December 2016 Newsletter

posted Dec 2, 2016, 1:35 PM by Carol MacArthur

Greely Middle School 4-5

December 2016 Newsletter

From the Principal’s Desk

Winter weather is sure to be here soon! Please know that we believe it is important for students to have a break from the classroom to enjoy fresh air and play time with friends whenever possible. Unless the temperature drops to 10˚ or colder, with the wind chill taken into consideration, students will be outside. Please help your child plan accordingly for appropriate cold weather clothing.  

When the playground is covered in snow, our recess rules and activities shift in response.  Students who choose to play on the snow-covered fields must wear boots and snowpants. Staff will ask students who do not have boots and snowpants to play on the cleared areas. One of the benefits of our snow-covered fields is that students may build snow structures and go sledding down the playground hill. Staff will be reviewing winter recess rules with students in the coming weeks.

Please see the message below from the Superintendent’s Office regarding school closings/delays and alerts.

In most cases, school closings and delays will be posted on our website and in our Twitter feed by 6:00am. For timely and accurate no school announcements, you can also click the link below to sign up to receive school closing alerts from local News TV (via email or text - must sign up annually) or follow @SuperMSAD51 Twitter.

WCSH 6 - Text alert

WMTW 8 - Email alert

WGME 13 - Text alert

Please know that I am always open to communication that will enhance your child’s educational experience with us and welcome your questions and feedback at any time.

Sincerely, Carol MacArthur

Principal, Grades 4-5

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

for quick updates of what’s happening at GMS 4-5.

In an effort to save on paper, newsletters are sent via email and posted on our web page.

If you would prefer a paper copy each month, please let your child’s teacher know.

Office Reminders

• School begins at 8:45 AM.  Students may be dropped off at 8:15 AM, or enrolled in Early Arrival at 8:00AM.

• If your child will be absent from school, please call the main office to notify us of that absence at 829-4815.  If we do not hear from you letting us know your child will be absent, please expect a phone call from the school to check on your child’s status.  

• If your child arrives after 8:45AM, he/she is tardy to school and needs to check-in at the office before going to the classroom.

• Please remember to send a note in with your child if there is a change in their afternoon schedule. Without a note, we will follow the regular routine for each child. If you must call during the day to change dismissal plans, please do not leave messages on voicemail regarding those changes.  If at all possible, please, call before 2:30 with changes.

We greatly appreciate your attention to these procedures, as they help to ensure that our routines run smoothly and efficiently.

The Late Bus

In addition to regular, daily dismissal, a late bus is also available on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday for students who stay for co-curricular activities or after-school academic support.  Buses pick up students from GMS at 4:15pm and transport them home. Please be aware that depending on the number of students riding the late bus on a given day, your child's arrival time at home may vary.  If you have specific questions about the late bus, please feel free to call the Transportation Garage at 829-4820.

The GMS Lost and Found is overflowing!

Please take a moment during your next visit to look through our Lost and Found, located just outside the cafeteria doors.  

All items remaining at the end of the month will be donated to local charities.


Join us on The Coder Express!

An Evening of Coding and Cocoa

All 4th and 5th grade students will participate in “The Hour of Code” during technology class the week of Dec. 5th. This is an introduction to computer science to help nurture their problem-solving skills, logic and creativity.

As an extension of this week, students and their families are invited to attend The Coder Express from 6-7 p.m. on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 in the Greely Middle School cafeteria.

Participants will have the opportunity to take part in computer programming and coding activities using iPads. Students are encouraged to wear pajamas and bring stuffies and blankets as they take part in a fun evening of coding. Thanks in advance to our Greely PTO for providing cocoa and cookies.

Reserve your seat now on The Coder Express!!

The idea for Coder Express was created by Tom Charltray of Pond Cove Elementary School in Cape Elizabeth.

The 4th and 5th grade Civil Rights Team wants to remind our school community that ...

A school-wide penny drive will be happening Dec. 5 through Dec. 16th.  Proceeds will be donated to the Portland Press Herald Toy Fund, an organization that provides holiday presents to the children of needy families in southern Maine. Each classroom will attempt to fill at least one large storage bag with pennies. The total of our collection will be announced on Thursday., Dec. 22nd. Please help by sending in your pennies by December 16th.  (Other coins, bills, and checks - made out to Portland Press Herald Toy Fund - will also be gratefully accepted.)

Thank you!  

Mr. Brookes’ 5th Grade Class

News from our Student Service Providers about Community Resources

Ali Waterhouse, School Counselor

Katie Campbell, Social Worker

Libby Gordon and Nancy Terison, School Nurses

We are writing to share local and state resources for your family, friends and neighbors. These resources are available for those needing support as well as those who wish to donate or volunteer services.

Community Resources:


The Food Pantry at the Cumberland Town Hall is open Fridays 2:00-6:00, receiving donations at any time.

Heating assistance:

PROP Keep Me Warm 553-5900

Town of Cumberland General Assistance: Confidential financial assistance to residents who are having difficulty meeting basic needs for housing, utilities and food. 829-2200

Town of North Yarmouth General Assistance: 829-3705

Toys for the holidays:

Firefighters for Kids: Cumberland Fire Department. For more information about donating or receiving toys, e-mail

Bruce Roberts Toy Fund: application -

Cumberland Congregational Church 829-3419

Clothing and other items:

Falmouth Goodwill Store: U.S. Route One Falmouth Shopping Center 347-8252

Portland Free Cycle:

A grassroots, nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and thus keeping good stuff out of landfills. Membership is free.

The Community Center Thrift Shop: Freeport 865-3985

Lots For Tots Children’s Resale Store: Falmouth (207) 347-8601

Free and reduced cost dental care:

Preventive Partners: 694-3332

Cumberland County Dental Health Center: 874-1028

University of New England Dental Health Services: 221-4900

Health Care:

THE ROOT CELLAR: 94 Washington Ave., Portland, Maine 40101 (207) 774-3197

For any child without access to healthcare.  By appointment.

Discounted eyewear:

Referrals and resources:

Call 211 or e-mail for a list of state-wide resources, services and volunteer opportunities.

GMS 4/5 Resources – please call us for services (all inquiries are confidential)

Counseling referrals

Free and reduced lunch for students at school

Prescription drug discount card (contact school nurse)

Glasses prescription discount card for financially eligible families (contact school nurse)

Successful Students attend school regularly -

Happy Holidays! As we take a short break from school for the upcoming holiday break, we want to express our gratitude for everyone who makes it possible for as many students as possible to come to school every day, on time, and ready to learn. We thank:

● our students and families for making daily attendance a priority, since they know the habit of attendance will help them do well with their learning in the classroom and the larger world around them in the future,

● our wonderful teachers and support staff who pour their energy into making each classroom an exciting place for exploration and knowledge, so the students do not want to miss out on any learning, and

● our community partners and volunteers who provide extra hands and attention our students’ needs.

We appreciate each one of you so much. We look forward to seeing you after the December break. Also, we hope you will keep in mind that the last day of school before the break is Thursday, December 22nd, and we will reopen on Tuesday, January 3rd. We hope that you enjoy some fun and relaxing times with your friends and family during this time. We especially appreciate everyone’s efforts to avoid taking extra time off around the holiday break. Just a few missed days here and there, even if they are excused absences, can add up to too much lost learning time and leave your child struggling in school. This is as true in kindergarten as it is in high school. So, once again, thank you for your efforts.

Wishing you a Happy Holiday Season!            November Box Top Winner: Mrs. Duncan’s Class


The Greely PTO invites you to join Greely Middle School students and the community in helping to feed local families in need as we attempt to fill an MSAD #51 school bus with non-perishable food items for the Cumberland Food Pantry.

FILL A BUS ~ December 5 - December 9

Bus will be parked in the GMS lot all week. Donations accepted during school drop off & pick up times.

FILL A BELLY ~ December 10 at 9:00 am

Help us UNLOAD & CELEBRATE! On Dec. 10, the bus will be driven to the Food Pantry at Cumberland Town Hall. Join us for this family-friendly event. Light refreshments provided.

We run on parent power!

Volunteers Needed: Look for SignUpGenius email.