Week of January 8, 2018



GSD LogoUpcoming Important Dates

Jan 8 -11 – Team RtI Meetings during Planning period (please check your schedule)
Jan 9 – K-12 Grading & Reporting Committee meeting 3:15 pm Central Office
Jan 10 – Content Area Meetings 2:30 pm Library
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
Jan 15 – MLK, Jr. Holiday No School.
Jan 17 – Open Parent Meeting with School Committee Members 6:00 pm GMS Library
Jan 23 – GMS Talent Show, GMS Auditorium 6:00 pm
Jan 24 – Early Release Day, Students will be scheduled to see the Talent Show
Jan 31 – Team Leaders Meeting 2:30 Melanie’s Room (Agenda will be forthcoming)
Feb 1 – National Read Aloud Day – See information below
Feb 7 – Faculty Meeting 2:30, GMS Library

Content Area Meeting

We will meet as Content Areas on Wednesday, January 10 (not January 9 as reported last week!). All teachers who teach Social Studies will meet with Kim Fotter, Kim Fadrigon and me to discuss all resources that we may need for the next few years. The amount for replying our  texts, even though the need is great, was just a bit more than our budget could handle wit all of the other priorities of the district.

I would encourage all Social Studies Teachers to review the resources that you reviewed earlier in the year, as well as seek out other resources available and bring the ideas to the table on Wednesday. While some might view the loss of these resources as a negative, I really think that we can turn this into a great positive for our kids.

All other teachers not involved in the teaching of Social Studies will work with their peers to review existing assessments currently being used in classrooms with students. It will always be our goal to ensure that, regardless of the journey a student traverses through our school, the learning levels will be similar and the expectations will be consistent.

Grade Level Assemblies

We will again hole grade level assemblies on Friday, January 12 during the WIN times for each grade level. This will mean that 7th grade and 8th grade will swap lunch times with the 8th grade eating first at 11:02 and the 7th grade eating second at 11:27. Thank you for your flexibility with this. These assemblies give Susie and me time with the whole grade level to discuss important issues and for us to hear about what is important to the students.

Our plan is to first discuss behavior expectations for the upcoming dance, but we do want to open the discussion about dress code, cell phone use in school and how we can better promote a kinder environment with our building.

We will call the grade levels down via the intercom, co please wait to be called down to the auditorium.

PIE Meeting with the Gorham School Committee

On Wednesday, January 17, we will hold a PIE meeting in the GMS Library beginning at 6:00 pm. In attendance for this meeting will be at least two members of the Gorham School Committee. We have held these meetings for the past several years as a way to get the parents and teachers and the School Committee members into the same room to discuss items of importance.

All teachers are invited to join us at the meeting.

League of Innovative Schools Opportunity

I received this information on a PD opportunity from the League of Innovative School, which we are members. If you are interested in attending, please let me know by the end of the day on Monday, January 8.

We’re thrilled to be able to offer a unique opportunity to LIS members this school year. The voices of educators – the people in classrooms, working alongside students everyday – are the voices that ring the loudest in front of policy makers. So often policy-makers are isolated from those voices because testifying before the legislature can be intimidating, confusing, and inconvenient.


We will be hosting a policy symposium for LIS members in Maine on Wednesday February 7, 2018 from 8 am to 11:30 am at The Senator Inn & Spa (284 Western Ave, Augusta, ME 04330). This half-day session will give you the tools you need to understand the policy issues before the legislature this session that will impact your students and schools, the opportunity to engage with various education policy stakeholders, and some guidance for crafting compelling testimony.

STAR 360 Data Training

ON Wednesday, January 24, the district is bringing in Cheryl Ballou from Renaissance to direct the training.

In this session, we will delve into gaining a greater understanding into how we can make the results of these assessments work for our students and our teaching.

Space is limited for this PD activity, if you are interested in attending, please let me know and I will see about available seats.

Early Release Day

Students will be scheduled to view the GMS Talent Show during the morning hours. We will have two shows for the students, each show should be about one hour and twenty minutes.

We will get a schedule out to all in the next few days.

For the time when students are not in the auditorium, teams will be able to develop their own schedules to meet their needs, remembering that AA teachers will want to see their students and students in Special Education must receive their services.

After the students are dismissed, we will convene at the High School for a joint training with the High School Staff. The training will be conducted by the Office of the Attorney General of Maine.

More information will be forthcoming in the next week.

World Read Aloud Day

February 1st is World Read Aloud Day, a day that is designed to celebrate literacy around the world. Studies show that literacy is the foundation for emotional and physical well-being, intellectual growth, and economic security. Furthermore, reading aloud improves listening skills, vocabulary acquisition, and the understanding of common story themes and structures that will factor into children’s future success.

There are lots of great resources available for read aloud activities on the litworld.org website that you can immediately use in your classroom.

If you are planning any World Read Aloud Day activities, please let me know so we can publicize them to our community.

Teaching Middle School – The Best Job Ever!

Not that we need to be reminded why we teach at the middle level, Lord knows, we are reminded everyday when the students enter the building, but there are folks out there who can say it better!

Below, is an article that appeared on the weareteachers.com web site, and I wanted to share this with you, just to remind us why we do what we do, everyday, even in this bitter cold and extreme weather!


Interesting Video

I thought I’d share this video, not because it has great educational value, although I think it does, but because many of us may recognize the people who are in the video.


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