Monday, January 8, 2024

January Update

Dear Great Falls Families,

May this January be filled with warmth, love, new beginnings, and shared happiness. This first snowfall is just the beginning of winter's wonderful world. Let the snow-filled fun begin! 

Dress for Winter: This is a reminder that all students should come to school with appropriate clothing for spending time outside each day. We recommend that students in grades K-5 wear hats, gloves or mittens, boots, and a warm jacket to play outside. K-3 students should also pack snow pants if they plan on playing in the snow and the fields. Those without the proper winter gear will be limited to the blacktop areas when snow is present to keep our students warm and dry. 

School Calendar: 2023 - 2024 Calendar

Monday, January 15th: No School/ Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Wednesday, January 17th: Early Release Day/ Students are dismissed at noon.

Great Falls DECK Day: Thursday, January 18th

Great Falls will be collecting goods for the Maine Needs mini warmth kits. Each grade level will be asked to optionally donate a specific item. Items can be delivered to the main office beginning this week or brought to the GF Winter Family Fun Night on Thursday, January 18th.

Kindergarten: chapstick

Grade 1: hand warmers

Grade 2: mini tissues

Grade 3: mini hand lotion

Grade 4: Dunkin gift cards

Grade 5: bandaids

Thursday, January 18th: Great Falls Winter Family Fun Night 5:30-7:30 p.m. 

During this family and community event, our students will be able to pick up their clay projects. There will be fun activities for all to enjoy including a bouncy obstacle course, winter art projects, read-alouds, face painting, fitness breaks, and a bake sale. Please consider donating baked items for our sale by signing up HERE. We hope to see our Great Falls families at our family fun night!

“Kindness in Clay” Project

K-5 students completed a unique clay project during their art class with Mrs. Rimkunas and Mrs. Burton. Our “Kindness in Clay” project is based loosely on “The Empty Bowl Project” which is an international grassroots effort to fight hunger. The basic premise is simple: students create handcrafted pieces that they keep as a reminder of all the empty bowls and bellies in the world. The money raised is always donated to an organization working to end hunger and food insecurity. With that in mind, Great Falls will be donating 50% of donations to the Gorham Food Pantry and 50% of donations to future Great Falls projects of kindness within our school community. Please support our acts of kindness by donating any amount to purchase your student’s clay project.  The donation form is found HERE. All students will receive their projects to take, regardless of donation. Project pick-up will take place at the Great Falls Winter Family Fun Night on January 18th.

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. 

The most important information regarding our school community can also be found in the Great Falls News from the Office which will be emailed to families every Thursday. We hope to keep families updated with the latest information and school events. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us at any time at or Wishing you all a year filled with the magic of learning, the strength of kindness, and the radiant glow of happiness. Happy New Year, everyone!


Becky Fortier and Deanna Etienne

Great Falls Administrators

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