Important Upcoming Dates
December 3 – Leadership Team Meeting 2:30 in Melanie’s Room
December 4 – Faculty Meeting Library, 2:30 – 4:00 Food provided by 8th Grade
December 11 – Early Release Day
December 12 – Clubs, Activities and Sports team pictures
December 13 – School Dance Sponsored by the 8th Grade
December 17 – Leadership Team Meeting
December 18 – Faculty Meeting food provided by Allied Arts
Faculty Meeting Agenda (Food Provided 8th Grade)
- Accolades and acknowledgements
- Collaboration Continued
- Grade Level Meetings
- Review of student work protocol
- Other items
- Student/Faculty Basketball Game
- James Madison Writing Contest Winners Announced
- Christmas Party
December 11 Teacher Workshop Day
The afternoon session of the Early Release Day will be consumed by the Culture and Climate Survey. It seems hard to believe that it has been three years since the first was done!
Teachers will be asked to use their laptops to complete the survey. We will have further instructions on the administration of the survey later next week.
MLTI Laptops and the Christmas Break
Unlike the Thanksgiving Break, we will be performing several maintenance updates as well as an inventory of the devices during the break. Therefore, students will not be able to take the devices home over the Christmas Break.
We are hopeful about updating the devices to the new Maverick Operating System, as well as several other smaller updates to programs. We are also hoping that we will be able to exert (maybe too strong a word!) more control over the student side of the device in terms of hours of use and ability to add programs and apps.
While we perform the inventory, we will also be looking for issues with the student devices, items such as broken keyboard and screens that may not have been reported by the students.
Common Core and GMS
Beginning in August of 2104, all schools in the state of Maine will be required to be in compliance with the Common Core State Standards in the content areas of math and English/language arts. I know we have been working hard to comply with the mandate, and we have done an excellent job of preparation!
This being said, there is an ever increasing din from several different camps lobbying for a delay in the implementation. From each camp we hear the hyperbole of their side in the defense of their argument and in each case, none of it has to do with what will help our students be prepared for their future.
We will continue on our chosen path to ever improve all of the good work that we do for our students, for it is always important to get better at what we do. It doesn’t hurt that the good we do also aligns itself nicely with the work of the Common Core.
So, we will resist the noise of those who wish to exert their will upon our unsuspecting students, and we will go forward with our plans to be ready for August 2014 and the implementation of the Common Core.
Clubs, Activities and Sports Yearbook Pictures
On December 12, the folks from Lifetouch Pictures will be here to photograph our clubs and activities beginning at 1:00pm. We will be calling down to the gymnasium members of each club, along with the clubs’ advisors to have their picture taken for the Yearbook. Each group should not take more that a couple of minutes to complete and the students should be back to class very quickly. We do apologize for the inconvenience, but many parents commented on the fact the we excluded several clubs and teams in past yearbooks.
Holiday Celebration Dinner
On December 18, we will be holding our annual Holiday Dinner Celebration in the cafeteria during lunch time. Please join all of us in this celebration of Turkey, Ham and all of the fixins’ (including a fresh baked apple crisp) with your students. It is always a great meal and the kids really love to see their teachers eat! (Not sure why, maybe they think we don’t eat, or something!). In any event, please join us!
Portland Sea Dog’s Reading Challenge
Slugger the Sea Dog, the official mascot of the Portland Sea Dogs would like to present his reading challenge to local schools. Slugger and the Sea Dogs realize the value of reading and would like to encourage students to read by allowing them to earn a free ticket to a 2014 Sea Dogs’ baseball game. The Sea Dogs have partners with Maine’s Public Universities System to make this program possible.
As an added incentive for schools, the Portland Sea Dogs will make cash donations to the top three schools with the highest percentage of students who complete the challenge.
Slugger is challenging students to read five books above and beyond any school required reading. Each student that successfully completes the challenge will be given a free ticket to a Portland Sea Dogs baseball game and a Sea Dogs Bookmark.
For more information about this worthwhile program to help us increase our students’ reading, please see me.