Thursday, June 11, 2020

Thursday June 11 Update

This will be my last blog for a little while since the school year is ending.  I will still post updates over the summer as we continue to work diligently to plan for the re-opening of schools, but the posts will not be as frequent.  Since this is the last one for a while, I thought I'd give it the more personal touch with a video.  Please click on the video recorded message below and then find the links discussed in my update below that.  Here goes!

Heather Perry Closing Blog Update 2019-20 School Year (Video)

Links and Information shared in the Blog video are below...

*  Link to Regular Gorham School Committee meeting, June 10, 2020

*  Link to Re-Opening Plan Framework Slide Presentation

*  Information on Dunk and Discuss Meeting, now 6/15/20 at 6:30 p.m.

Join Zoom Meeting https://networkmaine.zoom.us/j/85191467199?pwd=NnlGMXlCVlBjYkdKUldocnp5bHRjQT09 Meeting ID: 851 9146 7199 Password: 463333

* Some Awesome Celebration Examples (There are Sooooo Many More, sorry I couldn't list them all)!

Senior Slide Show
Senior Athletic Awards
8th Grade Slide Show
5th grade "Thank you" to Teachers at Great Falls

Here are some pictures:

    

    



*  Thought Exchange Survey Links:

Parents
Students

Kudos Board Link (By June 15th please)

*  Exact Path Link Information

ExactPath Summer Option For All Student K-12
Recognizing that some of you may want your child to continue with their learning this summer, we are providing an online learning program from Edmentum called Exact Path for all students K-12. This exciting digital tool personalizes learning across grades K–12 in reading, language arts, and math. It starts by targeting each student’s academic strengths and weaknesses with a computer-adaptive assessment, and then it prescribes a tailored playlist of lessons, practice, and short quizzes at their learning level. Students can earn rewards and monitor their own progress each step of the way. 
Please join us for ExactPath introduction Zoom meeting on 6/23 to learn more about it and how to register your child for it:


These sessions will be recorded and links shared in case you can't make these meeting dates/times - but as you all know...its always better to hear it "live"! 

Additionally, you can check out the following information to help you to learn how to utilize this incredible tool over the summer!
Exact Path K-2 Student Welcome Video (for students to view)
Exact Path 3-5 Student Welcome Video (for students to view)


FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS!  THANK YOU!









Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Tuesday June 9 Update

Good afternoon/evening everyone!  What a weekend full of community-wide celebration and congratulations for the GHS class of 2020!  It was incredible to be a part of and to witness our community come together in this socially distant world to provide a graduation ceremony for our seniors that they will remember for a lifetime!  Here's a few pictures in case you missed it...

    

    


      




  
What a great celebration of a great group of students!  What I found most impressive about our students is that they really care tremendously about each other and the world around them.  These students had THEIR graduation taken from them, and yet rather than sit back and wallow in their misfortunes, they worked hard with our staff to make this celebration uniquely theirs and something they will remember for the rest of their lives!  Many of these students also participated in the recent "Black Lives Matter" rally in Gorham to show their willingness to create a more anti-racist culture in our schools and in our community.  They also listened to Mr. Jandreau when he encouraged them to take some time to thank those who helped get them  to where they are, including their parents.  And we all know how "easy" it is for teenagers to say "thank you" to their parents right!  These students took it upon themselves to do that very thing and shared it on social media.  If you get a chance...check it out!  Its a little over 10 minutes long...bring tissues! 


As with any good "business" we are often judged by the "quality" of our "product".  I couldn't be more proud of our students and how well they represent our community and what we stand for.  It is a testament to our K-12 school system and to the entire community of Gorham that our students graduate not only with the academic skills they need to be successful, but with the kind and true hearts they need to be caring human beings!  Man do we need more of that in this world!  Great job seniors  - Great job staff - Great job parents/guardians - Great job  Gorham!

More End of the Year Celebrations - Spotlight Narragansett

The Gorham Schools staff know it is so important to work with our students to celebrate the end of another school year and to provide closure to one year as we look forward to another year.  Our teachers and school communities have been working hard to do this very thing for our students and their families.  We know we can't do these things as we would normally want to - but that doesn't mean they aren't being done and done well  for those who deserve it most!   Our Children!  Below are just a few pictures of some of the incredible end of year activities that are going on at Narragansett Elem. School .  These activities are going on across all of our schools - but I didn't want to make the post too long by sharing them all!  

      
  

Black Lives Matter & More Resources

Since last week, I can’t stop thinking about the Black Lives Matter movement we see playing out across our community and our country. I want our community to know, especially our students and families who are black, that black lives matter to me. As a school district, we will be reviewing practices, policies, and procedures to this effect.  This work, when done well, takes time and significant effort but there is no question it is an effort well worth undertaking!  In the meantime, let's keep the important conversation going!  Below are some great resources that may help.
  
Maine Department of Education Resource List


Updated Padlet from K-5 Support Services


Common Sense Media Resources


Edutopia article on building understanding across racial differences



Re-Opening Plan & Reminder About Thought Exchange Surveys

Just a reminder that we have TWO active Thought Exchange Surveys going on right now aimed at helping parents and students to provide feedback to the district leadership team in our continued work on developing a comprehensive Re-Opening plan for the Gorham Schools.  The links for the two surveys are below...If you haven't already participated, please do...if you have, please log back in and rate the comments of others!  THANK YOU!



I will be presenting our Re-Opening Plan framework to the Gorham School Committee TOMORROW NIGHT at their regular meeting scheduled to begin via zoom at 7:00 p.m. You can find the agenda and packet materials by CLICKING HERE.  You can get the zoom link information at the top of the agenda or by going to our district website and clicking on the calendar link.  I am also specifically linking in the slide presentation on the re-opening plan framework HERE for you to review.  

After the School Committee has had a chance to provide feedback on the re-opening plan framework, I will be getting an initial survey out to families asking if you are considering sending students to school this fall based upon your knowledge of what we are currently thinking school may look like.  This survey will also ask if you would be able to provide personal transportation to students or if you would need students to ride the bus.  Both of these questions will have important implications for our continued planning this summer - so when you see those surveys...please participate.  I promise to make them short! 

Summer Backpack Program Information and SURVEY LINK

From Heather Whitaker...

BackPack Program Update:
This Friday we will disperse our BackPack Program Summer Box, which will contain enough weekend food to last through July. 

Given the incredible generosity of the Gorham community, we have raised sufficient funds to supply participants with a midsummer box, which can be picked up at Gorham Middle School on Thursday, July 23rd. GMS. 5-7 PM.

I have included a link to a survey which allows Gorham families with school-aged children to sign-up for the midsummer box (one box per student). We need to collect this information in order to purchase the appropriate amount of food items. We are asking for both NEW and EXISTING participants to sign-up for this additional service. 

Here's the survey link:

"Operation Feed Gorham" CLOSING FOR SUMMER, but Resources Still Available For Gorham Families...

A Message from Michael Sanborn, our School Nutrition Director...

With the upcoming dismissal of school for summer vacation, Operation Feed Gorham will soon be ending.  The last date for feeding families through this program will be Monday, June 15th.  However, we understand that many families could benefit from continued meals throughout the summer months.  Gorham Schools has partnered with the Westbrook School District to provide ongoing breakfast and lunches to our students and families. 

The Westbrook program will run June 22nd through August 21st. Westbrook will be serving meals Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of each week.  On Thursday they will provide bulk groceries for 4 days.

This program is free to all children under the age of 19.

Distribution locations are as follows:

Location
Address
Distribution Times**
Westbrook Regional Vocational Center
125 Stroudwater St.
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Westbrook Middle School
471 Stroudwater St.
10:15 am - 10:25 am
St. Anthony's Church parking lot
268 Brown St.
10:00 am - 10:30 am
Saccarappa Elementary School
125 Stroudwater St.
10:40 am - 11:00 am
Westbrook Pointe
26 Prospect St.
11:00 am - 11:15 am
Congin Elementary School
410 Bridge St.
10:25 am - 10:35 am
Westbrook Community Center
426 Bridge St.
10:36 am - 10:45 am
        ** Distribution times may be adjusted as program needs change.

Meals are served ‘to go’ and must be picked up by a parent or guardian. Breakfast is available with lunches in all locations. 

To participate in the program or for more information, please call Mary Emerson, Westbrook School Nutrition Director, at 591-6054 or email emersonm@westbrookschools.org.

Additional information regarding summer feeding programs may be found at https://www.summerfoodrocks.org/.

Thank you and have a safe and healthy summer! - Michael

Additionally, the Gorham Food Pantry is also open and available.  You can find out details about how to access the Gorham Food Pantry's services by CLICKING HERE.  

Before closing on this topic I did want to take just a moment to recognize and THANK all the "Superheroes" who contributed to making "Operation Feed Gorham" a success these past few months!  Thank you to SNP Director Michael Sanborn, Aspire Gorham Coordinator Maureen O'Brien, and Hollis Cobb, Business Manager.  Thank you to all the SNP staff who worked tirelessly to make this program happen for our families, and thank you to all our bus drivers for help making sure the food got to where it needed to go each distribution day and thank you to our volunteers who helped provide the additional manpower to make it all work!  Thank you to Heather Whitaker and her team from the backpack program for helping to get the word out about the program and thank you to the Gorham Food Pantry for their assistance as well.  Thank you to the Gorham Recreation Department for their work in collaborating to provide meals to Avesta Housing residents here in Gorham.  Finally, thank you to the businesses and others who donated time and resources to make it all come together!  It was a true community wide collaboration!  THANK YOU!

Interested in High Quality Summer Academic Work For Students K-12?

ExactPath Summer Option For All Student K-12
Recognizing that some of you may want your child to continue with their learning this summer, we are providing an online learning program from Edmentum called Exact Path for all students K-12. This exciting digital tool personalizes learning across grades K–12 in reading, language arts, and math. It starts by targeting each student’s academic strengths and weaknesses with a computer-adaptive assessment, and then it prescribes a tailored playlist of lessons, practice, and short quizzes at their learning level. Students can earn rewards and monitor their own progress each step of the way. 
Please join us for ExactPath introduction Zoom meeting on 6/23 to learn more about it and how to register your child for it:


These sessions will be recorded and links shared in case you can't make these meeting dates/times - but as you all know...its always better to hear it "live"! 

Additionally, you can check out the following information to help you to learn how to utilize this incredible tool over the summer!
Exact Path K-2 Student Welcome Video (for students to view)
Exact Path 3-5 Student Welcome Video (for students to view)
Kudos Board Reminder - Please Help our Staff Celebrate the End of the Year Too!

We welcomes all families to contribute to a “Kudos Board.” We are hoping you will use this public space to show your gratitude to the teachers, ed techs, special educators, learning lab staff, food service staff, bus drivers, office staff, school nurses, social workers and school counselors who have had a positive impact on your child this year.  Please go to the "Kudos Board" and upload your picture or video and then send along a thank you! 

Here's the link to the board. I will share results with staff on June 16th so please participate today!


In closing, I wanted to share a quote that I came across in my online "wanderings" the other day...definitely timely and something I thought might add a little "chuckle" to your day!
























Thursday, June 4, 2020

Thursday, June 4 Update

Good evening everyone.  Sorry this post was a little later than usual, but it was a busy, busy day with much to talk about!  Here is my update for Thursday,  June 4, 2020...

FIRST - 

A VIDEO Message From Superintendent Heather Perry and Assistant Superintendent Chris Record...

(Here's a link to the written message

I am so proud of our students and their willingness to share their voices and contribute to the journey of becoming "anti-racist" in a positive and community oriented manner.  Here's a link to the Channel 8 Coverage of yesterday's rally.

Here are some additional resources parents/guardians and staff may wish to use if you'd like to enter into instructive conversations regarding racism and becoming "anti-racist".  They are in no particular order of importance and shared with the sole intent of trying to be helpful.

First up is a great resource put together by our neighbors in Portland.  I couldn't begin to be able to put together a more comprehensive list of resources so, with permission, I am sharing theirs.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1f-irKiVOeqv3LxF0AHG-ftI7GBGHnrQo/view?usp=sharing

Second is another great resource put together  by another of our neighbors in South Portland.  Once again, I couldn't begin to be able to create a more comprehensive list of resources so, with permission, I am sharing theirs.

https://libguides.spsd.org/antiracism

Another resource I'd like to share is a copy of a presentation done by our very own GMS Civil  Rights Team students at a statewide convention they were asked to present at on this important topic.  When you see names in red, these are our students and THEIR VOICES.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Di0MqhEbtLJBjhVHBncn_J2tKU8jOUi-Cb2kJfcMZ7A/edit?usp=sharing

Another resource from our GMS Civil Rights Team students  shares REAL and PERSONAL STORIES of GORHAM students who have experienced racism.  This resource can help to make things "real" for our students and to let them know...this is not a problem from "next door" but one that needs to be addressed right here in our schools.  Its called "Embrace Race:  Student Stories"

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1siVQ7D7N_aXh1ywa_Hqs7cDEB8s_t-1zLHUcw55jVQA/edit?usp=sharing

This next resource was created by one of our talented school counselors at Great Falls Elementary School.  Mrs. Berry compiled a padlet of some incredible resources.  Check them out!

https://padlet.com/ellenberry/6qebgo2iemreg3m0

The final resource (for today) was compiled by GMS staff after trainings on this topic.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Wp8hJJ48Ciy43YgsgGXFyrZ5t9nwPTQuS02zxoOVCyU/edit?usp=sharing


REMINDER - ENCOURAGING USE OF ABSENTEE VOTING PROCEDURES

Just a reminder that the Town of Gorham is strongly encouraging voters in Gorham to use the absentee ballot process to participate in voting on July 14's state wide elections.  Here's information for how to access this option to make sure you are able to get out and vote on July 14.


You may vote absentee by requesting a ballot and one will be mailed to you when they become available.  Absentee ballots must be returned by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.

You may request a ballot online by clicking here:


You may also request a ballot by calling the Town Clerk's office at 222-1670, 222-1674 or 222-1676.  Thank you!

WE ARE GOING TO NEED YOU TO VOTE ON OUR SCHOOL BUDGET THIS YEAR SO PLEASE DO WHAT YOU CAN TO ENSURE YOU ARE ABLE TO VOTE ON JULY 14.  THANK YOU!

UPCOMING IMPORTANT MEETINGS

I've mentioned this several times, but want to mention it again...I will be presenting our draft re-opening framework to the Gorham School Committee on the evening of June 10, 2020.  You can find the agenda (and zoom link at the top) by CLICKING HERE.  Please note that I am currently "building" that agenda, so you may not see if the first time you click on the link, but it will  definitely be there by Monday so save the link!  After that meeting, I will of course more broadly share the presentation materials with everyone as well.

Other important meetings coming up are:

*  June 17 - Special School Committee meeting (this one will be mostly an executive session for School  Committee to review my evaluation with me).

*  June 24 - Special School Committee meeting (this one will be mostly an executive session for School Committee to conduct their annual self evaluation).

Both of these agendas can be found by clicking on THIS LINK as the dates for those meetings draw closer.

Finally, I wanted to mention that the Town Council will be meeting on June 16 at 6:30 p.m. to consider and then vote on the approval of the Gorham municipal budget, of which the school budget is a part.  You can CLICK HERE to find that agenda and zoom link once it is posted by the Town. Of course, that is also directly related to the final "meeting" I wanted to make sure you are all aware of - even though it really isn't a meeting and that is the planned state referendum on July 14th.  It will be at this election that voters in Gorham will be asked to validate the school district's budget via referendum.  A "yes" vote approves the budget that was approved by the Town Council on June 16th and allows us to move forward with the proposed FY 21 budget as "validated" by voters.  A "no" vote would require us to re-start the process until we can bring forward a budget that is approved by School Committee, Town Council and validated by the majority of voters participating via referendum.

As I mentioned earlier, it will be important that folks get out to vote (via absentee ballot would be best) on July 14th!

PARENT AND STUDENT THOUGHT EXCHANGE LAUNCHED TO GATHER FEEDBACK TO HELP US REVISE AND STRENGTHEN A FINAL RE-OPENING PLAN - PLEASE PARTICIPATE!

We have recently launched TWO important Thought Exchange surveys to help inform our ongoing efforts to create a strong re-opening plan for the Gorham School Department that will guide our decision making  later on this fall.  One survey is for parents and one is for Students.  Below is information on how to access both from Assistant Superintendent Chris Record:

  • Parent link
    • Dear Gorham Parents/Guardians,
We are currently in the process of closing up an unprecedented school year. We deeply appreciate all you have done to support your children through this experience. Your feedback from our last Thought Exchange a few months ago was instrumental in helping us shift our approach to Distance Learning/Teaching. We are reaching out to you again to hear your thoughts/questions/concerns to guide our reopening plans in the Fall.  At this time, although we are building our core beliefs and frameworks for a reopening plan, we are not exactly sure what school will look like and what parameters will be put in place by the state government when schools work to open up this fall.


Please participate in this Thought Exchange to share your thoughts and ideas as we are planning a re-opening of school in the Fall while still dealing with the unknowns of COVID-19.


By phone: Text the 9-digit code 573-556-829 to the phone number 728-55 to get a link to participate in this exchange

  • Student link
    • Dear Gorham Students (6-12)

We are currently in the process of closing up an unprecedented school year. We deeply appreciate all you have done to continue to try to learn through this challenging time. Your feedback from our last Thought Exchange a few months ago was instrumental in helping us shift our approach to Distance Learning/Teaching. We are reaching out to you again to hear your thoughts/questions/concerns to guide our re-opening plans in the Fall.  At this time, although we are building our core beliefs and frameworks for a re-opening plan, we are not exactly sure what school will look like and what parameters will be put in place by the state government when schools work to open up this fall.


Please participate in this Thought Exchange to share your thoughts and ideas as we are planning a re-opening of school in the Fall while still dealing with the unknowns of COVID-19.


By phone: Text the 9-digit code 616-161-736 to the phone number 728-55 to get a link to participate in this exchange


THANK YOU GORHAM BUS DRIVERS!

Our drivers got together today and created this awesome message for our graduating seniors.  We love our seniors and we love our bus drivers!  Nice work team!  Oh, and Thank you to Rob Roy who helped bring it all home with his drone pictures and a little photoshop magic!




HELP US END THE SCHOOL YEAR  ON A POSITIVE NOTE FOR OUR HARD WORKING STAFF!  PLEASE PARTICIPATE IN  OUR "KUDOS BOARD"! 

Do you have a particular teacher you want to thank for their work this past year?  How about a bus driver or a school administrative assistant or guidance counselor or nurse?  Have I got a platform for you!  A Kudos Board!  Please click on the link below...upload a picture or a video and take a moment to thank our incredible staff for making this unprecedented year as positive an experience as possible for our children and families.  My plan is to share this  with all staff at our closing on June 16 so please share your comments by then!  Here's the link:

https://www.kudoboard.com/boards/67xsl53X


FINALLY, A REMINDER GHS GRADUATION CEREMONIES WILL BE HELD THIS WEEKEND!  HERE IS HOW TO ACCESS IF YOU WANT TO VIEW!


We will be celebrating our GHS seniors this weekend with their graduation ceremonies - yes that is plural!  We will be holding SIX "mini-ceremonies" over the course of the weekend using the following schedule:

Saturday - 9:00a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Sunday - 9:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m.  and 3:00 p.m.

As you are likely aware, we are VERY LIMITED in the numbers of individuals that can participate and  only those with specific approval may attend the actual ceremony in person.  However, we know our community wants to watch our students as they take the next big step in their bright lives...so we've developed a FREE LIVE VIDEO STREAM where you can go to view either one ceremony  or all the ceremonies if you want to!  Here's that link:

http://graduation.gorhamschools.org

Then on Sunday night, we are organizing a graduate convoy where each graduate and their family will decorate their personal vehicles and then line up by 7:30-ish p.m. on Sunday evening in the Industrial Park for a police/fire escort through downtown Gorham.  The route will take the convoy on Route 25 and then turn left onto South Street and then right onto Morrill avenue where the convoy will end at GHS with a little surprise for our graduates once they arrive!

I so look forward to sending our GHS graduates off on a positive note even under our current restrictions.  It certainly has been a year to remember and an experience I hope our GHS graduates will remember fondly in the years to come.  

And speaking of our seniors...Thank you Ava Pitman (pictured below) for your two year service to the Gorham School Committee!  Awesome job Ava!   Good luck in your exciting future!





Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Tuesday, June 2 Update

Good afternoon/evening everyone.  Before I get into the "update" portion of this blog, I think I would be remiss if I didn't at least acknowledge the angst we are all feeling right now due to the ongoing protests and riots that are happening after the death of George Floyd on Monday in Minneapolis, MN.  His death, along with other recent tragedies have sparked intense feelings regarding diversity and intercultural communications across our country.

I am not going to write to folks and say that the ongoing protests are "right" or "wrong"...the underlying issues that his death has sparked are much more complex than can be put into those two boxes.  Instead, I wanted to give you all a sense of what the Gorham Schools are doing to help improve our intercultural communications and provide parents with some resources to help you to have these difficult conversations with your children (if you are interested in doing so).

First, the Gorham School Department has been working with a group called Maine Intercultural Communication Consultants over the past year to provide important training to our staff.  The motto for this group's work is "Bridging Across Difference" and that is exactly what they are working to help us do as a public school system faced with addressing the educational needs of ALL our students and their families whether they fit the "majority" or the "minority" of any population.  The work began with our District Leadership Team (DLT) this fall.  The Maine Intercultural Communication Consultants (MICC) team first worked with our DLT to conduct a survey.  The goal  of this survey was to give our team a score regarding where we all fell on the Intercultural progression framework.  The survey used was called the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI).  This survey is internationally used to help teams just like ours understand where their baseline of understanding is so that specific training can be provided to us that is tailored and customized to our specific needs.  

Once the survey was taken by our DLT, we were provided two intense, 3 hour long professional development  sessions with our consultants.  It was extremely informative and helped all members of the DLT better understand how they are naturally programmed to deal with difference and how that "natural programming" may in fact get in our way of doing what we think we ought to do to acknowledge and better understand those from different cultures.  A conversation that was had many times was around the concept of privilege and how, even with the best of intentions this can block individuals from being able to truly understand and value the cultures of others.

After MICC worked with our DLT, they also met and provided the same training and survey work for members of the GMS and GHS teaching staff.  It was at this point,  that unfortunately, COVID-19 took us away from our plans...but those plans are only delayed and will continue once we have everyone back to school again! Ultimately, the goal is to create school-based intercultural leadership teams comprised first of school staff and then eventually students and parents, who after specific training in how to lead these types of endeavors - will help to lead our schools forward in these important areas.  At this time, we hope to have our intercultural leadership teams up and operational at GMS and GHS early this fall while we work to conduct training for our K-5 staff this fall/winter and then help them to develop their intercultural leadership teams next spring with the goal of having fully trained and capable intercultural leadership teams at each school who can help all of our schools improve in their intercultural endeavors moving forward.

I just wanted to share this information because I wanted  to make sure not to lose sight of this important topic even in the face of COVID-19.  For parents who are interested,  I've included some resources below for you to review and that might help you to have these  kinds of important conversations with your children if you so choose.  Here goes:

Teaching  Diversity to Your Kids
Teaching Children about Diversity 
How to Teach Children About Cultural Awareness and  Diversity 

And then believe it or not - Pinetrest has several great activities aimed at helping parents work with their children on these important issues...just go to https://www.pinterest.com/ and search for activities for children around diversity.  

In closing, just wanted to share one of my all time favorite quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.  which I believe speaks volumes now, just as it did over 40 years ago!




GHS Graduation Information

GHS graduation ceremonies will be held this weekend.  There will be three "mini-ceremonies" on Saturday, June 6 and three more on Sunday, June 7 at 9:00, 12:00 and 3:00 each day.  If you are interested, you can watch THIS VIDEO where Mr. Jandreau and members of the GHS senior class explain to their peers what to expect during the mini-ceremonies.  Then on Sunday there will be a graduation convoy to celebrate our graduates and to give them a chance to celebrate each other.  Graduates of the Class of 2020 will be joined by their families for the convoy in their cars. The convoy will begin at approximately 7:45 p.m. and will follow Route 25 and Main Street from the Industrial Park through the Gorham Village.  The convoy will turn left onto South Street and enter the Gorham High School campus via Morrill Avenue. The convoy will end at GHS.

I will share a message from Principal Brian Jandreau below regarding how we plan to SAFELY celebrate our graduating seniors. He wrote:


Hello,

In preparation for this weekend’s Graduation Ceremonies and Convoy, I want to highlight some important information to ensure each event goes smoothly and safely for everyone involved.  The purpose of this memo is to highlight important “rules of the road” that we all need to follow.

Graduation Ceremonies:
1.     Students will need to wear a mask while inside the building. We will provide them one with a Ram logo as they enter.  If a student is unable to wear a mask due a medical condition, then they must present a doctor’s note.
2.     Parents should arrive at the time of their son or daughter’s graduation. In order to help organize parking, parents will be assigned to a designated parking area nearest the bus loop. That area will have signage and police officers available to direct parking.
3.     Once parents have parked, they need to check in at a table on the sidewalk to receive their number.  Once parents/guardians have received their number, they will line up at the designated cone that numerically matches the number they are given at check in. For instance, if you are given #6, then you will line up at cone #6.
4.     Parents will not be allowed into the building until their graduate is preparing to march across the stage. A staff member will be there to usher all parents through the hallway and into the auditorium when it is time. (Please note, if it looks like rain that day, we will update the plan via email.)
5.     Parents must also wear masks when inside the building.  We are unable to provide parents with masks. If a parent is unable to wear a mask due a medical condition, then he or she must present a doctor’s note.
6.     Due to safety restrictions on the total number of individuals inside of the building at any given time, we can only accommodate two parents or guardians per graduate.  For those family members who cannot attend, we will be streaming each of the ceremonies via our Gorham School website: http://graduation.gorhamschools.org
Graduation Convoy:
1.     Students and their families must stay in their own vehicles throughout the entire convoy, including the time they are parked at Gorham High School. 
2.     Floats will not be permitted; neither will students riding in the back of pickup trucks or students standing in open sunroofs.
3.     Everyone, other than family members inside a vehicle, must maintain adequate six-foot physical-distancing during this event.
4.     Everyone must refrain from throwing items during this event.
5.     Bathrooms will not be available once on the high school campus.
Once again, to be clear - for those who cannot attend these "mini-celebrations" we will be live streaming each. Check out THIS LINK to make sure you can watch from the comfort of your home as our GHS seniors walk across the stage to get their diplomas!

If anyone has any questions regarding the planned graduation events, please reach out to Principal Brian Jandreau at brian.jandreau@gorhamschools.org for more information.

8th Grade Recognition Parade

A message from Mr. Donahue, GMS Principal:

The GMS 8th Grade Recognition Parade is scheduled for Thursday, June 11 from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm. (Our rain date is June 15) 

Cars can begin lining up at 4:30 pm on that day. Follow the route all the way to the Middle School and park behind waiting cars. We will begin the parade at 5:00 pm.

Our route will begin on Quincy Dr, then to Caitlin Dr, to Weeks Rd. The plan is for cars to be able to loop around and pass the cars driving in. The cars That way students can see each other and cheer their friends on.

We will have a DJ (Mr. Parvanta), the GPD, the GFD, and all of our teachers spaced out cheering the cars on as they approach. Mr. Smith and I will read off students' names over a speaker system and hand out certificates and 8th grade bags that will include t-shirts, books, and copies of the slide show on thumb drive.

Please place student names on a clearly marked sign on the passenger side of your car. This will allow us to prepare for each arriving student and get their materials ready.

We have placed poster boards in the entryway of the school if you are in need of some for your decorations. Please help yourself.

Please reach out if you have a challenge with transportation for the procession. We will work with you to make sure you are all set.


GMS Transition Activity - Just Sharing Another Example

Just wanted to share another great example of some of the incredible work our K-12 teams are putting together to make sure our students transition smoothly from one year to the next.  The information below was shared with all current 8th grade students and their families.  This is the THIRD in a series put together by our transition counselor Samantha McCloghry.  In this feature, Mrs. McCloghry works with a group of GHS students to talk to 8th graders about what to expect next year...here is the message and link sent by Mr. Donahue:

Class of 2024, you did it! Here is the third and final video of the GHS Transition Seminars! This week you will meet current GHS students in grades 9-12 AND we have a special guest! Superintendent Perry stopped by to join in on the excitement and share some words of wisdom. Thank you Superintendent Perry!

The students talk about things like... 
Have you ever gotten lost in school?
How long did it take to adjust to the schedule?
How do you balance school, extracurricular activities, and a social life?
How does a CTE (Vocational) program fit into my schedule?
Were you nervous for high school?
And SO much more!

Part 3: 
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xKAXekpdVfcqpOxbZU0XS_FHYCKUibSF/view?usp=sharing

Re-Opening Plan Development Timeline

As we continue to work diligently to develop a draft re-opening plan that is comprehensive enough to deal with the complexities of how to operate our public school system during these uncertain times, yet flexible enough to change and move with new information as it continues to develop and that is focused on meeting the needs of our students - we have recently worked to develop a more solid timeline for how this plan will be finalized and how feedback from all stakeholders will be incorporated into the process.

Please CLICK HERE for an overview of this timeline. As you can see - more information will be forthcoming soon! Stay tuned!

Starting To Think About Summer Learning?

We are going to be providing you with lots and lots of resources for this summer, but I don't want to overwhelm you all at once...so here are just a few summer resources from our K-5 Librarians...please "click away" and see all the great resources available for you to help your kids enjoy the love of reading all summer long!

·      Narragansett Creative Arts Links of Awesomeness – Resources for Families to use over the summer.  

·      Village Library Website for Summer Learning Fun.  https://sites.google.com/gorhamschools.org/village-library/home


Help Celebrate Our Staff As We Close the 2019-20 School Year!

I have created a "Kudos Board" for the Gorham Schools Staff. This is a place where YOU can go to send a message of Thanks to individuals, or teams or to your principal or to that special bus driver and cafeteria worker! The site will allow you to upload images and/or videos and to send a message of Thanks to our teachers and support staff.

This isn't the way we would have normally wanted to end the school year...but adding your sentiments to this "kudos board" will help our staff to end this school year on a positive note even as they miss the children they work with daily!

Please contribute! Here's the link:


It is open between NOW and June 13th. I will share posts with the district staff at our virtual "closing" scheduled for June 16th at 1:00 p.m. Please help me to help our staff celebrate an incredible year and to remember - WHY THEY LOVE DOING WHAT THEY DO!

Thanks!

GMS & GHS Choir Members Perform

I thought this song performed by our very own GMS and GHS choir members was a timely and POSITIVE piece to end my update with today!  It is most definitely worth the 3-4 minutes to watch!  ENJOY!  PROUD TO BE A RAM!