08-28-2020 School Opening Info

Good afternoon everyone.  I know that I have done more than my share of filling your Inbox today but, I promise, this will be the last one today.

We’ll be ready for September 8 when the 8th Graders come to school.  I thank you for your patience and understanding as none of us (you, me, staff, students, etc) have never tried to open two schools (remote and in-person) during “all this” before.

Here are some random but important updates:

  • One way we plan to keep the Remote Learners connected to the school is that, each Monday and Friday morning, I will be doing our morning announcements over Google Meet; like I did last Spring each Friday.  Both Remote and In-Person Learners can watch me bumble and mumble together.

  • For incoming 5th graders and students new to the District, we hope to run quick tours of the building for parents.  In the meantime, both you and your child can get a peek of the building by watching this presentation that Mr. Parker and Mrs. Damato put together last Spring.  You can also find this link on our school’s website.  

  • This falls into the category of, “let’s hope it doesn’t come to this,” but the District has come up with a protocol for all three buildings regarding “Failure to comply with COVID-19 Health/Safety Protocols.”  As we all know the safety of our students and staff is of paramount importance.

    • “Including but not limited to the wearing of masks, observance of established traffic flow patterns, physical distancing, and personal sanitation protocols.”

      • One verbal warning by teacher

      • Second incident will result in an office referral conversation (“restorative” practices with assistant principal and nurse).

      • Third incident will result in the student being isolated in the health office and sent home.

    • Willful or chronic failure to comply with mask-wearing or safety/distancing practices will be considered insubordination and may result in the student being shifted to our fell remote learning enrollment option.

  • Again, I don’t foresee any of our students pushing this to the limit but it is only right that everyone is aware of the consequences of such behavior.  In order to keep everyone safe and prevent an outbreak here, we need the cooperation of every student and ask that you please reinforce this at home.

  • Students will not be assigned lockers this year (to avoid congregation in the hallways and to maintain safe social distancing).  However, athletes who need to stow their athletic gear may do so in the gym locker rooms.

  • As discussed at the last school board meeting, it will not be possible to offer the opportunity to earn high school credit in both Math and French/Spanish to 8th Grade students due to staffing challenges.  It was decided that I would work the schedule so that students could work towards the math credit (it is not guaranteed that they will be successful in doing so) but not the world language credit.  There is a silver lining here: If they are diligent in their studies this year in French/Spanish, life will be a little bit easier for them when/if they take French/Spanish in the high school next year.  Typically, only about 25% of 8th graders have been able to earn the credit in world language while close to 50% have been able to earn the credit in math.

  • The PTA will hold their first meeting of the year outside at the GES Sugar Shack (bring a lawn chair for social distancing).  They will be discussing the budget, the hike-a-thon fundraiser, the membership drive and other ideas (bring your own, too!) for the upcoming school year. This will take place on September 8 at 6:00pm.

  • I have attached a flyer from the NH Department of Education regarding the “5 steps to expect if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19.”

  • It might be a good idea for students to have their own headphones and mice; especially when we get to October when they will be taking their “interim” state assessments in Math and English/Language Arts.

  • We will stagger the end of the day as such:

    • 2:10 = Dismiss Grades 5 & 7 Bus Riders to GHS

    • 2:13 = Dismiss Grades 6 & 8 Bus Riders to GHS

    • 2:16 = Dismiss Parent Pick Ups 

    • 2:20 = Dismiss Walkers and Athletes/After School Activity Students

  • Due to limited bus capacity, middle school students will no longer be able to ride the elementary school bus home.

  • Lastly, I received this news earlier this summer but was sworn to secrecy (you may have already heard about): CONGRATULATIONS to Gilford Middle School on winning GOLD for best Middle School in the Best of the Lakes Region contest!

    • Last year we earned Silver so we’re moving up in the world (or at least the Lakes Region!).

    • Thanks to all of you who spread the good word about GMS!

I think that is enough for one day.  Thank you again for your support.

Take care,


School Health & Safety Protocols.pdf

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