Friday, April 29, 2022

April 29 Blog Post

Good afternoon everyone!  I hope all are well and enjoying getting back into the swing of things since we have returned from our April break!  Just six weeks to go until the end of the 2021-22 School Year!  Where has the time gone?  What a great time of year for our schools, our students and our families.  Engines are firing on all cylinders for our students and staff that is for sure!  So much to much to celebrate!  I encourage you all to buckle up and enjoy the ride!  

As usual, here's a few images from the past week or so in our schools!

Now on to the informational stuff!


National Teacher's Appreciation week is a time for everyone to thank the educators who work so hard to make our schools the supportive, caring, and positive learning environments that they are here in Gorham and across the nation.  

Whenever I think of Teacher Appreciation Week, I think of a song written by songwriter Barry Lane entitled "If I'd Never Had a Teacher".  It' a great classic song that really brings home the point of why our teachers are so important.  CLICK HERE to listen - it really is a great song!

These past few years have challenged all of us.  Parents, teachers, administrators, business owners, EVERYONE.  From that infamous day in March of 2020 through now, our teachers have met these challenges by rolling up their sleeves and opening their arms and hearts in even bigger ways than they ever had before!  Our teachers are the heart of our school system and WE HAVE INCREDIBLE TEACHERS.

I know not everyone has a chance to send a card or to find a way to more personally acknowledge our teachers.  If you can, I'd certainly encourage it next week...but if you can't...I wanted to create a quick and easy way for us all to share with our teachers how much we love and appreciate what they do for our children each and every day in Gorham.  So, I created a BRIEF  Survey that asks the question:

"What are the top three qualities that you love most about our Teachers?"

Please click on the link respond to the survey.  I'll share the results across the district with our teachers on Friday, May 6 so they can see all your responses in the form of one big Wordle.  It will only take 5 minutes to respond and it will make all the difference in the world for our teachers to know just how much you care!

Survey Link:


There have been some recent announcements in the national media regarding formal movement away from a Pandemic here in the U.S. and towards entering the "endemic" phase of dealing with COVID 19.  Experts such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Advisor to the President have recently announced that at least in the U.S. we are moving out of the Pandemic phase of COVID 19 in regards to new infections, hospitalizations, and deaths and that it appears we are making our way towards the virus becoming endemic.  What does this mean?  Well, is surely DOES NOT mean that COVID 19 has gone away.  An endemic means that the virus is still around but its at a level that is not causing significant disruption in our daily lives.  In essence, it means we are learning to live with the virus.  

As a school system, a lot of what this means is that more and more responsibilities are being placed with families regarding how to navigate the virus itself on an individual basis.  We continue to maintain all of our health and safety protocols, but much more of the daily navigation and decision making is on the part of the parents, like monitoring for symptoms and keeping children home who are sick or like if your child tests positive for COVID 19, letting the school know so that we can record and monitor active cases and maintain our website data to help inform other parents so that they can make informed choices.  If we have a circumstance where we know of 3 confirmed cases within 7 days within a specific classroom, we will continue to notify parents as well.

Overall, as we move into this endemic phase what should you be thinking about as a parent?

1.  Continue to monitor for symptoms and consider getting your child tested if they experience symptoms or have recently been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID 19.  
2.  If you have traveled and are worried about possible exposure, test upon return.
3.  If your child tests positive, follow the isolation and masking guidelines outlined on the CDC website (which still contains A LOT of excellent information to help guide you).  Also, let the school know so that we can report the active cases and communicate as needed.
4.  If your child has symptoms, keep them home until symptoms have improved and reach out to school nurses with questions.
5.  Monitor the school's active cases website (LINKED HERE)...and if you see cases start to increase, know that just because you or your child have elected not to wear a mask now, doesn't mean that you can't elect to wear a mask later.  In other words, follow the data and make your own informed choices about masking and know that that choice can be a fluid one.
6.  Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.  Reach out to our school nurses with questions.  They are here to help guide you and ensure the safety of your child(ren) and others in our schools.

If we all remain vigilant and mindful of these types of common sense approaches to dealing with COVID 19, we will help one another to stay healthy and to ensure that we continue to move down the path towards a COVID 19 "endemic" where our "little friend" may still be annoying, but is no longer ruling our lives.


As we move into the last six weeks of school, we also move heavily into our spring testing mode.  It is so very important for us as a school system (now probably more so than ever) to be able to gain insight into how our students are performing in core academic areas so that we can best meet their needs now and into the future.

As a district we use various types of testing results to help inform our instructional practices at many levels.  From specific individual classroom instruction levels, to district wide curriculum purchases, staffing, and policy levels and everything in between.  It is important that students are well rested and present to take these assessments.  This isn't to put any undue pressure on our students mind you, and I hope parents think of testing in the same way.  We simply want our students to try their best so that we have the most accurate assessment of their learning so that we, in turn, can make the best decisions possible about our instructional practices.

The largest of these tests is our NWEA/MEA testing for grades K-11.  Testing for NWEA will take place across our schools between May 2, 2022 - May 27, 2022 being mindful to avoid testing during Eid.

You can learn more about Maine's Comprehensive System of assessment by CLICKING HERE.

As always, if you have questions, please reach out to your child's teacher and/or to your school's principal.


As I mentioned earlier, these next six weeks are going to FLY BY and will be filled with MANY activities as we celebrate the end of another successful school year here in Gorham!  I know lots of information will be coming out to families and sometimes it may be hard to keep up.  I want to remind families that you can view the district's calendar of events on our main web page at  But ALSO, don't forget to click on each school's page for their individual calendar of events as a great way to try and keep track of everything.  Finally, when in doubt...just reach out with an email or a quick phone call to your school.  We know you are all busy and are doing the best you can to juggle all you need to juggle as parents - give us a call with questions anytime!


The Gorham Schools just today received exciting news that our grant application to the Maine Department of Labor to strengthen and expand apprenticeship programs in our schools (both at GHS level and at Adult Education Levels) was approved!  The Gorham Schools will be receiving a total of almost $1.4 million dollars over the next three years to build out Apprentice programs in the following areas:

*. Learning Facilitator/Educational Technicians
*. CNA
*. Early Childhood Education
*. CDL Licensure

We will work with our already strong partnerships with our Gorham Business Roundtable, our Aspire Gorham Steering Committee, our Adult Education Program and CTE partnerships, and with our incredible partners at SMCC to conduct this important work over the next 3+ years.  We are hoping to serve at least 120 students by December of 2024 in apprenticeship programs.   This grant will allow us to build capacity and internal processes and procedures which we will then use to sustain and grow these programs over both the short and longer term!

More to come...stay tuned!


As we move forward in our budget approval processes for FY 23, I will include a "budget fact" in each of my blogs between now and the June 14 validation referendum vote.  Please know these are just little pieces of a much larger puzzle.  You can follow all the information by going to our budget development webpage (CLICK HERE).  Or you can always reach out to me to ask any questions by emailing me at

Did you know that the Gorham Schools has one of the LOWEST Per Pupil Costs in Cumberland County (#12 our of 13 school systems).  See data below for more details:


As the year winds down, as we work to gain approval for our FY 23 Proposed School Budget and as we reflect and think ahead to goals for the coming year, I wanted to offer up an opportunity to just simply sit down with folks who might be interested to chat!  In the past, I've held these meetings early in the morning and have had some feedback that isn't the best time, especially for parents who are working to get their children ready for school.  So for these I'm going to try an after school time.  I realize that time can also be hectic and busy for folks, but perhaps a little more available.  We'll see.  

There are NO AGENDAS for these meetings.  I simply show up.  Individuals who participate can come with specific questions you may have, or you may share ideas or information you think is important for me to be aware of and to consider in my role as Superintendent of Schools here in Gorham.  These meetings are really more of just a conversation and an opportunity for me to LISTEN and for you to get any questions you may have answered.  The only "norm" I will insist upon is that all conversations are respectful and civil.  This is not a meeting to air your political beliefs or for me to air mine.  

Dates/Time/Location for three of these meetings are listed below.  I welcome anyone who cares about the community of Gorham to attend!  

*  Wednesday, May 4 at 7:00 p.m. at Aroma Joe's - Gorham ME.
*. Monday, May 16 at 4:00 p.m. at Aroma Joe's - Gorham, ME.
*. Thursday, May 26 at 7:00 p.m. at Aroma Joe's - Gorham, ME. 

Hope to see you there!


For those of you who have ever been impacted by addiction and/or who are currently seeking resources associated with this important topic for you or others you may know and love, I wanted to share this resource.  

This website is dedicated to Reducing stigma associated with Substance Use Disorder (SUD).  It is focused on people telling their stories as a way of letting people know they are not alone and that there is indeed hope for recovery.  These are stories from right here in Maine and they are powerful.  Worth the time to check it out for sure.

That's it for this installment!  More on my next blog scheduled for May 13th!  In the meantime, I leave you with a closing quote and best wishes for an awesome weekend!

Friday, April 15, 2022

April 15 Blog Post

April break has arrived!  Let's hope Maine's weather cooperates and we can all get a little bit more of that fresh spring air this upcoming week.    

I thought it would be important to once again provide a snapshot into some of the incredible images from across our schools from the past few weeks...check them out!

On to the updates...


I know folks have been eagerly awaiting the final results of our more recent school calendar discussions.  After some very thorough discussions regarding our originally proposed school calendar, the School Committee voted last night to approve of the 2022-23 School Calendar with NO ADDITIONAL EARLY RELEASE DAYS ADDED.  This means we will keep the already pre-existing 8 early release day schedule and add no more.

You can view a copy of the newly approved 2022-23 Gorham School Calendar by CLICKING HERE.

The civic dialogue regarding our proposed 2022-23 calendar were very respectful and helpful.  The School Committee, and the vast majority of community members that shared their thoughts understood that there is a significant need for more professional development time for our teachers as we continue to do the hard and laborious work of picking up the instructional pieces of a 2+ year long pandemic.  That understanding and support came through loud and clear in the process which was greatly appreciated.  At the end of the day the priority that trumped all was ensuring that the time our incredible teachers spend with our incredible students was not reduced.  A very good outcome indeed.

The School Committee will continue to work with administration and with our staff to seek out other creative means through which we may be able to increase professional development time while not lessoning overall instructional time with students.  These conversations will be ongoing and may impact future calendar conversations but for now, next year's calendar is linked above.  

Once again, THANK YOU to all that engaged in this important conversation.  It was truly heartwarming to read emails that may have been in disagreement with original proposals by the administration but did so in a supportive, caring and respectful manner.  It really does make all the difference in the world when we can engage in and model appropriate civil discourse.  Another great example from Gorham on how to do things right!

The Gorham School Committee voted last night 5-2 in support of the proposed FY 23 Budget.  That proposed budget totals $48,015,345.00 which is an increase of $3,747,202.00 or 8.46%.  At this time, the estimated impact on the mil is an increase of $1.19 or 9.43%.

The big cost drivers for this proposed budget are as follows (note:  these are approximate numbers):

-  Status quo costs (maintaining existing staff, which includes 8% increase on health insurance premiums) $1,335,000.00
-  Additional staffing costs associated with maintaining competitive employment environments - $250,000.00
-  Increased energy costs - $180,000.00
-  New Bond Payment for Narr. Modular Project - $520,000.00
-  Increased Special Education Costs - $350,000.00
-  Increased custodial services costs - $60,000.00
-  New Initiatives (not special education) - $700,000.00
-  Increased costs w/new revenue streams to offset - $150,000.00

You can see a more complete list of draft budget additions by CLICKING HERE.

The originally proposed budget had an increase of over 14% in expenditures and an anticipated impact to the community mil rate of plus 21%, but the School Committee has worked diligently over the course of the past 5 full budget workshop meetings to reduce that original request by more than $2 million dollars.  

You can see a more complete list of draft budget reductions by CLICKING HERE.

If you are interested in learning more about the proposed FY 23 School Budget and how it came to be, I'd encourage you to check out our website by CLICKING HERE.  You can view the original budget booklet presented to the School Committee.  You can view the videos of four of the five budget workshop meetings (we didn't record the full day Saturday one as we didn't think too many people would want to watch 5 hours or more at a time), and you can CLICK HERE to view the meeting from Wed. night where the School Committee talked about the budget proposal before making their final votes (Note: It sometimes takes a few days for Georgia to post the recording online so if you don't see it listed, just wait a day or two and it will pop up).  Next week we will post the Town Council Budget booklet on our website for viewing as well - just use the same link as provided above.

Next steps in the budget approval process are:

-  Proposed FY 23 Budget Booklets will be created and presented to the Town Council by April 20, 2022.
-  A joint budget presentation and budget workshop meeting between the School Committee and Town Council will be held on the night of May 10, 2022 beginning at 6:30 p.m in council chambers.
-  The Town Council will vote on the proposed budget on June 7, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. in council chambers.
-  Voters will vote to approve of a proposed budget via the budget validation referendum on June 14, 2022.

Please stay tuned for additional information as we continue to move through this important process and as always - if you have questions, please reach out directly to me via email to ask (  I'm always happy to answer questions honestly and transparently and (more often than not) much more accurately than social media!


It has now been over a month since we were able to move forward in making masking optional for students and staff.  I continue to hear many express appreciation and a sense of relief that that is no longer a requirement.  Masking has indeed become a personal choice, and one that is well respected across all of our schools.  

I would, however, be remiss if I didn't take a moment to remind folks that just because we have moved to making masking optional does not mean that COVID has disappeared.  The COVID 19 virus is still very much "present" in our lives.  That statement is not intended to frighten anyone, but to simply remind folks to continue to be vigilant and use common sense approaches to making sure we are doing what we can to continue to minimize its impact upon our lives.  

First, remember that those daily screening checks are still very important.  If you have symptoms - and we all know what they are by now - stay home and consider getting tested.  Reach out to our school nurses with questions, and keep an eye on our COVID 19 daily data reporting.  If you see cases start to go up, keep a closer eye on those symptoms, be more "suspicious" and if you want, consider adjusting behaviors.  Just because you chose to remove the mask in March, does not mean you can't choose to put it back on in April during a particularly high point of active cases.  Finally, if your child tests positive, please report that to the school so that we are aware and continue to monitor for potential spread.  We no longer do specific contact tracing, however, if we become aware of 3 confirmed positive cases of COVID 19 in a single classroom within a 5 school day period, we will send letters home to families letting you know so that you can be even more vigilant.

The Maine Department of Education and Maine CDC has also recently announced that schools can order 2 testing kits for each student and staff member.  We have placed our order and expect to get these tests kits later this spring.  We are unsure when exactly they will arrive, but when they do, we'll determine if we give them out then or perhaps wait and utilize them for the safe re-opening of schools this fall.  We will see what the timing looks like on that and go from there.

In the meantime, it may be a good idea to also consider picking up some home tests for use on the Sunday before returning from April break.  With a whole week of travel, or child care in different places, or just starting up those little league baseball games again - it may be helpful to do a preventative test before returning to school on April 25.  In addition, let's keep washing those hands and continue monitoring for symptoms.  If we all remain vigilant we can ensure that even though COVID 19 may still be with us, that it doesn't become the "life of the party" again!  That is a "party" I'd like not to visit again for sure and I'm sure you all would agree!


Each year, I ask parents to please take 10-15 minutes of time during the course of the next few weeks to participate in my annual 360 Leadership feedback survey.  This survey is VERY IMPORTANT TO ME for two key reasons.  First and foremost, I want to see your honest feedback as it helps me to better understand my strengths and my challenges as a leader.  I know I am human like everyone else and I have both. I want to continue to learn and grow as a leader here in Gorham and it is only by asking and receiving this type of honest feedback that I can continue to do so.  This survey is completely anonymous and I actually do read every comment looking for themes and understanding.

Additionally, it is important to note that the summary results of this survey will be shared with members of the Gorham School Committee and will be used as part of my formal evaluation process that occurs each June with them.  The data you share truly helps to guide my performance and identify my leadership goals for the coming year.

It's been a difficult couple of years, but it is now time to stop simply "surviving" and to more strongly focus on "thriving".  It is time to pick our collective heads up from our feet and the task of just "getting by" to now looking up on to the horizon to better see the opportunities that lie ahead and to develop a more clear vision about what we want to do and be as a school system vs. what we have been told to "do and be" by others the past few years.  

This feedback will help me to better your perspectives and understandings and to inform my own personal growth as a leader in this incredible community.  I THANK YOU in advance for taking a few moments to complete it!  🙏🙏🙏

If you have any questions, please reach out.  Otherwise - LINK IS BELOW:


In collaboration with Aspire Gorham, GMS 6th grade students participated in "Try It Day" on April 8!  On this day we had 12 community business volunteers come into our schools to provide our students with real hands-on activities to "try" different careers and to talk about their career pathways and the skills they need to do their jobs.  Sessions ranged from students working with folks from Baxter Memorial Library, to Folks from Moody's Collision to listening to panel discussions from our very own GHS students talking about their experiences in High School and what to expect.  

We had such great feedback from students and from our presenters.  One presenter from Baxter Library shared this exciting news:

"Thank you so much to Gorham Middle School and Aspire Gorham for inviting Baxter Memorial Library to Try It Day! Youth Services Librarian Heidi Whelan presented on her career path and different skills needed to do her current job. The “try it” portion challenged the students to work in groups to create a library program. They were asked to consider: program description, program title, attendees’ age range, and materials needed. Heidi told the students that she would be taking the ideas back to the library and picking one to hold as an actual Baxter Memorial Library program!  All the students did so well with their program ideas!  It was really hard to choose one, but the one the Youth Services Department chose as the Try It Day winner was “Creative Crafting,” by Julia G., Whitney V., Riane S., and Lylly C. The students carefully addressed each of the considerations of a library program. BML will proudly hold this student-designed program on the library lawn on the Early Release of May 25th. Program details to be published soon at "

Exciting for sure!  THANK YOU to all our incredible community volunteers for coming out and helping our students increase exposure to their potential "Future Stories"!  


This is an incredible project that works to provide formal wear for high school students who would like to attend prom but who may not be able to otherwise afford to.  This time can be such a difficult time in the lives of our young people.  Societal pressures can come to bear in ways that may prevent some of our students from having the experience of a lifetime at their prom.   Tatiana's closet is a program that tries to take a little of that pressure off by providing FREE evening wear to those that wish to participate.  You can learn more about this project by watching this incredible video created by our very own GHS students and teachers.  What I find MOST AMAZING is that the models for this video are some of our very own GHS teachers!  We can all be a little embarrassed about our body images, but these fine women of GHS modeled something far more important than dresses in this video!  They modeled how to "step out" and take a little "risk" by doing something you may not be comfortable doing and in doing so - showing off a little piece of who you really are!  For these GHS teachers and staff...Well - I'd say they are pretty amazing!  THANK YOU FOR ALL THAT YOU DO!

From Left to Right (above):  Paula Suttle, Amy Wyatt, Catherine Paul, Christina Cifelii, and Kate Riker.

From Left to Right (above):  Sandra Rockett, Luci Bowers, Samantha McCloghry, Heather Alden, and Lisa Curly


One of the things I've loved most about this school year has been that we have finally been able to get our performing arts back "on stage".  Theater, music, and dance have all returned to our schools and it is just so incredible to see!  Our students learn and grow so much as a result of participating in these incredible programs!  Kudos to the students and the staff who work with them each day!

I thought folks might to one video of our chorus students performing "I See Colors".  If you recall...this was a song that was done by our chorus students during the spring of 2020 when we were all virtually learning and could not be together to perform.  It was good then...but REALLY GOOD in person!  Check it out and GO RAMS!


Please keep in mind that each of our schools is a very busy place as we come into the months of May and June.  This is not an all inclusive list of activities, so I urge you to check out each school's website for more details.  I thought folks might like to see a list of highlighted activities for all three of our K-5 Schools to give a little "taste" of some of the incredible things we have planned to close out another incredible year of learning here in Gorham.  Check it out:

Grade Level Parent Step Up Videos - Shared by Email - May 2nd
NWEA Testing Schedule: May 2nd - May 27th
Grade 5 Field Day - May 26th
Grade 4 Field Day - May 27th
Grade 3 Field Day - May 31st
Grade 2 Field Day - June 1st
Grade 1 Field Day - June 2nd
Grade 5 Parent Step Up Night at GMS - June 2nd from 6-7 pm
Kindergarten Field Day - June 3rd
5th Grade Step Up to GMS - June 6th from 12:00 - 1:30 pm
GHS Senior Walk - Wear Future Story T-Shirts - June 10 - 9am-ish
K-4 Step Up Day - June 10 from 10:00 - 10:30 am

Again, please reach out to each school for specific questions!

And ending quote...

"I hope that you make mistakes.  
Because if you are making mistakes, 
then you are making new things, 
trying new things, 
learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world.  
You're doing things you've never done before
 and more importantly, you're doing SOMETHING." 

-  Author Unknown

Enjoy your school vacation week everyone!  See you right back at it on Monday, April 25th for the strong sprint to the finish line of the 2021-22 School Year!

Friday, April 1, 2022

April 1 Blog Post - NO FOOLIN'!

Well Happy April Fool's Day to each of you.  May the pranks you provide to others be in good nature and may the pranks you receive place a genuine smile on your face.  After all that is the point of April Fool's Day right?  More on that later actually!  For now, let's start as I usually do with some pictures from the past few weeks as a snapshot of what's happening in our schools!

Lots to talk about on this let's get right to it!


Before I jump into the details on where we are, allow me to thank everyone who has helped contribute to this important conversation.  We've had a lot of great correspondences with parents and community members regarding our initial proposed 2022-23 School Calendar and some great public feedback at our school committee meetings this past month.  These conversations have really helped contribute to our decision making processes.  The level of civil discourse has been high and the focus on meeting the overall needs of our children has been constant, which speaks so highly of our great community!

Based on feedback, and an extensive review of data, the School Committee has determined that it might consider adding 1-2 additional early release days to the 2022-23 School Calendar but that it is NOT interested in moving to an every Wednesday early release schedule for the coming year.  The final decision has not yet been made on the proposed calendar, but these latest discussions have made it clear that moving to an every week Early Release Day model is not the direction the school committee would like to take to address the increased need for professional development time for teachers and staff.  The final vote on the 2022-23 School Calendar will be taken on Wednesday, April 13, 2022 at their regular school committee meeting, which will be televised on GoCAT TV starting at 7:00 p.m..  If you have questions, please feel free to reach out!


The School Committee is closing in on a final vote to approve of a proposed FY 23 Gorham School Department Budget.  That vote will also occur on Wednesday, April 13, 2022 at their regular School Committee meeting.  Once approved, the proposed budget is then sent on to the Town Council for further discussion and a vote on June 7, 2022.  From there, the proposed budget would then go to a referendum vote in the community on June 14, 2022.

This has been one of the most difficult budget development years in my 15 year tenure as a Superintendent of Schools in Maine's public schools and certainly the most difficult budget development season in my 7 years here in Gorham.  Why so difficult folks might ask?  Valid question for sure... and one with a multitude of answers.

First and foremost, although we are now beginning to feel like we are on the path from "Pandemic" to "Endemic" there is still a great deal of uncertainty in the economic climate as a result of the 2 year Pandemic.  Staffing shortages, broken supply chains, increasing costs of EVERYTHING,  all take their toll on a school department's budget.  Couple that with trying to address the increasing needs of our students, especially in the areas of Social and Emotional Learning and Mental Health supports, while grappling with meeting continued academic learning gaps and you have a recipe for significantly increasing costs across almost all programs.  

The School Committee has had to work very hard over the course of the past 4 budget meetings to make some really difficult decisions regarding priorities and balancing costs with needs.  There is one more budget meeting left to take place on April 12 at 7:00 p.m. before the School Committee will be asked to approve of a proposed FY 23 budget on April 13th.  If you want to follow the previous budget meetings themselves, you can view their recordings by CLICKING HERE.  

Additionally, I have included links below to the original proposed budget presented to the School Committee in February and our budget priorities list.  

Finally, I thought it would be beneficial to include a list of Proposed FY 23 "additions" and "reductions" to programming and positions as of our last budget meeting (March 22, 2022) below.  Please note that items on the reductions list are clearly noted as either being reduced from FY 22 (existing programming) or reduced from the initially proposed FY 23 budget.  Please click on the items below to browse this high level summary information:

The Bottom line is that the original proposed FY 23 budget projected an overall increase of 12.95% or $5,730,852.00 in expenditures.  The School Committee has since worked to reduce that to an overall increase of 8.08% or $3,576,452.00, a reduction of $2,154,000.00.  The current proposed budget (which is still very much subject to change before their final vote on April 13) stands at that 8.08% increase in expenditures, which would have an estimated mil impact of (+)$1.09 (an 8.60% increase over last year's mil impact).

Like I said, still a lot of potential for movement here as we come into the home stretch and I will certainly provide an update to everyone after the School Committee vote on the 13th - but I thought it would be helpful for folks to have this information so that if you are interested in watching the final budget meeting (4/12/22 at 7:00 p.m.) or the final budget vote (4/13/22 at 7:00 p.m.) you can.  You can also reach out with any questions at any time via email at



If folks remember, the Gorham Schools completed its first round of water testing for lead earlier this winter and reported those results to the public by school.  There were several tests across four of our five schools (not including Great Falls) that required follow up testing.  We just received the results of that follow up testing on Wednesday and I wanted to share that with you here and in a separate email message you will see later today.

First it is important to note that you can see ALL TESTING RESULTS, old and updated for each school by CLICKING HERE.  Below is an overview of the updated testing results per school:

GHS - Re-tested 7 areas.  4 faucets and 3 water fountains.  6 of these areas came back clean which is "good" and one area by the trainers area still did not pass.  We will simply discontinue use of this faucet fixture as it is rarely used.

GMS - Re-tested 2 areas.  1 faucet in kitchen and 1 outdoor near the concession area.  The concession area faucet passed but the kitchen one still tested high.  We are going to replace the fixture in this area and then re-test.

Village - Re-tested kitchen faucet and it passed.

Narragansett - Tested 2 new areas and re-tested 3 areas.  The two new areas were missed in the first round.  Those were from the nurses clinic and from a classroom faucet.  Both of these tests came back clean and we are good.  The other 3 were re-tests 2 from the kitchen area and 1 fountain in the new modular area.  All three of these areas still tested high.  We believe this is likely due to our having re-used kitchen equipment from the old kitchen in the new kitchen.  The water fountain, we believe is "bleeding over" from the kitchen issues as they are connected.  We have temporarily discontinued use of these water supplies for right now and are bringing in bottled water to be used in the cafeteria.  We will replace fixtures ASAP and then re-test.  In the meantime, once again, we are bringing in water supplies until we can take care of the identified issue.  

Bottom line, please rest assured we take the testing of our water supplies very seriously and continue to monitor these issues closely.  Right now, the only issue left unresolved is the Narragansett kitchen area water supply, which we believe can be fixed by replacement of older fixtures and continued flushing of the water lines.  We will retest immediately once this work has been completed and in the meantime will continue to bring in bottled water for utilization until required tests have been passed. 

If anyone has any questions, please reach out to Facilities Director, Norm Justice at  Thank you!


I hope I am not jinxing anything by sending this out early in April as Maine has been known to have snow storms as late as May...but I'll take the chance and hopefully won't blow it!

At this time, unless we use any additional snow days, the last student day for school this school year will be Monday, June 13, 2022.  This will be a half day of School.  Please plan accordingly.

I thought while on the topic of the school calendar, I might as well also share some HIGHLIGHTS of end of year activities that folks can look forward to at each school.  In this blog post I'll share from GMS & GHS.  In the next one I'll share K-5 end of year highlights!  Note - this is NOT an exhaustive list and folks should check out individual school events calendars from our website to stay up to date...but a nice list of highlights is below:

GHS End of Year Events Highlights:

* Junior Prom - May 7

* Step up Day for Non-Seniors - June 6

* Final exams for Non-Seniors - June 7-13

* Senior Walk - June 10

* Graduation - June 12

GMS End of Year Events Highlights:

* May 20- GMS School Dance

* May 20 - 8th Grade and 5th Grade Amazing Race of Gorham

* June 2 - Incoming 6th Grade Parent Night

* June 6 - 6th Grade and 9th Grade Step Up Day

* June 10 - 8th Grade Celebration

Mark your calendars!  End of year is coming up waaaay too fast!


Did you know that the Week of the Young Child is April 2nd - 8th?  

This is a National celebration of early childhood, from birth to age 8, the importance of the early years, and all the adults who care for and educate young children!

LINKED HERE is a flyer about the Week of the Young Child that folks can share with anyone in the community. There is also some incredible information and resources on the NAEYC and MaineAEYC websites.
  • Go to the bottom of this wage on the Maine AEYC website for links to activity ideas for your child care programs, elementary schools classrooms, libraries and community programs, and families with young children.


A message from GHS Teacher Jason Tanguay below regarding the event and a HUGE THANK YOU in advance to those that volunteer to help make sure our community continues to look as good as it feels!

Hello again, 

I wanted to send out another reminder as we are only a couple of days away.

It's time for our Spring Gorham Cleans Up event! It will be on Sunday, April 3rd from 8 to 11am.
Please sign-up using the Google Form below so we can make sure we have enough supplies for everyone.
We'll meet at the Municipal Center and after a quick safety meeting, we'll clean up around Gorham Village and along New Portland Rd from the Village to the rotary.
If you can't join us in person, please consider doing some clean up around your neighborhood that weekend and posting photos tagged with #gorhamcleansup
All ages are welcome. We do ask that you wear sturdy shoes, gloves and bright clothing! We will have trash bags and safety vests available, too.
Thank you to Gorham Village Alliance, Gorham Public Works, Gorham Recreation Department, and Gorham Outdoors for support and to Gorham VIPS for providing traffic safety.
This event is being organized by the Gorham Conservation Commission.
Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.
Mr. Tanguay


Just wanted to share this awesome video made featuring our very own Village Elementary School Students to encourage volunteers to help out with Junior Achievement programming in schools!  Check out those smiling faces and our incredible business partners at work in our schools!
Video Link:

I thought I'd end my April Fools blog post with a quick little history lesson!  Check out the link below from the History Channel to learn about the history of this very funny day!

Once done, check out the link below for some ideas on some fun and SAFE April fools pranks to try either later today or next year!

That's it for this blog post!  See ya for the next one on April 15 when we start our April break...NO JOKE!