Upcoming Important Dates
Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday, September 9, 10 & 11 – Laptops Deployed
Wednesday, September 10 – Gorham Education Foundation meeting 6:30 pm Recreation Building
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
Friday, September 19 – 1st School Dance of the year 6:00 – 8:00 pm GMS Gym
Tooth Fairies Postponed
The Tooth Fairies, a group of Dental Hygienists who travel to school offering free dental health services, had to postpone their arrival at GMS. Don’t fret, however, as they have rescheduled to October 15 – 17. This gives some of you who may not have signed up time to do so. If you would like your child to receive these very important dental health service, please call Teresa Merrill and arrange an appointment.
Gorham Education Foundation (GEF)
We have received word that the Gorham Education Foundation will be holding their first meeting of the school year this Wednesday evening (September 10) in the Recreation Building near the Library at 6:30 pm.
The GEF is a non-profit foundation, under the guidelines of the IRS 501-c-3, that raise funds to support the mission of the Gorham Schools. They hold regular events to raise funds and awareness of, and for the Gorham Schools.
For more information on the Gorham Educational Foundation email: firstname.lastname@example.org
GMS is on Twitter
You can follow Gorham Middle School on Twitter now at @GorhamMiddleSch,if you have your own Twitter account. If you haven’t joined the Twitterverse, you can still access our Twitter feed by going to http://twitter.com/GorhamMiddleSch.
We plan to offer some views into the day-today happenings at GMS and to feature some of the very innovative and engaging activities that happen on a typical day. We will also use the medium to inform our community into all upcoming activities. We look forward to having you join us.
Next Tuesday, September 16th, all students will have their picture taken by the good folks at Life Touch Studios. We will use the student images for our Student Information System as well as offer to parents and families the opportunity to purchase packages of photos for family enjoyment. Life Touch has provided us with some very high quality portraits for families to frame and give as gifts or to just enjoy looking at over the years.
We have sent home descriptions of the photos and possible packages for purchase by families with your child in their backpack. Life Touch has put together several possible options for purchase, you just need complete the information on the sheet along with your selections and have your child bring it with them on Tuesday/
Life Touch has been willing to work with us to help all families record the early years of their children. If you do not find a package that meets your requirements, or you think may be too expensive but you want one 8×10, please give the phone number on that order sheet a call and tell them what you would like. They are after all in the business of selling pictures, so I am willing to bet they will work with you. If they don’t, give me a call and I will see what I can do.
Sports and Physicals
The fall sports season has begun with practices commencing yesterday after school. I am not sure how many kids we have signed up so far, but it was really great to see all of our fields filled with young people running and jumping and kicking. The schedules are being finalized for the middle school and as soon as I have it, I will get it up on the Middle School Web site.
In order for our students to participate in sports, students must have a current physical on file with the school. By current, we mean within two years. One thing that happens often is that physicals “run out” or expire during the school year because the actual date of the physical was later in the school year. If you have any questions about your child’s physical date, give the office a call and we’ll check.
During the first week of school we held two fire drills for our students and teachers. We usually conduct 8 to 10 fire drills during the course of the year and 2 to 3 lockdown safety drills. Our goal is to never have to use any of these exercises for real, but we do practice all of these safety exercises to be prepared.
We will, in all likelihood, hold a coup,e of more fire drills with the students this fall while the weather remains comfortable. We will also be putting up obstacles during the evacuation so that students and teachers will revert to plan B and move students in a different direction and to a different evacuation point. We usually do this with first responders observing and providing critiques for how we can improve.
We will also hold the lockdown drills in the coming months. We will notify our community of parents and guardians of these events before hand so that you will not be getting any strange texts from your kids about an emergency at the middle school.
Mandarin Language and Culture Offering
We will again be offering to our 7th & 8th graders an opportunity to participate in the Mandarin and Culture course offered through the Confucius Institute at the University of Southern Maine. The course will meet on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays during the students EICAL period. Unfortunately, students who are in band or chorus will not be able to participate in this offering as that is when band and chorus has their rehearsals.
If you are interested in having your child participate in this wonderful offering, please send me an email or give me a call.
After School Library
The GMS library is open for students who wish to use the resources of our Library for homework or research. The Library is manned by Mr. Carpenter beginning at 2:30 until the late bus at 4:00 pm. Students are expected to be working on school work while they are in the Library and not just be gathering for social purposes.
This is a great chance for students who may need some help in finding resources for their projects or getting some assistance with getting homework done. The Library is also a nice quiet place for some great reading time in an environment that is conducive to quiet reading.
Parents may pick up their child before 4:00 pm if they would like by going to the Library and getting their child.
GMS is Doing Another LipDub
I can’t believe it was four years ago that we performed a whole school activity that was very new to me called a Lipdub. Mr. Flo Rida provided us with the “Good Feelin'” and all of our students and teachers got into the spirit of the day. With the exception of the two folks introducing the event, the kids and students were terrific. So, if you’ll fast forward past the old folks at the beginning you can see our first try at a LipDub.
We are now going to try to make this work positively for GMS, given our experience. Macy’s, the huge department store (do they still call them that!?!) is offering significant cash prizes for the top three LipDubs in a national contest of middle and high schools across the country. Each school is required to follow a set of rules, which we already know we can do, and upload the video to the Macy’s Youtube account.
Here are the rules of the contest and a sample of what a LipDub might look like.
Keeping Maine Students Safe
We have received several advisories from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention regarding mosquito borne illnesses. Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile Virus have been detected in a few mosquito pools in southern Maine and the Healt Department advises that we take precautions. We have sent home with your child several fact sheets on both of these mosquito borne illnesses as well as a sheet with preventative measures that parents can take to protect their children.
At present, there have been identified cases of either illness in the Gorham area, but we will continue to monitor the Maine CDC website for updates and we will keep you informed if we learn more.
More From our School Nurse
More and more we are hearing in the news about how certain childhood diseases are on the rise. Diseases such as measles and mumps and even polio are making a big comeback across America and the world. Many of the stories that I have seen are laying the resurgence of these diseases on the lax immunization protocols and, sometimes a fear of the possible negative side effects of some of the immunizations.
The state of Maine has requirements of schools to insure that schools remain safe by requiring proof of immunization of all students. There are exceptions allowed for philosophical and religious reasons, we just need to have those exceptions documented and on file.
If you have any questions about your child and the requirements for immunizations, please give Teresa Merrill, School Nurse a call.
Until next time…