We have made it through week #15 of in person instruction via our hybrid model in Gorham! Two days next week and then a well-deserved break for everyone! I continue to be so impressed with how well our students, staff, and parents have met the challenges COVID 19 has placed upon us all - head on, with a strong sense of resilience and Gorham Pride! I encourage everyone to take some time during the coming Holiday break to"turn off" and "recharge"...we'll need that continued energy when we return to school on Jan. 4, 2021. Hopefully 2021 will treat us better than 2020 has!
This will be my last blog post until after the break (Jan. 8, 2020). Let's get to it!
CUMBERLAND COUNTY MOVING TO YELLOW DESIGNATION TODAY
We just received word earlier this afternoon that Cumberland County will be, for the first time, moving to a yellow designation as a county beginning today, December 18, 2020. This is due to the fact that Cumberland County experienced an increase in its new case rate and positivity rate, and 11 new outbreaks were opened in the county in the last week. Although our schools remain safe places to be (still 0 transmissions in our schools), it is increasingly clear that COVID is very much present in our communities.
So what does this change in county level designation mean for our schools? Academically, not much. We will continue to operate our schools under our hybrid model of learning as we have been for the past 15 weeks. The bigger impact is not on our regular school learning activities, the bigger impact is on our student athletes. Our Athletic Director Tim Spear has either already sent a message out to families, or he will be later today but the bottom line is that if the county is in yellow - all practices cease. This is truly unfortunate for our students who so very much look forward to the limited activities we have been able to offer them so far this winter. It is my hope that everyone in Cumberland County can band together for our students and double and triple down on following all safety protocols so we can deliver a good old fashioned kick in the pants to this virus and get our student athletes back in the gyms doing the things they love, where they belong!
The county level designations can be viewed by CLICKING HERE. They will be updated again on Dec. 31. If you have any questions, please reach out to email@example.com or myself at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ANOTHER HOLIDAY WITH COVID...REMINDER ON SOME RULES AND A FEW THOUGHTS ON HOW TO CELEBRATE SAFELY
As we get ready to launch into another Holiday break within a Pandemic, I thought it would be important to once again remind folks of some of the rules and expectations for travel over the Holidays as well as what to do if your child experiences symptoms or tests positive for COVID over the break. Our School nurses have put together a quick reference guide to answer these questions, so please CLICK HERE to view.
As I stated before and will say again, it is not up to me or anyone else to judge a family for how they choose to celebrate the holidays together. Each family must balance its own needs and unique circumstances to make decisions based upon what they know to be right for them. What I can do is encourage folks to please celebrate the Holidays as safely as possible. I do this for the most selfish of reasons - I want to see everyone able to return back to school on Monday Jan. 4, 2021! Below I have included some links to resources I hope you find helpful to inform your decision making.
Once again, I would be remiss if I didn't say it...please continue to follow the 3 top safety measures that work anywhere you are! (1) Wear your face coverings, (2)wash/sanitize those hands frequently and (3) Keep your six! The Gorham Schools wish you all the happiest and safest of Holidays!
You may reach out to the technology staff assigned to your school (listed above), or email Tech Support <email@example.com> or call the tech support line: 207-222-1188
* Elementary School,
please email your teacher, and:
Joanne Gauley <firstname.lastname@example.org> or email Tech Support <email@example.com> or call the tech support line: 207-222-1188
And if that doesn't work, and you are still unable to resolve your issue or get an answer to your question, please contact the technology director, Dennis Crowe <firstname.lastname@example.org>
THOUGHT EXCHANGE - FINAL REMINDER TO PARTICIPATE!
WE NEED YOUR VOICE TO INFORM THE FUTURE OF CTE IN CUMBERLAND COUNTY
CTE or Career and Technical Education is an important part of our educational systems across Cumberland County and specifically in Gorham. We currently have 74 Gorham Rams attending either Westbrook Regional Vocational Center (WRVC) or Portland Arts and Technology High School (PATHS). These two fine institutions have embarked upon a visioning process to set a new vision for the future of CTE education in our county and they are seeking your voice as parents. All parents of any age level are invited to attend public forum on this topic via Portland Schools' "Parent University" on Monday, Dec. 21 at 5:30 p.m. Zoom link is below.
ENDING WITH SOME PICTURES
I just wanted to end this week's blog post before the Holiday break sharing some images of what I am most grateful for this Holiday season - OUR INCREDIBLE STUDENTS AND STAFF! HAPPY HOLIDAYS! GO RAMS!