Message December 8, 2015

We recently implemented a new feature called "Links" in our district monthly edition, the Ranger Connection.  This month's feature is our Secondary Start Time committee, which is linked to Goal II (Every Child, Every Classroom, Every Day) Obj. 1.3 Adjusted Start Times. This committee has continued their study of whether or not to adjust the start times for our schools next year.  The committee will be reviewing survey results that were completed by 1,300 students, staff, and parents this week to determine next steps.  The committee is currently proposing an 8:00 am start time for grades 6-12 and 8:45 am for grades K-5. 

I have had the privilege lately of visiting classrooms of 1st year teachers to the district with our principals and have been impressed by the high quality of learning experiences offered by our new hires.  Sally Loughlin and myself also met with all 1st year teachers for our regular check-in meetings last week to help them better understand our evaluation system and answer their questions.

WMTW’s Mallory Brooke recently helped to shine the spotlight on Greely 
Middle School and the PTO’s Fill a Bus, Fill a Belly campaign. Ms. Brooke spent 
Tuesday morning broadcasting live from the parking lot. Thank you to the PTO and the Food
Pantry for sending representatives to help promote the event through live interviews. 
Students Jared Swisher and Parker Stair and Principal Mar-E Trebilcock represented GMS 
in their live interviews.


Also at GMS, recently 7th grade students celebrated African Culture Day with a feast provided by generous parents. The flags of African nations were draped across the school lobby and a buffet of authentic African dishes were set up in a buffet for students to sample. To top it off, African music was playing in the lobby while students moved through the buffet line. Back in the classrooms, 7th graders learned more about Africa from Wendy LePage, who returned to share details about her Peace Corps experience in Mali.

'Tis the season:  Ho Ho Ho, Scott Poulin's favorite time of year.  No, not the holidays.  The budget season has begun.  Our administrators are developing their FY 17 budgets at this time, including new proposals and supply budgets.  After the holidays, we will begin this work with the Finance Committee.

This is Spirit Week at Greely High School.  A host of fun activities have been planned, starting with a kick-off dance last Saturday night and culminating with an all-school spirit assembly this Friday.  

Next week is Drug & Alcohol Awareness Week at GHS.  Some highlights of activities include a video viewing in advisories and opportunities for kids to develop talking points for saying no to substances. Thanks to Erica Sarapas, Peter Scott, and Tiffany McPhetres for organizing this week.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of riding the routes through Cumberland with bus driver Diana Copp as she drove her elementary students home.  The students were well behaved and eager to share conversations with me.  My admiration for the work that Diana and all of our wonderful drivers do day in and day out.