Week of December 18



GSD LogoUpcoming Important Dates

Dec 18 – Response to Intervention Committee meeting 2:30 Central Office
Dec 19 – Grading & Reporting Committee Meeting 3:15, Central Office
Dec 19 – Band and Jazz Band Concert 6:00 pm Auditorium
Dec 20 – Faculty Holiday Get Together 2:30 pm
Dec 21 – Last day of school for the year!
Dec 21 – Support Services Meeting 8:30 am
Dec 21 – Student/Faculty Basketball Game
Dec 22 – Holiday Break Begins – Happy Holidays to all!
Jan 2 – Return to School
Jan 3 – Faculty Meeting 2:30 pm (Agenda Below)
Jan 4 – Support Services Meeting 8:30 am
Jan 8 -11 – Team RtI Meetings during Planning period (please check your schedule)
Jan 9 – Content Area Meetings 2:30 pm
Jan 12 – Grade Level Assemblies during WIN 8th Grade will eat first lunch
Jan 12 – School Dance sponsored by the Student Council 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Holiday Band and Jazz Band Concert

The annual Holiday Band and Jazz Band Concert will be Tuesday evening at 6:00 pm in the GMS Auditorium. This is always a great night of fun and amazement as we see the fruits of all of the incredibly hard work of our many, very talented musicians. Kim, and her students never fail to entertain the audience of parents and grandparents. I also know how much the students enjoy seeing their teachers in the audience. I know this is a very busy time of the year, but if you are looking for a little respite from the drone of the holiday season, you will not be disappointed by the product of our students. Hope to see many of you at the concert!

Holiday Get Together

We have arranged for some space at the School Street Pub after school on Wednesday afternoon for a very informal gathering of the staff to wish each other well during the holiday season. I hope that all of you will be able to join in celebrating what you all have accomplished so far this year and look forward to a great second half of the school year.

I believe that Kristen sent out an email about a Yankee Swap and a bit of fun and games to be had, in the spirit of Ol’ Fezziwig himself!

Student/Faculty Basketball Game and Madison Prize Awards

As we have for the past several years, we will hold the annual Student/Faculty basketball game on Thursday afternoon. This means that we will operate on an early release day schedule for the morning to make sure that each of the students are able to attend their allied arts classes.

Teams are reminded that if you choose to vary your daily schedule for this day, please make sure that all students are able to attend their Allied Arts classes. Also, pease check in with the Special Educators to make sure that students who are receiving direct specialized instruction also get their required time.

As for the awards ceremony, we will welcome the members of the Gorham Town Republican Committee to present the winners of the writing contest. I have explained that this ceremony must be a non-partisan affair.


Just a quick reminder that the student laptops need to remain at school during the holiday break. I know this is very disappointing to many of the students, at least the students in my advisory were disappointed, but it is necessary time to review the devices for damage, as well as allowing us time to take inventory.

Please inform the students that all laptops must be in their charging stations by the end of the day on Thursday.

Faculty Meeting January 3

I know this is a rotten trick, but we are having a full faculty meeting on Wednesday, January 3 beginning at 2:30. The agenda is as follows:

  • Accolades and Celebrations
  • Tech minute(s)
  • Activity Time
  • PBL Time
  • Other

This is very important time, so please make sure that this date is on all of your calendar.

Grade Level Assemblies

We will be continuing our monthly Grade Level Assemblies through the rest of the school year. While we began these assemblies to address issues that had arisen at dances, we believe that the students have felt that these were positive times for all of us to reflect on our group expectation.

The assembly in January will be Friday, January 12 during WIN Times for all grades. This will necessitate that 7th and 8th graders switch lunch periods, with the 8th grade eating first lunch and the 7th grade eating second lunch.

We will be discussing behavioral expectations for the dance later that night, but I have also asked Terri Dawson to prepared part of the assembly with a Digital Citizenship theme.

Please mark your calendars for the switch in lunch times and, if you have any suggestions for topics of upcoming assemblies, please pass them along to Susie and me.


I know that the holiday season has a way of bringing out the best of humankind. The stories of George Bailey and Ebenezer Scrooge are wonderful reminders for all of us about our treatment of our fellow man.

The staff and students of GMS are great examples of all that is wonderful about the “human condition”. I know that Charles Dickens and Philip Van Doren Stern may have never met any of the GMS Staff and families, but this collection of kindness would have been who they had in mind when they wrote their stories.

Each year,I am amazed at how this staff takes care of the many (too many!) families who struggle to provide a warm holiday, with presents and a holiday meal. I can only express my gratitude and joy in knowing that the world does have kindness still!

Design Thinking and the Classroom

For the past few years, I have heard and read the term “Design Thinking” (DT). I have heard about high school ELA teachers using DT in their classrooms to help their students with their writing projects or oral presentations. I have also read about science teachers who use DT to help their students with experiments and lab reports.

In some of the content areas, I could easily envision how teachers might use DT, but some content areas had me baffled! That is, until I came across this article from one of the many good folks I follow on Twitter, I just can’t remember who it was!

Anyway, I am putting a link here, just in case you have seem free time over the Holiday Break.


As we finish out these last few days of 2017, I hope that you all find time to relax and enjoy a good quantity of quality family time.


For those of you who have small children or grand children, I came across this video of a book we used to read to our kids when they were young. This is hauntingly beautiful and it captured the attention of our grandkids fully.

I can’t embed this, so you’ll need to go to the link in Youtube. And, even if you don’t have young kids, you will find this an exquisite story!

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