Important Upcoming Dates
May 9 – Half way point of 4th Quarter, Please check your child’s grades on Infinite Campus
May 9 – GMS Night at the Portland Sea Dogs
May 16 – School Dance 6 – 8 pm in the Gymnasium
May 19 – Conversation on Proficiency Based Education, 10:00 am GMS Library
May 22 – Conversation on Proficiency Based Education, GMS Library 6:00 pm
I Have Been Away from this Blog
I apologize for not getting this published earlier. It has been a very busy week, personally, but I am committed to being more prompt and in improving all of the information we provide here. Thanks for your patience and support!
GMS Night at the Portland Sea Dogs
We will be holding our annual Night at the Se Dogs on Friday, May 9th. We have General Admission tickets on sale at the school for the discounted price of $4.00. The GMS Chorus will be singing the National Anthem prior to the game and the Sea Dogs will be giving out Brandon Workman Bobble Head Dolls to the first 1000 fans to enter the game. This should be a fun night for our community and a great opportunity for our Chorus to show off their award winning talents. If you would like to purchase tickets for the reduced rate, give us a call at 222-1220. I hope you can join us.
4th Quarter Grades Available
In past years, we would spend hours of time and reams of paper producing interim reports of student grades that would be given to students to bring home. In many cases, we would find all four of the progress reports in the students’ lockers when they were cleaning them out for the summer. Now, I know that many of these reports found their way to your homes and some were vent put up on refrigerators. With the technology available, we are now able to get all of these reports home to you without killing a couple of trees and using gallons of ink. The grades will be available to view at the end of the school day on Friday, May 9th. If you are having problems viewing the grades, or are having trouble with user names or passwords, please call Terry LaMontagne at 222-1247 for assistance. For those of you who still wish to receive a hard copy of these reports, also call Terry and she will send one outing the mail.
The Reality of Substance Abuse
This is difficult to write! Not because we have a rampant drug problem in our school, but because, as a middle school filled with developing adolescents, any use of any foreign substance is dangerous to the future of our kids. A year ago February, we participated in the biennial administration of the Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey (MIYHS) that is administered to all students in Maine’s public schools from grades 3 through 11. We received the results from this administration in November and we were reasonably pleased with what the results told us about the risky behaviors of our students and how we ranked with the rest of the state. This being said, every percentage represents a human life, and not just any human life, one of our kid’s lives!
We need to continue to work, as a whole community, toward finding solutions. Please stay tuned to this blog for information about upcoming events.
More on Proficiency Based Education
We continue to move toward time when students will truly need to “show what they know” in order to move forward in their educational careers. Unlike our past, where seat time and showing up, were among the very first requirements, students will be asked to create a “body of evidence” that will be representative of their learning. It will then be determined if this evidence is sufficient to move forward, or whether more time and more learning is required by the student. What will be consistent in all of this will be the learning and the level of learning that each student can demonstrate with their evidence. What will not be consistent with each student will be the time each student will need to create that evidence. This will be a shift in what we have done.
It is time, however, to begin the conversations with parents about Proficiency Based Education. I would like to have a couple of conversations about why we are shifting in this direction and what the immediate impact will be on our classrooms. I would like to also explore the long-term ramification of this shift with parents, and why this is not a bad thing.
We will hold two meetings: 10:00 am on Monday, May 19th in the GMS Library and Thursday, May 22 at 6:00 pm in the GMS Library. We will have refreshments at each of these meetings. It would be helpful to us if you could RSVP as to which meeting you plan on attending. You may RSVP by calling 222-1220.
Much to Celebrate at GMS
We have many things to celebrate with our students and faculty at GMS. We are very pleased to report that over the school vacation, Ms. Mathieu and the GMS Band students successfully held the New England John P. Sousa Band Festival. This festival brought more than 160 band students from all across New England to learn and perform. By all accounts, the festival was a great success, Congratulations to Ms. Mathieu, our band students and the many volunteers who helped make this event so successful.
On Monday, April 29th, the entire Little River Team traveled to Westbrook Middle School to receive the “Returning School” award for their work at helping reduce the waste and increase the recycling at GMS. We had 3 students stand before more than 1000 students, teachers, administrators and guests to present their finding and their results of their year-long effort.