Week of February 6


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Upcoming Important Dates

Week of Feb 6 – RtI Meetings per team, check you schedule for time
Feb 7 – PBL Steering Committee 3:00 pm Central Office
Feb 8 – Team Leaders Meeting, Melanie’s Room 2:30
Feb 9 – GATY Meeting 9:30 Central Office
Feb 10 – NAEP Testing fro selected 8th Graders
Feb 10 – Parent Meet-up 6:00 pm GMS Library
Feb 10 – School Dance 6:00 – 8:00 pm Gymnasium
Feb 15 – Early Release Day, Students dismissed at 11:10
Feb 16 – PIE Metting GMS Library 6:00 pm
Feb 17 – Mid-Winter School Vacation begins at dismissal
Feb 27 – Students and Teacher return from Break
Mar 1 – Leadership Team meeting Melanie’s Room 2:30
Mar 8 – Faculty meeting at GHS, Special Education Agenda 2:30 pm

NAEP Testing

I know there has been some concern about the students selected for the NAEP Administration. Trust me when I tell you, we have no control over the selection process. We sub,met a roster of our 8th grade students from Infinite Campus and the people at NAEP select the students to be assessed.

It is also important to note that the assessment will only be administered to about 120 of our 8th grade students. Again, this is not our call. Melanie has given all 8th grade teachers the schedule for the day on Friday, February 10, please make sure you are aware of the schedule and that it will severely impact the 8th grade day.

The NAEP Testing is for 8th garden only and should not have any impact for any other grade.

February 10 Dance

Our next dance is sponsored by the Principal’s Office. However, we are working with the Gorham Action Team for Youth (GATY), a committee that is working with the community to provide alternative, positive, healthy activities for our students.

GATY is planning a Parent Meet-up in the Library at the same time as the dance. The Parent Meet-up will be an opportunity for parents and guardians to meet with Cynthia Grover and Claudine Emerson to talk about alternatives for the children in our community, before they turn to substances and other risky behaviors.

The cost of the dance is $5.00, but students who bring one of their parents to the Parent-Meet-up in the Library will receive free admission to the dance.

Because this dance is not sponsored by any particular grade level and, the funds will be (I hope) less than the normal dance, we could use some folks to help chaperone the dance. If you aren’t doing anything special on Friday night, we could sure use your help!

Early Release Day (am & pm)

For the student portion of this day, we have several different public safety agencies coming to GMS to speak with our students. We are still finding more, and I know that some of you said you had some contacts within different agencies that might be interested. Let me know if I need to contact any of them.

Our plan will have the students being able to hear two different presenters as well as a whole grade presentation that will have a focus on cyber security and safety. We will get a schedule out to you later in the week, probably Friday, so that we can plan.

I know that this has been a very popular day with the students in the past, and I expect this one will be equally as good.

For the afternoon work with the staff, we will begin to review the first (of many, I’m sure) draft of the work from the 6-12 Grading and Reporting Committee. The work this group has been doing will help us focus on the challenges of moving toward a Proficiency Based Learning system in the coming years.

I will fill in with more details later in the week and at the beginning of next week. It will be vitally important for all teachers to be present for this work. Please make arrangements to reschedule any appointments you may have on this day!

PIE Meeting

We will hold our monthly PIE meeting on Thursday evening, February 16 at 6:00 pm in the GMS Library.

At our last meeting in January, parents asked some really great questions about the transition to our Proficiency Based System. There are some who have expressed concern and others who were quite interested in seeing the change happen.

I would invite any teacher who would like to join us, to be here for this evening of exchanging ideas and concerns.

Date Change

Another reminder that our Faculty Meeting, originally scheduled for March 1, has been changed to March 8 to accommodate the schedule of Drummond Woodsum. They will have an attorney (maybe Eric Herlan) who will provide us a “Booster” shot of the new and ever changing regulations surrounding Special Education.

So, please mark your calendars, or check the GMS Leadership Calendar for this change. We will meet as a LeadershipTeam on Wednesday, March 1.

More on Learning

I always struggle with what our goals are as a public school. I know that must seem very odd for the principal of  public school to say, but I really do.

As we move toward the goal of providing a Proficiency Based Learning education for our kids, I feel as though we get confused about what is learning and how do we place a value on that learning.

I know that when I first entered the classroom, I was intent upon gathering as much information (read, grades) as I could on my classes. For everything I had my students do, I had to enter a grade in my book, even if some of the stuff I had them do had nothing to do with the content I taught (read, parent signatures and forms turned in on time!) Each of those entries had a purpose and each was important, or at least I thought so.

We have, in the ensuing years, learned so much about how our students learn. We make bold statements like;

  • All students can learn, be successful, and do extraordinary things.
  • Each student is unique and learns in different ways and at different rates.
  • Learning is a lifelong endeavor sparked by curiosity.

but, how much do we make these statement real within our school and for our students?

This is a long-winded approach to an interesting video I cam across this weekend, so, I share it with you all:


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