And, So It Begins…

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Upcoming Important Dates

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!
September 9 – Faculty Meeting 2:30 – 4:00 (Agenda to follow)
September 14 & 15 – MLTI Parent Orientation Night 6:00 pm GMS Auditorium
September 18 – School Dance 6:00 – 8:00 pm GMS Gymnasium

Apple IDs for Students Under 13

In your Advisory packets you will find a permission slip for Apple IDs that need to have parents sign and return with their kids. These are necessary because, as you may remember from last year, students under the age of 13 cannot obtain Apple IDs by themselves, they need a parent permission.

We use the Apple IDs to have students download applications from the Self Service Portal. Michael is working on a way that will limit the student downloads to what is present on the portal. However, we will be monitoring what students have on their devices and, any student who “inadvertently” downloads an app not particularly suitable, we will eliminate!

Please stress to your students that these permission slips need to be returned, signed and affirmatively giving the school permission to assign Apple IDs.

Speaking of Technology

You may remember the pictures I sent out a couple of weeks ago, you know, the ones that showed all of the laptops strewn about the floor in Mike Nash’s office! Well, this, as you can imagine, will cause a delay in the deployment schedule this fall. I don’t have the exact date that we will be ready to deploy, but we had planned to get the device out this week.

I expect that we will be delayed by at least a week. I will keep you informed.

GMS Open House

We have our Open House on Tuesday, September 1, from 6:00 – 7:00 pm. Please have your students make sure that they introduce their parents to each of his/her classroom teachers, Allied Arts and advisors. They should also give their parents a tour of the building, making sure that they show their parents the Auditorium, the Cafeteria and Gymnasium.

We plan to have lots of information in the Foyer, on tables for the parents to see about clubs, sports and other activities that we’ll be having this year. There will also be a bank of computers, manned by the Adult Education folks seeking to have parents sign up for the Gorham Volunteers Orientation Program, so we’ll have plenty of volunteers this year! It would be helpful if you could remind the parents to sign up for the orientation of they would like to chaperone field trips, etc.

School Pictures

We will do our school pictures on Wednesday, September 2nd. You should have received the order forms in your mail boxes today (Monday) to distribute to your students. Parents can order their child’s picture online through the Lifetouch website, if they want, however, the students should have the form with them when they have their picture taken, as a precaution.

We’ll get a schedule out later today for when each team will be having their pictures done.

Our First Faculty Meeting

Our first faculty meeting will be Wednesday, September 9 at 2:30 until 4:00. The Office will provide the food for this meeting and we’ll get a schedule out at that meeting to determine who will provide food for all subsequent meetings.

The Professional Development Team (we’ll introduce them later) will be planning to present some ideas for our first early release day on September 23rd.

I will work on getting the agenda out to all prior to Thursday, when we all leave for a very long weekend.

MLTI Parent Orientation Nights

Terri Dawson, Susie Hanley and me will be meeting the parents on successive evenings, Monday and Tuesday, September 14 & 15 at 6;)0 pm in the GMS Auditorium. It is at these meetings that we discuss such items as the “care and feeding” of the devices, some of the expectations for how the devices will be employed and what, exactly, is on each device.

We will also be providing some great information for parents that we hope will help us, help them make their kids great digital citizens. As you all know, we are a Common Sense Media School and we will be relying on many of the great resources they provide for digital citizenship and many other possible topics.

Please remind your students that parent attendance at this meeting is mandatory in order for the students to be able to bring their devices home form school.

The First Dance

Our first dance of the year, sponsored by the Principal, will be Friday, September 18 at 6:00 pm in the Gym. We can always use chaperones for the dance, so please don’t be shy. Let me know you can help out on Friday!

Interesting Article on Homework

OK, so this article by Jill Di Donato from the Huffington Post Education Blog, is not about how homework is bad for kids! In fact, she talks about how homework can help to ease the anxiety of coming back to school.

I will say, I was surprised at the perspective and approach she has toward the idea of homework. Let me know what you think…

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jill-di-donato/use-homework-to-ease-back-to-school-anxiety_b_8051994.html

Good Luck (not that it is needed!) on the start of a brand new year!

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