Monday, August 14, 2017

2017-18 Opening Parent Letter

August 14, 2017

Dear Parents/Guardians,

It is with great anticipation and excitement that I welcome you back for another incredible school year here within the Gorham Schools!  The first day of school for students in grades K,6, and 9 will be Monday, August 28, 2017.  The first day of school for all other students will be on Tuesday, August 29, 2017. 

Bus routes have recently been published in the Gorham Times.  You may also view them by going to the Gorham Schools website ( then clicking on “District Departments” and then on “Transportation”.  Once there, click on bus routes for either Elementary or GMS/GHS.  I would like to kindly request PATIENCE and UNDERSTANDING for the first few weeks of school as we iron out the details of our bus routes for another school year.  Also, a reminder to parents who will be having their children transported to area Day Cares, please be sure to go onto the website to complete the “Day Care Transportation Request Form” also found on the transportation page of our website.  If you, or a neighbor you may know, has not yet enrolled students within the Gorham Schools, I encourage folks to please contact your school’s office immediately.  You can find school contact information on the district’s webpage.
If you have specific questions about bus routes, please contact Judy at the Transportation Office (893-2547).

Our schools are excited to welcome you and your children to another tremendous school year here in Gorham!  There are lots of outstanding things happening at our schools so be sure to check out those school websites, keep an eye on your mail and email, and watch for flyers and other materials that will be sent home with your students the first few days of school to let you know about many of these exciting planned events!  You can also check out my blog, which I update monthly to help parents stay informed about the various things going on in our schools.  We are also active on social media, so you can check us out on Facebook or Twitter – all of which are linked from our webpages.

Our schools are also eager to welcome you as parent Partners In Education (PIE).  Each of our three elementary schools has a PIE group who work tirelessly to help our schools and the children we serve (THANK YOU). You also may not realize it, but Gorham Middle School and Gorham High School both have parent groups that would love to see more participation. Did you know that there is a direct correlation between the level of parent involvement in your child’s education and the academic achievement of your child?  As parent involvement increases, student achievement also increases!  We want you to be involved and there are lots of ways (both little and big) to be involved, so don’t be bashful!  If you are interested in being a member of a PIE group in any of our schools, please reach out to your school’s teacher or principal via email or phone and let them know.  They can give you all the details on when meetings occur and how you can get involved!

As we get ready to open a new school year, I also want to draw your attention to the importance of school attendance.  As you know, our schools have focused on improving attendance over the past few years and we continue to work hard to make sure our students attend school regularly, but we need your help! 

Did you know that absenteeism in the first month of school can predict poor attendance throughout the school year?  Half the students who miss 2-4 days in September go on to miss nearly a month of school during the year!  Did you know poor attendance can influence whether children read proficiently by the end of third grade?  Did you know that by 6th grade, chronic absence becomes a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school?  Finally, did you know that research shows missing 10 percent of the school year (or about 18 days in most school districts which defines chronic absenteeism) negatively affects a student’s academic performance?  That’s just two days per month!

Encouraging regular school attendance is one of the most powerful ways you can prepare your child for success – both in school and in life.  When you help us make school attendance a priority, you help your child get better grades, develop healthy life habits, and have a better chance of graduating from high school ready to meet all that life’s challenges may have in store for them successfully!

I also want to remind all parents/guardians of our incredible volunteer program! The Gorham Schools are well known for our robust volunteer programs where parents and community members are encouraged to actively participate in the educational processes of our schools in various ways.  Last year we had well over 2,000 hours donated to our schools by our awesome volunteers!  Thank you! In order to continue to keep this program vibrant and strong, WE NEED YOU!  To volunteer in the Gorham Schools, you need to first register.  This registration process is required for both short and longer-term commitments.  All of our forms can be found on the district website.  Just go to, click on the “Human Resources” tab and click on “Volunteer Program” and you are there!  You may also inquire at your school’s Principal’s office for more information.

In closing, the Gorham School’s staff continue to work hard to make our schools a place where your child wants to come each and every day to challenge themselves, to socialize, and to achieve all that they can achieve as learners!  Our teachers and support staff are excited about the work they do every day with your children to help them learn and grow!  Our schools are lucky to have this talented staff and we are also lucky to have a strong community and our supportive parents.  Together, we all care deeply about the success of our children – and our schools care deeply about our community and its success as well!  Our students understand what a community truly is, because our community models it for them every day!  Our students strive to live our Code of Conduct by demonstrating respect, honesty, courage, compassion, and responsibility because our parents and community as a whole actually lives it!  I am proud to be your Superintendent of Schools and will work tirelessly to make sure this strong spirit continues to thrive in Gorham!  We are all so very proud to be GORHAM RAMS!  

I look forward to another great year!  Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions, comments, or concerns.  My email is and my office phone number is 222-1012.  See you all soon!  GO RAMS!


Heather J. Perry,

Superintendent of Schools