Upcoming Important Dates
Mar 7 – Southern Maine partnership Assessment Webinar 4:00 pm
Mar 7 – Public Forum to discuss the Gorham School District Re-Visioning GMS Library 6:30 pm
Mar 8 – GHS Principal Chris Record to address the 8th grade
Mar 9 – Faculty Meeting, GMS Library 2:30- 4:00 pm
Mar 11 – Teacher Workshop day
Mar 16 – Early Release Day, Students dismissed at 11:10 am
Mar 18 – School Dance Sponsored by the 8th Grade
Mar 21 – Begin 8th Grade EMPowerME (MEA) Testing
March 24 & 25 – Parent Teacher Conferences
Faculty Meeting Agenda
- Accolades and celebrations – Food Provided by the 7th Grade
- Tech minute – Terri Dawson
- MEA Preparations – Susie, Heather & Melanie
- 7th Grade Science Jumprope Pilot Information – Bob
- Short Protocol on Assessment Articles – Please read the short article for Wednesday’s meeting and be prepared to participate in a very short protocol.
I thought that I would give you all some of the feedback fro the Principal’s visitation last Tuesday.
Each of the Principals from the schools in Gorham had the opportunity to visit at lest 3 classrooms during the morning. I had asked each to try to sense the feeling of the building as they walked through the halls and observed in the classrooms. I also asked each of them to look for the manner in which our teacher applied different kinds of formative assessment during their short observations. I note here that we all knew the length of the classroom visit would limit the possible circumstances to observe many formative assessment opportunities. I just asked them to keep an eye out for those chances and record them.
Overall, everyone spoke highly of the tenor of the building. Each had observed several instances of students engaging other students in very positive ways. One principal called it a “culture of calmness” within the building. They all commented on how well behaved the students were in each class and that there was a true feeling of respect between teachers and students.
As to the different kinds of formative assessments that were observed during their short stays in each of the classrooms, they listed FA’s including WHIPs, Pair-Share, Turn and Talk, evidence of rubrics and reference to prior learning.
As to some of the challenges that they observed, several of the principals mentioned that when they asked the students what they were learning, the students had good answers, but, when they were asked why they were learning, the students were less clear. Getting our kids to that place where they understand the why of the learning certainly helps with student motivations. When students understand that they are learning something that builds toward a deeper learning or understanding, they become more motivated.
I was very appreciative of my colleagues honesty with this process, this is not an easy task, to critically examine a colleague and the building. I truly found this enlightening and it was great to have 7 different sets of eyes see what Susie and I see everyday. I certainly brings perspective and introspection. As we go forward, and as you can see by the article I have included with this memo, we are going to examine some of what our colleagues found and try to continue on our path of improvement every day!
GHS Principal to Address the 8th Graders
Tomorrow morning, Chris Record, GHS Principal, along with several GHS Department Heads and School Counselors will be here to address the 8th grade students on the,process of registration for classes next year. Please remember that we are changing our schedule for this day, It is as follows:
8:00-8:51– Period 3
Teacher Workshop Day
Originally, we had planned to have a guest speaker on Friday, March 11, for all grade levels, but those plans had to change for reasons beyond anyone’s control.
We will continue our building work around our capacity within Teachscape. We will begin in the Library with a presentation and some practice within the Teachscape platform to help all of us better understand what is expected when teachers are observed.
There will be some time set aside in the afternoon to allow teachers to delve into Teachscape, practice uploading artifacts and looking around the platform.
March 16 Early Release Day
We will run a shortened schedule for students and they will be dismissed at 11:10. Teachers will then gather in Advisory Clusters to prepare for the Parent Teacher Conferences on March 24 & 25.
Please remember to make every effort to contact all parents of your advisory, for some, this will be the last contact you may have for this school year, and we know that the stakes are changing for our kids and for their families. Please stress the importance of this meeting to all the parents, guardians and caretakers of your advisees.
Grading & Reporting Committee