Good afternoon everyone. Its been another full two weeks of school here in the Gorham Schools and I am happy to be back once again to share the important events and happenings from our schools with each of you!
As usual, I will begin my blog with a picture collage from around our schools - proving each time that I publish one of these blogs that our students are indeed continuing to learn and grow safely in our schools. Contrary to some of the opinions of teenagers perhaps, I might even dare say these pictures also show our students are HAVING FUN while doing these important things too…but shhhhh - let’s keep that quiet and just between us adults! :)
The Gorham School Committee was honored by the presence of several students from Narragansett Elementary School’s Civil Rights Team last week (and their incredible staff advisors) They presented to the School Committee about their important work as members of the Civil Rights Team. They shared with the School Committee what their group does, its focus and priorities and then a few examples of their recent work. These students spoke articulately and passionately, sharing the important message I know that we all value which is that EVERY STUDENT is welcome in our schools regardless of their disability, religion, sexual orientation, race or any other differing factor. Their message is most certainly worth the watch! You can check it out by viewing the link below of our School Committee meeting. If you want to skip the boring stuff and get right to the student presentation, just go to minute 14 and enjoy!
FEBRUARY - BLACK HISTORY MONTH
The story of black history month actually begins in 1915 when historian Carter G. Woodson and minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). This group sponsored the very first black history month in 1926. From the very beginning, the focus of Black History Month has been at the community level, encouraging schools and communities nationwide to organize lectures, history clubs, performances and more - all focused on celebrating these essential contributions of African Americans.
There is no question that black history is American history, but Black History Month offers us all an opportunity to dig a little deeper. Our schools teach our student's American history in developmentally appropriate ways from grades K all the way through 12th grade. Teaching the standards and skills associated with understanding our country's history is something we do every month, but the month of February helps us draw a more focused lens. For example, our students may:
- Watch documentaries and films
- Review primary source materials
- Connect art and music to African American History
- Discuss applicable current events
- Read books about the African American Experience
- Learn about prominent African American figures
These things can be done across our schools in big ways like projects or papers, or in little ways like a story read aloud. The bottom line is that Black History Month allows us all to take a little step deeper. To talk about history. As teachers and as parents this is important. So I thought I'd share a few high quality resources with families who might also want to use this coming month to engage children in these important conversations. Here's a few resources that you might find helpful:
Additionally I was made aware of what looks like an excellent online event sponsored by the Lewiston Public Library: "Black History of Maine with Bob Greene". This event will be held on Jan. 25 at 5:30 p.m. and is open to the public. You can check out more information by CLICKING HERE.
Please know that the Gorham schools will indeed be digging a little deeper on this important topic over the course of the next month in various ways. Hopefully, through some of the resources provided above, and others that are most definitely out there, families can be our partners in these important conversations as well.
ONE MORE ADJUSTMENT TO MAINE CDC's STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES (SOP) THAT I NEED TO MAKE FAMILIES AWARE OF...
What does this mean? This means that students who have tested positive, and are returning to school after five days of isolation under the revised SOP must now wear masks for days 6-10 outside on the playground in order to be able to return to school. This is significant shift in practice from our previous procedures, but the MCDC sets the min. standards for how we deal with positive cases and this is now part of the new SOP. We can put additional procedures in place that are more restrictive, but we cannot elect not to follow minimum standards of practice. We will begin enforcement of this new standard on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022.
TIME TO THINK ABOUT
KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION IN GORHAM!
Our three elementary schools will be holding Kindergarten Registration informational meetings at each school on Tuesday, March 1, 2022 at 5:30 p.m. As the date gets closer schools will determine if meetings can be held in person or must be held virtually so please stay tuned on that piece. In the meantime, you can get links to each schools survey form by CLICKING HERE. . There is also a link on that form for pre-registration information. If you have questions, there is also contact information for each school on the flyer - please don't be bashful about reaching out with any questions you may have. We look forward to welcoming our new "little rams" this coming fall!
CONGRATULATIONS GHS NINTH GRADER FOR EARNING A $1,000.00 GRANT!
Gratitude and congratulations to ninth grader Amelia Olaru, who has earned a $1000 grant from The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts to support GHS Theater! The NYCDA "Your Start in the Arts" grants are awarded to high school programs based on student proposals. Amelia took the initiative to apply, knowing that her director Josie Tierney-Fife was investigating ways to upgrade our MPAC theater lighting. Amelia pursued the process independently, demonstrating impressive dedication to our theater program, and she succeeded! Congratulations and a huge thank you to Amelia -- her work will benefit GHS Theater for years to come! GO RAMS!
GHS PRESENTS: INTO THE WOODS
Speaking of GHS theater - this is a DO NOT MISS program with at least one very special singing guest! Check out the flyer below for details...but definitely make a plan to go see this show! Feb. 4, 5, 11, & 12 at 7:30 and Feb. 6 & 13 at 2:30 p.m. at MPAC!
GORHAM ADULT EDUCATION OFFERS
FREE COLLEGE COURSES...
Gorham Adult Education, in conjunction with the Maine Department of Education and the Maine Community College System is offering free college level courses to Gorham Adult Ed. students that might be interested. You can learn more about the program by CLICKING HERE. If you are interested, or have questions, you can reach out to Lori Frederick at 222-1095 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WINTER KIDS INFORMATION!
Build a better winter with a family membership to the WinterKids App!
The WinterKids App is filled with dozens of free and discounted opportunities for kids and families to try various winter activities around Maine--with free skiing, Nordic skiing, ice skating, snowshoeing and much more! They also host Family Days at participating locations where the whole family can get a deal to try skiing or Nordic skiing!
A family membership covers a family of 5 for just $40! Families can learn more and sign-up at www.winterkids.org/winterkids-
Gorham Schools families can save $15 on their family membership by entering GORHAM22 at checkout!
The Ap membership is for children ages 4-17. Its a great way to keep kids active during the winter months without pulling too much out of the wallet!
2022 USM ATHLETICS & GORHAM RECREATION DEPARTMENT NATIONAL GIRLS AND WOMEN IN SPORT CELEBRATION!
Looking for some fun winter activities for the young girls in the household? This is an annual event sponsored by USM athletics and Gorham Recreation. It runs Jan. 31 - Feb. 4, 2022. CLICK HERE for the flyer with links on more information.