Week of October 6th

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Upcoming Important Dates

Wednesday, October 8 – Leadership Team Meeting, Melanie’s room 2:30 pm
Thursday & Friday, October 9 &10 – ACTEM Meeting in Augusta
Monday, October 13 – Columbus Day Holiday – No School
Tuesday, October 14 – Staff Flu Clinic at GMS 2:30 pm
Wednesday thru Friday, October 15 – 17 – Tooth Fairies, Nurse’s Office
Wednesday, October 15 – Faculty meeting in the GMS Library 2:30 pm
Friday, October 17 – School Dance in the GMS Gym 6:00 – 8:00 pm Sponsored by the 6th grade
Monday, October 20 – Support Services Team Meeting 8:30, Guidance
Tuesday, October 21 – Leadership Team Meeting, 2:30 Melanie’s room
Wednesday, October 22 – Early Release Day, student dismissed at 11:10
Wednesday, October 22 – Parent Teacher Conferences 2:00 -8:00 pm
Friday, October 24 – Parent Teacher Conferences 8:00 am – 2:00 pm

ACTEM Conference

Unfortunately, this year, we do not have the availability of funds to send a large group of teachers to this conference as we have in the past. And, this year it is a very special conference for GMS in that our very own Technology Integrator and Lip Dub specialist is receiving an honor as the runner up for the Technology Integrator of the year. While we can’t be present in body, we can all be there in spirit and wish Terri a hearty congratulations on this honor.

Parent/Teacher Conferences

We will follow the school calendar for Parent/Teacher Conferences this year. Therefor, Wednesday, October 22nd, we will conference from 2:00 pm until 8:00 pm and then again on Friday from 8:00 am until 2:00 pm. Since we won’t have time to meet in advisory clusters during the faculty meeting on October 15th, we will provide time on Wednesday, October 22nd from boo until 2:00 for advisory clusters to meet and get information on their advisees.

Staff Flu Clinic

We will hold the District Flu Shot Clinic on Tuesday, October 14 right here ar GMS. The clinic will be held in the Library beginning at 2:30 pm and it will run until 5:00 pm. If you want to take advantage of this beneficial offering, you will need to make sure that you have your Anthem Blue Cross membership card. It is advisable to sign up in advance and complete a consent form. To sign up and complete the consent forms, please see Teresa Merrill.

Public Flu Shot Clinic

Our Public Flu Shot Clinics will coincide with our Parent/Teacher Conferences and follow the schedule below:

INFLUENZA (FLU) VACCINE CLINICS

The Gorham School Department will be offering Influenza (Flu) vaccine clinics on the following dates:
OCTOBER 22 at GHS back of MPAC for GHS students only 8:00AM to 11:00AM
OCTOBER 23 at GMS GYM for K-8 students (Parents must be present with their child or an adult designated by the parent) and GHS students who could not attend at GHS in the morning from 3:30PM to 6:00PM
OCTOBER 23 at GMS GYM K-8 students (Parents must be present with their child or an adult designated by the parent) 8:00AM-12:00PM

Faculty Meeting Agenda

We do have a faculty meeting coming up next week, October 15 from 2:20 until 4:00 in the GMS Library. We have a couple of items on our agenda, but we really need to get the social studies work completed on the Performance Indicators. So all teachers who teach social studies will meet as a content area group to finalize the student pathway through social studies in grades 6 through 8.

The content areas of math, language arts, science and the allied arts, need to begin to examine the common summative assessments we will use to help us determine proficiency. This is a bit of a side step in our work as I had that we examine learning objectives. I think in order for us to be able to get a clear picture of how Jumprope will work for us, we need to get some summative assessments uploaded on to the system. Sorry, if I have confused you with this!

We will still start our meeting with our usual celebrations and recognitions and the food will be provided by the 8th grade.

GMS School Dance

Our next school dance will be Friday, October 17th beginning, as they always do, at 6:00 and going, as they always do, until 8:00. This dance will benefit the 6th grade teams and the Student Council will provide refreshments.

The next two dances will be sponsored by the 7th grade and 8th grade. The November 14th dance will be 7th grade and the December 12th dance will be 8th grade.

 Scheduling Committee 

Last year, during one of our last few faculty meetings of the year, we had a very short discussion (more of a comment period) about our current schedule. I believe that we thought it would be a good idea to re-examine our schedule to make sure it is doing what we want it to do for us.

Now, with the advent of the state mandated Proficiency Based Diploma and all of the requirements that will be coming with that, we really need to do this examination. There are some very stringent requirements for our students to receive diplomas around foreign languages, Physical Education and all of the Arts that we need to consider as an entire district.

If you are one of those folks who seem to have a knack for scheduling, or if you have definitive ideas about how a middle school student’s day should look and feel, please get involved with this committee. We will try to find release time for school visits and for time to meet.

Please let me know if you have an interest in being involved with this committee.

Growing a Personal Learning Network

Many of you are probably sick of hearing me talk about how much I use Twitter, and other social networks to increase my awareness of what is happening in schools across the globe. Now that I have said that, I am going to continue to “beat this drum” because it is far and away the best professional development that is available, and it’s free.

Here is a prime example of how it is the best PD!

Last Thursday evening, as I was waiting for the NFL on CBS to come on, I started to explore my Twitter feed and I cam across a hashtag #whatisschool. For those of you who have forgotten about hashtags (#) in Twitter, they help to categorize tweets made by people. The hashtag makes sure that everyone who want to participate in this conversation will get to see very one’s tweet that includes the hashtag.

On this particular evening, the topic was being a connected educator and what does it mean for your practice. There were so many incredible 140 character “missives” with some very useful links to information and resources that I could use immediately it was amazing.

What else was amazing was the fact that within this chat were educators from 6 of the 7 continents across the globe! I am not sure what the folks on Antarctica were doing, but we need to wake them up!

I was able to do this in one hour, while watching the talking heads of CBS talk about the two teams playing that night, which, by the way, I can’t remember who they were!

One interesting element to the chat were the nu,her of people who were “lurking”, not participating  in the chat until they had something so compelling to offer they could;don’t lurk anymore.

I really do encourage all of you to check out some of these #chats. They happen with quite a bit of regularity, in fact there is a schedule of different chats at Jerry Blumgarten’s Twitter page, here.

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