Day One Under Our Belt!


Important Upcoming Dates

August 29 – All students return
August 30 – No School ( Long Labor Day Weekend)
September 2 – Labor Day (No School)
September 3 – School Pictures and Vision and Hearing Screenings (Schedule will be forth coming)
September 3 – GMS Open House 6:00 – 7:00 pm
September 4 – Faculty Meeting 2:30 in GMS Library
September 10 – 6th Grade Parent Meeting GMS Library 6:00 pm
September 16 & 17 – MLTI Parent Meeting, GMS Auditorium 6:00 pmSeptember 17- Team Leaders Meeting in Melanie’s room 2:30 – 4:00 pm
September 18 Faculty Meeting in GMS Library 2:30 – 4:00 pm
September 20 – School Dance in GMS Gymnasium 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

Thank you to all 7th & 8th grade teachers for really helping out today welcoming our new 6th grade students. I believe that the environment created today for our students will really pay dividends in the year to come. There were so many of you doing different things to help the students feel welcome and to also help the students get through a very tough day, emotionally, for them.

I cannot remember an opening day with so few tears from our new students.

In case I haven’t said enough “Thank You”.

Getting Cash from Target

I hope that all of you have had a chance to vote for GMS at the target site. If we receive enough votes, we can earn Targetcold, hard cash for our school. Here are the details:

Your vote makes a big difference to our school.
Visit to vote for our school.
This year, Target will give money to schools all over the country for one simple act: a vote. Our school needs just 25 votes to earn a $25 donation from Target. But that’s only the beginning. For each additional vote, our school will get $1 more. So please remember that, although the gesture is small, the rewards are potentially huge. Go to [ ] to vote for Gorham Middle School once a week through September 21 or until Target has given away all $5 million. And please forward this email to your friends. Vote and see rules at [ ]

Another Great Learning Opportunity

USM LogoReady to broaden your horizons? The University of Southern Maine is pleased to offer a new program that brings China to the classrooms of southern Maine.

The Chinese Language and Culture Program for K-12 educators, offered through the new USM  Confucius Institute, provides professionals with the unique opportunity to become proficient in Mandarin Chinese, earn credits that can be applied toward K-12 World Language Teacher Certification, or even work toward a graduate degree or certificate of advanced study.

The low-residency program is designed to fit the schedules of working professionals, with courses that meet face-to-face weekly with independent study between course sessions. Students also have the exciting opportunity to become immersed in Chinese culture during a study abroad course at Dongbei University in Dalian, China.

Take the first step to professional and personal advancement! [ ]Register today for EPC 567 Beginning Chinese for Teachers, Part I and begin fall 2013!

School Picture Day and Vision and Hearing Screenings – September 3rd

framepic_homeAs we have in every other school year, we will have student faculty pictures taken on Tuesday, September 3rd. We ask that all faculty members have their picture taken on this day.

Teresa Merrill will also be performing Vision and Hearing screenings for 7th grade students and selected other students during this time.

I know that this can be very disrupting to getting a routine set for our students, but this really is necessary work for our school. Thanks for your patience.

Thanks to Mike McCarthy, we have a schedule for when teams will get their pictues taken and when 7th graders will have their vision and hearing screened.

Picture day

8:00 Alt ed, FLS
8:52 Moose Head
9:05  Eagle
9:20 Sebago
9:44  Harraseeket
10:00 Stroudwater
10:15  Little River
10:35 Monheagon
11:03  Hermit Island
11:55 MDI

Eyes and Ears
7th grade during science class

2 Harraseeket and Stroudwater one class each ~45 kids
3 Harraseeket and Stroudwater one class each ~45 kids
6  catch up time
4 Little River ~45 kids
7 Harraseeket ~ 22 kids
1 Harraseeket and Stroudwater one class each ~45 kids

As with any event where we have little control, please expect that there will be delays (or ahead of schedule!) in the process.

Laptop Rollout

Also, thanks to Mike McCarthy, we have a schedule for rolling out the laptops next week to all 3 grades. Please remember that this is our first effort at rolling out these new devices and there may be some SNAFU’s in the process. We appreciate your patience, and here is the schedule:

Wednesday September 4th

8:30 am – Sebago9:45 am – Eagle
10:45 am – Moosehead

Thursday, September 5th

6 Setup time
7 Harriseeket
1 Harriseeket
2 Harriseeket
3 Harriseeket

Friday, September 6th

7 Set up time
1 Stroudwater
2 Stroudwater
5Little River
3 Stroudwater
6  Little River

Monday, September 9

1 Set up time
4 Hermit (Peaks)

Tuesday, September 10

2 Set up time
3 Monhegan
6 Monhegan
4 Hermit (Peaks
1 Monhegan

The Madison Prize for Written Excellence

James MadisonWe have been contacted by a citizens group from Gorham who are looking to start a new tradition at GMS. The Madison Prize for Written Excellence is and essay contest for students at Gorham Middle School. All 6th, 7th and 8th grade students are invited to participate. The Madison Prize for Written Excellence celebrates our nation’s history by encouraging thought and reflection on the topics presented and offering students the opportunity to express themselves through the submission of original essays. All submissions will be reviewed, with exemplary submissions competing for one of three cash prizes. We invite you to become part of this new tradition.

How does the contest work?
Contestants must complete and submit the entry form along with an original work of authorship responsive to the competition’s question. Essays must be between 300 and 400 words in length.
What is this year’s question?
Question: “What made the United States great?”
When is the deadline?
All entries must be received by October 11, 2013.
Who is eligible to enter?
The competition is open to Gorham Middle School students.
What are the prizes?
Madison Prize: One entrant will receive $250. Runners-up: Two entrants will each receive $100.
What are the judging criteria?
Essays will be judged on the following criteria:
1. Knowledge demonstrated (30 points): Show thorough knowledge of the theme of your essay. Demonstrate that you have considered and researched the issues. Use examples for support.
2. Clarity of ideas (35 points): Write with good logical flow and in a way that is easy to comprehend, leaving your reader with a clear understanding of your answer and reasoning.
3. Persuasiveness/Presentation (35 points): Convince the reader of the correctness of your answer. Use appropriate language and grammar to relay passion and make your essay memorable.

I would encourage all of us  to work with our students to provide an entry to this very worthwhile endeavor. As we approach the full implementation of the Common Core, this type of integrated activity will become more and more prevalent in our classroom expectations.

For more information, please see me.

The Genius hour

cropped-Genius-Hour-Logo11At our meeting on Thursday I told you about a possible idea for how we use our time during EICAL. I know that we have had several different versions of conversation regarding what this time should look like for our students. This is just one idea for this time. The web site is 

Here is a quick video with a brief explanation:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s