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Upcoming Important Dates

Jan 3, 2017 – Return to school!
Jan 4 – Faculty Meeting 2:30 Library (Agenda below)
Jan 5 – Support Services Team Meeting 9:30
Jan 9 – Redesigning Time Team to visit GHS
Jan 9 – RtI Team meetings begin this week
Jan 9 – NESSC Planning Team meeting 2:30 in Meg Rounds room
Jan 11 – Leadership Team Meetings (Agenda to follow)
Jan 13 – Dance sponsored by the 6th grade
Jan 16 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday – No School
Jan 18 – Content Area Teams meet

Faculty Meeting Agenda

We will be joined at our faculty meeting by Gorham Police Chief Dan Jones and several other officers of the Gorham Police Department to discuss our current safety plans and to answer any questions that you may have. This will take up most of the time for this meeting and, I believe, they will be able to enlighten you on  how they would respond to certain situations that could occur.

They will also be interested in hearing from you about your concerns for the safety of our building and our students. Please bring your ideas and concerns.

Reporting Out Sick

It is vitally important that all absences are reported through AESOP! I know this seems to be a “no=brainer”, but too often, folks are not using the system and we have to backfill to account for the absence. The system is also designed to provide for the assigning of substitute teachers. Again, a no-brainer, but when the system is bypassed, no sub is assigned and we have to scramble in the office to find coverage while we wait fort he sub to show up.

Please make sure that you report all absences into the AESOP Sytem.

Geography Bee Protocols

This year, we must do the Geography Bee a bit differently than in the past. We may only have 10 school finalists as opposed to the many finalists we have had in the past. I don’t think this was directed at us, specifically, but the instructions we received was that there could be no more than the prescribed about. They also indicated that the questions that were supplied are the only questions that could be used during the competition.

I am going to ask that each of the social studies teachers keep track of the number of questions students got correct. We will make determinations of the final 10 by the number of correct answers and incorrect answers. If ties exist after the preliminary rounds, there are accommodations for tie-breaking questions.

Please send your student totals to me at the end of your sessions.

Redesigning Time Team

This is not something new, just a new name! When we think about schedules and how we use our time, we need to change perspectives, sometimes.

Brian Jandreau, Principal of GHS, has kindly arranged for some of our teachers to spend some time on January 9 reviewing their new schedule, talking with some of the teachers and some students to try to get a feeling for the manner in which they employ time. They will also spend some time reviewing the work that they have already completed in the past. We absolutely need to examine our schedule for next year, There will definitely be some challenges to address.

RtI Meetings

After putting the RtI meetings on hiatus for the month of December, we will re-convene these meetings beginning January 9th and for the rest of the week. These meetings are important to our work in identifying students who are struggling and what type of interventions we are employing.

You all have access to the Star 360 scores of your students, please be prepared to discuss those scores in relation to their classroom performance.

New England Secondary School Consortium

I believe that I have mentioned that we are members of the League of Innovative Schools, which is part of the New England Secondary Schools Consortium. There are a couple of events that are coming up that may be of interest to some of you, and I would like to know if any of you have an interest in taking part.

On January 31, there will be a meeting at Westbrook High School of many of the schools in the Consortium. This will be a visitation of the Westbrook High School and how they are approaching Proficiency Based Education. As an aside, I attended a similar meeting in Hallowell last November and found it both interesting and informative.

If you are interested in learning more about this event, please see me.

January 25  Early Release Day

We are planning to have many of our local Public Safety officials come to GMS to expose our students to the many jobs that are done, on our behalf to keep us safe. As we have done in the past, Gorham Police and Fire will join us with the local perspective. We also have commitments from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department, Maine State Police, Bureau of Highway Safety, FBI, Secret Service and the US Marshall’s office. We will continue to work on several other agencies to join us.

If you happen to know someone who might be a good fit for this day, please reach out to them, or let me know, and I will reach out.

We are also working on activities for the afternoon sessions for our staff.

More form Most Likely to Succeed

The idea of a Growth Mindset is one that is bandied about by many of us, and I sometimes wonder if we truly understand what a Growth Mindset really is. The very idea that our students can achieve much is only a part of the Growth Mindset. Sometimes, when we think we are really helping our students, we are hindering their learning by placing emphasis on the wrong goals.

This video, From the film Most Likely to Succeed, is helpful in explaining some pitfalls of our well-intended actions. Enjoy!

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/178681594″>12. Failure and a Growth Mindset</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/mostlikelytosucceed”>Most Likely to Succeed</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>



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