One School Year in the Books, Another on the Planning Board…

topperMiddle

Upcoming Important Dates

Monday, August 25 – Teacher Inservice Day 8:00 am at GMS
Tuesday, August 26 – Teacher Inservice Day
Tuesday, August 26 – GMS Open House 6:00 – 7:00 pm
Wednesday, August 27 – 1st Day of school for 6th grade
Wednesday, August 27 – Team Leaders meeting 2:30 – 4:00 pm
Thursday, August 28 – 1st Day of school for grades 7 & 8
Friday, August 29 – No School
Monday, September 1 – Labor Day, No School
Wednesday, September 3 – Faculty Meeting 2:30 – 4:00 pm In the GMS Library
Wednesday, September 10 – Team Leaders meeting 2:30 – 4:00 pm
Wednesday, Thursday & Friday, September 10, 11 & 12 – Tooth Fairies
Monday, September 15 – MLTI Parent Meeting 6:00 pm GMS Auditorium
Tuesday, September 16 – MLTI Parent Meeting 6:00 pm GMS Auditorium
Tuesday, September 16 – Picture Day, Vision & Hearing Screening

First Days of School (I know, cruel aren’t I?!)

Our first day of school for teachers will be August 25th. We will gather at the Middle School for a continental breakfast in our cafeteria and then to auditorium for opening speeches by Ted and others. We will have a lot more information about the speakers and the topics about midway through the summer.

The afternoon will be dedicated for teachers to work in their classrooms getting ready.

On August 26th, we will gather in the Library for the beginning of our work on such items at Common Core, Proficiency Based Education,  the new Teacher Evaluation system, plus much, much more.

GMS Open House

We will hold our Open House for our parents on Tuesday, August 26 from 6:00 to 7:00 pm. This will be the first time in a long time that we will be holding this event prior to the opening of school. We all felt that holding this event prior to the kids coming to school could eliminate some of the “Teacher Conference” type questions about how student was performing in class.

We would expect that classrooms would be ready for the parents and the students would bring the parents to their team areas for a quick look at where their child will be working for the next nine months.

I am also working on a short introduction meeting for all parents in either the gym or auditorium, to introduce the school year, prior to sending them up to the classroom areas.

We will get more information our to you in the summer.

Book Groups

Over the past year I have read some pretty powerful books, by some very good authors about the subject of education, assessment, bullying and social networking. Diane Ravitch’s book Reign of Error, was an interesting look at how American public educate is becoming more privatized by testing companies and for profit education enterprises.

Emily Bazelon wrote a book titled, Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy. This book looks at individual kids and their struggles with the behaviors of others toward them and how they, either successfully or unsuccessfully met the challenges.

Amanda Ripley’s book The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way, looks at America’s apparent love affair with testing, most notably the Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA) and our obsession with how we compare with students from other countries across the globe. I found this book to be very enlightening about how and why students in some countries excel on these assessments and some don’t.

I had the opportunity to hear dana boyd (not a misspelling!) speak at the Tech Boston Conference last year. Prior to that day, I had never heard of her and, in fact, when she was listed as the Keynote speaker at this conference, I thought she was from Microsoft and was there to sell us something. I was quite surprised and I learned quite a bit about the networked lives of teens in that 45 minute keynote. She has since published It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens, an interesting look at the many aspects of the digital lives of our students.

Finally, I will be reading The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everythingthis summer. This is a book that I have referenced during several faculty meetings written by Sir Kenneth Robinson.

So, I am mentioning these titles wondering if anyone else has read, or would like to read these books with the idea of having a book group, or groups, this year. We could meet after school, and I would be willing to spring for some refreshments. We could also find other books of interest that some of you may have found interesting. If you are interested, please drop me an email.

Enjoy your Summer, You have all earned it!

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