Week of March 28th

topperMiddle

Upcoming Important Dates

Mar 28 – 7th Grade Parent Forum about Jumprope 6:00 pm in the Auditorium
Mar 28 – MEA Testing for 7th Grade Begins
Mar 29 – Apr 15 – Individual meetings with all Teachers and Ed Techs begin (More info below)
Mar 30 – 8th Grade students begin to register for HS courses
Mar 30 – Faculty meeting 2:30 GMS Library – Food provided by the 6th Grade
Mar 31 – 6-12 Committee meeting at Central Office 2:30 pm
Apr 1 – 3rd Quarter Ends!
Apr 4 – Jumprope Pilot for 7th Grade Science Begins
Apr 6 – Early Release Day – Arts in our School day
Apr 7 – 8th Grade Book Talk 11:00 am in the Auditorium (Lunch schedule will be changed)

Faculty Meeting Agenda

  • Accolades and Celebrations
  • MEA Updates and check-in
  • Preview of Early Release Day student activities
  • Discussion of attached article and video
  • Other

Teacher and Ed Tech Individual Meetings

We really do understand the angst that many of you are feeling as we begin to close out this year and look forward to next year. We have had some retirements this, which were announced earlier this winter. We have made no secret about the fact that we will be sending 222 8th graders on to the High School and we’ll be welcoming 209 6th graders next year. This is a 41 student reduction at the 6th grade and a total reduction 13 students school-wide. All of this will have an impact on us for next year.

Our plan, much the same as we did 5 years ago, is to meet with everyone, one-on-one, to discuss ideas they have about what their hopes and dreams might be, and some possible ideas they may have in addressing the challenges of such a wide swing of student population.

Susie and I have set aside quite a bit of time in the next 3 weeks, enough, we think, to be able to meet with everyone and dedicate enough time to have substantive conversations. This will really be an opportunity for everyone, in a confidential and safe environment, to speak your mind. We are really looking forward to the conversations.

Here is the link to a short questionnaire that we’ll use as the basis of our conversation: https://docs.google.com/a/gorhamschools.org/forms/d/15S5vj15Q9TulS7PyUvK_JnccKRl7NSD8PaDFeSS_2jY/edit?usp=forms_home&ths=true

8th Grade Transition Continues

In the coming weeks, 8th graders will continue that inexorable march away from their lives as middle schoolers, and on toward the 4 most wonderful years of their lives at high school. On March 30, they will begin the process of registering for their classes next year. This will happen during class time beginning on March 30 and continue until Monday, April 4. Ryan Watts will be available during this time to answer any questions teacher or parents may have.

Then, on April 7, at 11:00 am, in the Auditorium, High Schoo Principal Chris Record and 6-12 Literacy Specialist, Lucy Bowers will address the 8th graders to review the selections available for the high school summer reading books. The studnets will hear a short book talk on each of the options for their summer reading. They will then be asked to select a boom of interest to them. These books will be presented to the 8th graders at the 8th Grade Celebration night. They will be expected to read their book and be prepared to participate in the book discussion protocols on their first day at High School in August.

This meeting will require a change in the lunch schedule for this day. 7th Grade lunch will remain the same, but the 6th grade will eat second lunch and the 8th grade will eat 3rd lunch.

Thank you all for understanding!

Early Release Day Activities

Student day

Tracy Williamson, Amy Cousin and Megan Holden, plus a cast of many others, have been very busy planning a wonderful day of performances, learning sessions and enjoyment of all of our students. While I don’t have all of the details yet, there will be Marimba players, Ballet Dancers, artists in lots of different media and much, much more coming the GMS to expose our kids to much of what the Arts have to offer.

There is still quite a bit more to plan, and get all of the kids placed in sessions of interest, so keep an eye on your emails for more information.The organizers will also be speaking ate the faculty meeting on Wednesday to fill in more of the details.

I want to thank all who were involved in the planning of this wonderful event.

Faculty Afternoon

K-12 Health and Physical Education teachers will be collaborating with Kate Gardoqui and Sarah Drury for the entire day. All teachers of ELA will meet together to finalize their work. Math and Science teachers will continue their work with scoring assessments, Social Studies Teachers will continue to review their scoring guides. World Languages will work with their counterparts of the High School. I would like Special Educators to sit in on the ELA discussions and begin to plan for how this work will fit in with their students.

Ed Techs will have a selection of opportunities, I will get the list out to all as soon as I get it.

Sharing on a Sunday Afternoon

We are on the verge of initiating our Jumprope Pilot in the 7th grade. Everyone is in some sort of final stages of our multi-year work toward proficiency based learning, and we’re all still in a place of wondering “what’s next” for all of this work.

I came across an article, written by Will Richardson, a author, speaker and a former educator, and someone who has been spending a good portion of his life trying to figure out what’s next for the education of our young. This article is kind of long, but it does ask some thought provoking questions. The video, Russell Ackoff, Professor Emeritus from the Wharton School, offers a very interesting take on the Education System (among other systems!).

Link to Will Richardson: https://medium.com/modern-learning/we-re-trying-to-do-the-wrong-thing-right-in-schools-210ce8f85d35#.jszrtrkyu

We’ll be using this article and video in our faculty meeting on Wednesday.

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