Before I "dive in" to my update, I did want to let folks know that starting this week I am going to move to a TWO DAY per week format for updates rather than the three days I had been doing. For this week, I am going to make posts on Monday and Thursday and then starting next week, my posts will consistently be coming out on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week. I'm sure you will all thank me for easing up on filling your "inboxes" one less day per week! ☺ Here goes!
This week is Volunteer Appreciation Week
Our school volunteers are at the heart of everything that we do here in Gorham. Typically during this time of the year we'd be having school based celebrations of our volunteers in face to face settings to acknowledge all your hard work and dedication to our schools. Unfortunately, this year that isn't possible...however...what I can do is encourage folks to share their "Thank You's" for our school volunteers!
I have created a shared folder where anyone from the public can drop a "Thank you" note into the folder that can be shared with volunteers...if you want to contribute a Thank you Note or picture thanking our school volunteers for all that they do, please drop in a note by Thursday...I will then organize and share the folder broadly with the public so everyone can see just how much we care for our volunteers!
Here's the link to the public google folder. Again, just drop in a thank you note, or a picture drawn by students, etc. to thank our volunteers...I'll organize and re-share on Thursday!
In the meantime, please know that even though we can't be together to personally thank our school volunteers - that doesn't mean you are any less appreciated! Our parent and community volunteers and the lifeblood of our great school community...and part of the "glue" that holds us together! THANK YOU FOR ALL THAT YOU HAVE DONE FOR OUR SCHOOLS!
Upcoming Gorham School Committee Meetings
Just wanted you all to be aware of the next few upcoming School Committee meetings. The first one is coming up on Wednesday of this week, April 29, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. This meeting will be a special meeting. You can find the agenda LINKED HERE along with the zoom link at the top of the agenda if you'd like to join us. Also, please remember that all SC zoom meetings are being recorded and posted via GoCat on the Town's website and on our website as well.
Also on April 29, before the special meeting the Facilities Committee will be meeting at 5:30 p.m. You can find that agenda LINKED HERE. The zoom meeting link is at the top of the agenda. The major work with this committee is to work to "regroup" given our new circumstances with COVID-19 and to re-think some of our timelines and project ideas for the summer/fall and beyond. Again, this meeting will be recorded, and minutes posted on our website.
After these meetings on the 29th, the next big meeting to be aware of will be the Joint budget presentation meeting with the Town Council scheduled for May 12 at 6:30 p.m. There is some question as to whether or not this meeting will occur as planned and we should have that worked out and finalized by the end of this week so stay tuned. Once I have the link information and agenda, I will be sure to share.
There will also be a "regular" zoom meeting of the Gorham School Committee scheduled for Wednesday, May 13th. The agenda has not yet been set but once that is completed I will also share.
As a reminder to everyone - you can always follow ALL School Committee related meetings on our Gorham website by CLICKING HERE and scrolling over to "Upcoming Events" on the main page. When you click on the actual event listed, you will see zoom connection information there as well!
Some Great Follow Up
So just a few things I've shared before and have some follow up information to share now. Remember, I shared about our 3D Printing "Ninjas" at GMS? Well, they continue to be active printing protectors for face masks...so much so that local news did a story on them. If you haven't already seen it - HERE IS THE LINK! Check it out! They have also developed a GoFundMe page to help purchase filament needed to print...if you are interested in helping this effort, here's the link.
Operation Feed Gorham is back on its "usual" hours after having served lunches on Tuesdays and Thursdays last week during vacation. We had some very special "volunteers" last week at our satellite locations when members of the district's leadership team helped man the stations on these two days. A few cool pictures below...I especially like the one where Dr. Record had his daughter dressed up as a Gorham Ram! Shhh - don't tell anyone but she attends Scarborough High School!
Again, Operation Feed Gorham is back on its Monday, Wednesday, and Friday serving schedule at its four satellite locations (Village Elem. Great Falls Elem. GMS and GHS) from 11:00 - 1:00 each day. As always, any questions, please reach out to our Director, Michael Sanborn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another follow up is in regards to our #separatedbutnotdivided campaign. This work wrapped up just before the April break...and was able to raise a total of $10,920.00 to support the Gorham Backpack Program and the Gorham Food Pantry equally. Awesome work! Thank you Neile and Sarah!
Before we broke for the April "stay-cation" I also mentioned that Ruths' reusable (in conjunction with UNUM) donated 100+ books to families here in Gorham. Well those were distributed to families over the break by our very own Gorham Recreation Department Volunteers! THANK YOU Gorham Recreation for your assistance! I know students and their families who received these books will put them to great use!
Also, do you remember about two weeks before the break, I shared with all of you a poem written by one of our K-5 students in Gorham? It was an INCREDIBLE poem...that spoke deeply to me about the struggles our students were experiencing with distance learning and being away from their friends and teachers...well our little poet has created another poem I also wanted to share. I hope she keeps writing for us all!
Making Meaning - GMS Student Art Project
GMS students working with art teacher Amy Cousins put together a photographic "story" of their experience thus far in our distance learning world. This was completed just before the break. We have some extremely talented students - and this is just a prime example of the incredible learning that is going on even while we are apart! Check it out by CLICKING HERE! Nice work GMS students! Proud to be a Ram!
Incoming Kindergarten Screening Postponed
At this time, we will be postponing the June Kindergarten screening dates at all Elementary Schools. The new dates have yet to be determined but as soon as we have this information, we will be in touch with families. If you have not enrolled your student for next year please take a minute to do the online registration. You can contact your Elementary School Secretary with any questions!
Great Falls - email@example.com
Village - firstname.lastname@example.org
Narragansett - email@example.com
A Great New Learning Resource
I wanted to share with all of you a great new learning resource from our very own Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN).
Maine Public, the CLICKING HERE!, and have joined forces to create original, educational programming for students in grades 3 through 5. Dedicated teachers from across Maine have developed original video lessons, pulling content from their own lesson plans and sources to provide exceptional learning opportunities for Maine students. Our very own Heather Whitaker (GMS Alternative Ed. Teacher) and Allie Rimkunas (Great Falls Art Teacher) are contributing members! This is high quality educational programming that is local...check it out by
In closing (For today) I wanted to share with all of you that our K-12 Principals will be presenting their end of year plans for this school year to the School Committee at the meeting on Wednesday night. Once we have presented these plans to the school committee, I will be sharing them with you on Thursday in my next blog. This information will help students, parents, and staff better understand what we are planning for the end of this school year in order to ensure everything that needs to be accomplished is accomplished and accomplished in only the most excellent of ways that Gorham is expecting of us! Please stay tuned to my Thursday Blog post for more information!