Week of Feb 1st


Upcoming Important Dates

Feb 1 – New EICAL Rotation begins.
Feb 1 – SMP Leadership Webinar 4:00 – 6:00 pm
Feb 3 – Early Release Day, students released at 11:10 (more to follow)
Feb 5 – School Dance Sponsored by the Student Council and Civil Rights Team
Feb 10 – Leadership Team Meeting 2:30 in Melanie’s room
Feb 10 – Presentation Chasing the Rabbit by Derek Volk 6:30 pm GMS Auditorium
Feb 11 – Grade Level Assemblies during Tutorial (more info to come)
Feb 15 – Winter Break begins at dismissal
Mar 3 – Presentation to the students of the School Musical (Schedule forthcoming)

Early Release Day Schedule

The Student Day – 8th Grade students will be assigned to groups and will participate in a Career Day. The students will hear from several people from the business community about what skills and dispositions are required for success after school. 6th grade and 7th grade students will hold regular, shortened classes using the early release day schedule following a Wednesday rotation.

The students will be dismissed at 11:10 and most of us will begin our at 12:15. The focus of this early release day is Social Studies. Some of our teachers will be released in the morning to work with their high school counterparts at the Central Office. The work of this group will be:

1. To finish and tune the scoring criteria for middle school social studies;
2. To introduce some tools and protocols that can be used to support the work of aligning or tuning existing curriculum or designing new curriculum

The afternoon sessions will be all teachers who teach Social Studies meeting. Their work will be:

12:00 – 1:45: Teachers will work in grade-level groups to tune or complete scoring criteria as needed, or to align or tune existing curriculum or design new curriculum. (Each group will focus their work and take breaks as needed).
1:45 – 2:45: Middle and High school teachers will work together to ensure that the performance indicators and scoring criteria describe a coherent progression of skills from middle school to graduation.
2:45: Wrap-Up and Next Steps

Will continue their work at identifying the different levels of scoring. The concentration will be on the 1’s and 2’s, primarily. The group will only be Colleen, Meghan & Jackie, because the rest will be working with SS.
Grade levels need to continue their work analyzing current assessments.  They need to make sure that the assessments that are being used will align to the grade level indicators.  This will prove the assessment is targeting the correct objectives.  Also, this will help to see if the wording of the scoring guide is useful/accurate.  As this happens, grades will being to build a bank of assessment that can be shared.

The next steps are to have conversations about how to score such an assessment.  How do we mark up the assessment and efficiently score it; for purposes of Jump Rope or general reporting out.
Will only be the 4, Mike, Greg, Michelle and Dave P.
Continue the work on common assessments and scoring criteria.
The 7th grade Science teachers will need the following for Jumprope:
Science Ts need to work to find time to develop their plan for Jumprope
Inside Jumprope we need to develop a consistent code for locating and seeing the Performance Indicators
Meeting K-12 in Tracy’s room to confirm vertical integration (especially middle school to high school) and continue work on their assessments.
Started a Curriculum map with all individuals K-12. All Art Teachers will work independently on the map. They feel this will take several early release days to complete.  Amy has provided some examples of the templates to all teachers for use.
Health & Physical Education
Health & Physical Education teachers will continue their work with their high school counterparts at the high school.
Special Educators
Continue the work aligning the language of PBL with the required IEP language.
Guidance and Social Work
The work will focus on gathering information and results from the Opportunity Alliance presentation to the faculty at Wednesday’s faculty meeting as well as review the results of the student survey from the mornings 8th career day.
Ed Techs
There has been a technology information day planned that all Ed Techs are expected to attend. I believe that an email from Kathy Hamblen has been sent with details.

Chasing the Rabbit

On Wednesday evening, February 10, in the GMS Auditorium, Derek Volk an Maine Businessman, and husband of State Senator Amy Volk, who has co-authored the book Chasing the Rabbit: A Dad’s Life Raising a Son on the Spectrum, with his 24 year old son Dylan. The book highlights the Volk family’s significant challenges and heartfelt triumphs as well as the various coping strategies they have employed throughout Dylan’s life.

The reviews indicate that this book is not just for parents, grandparents and siblings, but should be read by any professional who wants to increase their understanding of just what it means to have child on the spectrum.

The presentation is free and open to the public.

Afterschool Dismissal

I want to remind everyone again that we keep our students at the end of the day until after the announcements are complete. I have noticed that there seem to be a lot of students in hallways just as the announcements are beginning. Very often, at the end of the day, there are very important announcements concerning sports and/or activities that will save our students and their families considerable angst about missing rides or buses. We also call individual students to the office for messages from home concerning where students need to be at certain times. So, please hold your kids until after the announcements! 

I also want everyone that we dismiss only students who are riding the bus (that day) first. Please remind the students (mostly members of sports teams) that if they are not riding the bus, they must remain in advisory until walkers are dismissed.

We really need everyone’s help with this! We have far too many chanced for things to go wrong when we have lots of students in the hallways not being where they are supposed to be.

Grade Level Assemblies

On Thursday, February 11, we will hold grade level assemblies during the tutorial period for all grades. The major theme throughout the day will be on how our Code of Conduct must carry through to the behaviors in the digital universe. Terri Dawson has been working to create an engaging presentation that will have the students working in their computers throughout the presentation. We are working to make sure that we will have enough access points for all the students to be able to use their devices at the same time. Please watch your email or next week’s memo for more of the details.

Southern Maine Partnership PD Offering

SMP is excited to announce a 3-part Assessment Literacy series with leading national classroom assessment expert, Jan Chappuis, author of Seven Strategies of Assessment for Learning and lead author of Classroom Assessment of Student Learning. Jeff and Anita will facilitate the sessions with Jan whom will be joining us via screen share from the west coast. This is a series you will not want to miss! Each session will focus on one of three essential questions: Where am I going? Where am I now? How do I close the gap?
The first session (Where am I going?) is Monday, February 1st from 4:00-6:00 p.m. 
The second session (Where am I now?) is Monday, March 7th from 4:00-6:00 p.m.
The third session (How do I close the gap?) is Monday, April 4th from 4:00-6:00 p.m.
While educators may register for individual sessions, we encourage educators to attend all 3 of the sessions in the series if at all possible. Educators from SMP-member districts may register for free; the fee for educators from non-SMP member districts is $20 per session per educator.
However, since Gorham Schools are a member of the SMP, there is no registration fee for these webinars. These sessions will be held at USM on the Portland Campus. If you are interested in attending, here is the link to register.

Planning Ahead

Just wanting to give everyone a “heads up” on the School Musical. We are planning to present to the whole school during the day on Thursday, March 3. This will require us to run a special schedule on this day and we’ll get that out ASAP. We have done this in the past couple of years in response to comments coming from the faculty to allow the students to be able to see the entire show.

Teachers with Interns

For those of you who have interns this semester, please remind them that we are counting on them to help cover lunch duties in the cafeteria.

Free Professional Development Opportunities

On Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending the ConnectEdCoast conference at South Portland High School. There were about 250 educators from across the state, all of whom brought their special talents as classroom teacher, technology integrators and administrators (these being the lesser talented!) to share. It really was a day full of interesting and engaging ideas from all of these folks.

There will be a few more of these free opportunities offered in the next month that I want to let you all know about.

  • EdCampWME will be held next Saturday on the Mount Blue High School Campus in Farmington, Here is the link to register: https://sites.google.com/a/rsu10.net/edcampwme/
  • EdCampME will be held on the campus of the Waynflete School in Portland. Here is the link to register for that camp: https://sites.google.com/a/waynflete.org/edcamp-maine/register-now
  • If you want a really BIG experience, and don’t mind the traffic of Boston, there is an EdCampBoston also on March 5. Here is the link to that: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/edcamp-boston-2016-tickets-20738011952





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