Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Wednesday April 1, 2020

Dunk and Discuss Meeting TONIGHT

For any parent that would like to attend...I am holding a Dunk and Discuss meeting TOMORROW NIGHT (Thursday) starting at 6:00 p.m. via zoom.  Link is formal agenda...just come in, ask a question, share some feedback, etc.  I am there to simply LISTEN!

Gorham Distance Learning Plan and Companion Plans

I sent this out last time, but didn't have the link for GMS as they were finalizing their plan.  It is completed now so I thought I'd include all of them again in one place for folks to view.  Again, the overarching plan is the Gorham  Distance Learning Plan, but each grade level/school has developed their own companion documents to offer more details and clearer expectations for each  level of learning.  If you haven't had a chance to review the plans for your child's grade level, please do...I think they offer up a great sense of just how we are trying to strike that all importance balance of either not offering enough educational materials for our students or  possibly requiring too much from our students and families at this time.  Of course as we continue to construct and refine our distance programming these documents may change and flux a bit...but they offer up a great starting point to help clarify expectations.  Here you go!

Recent Announcement From Governor Mills - Extension of Closure Through May 1

Governor Mills made a few additional recommendations and changes to requirements during her update meeting last night.  The biggest ones are mostly re-emphasizing rules and requests that were already in place such as only "essential" travel should be occurring at this point in time and that only "essential" businesses should be open during this time.  This was her "stay at home" order.  She also banned the use of public transportation unless it was deemed "essential" and she extended school closures through May 1, 2020.  

As you know, the Gorham Schools were closed until April 27, 2020 when we were planning to re-assess and re-evaluate decisions at that time.  The Governor's newest order has therefore extended our closure through May 1, 2020.  Which means the earliest we could return to school would be May 4, 2020.  Once again, as we get closer to that date, we will re-assess and re-evaluate this decision and determine next steps from there.

End of Year Questions

I continue to get lots of end of the year types of questions and as of yet, I still don't have a lot of answers.  I will tell you that as any good "girl scout" would - I am trying to prepare for what the worst case might be and then be pleasantly surprised when that doesn't happen (at least I hope).  

Therefore we have begun to think about what the end of the school year might look like if we are unable to return to school at all before closing.  We are thinking about things like prom, like graduation, like K screening, and step up days...all the things we typically do each year to simultaneously "close" one school year while preparing folks to begin another new year in the fall.

As you might imagine, this is no small task but we are trying to think  creatively about what we might still  be able to do or what we might not be able to do given the circumstances.  

I just wanted you to know that we are preparing for the worst and if/when we need to roll  out plans for  these things, we'll be ready to do so.

Upcoming Changes for Operation Feed Gorham

As we continue to navigate the constantly changing landscape of local and state requirements during these challenging times, I wanted you to know that we are going to be making a few changes to our Operation Feed Gorham program beginning next week.  A quick graphic is  below outlining these changes:

The reasons we are making this change are many, but mostly we are trying to reduce the need to have staff in our buildings as much as possible while still meeting the ultimate goal of feeding families in need here in Gorham during this difficult time.  Basically what these changes will allow is for us to "shut down" our operations two days per week while still providing meals for families 5 days per week.  Families who pick up meals on Monday, Wed. or Friday will receive two days worth of meals each time (except Friday).  Also the BACKPACK PROGRAM will continue to provide backpack meals on Friday each week to families in need at the same sights listed above.

Under this same category I wanted folks to know that we are now providing about 300 meals per day through Operation Feed Gorham.  That's 1,500 meals per week, which is no small feat for our little community!  We have been very creative in finding funds to help offset costs for this program, but the bottom line is that right now we are not meeting the "bottom line".  If folks are looking for ways to help the school and our greater community during this time, we could sure use donations.  You can drop off donations at our serving areas, you can send in additional payments on your student meal accounts via Pay Pam, or you can donate to the GoFundMe page that has been set up for this purpose and linked below.  

That's it for tonight...more on Friday!  Stay well everyone! ☺

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