October 2012

posted Jan 4, 2013, 10:54 AM by Dawna Green   [ updated Jan 4, 2013, 10:54 AM ]

MSAD #51

Achievements and Recognitions

October 2012

October is a time when schools really hit their stride, and this month was no exception in MSAD#51.  Academic, artistic and athletic accomplishments abounded. In addition, there were some great examples of community service contributions by students at all grade levels. New initiatives at the schools continued to be introduced, enriching the experience and education of our students.

Mabel I. Wilson
A structural change introduced at Mabel I. Wilson has been a new schedule for recesses and lunches.  This year, students eat lunch and play at recess with peers from their grade level rather than from their mixed grade level wing.  Staff members and parents have responded enthusiastically to the change, as the new system provides positive opportunities for children to play with friends from their grade level who they don’t otherwise see on a regular basis.

Janet Anderson, MIW’s new literacy coach, is facilitating the school’s lab site model. Almost every Wednesday morning, a team of teachers gathers in one classroom to engage students in a literacy lesson.  Teachers watch others teaching, and practice instructional strategies themselves.  After the lesson, the group gathers to reflect and process the teaching and learning that took place during the lesson.  Already this collaborative learning model has had a positive impact on the teaching and learning happening across the school.

North Yarmouth Memorial School 
NYMS is also implementing new learning initiatives.  One example is the Smart Block, which provides supplemental instruction in addition to the core curriculum.  Each grade level has a Smart Block four days a week for 25 minutes.  Instruction during the Smart Block encompasses remediation, enrichment and/or extension activities based on students’ individual learning needs. Instruction occurs either in the classroom, in small groups, or through flexible grouping across the students’ grade levels.  It’s exciting to see the model evolve in order to support our students’ continued academic and social growth, and is a great example of individualized learning. 

The NYMS Wellness Committee is looking forward to implementing components of the Let’s Go! 5210 Program.  (The numbers correlate with recommended daily habits: 5 = Five fruits and vegetables, 2 = Maximum hours of screen time, 1 = Hours of physical activity, 0 = Sugary drinks.) In addition to focusing on healthy eating and exercise, the committee will also be planning events to emphasize kindness, respect and personal safety.  A special thanks goes out to the PTO for allocating funds for this initiative!

Jennifer Gifford worked with students from MIW and NYMS at film camp this summer to create a special effects short and a commercial for Channel 2.  The children came up with the film ideas, wrote the scripts and then took care of the casting, location scouting, filming and editing.  The special effects short was entered into the Portland Maine Film Festival and won for Best Youth Film!  It was screened on the PTO movie night on 11/2 at MIW. 

Greely Middle School 
In addition to a lot of dynamic learning in the classroom, Greely Middle School is encouraging extracurricular participation among all its students.  An all-school assembly in October informed students about the different clubs and activities available and how to join them.  The options for GMS students include musical opportunities, language clubs, yearbook, student government and sports teams.  At the assembly, GMS’s band and chorus treated the school to a wonderful performance.

Greely Middle School’s Student Council is up and running, and one of the first jobs of the council this year will be looking at the current cafeteria table configuration and suggesting possible changes to make the seating arrangement more inclusive.  The new arrangement will be piloted soon, and students will be surveyed to provide feedback.  Students with suggestions are encouraged to talk with their team’s Student Council Representative. 

The Baxter Neighborhood conducted a two-week food drive for Cumberland’s Food Pantry.

Greely High School
Greely held the Gay Straight Transgender Alliance’s Ally Week in October.  The week is an opportunity for Greely students, faculty and staff to express their support of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.  The goal is to help foster a more respectful, welcoming and positive climate at GHS, and there were themed days as well as opportunities for students to sign Ally cards.  Over 350 students and faculty members signed cards pledging to support efforts to make Greely a safe place for everyone. 

Greely students had great success at the Jazz All State Auditions in October.  In an audition that is highly selective, the following students were accepted into the group: 

Will Silvers - 1st Tenor, Jazz Band (1 of 5 in the state)
Gabby Bouchard - 4th Bone, Honors Jazz Band (1 of 11 in the state)
Cam Dehais - 3rd Bone, Jazz Band (1 of 11 in the state)
Molly Braley - 2nd Alto, Honors Jazz Band (1 of 5 in the state)
Sarah Gooch - Drums, Combo (1 of 4 in the state and the highest score!)

These students will represent Greely at Jazz All State in Bangor the first weekend in January.

Sophie Schmid is the Daughters of the American Revolution award winner.  Selected by the faculty, the award is given to a senior in good academic standing who best demonstrates the good citizen qualities of dependability, service, leadership and patriotism. 

In late October, Senior Jonah Normandeau pitched in the U-18 Wooden Bay World Series in Jupiter, Florida.  He made two appearances on the mound, allowing no runs against some of the best high school players in the country.

In the heart of election season, members from Greely’s debate team and student government paired to host a debate between State Senate District #11 candidates Chris Tyll and Dick Woodbury. Students formulated and asked the candidates questions, moderating the interchanges as well. Following the Candidates Forum, debate team members discussed the question of whether or not the Town of North Yarmouth should withdraw from MSAD #51.  Greely’s representatives were professional and thoughtful in their questions, and thanks go out to Jason Curry and Andy Tureff for supporting the work of the students.

As many of you know, Cumberland’s Community Food Bank moved in October from the Cumberland Congregational Church to Cumberland’s Town Hall.  Bill Shane shared what a great job Alex Moore, Kyle Bickford and Tim Storey did before the move, spending hours painting shelving in the new facility.  Mar-e Trebilcock pulled the students together on very short notice, and the boys completed what was a monumental task with positive attitudes and hard work.  As Mr. Shane shared: “The efforts of our Assistant Principal and these young men truly showed strong community spirit and a willingness to help when called into service.”

GHS teacher Erin Pollock and a target group of her Algebra I CP students have been selected as case study participants in the American Institutes for Research's High School Math Teaching Study of 9th and 10th graders.  The study is co-sponsored by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation.  The yearlong study will focus on progress in student engagement and improved performance in math over the course of the school year.

Greely is fortunate to have four high school foreign exchange students studying with us this year: Susana Badrinas Codina from Spain, Ahmed Wafy from Qatar, Helena Vukovic from Bosnia and Lucrezia Cerulli from Italy.  Each lives with a host family and attends school for the year.  We will provide more information about their Greely experience in the months ahead!