Week of February 20

topperMiddle

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Upcoming Important Dates

Feb 17 – Mid-Winter School Vacation begins at dismissal
Feb 27 – Students and Teacher return from Break
Mar 2 – GHS Chorus Concert in the Gym 12:30 (we will 2 concerts)
Mar 3 – School Dance sponsored by the 6th grade 6:00 -8:00 pm
Mar 7 – 8th Grade Parent Night at GMS 6:00 pm MPAC
Mar 8 – GHS Principal Jandreau speaks to 8th Graders
Mar 10 -12 – GMS School Musical (more info below)

Winter Fever Reliever

This has been re-scheduled to Sunday, March 19 at 6:00 pm

This information is from Tracy Williamson and has been sent to all of you in an email. This sounds like a really fun evening of music!

Next Sunday, the 12th, the Gorham Middle School and High School Steel Bands will be performing a benefit concert with the Portland based steel band, Sister Steel.  The benefit is to raise money for our registration fee for the New England Steel Pan Festival that is to be held at Thompson’s Point on May 7th.
The event is from 6-8:30pm in the GMS cafeteria with a suggested donation at the door.
We are also looking for people to donate food items to a bake sale / snack concessions table for the event.  If anyone would like to contribute something, please let me know!  The steel band parents and Sister Steel are making crockpot meals and traditional foods from Trinidad for the event too.
Come enjoy some steel pan music, food and dancing on the 12th!  Hope to see you there!

Early Release Day – Feb 15

On Wednesday, all of our students were able to enjoy several presentations by members of local public safety organizations. I only wish we could have had a few more so that more students could have enjoyed listening to these people talk about their jobs and how what they learned in middle school matters to them even now in their work.

 

Let me give you an example of who will be here:

  • Maine State Fire Marshal – We had two folks from the Fire Marshal’s office who talked to the students about investigating the origins of fire scenes and how they go about inspecting buildings to make sure they are safe for the public.
  • Gorham Police Department
    • Accident Reconstruction – Students were able to see, first hand, how police agencies are able to reconstruct, using math and science.
    • Crime Scene Processing – Math, science and language arts in processing a crime scene.
    • K-9 Handling
  • Gorham Fire Department
    • Paramedics – How science and math are critical in their work everyday.
  • Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department
  • Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • U.S.Marshal’s Service
  • U.S. Secret Service
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • Maine Juvenile Justice
  • Maine Bureau of Highway Safety – How math and science are involved in driving a car.

Parent Meet-up

On Friday night, in conjunction with our monthly school dance, Cynthia Grover, GMS Social Worker and Claudine Emerson, GHS Substance Abuse Counselor, held a Meet-up for GMS Parents. We had about 26 parents show up for this meeting and, from all reports, the night was a great success! I am sure this will be the first of several events like this to help us all keep our kids safe.

Please keep a watch here for the next event planned, and thanks to all of the parents who attended.

GMS Students Present The Little Mermaid

Please circle the dates of March 10 trough March 12 and plan to attend one of the presentations of the annual GMS Musical. GMS students, under the direction of Tana Krohn, will present three (3) shows of the Little Mermaid. Shows on Friday and Saturday evening begin at 7:00 pm and, new this year, a Sunday matinee beginning at 2:00 pm.

We have come to expect from our students some amazing performances, beautiful singing, great acting, lots of laughs and a truly, wonderfully memorable evening. Please make pans to catch at least one show!

Changes in School Nutrition Program

We have been working with our School Nutrition folks to help get a handle on the number of students who are carrying balances on the school lunch account.

School lunch at GMS offers a very vibrant array of meals for our students to enjoy that are both delicious and nutritious (I sound like a commercial!). Our Food Service also offers some wonderful items on an “a la carte” basis. Pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches, hamburg and cheeseburger as well as a variety of cold sandwiches and snacks. These are priced individually and the students can use their Pre-Paid account to purchase these.

Families can use this pre-paid account system so that they don’t have to remember to give their children cash each day to eat lunch. Here is a link to the on-line pre-paid system that families can use to keep track of their account balances and to receive warnings when the account drops to a certain level and needs to be replenished.

We don’t ever want to withhold lunch from a child, and we won’t, however, sometimes, we do have accounts that go seriously into a negative balance. This causes a problem for your child and for the Food Service people, who need to be responsible to the taxpayers of Gorham and not become a burden on the school budget.

We recognize that family situations change over time and the family finances sometimes struggle. We want to be able to continue to provide nutritious lunches for all of our students. There are some programs that can help and if you give me a call I can steer you in the right direction to obtain information about the programs.

In the meantime, I will be reaching out to the people who are carrying negative balances to see if we can work out a plan to bring these balances into line with the program, If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call the Food Service staff or me.

8th Grade Transition Begins

I know I say this every year, and the time seems to be picking up speed as each year passes, but it is time to begin the transition of our 8th graders  heading toward the highs school.

It will begin with the 8th Grade Parent Night hosted by Gorham High School Principal Brian Jandreau, and his staff on Tuesday evening, March 7 at 6:00 pm in the Gorham High School MPAC. Brian will talk about the High school experience in general and what to expect in the coming days, as the 8th graders begin registering from classes beginning in August as First Year Students at GHS.

The next morning, Principal Jandreau and several department heads and Guidance Counselors will meet, in an assembly, with all of the 8th graders to talk about requirements for First Year Students, and possible courses that will be open to them.

There will be several other events happening during the school day here at GMS that will help the students prepare for that ever crucial first year of high school. Transition Counselor Anna Peterson has lots of interesting plans fro the next few weeks and will be in classes with students to help as well.

Then we need to begin to plan for that last, final, big day at GMS. Watch this space for more information about gathering a planning committee.

TeenSafe

I have recently discovered this web site fir parents who are concerned about their child and the use of technology, especially cellphone use. Now, I am not endorsing this for anyone, but I am including a news report from a TV Station (I am not sure where!). I believe there is a free version and a paid version and this report gives lots of good information that you can follow up on if you are interested.

Week of Feb 6

topperMiddle

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Upcoming Important Dates

Feb 9 thru 12 – Gorham High School Spring Musical at MAPC
Feb 10 – Parent Meet-up 6:00 pm GMS Library
Feb 10 – School Dance 6:00 – 8:00 pm Gymnasium
Feb 15 – Early Release Day, students dismissed at 11:10
Feb 16 – PIE Meeting, GMS Library 6:00 pm (see agenda below)
Feb 17 – School Winter Vacation Begins
Feb 27 – Students return from Mid-Winter Break

Congratulations to the New England Patriots

I know that this morning we had a whole bunch of bleary-eyed people enter this building this morning, and a few bleary-eyed students too!

It was definitely a night for the ages and one that we all will remember with great fondness… unless you are not from New England! In any event, they certainly provided a lot of fodder for talk around the water cooler.

GHS Presentation of Footloose

Are you looking for some great entertainment next weekend? Can I suggest that you head on over to the Gorham High School MPAC to take in the GHS students’ rendition of the smash Broadway hit and the answer to many Kevin Bacon questions, Footloose. As in every other presentation of our wonderfully talented “former Gorham Middle School” students, this promises to be a night of great music and dancing. And who would pass up a chance to see Rocky Meyers on stage!?

Presentation are Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights,performances beginning at 7:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday matinees beginning at 2:00 pm

School Dance and Parent Meet-up

In conjunction with our monthly school dance, the Gorham Action Team for Youth (GATY) will be sponsoring a Parent Meet-up beginning at 6:00 pm in the GMS Library. The dance goes from 6:00 to 8:00 pm in the Gym.

GMS Social Worker, Cynthia Grover and GHS Substance Abuse Counselor, Claudine Emerson will host parents, answer questions and provide resources for parents who are questioning about the risky behaviors that are present in our community.

Last week, I sent out a letter to all parents and guardians about one such risky behavior, the Choking Game, explaining some of the tell-take signs your child might be engaging in this risky behavior.

If you decide to accompany your child to the dance, your child will be admitted to the dance for free and you’ll get some great information and meet two great resources (Cynthia and Claudine) to help you, and I’ll bet there will be some refreshments of some type!

We hope to see many of you at this very beneficial event!

Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey

Monday morning, all of our students will be taking the Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey. The survey is a collaboration of the Maine Department of Education and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. These agencies will use the information gained from these surveys to help these departments in determining how they will utilize their resources.

We will get the results of this survey sometime late in the Spring or early Summer. We will share this with all of you when we get it back.

Early Release Day

On Wednesday, February 15, GMS students will be dismissed at 11:10 am. The Gorham Parks and recreation Department have planned a couple of activities for students to enjoy after they are dismissed.

Here are two fliers with he details of each activity. If you are interested in having your child participate, you must contact the Recreation Department directly.

PIE Meeting February 16

We will be holding another PIE Meeting in the GMS Library on Thursday evening beginning at 6:00 pm.

Last month, we talked about the process of moving the school to a Proficiency Based Learning system, and all that it entails. The conversation was lively, and there were still some questions left to answer and still more information that needs to be developed. This could be the top topic of the conversation, as could anything else folks would like to discuss.

I hope we see many of you there.

National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

Selected 8th grade students will be administered the NAEP this coming Friday, during the school day. This is an assessment that we do not control, it comes straight from the US Department of Education. The results of this assessment, which is being given across the country to selected schools and students, will be used to determine the progress of our students in grades 5, 8 and 11.

To learn more about the NAEP and its purpose, check out this link.

Mid-Winter School Vacation Break

Mid-Winter School Vacation will begin at dismissal on Friday, February 17. Students will be dismissed at the regular time.

Here at couple of things that parents will need to know:

  • Students will return to school on Monday, February 27.
  • Student Laptops will be kept at school over the break for inventory and damage assessments.

We hope that all enjoy a restful mid-winter break. Hopefully, we don’t have too many snow storms!

Real Learning

I cam across this video this weekend and it really struck a chord with me when I think about learning. Not just learning in school, but learning while living your life. I hope you enjoy it