, going forward. We are looking for the best time of day and the best day of the week to hold these events to insure that we get to as many people as possible. In that vein, I am including a couple of poll questions for you to indicate the best time of day and the best day of the week for such a meeting.

Electronic Cigarettes Update

Electronic cigarettes are sold in convenience stores and smoke shops. Each cigarette contains up to 24 mg of nicotine. Refills, sold at the same locations, typically come as cartridges (0-24mg of nicotine) or 10 ml bottles (up to 240 mg per bottle). The products are sold in a variety of flavors including cherry, chocolate, vanilla and cotton candy. An even wider variety of flavors and concentration are available.

Why am I letting you know about this? Because this concentration of nicotine can be very dangerous to young people, like our kids. The fact that the cigarette makers are making this is these different flavors is also evidence tat these people are aiming at our kids with their marketing.

There are some who claim that these devices are not harmful, or at least as harmful as traditional tobacco products. I will disagree with all of those folks based upon the toxic nature of nicotine and what it does to the adolescent brain. It is harmful! Please keep an eye out for these products in your children’s possession.

From our Good Friends at Opportunity Alliance

I received information about an event that will be presented by our friends at Opportunity Alliance called Parenting in the Age of Legalization: A Conversation on Preventing Teen Substance Use. This event will take place at the South Portland High School Lecture Hall on Wednesday, April 30 beginning at 7:00 pm. On the panel for this event will be Greg Marley from NAMI Maine, Pender Makin from the REAL School, LeeAnne Dodge from University of Southern Miane and Liz Blackwell-Moore from Opportunity Alliance.

This event is designed to help parents figure out how to speak to your child during this time of changing norms and policies. I hope that you can make what I believe will be a very informative evening.

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