Important Upcoming Dates
- September 10 & 11 – MLTI Parent Nights for parents of 7th & 8th Graders only.
- September 12 – Leadership Team Meeting in Melanie’s Room 2:30 – 4:00.
- September 13 – School Picture Day for students and staff. A scheduled will be published and distributed later this wee.
- September 13 – Math and Social Studies Curriculum Committees will meet at the Central Office Please check with your Chairperson for exact times and agendas. We have secured half day subs for the members of these committees.
- September 13 – ELA Common Core Committee will meet at 2:30. Where are securing a location and will let you know where later this week.
- September 14 – School Dance sponsored by the Student Council 6:00 8:00 pm.
- September 17 – US Constitution Day celebrated
- September 18 – ELA Curriculum Committee (not to be confused with ELA Common Core Committee) will meet at the Central Office from 12:30 – 3:00. We have secured half day subs for those members.
- September 19 – Faculty Meeting 2:30 – 4:00 pm. Food provided by Support Services
- September 20 – ELA Common Core Committee meeting at the Central Office at 2:30.
- September 26 – Maine Harvest Lunch in our cafeteria during all lunch times.
- September 26 – Leadership Team Meeting in Melanie’s Room 2:30 – 4:00.
Appreciation from Susie and Me
We want to say thank you to all of our 7th and 8th grade faculty for preparing their students for our grade level assemblies. The kids were a very receptive and respectful audience.
September 17th U.S. Constitution Day
In the past memos, I have mentioned that we are expected to celebrate, in some manner, the ratification of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787. I would be very interested in hearing about classroom activities that you have planned, or are planning to plan to mark this day.
Code Blue Teams
We have several people who have volunteered to join our Code Blue Teams for this school year. This team will be activated in the event that we have an “extreme” emergency in the building involving a students, a staff member or a visitor to our building.
We are working on the necessary protocols to provide classroom coverage for the teachers involved in responding to the emergency as well as different tasks that need to be accomplished under the stress and duress of the emergency. We will report back to the entire faculty with our final draft of the plan and ask you for input into making it work best.
If you are interested in serving on this team, please let either Susie, Teresa or me know.
October 5 Early Release Day
Under the heading of “It’s Never to Early”, we have been contacting local charities to present to our students. We have added some new charities and we have some of the charities that have presented in the past. Remember, this is a great chance for your advisory kids to get some ideas for the Community Service Day we have coming later in the year.
As we have done in the past couple of Early Release Day events, we will have students sign up for the presentations that interests them and we will assign one adult with each presenter to take attendance and “crowd control”.
6th Grade Laptops and our Plan
On one hand, it is amazing that the old G$ Apple devices lasted as long as they have, and on the other hand, why couldn’t they have lasted just one more year! In any event, we have to deal with the reality that these devices are “dying” at an alarming rate and replacement is just out of the question because of cost and repair is just a foolish expense (sort of like my old truck!).
I have crafted a plan that I think takes into consideration all of the great input I have received from all of the stakeholders, and I thank everyone for their contributions.
A cart, with sufficient number of devices, for each math class at the 6th grade level.
One additional cart, of sufficient number, for both the Sebago and Eagle Teams.
One cart, of sufficient number, for the Special Education room.
One cart, of sufficient number, for Tracy Wheeler and the Music Room.
The balance of the devices will remain for spares and replacements.
I believe we all realize this is not optimum, but it is necessary. It is also only for this year as we expect that the state will be issuing new devices to the 7th & 8th grades next year and we plan on purchasing the current devices for deployment at 6th grade next year.
By next week, we plan to have in your hot little hands a schedule for the administration of the NECAP’s. The window for administration begins on October 1st and we plan to begin on that day and get them completed as quickly and judiciously as possible. We have until October 23rd to complete these, but given the make ups that are always necessary, we seem to use most of these days.
We also will continue with our Incentive Program for the NECAP’s. We will hold a “Pep Rally” of sorts for the students on Friday where we will outline the incentive program with rewards like gift certificates to GHOP, popcorn and ice cream passes in the cafeteria as well as ITunes cards. We are seeking ideas for the grand prize raffle at each grade level, so if you have any ideas, please send them along to us.
Bill Goodwyn and the Huffington Post
I came across a column written by Bill Goodwyn,the CEO of Discovery Education and a part-time blogger for the Huffington Post that I would like to share with you. It is called Technology Doesn’t Teach, Teachers Teach.
As technology becomes more and more a part of the education landscape with interactive whiteboards, e-books and so much more, in our zeal to modernize, we can sometimes lose site of the fact that “the motherboard and the memory chip will never replace the passion and inspiration of a real-life teacher”.
I know we can’t place our collective heads in the sand and hope that this technological revolution will soon pass. We must recognize and accept the fact the technology will be ever-present in the lives of our students, presently and well into their futures. We also can’t deny the power that technology has exerted in leveling the playing fields for all of our students. Bill points out several school districts that have demonstrated significant improvement in student achievement levels, citing results from school districts in Indianapolis, Miami and Mooresville, North Carolina.
But, he says that even with this seismic shift that we are experiencing in education, professional development is essential to implementation of technology.
Somehow, I don’t think this is news to any of us, but the column is still enlightening. I hope you enjoy.
The Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine
The Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine offer several programs during the course of the school year that are quite relevant to the middle school curriculum. Currently, they are offering and exhibit called Maine Boys Overseas, German Boys in Maine, a detailed look at the establishment of POW camps in our state during WWII.
There are also many other exhibits that our students would find interesting and that would be very closely aligned to our work. If you would like more information about the HHRC of Maine, check out their web site at: http://hhrc.uma.edu/