And now, the end is near –Frank Sinatra



Important Upcoming Dates

Monday, June 16 – 8th Grade to Range Pond
Tuesday, June 17 – K-9 Step up day (more information below)
Tuesday, June 17 – Celebration of Middle School 6:00 pm, GMS Gymnasium
Wednesday, June 18 – Last day of school, students dismissed at 11:10 am
Wednesday, August 27 – 1st day of school for 6th grade only
Thursday, August 28 – All students arrive at school
Friday, August 29 – No School
Monday, September 1 – Labor Day Holiday, No school

Step Up Day for All Students

We will be welcoming our newest students to the Middle School on Tuesday, June 17. The 5th grade students will arrive, via school bus, from their respective elementary schools at 9:30 am and proceed directly to the GMS Auditorium to meet their new advisors. Upon the arrival of the 5th graders, the 8th grade students will board the buses for their second trip to the high school.

The current 5th, 6th and 7th graders will meet their new teams and teachers and be given a very brief look into what a day will be when the arrive on their first days of school. All students will meet their new advisors and get to know those who will be with them each morning for the next year.

The 5th graders will be returned to the Auditorium at 10:45 and all other students will return to their “this year’s” teachers for completion of the rest of the day. The 5th graders will board their buses to return to their respective elementary schools at 11:00 am.

Student Placement

We begin the process of placing students in March by asking for parent input into their child’s learning style, concerns and success. We complete the process on Step Up day when we assign all students to their new advisors and teams. In between those two events there is a considerable amount of work. We include the child’s current teachers, the School Counselors and the School Social Workers. Finally, we ask the administrators to examine the lists to see if there may be something we may have missed.

We know that on Step Up day, students will still come home complaining about their team, not having any friends with them, etc. in spite of our best efforts. There are only four possible conditions under which we may be allowed to switch a student’s team, They are:

Prior negative experience with a particular teacher and your child,
Prior negative experience with a teacher and a sibling,
Significant conflict with a particular student (“significant meaning restraining order, protection for abuse, etc.)
Relative or close friend or neighbor which could cause discomfort in the relationship.

In any event, we will not be doing any possible changes in placement until late August, after we have examined any new student arrivals or departures.

8th Grade Celebration

For the past few months, several groups of parents have been busy planning and preparing for the final Celebration of Middle School for our departing 8th graders. I am excited about the send off for this great class that these folks have planned. I am sure that the kids will have a great time and it will be a fitting lasting memory of their time here at Gorham Middle School.

The evening begins with what I call the “Parent Portion” of the event. We will gather in the Gymnasium, beginning at 5:30 pm with the slide show of pictures submitted by the families of our 8th grade students. Seating is on a first-come-first-served basis and we have always had plenty of space available for all who want to attend.

The formal portion of the vent will begin promptly at 6:00 pm and should last about an hour. After the formal portion, our 8th graders will gather in the cafeteria for one final evening of dancing and enjoying the sounds of DJ Adam Parvanta. There will be food available for the students and lots of sweets and other “teen-like” food.

The dance will end at 9:00 pm and we ask that the students be picked up at that time.

Laptop Turn in and Repairs

The students are currently turning in their laptops for the year. This is a fairly cumbersome process as we ask the students to remove any work that they want to save that wasn’t saved to the “Cloud” and any music or games they downloaded to the device needs to either be saved to their ITunes account or they will lose them. We have give the students time to complete this process and we are now collecting them from each grade level.

Once we collect them, we will examine each device for damage to the case, keyboard, display screen. We will examine the “innards” for damage to moisture sensors to see if any of them may have been tripped by a spill.

If we determine that there has been some damage, we will contact the parents of the students and give them a list of the damages and what will be necessary to bring the device back to working order. This will be done either by phone call or through first class mail.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

GMS Summer Reading List

Each year, GMS School Librarian, Kathy Marquis puts together a list of books that would interest our students for summer time reading.

We all know that summer is filled lots of outdoor activities and family vacations, but we also know there needs to be time to keep the momentum for reading up. I can’t think of a better activity on a rainy day, or first thing in the morning before getting out of bed or in the afternoon after a swim in the lake, and always, before turning out the lights for the night. Here is Kathy’s list:

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library – Chris Grabenstein
When a lock-in becomes a reality game, 12-year-old and his friends use library resources to find their way out of Alexandriaville’s new public library.

Deep Blue – Jennifer Donnelly
Uncovering an ancient evil, Serafina, a mermaid of the Mediterranean Sea, searches for five other mermaid heroines who are scattered across the six seas, to save their hidden world.

Always Emily: A Novel of Intrigue and Romance – Michaela MacColl
Young Emily and Charlotte Bronte investigate a possible connection between series of local burglaries and rumors that a neighbor’s death may not have been accidental.

Ashfall – Mike Mullin
A super volcano erupts in Yellowstone National Park, covering much of North America in volcanic ash and plunging the world into nuclear winter.

The Familiars – Adam Jay Epstein
The young wizards-in-training are kidnapped by an evil queen and their familiars, the alley cat, the blue jay and the tree frog. The familiars set out on a dangerous journey to rescue the boys.

Foul Trouble – College recruiters are trying to sign Terrell Jamerson, the #1 high school basketball player in the country. Not all of these recruiters are straight shooters.

How to Catch a Bogle – Catherine Jinks
In 1870’s London, a young orphan girl becomes the apprentice to a man who traps monsters for a living.

Malala Yousafzai – This is the biography of a Muslim teenage girl from Pakistan, whom the Taliban attempted to assassinate on October 9, 2012.

SYLO – Pemberwick Island, Maine is occupied by a Navy section called SYLO who claim a virus has been unleashed, but Tucker Pierce, who has seen a strange aircraft, realizes something else is going on.

The 5th Wave – Richard Yancey
Cassie Sullivan, the survivor of an alien invasion, must rescue her young brother from the enemy with help from a boy who may be one of them.

Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures – Kate DiCamillo (2014 Newberry Award Winner)
A girl named Flora and a squirrel named Ulysses team up to conquer villains and protect the weak.

Each of these books are available at the Baxter Memorial Library this summer.

I also follow @pragmaticmom on Twitter and she has produce a wonderfully extensive list of books that are of high interest. She has broken the list down by genre and interest as well as supplying titles for students who may struggle. Please check out her list here. You may also want to follow her on Twitter, she has some great resources for parents of Middle School kids.


At the risk of being too commercial and being seen as supporting a particular office supplies store, I offer the following video to celebrate the end of the school year… but remind you of the next school year.


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