Dog Days of Summer

August 27 & 28 (yup, those are the dreaded dates!)

August 27, 2012

7:00 – 8:00            Breakfast in the GHS cafeteria

8:00 – 9:30            Opening remarks by Superintendent Sharp, SC Chair, Jim Hager, Introduction of new staff.

9:30 – 10:00            Return to Middle School

10:00 – 11:30            Full Faculty meeting in the GMS Auditorium. Introduction of new staff (Riley & Hanley)

Federal Mandates (FERPA, Harassment Policy, etc.) (Hawes & Hamblen)

Blood Born Pathogen, Medical Alerts, Asthma Survey, Diabetes and Code Blue Teams. (Merrill)

11:30 – 12:30            Lunch on your own

12:30 – 2:30            “Nut & Bolts” issues (duty schedules, review of changes to Student Handbook, Faculty Handbook) (Riley & Hanley)

Year 3 of Advisory Program, review expectations, modifications and results of student survey (Rubin, Hanley & Riley)

Year 2 of EICAL Program, review expectations, modification and results of student survey. (Riley & Hanley)

Review plans for Learning Teams for the coming year. (Riley & Hanley)

Review plan and expectations for day one with 6th graders and plan for last day of school 2013.

August 28, 2012

8:00 to 11:00              Special Educators will be meeting with Katie and Kathy at the Central Office.

 All teachers of math will be meeting as a group with Diane Knott to review new resources and Common Core Standards.

 All ELA Teachers will meet to continue work on Common Core Work

 Social Studies teachers (those not involved in math or ELA) will meet to continue work on Common Unit development.

 Science Teachers will be reviewing the resources that they have used for the past two years and make recommendations to the Science Curriculum Committee as to the consistency with Science Frameworks.

 All Allied arts teachers have responsibilities to their respective Curriculum Committees that will need review.

 11:00 – 12:00            Lunch on your own

12:00 – 2:30            Classroom work time for all teachers

This is a very rough outline of these days and it is subject to change.

New Faces at GMS

First, it is always difficult to say “good bye” to old friends, but it is something we all must do!

Kim Bennett is leaving us to become the Assistant Principal of South Portland High School (some have said she has gone to the Dark Side!). I want to thank Kim for all of her work on behalf of all of our students during her time here in Gorham, and we all wish her well in her new position. (Also, it’s not like she’s gone to a different planet or anything, we will still see her from time to time)

Kathy Pizzo has finally graduated to the High School! She will be doing the same job at the High School that she has done here and she will bring her considerable talents to them. As much as I didn’t want her to go, we wish her well, and, yes, the welcome mat will still be out for her here.

Brianna Robbins, Speech Therapist has left us to pursue  other ventures. We wish her well and thank her for the terrific job she did for us during her short time here.

Bob Feinberg will be returning to the High School as an Educational Technician in Special Education.

We welcome Brian King to be the Special Educator for math and an adviser on the MDI Team. While Brian is new to the position, many of you will recognize him because he was an Ed Tech with Megan Holden in the Behavior Support Program and an intern with Aaron Ouellet this past year.

Allison Mains will be the new Instructional Strategist at GMS. She comes to us from the Saco Middle School where she was a Special Educator in all grades as well as a leader in the Special Education Department, doing many of the tasks she will be doing with us.

Judy Wuorio will be joining us as our new Speech Therapist. Judy has many years of experience in several settings, pre-school to adults and she gained experience with the Special Education portion working with CDS.

Nicole Tammaro will taking the Educational Technician position previous held by Brian King in the Behavior Supports Program. Nicole comes to us from cape Elizabeth Middle School and has considerable experience with Special Education.

GMS Open House

We have had to adjust the date of our Open House a couple of times over the course of the summer for different reasons. The date we now have is Tuesday, September 4 from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm. We had originally scheduled it for September 13th, however there is a very important public meeting with the School Committee on the topic of All Day Kindergarten on that evening and they would like for nothing else to be happening on that night. Hence, Tuesday, September 4th is our date.

Duty Schedules

We will distribute all of the duty schedules on the first days of school. If you have a previous commitment on a date that you have a duty, it is your responsibility to find coverage, as we have done in the past. Just as a note, there haven’t been any changes of substance in the way the duty schedule works. If you have questions, please bring them to my attention.

Learning Teams

Well, it took a considerably longer time than I had wished, but we have completed to staffing of each of the Learning Teams. Most everyone was able to get their first choice, but, I am afraid some had to settle for second choice in order to have representative teams. We will begin this work during the month of September and we’ll get a schedule for when each team will report to the larger group then, as well.

School Supply Lists

I am going to mention this, not as a negative, but as something we should all keep in mind when we ask families to buy school supplies.

I have received several emails and phone calls from parents asking for the list of supplies requested by teams. Now, I know that each team had given each student a copy of the list on step-up day, but, as you can imagine, some students “lost” the list somewhere between the school and home! As I gathered the lists, however, I started to think about the costs of these list, so I priced each of the lists out using Staples.com and was surprised by what I found. The cost of each list varied from $65 to $155.

As I said, this is just a statement about the costs of educating kids today and something we need to keep in mind in the future as I don’t see the economy getting any better anytime soon.

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