Week of Sept 11

topperMiddle

GSD LogoUpcoming Important Dates

Sep 11 – 6th Grade Technology Orientation Night 6:00 – 7:00 pm GMS Auditorium
Sep 13 – School Committee Meeting 7:00 pm Municipal Center
Sep 15 – School Dance 6:00 – 8:00 pm Gym
Sep 18 – US Constitution Day Celebrated
Sep 20 – Early Release Day, students released at 11:10 am
Sep 21 & 22 – Tooth Fairies will be at GMS
Sep 24 – 28 – Moving Naturally Week (see info below)
Sep 26 – Parent Summit on Bullying 6:00 pm GMS Auditorium

Time to Reflect

September 11! 9/11! and so many more acronyms and phrases, to steal the famous FDR line, evoke memories of a day of infamy. The images of the bright September morning are seared into the memory banks of every American who can even vaguely remember that fateful day.

This past weekend, as I was preparing to conjure up images that could be transmitted with the spoken word to our students, all of whom were not born on that day, I was stunned by the images of another catastrophe in the making, Hurricane Irma in Florida and Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

We tend to forget that September 11, 2001 was only the beginning days of the tragedy. The clean up of the sight where the buildings collapsed needed to be completed. Plans for the new building needed to designed. A memorial to all of the brave souls and those who just went to work on the morning of September 11 needed to be designed and completed. It was more than 5 years before construction of the Freedom Tower began, and more than 13 years before the Freedom Tower opened its doors for tenants. That is a lot of time from the beginning to the end!

The images of the past week in Texas and Florida are only the beginning for all of those folks.

We haven’t decided on how we should contribute to aiding our fellow countrymen, but we will be working on something to get our students involved in the healing. Please watch our announcements for information. If you have any ideas that you would like to share, please drop us a line or give us a call.

Parent Technology Night

I have some very good news to offer, especially for those parents who have had several children go through the Middle School in the age of MLTI. We are no longer required to hold the MLTI Parent Orientation Night! Imagine that, no more days of your children whining that “YOU HAFTA TO GO THE THE MLTI NIGHT!”

We will be holding an informational evening for parents of 6th graders who are interested in learning more about the new Chromebooks that their children will be issued this year. While the devices are similar in that they can process information, there are some considerable differences between the Chromebooks and the Apple MacBook Airs, which are used by the 7th and 8th graders.

Again, this night is not mandatory for 6th grade parents, but we will try to make it as informative as possible and answer as many of your questions as we can.

Tooth Fairies Coming to GMS

As we have for the past several years, we will have a dedicated group of Dental Professionals come to GMS to provide free or low cost dental examinations for our students. If you are interested in taking advantage of this great program, please call School Nurse Cathy Loiselle.

School Dance

The first school dance of the year will be this Friday night beginning at 6:00 pm and running for 2 hours, until 8:00 pm.

We are always looking for dance chaperones and would love to have a few parents (or more!) come and spend at least a part of the evening with us. There is truly nothing like a middle school dance to bring back all of those wonderful memories of sock hops and disco nights!

Admission to the dance is $5.00 and we ask that parents please pick up their children at the conclusion of the dance at 8:00 pm.

Early Release Day on Wednesday September 20

Students will be released early on Wednesday, September 20, at 11:10 am. The teachers will be working on professional development for the afternoon.

We are working with the Parks & Recreation Department to come up with some activities that would occupy the students between dismissal at 11:10 and the regular time we would dismiss at 2:15. There are a few things in the works, so I would ask that you watch our Daily Announcements on the GMS Webpage for details.

Happy Healthy Gorham

You amy have seen the article on the front page of the Gorham Times about the Happiest and Healthiest Town in Maine, don’t worry if you didn’t, here is a link to the Gorham Times story.

The Gorham School will be joining with Happy Healthy Gorham (HHG) to ensure that our students are involved in helping to make Gorham the Happiest and Healthiest town in Maine. We haven’t yet finalized our plans, but we will be including several activities throughout the of September 24 that will include our students  moving naturally.

We will include lots of pictures on our website showing off our school moving naturally.

Boys to Men and Hardy Girls, Healthy Women

We have arranged for two groups to come to GMS to help us address some of the issues were saw last year with behaviors between and among our adolescent students. Boys to Men and Hardy Girls, Healthy Women have special programs designed specifically for adolescent boys and girls. Both of these programs are highly acclaimed and are being done in several school across Cumberland County.

We are hoping, by using these programs, to reduce the number of incidents where students create an environment that is not conducive to learning. Where everyone is more concerned about what someone else thinks about them than they are with learning.

I will have more information on each of these programs that will go home with the students prior to the beginning of the sessions. If you have any questions, please feel free to give me a call or send me an email.

November 1st… Where is the Time Going???

topperMiddle

Upcoming Important Dates

November 1 – Tooth Fairies will be at GMS all day
November 1 – 1st Quarter Ends, grades will be available on November 8
November 4 – Winter Tryouts begin
November 5 – Municipal Election Day
November 7 – Picture Re-take Day
November 11 – Veterans Day – No School
November 15 – Teacher Workshop Day – No School for students.
November 16 – Gorham Educational Foundation Trivia Bee
November 21 – Monthly PIE Meeting GMS Library 6:00 pm

Confucius Institute

COnfusius InstThere is still time to have your 7th or 8th grade student join the Chinese Culture and Language course being offered at GMS through the Confucius Institute and the University of Southern Maine. The course will be taught by professors from Dongbei University and folks from the University of Southern Maine. It will meet each Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the EICAL period. Unfortunately, this means that students who participate in Band or Chorus on those days will not be able to fit this into their schedule.

If you have any questions, or wish to have your child included in the course, please call the Main Office number and let our secretaries know.

Municipal Elections

As the former Speaker of the House and Representative from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts stated gorhamME_headermany times during his career, “All Politics is local”. With this in mind, I remind each of us that on Tuesday, November 5th, the town of Gorham will be holding some very important municipal elections. You will be asked to make decisions about who will help lead us through some very important and challenging times in the days ahead. There are also some very important Bond requests that will be decided, as well.

It is not my position to take a position on any candidate, but as my small piece of public service I am including  links to the last two issues of the Gorham Times for your informational perusal, in the event that you need more information.

Candidate Profiles
Bond Information

The polls open at 7:00 am and they are located at the Gorham Middle School Gymnasium and at the Municipal Center.

GMS Top Ten Songs Requested at our Lat Dance

AT40We have held our second school dance of the year and the students have voted again for the Top Ten Songs. If you have heard of these songs, congratulations! you are spending way too much time with your child in the car!

  • 1) Ylvis -The Fox
  • 2) Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball
  • 3) One Direction – Best Song Ever
  • 4) Katy Perry – Roar
  • 5) Lorde – Royals
  • 6) Sage – Gas Pedal
  • 7) Macklemore – White Walls
  • 8) Justin Bieber – Lolly
  • 9) AWOL Nation – Sail
  • 10) Journey – Don’t Stop Believing

Picture Re-Take Day

framepic_homeWe will be re-doing the pictures for any student who did not get their picture taken on the first day of school. Also, anyone who, for any reason, did not like their picture, you may use this time for a re-take. The pictures will be taken during the morning and we will try not to disrupt too many classes.

Also, if you choose to purchase a picture and you do not see the combination of pictures that you want offered in the package offerings, Lifetouch will customize a package for you. For example, if you only want one 8X10 picture of your child with no wallet size or 5X7, you can do that. You can call the company number or just go online and order what you want.

Common Sense Media

I am very happy to report that Terri Dawson has, once again, been certified as a “Common Sense Media badge_school_webTeacher” for the current school year. We are also working on renewing our certification as a Common Sense Media School for this school year as well.

I have written about the good people at Common Sense Media several times in the past and the great resource they are for schools and for parents. If you get a chance to check out their web site, you will see all of the great resources they have to help you manage with your kids in this very tech heavy world. I can’t promise you that you will ever catch up with your kids, but I can promise you that you won’t be so far behind!

Fundraising Efforts

We have held a couple of meetings regarding our fundraising efforts at GMS this fall and it has become very clear that we need to find a new approach to how we raise funds for this coming year.

We all realize how important it is to a school to be able to have student field trips and the little extras that can’t be covered by the school budget. Admission fees to a museum or the Planetarium aren’t cheap and the buses to get our kids to these venues have to be paid for, so we do need to fund raise.

At our Grade Level Parent Meetings, we talked about some alternate methods of fundraising, away from the candles and candy, that we can employ. Events that will not only raise funds but will provide an opportunity to socialize with other parents and teachers. We are working on a couple of events for later in the school year that will also highlight another student activity, such as a Chorus or Band Concert. We’ll get more information on that later this month.

However, saying all of this, we have built up over the years a fairly large base from our magazine drive. This fundraiser has had us looking for new subscribers, as well as the renewals from our old subscribers. The Magazine subscriptions are a relatively good deal, giving subscribers additional years at a very low price. We don’t want to abandon this base, so we will be offering folks an opportunity to renew.

We will get more out to you on this in the coming weeks.

Report Cards

report cardJust a short reminder to all that we will not be printing off Report Cards for our students to take home. All of the end of first quarter grades are available on Parent Portal of Infinite Campus. Not only can you see the final grade for the quarter, but you can see if there were any missing assignments or assignments where your child struggled more.

If you would like us to print a report card for you, we can. I would ask that you call Terry LaMontagne in the Guidance Office 222-1247 and request either a printed copy of the report card or a new Username and Password for your Infinite Campus account.

Spirit Week at GMS

We had an incredibly active, diverse and fun Spirit Week thanks to Mrs. Pastore and our very active Student Council. Each day had its own theme and each of our Advisories did a great job of participating. I have collected a couple of photos of the kids (and teachers) and the many different ways they demonstrated their GMS Spirit.

Sra Krohn and Mr. Riley Getting into "Twin"

Sra Krohn and Mr. Riley Getting into “Twin”

Safety and Security

Each year, we execute several safety drills for the benefit of our community. We are all aware, and probably securityremember fondly (at least I do because it was usually done on a warm day and it got me out of classes!) the fire drills we practiced. We are still required to do those, but we also must practice drills such as Lockdown Drills and Shelter in Place Drills.

On Thursday, November 7th , we will be practicing a Lockdown Drill for the entire school. During these drills an alarm will sound with verbal instructions to the school. The teachers will follow their protocols and the local public safety personnel will be present to assess our readiness. While we practice these drills and work many hours with all sorts of people to make these protocols work, we hope that we never have an occasion to use them.,

If you have nay questions, please feel free to call our office and speak with me or Susie Hanley.

Gorham Educational Foundation Adult Trivia Bee

GEF HeaderIf you are interested in an evening of some very sophisticated fun and some intrigue with Adult Trivia, come on down to the Odd Fellows Hall in downtown Gorham on Saturday, November 16th. Teams of adults from all over Gorham with vie for the coveted trophy and the mantle of master of “all things about useless information”. This evening is sponsored by the Gorham Education Foundation who work to support the students and schools of our town.

For more information go to: http://gorhamef.org