Upcoming Important Dates
Wednesday, December 3 – Faculty Meeting 2:30, GMS Library, food provided by Support Services & The Office
Tuesday, December 9 – Leadership Team Meeting 2:30 pm, Melanie’s room
Tuesday,December 9 – GMS Chorus and Steel Band Concert 6:00 pm GMS Auditorium
Wednesday, December 10 – Early Release Day, students dismissed at 11:10
Wednesday, December 10 – Faculty Early Release Day, Agenda to be coming soon
Thursday, December 11 – Practice Lockdown Drill, Time to be announced
Thursday, December 11 – GMS Band Concert – 6:30 pm GMS Auditorium
Friday, December 12 – GMS School Dance sponsored by the 8th Grade 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Wednesday, December 17 – Faculty meeting TBA
Friday, December 19 – Annual Student Faculty Basketball game and Holiday Concerts
Faculty Meeting Agenda
We will meet in the Library beginning at 2:30 until approximately 4:00. As always, we will begin with our Accolades and recognitions while we enjoy the food of the day. The rest of the meeting will be as follows:
- Social Time, Accolades and Recognitions
- Report from the Scheduling Committee on their progress to date
- Proficiency Based Learning Update
- Discussion of the Eric Sheninger video posted on The Faculty PD Google Classroom (Class code: okpf1jb)
- Student Day on December 10, questions?
Calling in Sick
We all know that we have a system for how we go about calling in sick. I wanted to take a bit of the space here to just remind us all of the procedures for doing this.
If you are going to be out for a period of time and you need a substitute for your class, you need to first call the Sub Line to report that you will be out and what you are teaching. Ellen will secure a sub for your class. You must then email Kristen and let her know the reason for your absence (illness, family emergency, professional day, personal day, etc.).
If you don’t need a sub, but will be out for the day, you need to email Kristen and let her know the reason and that you don’t need a sub.
This allows us to track the attendance and track our use of subs in the building.
On Thursday, December 11 at 10:00 am, we will be practicing our Lockdown procedures in the event of an intruder in our building. We are also planning to introduce the parent notification system into our drills, this is different that we have done in the past. This parent notification will have no impact on our day here, but you may here from students or their parents about it, so I thought it best to let you know before it happens.
The drill should take about 30 minutes to complete and we will have a presence of local first responders joining us as we conduct the drill. I will give the all clear over the intercom to let you know that we can go back to “business as usual” at the completion of the exercise.
Rand Research Maine Study of Restorative Practices Survey
On Wednesday, during the early release day, December 10, we will be conducting the Survey for the Maine Study of Restorative Practices. This will be an online survey so we cannot have the entire school doing the survey at the same time. Melanie sent our a schedule for the morning that includes all of the EICAl and the Allied Arts meeting when they are supposed to. Here is the schedule:
Our last School Dance of the year (if only!) will be sponsored by the 8th grade. As we do at each grade level dance, we would like to put out a call for chaperones from the school. So, if you are sick of fighting the crowds at the Mall and would love to spend an evening with middle school boys and girls in an unstructured setting and can’t wait to get high dose of Dr. Dre. Miley Cyrus, and, yes, maybe even a Chicken Dance, volunteer to be a chaperone.
Scholastic Books Warehouse Sale
Once again, our good friends at Scholastic Books will be holding their annual Warehouse Sale at the Saco Warehouse. The savings at this sale are amazing and, if you sign up early, you can receive a coupon for as much as $25 off your purchase. They have lots of recent titles and it is a great place to replenish you classroom library or even pick up some great gifts for the holiday season. For the exact dates and times for the sale as well as information on how to volunteer to help in return for some great warehouse credits, check out their web page here. Scholastic Books
It is that time of the year again and our GMS musicians are going to be hard at work with concerts on on Tuesday and Thursday evenings in the GMS Auditorium.
While it may seem like a very small thing, you attendance at one of these concerts, I can tell you that the students very much appreciate seeing their teachers in the audience at these events. You will also be very entertained by our extremely talented young music makers.
So, if you have a free evening on Tuesday, December 9 at 6:00 pm, stop on in to the Auditorium for our Chorus and Steel Band Concert and on Thursday evening at 6:30 for our multi-talented band students.
I hope to see you there.
Early Release Day
I mentioned above the activities for the students on Wednesday, December 10, we are currently working on the agenda for the teachers’ portions of the afternoon. It would be a very safe assumption for you to think that whatever we do will revolve around Proficiency Based Learning! Whether we breakdown into grade level content area groups or focus on a specific content area is still to be determined. We will get that agenda our to you all ASAP.
The Holiday Season
Having just completed the Thanksgiving break and seeing all of the smiling faces (OK, maybe not all of the faces were smiling!) of the students as the came in this morning, I would say that most of our kids enjoyed a successful vacation from school. However, the Christmas Break will be two full weeks, and that can be an awful long time for some of our kids.
I have written about his previously, but it is always good to remember that not all of our kids look forward to school breaks. For some, this time can be a very unsafe or uncertain time. Some of our kids face some real challenges in their households, providing they have a house to hold. For some, the idea of Santa Claus is just another promise un kept.
As a school, we work to identify those GMS families that may be facing some real financial challenges and we all demonstrate our generosity by providing holiday meals and small presents that can be placed under a tree, if they have one. We do a real good job at making sure that our kids feel cared for, but sometimes, that may not help, especially if they are going to be away from the safest place in their worlds right now.
I say all of this so that we will be mindful in our conversations about the holidays and in hopes that we all will keep our “radar” up for any students who seem to be having trouble with the impending time away from school. I know that sounds crazy, students being troubled being away from school, but I know that we have some kids who truly believe this is the safest place on the face of the earth.
If you are concerned about any student, please send their name to Thom or Heather in Guidance.