Happy Memorial Day… When Does the Summer Weather Arrive???

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 Upcoming Important Dates

Monday, May 26 – Memorial Day Holiday – No School Thursday,
May 29 – Career Day for 8th graders – Details below
Thursday, May 29 – GMS Chorus Concert GMS Auditorium 6:00 pm
Friday, May 30 – Gorham School Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast, GMS 10:00 am
Friday, May 30 – Gorham Chorus and Steel Band to OOB and Funtown
Wednesday, June 4 – Little River Team to Boston
Thursday, June 5 – Band Concert, GMS Auditorium 6:00 pm
Friday, June 6 – Stroudwater Team to Portland Freedom Trail
Tuesday, June 10 – 8th Grade Step up Day (More info below)

New Email Addresses

We have switched our email provider and moved in the world of Google and Gmail. Beginning on May 14th our new email address are our FirstName.LastName@gorhamschools.org. If you have been trying to email at our old address, the emails probably got bounced back to you (or they’re still bouncing around in cyberspace!). We really are not trying to ignore you, please try again with the new email address. Sorry for any inconvenience.

8th Grade Step up Day

On June 10, our 8th graders will make their first trip to the High School to learn who their advisors will be, what their schedule will look like and run through a mini schedule of their classes. This will, hopefully, allow these soon-to-be-newly-minted First Year High School students to learn where their classes will be held and how to navigate the maze of hallways, that I have yet to solve, by the way. It will also help them when the upperclassmen and women try to explain to these first years that the pool is on the 3rd floor and they are expected to report there for swimming lessons.

In order to accomplish this we will be asking students who normally walk to the Middle School instead walk to the High School. For parents who normally drive their kids to school in the morning, to please bring them to the auditorium entrance to the high school by 7:50 and our busses will be letting our 8th graders off at the High School rather than bringing them to the Middle School.

We will be bringing the 8th graders back to the Middle School around 9:50 am.

Step Up Day for the Rest of the School

Students in grades 6 & 7 will have their step up day on Tuesday, June 17. Students will be given their schedules, team assignments and meet their new advisors as well as run through a mini schedule. We will get the exact schedule out to everyone after we arrange the transportation with our buses.

Student Placement

We have been working since mid-March gathering information from Parents and teachers to inform our decisions about student placement. Our goal when placing students is to create teams that our balanced in several categories, gender, achievement, behavioral, student identification (Special Education, Gifted and Talented) and other social issues. We try very hard to make each team a microcosm of the entire grade level. Sometimes we are more successful than others.

When your child receives their placement assignments on June 17, expect that they will come home and complain that they don’t know anyone on their team, or that their friends all got placed somewhere else. We have tried to take all of these questions into consideration and worked to make sure that students have at least one friend, or someone they seem to work well with, on their team. We do not take any requests for team changes in the days following step up day.

If you have concerns about your child’s placement, we have 4 possible considerations that would allow us to make a change of team:

Prior poor experience of the student with a teacher on the team
Prior poor experience with a sibling and a teacher, or teachers on a team
A teacher is a relative or close family friend and the parents chooses not put either student or teacher in a difficult situation
A legal issue with another student, or student’s family placed on the same team

Other than those four conditions, we cannot consider a team change.

Field Trip Season

At the end of the school year, many teams try to take advantage of the good weather (Really? This year!) and plan excursions outside of the school building. Teams will send home permission forms for parent signatures and to also inform the parents of where, when and why a trip is planned. Last week, I talked about the Funtown Physics Day fired trip for the 8th graders and, while many folks doubted my explanation that this trip was truly academic in nature, that is what we ask the teams to consider when planning their trips.

If you have any questions about field trips, I encourage you to contact your child’s team and ask your questions.

Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast

On Friday morning, May 30, the Gorham Schools will celebrate all of the wonderful people who volunteered their time to help in our schools. It is no small sacrifice for these folks to give up their time to come into our schools and work with all of our kids. It is also a tremendous aid to our schools to have caring adults who are exemplary role models for our students in demonstrating what it means to be an engaged citizen.

Please join us in celebrating all of the great accomplishments of our volunteers. The breakfast will begin at 9:00 am in the GMS Cafeteria.

The Concert Season

It is that time of year when our students get the chance to “Show off their Stuff” in the form of concerts for our community. We will begin with the annual Chorus and Steel Band Concert on Thursday evening at 6:00 pm. This jus a great show of wonderful songs with our Chorus, including several solos from some very talented students. On Friday, The Chorus and Steel Band students will travel to Loranger Middle School in Old Orchard Beach for an adjudicated show. An adjudicated show means that their will be judges who will rate their performance on a certain set of criteria. The kids really look forward to this concert and they really love the feed back they get from all of the judges.

Of course the students also love the fact that after the concert, they get to go to Funtown/Splashtown and perform again before enjoying the “fruits” of the park!

8th Grade Career Day

For the second year in a row we are working with our 8th graders to give them a small taste of what all of this education business they have been enduring the past 3 years (and more) is all about. We will be having several members of the business community coming into school to discuss their businesses and how they work as well as discussing the skills they needed to be an “employable commodity” for their bosses. We expect to start off the day with and exciting keynote speaker who will set the tone for the rest of the day. We plan to wrap up the day with several activities that will have the students processing and sharing with the classmates what they heard and what they learned.

I think the day will be engaging and informative for our students.

Mandarin Chinese and Asian Culture

This year we offered to several students an opportunity to be exposed to Chinese Culture and the Mandarin language. The students who participated in this offering surpassed our wildest expectations for what they would gain from this experience. We will again offer this experience to 7th and 8th grade students next year, beginning a month earlier than this year. We will partner with the Confucius Institute at the University of Souther Maine to offer the course 4 days per week to students in grades 7 & 8. The classes will meet during our EICAL period on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

If you are interested in having your child participate in this class, please contact me at School.

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