Week of October 17


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Upcoming Important Dates

Oct 17, 18 & 19 – RtI Meetings with all teams
Oct 18 – School Lockdown Drill
Oct 19 – Faculty Meeting 2:30 GMS Library
Oc 19 – Rotation 2 of EICAL begins today
Oct 21 – School Dance Sponsored by the 8th Grade
Oct 25 – Early Release Day, students dismissed at 11:10 am
Oct 26 & 27 – Parent Teacher Conferences
Nov 1 – Most Likely to Succeed showing, GMS Auditorium 7:00 pm
Nov 1 – Content Area Meetings (This is a change from Wed to Tues)

Faculty Meeting

We will gather for our Faculty meeting on Wednesday, October 19 2:30 in the GMS Library. The agenda is as follows:

Celebrations & Accolades
Presentation of the United Way (see below)
Presentation by Gorham Educational Foundation
Review of Staff Self-Evaluation results
GMS Principal’s Visitation
Most Likely to Succeed Showing

United Way Annual Campaign

As we have done in the past, United Way Loaned Executive, Christy Van Voorhies will make the annual Pledge Drive Presentation to the faculty. I know you all know how valuable the United Way is to our community, and all of the great organizations this campaign aids during the year. The United Way serves all of the smaller organizations through this fund drive and these organizations, right here in Gorham, will benefit from any donation your make. Please be generous with your support.

Lockdown Drill

Just a reminder that we will be conducting a planned Lockdown Drill on Tuesday morning at 9:15 am. Please prepared your students with all of the instructions on how to proceed during this exercise. There will be members of the Gorham Police Department throughout the building during the exercise checking doors, bathrooms, closets and stairways to help us get a better understanding of how they would react to an actual event.

Please remember to have your green, all-clear, sheet ready to place under your door or on the inside of your door window.

Gorham Educational Foundation Trivia Night

Help support the Gorham Educational Foundation and show off your trivia knowledge at the same time. It is sure to be fun night for a great cause! Registration is open so gather your team now.  Additional details can be found on the registration form attached.

Annual GEF Trivia Bee
November 19th, Doors open at 5:30p.m.
 Spire 29 on the Square, Gorham
I would love to have a GMS Team representing us in this event, so we’ll be registering a team. I am looking for folks who would be willing to join their fellow trivia nuts. Please let me know.

Parent Teacher Conferences

By now, I would expect that you all have made efforts to reach out to all parents to schedule your Parent/Teacher Conferences. As we have in the past, we will hold the bulk of the conferences after school on Thursday and during the day on Friday from 8:00-2:00. Please make every effort to have 100% of your advisees parents join you, and us, on those days. This is such a critical event for our school community and for our students and families.

Heidi McGouldrick and the GMS Parent Volunteers will be providing a Pot Luck Supper for teachers on Thursday night in appreciation for all that you do. Please make sure to thanks the parents who come.

October 25 Early Release Day

The students schedule for the early release day of the 25th will be shortened classes. We have no special events planned for that time. After the students are dismissed, and after lunch on your own, Advisory Clusters will meet to discuss students sin preparation for the Parent/Teacher Conferences. Please make sure that all advisors are up to speed on their advisees.

Most Likely to Succeed Showing

We are beginning publicity for the showing of the Education Documentary Most Likely to Succeed, on Tuesday evening, November 1. The doors will open at 6:00 pm with the showing beginning at 6:30 pm. After the showing, we will hold a very short “after-showing” discussion about the film and what it means to Gorham families and students. Please mark the date on your calendars to be a part of this very enlightening evening.

November Content Area Meetings

I need to change the date of the Content Area Meetings for ELA Teachers for the month of November. In order to make Kate Gardoqui available to work with ELA teachers, we need to hold the ELA Content Area meeting on Tuesday, November 1. All other Content Areas will still meet on November 2, as planned. I do understand that this may be a hardship for the ELA Teachers, but I also think it is important to have Kate working directly with our Content Area Teachers, and ELA is on the docket for November.

Please let me know if this causes a problem for ELA Teachers.

Budget Begins

Beginning October 27th and running until I get to see everyone in the school, I want to take about 15 minutes with each to discuss budget for next year. Toe prepare for this discussion, I would like it if each of you gave some thought, in advance of our meeting, about what you might need for resources next year.Are there books that you would like t purchase? Are there licenses for software or textbooks that you would like to use in your class? Do you know of a conference or workshop that you would like to attend, even think about workshops that have happened in the past that you always thought that would be a good thing to go to.

Without making any promises, that you’ll get anything that you request, I will take all of this information and prepare the GMS Budget to present to Superintendent Perry for her review.

So, please give your content area resources some thought and be prepared to have a substantive discussion with me about why it needs to be included in the GMS Budget.

Election Day Security

I know that a number of you have expressed concern about GMS being a polling place for the upcoming elections. I want to report to you all that we have held a meeting with the Gorham Police Department to review our security plans for Election Day. We have made some modifications to the plans that we have had in the past that, we believe, will provide for a much higher level of security for the building and the students.

We will ask that teacher he normally park in the front of the building to please use the first parking area as you enter to park your cars. We want to reserve those spaces closest to the building for the voters. So please, either park in the rear of the building or the overflow lot up by the new fields.

We will be asking PE to not allow the students down the hallway by the locker rooms on that day. That would mean we need to find alternate classrooms for these classes, if the weather doesn’t cooperate!

We will also cancel all after school activities on that day. No Homework Club, detention, after school work with teachers. All students will be expected to board buses, be picked up by parents or walk home immediately after school.

Gorham Police Department will have a presence at the polling place during the school day. We also plan to use the Cumberland County Volunteers in Policing (VIP) as well to keep traffic flowing and order in the expected lines.

We will continue to work on these plans in the days ahead, but, please rest assured we are very much aware of your concerns and we are working to provide a safe day for everyone.

November 15 Principal’s Visit

On Tuesday, November 15, GMS will welcome the Principals from each of the other schools in Gorham for a visit. As part of the visit, the Principals will be observing a couple of classes using a protocol devised to “shine a light” on particular parts of our practice.

At Wednesday’s faculty meeting, we will review the results of the Staff Self Assessment and determine some areas we would like to have different eyes and ears observe. It should be a very interesting day, so please welcome our visitors with open arms.


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