Week of September 26

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Upcoming Important Dates

Sep 26 – EICAL Rotations begin
Sep 28 – Leadership Team Meeting
Oct 5 – Content Area Meeting 2:30 – 3:30
Oct 6 – Maine Manufacturing Day
Oct 7 – Teacher Workshop Day – No School for Students
OCT 10 – Columbus Day – No School
Oct 12 – Team Leaders Meeting 2:30, Melanie’s Room
Oct 17, 18 & 19 – RtI Meetings with all teams
Oct 18 – School Lockdown Drill
Nov 1 – Most Likely to Succeed showing, GMS Auditorium 7:00 pm

My Learning Plan work

Thank you to all of the faculty for working so hard on Wednesday getting to know the new technology for storing our evidence of learning. I really do appreciate how each of you were very serious about understanding the technology and how you can use it to assist in your own personal improvement plan. Susie and I are looking forward to getting with each of you to discuss your Self-Assessment and Goals for the coming years.

Remember, this must be a system that helps each us on our journey of continuous improvement.

Team Leaders Meeting

Kate Gardoqui will be joining us on Wednesday to help us frame the necessary work we have integrating the Guiding Principles with our everyday instruction. I know we have had initial conversations about how, where and who would be responsible for this part of the Proficiency Based Learning System and we got frustrated with all of it. We know that the Guiding Principles are something that is necessary within the system, and that without these Guiding Principles, we are not educating the whole child.

Our work during this meeting will help the Leadership Team help the entire faculty move this work ahead.

We will also use this time and information to frame the work of the October 5th Content Area Meetings that will happen on this day.

October 7 Teacher Workshop Day

We have a very busy day planned for this workshop day. We will gather as an entire district in the Auditorium in the morning. During this time, we will receive training in retrieving and manipulating the results of the Star 360 Assessment that we are currently finishing. These results will help us in determining how well situated our kids are in relation to the standards, and how you can group and regroup your students to meet their individual needs. The Star 360 program also has what NWEA did not, and online, searchable database of resources and ideas that you can use to target your instruction for all of your students.

After the whole group session, you will be broken out into smaller groups with folks from our school who have received additional training in helping to work through all of the functions of the program. After lunch, all teams will be expected to work together to identify their own students and work at understanding ways to help you, and your kids, right away! As we have been learning this right along with everyone else, we will develop a protocol for expectation to be used during the afternoon sessions.

There is a lot to learn in a short amount of time, but there will be plenty of time during the day to explore and ask questions and explore some more with this more efficient and easier to use product. I am looking forward to a very interesting and engaging learning event for all of us!

Lockdown Drill

We will be holding a planned, and informed, Lockdown Drill in conjunction with the Gorham Police and Fire Departments on Tuesday, October 18. The scheduled time will be 9:15.

You will immediately notice a difference in the alarm system as a man’s voice will immediately announce “LOCKDOWN, LOCKDOWN, LOCKDOWN… and them begin with the instructions for the school. Please remember to make sure that you can lock your door prior to the 18th. If you have having difficulties, please let me know ASAP. Also, please make sure that you have the green “All Clear” sheet ready to display in your window or slip it our under the door. During the drill, students and teachers should move to a corner of the room, away from the door and the windows. Teaching should not continue until we have given the “All Clear” signal from the office, via the intercom.

Remember, this is a preplanned and pre-informed drill. Everyone will know it’s coming and we will use the results when we review the drill at the Faculty Meeting on October 19.

Mock Election

Over the past few weeks, I have let you know about the Mock Election through the Maine Office of the Secretary of State. As they have for the past few years, they will tally up the results on October 26th and then report out to the entire state the results of all races and ballot questions. I am seeking to have one, or more faculty members to help coordinate this for our school. This person, or persons, would need to coordinate the actual voting process, tabulate the results and then send them to the Secretary of State’s office prior to October 26. If you are interested in doing this, please let me know.

For more information about this, check out the Secretary of State’s page

Most Likely to Succeed Showing

Last week, I reported that we would be screening the film Most Likely to Succeed, on Thursday, October 27. I erred on picking up the date, the actual date will be Tuesday, November 1 at 7:00 pm in the GMS Auditorium.

The film was premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and has been made available to non-profits for showing. The film, and the accompanying book, Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing our kids for the Innovation Era, is a bold look at education, past, present and into the future as we work to prepare our students for the world they will inhabit. The film asks many questions of education and offers some interesting insights into our world.

I encourage all of our staff to save the date, as well as encourage as many parents and community members to attend this viewing and the subsequent discussions after the filming.

Money Matters

I know we informed all at our first meeting of the year about how we must have plenty of advanced notice in order to have a check available for teachers and teams for field trips, shopping sortees and other methods we use to spend school funds. It is also very important to add to all that the idea of providing teachers with re-imbursements for persona funds expended is very difficult as well.

The idea behind the approval process is to allow the Principal control over how funds are expended. If teachers are spending their own funds to purchase without receiving approval from Susie or me, it does not provide us with the opportunity to say yea or no, therefor, there are not the necessary controls on expelled funds required. If there is something that you need, and you can’t seem to find it from one of our vendors, please see me before you spend any of your own money!

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