Upcoming Important Dates
Tuesday, August 26 – GMS Open House 6:00 – 7:00 pm
Wednesday, August 27 – 1st Day of school for 6th grade
Thursday, August 28 – 1st Day of school for grades 7 & 8
Friday, August 29 – No School
Monday, September 1 – Labor Day, No School
Wednesday, Thursday & Friday, September 10, 11 & 12 – Tooth Fairies
Monday, September 15 – MLTI Parent Meeting 6:00 pm GMS Auditorium
Tuesday, September 16 – MLTI Parent Meeting 6:00 pm GMS Auditorium
Tuesday, September 16 – Picture Day, Vision & Hearing Screening
GMS Open House
Our first big event of the school year will be on August 26 at 6:00 pm as all of our teachers will have their rooms ready for the annual open house. Teachers will welcome parents beginning at 6:00 pm until 7:00 pm in their classrooms. We will have lots of information available to parents on tables in the foyer of the school as well as our library and cafeteria. We hope to you all at GMS on Tuesday (holy smokes, that’s a week a way!)
Preparation for the New Year
We are all very busy getting the school ready for the arrival of almost 660 students on August 27 (first day for all the students). The floors have been waxed, the walls have been scrubbed and painted where needed. Each of the classrooms now has projectors mounted to the ceilings. This helps us keep the students safe from accidentally tripping on the many wires on the floor. It also makes our insurance carriers very happy! Our supplies are arriving daily, restocking our emptied store rooms with paper and pens, markers, rulers (do we still use those?), graphing paper and the all important erasers (‘cuz we do make mistakes).
We are also doing lots of work to comply with the newest laws regarding Common Core and Proficiency Based Learning. Over the summer, we have attended several workshops, listened to several videos and read lots of the newest articles to make sure that we are ready for the coming shift.
Now, all we need are the students! I can’t wait for them to arrive, even though that means the end of summer and the coming of what the Old Farmers Almanac calls “A Winter of Super Cold!”
The First Days of School
As we have for the past couple of years, we will welcome the 6th Graders on Wednesday, August 27th, just the 6th graders! They will have the whole school to themselves to explore and get comfortable. The 6th graders will have a chance to get to meet all of their teachers, as well as the teachers at 7th grade and 8th grade, just so that they can put names to faces and feel comfortable and safe in our school.
We will also have plenty of time to take care of the two most dreaded items that brand new middle school students encounter, the combination lock for their locker and the lunch line in the cafeteria. If there are any areas that cause more consternation and angst among our new students, it is these two areas, initially. I promise that once they feel as though they have these conquered, they will turn their attention to items such as wearing the right kind of shoes, having the latest style of jeans and appropriately styled T-Shirts. But, first they must conquer the combination locks and the lunch line with a correct PIN.
The rest of the students will all arrive on Thursday, August 28th. The students will report to their Advisors first thing. While we will not have a typical day for all students, they will have time to attend all of their classes and meet all of their teachers.
Save the Date
We are required by our lease agreement with the state of Maine to hold an annual meeting to discuss the use of the MLTI provided devices (laptops) before we allow them to go home with the students. We have set aside two evenings, Monday, September 15 and Tuesday, September 16 at 6:00 pm for these meetings. You only need to attend one of these meetings and you must sign the appropriate permission sheets and acknowledgment forms to allow your child to use the laptops away from school.
I remind all parents that the final decision about whether a laptop goes home with the student rests with the parents. Part of the acknowledgment is that the parent accepts responsibility for the device in the event that it is damaged. We have, in the past, developed several methods to limit that liability for parents, and we will be discussing these methods at these meetings.
We will also use these meetings to help parents gain a greater understanding about how to keep your children safe while they are on line and other strategies to keep your child cyber-safe.
New Staff at GMS
There have been some changes at GMS since the students left last June. We have a bunch of new folks working with our students at different grade levels. One of our teams has changed their name to reflect the island off the Maine coast with the tallest lighthouse (recently sold at auction), The Boon Island Team at the 8th grade.
So over the next few weeks I will be introducing you to some of our new staff, beginning with our newest teaching staff:
Because of retirements, we have hired 2 new English/language arts teachers. The Boon Island Team will be joined Mary Guimond. Mary is very familiar with Gorham and many of our students may have had Mary as a substitute teacher last year. Mary completed her training at the University of Southern Maine in the ETEP program. During her internship period, she was placed at Gorham High School as well as Biddeford Middle School. Mary also coaches the girls ice hockey team and girls lacrosse team at Gorham High School. We are very excited to have Mary join the GMS team.
Meghan Rounds will be joining the Sebago team at the 6th grade. Meghan comes to us with experience teaching in the Richmond, Me school district and with a couple of years as an educator with the Portland Water District. Meghan has actually taught several of our students over the years through they program. We are excited to welcome Meghan to our team.
I will work on getting pictures of everyone for the next edition.
Looking forward to the beginning…