Entering the Home Stretch


Upcoming Important Dates

Monday, May 18 – NWEA Testing Window begins for 8th graders
Tuesday, May 19 – Odyssey of the Mind Students depart for World’s
Wednesday, May 20 – Faculty Meeting GMS Library 2:30, Food provided by the female staff
Thursday, May 21 – Caribou School Dept visit to GMS
Monday, May 25 – Memorial Day, No School
Wednesday, May 27 – Leadership Team Meeting 2:30 Melanie’s room
Friday, June 5 – Step Up Dance 6:00 -8:00 pm GMS Gym

Door Decorating Contest Winner

The winners of last Wednesday’s Door Decorating Contest have been selected, and I would like to add my congratulations to everyone who participated, which is everyone! I had the opportunity of taking Brandon Baldwin, Curriculum Specialist and Director of the State’s Civil Rights Team Project, on a tour of the building after school. He was quite “blown away” by all of the work and effort that our school put forth in this endeavor. Congratulations to everyone for a great effort!
Third Place:  Mrs. Scontras’s Advisory
Second Place:  Senora Krohn’s Advisory
First Place:  Little River Team

I commend Ms. Rounds for her work in coordinating this event, it was really a great job! Our students truly took this effort very seriously.

Caribou School Department Visit

I offer the is entry as informative only, as I expect that we will be giving these folks from Caribou a tour of our building on the afternoon of May 21. It seems that they are contemplating building a new school in their town and they are quite interested in how our, and the Great Falls School has been built and how we like the idea of geo-thermal energy.

I suspect that some of you will see these people, but many won’t. I just thought it would be a good idea to get this out so you wouldn’t be concerned when strangers walk into your classroom.

Faculty Meeting Agenda

At our meeting on Wednesday we will review the results of the Socrative survey we administered a couple of weeks back regarding our schedule and we will then have some time to work around the ideas that surfaced for part of the survey. I know there is some interest in the EICal period and, based upon the results of the survey, we have some philosophical beliefs that need to be discussed.

Food will be provided by the female staff

  • Celebrations and accolades
  • Socrative Survey Results (see below)
  • EICal
  • Advisory
  • Rotating Schedule

Please bring your open minds and willing spirits!

Field Trips

Please make sure that you have received all of the appropriate approvals for any trip outside the building that you have scheduled. You should make sure that when you send out your completed form for approval it is sent to me, Susie, Kristen, Lynn Erickson (Cafeteria) Judy Philbrick (Transportation), Teresa Merrill and Rhonda Warren.

It is always a good idea to send out an email to Judy Philbrick to make sure that your buses are scheduled, and let Lynn, in the cafeteria, letting her know if you need bag lunches and ow many kids will not be at lunch on that day.

Odyssey of the Mind

We have 6 of our GMS students, among the 20 Gorham Schools students, attending the World’s of the Odyssey of the Mind Competition being held on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. The students will be leaving on Tuesday, May 19 and will be gone for the remainder of the week. Please send along a word of encouragement to our OM’ers:

Bodhi Wilkins
Xander Lemieux
Andrew Goschke
Zakary Lembarra
Chris Lewis
Amelia Yahwak

Best of Luck at the World’s!

Results of our Socrative Survey 

Question 1

We had 65 individual response among our total staff, this is because some folks suggested more than one response fit their understanding of how the Advisory time before school was being used:

4.6% report that the a.m. time was being wasted
38.4% report the time as being social time
0% report that students use it to check-in with teachers
20% report that their advisees use the time to check-in with the advisor
32.3% report that students use the time to get ready for the day
4.6% report the time being used for “other”

Question 2

The use of EICAL Time. There were a couple of themes that coursed through all of the answers. There were 48 responses to this question and, eliminating the Special Educators, who use this time for “Direct Specialized Instruction” and the Allied Arts teachers in music who use this as either instructional time or rehearsal time, and the Learning Lab teachers, plus Social Work and School Counselor. leaving 34 folks who are directly impacted. This is not to say the these other folks aren’t impacted, but their time has been designated by the idea of EICal.

5 report that students would have more of a choice about what kind of offerings they could participate with
4 report that it would be better if the different offering were graded so that it students would “value” it more
16 report that this time is best used to catch up students who are behind
4 report that we need to use the time to expose our students to deeper learning in a content area
2 report they “thoroughly enjoy” time with students.
1 reports the time is valuable
2 report that the time is wasted

In many of the answers, you report that you think that 3 days is too much and that if we swapped it to 3 days tutorial and 2 days EICAL, it would better serve its intended use.

Question 3

The use of SSR time within our schedule.

15 report that SSR is important and we need to keep as is.
8 report that it needs to be changed
3 report that we need to keep it but we could make some changes
2 report no opinion or indifferent

several folks report that they use SSR within the structure of their students’ IEP goals and the Music Teachers want to make sure that time for rehearsals for performance groups is reserved.

Question 4

The of Advisory Time within our schedule.

14 report that this time is very valuable and we need to preserve it
10 report that Advisory time needs to be changed
9 report that they believe that advisory time is valuable but that several of the activities get repeated over the course of 3 years and we need to address that. Some report that placing the advisory time at a different time of the day would be better, and some would like more time with their advisors.

Question 5

Time at the end of the day.

  • The overwhelming choice is tat this time tends to be wasted. Many suggested that announcements signal the end of the teaching day and we should start those later, some suggest 2:10.
  • Several teachers indicate that students do need time at the end of the day to organize, but that 5 to 8 minutes would be sufficient.
  • a few teachers indicated that a\”as much time as possible” is needed to get 6th graders ready to leave.
  • A few report this as water time while a similar number report this as valuable time.

Question 6

Rotating schedule.

32 report that the rotating schedule is good for students (and teachers). Many indicate that this has been the best improvement we have down to our schedule.
2 report that they are good with the schedule
3 report that they like the rotation but wonder if there are other alternatives
3 report they have no opinion

Question 7

Other Suggestions

This is an area that offered some very interesting ideas.

  • Double blocks for ELA and math (at varying levels) and alternating, 90 minute blocks for social studies and science.
  • Instead of rotating daily schedule, create 2 schedules.
  • 6 day block schedule
  • Bring back cool activities on ER days
  • More time for students to create
  • How to make it easier for Band and Chorus Kids
  • one 6, 7, & 8 grade wing (vertical wings)
  • More PE
  • Does the entire school need to follow the same schedule?
  • More Allied Arts offerings
  • Activity period is a good catch all.

I am not sure we’ll be able to get through all of these topics on Wednesday, but we’ll need to get started.


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