Can’t Wait for You All to Get Here!

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Upcoming Important Dates

August 24 – New Staff Orientation
August 27 – Teacher Workshop Day
August 28 – Teacher Workshop Day
August 31 – 1st Day of School (6th Grade only)
September 1 – GMS Parent Open House 6:00 – 7:00 pm
September 1 – All Students come to school
September 2 – School Pictures
September 4 – No School
September 7 – No School – Labor Day
September 8 – And the long Stretch Begins!

So, A Funny Thing Happened…

On Tuesday afternoon, Michael Nash and I were having a discussion about the distribution of the laptops at the beginning of the school year. We were talking about how we wanted to get the devices into the hands of the students as close to the beginning of the school year as possible. We had tentatively set some plans and we were going to finalize them later in the week… And then I got these pictures from Dennis Crowe the next day:

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Unfortunately, the shelf upon which all of these wonderful passages to all of the knowledge in the world sat, came loose from the wall studs and came tumbling down. Mike Nash, who was present for the event commented that “it almost seemed to move in slow motion in a cascade from the shelf to the floor!”

Fortunately, no one was injured in the accident. I believe that if there were students present, someone could have easily been injured.

We are fortunate, also, that we have Dennis Crowe and Hollis Cobb as they have worked with our insurance company and the good folks at MLTI to get replacements sent out. This does mean, however, that we may be a bit behind ib getting the devices into the hands of our kids. We will keep you informed on the progress of repairs and replacements.

New Staff to GMS

We have been busy this summer replacing some of our expected vacancies and one very unexpected vacancy

Most recently, Paula Ross submitted here resignation to take a position outside of education. We were able to move very quickly, thanks to Michelle Cyr, Kim Fotter, Meghan Rounds and Susie Hanley to pull together an interview team and look to select a good replacement. We were very fortunate that Brett Brown, an ETEP Intern with Dave Palmer last year, was available. Brett will be joining us in the 6th grade wing!
We also have found a new Instructional Strategist. Mindy Rathbun will be joining us from Scarborough Schools. Mindy Rathbun will be a familiar name to some of you, as her oldest daughter, Anna just left the middle school for the high school and Molly is a 7th grade student on the Harriseeket Team in my advisory!
Cynthia Grover will be joining us from Bonny Eagle. Cynthia will be our new Social Worker/Substance Abuse Counselor, a position that was added in this year’s budget.
Some of you may remember Sarah Bartlett Collins, I think she was sSarah Bartlett when she completed her internship with Kelly Winslow back in 2009 (I think!). Sarah has been teaching at Oak Hill Middle School in Sabattus for the past 5 year. Sarah will be teaching Spanish this coming year and being an Advisor with the Monhegan Team.
We also welcome Beth Orlando as our new Library/Media Specialist. Beth joins us from Ol Orchard Beach Schools and is looking forward to creating a wonderful space for kids to gain a love of reading and learning. Beth is the mother of 8th Grader Sam on the Boon Island Team.
Finally, we are waiting to complete filling the vacancy created when Teresa Merrill transferred to Great Falls School last Spring. I hope that before the end of this week we will have a candidate to fill that critical position. We’ll keep you updated.

Opening Day Activities

We have a schedule created for the first days of school for teachers, although I would expect that there may be some changes as we move forward and get closer the the actual dates. You all know how somethings start out relatively unimportant and then become more critical as the days approach. So, here is a “preliminary” schedule for Thursday, August 27 and Friday, August 28:

Thursday, August 27
7:00 – 7:55 – Light Breakfast in GMS Cafeteria
8:00 – 9:00 – Welcome address by Heather Perry and Dennis Libby
9:00 – 10:30 – Suicide Training in the GMS Auditorium
11:00 – 11:30 – Bloodborne Pathogen training
11:30 – 12:30 – Lunch provided in the Cafeteria
12:30 – 2:30 – Classroom time

 Friday, August 28
8:00 – 10:00 – Gather in the Library for Mandated Trainings (AESOP (8:45), FERPA, Harassment, Bullying, etc.)
10:00 – 12:00 – Update  Proficiency Based Learning, Educator Effectiveness, EICAL, Advisory, Early Release Days.
12:00 – 1:00 – Lunch on your own
1:00 – 3:00 – Advisory Clusters, Team meeting, Grade level meeting

These schedules will become more detailed in the coming days and we will get the details of the activities out to you in the next memo.

The Power of Yet

I realize how difficult it can be to have to start thinking about the return to school. We have lots of great work ahead of us and a whole school-full of kids waiting on us to “learn them”! The expectations we sometimes place on ourselves to have classrooms full of successful learners , especially at this time of the year, can be overwhelming. The Power of Yet by Carol Dweck is a simple, and short video to remind us that “YET” is a powerful word that we should all remember.

 Teacher Entrepreneur Week

I came across this idea of Teacher Entrepreneurship through some folks that I follow on Twitter. I am not really sure what will transpire, but I do know that most of the folks who will be conducting short lectures, via Youtube or Google Hangout, are some very impressive people who have spent a great deal of time working with educators across the globe.

The week of August 24 through August 27, The Learning Revolution Project will be featuring a whole series of these great people offering their ideas and experiences in short segments. The broadcasts are free, but you do need to register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/teacher-entrepreneurship-week-august-24-27-2015-registration-18042950952, if you are interested.

For more information about this event or the Learning Revolution Project, check out this link; http://learningrevolution.com/teacherentrepreneurship

More Food for Thought

Dr. Justin Tarte (@justintarte for those of you on Twitter) has offered an interesting piece entitled Ten Questions to ask Yourself Before Giving an Assessment, in his regular blog post called Life of an Educator. He is always offering something timely and topical for classroom teachers and building administrators. Checkout his 10 Questions and subscribe to his regular blog (it’s free), you will not be disappointed. http://www.justintarte.com/2015/08/10-questions-to-ask-yourself-before.html

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