Week of January 29, 2018



GSD LogoUpcoming Important Dates

Jan 30 – Open Parent Meeting with School Committee Members 7:00 pm GMS Library
Jan 31 – Team Leaders Meeting 2:30 Melanie’s Room (Agenda will be forthcoming)
Jan 31 – Support Services Meeting 8:15am Guidance Conference Room
Feb 1 – National Read Aloud Day – See information below
Feb 5 – 8 – RtI Team Meetings, please check your schedule for your meeting
Feb 7 – Faculty Meeting 2:30, GMS Library (agenda forthcoming)
Feb 9 – School Dance, Sponsored in part by the Civil Rights Team 6 – 8 pm

Team Leaders Meeting

We have a Team Leader meeting scheduled for Wednesday, January 31 at 2:30pm. As usual, we will meet in Melanie’s room.


  • Report on PBL work
  • Update on Budget
  • Upcoming ER day
  • Other

Meeting with Parents and School Committee

Our long awaited and re-scheduled meeting with School Committee Members Jennifer Whitehead and William Benson, will be held on Tuesday evening beginning at 7:00 pm in the GMS Library. The agenda for the evening is wide open. This is a great opportunity to meet the two newest members of the school committee and to ask the questions that bouncing around in your head.

This meeting is right after the GMS Talent Show, so you could “kill two birds with one stone”, by attending.

Talent Show

Just a reminder that the Talent Show is on for the public tonight beginning at 6:00 pm in the GMS Auditorium.

On Wednesday, we have scheduled tome for all students to be able to see the show during the school day. I did send out the schedule earlier this week in an email.

National Read Aloud Day

I have included links to a couple of sites to help you plan for the National Read Aloud Day. We know that even adolescents love to be read to and, I know that many of you already do this as a regular part of your practice. Students who are regularly read to, by parents or teachers, have a demonstrated high reading ability over time.

You can check last weeks’ weekly memo for the links.

Response to Intervention Meetings

Our monthly RtI meetings happen, beginning next week. Pease check the schedule for your day and time.

At this time of the year, we really need to examine how well our intervention plans are working. Students should be moving into and out of the Learning Labs with some regularity. If this is not happening, or if some students are remaining in the Learning Labs for months, we need to examine how we are helping them, perhaps, stronger interventions are necessary.

We also need to examine whether our programming is benefit the maximum number of students possible. Truthfully, I worry that students who struggle with certain learning, are being inadequately serviced.

Faculty Meeting

Our next faculty meeting is on Wednesday, February 7 at 2:30 in the Library. We will be joined by Superintendent Perry and Assistant Superintendent Record. They will discuss the work that was completed by the School Day Committee last year and the findings that were presented to the School Committee earlier this year. This is a very important meeting as the work of this committee may have an impact on GMS.

They will also discuss the work of the K-5 School Configuration Committee. While this may have less of a direct impact upon GMS, it will reverberate throughout the district, so it is important that we get the most correct information available.

After Heather and Chris finish answering questions, I would like us to consider one of the following articles for discussion. Both articles are very pertinent to our work and they raise some interesting questions about the future of our work.

One article actually questions whether letter grades will survive, an interesting view from Edutopia. The second article, given our many conversations about kids and technology and classrooms, takes a good look at how educators at varying levels view laptops and cell phone technology and learning.

Laptops and Phones in the Classroom

Please make plans to be present at this meeting.

Professional Development Opportunities

One opportunity is being presented by the League of Innovative Schools, of which we are members. They are inviting people to a session to discuss the policies being undertaken by the Maine Department of Education with regards to Proficiency Based Learning.

The session was originally scheduled for February 7 at 11:00 am, but has been re-scheduled to Monday, February 26. It will be held in Augusta. If you have an interest in attending, please let me know ASAP, so I can get you registered,

The second PD opportunity is in the summer, on an island, off the coast of Maine. The Department of Marine Resources will be conducting a 3-day workshop at the Burnt Island Light Station off from Boothbay Harbor. This and outstanding learning opportunity that is designed to benefit all learning levels and disciplines. All activities have been aligned to the Maine Learning Results, Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards.

The cost is $350 and if you are interested, please let me know.

myCollegeOptions Survey

We have been selected to administer a survey from myCollegeOptions to our 8th grade students. This survey is designed to help us help our kids plan for their post secondary futures. The surveys should not take too long and it will help them begin to refine their focus for after high school.

I think we could do this during an advisory in the next two weeks. I will get the surveys out to all 8th grade advisory teachers and let you all know the day we plan to administer it.


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