Week of April 24, Welcome Back!


GSD LogoApr 24 – Students return for the “final push”
Apr 26 – Leadership Team Meeting 2:30, Melanie’s Room
Apr 27 – 6 – 12 Grading and Reporting Committee 2:30 CO
Apr 28 – MEA Science Assessment, 8th grade only
Apr 28 – GMS Steel Band to Gorham House
Apr 29 – Gorham Police Department Drug Take-Back Day 10:00 – 2:00
May 1 – Teacher Appreciation Week
May 1 Star 360 testing window opens (Schedule to be published)
May 3 & 4 – USM/SMP Conference Assessment FOR Learning (See Below)
May 5 – School Dance sponsored by the 8th grade
May 7 – New England Pan Festival, Thompson’s Point, Portland
May 8 – Monthly RtI Meetings commence
May 9 – 6-12 Grading and Reporting Meeting 2:30 CO
May 12 – MEA Essay Assessment (Schedule to follow)
May 17 – Early Release Day ( information on the day will be forthcoming)

Welcome Back

I hope that everyone had a wonderful April vacation. While I did not het a chance to enjoy them, I hear that the golf courses are opening and that there is still skiing in the state of Maine.

This is that time of year when we really begin to feel the crunch of time, worrying about how we are going to “cover” all of the material we need to in the few short days ahead. Couple that feeling of “CRUNCH” with the realities of early release days, field trips, and special schedules, and we all feel that sense of urgency.

We begin by changing our schedule for the 8th grade Science MEA. While it is only the 8th grade that will be taking the assessment, we need to change the entire schedule for the school to accommodate the Allied Arts for the 8th grade. Please note the schedule that was distributed my Melanie.

We also need to schedule the MEA Essay Assessment. That window opens May 8 and it is administered in all grades. We will then need to schedule the Star 360 assessments. The Star 360 assessments will not need any changes to our schedule as  these are administered in ELA and Math classes.

We’ll give you the dates of each of these assessments later this week.

Gorham Police Department Drug Take Back Day

The US Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Agency offer a prescription drug take back day throughout the country on Saturday, April 29 from 10:00 to 2:00. Anyone my bring unused prescription drugs to the police station for collection and  safe disposal of all types of prescriptions.

The Gorham Action Team for Youth (GATY) is working to spread the word about this Drug Take Back Day and I would ask that each of you mention the day to your advisees during advisory.

Student Growth Measures

I just want to remind all about the requirement for all teachers to demonstrate one measurement of student growth during this semester. You will need to input this information into your mylearningplan.com file. It would also be helpful if you uploaded the assessments and the lesson plans for this learning episode.

To input the information on mylearningplan.com, here is a screenshot for information you’ll need.

Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 1.18.16 PM

Remember, you will need to only enter on measure of student growth this year. Next year, all teachers will be required to enter two measurements.

USM/SMP Assessment

The University of Southern Maine, in conjunction with the Southern Maine Partnership is holding a two day conference on Assessment FOR Learning on the campus of USM in Portland. The conference dates are Wednesday and Thursday, May 3 & 4. I do have a few dollars left in the PD Budget line, so if you are interested in attending please get back to me by Wednesday so we can get you registered.

If the demand is overwhelming, I will have to decide who will attend. I would also expect that whomever is chosen to attend, would then share with the rest of the faculty on May 24, during our regularly scheduled faculty meeting.

PBL Public Forums

Heather Perry will be holding several public forums for the community of Gorham over the next few weeks. The first forum will be this Thursday, April 27th at Gorham High School beginning at 7:00 pm in the GHS Auditorium.

The purpose of these forums is to help our community understand the necessity of this transformation of our grading system in helping our students prepare for their role in the 21st Century.

There will be a series of forums for each grade level cluster. The other forums will be:

*  Monday, May 8 for K-5 Parents, 6:00 p.m. at Great Falls Library (focus on changes for next year)
*  Monday, May 22 for 6-8 Parents, 6:00 p.m. at GMS Library (focus on changes for next year)
*  Tuesday, May 30 for 9-12 Parents, 7:00 p.m. at GHS Library (this time a focus on specific changes for next year)

Additionally, Heather will be holding a series of “Dunk and Discuss” events at Aroma Joes in Gorham on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, May 2nd

  • Monday, May 8th

  • Thursday, May 18th

  • Monday, May 22nd

The “Dunk and Discuss” events will begin at 7:30 am.

Jumprope Trainer

We are looking for one teacher to become our Jumprope Trainer for GMS. This person would be the GMS “Expert” in all things Jumprope and help to train our staff as we move toward full implementation of the platform. The chosen person would:

  • Participate in one half day of JumpRope “leadership” training over the course of the summer with Kim Fadrigon (likely end of June).
  • Assist in leading 2 – ½ day summer trainings in August for K-6 teachers in JumpRope under the facilitation of Kim Fadrigon (likely end of August).
  • Become JumpRope “leaders” within each school, assisting in the facilitation of a scheduled early release training in September and offering support to teachers with general Jumprope questions.

Individuals who volunteer to become leaders will be paid for the half day training in June and for the 2 – ½ day summer trainings in August at their summer per diem rates.

Please let me know by May 12 if you are interested.

This Weeks Video

OK, I realize this video is from a science teacher who works with his students in science. And, I know that science is not ELA or social studies, but the principles of engaging students is the same. An interesting question to ask each of you, and I would like you to respond with how you employ, or might employ the same strategies within your content area. Enjoy the video…



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