Tuesday, December 22, 2015

One School, One Book at Great Falls!

Great Falls Elementary
One School, One Book

It is time for Great Falls Elementary’s 1st One School, One Book project! This means that all classrooms will be reading roughly the same book throughout the month of January and into February. The reason that we decided to do this project at Great Falls is because “the benefits of reading aloud are remarkable—studies have shown that reading to children helps them to listen better and longer, build bigger vocabularies, understand concepts better, feel positive about books, learning and more! When an entire school reads the same book, the buzz and excitement around the book being read increases these benefits and there is the added joy of building community in the school family.”
This is how One School, One Book works: The book that we have chosen to read is The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. Grades K and 1 will be reading the nonfiction picture book version and grades 2-5 will read the chapter book. Teachers will start reading the book aloud to their classrooms when we return from the holiday break. It will take us until February vacation to finish the book. Throughout the read aloud there will be weekly trivia questions that can be answered and entered into a weekly raffle for other book related prizes. There will also be a One School, One Book blog set up for grades 3-5 to post to once we begin the read aloud in January (greatfallsosob.blogspot.com).  There will also be a chance for students to create their own artwork related to the book. Some of the students’ artwork will displayed in the showcase located between the cafeteria and the gym. I encourage parents and family members to talk to your child about the book, or better yet, get your own copy and read it with him/her (The Bookworm on Main Street will be offering the book at a discounted price!)!

Happy Reading!

Happy Holidays!

As we get ready to depart for the holiday break, 💙I can't help but reflect on the generous spirit of our staff, families, and students and thank you for your continuous acts of kindness you bestow on each other and the community. ❄

I wish you an abundance of joy and a happy New Year!🎄 Happy Holidays to you and your family! 🎉Enjoy your well deserved break and take the time you need to relax and recharge!💗 

⛄Kindly yours,

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Great Falls Parent Connection is AMAZING!

Thank you, Parent Connection, for your beautiful gesture of kindness! The Great Falls staff is very grateful and appreciative of our wonderful parents! The ornaments are gorgeous! Happy holidays to you and yours!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Happy Holidays to You and Yours!

Dear Parents/Guardians of Great Falls Students,

As we approach the Winter Break, I would like to first take this opportunity to wish each of you and your families a most happy, healthy holiday season! I hope that you will have a chance to relax and enjoy some special times with your children. As always, I am pleased with not only how hard they have been working each and every day, but that they are kind. They strive to be “Citizens of the Code” and I could not be prouder!

One of our school wide goals is to help our students understand the important characteristics that make up ethical, responsible, and involved citizens. Our staff model and teach our students not only how to take responsibility for his/her own behavior, but how to demonstrate responsible behavior that is consistent to our core values, The Code of Conduct.
Over the holiday break, continue to look for ways to connect your child’s actions and behavior to the Code of Conduct. With the holiday season, comes many opportunities that can bring the Code of Conduct alive!

Please remember to check our school website on a regular basis, for updates and information, including our monthly calendars and newsletters. The website may be accessed by logging onto http://greatfalls.gorhamschools.org/.

  • Tuesday, December 22nd is a full day of school.
  • December 23rd - January 1st is the Holiday Break
  • Students return to school on Monday, January 4th
  • Tuesday, January 12th - Grades 3-5 Winter Chorus Concert at 6pm
  • Wednesday, January 13th - Early Release Day
  • Wednesday, January 13th - Parent Connection Meeting 7-8pm
  • Monday, January 18th - No School - MLK Day
As always, please feel free to reach out to me at any time with questions and feedback. I am available through email at becky.fortier@gorhamschools.org and by phone at 222-1050.  Please follow my Twitter page, which can be found at https://twitter.com/MrsBFortier .

Kindly yours,

Becky Fortier, Great Falls Principal

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Winter Weather Procedure

Dear Great Falls Families,

The daily temperature for Gorham will be checked at www.weather.com.

When the "feels like" temperature is below 10 degrees, students will be kept inside for indoor recess. School secretaries, Mrs. Perkins and Mrs. Murray, will check the temperature for the AM recess and make an announcement as soon as possible. If the AM duty staff feel as though it is too cold while on the playground, they can make a judgment call to contact the office and bring the students indoors.

Temperatures will be monitored throughout the day and notification about canceling lunch recess will come from the office.

Monitoring temperatures is for the safety of the students and the supervising adults. While many students run around and are dressed appropriately, others are not and extended time at freezing temperature can be a hardship for the adults and students.
However, even in the cold winter months, outdoor recess is an important part of the students' day. Students need movement breaks and perform best when they have an opportunity for vigorous play, so we will try to get them out whenever possible.

Please make sure your child comes to school with the appropriate winter gear. Warm jackets, hats, gloves, boots, and snowpants are highly encouraged every day.

Thank you!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Great Falls wins a $10,000 Technology Grant!

Congratulations to the Great Falls Librarian, Mrs. Oliver, who was presented a $10,000 check for hosting a school wide Hour of Code. She successfully applied for and received this amazing grant!

Great Falls will be able to purchase hardware needed to bring a larger computer science program to our school. 

Feel free to explore coding with your children at CODE.org!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Shine Bright!

Thanks to our amazing parent volunteer, Tiffaney Cupps, for creating bulletin boards that shine bright just like our students!

There are a few great discussion ideas here:


Great Falls Food Drive - Dec. 2nd - Dec. 11th

Great Falls Empty Bowl Project
and Food Drive

Join the Great Falls Community as we celebrate the gift of giving and collect non perishable food items for the Gorham Food Pantry. This event will run in conjunction with the Gorham School District Food Drive. 

Our food drive will begin Dec. 2 and continue through Dec 11th. Items can be dropped off in the Great Falls lobby. The collection will conclude on the evening of our Family Movie Night on Friday, Dec. 11th from 5:30-7:30pm. Admission to the movie, Inside Out, is a non-perishable food item for the Gorham Food Pantry.

We greatly appreciate your donations!