Friday, January 7, 2022

Letter from the Principal: January 7th


January 7, 2022

Dear Great Falls Families,

Happy snow day! ⛄  Our students will be very excited to enjoy the sledding hill with fresh snow when they return to school on Monday.

Special Election on 1/11 at Great Falls: A special election will be held on Tuesday, 1/11. Great Falls is a polling site and the gym will be used for voting. This event will be closely monitored by our SRO Todd Gagnon and all participants will be masked. We do not anticipate a large impact on pick up and drop off, but we thought that it would be important to be aware of it.

Sledding: Exciting news! We will be adding sledding to our recess rotation. This means that it will be more important than ever that your child bring appropriate winter clothing to wear during recess. Warm winter gear includes snow pants, boots, coats, hats, and gloves. It will also be equally important for your child to keep an extra change of clothes at school in their assigned cubby in case they get wet. While we want our students to remain warm, dry, & comfortable, we do not have the resources to provide extra clothing to all those who may get wet during each recess each day. 

Parent Connection Meetings: Beginning in the new year, we will be hosting Parent Connection meetings on campus. Our first meeting will be held on Monday, January 10th from 6 pm - 7 pm in the cafeteria. This first meeting will include a school tour and an opportunity to see all of the spaces that your children spend their days. Masks are required. 

Winter NWEA Testing: NWEA-MAPS Tests (Northwest Educational Association - Measures of Academic Progress) is our district’s universal screening tool and recently adopted state-level assessment. The NWEA assessments will be conducted throughout the month of January in grades K-5. It is necessary for us to gather this data point to inform Response to Intervention supports and classroom instruction. The assessments are aligned to Maine Standards and allow us to collect longitudinal data. As always, your child’s classroom teacher is the best resource to keep you informed about how your child is progressing during this academic year. 

Close Contact Notifications: Our new process for notifying for close contacts includes a text message to parents and an email with a letter. If you receive one, please make sure to open and read the letter. It informs of the date of contact and reminds families that under the new CDC guidelines student close contacts do not need to be quarantined from school unless they have symptoms. This is due to the universal masking policy.

Upcoming Early Release Days 1/12, 1/19, 1/26, 2/2, 2/16: This is a reminder that Wednesday, 1/12 will be an early release day for Gorham students. In addition, the school committee has added several more Wednesday Early Release days onto the calendar. Please plan on ER days on 1/19, 1/26, 2/2, and 2/16. If you need to change your child’s transportation plan for early release days, please reach out to Julie Murray at 222-1050.

Help with Masks: We all understand the mask policies and how to wear them appropriately, but we offer a reminder of the importance of wearing them properly while in school and on the bus. Many students wear them below their nose rendering them much less effective. We will continue to remind students while they’re at school and ask for your continued patience and support with this. We are working to keep everyone safe and prevent the spread!

Important Upcoming Dates:

  • Monday, January 10th  Parent Connection Meeting 6pm

  • Wednesday, January 12th Early Release Day - students dismissed at 12pm

  • Monday, January 17th  No School - Martin Luther King Day

  • Wednesday, January 19th  Early Release Day - students dismissed at 12pm

  • Wednesday, January 26th  Early Release Day - students dismissed at 12pm

  • Wednesday, February 2nd Early Release Day - students dismissed at 12pm

  • Monday, February 7th  Parent Connection Meeting 6pm

  • Wednesday, February 16th Early Release Day - students dismissed at 12pm

  • February 21-25  Winter Break 

As always, please feel free to reach out to me at any time with questions and feedback. I am available through email at and by phone at 222-1050.

Take care and be well,

Becky Fortier

Great Falls Principal