Heading Toward Spring Break!

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Upcoming Important Dates

Tuesday, April 7 – Sebago Team’s Ancient World Museum, 6:00 pm GMS 6th Grade Wing
Tuesday, April 7 – All Gorham Band Concert, GHS Auditorium 6:30 pm
Wednesday, April 8 – School Committee Meeting, Municipal Center 7:00 pm
Friday, April 10 – GMS Dance sponsored by the 6th Grade, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Tuesday, April 14 – All Gorham Chorus night GHS Auditorium 6:30 pm
Wednesday, April 15 – 8th Grade Celebration planning meeting 6:00 pm GMS Library
Friday, April 17 – Spring School Break Begins at dismissal of students, 2:15 pm
Monday, April 20 – Last day to order Yerabooks
Monday, April 27 – 8th Grade students begin the MEA Assessment

Spring Break (Middle School Style!)

OK, let’s get the important stiff out of the way first, all students will begin their Spring Vacation at dismissal on Friday, April 17th (dismissal is at 2:15 pm). The kids will return to school on Monday, April 27.

We all hope that the snow is gone, the golf courses, baseball and softball fields are free from snow and beginning to green under the warm mid-April sun.

If you are traveling to warmer clime, we hope that your travels are safe and on time.

Ordering Yearbooks

YearbookclipartSome years, we get a mad rush from people who forgot to order a yearbook for their child by the due date and they are begging for us to be able to get one for their child. Some years, we are able to have extras ordered, but in the past few years the cost of the yearbook has risen so much that we cannot afford to order extras that will sit, unsold in our storage closet. So, to answer this, we have implemented a system of ordering only enough to cover those actually purchased. We will not have any leftovers this year!!! The only way you can guarantee that your child will get a yearbook, filled with all the memories of their school year, is to order one BEFORE April 20th.

Ordering a yearbook is very easy and there are two ways to do it. We have order forms in the Main Office that you can fill out, put a check in the slot provided on the form and give it to one of the secretaries. Or, you can go online to the Lifetouch web site YBPay.lifetouch.com

Ancient World Museum

The annual presentation by the Sebago Team students of Kim Fotter and Meghan Rounds will be Tuesday evening,Parthenon April 7th beginning at 6:00 pm in the 6th Grade wing of the Gorham Middle School. Parents and relatives are invited to peruse the many wonderful exhibits of the students demonstrating the many interesting facts they discovered in their exploration of the ancient peoples of Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome.

All Gorham Band and Chorus Nights

Also on Tuesday, April 7th, all of the band students from the entire district will be on hand to present a concert of Musicwhat they have been learning all year. There will be students from the Elementary Schools presenting a few numbers,. The Middle School will be represented quite well by our award winning Jazz Band and our Concert Band. The many different ensembles of the High School will present a few numbers of their own.

The evening will culminate with a number of several of the members of the different bands presenting a number for the enjoyment of the audience.

Then, the same night, the following week we will hold the annual All Gorham Chorus Night, again at the GHS Auditorium beginning at 6:30 pm. There will be singers from across the district, at all grade levels, entertaining the audience with the joyful sounds of young voices singing.

Please circle both dates on your calendar for two great evenings of entertainment.

School Dance

Our next school dance is Friday, April 10 in the GMS Gym from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. This dance is sponsored by the 6th grade team with refreshments being sold by the Student Council. As an added bonus for our students, Sophie Gagne, a 6th grader on the Eagle Team will be holding a bake sale. Sophie is quite an accomplished dancer and she has earned the right to compete in a dance competition in Las Vegas this summer. She is holding the sale to help raise funds to defray the cost of the trip. Let’s hope all of her school mates bring their appetites to the dance to help Sophie get the Las Vegas.

Principal for a Day

Each day, Mrs. Hanley, Assistant Principal, Mr. Kilborn, Physical Education Teacher and me greet the students as

Principal for the Day Jacob Polchies greets the students to a new day at GMS.

Principal for the Day Jacob Polchies greets the students to a new day at GMS.

they enter the building for a new day. The idea is to greet the kids each day with a pleasant “hello” and a warm smile as the enter the building for a great day of learning.

On one morning a couple of weeks ago, one student, Jacob Polchies said “Mr. Riley, we should with jobs someday!”. I think I surprised hime when I said yes and that we should do it on April 1st (for all the obvious reasons).

Plans were made, he would come to school wearing a suit (that’s what I wear on most days), and I would come to school dressed as a student and take his place in his class. Since the 7th grade with Sister Genevieve was not one of my best years, I can tell you that I was quite nervous. Jacob, on the other hand, was quite well prepared.

We have some pictures of the day, mostly of him doing a far better job that I do on a daily basis, that are included in this post. The idea has spurned a new idea for us, however.

On May 13, we hold our second Principal for the Day. This time, however, we are going to raffle the day off to the students. The raffle tickets will be $1.00 per chance and $5.00 for an “arms length”. The proceeds of the raffle will be put toward the establishment of a Unified Sports Program at Gorham Middle School beginning next year.

If you are unfamiliar with Unified Sports Programs, they are cropping up around the state.Unified Sports bring together students with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team to promote social inclusion through specific sports training and competitive experiences.

To learn more about Unified Sports Teams, you can checkout the Special Olympics web site. The Lewiston Sun had a great article that ran, Monday, March 9th, just prior to the start of the first ever state championships sponsored and sanctioned by the Maine Principals Association. I think the article speaks volumes as to why we need to get this program started here at GMS.

So, please, encourage your child to purchase a raffle ticket to be Principal for the Day.

8th Grade Celebration Meeting

Kristen Fitz has sent out emails to all of the 8th grade parents to begin the process of organizing the 8th Grade CelebrationCelebration at the end of the school year. It has really worked quite well to begin this process digitally using our BlackBoard notification system and email. However, it is time to hold a meeting in “Reality” to put faces to names and to clarify all of the moving parts of this entertaining evening for our kids.

So, we’ll hold our first “Real” meeting on Wednesday evening, April 15th in the GMS Library. We ask that you bring your creative minds and your calendars so we can finalize some of the plans.

Looking forward to seeing as many people as possible on the 15th!

8th Grade MEA Begins on April 27

When our 8th graders return from their relaxing break, enjoying the sights and sounds of spring (maybe!), we will begin the annual assessment of our students through the Maine Educational Assessment. This is the first time we will be assessing our students via this computer adaptive test and a Performance Task. We plan to use part of the days on Monday through Thursday for all of these assessments with Friday being a day that we will use for make ups for any students who was sick or absent.

The 7th grade and 6th grade will be assessed in the following weeks.

To make sure that all student computers are charged and ready, we are not going to allow the students to bring them home during the school vacation. During the weeks of testing, we also plan to keep all of the devices at school, for all grades. There are significant security concerns that have been conveyed about students having personal devices during the testing. Our plan right now is to have all students leave their cell phone, tablets and IPods, turned off and on the teachers desk during the testing. We are doing this for a couple of reasons, one being the security I just mentioned, and the second is a matter of band-width. The first one I can understand pretty easily, the second is more difficult for me to explain. It has something to do with the amount of information coming ito the school and going out of the school. These assessments take up a fair amount of band width.

If you have any questions about these assessments, please feel free to call me.

PGA Jr. League

PGA LogoThe Gorham Country Club and PGA Pro Rick Altham will be sponsoring a golf team in the PGA Jr. League in Southern Maine. The league will begin on June 14th and it will run for 6 weeks. There will be a clinic with Pro Rick Altham and 6 practices and 6 matches for the participants. Each participant will receive a shirt, balls, a tag for their bag indicating their participation in the PGA. Matches will be held on Sundays. Some of the other courses that are participating in the PGA Jr.League are Val Halla in Cumberland, Webhannet in Kennebunk, Purpoodock in Cape Elizabeth, Dunegrass in Old Orchard Beach and the Woodland in Falmouth.

The League is open to all kids aged 8 to 13.If you would like your child to sign up, or if you have any questions, please call me at the school.

 

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