Week of Feb 27

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Upcoming Important Dates

Feb 27 – Students and Teacher return from Break
Mar 1 – Leadership Team meeting Melanie’s Room 2:30
Mar 2 – GHS Chorus Concert in the Gym 12:30 (we will 2 concerts)
Mar 2 & 3 – GHS One-Act Play presentation, MPAC at 7:00 pm
Mar 3 – School Dance sponsored by the 6th Grade 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Mar 4 – EdCamp Maine 8:30 – 3:30 Waynflete School
Mar 7 – GHS 8th Grade Parent Night MPAC, 6:00 pm
Mar 8 – GHS Principal Jandreau meets with 8th Graders, 8:00 am
Mar 8 – Faculty meeting at GHS, Special Education Agenda 2:30 pm
Mar 9 – GMS Musical Presentation to students (see schedule below)
Mar 10 – 12 – GMS Musical Little Mermaid, Jr. GMS Auditorium 7:00 pm
Mar 16 & 17 – Parent Teacher Conferences
Mar 19 – Winter Fever Reliever GMS Cafeteria 6:00 pm
Mar 20 – MEA Testing Window Opens for Math and ELA

Enjoying your Time

I hope that each of you are enjoying this beautiful weather and finding time to be with family and friends doing lots of great, and relaxing, things. I am not trying to impose on your free time, but I thought I’d get this out early enough for me to enjoy the beautiful weather too!

EdCampMaine

I plan on attending the EdCampMaine that will be held at Waynflete School on Saturday, March 4. The registration for the cam is currently open, but you can also register on Saturday when you arrive, if you’re not sure about what you’re doing on Saturday.

At the last count, there were over 100 Maine Educators already registered for the camp, and more educators means more great ideas that can be shared. This event offers a great opportunity to sit down and talk with fellow educators, from near and far, and share experiences and ideas. I hope that many of you can find sometime on Saturday to check out this great PD opportunity.

Music in Our Schools Month

As we have done in past years, we will celebrate Music in our School Month by having a concert, presented by the Gorham High School Chorus, under the direction of Matt Murray.

Because the auditorium is unavailable, we will hold the concerts in the gym beginning at 12:30 pm.

We will set up a schedule for when teams will see the performance and call the teams down using the “All Call” method, so please wait for your team to be called down to the gym. These concerts are only 30 minutes in duration, so we will not construct a special schedule for classes.

Proficiency Based Education Course offers by USM

Because there was such enthusiasm from staff who wanted to participate in the PBL course, but couldn’t because we had to cap enrollment at 30, I have worked with USM to offer the possibility for those of you who wanted to take the PBL course but couldn’t – to do so during the summer.  Now, just like the original course, this one will be taught by Sara Needleman and Ellen Connel and will allow you to then participate in Part II of the PBL course series if you’d like or just take this course as a stand-alone course.  Remember, we have a four-course series planned that if you participate, will allow you to get a Certificate of Graduate Studies in PBL through USM.  That four-course series includes:
*  PBL Part I (which is what this one is)
*  PBL Part II (which will be offered in the fall of 2017)
*  PBL Action Research Part I (offered in the spring of 2018)
*  PBL Action Research Part II (offered in the summer and/or fall of 2018 depending upon preferences).
As with the previous course, I will need a minimum of 20 participants to offer this PBL Part I course this summer.  I will need to know by March 6 – so if you are interested, please do the following:
1.  Email Heather Perry
2.  Complete your course approval form via your Principal
3.  Complete the registration form at the bottom of the attached and send to Susan Inman at:  susan.inman@maine.edu
Once again, a reminder that the Gorham School Department will reimburse up to 9 credits per fiscal year (July 1 – June 30) for teachers.  This course is a great way to get some incredible PD at a great cost (free) while having your learning tailored to YOUR NEEDS here in Gorham!
If you have questions, please feel free to email me!

March 8 Faculty Meeting

I want to remind all about the shift in date and location and date of our faculty meeting in March. It was originally scheduled for March 1 but we changed the date and the location so that we could have the lawyers from Drummond Woodsum (School Law firm) present on the changes in Special Education law and how that impacts the accommodations within the classroom.

Please make sure that your calendar is free on that date as we will not have any other opportunity to provide this important information.

The meeting will begin at 2:30.

8th Grade Transition to High School Begins

I know I say this every year, but it seems to always be a surprise when it happens!

GHS Principal Brian Jandreau and several Department Heads, will seek to the 8th graders about what they can expect next year at GHS and a quick primer on how to go about registering for their classes for next year, on Wednesday, March 8 at 8:05.

This will follow the annual Incoming 9th Graders Parent Night at GHS on Tuesday evening, March 7 at 6:00 pm.

Please remind your students often about these two big events in the preparation of the first year of high school.

Schedule for Little Mermaid, Jr School Day Presentation

On Thursday, March 9, the school will have the opportunity to view the entire performance of the annual school Musical. This year, the students are presenting the wonderful story of the Little Mermaid.

Here is the schedule, and, again, we ask that teachers wait until they are called down to the auditorium before leaving the classroom.

Eagle:
8:00-9:30– Musical
9:30-10:16– Period 5
10:16-11:02– Period 7
11:03-11:54– Period 3
11:55-12:20– Lunch
12:21-1:12– Period 2 (allied arts)
1:13-2:04– Period 1

Crescent and Moosehead:

8:00-8:45– Period 5
8:45-9:30– Period 7
9:30-11:00– Musical
11:03-11:54– Period 3 (allied arts for Moosehead)
11:55-12:20– Lunch
12:21-1:12– Period 2
1:13-2:04– Period 1 (allied arts for Crescent)

All of 7th Grade:

8:00-9:30– Musical
9:30-10:16– Period 5 (allied arts for Harraseeket)
10:16-11:02– Period 7 (allied arts for Stroudwater and Little River)
11:03-11:11:28– Lunch
11:29-12:20– Period 6
12:21-1:12– Period 2
1:13-2:04– Period 1

All of 8th grade:

8:00-8:45– Period 6
8:45-9:30– Period 7
9:30-11:00– Musical
11:03-12:20– Period 3 (allied arts for Peaks)
11:29-11:54– break for  Lunch
12:21-1:12– Period 2 (allied arts for Monhegan)
1:13-2:04– Period 1 (allied arts for Boon)

If the presentation does not extend to the full 90 minutes planned, please bring your students back to your team area and hold a shot SSR or a modified Tutorial (Modified meaning the students would normally go the a Special Education Teacher would not, unless arranged prior to the day.)

Winter Fever Reliever

This information is from Tracy Williamson and has been sent to all of you in an email. This sounds like a really fun evening of music!

On Sunday, March 19, the Gorham Middle School and High School Steel Bands will be performing a benefit concert with the Portland based steel band, Sister Steel.  The benefit is to raise money for our registration fee for the New England Steel Pan Festival that is to be held at Thompson’s Point on May 7th.
The event is from 6-8:30pm in the GMS cafeteria with a suggested donation at the door.
We are also looking for people to donate food items to a bake sale / snack concessions table for the event.  If anyone would like to contribute something, please let me know!  The steel band parents and Sister Steel are making crockpot meals and traditional foods from Trinidad for the event too.
Come enjoy some steel pan music, food and dancing on the 19th!  Hope to see you there!

Parent Teacher Conferences

Another harbinger of Spring, (besides the melting snow and Terri Dawson getting her old skis out for spring skiing!), is the spring Parent Teacher Conferences.

It has been my experience that some parents, who feel their child is doing “fine”, do not need to meet with the Advisors. Nothing could be further from the truth! We use this time to gather information about nest year, about how well their child did in their current setting and are there any concerns going forward and planning for the next year. So, please make sure that you get to meet with all of your advisee’s parents.

While I am on the subject of next year. Please do not suggest that a child should be with a particular teacher, or away from a particular team. This becomes very troublesome for us as we place students, when a parent says that her “advisor says she should be with a particular teacher , or on a particular team.

Also, if parents make comments about another student, please do not follow up the comment with your opinion of your observations about that other student.

I would ask that you encourage all of your parents to complete the Parent Information Form that we send out at the end of March. The form gives the parent a chance to indicate how their child learns best, when their child had success in school and any concerns the parent may have regarding teaching styles. We also ask the parent to list any children they would not like their child with as well as to list a few friends of their child.

We have very strict guidelines for placement of students and, once placed, what needs to happen in order to change a student. For your review, here are the four (4) possible conditions, of which parents need to only indicate one (1):

  1. A previous negative experience with a teacher and their child;
  2. A previous negative experience with a sibling of this child and a particular teacher;
  3. A relative, neighbor of close friend of the family that could make it difficult for both the family and/or the teacher to have this child in class;
  4. A legal issue between students or families that rises to the level of legal actions.

Barring any of these four (4) conditions being met, we try very hard to hold the teams together as originally placed.

Leadership Survey

I am asking each of you to participate in a survey about how Susie and I are doing. This information is used during our meetings with Heather and Chris and are very helpful in identifying areas that we can work on. There is a survey fro both Susie and me.

Bob’s Survey

Susie’s Survey

If you could complete these surveys by March 3rd, it would be appreciated.

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