Dear Gorham Community,
Happy Holidays to your families from the K-5 Transition Team! We are waiting for a white ‘dusting’ for the season to be perfect... Here is a brief update of our fall work. We have been busy!
In October we met twice. In order to get ready for our move to three K-5 schools, we discussed the transportation policy, boundaries, and bus routes with Norm Justice, Director of Transportation and Facilities. Dennis Crowe, Director of Technology shared the current projections for the three schools. We met with Hollis Cobb, School Finance Officer to begin discussions about developing a K-5 budget. The Principals will discuss this concept further and work with Hollis to make it happen! We had conversations with Michael Sanborn, Food Services Director, to learn about the needs at the New School and details about scheduling lunches at all three schools. Finally, we discussed Schedule B opportunities for stipended after school positions at the three schools.
In November, the Principals met to begin to flesh out the school schedule as the schools will be sharing teachers in the areas of music, library/media, and art. Redistricting information was shared with the public via the school website, so at our November meeting we discussed feedback. We want the community to understand that these numbers are projections and not the final counts. (Go to www.gorhamschools.org for more information) We heard from the nursing department regarding staffing, training, the new facility, and equipment needs. The
committee reviewed efforts around early literacy and learned about a program that has been successfully used in Unity, Maine. In addition, we began a discussion about fundraising, and about consumables (materials that need to be replaced each year) that need to be in the budget for the core reading, math, and handwriting programs.
In December, the Principals worked again on scheduling and the sharing of staff in the three schools, as well as developing a draft of a new leadership structure. The committee met with the Finance Officer and with the Directors of Transportation and Facilities, Food Service, and Technology to make sure we are in line with the state allotment for the New School. The K-5 Literacy teachers joined us to hear Carrie Thurston present the work of the Unity Jumpstart program for a targeted group of preschoolers. Katie Hawes, Director of Instructional support, shared information on the number of incoming students from Child Development Services, which has a staffing impact. Finally, Kate Rotroff, Director of Adult Education, discussed Family Literacy with us and shared some work that has been done in that arena this
We continue to meet twice monthly on Fridays to complete the work that needs to be done this school year. It is hard to believe that we are nine months away from three K-5 schools!
Have a safe and peaceful vacation. Drive up Route 237 to see the new school. Happy New Year!
The K-5 Transition Team