Welcome to Little River 2018-2019

Welcome to the Little River Team!


August 30, 2018

Dear Families,

Welcome to Little River!

We would like to take this opportunity to welcome you and your student to what we hope will be an amazing 7th grade year. After meeting your students’ on step up day, we are even more thrilled about the 2018-19 school year and all of the adventures that we will share with your kiddos!

Our team is committed to meeting your students’ needs and giving them a rigorous, meaningful, and engaging Proficiency Based academic experience. Using district wide graduation standards and performance indicators to guide our planning, teaching, and assessment, your students will be taught through traditional book based lessons, thematic cross-curriculum projects, and community based learning opportunities.

Little River core teachers Sherry Coyne and Sarah Rubin work closely together to deliver every aspect of the curriculum in all four subject areas so that we can best meet your student’s academic needs and make sure that expectations for students are the same regardless of what class they’re in. All of the Little River teachers and advisors also work closely with the students to develop a close-knit community of learners who embody the Gorham School’s Core Values of Respect, Responsibility, Courage, Honesty, and Compassion.


Here is a sampling of the incredible units Little River students participated in this past year:

  • Samantha Smith Challenge: The Samantha Smith Challenge (SSC) is a dynamic educational program for Maine middle school students designed to build a bridge between the classroom and the world and to show students that, no matter what age, they can be part of solving the challenges and problems they see around them.
  • Thanksgiving Unit: Discovering the origins of the holiday as we study the relationship between the Wampanoags and the European settlers in the New World and creating catering companies that will use math to plan a Thanksgiving Feast. We also have a Thanksgiving Feast of our own!
  • Books on Film and Historical Fiction Book Groups: Reading great literature that students choose in small book groups.
  • Rigorous Math Program: We use the same textbook as the rest of the school for our math program and sometimes are able to split kids up based on their needs as well as add real-world connections through projects.


Little River will be joining the rest of Gorham Middle School in implementing a new grading system that is focused on proficiency towards district graduation standards. If you haven’t already, please take a look at Gorham’s Proficiency Based Learning One Page Guide. Students will receive either a 1 (not proficient), 2 (Partially Proficient), 3 (Proficient), 4 (Exceeding) or ID (Insufficient Data). In order to report out to you in the most effective way, all formative and summative assessment grades will be entered into www.jumpro.pe as soon as they are corrected.


Because Sherry and Sarah often team-teach subjects and due to the fact that most work is computer based in 7th grade; your student will not need a separate binder for the four main content areas. They will need one Trapper Keeper (or something like it) that will hold their planners and has folders or dividers for HW Assignments and handouts in different subjects.

Most 7th graders do best with at least 5 hard plastic folders instead of dividers. Students should have this central organizer ready by the end of the first week of school.

All students need ONE durable folder that will be sent home every week and will act as a communication folder between school and home. This will showcase corrected work and self/parent assessments of students before they need to go into the student’s portfolio which will be kept at school.

Lastly, we are suggesting that students bring in an extra large binder to serve as their portfolio of the year. They will be storing all graded work (after you see it of course) in this binder for reflections, conferences, and an end of year learning showcase. We have some binders but, if you can bring one in, it may be helpful.

Below is a list of other suggested supplies that your student should bring to school within the first week. We have many of these materials available but, it may be helpful for your student to bring his/her own.

  • Notebook Paper
  • Pencil Box
  • Pencils
  • Glue Sticks
  • Calculator
  • Colored Pencils
  • Small Sticky Notes
  • Clear Plastic Sleeves (to put work in their portfolios)
  • Tissues
  • Pencil Sharpener
  • Sharpies (thin and thick)
  • Five Dividers

We are so excited to welcome you and your student to our Little River Family. Please email with any questions or, visit our brand new website: https://sites.google.com/gorhamschools.org/littleriver/welcome?authuser=0


Sherry Coyne, Sarah Rubin, Deb Noble, Kelly Winslow

Important Dates to Know:

September 19

Early Release Day

October 5-8

No School: Fall Break for Columbus Day/Indigenous People's Day

October 24

Early Release Day

October 24-26 (Look for sign ups in Mid-October)

Student Led Conferences